A lot of people seem to recognize the name "Wild Bill" Hickok, but not many can recount what made Wild Bill famous. Although, Hickok made a name for himself in several gunfights, it was his death that he is most famous for.
James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok was killed on August 2, 1876 in Deadwood, South Dakota (in 1876, this was the Dakota Territory) while playing a game of poker. John (Jack) McCall shot Hickok in the back of the head with a revolver. It's claimed that Jack McCall was avenging the death of his brother.
The most famous aspect of Hickok's death is the poker hand that he was supposed to have held: two pairs - aces and eights. To this day, this hand is referred to as the "Dead Man's Hand".
Joined: 11 Mar 2013 Posts: 13 Location: Central Louisiana
Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:25 am Post subject: RE: Wild Bill Hickok
Besides being the owner of "The Dead Man's Hand", he was the one pistolero that proved the accuracy and reach of the Colt 1851 Navy Model revolver, by standing and delivering with Davis Tutt, both in dueling stances, 75 yards distant. Tutt missed, but Hickok shot Tutt through the heart.
The .36 caliber (.375–.380 inch) round lead ball weighs 80 grains and, at a velocity of 1,000 feet per second, is comparable to the modern .380 pistol cartridge in power.
(That lead ball has a larger diameter, than a .38 Special/.357 Magnum bullet, which weighs 158 grains! The .38 Special service load was a velocity of 850 feet per second! And they call the .380ACP a 'mousegun'!)
Loads consist of loose powder and ball or bullet, metallic foil cartridges (early), and combustible paper cartridges (Civil War era), all combinations being ignited by a fulminate percussion cap applied to the nipples at the rear of the chamber.
The cap resembles a 'top hat', and the fulminate is the same thing as those old enough to remember paper tape caps, or Mattell Greenie Stick'em Caps, for our toy guns.
Sighting consists of a bead front sight with a notch in the top of the hammer, as with most Colt percussion revolvers. In spite of the relative crudity of the sighting arrangement, these revolvers and their modern replicas generally are quite accurate. They are still a handsome piece, as well, IMHO.