Gunfights happened all over the country in the 1800's but the two most famous ones happened in Arizona and Texas.

This wasn't a "two guys face each other at 20 paces and draw upon a certain cue" showdowns.

Those were actually almost unheard of. Most gunfights involved multiple people and multiple victims ... and, not all the victims were necessarily directly involved in the fight.

Full bore, (no pun intended), shots wildly fired in the street, multiple participant gunfights were more the norm. While they happened all over, there are two that really stick out in most peoples memories.

4 Dead In 5 Seconds Gunfight

In the 1800's, the sound of gunfire in El Paso was almost as common as the sound of horses whinnying and dance hall music.

On April 14th, 1881, El Paso Constable Gus Krempkau got into an argument with John Hale and George Campbell. Hale, unarmed and wasted, grabbed one of Campbell's pistols and shot Krempkau.

Hale tried to run away but El Paso Marshall Dallas Stoudenmire joined the party. His first shot was off and killed an innocent bystander but his second went right between Hale's eyes.

Meanwhile, Campbell also tried to run away but Krempkau shot him twice before dying . Stroudmire finished Campbell off with a gut shot and it all took about 5 seconds.

Gunfight At The OK Corral

6 months later, in October, the Earp Brothers and their BFF John "Doc" Holliday went up against members of the Clanton-McLaury gang in Tombstone. A town that can be summed up pretty much the same way I just described El Paso.

A lot led up to this one but, on October 26th, 1881, the Clanton-McLaury gang were carrying guns in town which the Earp's had made illegal. Ironically, the Earp's had put this law in place, (partly), to avoid getting killed themselves by these same men.

Though it’s still debated who fired the first shot, most reports say that the shootout began when Virgil Earp pulled out his revolver and shot Billy Clanton point-blank in the chest, while Doc Holliday fired a shotgun blast at Tom McLaury’s chest. Though Wyatt Earp wounded Frank McLaury with a shot in the stomach, Frank managed to get off a few shots before collapsing, as did Billy Clanton.  -

In the end, Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers were dead. Virgil and Morgan Earp along with "Doc" were wounded. Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne ran away.

Which Wild West Gunfight Was More Deadly?

Two epic battles, 2 sets of lawmen, 8 men buried, a couple hurt and several legends born in around 30 seconds.

The stats are pretty even, it's the manner in which the shootouts happened that, to me, define "deadliest".  Along with the fact that an innocent died in El Paso.

I say that makes El Chuco's fight the more deadly but you can decide that for yourself.

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