Welcome to the West. Cliche cowboys go around doing cowboy things like lassoing indians, riding horses, and having duels. Naturally, these duels are of great importance to the gunslingers. Whether the setting is formal (two people in the bar had a disagreement and decide to duel it out) or informal (the lone sheriff faces down the bandit leader in a dusty street), it all winds down to the same scenario:
Two armed men (with revolvers) are facing each other with empty hands and have anywhere from 5 to 20 meters between them. Their hands are slowly inching towards their holstered guns, and the only way this duel is ending is with one of them dead.
What strategy should characters adopt in order to win these duels? Here are some possibilities that I've thought of:
- The gunslinger who wants to win shoots from the hip. As soon as the barrel of the revolver clears the holster, they aim by instinct and start shooting
- The gunslinger who wants to win aims and then shoots. Fully pulling out and cocking their revolver, they sight down it, aim and shoot while betting that anyone shooting from the hip has worse aim
Naturally, there are some other points that need to be considered when answering this question:
- Are classic "wild west" revolvers accurate enough that shooting from the hip with any hope of hitting a human-sized target is possible?
- Do gunslingers (today or historically) exist who can perform the accurate shot from the hip and how difficult a skill is it to obtain?
Since there seems to be some confusion here, let me clarify that the setting I'm talking about is the fictional wild west, as it is portrayed in "western" movies and other media. I am fully aware of the fact that in an actual time-period accurate bandit-sheriff conflict, one of the two would probably just shoot the other while while they're unaware and taking a dump or something.