Tag Archives: guns

Old West Gun Question

Hey 3.5 Readers.

Writing How the West Was Zombed has made me realize I don’t know a lot about guns, be they from the past or the present.  Kind of difficult as I’m not really a gun person.  I’m clumsy and accident prone, thus fairly certain I’d shoot myself if I ever had one.

It dawned on me it might be worth a trip to a gun range for an afternoon some day if I’m going to persist in my attempts to become a novelist, seeing as how characters often end up shooting guns no matter what time period the novel is set in.

But I’m certain I would shoot myself in the foot so studying the subject from afar will have to do.

But I’ve seen something in many cowboy movies that I’d like to incorporate into the novel but I don’t understand it.

Below is a video of the infamous “Shootout at the OK Corral” scene from Tombstone starring Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday and Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp.

Tombstone – 1993 – Posted by Thell Reed, Gunman on Youtube

See around 1:40 where Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday slaps the back of his gun a bunch of times real fast?  Clint Eastwood did that in his movies too.

Why did they slap the back of their guns so fast?  I assume it was some kind of a trick to make the gun shoot faster.  If you’re a gun person, please explain it to me.

I’ve searched the Interwebs and alas, there’s not much info about old West shooting.

Part of me wonders how much I need to learn, another part wonders if the reader cares to know much more than a zombie was shot.

By the way, this movie is badass.  Can’t believe it is so old now I remember watching it when it came out like it was yesterday.  This was probably one of Val’s best performances.

Rewatching it this year made me realize I needed to keep pressing on with writing Zombed. Westerns seemed like they were going out of style even in the 1990’s though movies like this one still managed to keep people interested.

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 65


“Simmer down, Martin.”

Inside the church, Blake ignored Gunther and rested his hands on his big brass belt buckle.  “You two shit heels knew this was coming and you didn’t warn anyone.”

“No one knew anything,” Gunther said.

“Oh, I see,” Blake said.  “Go on, old man.  Keep telling me I didn’t hear what I just heard and act like I’m stupid.”

“It wouldn’t be much of an act,” Gunther replied.  He pointed out the broken window.  More and more of the undead were congregating in the road, bumping into one another, searching for flesh to devour.

“Do you really think there was any way that either of us could have predicted THAT?” Gunther asked.

“Doesn’t matter,”  Blake said.  “You two knew something bad was coming…”

“We were told by the government that it was bullshit,” Gunther interrupted.

Blake poked a finger into Gunther’s chest.  In his youth, Gunther would have laid Blake out on the floor for doing that, but the old man took it.

“You knew the government was full of shit,”  Blake said.

“What does it matter now?”  Gunther asked.  “You want to blame us?”

“Yeah I do!”  Blake shouted.

“That makes you feel like a big man?”  Gunther asked.

“Yeah it does!”  Blake replied. 

Slade heard some strange noises coming from outside.  He looked through the broken window only to be amazed by the sight of a large wolf man barreling through the undead, flinging them out of his way as if they were rag dolls.

And behind him?

“Bonnie,” Slade said.

Gunther and Blake were too busy exchanging unpleasantries to notice.

“Son, if it makes you think you got a big swinging dick to point out other people’s mistakes then go right ahead,” the old man said.

“Don’t think I won’t,” Blake said. 

“Just finish up quick because we all need you to get the fuck over yourself, man the fuck up, and stop running your mouth,” Gunther said.

“Don’t turn this around on me, Grandpa,” Blake said.  “You two idiots have killed us all.”

“We all look pretty damn alive to me,” Gunther said.  “Maybe if you shut up and stop being a jackass we’ll get out of this alive.”

“I’m the jackass?”  Blake said.

“Yeah you are,”  Gunther said.

A fist pounded on the door.  Slade heard Miss Bonnie’s muffled voice coming from outside.


“You had no right to keep this shit to yourself,” Blake said.

“Oh and you’re just so perfect, aren’t you?”  Gunther asked.  “You just know everything, don’t you?”

Blake thumped a fist on his chest.  “I do!”

Slade fished through the drunken reverend’s pockets and found an iron key.  He shoved it into the lock.

Bonnie pounded on the door again.

“Rain open up the door and get the hell out of the way!”

Blake and Gunther were oblivious.

“You really think you could have done any better than we did?”  Gunther asked.

“Yeah I do!”  Blake hollered.  “I’m not some dumb son of a bitch who can’t tell when danger is headed right at him!”

Slade turned the key and opened the door.  Miss Bonnie fired her shot. 

Now noble reader, perhaps you’ve heard of Sir Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion.  In case you haven’t, it goes like this:

An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. 

Miss Bonnie had fired true and a silver tipped bullet was lodged in Becker’s brain.  In the last few moments of his life, the beast, or rather, the object, kept running anyway.

Slade acted quickly enough to grab Miss Bonnie and pull her out of the way.  Even old, worn out Gunther looked up in time to dive out out of the aisle.

Blake, on the other hand, an unbalanced force if there ever was one, was slammed by an oncoming furry freight train, only to have each and every one of his bones crack under Becker’s gargantuan weight.

Doc, who had been resting in a pew at the front of the church, stood and walked over to survey the damage.  He wasn’t feeling very steady on his feet, so he leaned on Annabelle.

The only part of Blake that remained visible was his head.  The rest was pinned underneath the hairy corpse.

To Doc’s surprise, Blake was gasping for breath.

The physician’s nausea was getting worse.  He coughed as he leaned down and pulled a bottle of his Miracle Cure-All out of his pocket.

“Take this,” Doc said as he poured a few drops into Blake’s open mouth. 

“Will he make it?”  Annabelle asked.

“Doubtful,”  Doc replied.  “I fear even the mighty power of cocaine mixed with spider eggs for texture will not be enough to save him.”

Slade and Miss Bonnie, the Good Reverend, and Gunther all gathered around.  Even Sarah timidly walked over.

Blake’s face turned purple.  “Tell…” 

“Hush my good man,”  Doc said.  “Conserve your strength.”

“Tell Gunth…”

Gunther knelt down and brushed his wrinkled hand over Blake’s hair.

“It’s ok, son,”  Gunther said.  “No need to tell me you’re sorry.  You’re…”

The old man wasn’t big on emotion, nor was he even sure he believed what he was about to say, but under the circumstances, he felt it was appropriate.

“You’re my friend and I love you,”  Gunther said.

Blake’s eyes looked toward Doc.  “Tell Gunther…to go…fuck himself.”

And with that, the victim drew his last breath and his eyes rolled back into his head.

The group of survivors remained quiet for a few moments until Doc broke the silence.

“Deputy,” Doc said.  “This man wished for me to tell you…”

“I know!”  Gunther said as he stood up.

“Well, it was his last wish,” Doc said as Annabelle helped him up to his feet.

Speaking of feet, a pair of two very large ones entered the church and creaked across the floor boards.  Slade turned around to see another werewolf.

This one wasn’t acting very dangerous.  He was nonchalantly walking in on two feet, carrying another Winchester, and a shotgun, and a bag of ammo in his paws.

Instinctively, Slade yanked the rifle out of Miss Bonnie’s hands and took aim.

The redhead jumped in front of the werewolf and put her hands up.

“Don’t shoot!  He’s really just a nice little negro boy!”

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NAME:  Betsy



PURPOSE:  Hatcher’s WWII Service Revolver

MAKE/MODEL:  Schotzenhauer P58

NAZIS TERMINATED: 1,000 + (Hatcher stopped counting after 1,000)

MOBSTERS DISPATCHED: 751 (Hatcher took it easy after returning stateside)


Betsy – she has few lines in the upcoming unnamed blog serial, but when she talks, it counts.

Coming soon to a blog with 3.5 readers near you.

Image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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