What pistol did Wild Bill Hickok favor?
Hickok’s weapon of choice was the 1851 .36 caliber Navy Colt, although he likely upgraded the pistol to a conversion for loading metallic cartridges. Those Navy Colts had a nice feel and were deadly accurate. Pistols and ammunition during that time weren’t as good as later models.
Hickok was a great shooter, although probably not as good of one as the pulp writers made him out to be. Joseph G. Rosa, the expert on Hickok, says, “Stories that state he could hit dimes at 50 feet, or drive corks through the necks of whiskey bottles at that same distance, or perform other miraculous feats at similar ranges, should be discounted.” Even so, Hickok was still a good shot.