Doc Holliday

Doc Holliday 1879 Prescott AZ

Doc Holliday wasn’t as good with a pistol & knife as portrayed in the move Tombstone but he was nobody to trifle with. There are a number of stories out there on Doc that have no provenance. Doc’s skills with a pistol are also questionable and so was his pistol of choice. There’s no provenance that he carried ivory-gripped, nickel-plated Model 1877 Colt Lightning/Thunderer double-action revolver. Even though court testimony revealed Holliday had a nickel-plated six-gun on him during the battle, we really do not know the make, caliber or finish of the gun” actually used by Doc in the gunfight.

Allegedly, he also carried an ivory-gripped Colt Single Action Army model in a hip holster. There is only one Colt definitely documented as having been used by Doc. It’s a cap-and-ball Model 1851 Navy Colt revolver with a standard 7½-inch barrel Doc’s uncle gave him after the Civil War. He carried it until 1874.

Historians believe that John Henry Holliday was in five confirmed shooting affrays in his fifteen years in the West. On New Year’s Day in 1875, Doc and Charles Austin fired their pistols within Dallas city limits. Neither man was hurt.

When Doc was 25, he was attacked and seriously wounded by Henry Kahn after a quarrel during a card game. Doc’s recovery took five months and he needed a walking stick off and on for the rest of his life.

In October 1880, Doc got into an argument with Johnny Tyler. saloon owner Milt Joyce broke it up by tossing Doc out into the street. He armed himself and returned to the saloon, emptied his revolver, hitting Joyce in the hand and a bartender in the big toe.

October 26th, 1881 during the street fight near the OK Corral. Doc, using a Wells Fargo shotgun, killed Tom McLaury. He also shot Frank McLaury. He was grazed in the hip during the fight.

There was a fight in Leadville in 1884 with Billy Allen. Allen threatened to kill him over an unpaid $5 loan. When Allen came after him, Doc, fearing for his life, pulled his pistol, at close range and fired. The best he could do was hit Allen in the arm.

These are facts I’m not knocking Doc, I like and admire the guy, but as a gunfighter he is overrated. He has been credited with carving up gambler Ed Bailey almost to death in a card game in Fort Griffin, Texas in 1878, even though there is little evidence the incident actually happened.

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