If some bizarre criminal held you at gunpoint and asked you to name six gravel-shitting badasses from the Old West, you'd probably get as far as Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday before you started wondering whether the Lone Ranger was based on a real person. But a closer look at Old West history reveals a solid collection of mighty gunmen who didn't get their own movies, possibly because they were too busy kicking ass to waste time telling everyone how awesome they were.
#6. Buckshot Roberts Defeats Billy the Kid's Entire Gang by Himself
Andrew "Buckshot" Roberts is probably best known for killing Charlie Sheen while taking a dump in Young Guns. The actual story of that day is no less amazing.
You see, Billy the Kid (the famous gunfighter and co-author of Bill and Ted's history report) and his gang the Regulators had a warrant for Roberts' arrest, implicating him in the murder of a rancher named John Tunstall, whom Billy used to work for. Roberts didn't actually have anything to do with Tunstall's death, but he was a shit-kicking Texas outlaw who didn't shy away from gunfights, so when Billy and his gang staged an ambush, Roberts was more than happy to engage in a free exchange of bullets.
And looking 10 kinds of suave as he did it.
That's right -- rather than surrender when he realized he was surrounded by 14 Regulators (that's enough guys to field one and a half heavily armed baseball teams), Roberts instead told them all to go straight to hell.
As the battle commenced, Roberts was hit in the groin almost immediately, which would've taken the fight out of Quick Draw McGraw himself. But Roberts continued firing until his rifle was empty, wounding three Regulators and taking them out of the fight. Billy the Kid tried to take advantage of Roberts' dick wound by rushing him, but Roberts took his empty rifle and clubbed the blazing pigshit out of him.
With the empty rifle. Or with his wounded dick. Sources disagree.
Roberts retreated into a house to reload, where Regulator Dick Brewer (Charlie Sheen's character in the movie) tried to sneak up on him. Roberts spotted Brewer and blasted his head into skull-and-brains confetti. At that point, Billy the Kid decided it was way too early in the day for any more of this bullshit and ordered his gang to beat feet, leaving Buckshot Roberts alone to bleed to death a day later. Go back and read that sentence again -- one of the most famous gunfighters in history, backed up by his entire gang, wasn't enough to bring the mortally wounded Buckshot Roberts down.
#5. James Riley Shoots an Entire Saloon and Vanishes
James Riley was an 18-year-old kid stricken with tuberculosis, meaning the guy could barely get out of bed without vomiting up a gallon of lung tissue like Val Kilmer in Tombstone. But when his mentor was gunned down in front of him, the sickly young Riley managed to perforate the four ruthless bastards responsible in a matter of seconds, all for the sake of righteous revenge.
And what is now known in the psychiatric world as a "blood boner."
You see, Riley had been taken under the wing of a policeman named Mike McCluskie, who taught him how to shoot and, presumably, how to chew tobacco and whistle at busty corseted women. In 1871, McCluskie was cornered in a saloon by four gruff Texans looking to settle a score, since McCluskie had killed a friend of theirs (probably while fulfilling his duties as a police officer, but this was the Old West, so it's really anyone's guess). The four cowboys unloaded on McCluskie, chewing him up into a pile of pulpy red mist as Riley looked on in horror.
However, instead of hacking up the rest of his lungs in terrified spasms like some knee-knocking wiener, Riley stood up to face the four armed men who had just killed his only friend and proceeded to unleash a storm of Pacino-esque fury on McCluskie's killers, eliminating two of the men and severely wounding the other two (and killing two bystanders in the process). When the smoke in the saloon finally cleared, Riley was gone, never to be seen or heard from again.
Least of all by the surviving bystanders, all now permanently blind and deaf.
That part isn't legend, by the way -- immediately after avenging his friend's death, James Riley walked out of the saloon, into the desert, and freaking disappeared. Nobody knows where he went or where and when he died. He's like a gun-slinging phantom.
#4. Captain Jonathan Davis Is Outnumbered 11 to 1, Kills Everyone Anyway
A former militia captain and veteran of the Mexican-American War, Jonathan Davis made his way to California after the war to try to become rich, a practice that has yet to go out of style.
Passing a cornfield along the way, Davis raised an eyebrow and the music world was changed forever.
While strolling merrily through the Gold Rush State in 1854, Davis and two other prospectors were ambushed by 14 armed bandits, a group of frontier ruffians who'd already loot-murdered several men in the previous two weeks.
Davis' two companions were instantly lit up like James Caan in The Godfather, leaving the retired captain alone to face pretty serious odds. But he calmly drew his dual Colt revolvers and eliminated two bad guys with his first two shots. By the time his pistols were empty, Davis had cast seven of his attackers into the Pit of Eternal Embarrassment, causing three others to hightail it out of there. However, Davis was now out of bullets, and there were still four angry robbers left.
As you may have already guessed, this is when shit got real.
True West Magazine
Slowly, he drew his guitar and hammered out the first four notes of "Blind" as cymbals tapped in the background.
The four men closed in on Davis wielding knives and a cavalry saber, leaving Davis no choice but to draw his Bowie knife. He fought courageously, but eventually succumbed to their superior numbers ... is what we would have said, if Davis were anything less than the hardest dude in the history of time. Nope, Davis took his Bowie knife (named for that famed hero of the Alamo, Soren Bowie) and killed all four of them.
After the story was reported in local newspapers, Captain Jonathan Davis simply rode off into the sunset, never to be heard from again. He presumably met up with James Riley for a Wild West spinoff of Tango and Cash.