The Most Famous Gun Slinger, Ranked

Choose the gun slinger you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jun 21, 2024 07:44
Debates often arise when discussing the skills and legacies of the most notable gun slingers. Each enthusiast seems to have their personal favorite, backed by tales of sharpshooting feats and daring exploits. Establishing a consensus can help clarify which of these figures truly had the most profound impact on their peers and the stories passed down through generations. By casting your vote on this list, you contribute to a broader understanding of who is considered the top gun slinger. This process not only shines a light on their significant abilities and historical importance but also keeps the spirited discussions alive, grounding them in a communal appreciation shared by fans around the world.

Who Is the Most Famous Gun Slinger?

  1. 1

    Wyatt Earp

    An American lawman and gambler in the Wild West, known for his participation in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
    • Notable Event: Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
    • Lifespan: 1848-1929
  2. 2

    Billy the Kid

    An outlaw and gunfighter of the American Old West who killed eight men before he was shot and killed at age 21.
    • Real Name: Henry McCarty
    • Alias: William H. Bonney
  3. 3

    Jesse James

    A notorious outlaw known for his bank and train robberies.
    • Lifespan: 1847-1882
    • Notable Gang: James-Younger Gang
  4. 4

    Wild Bill Hickok

    A folk hero of the American Old West known for his work across the frontier as a drover, wagon master, soldier, spy, scout, lawman, gunfighter, gambler, showman, and actor.
    • Lifespan: 1837-1876
    • Notable Event: Dead Man's Hand
  5. 5

    Doc Holliday

    A gambler, gunfighter, and dentist, and a good friend of Wyatt Earp.
    • Real Name: John Henry Holliday
    • Notable Event: Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
  6. 6

    Belle Starr

    An American outlaw who gained national notoriety after her death.
    • Nickname: The Bandit Queen
    • Lifespan: 1848-1889
  7. 7

    Joaquin Murrieta

    A legendary figure in California during the California Gold Rush of the 1850s.
    • Nickname: Robin Hood of the West
    • Notable Event: California Gold Rush
  8. 8

    Johnny Ringo

    An American Old West outlaw loosely associated with the Clanton gang in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
    • Lifespan: 1850-1882
    • Notable Event: Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
  9. 9

    Butch Cassidy

    Leader of the Wild Bunch gang in the American Old West.
    • Real Name: Robert LeRoy Parker
    • Notable Gang: The Wild Bunch
  10. 10

    Pat Garrett

    An American Old West lawman, bartender, and customs agent who was known for killing Billy the Kid.
    • Notable Event: Killing Billy the Kid
    • Lifespan: 1850-1908

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous gun slinger. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Gunslinger is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 154 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Gunslinger once every 24 hours. The rank of each Gunslinger is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Famous Gun Slinger

Wyatt Earp
Rank #1 for the most famous gun slinger: Wyatt Earp (Source)
The era of the Wild West created many legends. Among these, gun slingers stand out. These figures have become symbols of bravery, skill, and lawlessness. They lived in a time when the frontier was untamed, and justice was often personal.

Gun slingers were known for their quick draw and sharp aim. They carried revolvers, which were the most advanced firearms of their time. These weapons were reliable and deadly. A good gun slinger could fire six shots in seconds. Speed and accuracy were crucial in duels and skirmishes.

Many gun slingers started as cowboys, soldiers, or lawmen. Some turned to a life of crime, while others upheld the law. They roamed the plains, deserts, and small towns of the West. Their reputations spread through word of mouth and newspapers. Stories of their exploits captivated the public.

The life of a gun slinger was dangerous. They faced constant threats from rivals, bounty hunters, and lawmen. Many died young, often in violent confrontations. Few lived to old age. Their deaths were as legendary as their lives. Tales of last stands and heroic fights became part of their mystique.

Gun slingers were not just fighters; they were also gamblers, drifters, and adventurers. They frequented saloons, where they played cards and drank whiskey. These places were often the scenes of brawls and shootouts. The saloon was a central part of their world.

Their attire was distinctive. They wore wide-brimmed hats, leather vests, and boots. A gun belt with holsters was essential. This gear was both practical and symbolic. It marked them as men ready for action.

The Wild West was a time of lawlessness and opportunity. Gun slingers thrived in this environment. They took on many roles: outlaws, sheriffs, deputies, and bounty hunters. Each had their own code of conduct. Some were ruthless, while others had a sense of honor.

The legacy of gun slingers lives on in popular culture. Books, movies, and TV shows have immortalized them. They are often depicted as lone wolves, standing up against corruption and injustice. This image has become a powerful archetype.

In reality, the line between hero and villain was often blurred. Many gun slingers operated in a gray area. They made their own rules and lived by them. This complexity adds to their enduring fascination.

The Wild West was a brief period in American history. Yet, it left a lasting impact. Gun slingers are a big part of that legacy. They represent the spirit of adventure and the struggle for survival. Their stories continue to capture the imagination.

The era of the gun slinger may be over, but their legend lives on. They are a symbol of a time when life was uncertain, and every day was a challenge. Their tales remind us of a rugged past, where courage and skill were the keys to survival.

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