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Cowboys with Guns during the Wild Wild West In the Old West guns played an important role in the lives of cowboys There were various kinds of guns that cowboys used They fell into two categories hand gun and rifle The most common handguns were the Derringer and the Colt 45 as for rifles there was the Winchester Most of the time guns were used for shooting animals for food or calming the cattle Occasionally a cowboy might have to use one against Indians or rustlers On the trail most cowboys would have guns with them but they would leave them in the chuck wagon The chuck wagon was a cart that was usually in the back of the herd that held all of the cowboys goods They left the guns in the wagon because the guns were heavy and often times got in the way and could be dangerous while riding a horse Most cowboys were not very good with guns and even one cowboy shot himself in the foot The gun did come in handy though especially when a stampede occurred The cowboys would ride to the chuck wagon grab their guns and continue to the front of the herd where they would shoot three evenly spaced shots over the leader-cattles heads This would usually stop the stampede The Derringer was a small pistol with a large caliber that had two barrels which were parallel horizontally or vertically It could be laid in the palm of the hand and made a terrible wound when shot at close range In some towns along the trail cowboys used Hideouts when they had to turn in their 6-Shooters A Hideout was a Derringer that was hidden in the boot a shoulder holster waistband or hung by a cord down the sleeve or coat Cowboys would wear one so that if someone accused them of cheating they would be able to defend themselves The
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