Pistol Dueling was Once an Olympic Event 110 Years Ago

   08.17.16

Apparently, if we were watching the Olympics 110 years ago, we might be watching the gold medal pistol dueling event. That’s right, pistol dueling – like how cowboys used to settle their differences in the wild west – used to be an Olympic event.

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Shooters wore a mask and had a hand-guard fitted to their guns to protect their hands

The shooters used wax bullets and no gun powder. Instead, the primer was all they needed to propel the wax bullet. Like fencing, the athletes wore a mask, and a hand-guard was fitted to the gun to protect the shooter’s hand. Looking at the photos in this TFB article, the two competitors seem to be a decent distance apart from one another, but this sort of event would still have me on the edge of my seat.

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Pistols and wax bullets used for competition
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Shooters dueling with wax bullets

I don’t know about anyone else, but this might be my favorite event to watch if it were to become a thing again. Like watching a natural disaster, car chase, or your buddy going up to talk to that girl at a bar, you can’t seem to take your eyes off it. I can’t decide if this is really a good idea or not, but it had to have been removed for some reason.

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