Shotgun messenger

A private security officer at a Chinese factory in February 2004

Private "express messenger" and guard, especially on a stagecoach but also on a train, in charge of overseeing and guarding a valuable private shipment, such as particularly the contents of a strongbox or safe (on a train).

- Shotgun messenger
A private security officer at a Chinese factory in February 2004

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Wells Fargo mud-coach

Stagecoach

Four-wheeled public transport coach used to carry paying passengers and light packages on journeys long enough to need a change of horses.

Four-wheeled public transport coach used to carry paying passengers and light packages on journeys long enough to need a change of horses.

Wells Fargo mud-coach
A Greyhound or Flying coach
Mail coach decorated in the black and maroon Post Office livery, 1804
A public notice advertising a new stage coach service in west Wales, 1831
Construction of a macadamized road in the United States (1823). These roads allowed stagecoaches to travel at much greater speeds.
Gentlemen ordered out of the coach to lighten the load on the horses. Three put their shoulders to the back.
Carriage driving, 1881. The owner's coachman watches Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Park drag built by Brewster in 1887
The body of a diligence being transferred to a railroad car with a simple gantry crane, an example of early intermodal freight transport by the French Mail, 1844. The drawing is exhibited in Deutsches Museum Verkehrszentrum, Munich, Germany.
Diligencia that was used between Igualada and Barcelona, Spain. A dedicated luggage deck is on the roof
McLaughlin Stagecoach with birthday party, 1880s in Park County, Colorado.
Buffalo soldiers guard a Concord stagecoach, 1869
Detail of leather-strap suspension on a Concord Stage Coach
Kinnear Concord stagecoach in 1880 Tombstone to Bisbee route

In addition to the stage driver or coachman who guided the vehicle, a shotgun messenger armed with a coach gun might travel as a guard beside him.

Gunslingers in the 19th century. This is the Ned Christie posse.

Gunfighter

Gunslingers or gunfighters (also called gunmen in the 19th and early 20th centuries) were individuals in the American Old West who gained a reputation of being dangerous with a gun and participated in gunfights and shootouts.

Gunslingers or gunfighters (also called gunmen in the 19th and early 20th centuries) were individuals in the American Old West who gained a reputation of being dangerous with a gun and participated in gunfights and shootouts.

Gunslingers in the 19th century. This is the Ned Christie posse.
Gunslinger portrayed by Justus D. Barnes from The Great Train Robbery
Gunfighters fighting off an Indian attack
Wild Bill Hickok after killing Davis Tutt in a duel. Harper's New Monthly Magazine, February 1867
A cowboy action shooter brandishing his revolver

Today, the term "gunslinger" is more or less used to denote someone who is quick on the draw with a pistol, but can also refer to riflemen and shotgun messengers.

Coach gun

Modern term, coined by gun collectors, for a double-barreled shotgun, generally with barrels from 18 to 24 in in length, placed side-by-side.

Modern term, coined by gun collectors, for a double-barreled shotgun, generally with barrels from 18 to 24 in in length, placed side-by-side.

These weapons were known as "cut-down shotguns" or "messenger's guns" from the use of such shotguns on stagecoaches by shotgun messengers in the American Wild West.

Series of individual 1/1,000,000-second exposures showing shotgun firing shot and wadding separation

Shotgun

Long-barreled firearm designed to shoot a straight-walled cartridge known as a shotshell, which usually discharges numerous small pellet-like spherical sub-projectiles called shot, or sometimes a single solid projectile called a slug.

Long-barreled firearm designed to shoot a straight-walled cartridge known as a shotshell, which usually discharges numerous small pellet-like spherical sub-projectiles called shot, or sometimes a single solid projectile called a slug.

Series of individual 1/1,000,000-second exposures showing shotgun firing shot and wadding separation
Vincent Hancock in the men's skeet finals at the 2008 Summer Olympics
A Gurkha Contingent trooper in Singapore armed with a folding stock pump shotgun
An American marine fires a Benelli M4 shotgun during training in Arta, Djibouti, 23 December 2006
Confederate cavalryman
A United States Marine carrying a Winchester M97 shotgun during World War II
A view of the break-action of a typical double-barrelled shotgun, shown with the action open
A Winchester M1897, one of the first successful pump-action shotgun designs
A modern reproduction of the Winchester M1887 lever-action shotgun
Closeup of MTs255
A Browning A-5 semi-automatic shotgun
A United States Army soldier armed with a Mossberg 500 shotgun
Bond Arms Cowboy Defender .45 Colt/.410 Shotshell Derringer
U.S. Marines fire their shotguns
Loading 12-gauge shells
Two rounds of Fiocchi 12-gauge rubber buckshot
A homemade lupara
A RCMP officer in 2010 armed with a shotgun outfitted to fire beanbag rounds
Barack Obama skeet shooting with a Browning Citori 525 on the range at Camp David

These guards, called express messengers, became known as shotgun messengers, since they rode with the weapon (loaded with buckshot) for defense against bandits.

The driver is holding the whip with the shotgun messenger on his left.

Riding shotgun

Phrase used to describe the bodyguard who rides alongside a stagecoach driver, typically armed with a break-action shotgun, called a coach gun, to ward off bandits or hostile Native Americans.

Phrase used to describe the bodyguard who rides alongside a stagecoach driver, typically armed with a break-action shotgun, called a coach gun, to ward off bandits or hostile Native Americans.

The driver is holding the whip with the shotgun messenger on his left.

The expression "riding shotgun" is derived from "shotgun messenger", a colloquial term for "express messenger", when stagecoach travel was popular during the American Wild West and the Colonial period in Australia.

Pima County Sheriff Bob Paul c 1890

Robert H. Paul

Law enforcement officer in the American Southwest for more than 30 years.

Law enforcement officer in the American Southwest for more than 30 years.

Pima County Sheriff Bob Paul c 1890

He tried mining again but had no luck and in the 1870s took a job as a stagecoach shotgun messenger for Wells Fargo & Co. operating out of San Andreas and later Visalia, California

Prosegur armored van in Barcelona

Armored car (valuables)

Armored van or truck used to transport valuables, such as large quantities of money or other valuables, especially for banks or retail companies.

Armored van or truck used to transport valuables, such as large quantities of money or other valuables, especially for banks or retail companies.

Prosegur armored van in Barcelona
An armored Garda van, in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan
CTK armored van on the Philippines
G4S security van in the UK
Brinks security van in Hamburg, Germany

In Deadwood, the Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage Company suffered robberies along the criminal-infested Deadwood to Cheyenne trail that also resulted in the death of one of their shotgun messengers named Johnny Slaughter.

A pile of stones in Skeleton Canyon marking the site of Geronimo's surrender in 1886

Cochise County in the Old West

The scene of a number of violent conflicts in the 19th-century and early 20th-century American Old West, including between white settlers and Apache Indians, between opposing political and economic factions, and between outlaw gangs and local law enforcement.

The scene of a number of violent conflicts in the 19th-century and early 20th-century American Old West, including between white settlers and Apache Indians, between opposing political and economic factions, and between outlaw gangs and local law enforcement.

A pile of stones in Skeleton Canyon marking the site of Geronimo's surrender in 1886
Newman Haynes Clanton c. 1880
Democrat Charles A. Shibell
Republican Bob Paul
Tombstone, Arizona in 1891
John Horton Slaughter with his shotgun
Billy Breakenridge
Tom McLaury
Frank Stilwell

While his election as sheriff was being contested, Bob Paul worked as a Wells Fargo shotgun messenger.

U.S. Special Warfare combatant-craft crewmen use a six-barreled M134 Minigun to lay down suppressing fire during a practice "hot" extraction of forces on a beach.

Multiple-barrel firearm

Any type of firearm with more than one gun barrel, usually to increase the rate of fire or hit probability and to reduce barrel erosion/overheating.

Any type of firearm with more than one gun barrel, usually to increase the rate of fire or hit probability and to reduce barrel erosion/overheating.

U.S. Special Warfare combatant-craft crewmen use a six-barreled M134 Minigun to lay down suppressing fire during a practice "hot" extraction of forces on a beach.
Ottoman Empire volley gun with 8 barrels, early 16th century
A Russian pepperbox carbine made at Tula Arsenal.
Remington Model 95 with pearl grips and barrels open for reloading
COP .357 Magnum derringer
Confederate cavalryman with a side-by-side double-barreled shotgun
1876 Gatling gun
A U.S. Air Force rotary-wing crewman fires a Minigun during the Vietnam War.
View of the M134 from inside a Huey, Nha Trang Air Base, 1967.

Shotguns also remained popular with citizen militias, guards (e.g. the shotgun messengers) and lawmen as a self-defense weapon, and became one of the many symbols of the American Old West.

Earp at about age 39

Wyatt Earp

American lawman and gambler in the American West, including Dodge City, Deadwood, and Tombstone.

American lawman and gambler in the American West, including Dodge City, Deadwood, and Tombstone.

Earp at about age 39
Wyatt Earp w. mother Virginia Ann Cooksey Earp c. 1856.
Earp's boyhood home in Pella, Iowa
Looking east from D St. toward 3rd St. in downtown San Bernardino in 1864.
Wyatt Earp, age 21 in 1869 or '70, while married to Urilla Sutherland; taken in Lamar, Missouri.
Urilla Sutherland, who married Earp on January 10, 1870.
Lamar, Missouri, subpoena signed by Constable Wyatt Earp, February 28, 1870.
Wyatt dealt faro at the Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City, Kansas.
Interior of Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City, Kansas, c. undefined 1870-85.
Wyatt's second wife, Mattie Blaylock
Deadwood in 1876 from a nearby hill.
Deputies Bat Masterson (standing) and Wyatt Earp in Dodge City, 1876. The scroll on Earp's chest is a cloth pin-on badge.
Tombstone in 1881
A possible image of Josephine Sarah Marcus, who left a relationship with Johnny Behan and took up with Wyatt Earp
Business card for Tombstone's Oriental Saloon with the names of "W. Erp", "R. B. Clark", and "L. Rickenbaugh"
A statue built on March 25, 2005. Depicting Earp and Holliday on location of 1880s Tucson Depot where Frank Stilwell was killed by Earp. Now part of Amtrak Station.
The "Dodge City Peace Commission", June 10, 1883; (L to R) standing: William H. Harris, Luke Short, Bat Masterson, William F. Petillon; seated: Charlie Bassett, Wyatt Earp, Michael Francis "Frank" McLean, and Cornelius "Neil" Brown
A caricature of Wyatt Earp after the Sharkey-Fitzimmons fight: The public was outraged by his decision as referee and newspapers pilloried him for many weeks afterward.
The Earps rented this cabin in Rampart, Alaska, from Rex Beach and spent the winter of 1898–1899 there.
Nome, Alaska in 1900 was about two blocks wide and five miles long.
Nome, Alaska, in 1900: The Dexter Saloon at left was owned by Wyatt Earp and his partner Charles E. Hoxie. It was the city's first two-story wooden building and its largest and most luxurious saloon.
Wyatt Earp billed his Dexter Saloon in Nome, seen here in 1901, as, "The only second class saloon in Alaska".
Wyatt Earp (left) in Nome, Alaska, with long-time friend and former Tombstone mayor and newspaper editor John Clum (right), 1900
Said to be Wyatt Earp's pistol, left behind in Juneau, Alaska, but Earp was arrested in Nome three days before the date on the sign.
The Wyatt Earp and Josephine Sarah Marcus Cottage in Vidal, California
The Earps stayed at the Hollenback Hotel in Los Angeles in December 1901 after returning from Alaska.
Wyatt Earp's Northern Saloon, Tonopah, Nevada, circa 1902: The man in the center is believed to be Wyatt Earp, and the woman on the left is often identified as Josephine Earp.
Wyatt and Josephine Earp in their mining camp near Vidal, California: This is the only confirmed picture of the two of them together.
Wyatt Earp's camp, tent and ramada near Vidal, California and Wyatt's mining operations. Sadie is at left, Wyatt is on the right with his dog.
Obverse of pocket watch given to Wyatt Earp by Tom Mix
The Earps' replacement headstone at the Jewish Hills of Eternity Cemetery in Colma, California

In fact, Earp had been a stagecoach guard for Wells Fargo, a full-time gambler, a regular associate of prostitutes, and, occasionally, a lawman.