It was widely assumed during most of the 20th century that Billy the Kid was left-handed. There was even a movie made about him, staring Paul Newman. It was called “The Left Handed Gun”. This belief stemmed from the fact that the only known photographs (shown above) showed him with a Winchester rifle in his right hand and his gun on his left side. However, after experts took a good look at the photograph, it was confirmed that the outlaw’s photo was reversed and that Kid was actually right handed. A closer look shows that the buttons on Kids vest are on the left side (Men’s clothes have buttons on the right). Also, gun experts noticed that the Winchester spring plate (where the cartridges are loaded) was on the left side. Winchester produced firearms with spring plates only on the right side. .
Interesting Fact: Billy the Kid’s real name was Henry McCarty. According to legend, he killed 21 men, one for each year of his life. However, he most likely killed fewer than half of that number. He became a legend a year after his death when the man who shot him dead, Sheriff Patrick Garrett, published a biography titled, “The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid”. He was buried in Fort Sumner’s old military cemetery, between his fallen companions Tom O’Folliard and Charlie Bowdre. Later, a single tombstone was erected over the graves (Billy’s name is his alias “William H. Bonney”) along with the word “Pals”. The tombstone has been stolen and recovered three times since it was put in place, in the 1940s. The gravesite is now enclosed in a steel cage.