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Well, a gun that's unloaded and cocked ain't good for nothin'.
— Rooster Cogburn

Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn is a fictional character who first appeared in the 1968 Charles Portis novel, True Grit.

Cogburn was a veteran of the American Civil War who served under Confederate guerrilla leader William Quantrill, where he lost his eye. He was once married to an Illinois woman, who left him to return to her first husband after bearing Cogburn a single, extremely clumsy son (of whom Cogburn says, "He never liked me anyway"). Cogburn is described as a "fearless, one-eyed U.S. marshal who never knew a dry day in his life." He was "the toughest marshal" working the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) on behalf of Judge Isaac Parker, the real-life judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas (having criminal jurisdiction in the Indian Territory, as the bailiff repeatedly announces in both films). He shot a total of 64 men in eight years, killing 60. He killed 23 in four years and killed 60 by eight, all of whom he claimed to have killed in self-defense.

In the 1969 film, Cogburn helped a headstrong 14-year-old girl, named Mattie Ross, along with Texas Ranger LaBoeuf, to track down Tom Chaney, the man who drunkenly and gladly killed her father. In the 1975 sequel, he teamed up with elderly spinster Eula Goodnight and Wolf while on the trail of a desperado, Hawk, who had stolen a shipment of nitroglycerin from the U.S. Army.

Cogburn demonstrated a ruthless attitude towards the criminals fugitives he pursued, he was generally very fair with Mattie and was shown to have a distaste for what he viewed as unnecessary cruelty. When LeBoeuf is birching Mattie for her refusal to return Fort Smith, Cogburn demanded that he stop, even going as far as to draw his pistol in threat. Later in the film, when Cogburn and Mattie witnessed two children caning a mule with sharpened sticks, Cogburn quickly intervened, cutting the mule loose and roughly throwing the two children onto the ground in retaliation. After Mattie was snakebitten, he rode through the night, holding her, in order to get her medical care. When the horse collapsed, he shot it and then carried her a long distance quickly to get her to a doctor, both saving her life and showing he really had the true grit Mattie thought he did.

Source: Rooster Cogburn's page on Wikipedia

Battle vs. John Marston (by Facetheslayer)[]

Marston: Red Red Red Red Red

Cogburn: Blue Blue Blue Blue Blue

The setting was 1908, as Bill WIlliamson and John Marston was leading a small group of Dutch van der Linde's outlaws, as they were about to rob a bank, when word through town, was that a marshal from out of state was going to help the small county. John and Bill were on lone horses, while another man had a horse, and two others were on the wagon, set to loot the town's safe. Rooster Cogburn gathered a small posse of US Marshals, all five of them on horses, as he was heading towards the town, where the bank robbery was set to take place. "Alright, boys... we're gonna make this quick." Cogburn says to his men, as they ride into the small town, as the sun was beginning to settle.

Before the outlaws entered the town, Rooster's boys fired their guns into the air, as one of the other outlaws shot John in his arm, wounding him, as Bill Williamson rode off, and said to him... "Happy trails, John!" before laughing his way to the horizon. "Bill, you coward!"

Cogburn's men taken aim with their weapons, and began to fire, as Marston's men spread out. Cogburn taken the reins of his horse into his mouth, and charged in with his weapons akimbo, firing his Colt Peacemaker, wounding one of Marston's gang members, and then finishing him off with his saddle ring carbine. Red (4-5) Meanwhile, the Stagecoach was constantly under attack, as a Marshal was running on the side of the coach, about to blast the passenger off with his own Winchester, the man pulled out his Winchester Model 1897, who shot the horse from underneath him, taking him down, but not out. Meanwhile, another Marshal with an IGA Coach Gun went in, and fired a shell, but missed his mark. The driver was about to pull out a Henry rifle, however, he was shot with the other shell from the shotgun, as he fell out, along with the rifle. Red (3-5) Unfortunately, his victory was short lived, as the passenger stood up, and fired a shell from his WInchester Model 1897, which hits him directly in the chest, knocking him dead off his horse, as it dragged his corpse by the ankle. Blue (3-4) One of the Marshals in Rooster's posse, was heading directly for Marston, weilding his 1984 rifle, and taking a shot, however Marston's horse was too fast. The Marshal then aimed at Marston's horse, and shot it in the calf, wounding it, and causing Marston to fall off his horse. The Marshal's horse ran past his body, however, he turned around, as Marston got on his feet, and fired 3 well placed shots from his LeMat Revolver into the chest of the marshal. Blue (3-3)

Cogburn was in hot pursuit of the Stagecoach, and when he was properly aligned, he took the reins into his mouth once more, firing his weapons akimbo, one shot from the Winchester, then a flip-cock, and a shot from the Peacemaker. The driver was panicking, and kept trying to turn around resorting to blind-fire of his trenchgun. At one last turn, Cogburn managed to fire a disarming round with his WInchester, and then a killing shot with his Colt Peacemaker. Red (2-3) Meanwhile, the other marshal, was using his Colt Peacemaker, pursuing Marston, who then used a rock formation as cover. John fired three shots, but missed the target. At the same time, his last gang member, saw this, and aimed his 1860 Henry rifle, and picked the Marshal off, skillfully. Blue (2-2) "Good shot, partner!" Marston yelled, as he was spreading out, away from his ally.

The gang member began to ride away, towards Cogburn, however, the man who was shot off his horse earlier ran in, and sliced the leg muscle of the gang member's horse with his bowie knife, disabling it. He then plunged his blade into Marston's last gang member, ending his life as he coughed up blood. Red (1-2) Marston saw this, and grabbed an old tomahawk from his belt. The Marshal turned around, and was about to shoot at Marston, however, he chopped off the Marshal's wrist, as he screamed in pain, drawign the attention of Rooster Cogburn. Marston then does a quick hack to the neck to finish off the other Marshal, as Cogburn rode towards him. Blue (1-1)

Rooster fired a shot from his 1894 Saddle Ring Carbine at Marston, nearly hitting him, as he flip-cocked it, guiding his horse as he did so. Out of desperation, Marston thrown his tomahawk, and hit Rooster in his right arm, causing him to fall from his horse, and drop his rifle. John believed it was over, and started to walk away, ready to give up his outlaw lifestyle. However, Rooster wasn't done yet... "I'm mean to kill you, Marston... or watch you hang for your crimes." Cogburn said, as he stood up, still with his Peacemaker, as Marston stopped, and looked back at the marshal. "I'm not an outlaw anymore... not today." Marston said, as Cogburn retorted. "You have to pay for your crimes, son!" "We had a good reason for what we did... but I'm not coming with you, Cogburn!"

Cogburn raised his pistol, about to fire it, as Marston fired back with his LeMat. Both grazed each other on the quick draw, as Marston ran out of shells in the main chamber after both missed two shot. Cogburn had one shell left, as Marston pulls the trigger, however, it was a harmless click. "It ends now" Cogburn says, taking aim, but had no idea about the LeMat revolver's reserve underbelly. Marston switched barrels, and fired a small shotgun blast dead center into Cogburn's chest, ending the Civil War veteran's life. Blue (1-0) Marston regretted killing him, and respectfully walked over, and closed his eye, saying "Sorry, friend... it had to be this way." Before raising his revolver into the sky, and letting out a celebratory battlecry.

Winner: John Marston

Expert's Opinion[]

Rooster Cogburn was a powerful, and definately iconic warrior of the West, however, John Marston was equally as skilled, but simply had stronger technology backing him up. To see the original battle, weapons and votes, click here.

Battle vs. Rooster Cogburn (2010 Film) (by UnCODlyGod)[]

Rooster Cogburn of the 1969 film, True Grit, steps out of a saloon with a bottle of alcohol in his hand. He mounts his horse and rides out of the little town, with onlookers waving at him. He waves back and heads toward the sandy hills. BANG!!!! A bullet wizzes by Cogburn's head. It scares him and causes him to topple off his horse. "Urgh" he says. He wipes the dust off his arm and another bullet lands right before his feet. He pulls a Winchester 1892 from a holster on his horse and runs toward the hills, ready to engage his enemy. "I aim to kill you enemy in one minute!" he shouts. "That's my line you old coot!" shouts the enemy. Suddenly the Rooster Cogburn of the 2010 True Grit steps from his cover. "And I am to kill you in 30 seconds" he retorts. He fires his Hnery 1860 at the '69 Cogburn, who dives. He fires back with his Winchester. The bullet lands into the newer Cogburn's foot. He stumbles and while he is on the floor he draws his Colt Dragoon. He fires off three rounds, one penetrating the older Cogburn's hip. He drops his Winchester and pulls out both his Single Action Army and Colt New Service. He fires one after the other. The 2010 COgburn amazingly escapes without a scratch. He follows suit and draws his Remington 1875 and Colt 1851 Navy, firing them one after the other. The '69 Cogburn is hit twice in the stomach and collapses. He makes one last stand by drawing his Coach gun, but the pain of the bullet wounds debilitate him , causing him to miss horribly. He desperately tries to reload but is too late. "Seems like Im the one killing you in under a minute," and the 2010 Cogburn pulls back the hammer to his 1851 Navy and fires.

Expert's Opinion[]

The sheer power of Rooster Cogburn of the 2010 era's weapons allowed him to prevail. The majority of them fired much larger caliber rounds. To see the original battle, weapons and votes, click here.

Battle vs. The Man with No Name (by Weew1213)[]

Rooster wakes up from a loud noise.

“Hey! Keep it down out there!” Rooster yells as he bangs on the door.

He goes back to his seat, sits in it, and puts his hat on his face to go back to sleep.

“Shut it, old man!” A voice outside responds.

“Old?!” Rooster angrily asks and he storms to the door. “Why I aughtta-” He stops himself when he opens the door to see kids playing outside. “Alright, playtime’s over.” He says and the kids look at him and laugh. “Go on! Git!” He angrily gestures toward them and they don't move, they continue to play.

Rooster becomes frustrated. So, he takes out his revolver and fires it up in the air. The kids stopped playing, looked at him and like a deer in headlights, they froze.

“You heard me!” He angrily yelled. “Scram!” He commands, still with the gun pointed in the air.

They do just that and they run as fast as they can. Rooster huffs angrily and heads back to where he was, sleeping in a chair with his hat on his face. He then, falls asleep again. He wakes up to a knock at the door.

“If it's one of those d*mned kids again, I'm gonna-” he angrily thinks to himself but it is stopped when he sees Mattie. “Mattie. It's you!” Rooster smiles and hugs her. “It's been a good while, darlin’. How have you been?” He gladly asks.

“I heard about this guy who's gotta bounty on ‘im. He’s in the saloon. I hear he’s dangerous.” Mattie tells him. “Ok, I’ll get him.” He says as he hugs Mattie one last time.

“Why don’t you come with me?” He suggests.

Her eyes widen.

“No, no, no! You gotta go alone, I have- chores to do. Yeah, yeah, chores.” She quickly says as she hugs him.

“Okay. I’ll talk to you later then.” He grins and kicks the side of the horse as he heads to town.

Mattie sighs and walks off.

Rooster rides on his horse and continues to do so until he gets to the town. Once does get to the down, he slows the horse down to a “walking” pace. He looks around the town for the saloon and sees a woman staring at him and he responds by tipping his hat to her. He continued to ride until he found the saloon. He then, steered the horse in the direction of the saloon and once he got there he stopped and slided off the saddle. He then tied his horse’s reins on the posts near the entrance there. He looks at the post and rubs the horse’s long snout. He pats it and heads inside. He goes through the saloon doors and unexpectedly the music and everyone continue their conversations.

Then, a man nudges his friend with his elbow and whispers: “Cogburn, what’s he doin’ here?”

His friend responds with “Yeah, what’s he doin’ here?”

Whispers then, began to become louder and louder and his name is constantly being repeated in whispers so loud that they overcome the music and he sits near a man with a poncho. Once he sits down, the whispers stop and the music becomes the dominant sound once again.

“What’ll it be?” The bartender asks.

“Whiskey.” Cogburn replies and he looks down at the counter.

He then, looks over at the man. He notices that the man has beard and a worn out cigar near his drink.

“What do you want?” The man asks Rooster.

“Just a drink. You can give a War vet that, right?” Rooster asks.

“That makes two of us.” The Man replies asks he takes a sip from his drink.

Rooster turns to him and asks: “What do you mean?”

“We’re both veterans of that war. Which side do you serve?”

“The Confederacy, you?”

“I can’t quite remember.” The man replies then pauses. “Why are you really here?”

“I hear there’s a bounty on someone’s head and he’s in this place and I want to find him.” Cogburn whispers.

“Really? You want me to help you find him?” The man asks.

“I don’t know. I ain’t splittin’ it with you if you want to work with me.” Rooster hesitates.

“Alright, deal.” The man replies and he shakes Cogburn’s hand. “Let’s get out of here.” The man gestures towards the doors.

“Yeah, let’s get out of here.” Rooster agrees.

They both get out of their seats and walk out the doors. When they get outside,Rooster walks in front of the Man to get to his horse. They both come to a stop when they get to Rooster’s horse. Rooster then uses his bowie knife to cut the reins free.

While that is happening, the Man lights a cigarette and cocks his revolver. Which is now pointing at the back of Rooster’s head.

A smile grows on Rooster’s face.

“Alright.” Rooster says with a smile on his face and begins to turn around. “Let's ride and find this son of a-” Before he could finish his sentence, he sees the revolver pointed at his face. “That man you're looking for? I think I found him.” The man chuckles.

Rooster puts his hands up and grumbles.

“You know that little girl- what was her name?” The man pauses to think and he looks down at the ground to try and think of the name while holding the revolver up at Rooster. “Mary? Tabbie? Maggie? Mattie? Mattie! Sweet little girl. Anyway, she came into the bar, actin’ all tough. Claiming that you could take on anyone. So, I got up from my seat and took her out back and pulled this thing out.” He gestures when he says that. “Put up in ‘er face and with a little talkin’, she helped me bring you here because there was a bounty on your head.”

“Why?” Rooster asks him.

“You know Ned Pepper? He’s sick of failing to kill you so, he put a bounty on your head.” The man answers still with his pistol firmly pointing at his target’s face.

“No, why’d you use Mattie to get to me?” Rooster asks as he puts the bowie knife in hand behind his back slowly.

“Oh, she’ll seemed like she’d know you pretty well and I was right.” The man responds and Rooster had already flipped the knife over and has a great grip on it.

“You must be great at guessing because-” Rooster throws the knife at the man but he dodges it by angling his right shoulder to the left; and as that is happening the Man is putting his pistol in the holster and a second later after the knife gets stuck in the pole behind him, he grabs the bolo knife hanging off the right side of the Man and launches it at Rooster. Which Rooster jumps out of the way. They both look at each other and see that their horses with has their guns, are on the opposite sides of one another. They both run toward their horses and intentionally knock into each other where their shoulders collide, they are both knocked backwards and off their feet.

The Man sits up and scrambles to get up as fast as he can.

Rooster is a bit dazed and looks around and sees that his hunter is trying to find a weapon. He then flips over onto to his stomach and crawls over to his and picks himself up to the grab the Coach gun which is on the side that he is facing.

The Man keeps trying to get his Henry rifle and looks over to see his target getting the gun hanging off Rooster’s horse and then, scrambles to get his double barrel which he does and Rooster gets his Coach gun.

They both cock their shotguns and turn around; they then turn and see that the other has a shotgun as well but, neither of them fire a shot. They both seem to be waiting for someone to fire first. Rooster continues to aim his gun at the Man as he gets up and he keeps his shotgun pointed at his target. Rooster stands up and he is still looking at his opponent.

They then, both stop looking at one another and find cover. Rooster panting while behind cover with shotgun in hand.

“Godd*mn, I haven’t ran like this in years.” Rooster thinks to himself.

A crack breaks through the air and a piece of his cover that is to the top right of him, explodes and Rooster responds with a blast from his coach gun and fires the piece of cover his enemy is behind which is actually to the right of the Man. The Man gets up and fires back, blowing another piece of Rooster’s cover away and Rooster also blows another piece of the Man’s cover.

The Man throws away his shotgun and looks around to see any weapons. He then, looks down to see his custom revolver and he pulls it out of its holster. He stands up and turns to fire at Rooster. He runs and shoots at Rooster and his piece of cover to get his Henry rifle.

Little did the Man know, Rooster was already getting his winchester rifle.

They were too focused on getting themselves prepared to spare a thought that their enemy was doing the same.

Once the Man does get his Henry, he grabs his Sharps rifle as well and slings the weapon onto his back.

Rooster gets his winchester and gets on his horse and starts to ride away.

The Man hears that Rooster is trying to do that and turns around, Henry in hand, he raises the rifle and starts firing at his target. Each shot misses because he’s trying to shoot Rooster off the horse. He keeps firing until he is out of bullets with the Henry rifle.

“D*mn.” he mumbles due to the cigar in his mouth.

He drops the rifle and grabs his Sharps rifle. He raises it to aim at his target but, lowers it a bit when he sees that Rooster is turning around.

Still with his gun lowered, Rooster is now turned around and is firing at the Man with both his winchester and revolver; firing one at a time.

The Man holds his breath, bullets flying past his face and rifle, his aim is on Rooster himself but, brings it down to his horse and fires.

Rooster hears a shot and seconds later, he is launched forward, onto the ground, as the horse crumbles under him. He groans with and spits out some dirt. He looks up to see the Man walking towards him while loading another bullet into his rifle. Rooster began breathing slowly to regain his breath and tried to get up. He looked at the Man and saw that he was getting closer. He had finally gotten his breath back and pulls himself up where he is on his knees.

He looks over to see the Man but he doesn’t see him, he sees the barrel of a Sharps rifle. He looks up to see the Man holding it.

“If you were a man, we would duel this out.” Rooster says to him.

The Man looks at the clock, that’s in the middle of the town and he drops his Sharps rifle.

“The next time it strikes an hour, we fire.” he tells Rooster.

The Man begins to walk to his spot and pulls out his custom revolver. He then clicks a button that causes the cylinder to open up and he spins it. Then he jerks the revolver to the right and the cylinder clicks right back in. After that, he puts the revolver back in its holster and he stops where he is because he is in the spot he needs to be in.

Rooster just limps over to his position and waits for the bell to strike an hour.

They both look at each other, hands hovering over their pistols.

Rooster’s heart is beating so fast that it seems like a challenge to even take a breath that he has to gulp his air down.

Then, the bell strikes and as if time stopped, the Man spits out his cigar and while the cigar is dropping, he grabs his revolver. He then aims and fires it at Rooster’s heart.

As Rooster grips his revolver, he feels a very sharp pain in his heart. He looks down, falls to his knees and holds his heart. He begins to spit up blood and falls backwards. He looks up at the sky, life flashing before his eyes and blood in his mouth. The Man walks over to his target and lights another cigar.

He lifts the revolver and says “It’s just the job.”

Rooster looks at the barrel and the Man fires.

Expert's Opinion[]

The Man had better weapons and was just the better warrior in this fight. Plus he was a lot younger and was quicker on the draw. He is the definite better warrior here.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.