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How Fast Is Red Dead Redemption’s “Dead Eye”?

The myth of the outlaw gunslinger isn’t just built on robbing train cars, threats based on the population density of towns, and tipping hats. A rapscallion’s outlaw ways were protected by prowess with a pistol. Out in the untamed wilderness, if you’re not fast, you’re buzzard food. But just how fast is fast? If you had a real dead eye shot, how quick would you be?

The gunslinger with the fastest hand in the West has been a trope in Westerns for decades, and in Red Dead Redemption 2, it rides again in the form of the “dead eye” ability, a way for the player to slow down time and take the perfect shot. It implies incredibly fast, seriously skilled movements. Pop culture won’t give you any hard and fast values though, so what is the real limit to just how quickly you could draw and shoot?

In my latest episode of Because Science, we’re looking into the limits of human reaction time. A summation of information processing, stimuli, and electrical signaling, reaction time is what makes you fast (or dead). Scientists have been studying it since before Red Dead even takes place—the first studies were published over 100 years ago. What are its limits? How fast are you? We’re going to find out.

After you watch the new episode, check out my last video on how many mosquitoes it would take to drain every drop of your blood, buy a Because Science shirt, mug, hat, or collectible pin, and follow me on Twitter or on Instagram to give me a suggestion for the next episode. Want Because Science even earlier? Subscribe to Alpha for access to the show two full days before anyone else.

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