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Remember that Earp and most of the other great gunmen started out with Colt muzzle loading pistols that were safe with "six beans in the wheel".
It just may not have occurred to them in the early days that the safety notch...wasn't.
One place this became apparent is that a number of horsemen started out carrying six rounds in the new Colt. When saddling up, you throw the stirrup over the saddle while tightening the girth.
The stirrup would slip off the saddle and would inevitably land right on the hammer, firing the gun.

Famed gunfighter and psycho Clay Allison once shot himself in the foot. A famous photo shows him sitting, holding his crutch.

General George Patton often carried a .380 automatic but preferred revolvers for his "fighting guns".
One reason may be an incident that happened to him in El Paso during the Pershing expedition into Mexico after Pancho Villa.
Patton had a then new Colt 1911. Like a lot of 1911 owners that followed, he wanted a target grade trigger, so he worked the trigger unit over.
Great general, lousy gunsmith.
Patton was standing at a bar in El Paso talking to a rancher, when his foot slipped off the brass bar rail and the jar caused his .45 to fire.
The rancher, displayed perfect Texas manners. He pretended not to notice that Patton had just blown the bottom out of his Model 1912 Cavalry holster and narrowly missed his own foot.

Most shooters back in the West were self-taught. Sometimes their firearms education missed a few key points on safety.
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