Deadliest Warrior (2010): S02E04 – Jesse James vs. Al Capone


Deadliest Warrior is a 2009 documentary series in which the great warriors of history are examined for fantasy combat simulations.


Jesse James, one of the most feared outlaws in the American West, vs. Al Capone, America’s most notorious gangster.

  • Jesse James team: Joey Dillon (Champion Gunslinger), J.W. Wiseman (Sharpshooting Expert)
    Jesse James weapons: Bowie Knife, Colt Revolvers, Winchester Rifle, Pistol Whip
    Jesse James armour: None
  • Al Capone team: Meyer Lansky II (Mafioso Descendant), Johnny Lew Fratto (Capone Authority)
    Al Capone weapons: Stiletto, Tommy Gun, Pineapple Bomb, Brass Knuckles
    Al Capone armour: None
  • This was the first modern fight with individual warriors and their men.
  • For short-range weapons, Al Capone’s stiletto knife was tested against Jesse James’ bowie knife. The Stiletto was used to give a ballistics gel torso a “rat’s smile”, cut through the carotid artery and the windpipe, stab through the stomach and pierce the lower intestine, and stab between the ribs and into the heart. The stiletto’s impact speed was measured at 16.5 feet per second. The bowie knife was capable of disembowelling a pig carcass; cutting through ribs and exposing the kidneys as well as being able to be thrown. While the impact speed of the bowie knife was also measured, the results were not revealed on the show. Even though the bowie knife caused more damage, the stiletto knife was given the edge because of its concealability and speed.
  • For mid-range weapons, Jesse James’ Colt pistols were tested in a recreation of a 19th-century bank, where they expended 12 rounds and made three multiple-hit kills in under seven seconds, with a drawing time of one quarter second. Among the recorded kills was a bullet wound through the cheekbone and brain stem, and a bullet wound which severed the left ventricle. Al Capone’s Thompson sub-machine gun was tested on three targets as well. It expended 50 rounds and shot all three targets in six seconds with two kill shots and a mortal liver wound. The Colt pistols were also tested on horseback and the Thompson in a 1929 Hudson Super 6 simulating the vehicles of the each warrior’s time. The Colt pistols shot three of the five targets, two kill shots and a disarming arm wound. The Thompson was tested in the Hudson with identical results. The edge was given to the Thompson due to its ability to put more rounds into its targets.
  • For long-range weapons, Al Capone’s Mk 2 “Pineapple” Grenade was tested against Jesse James’ Winchester rifle. Both the pressure wave and fragmentation of the grenade were devastating, but the grenade only killed three of its four targets, and had the added disadvantage of a five-second fuse. The Winchester rifle was able to kill all four of its targets in less time than the grenade. The edge was given to the Winchester because of its greater speed, range, and accuracy.
  • For special weapons, Al Capone’s brass knuckles were tested against Jesse James’ pistol whip. The brass knuckles were shown to double the force of a punch from 41 psi to 75 psi. The brass knuckles also managed to fracture a naked skull with one hit and cause a depressed skull fracture in three hits. The pistol whip took only one strike to break through a naked skull with a force of 182 psi (more than double that of the brass knuckles). For this reason, the edge was given to the pistol whip.
  • This is the first match-up that features warriors of the same nationality (American).
  • This is the first episode where one weapon is used in two different categories, as well as an attack being listed as a weapon (Jesse James’ revolvers were used to shoot and bludgeon).
  • This is the first episode that each of the warrior squads talk in the second season.
  • This is the second squad on squad battle that featured four on four instead of the traditional five on five.
  • This is the first battle where a small beep accompanies the counter, indicating that a warrior is dead.
  • Al Capone is the third warrior to lose despite having the most effective weapon in the fight, which was the Tommy Gun.
  • The stiletto is the ninth weapon to be given the edge and score fewer kills than the opposing weapon.
  • This is the only episode with two survivors on the winning team in the fight scene, as well as the only episode where one of the primary named warriors did not deal the finishing blow.

Re-enactment 12

The battle begins in an American history museum in Chicago hosting an exhibit about Old West outlaws. Inside, Jesse James, his brother Frank James, and two other gang members are in the Civil War exhibit, breaking the glass exhibits and arming themselves with Colt revolvers and looting some of the Civil War coins. Meanwhile, Al Capone and three of his men drive up to the museum, alerting the James Gang who have finished loading up their newly acquired revolvers. Suspecting intruders, Jesse, Frank, and the gangmen take up positions, ready to fight. The Capone Gang enter and, while marveling the exhibit, are suddenly ambushed by the James Gang. Jesse’s team score the first kill in the quick draw showdown. A hailstorm of bullets ensues as both factions open fire on each other, with a Capone flunky taking out one of Jesse’s men out with a Tommy gun. Amidst the gunfire, Jesse James’s other henchman steals a Winchester rifle from one of the cabinets and lays down some suppressing fire while Jesse and Frank retreat further into the museum. Al Capone’s men come out of cover and begin chasing them, with Capone dusting off his hat and following close behind. Jesse’s rifleman stops in a hallway and cocks the Winchester, shooting one of Capone’s two remaining men as he rounds the corner. Frustrated, Capone’s other henchman tries to shoot down the outlaw, fruitlessly firing in all directions. The man then turns and shouts, “Boss, let’s go!”. Capone catches up and the two men begin to run after Jesse James’s crew. The third man struggles to catch up, but is stabbed from behind by Frank, who emerges from a dark closet with the Bowie knife. In an office, Jesse and his gunman hear Capone coming, and the gang member tells Jesse to run while he holds them off. Capone and his last cohort enter the office, where Jesse and his henchman are waiting for them. Jesse shoots Capone’s man with the revolver, catching him off guard. Capone quickly ducks for cover behind a desk right before the rifleman finishes the last man on Capone’s team with a shot from the Winchester. The rifleman waits for Capone to make his move, unaware that Capone is pulling the pin from his MK2 “Pineapple” Grenade. He hurls the grenade over the desk and quickly hides again. The rifleman attempts to shoot Capone, but is killed by the explosion of the Pineapple Grenade before he gets a chance. Capone gets up and tries to steal one of the revolvers, but Jesse James shoots it out of Capone’s hand. Realizing he has been beat, Capone slowly stands up with his hands in the air. Jesse James sneers as he pulls the triggers on his revolvers, only to find that both of his guns are out of bullets. Jesse quickly flees while the infuriated Capone pulls off his trench coat and gloves and puts on a pair brass knuckles, intent on killing Jesse. Jesse runs for his life, but is cornered when he winds up at an exhibit for a western jail cell. He turns around to see that Capone has caught up. He tries to pistol whip Capone, but Capone blocks the swing and counters with a punch in the gut with the brass knuckles. Removing his hat, Capone forces Jesse into the mock jail cell and begins to brutally beat Jesse. After kicking James to the floor, Capone draws his Stiletto while Jesse gets up with his Bowie knife at hand. Al goes in for a thrust, but Jesse hooks his hand with the stock of the revolver and stabs Capone at his arm. Enraged, Capone then kicks James as he drops his stiletto, forcing Jesse to also drop his knife. Capone grabs James and continues to attack him with the knuckles. He slams him face first into the bars. Jesse smiles, apparently having seen something Capone didn’t. Capone turns James around and knocks him down with another punch. Right as Capone is about to deliver the killing blow, he hears a gun cock. He looks up to see Frank James with a Winchester. Frank fires the gun, hitting Capone dead centre between the eyes. Jesse James dusts off his hat and shouts “Yee-ha!” in victory as Frank smiles. The two brothers hug each other and then run off to steal whatever they can from the museum.

Winner: Jesse James.

Deadliest Warrior Series

You can find a full index and overview of Deadliest Warrior here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 04 May 2010.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Running Time: 42 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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