There was to be at least 10 yards distance between the combatants.
With a single shot muzzle loading pistol, that range was dangerous but by no means sure death.
Especially as the cool way was to let your opponent fire his shot at you, while you stand there, cooly, then deliberately fire yours into the air, showing that he wasnt worthy and you have balls of steel. That was a violation of rule 13, so you had to make it look like you missed- just enuf so that yes, it was obvious you could have but not enough to violate the rules.
This was called “deloping” and was quite common: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deloping
And you were’t supposed to aim, just turn and fire.
and Rule 20. In all cases a miss-fire is equivalent to a shot, and a snap or non-cock is to be considered as a miss-fire.
Those pistols werent reliable.
I have been shot at before and am a good shot, but it does to some balls to just stand there .