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  #1  
Old 11-14-2012, 07:40 PM
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Twirling The Six Shooter


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I have watched a lot of western movies. One called "The Quick and the Dead" has a number of gun slingers, all twirling their six guns like it is easy as eating pie.

I have a number of Rugers and my last purchase was a Ruger Vaquero 357 mag. 5-1/2" barrel. I have no real interest in twirling my six guns, but out of curiosity tried to twirl it. It didn't go well at all.

My first thought was these movie actors were using well balanced fake guns, maybe plastic look a like six guns.

My question is this. Do these actors actually learn to twirl with real guns or are fakes sometimes used. My Ruger Vaquero 357 mag. 5-1/2" is still barrel heavy and I assume it would take considerable practice to master the twirl.

Does anyone here no how the twirl is done and are fake guns used by some.
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  #2  
Old 11-15-2012, 05:51 AM
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Most guns in movies are fake copies. I think most actors have trainers to teach them fancy gun handling.
I was once detailed to escort the old cockeyed cowboy actor Jack Elam on a movie set. I asked him how he liked cowboy acting. He asked me if I ever played cowboys and Indians when I was a kid. I said I did and loved it. He said, "well, I am still playing cowboys and Indians but getting paid for it." What a way to make a living.
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  #3  
Old 11-15-2012, 05:55 AM
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There are a number of expert six-gun twirlers who do exhibitions, compete in contests, and do movie work. Often, twirling takes place with the camera doing a close-up on the hand and gun so the twirling is actually being done by the experts and not the actor. Of course, these experts are more than willing to teach actors or anyone else twirling if you're willing to pay for lessons. There's no reason why twirling can't be self-taught if you have an aptitude for it. Just take all safety precautions to ensure the gun is unloaded and practice over a cushioned surface like a sofa or bed in the likely event that the gun will spin off your finger. I suppose you could obtain a replica six-shooter to start twirling with but the balance and weight will be different and eventually you'll want to be able to do it with the real thing.

It's not unusual to find six-gun twirlers are also into quick draw.
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  #4  
Old 11-20-2012, 08:13 PM
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I taught myself to twirl a 1911 pretty well, with either hand, and either thumbcock the hammer or work the safety, to include working it from the "wrong" side with the left hand. :-)
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2012, 07:45 AM
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By far, the best actor-"twirler" I ever saw was Sammy Davis Jr. He used his own Colt SAA. For me, it's just a darn way to screw up the front sight.
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2012, 03:04 PM
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how is that the case? drop it a lot? Nothing about the twirl impacts the sight as such. Now, it's hard on the hammer and the frame, maybe and on the cylinder rotation and locking parts, slamming back that hammer so hard.
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  #7  
Old 11-22-2012, 10:38 AM
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Twirling is not fast draw so cylinder rotation, lock parts damage and hammer slamming usually isn't involved. If you drop the gun on the hammer it's by accident. Drop it enough and eventually you'll be sorry. I have no idea why the front sight would suffer any more than the rest of the gun by twirling.
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  #8  
Old 11-25-2012, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshal Kane View Post
Twirling is not fast draw so cylinder rotation, lock parts damage and hammer slamming usually isn't involved. If you drop the gun on the hammer it's by accident. Drop it enough and eventually you'll be sorry. I have no idea why the front sight would suffer any more than the rest of the gun by twirling.
Because in my younger/wilder days I tried to learn how to twirl a Ruger Blackhawk . After several "drops" it was only the front sight that suffered the damage - like bent and dinged up. Lesson learned - for me.
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  #9  
Old 11-25-2012, 01:32 PM
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Yes, that would explain why you made the statement. Usually the gun falls everywhich way and takes "dings" all over.

Why didn't you follow my suggestion to practice twirling over a cushioned surface like a mattress or sofa?
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  #10  
Old 11-25-2012, 10:15 PM
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I twirl all of my revolvers, you'll get the hang of it.
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  #11  
Old 11-28-2012, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bolt Man View Post
I have watched a lot of western movies. One called "The Quick and the Dead" has a number of gun slingers, all twirling their six guns like it is easy as eating pie.

I have a number of Rugers and my last purchase was a Ruger Vaquero 357 mag. 5-1/2" barrel. I have no real interest in twirling my six guns, but out of curiosity tried to twirl it. It didn't go well at all.

My first thought was these movie actors were using well balanced fake guns, maybe plastic look a like six guns.

My question is this. Do these actors actually learn to twirl with real guns or are fakes sometimes used. My Ruger Vaquero 357 mag. 5-1/2" is still barrel heavy and I assume it would take considerable practice to master the twirl.

Does anyone here no how the twirl is done and are fake guns used by some.
I met and talked to Arvo Ojala several times at the Seattle World's Fair. At the time he was THE person teaching Hollywood actors gun handling. Quick draw, spinning and shooting that looked real. He said they used real guns and unless it was something that was super fancy, the actor usually did their own spinning and shooting.
As an example, James Arness in the opening scene of Gunsmoke was having a shootout with a cowboy at the other end of the street. If you will listen closely, the other guy gets off the first shot but then the scene is cut off. Arvo Ojala was the guy at the other end of the street. He was world quick draw champion at the time.
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  #12  
Old 11-28-2012, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wcvr View Post
I met and talked to Arvo Ojala several times at the Seattle World's Fair. At the time he was THE person teaching Hollywood actors gun handling. Quick draw, spinning and shooting that looked real. He said they used real guns and unless it was something that was super fancy, the actor usually did their own spinning and shooting.
As an example, James Arness in the opening scene of Gunsmoke was having a shootout with a cowboy at the other end of the street. If you will listen closely, the other guy gets off the first shot but then the scene is cut off. Arvo Ojala was the guy at the other end of the street. He was world quick draw champion at the time.
Is this the scene you're referring to??
Gunsmoke - not the way your mother remembers it - YouTube
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  #13  
Old 11-28-2012, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CASS View Post
Is this the scene you're referring to??
Gunsmoke - not the way your mother remembers it - YouTube
ROFLMAO....

That's the way it would have been in real life....
A lot of guys can do it now but Ojala was the first to try it but he could draw and fire 2 shots so fast is sounded like one shot. The only way you could tell is watch the muzzle flashes.
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  #14  
Old 12-04-2012, 02:28 PM
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you mean that you dont COCK the hammer as part of the preparatory act? sheesh. Bob Arganbright showed me how to fire a 3 shot "burst " with an SA revolver, thumbcock for the first shot, fan the hammer with the thumb and then the little finger of the weak hand. it only works with 22's or blanks, as recoil messes it up and certainly renders you unable to hit anything, beyond a few inches of range. :-)

Last edited by being; 12-04-2012 at 02:31 PM.
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  #15  
Old 12-04-2012, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by being View Post
you mean that you dont COCK the hammer as part of the preparatory act? sheesh. Bob Arganbright showed me how to fire a 3 shot "burst " with an SA revolver, thumbcock for the first shot, fan the hammer with the thumb and then the little finger of the weak hand. it only works with 22's or blanks, as recoil messes it up and certainly renders you unable to hit anything, beyond a few inches of range. :-)
Actually, just before Ojala went home from the fair, he showed several of us a new trick he was working on. 5 shots. He started with a cocked gun and fanned the next 4 with succesive finger tips. It was extremely fast but the lock time of the gun was what limited the effect of hearing one shot.
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  #16  
Old 12-05-2012, 05:56 PM
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I could hear the 3 shots of the above. it just takes a trained ear. I can distinguish the diff reports of a 30 shot per second rate of fire of a full auto 22lr (in that case, it was the American 180) but like i said, it takes familiarity with full auto. any regular attendee of Knob Creek will tell you the same thing.
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  #17  
Old 12-06-2012, 03:30 AM
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Look up and watch Bob Munden. Certainly they're tricked out revolvers but he is fast AND accurate, so was Ed McGivern. I used to twirl mine quite a bit and learned the border shift and road agents spin. And I DID practice standing on an old mattress. I haven't done it for years.
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