You wouldn’t have wanted to get into a shootout with the men who owned these firearms. They were sharpshooters extraordinaire whose feats of speed were legendary. All lay claim to bragging rights as some the fastest triggermen ever.
Nicknamed “the fastest shot in the world,” Ed McGivern was the originator of exhibition shooting and was renowned for speed and accuracy. He once fired five rounds from this Colt single-action revolver at a target 50 feet away and put all five bullets into three quarter-sized holes—all in under half a second.
Between the World Wars, McGivern traveled America demonstrating his fast-and-fancy style of shooting with one and two handguns. Although he first used semi-automatic pistols, he soon found he could achieve a faster rate of fire with a factory standard double-action revolver, such as this Smith & Wesson.
Recognized by Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest shot alive, Bob Munden holds more than 18 records in exhibition shooting. Among his prized handguns were a pair of Colt single-action revolvers customized with gold plating, engraving and vertical hammer spurs to aid in speed fanning and thumbing for fast draw.
A salesman for Winchester in the early 1900s, Herb Parsons was an expert marksman whose quick-trigger exploits were legendary. One trick involved him throwing seven clay pigeons into the air, then shattering them all just as pieces from the first were hitting the ground. These Smith & Wesson .22 and .38 revolvers were part of Parsons’ collection.