OK, fess up all of you old timers


July 21, 2003, 09:47 PM
to all of you guys who grew up with the Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers, The Rifleman etc. How many of you ever practiced spinning your SA revolver on your trigger finger before reholstering? I know it violates ALL of the rules, is a bad idea, and so on and so forth but it looked really cool when cowboys did it on TV.
Hi, My name is Mark and I used to twirl but I have been clean for several years now. :D

I also used to get on my horse by leapfrogging over the back and landing in the saddle. (P.S. you have to warn your horse when you are going to do that.)

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July 21, 2003, 10:11 PM
Not since I upgraded my single actions from the ones fed with rolls of caps.

July 21, 2003, 10:29 PM
Oh ..... I'm in the age group Dad!! :( But must confess to never having really worked hard on that trick ........ admire the slicksters who can but somehow never got around to gettin good. Oh and that was cap guns too!

I think my SBH and Single 6 are a tad awkward for trying it ... even if empty!

July 21, 2003, 10:54 PM
I'm 50. Know who Nelly Belle is, Lucas McCain, too.

Never twirled a single action pistol. Friend did, Ruger with the .22 Mag cylinder loaded. Dropped it, it hit edge of counter on the way down, discharged. He was on the phone to his sister when he did it. She asked him what the sound was when the pistol went off. He told her what he'd just done but not to worry. When he bent down to pick the pistol up off the floor, he noticed his arm was numb and wouldn't do what he wanted it to do, (pick up the gun). Then he saw blood dripping from his hand, pulled off his shirt with his good hand, saw that the bullet had traversed from his elbow up the back side of his right arm and exited out the top of his shoulder. Told his sister to call an ambulance since he'd just shot himself. Went to the hospital, where they just cleaned up the wound channel with antiseptic and gave him some pain pills and sent him home. He told me later, that the worst pain he'd ever experienced was the next day, when his whole arm turned black and blue and very swollen. Thought he was gonna die, but didn't, of course. He doesn't twirl pistolas anymore either.

He's sorta like Val Kilmer in Tombstone with the cups...but not real loaded guns...

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
July 21, 2003, 10:58 PM
The only pistol I ever attempted to twirl was my Mattel Fanner .50. I never mastered it and was smart enough to never try it with anything that didn't take roll ammo.

Of course, I also made a very tactical thigh holster that was decidedly non-cowboy for that cap gun, too.

I haven't had much need for a horse in maybe 25 years, either. Never met one I considered overly intelligent enough to justify the feed bill.
Been kicked enough to know I don't have the tolerance for them anymore.


July 21, 2003, 10:58 PM
So I'm an old timer now cause I remember The Rifleman and Lone Ranger and Roy? OUCH. :D


OK you got me on the SA twirl thing. Tried it one time just a few tries (back when I was a pup) and it hit the floor pretty quick. Bad part was is wasn't my gun. Haven't done it since.

What I have done a little here & there I seen in a Clint Eastwood movie. Somebody got the drop on him and he was handing his pistols over, butt first, barrel(s) down, and he suddenly spins them around to a firing grip and takes em out. Really slick looking and quick. The trick is to have your trigger finger inside the guard and use it for a fulcrum to spin the pistol around. I've not dropped a gun doing this, nor tried it with a loaded gun.

Standing Wolf
July 21, 2003, 11:34 PM
I'm old enough to remember coon skin caps and singing "Davey Crockett" on the way home from school.

I tried twirling a single action revolver once, but it became obvious after a single twirl I'd soon drop it. It wasn't my gun, and I wouldn't have cared to replace it.

July 21, 2003, 11:47 PM
I twirled once, my cap SAA, and cocked by using the lever only on my lever action cap gun,only once. "do it once and get it out of your system, but if I catch you doing it again -the guns are taken and you get a spanking--safe gun handling is safe gun handling and you have been taught the rules".

So I never did it again. I was told showing responsibility meant showing responsibility all the time, no display of 4 rules being broken anytime-ever.

July 21, 2003, 11:48 PM
I remember some of those shows, and I remember trying that with my capguns. I now practice twirling my U.S. Patent Firearms 1873, though only with an unloaded gun. I also practice twirling with other handguns (also only when empty). Gunfighters didn't do all that twirling just to show off, it was the best way to build speed and dexterity with the gun.

July 21, 2003, 11:49 PM
I may have twirled a large, chrome cap six-shooter I paid $5.00 for back about age nine or ten - I don't remember.

But I do remember radio: Lone Ranger, Tennessee Jed, Green Hornet, Capt. Midnight, Jack Armstrong, et al (including a batch of 15-minute soaps) - - - I wonder what that makes me - not quite old as dirt? :)

July 22, 2003, 01:50 AM
Hell back when slap leather meant a whole different thing I got so good at it I could do the" Border Shift":D

4v50 Gary
July 22, 2003, 01:58 AM
I remember "trying" to twirl those pot metal cap guns. Never really good at it and when I tried it with a Vaquero, the only way I could do it was by grasping the end of my finger with the other hand to keep it from slipping off. Guess I failed Cowboy 1A.

six 4 sure
July 22, 2003, 02:15 AM
Well I'm only 31 and I used to twirl a SA quite a bit until I realized it wasn't the brightest thing to do. Never did it while loaded, but that's not an excuse. Also found out that dropping a gun on bare feet can be quite painful.


July 22, 2003, 03:43 AM
I tried to twirl a 94 Winchester with a hoop lever, just about broke my wrist! Never tried it with a single-action, they cost too much to drop!

July 22, 2003, 04:17 AM
Well, maybe:rolleyes:

I have a b&w photo of me as a young cowpoke taken at Xmas 1953. Got the hat, the concho gunbelt and two cap pistols...must have mastered the trick of spinning them. My first single action was a .44 mag. Hawes Western Marshall. It got twirled once, unloaded. Real guns are so much heavier and expensive than cap pistols!

"Horse jumping" was a dismal failure. Following a particularly stirring early T.V. Lone Ranger episode, I attempted to duplicate the horse jump with my tricycle...I miscalculated and found the frame bar rather than the seat:what: Ah, the good old days :)

July 22, 2003, 07:10 AM
Sure. When I had my tonsils out my folks bought me a Hopalong Cassidy gunbelt with two holsters and the toy guns.:D

Jumping off a roof onto your horse, whether a live one or one made of iron may not be the brightest thing to do either.:what:

July 22, 2003, 07:17 AM
still do.

but only w/

Colt 1861 Navy reproduction that long ago gave up the ability to fire.

The balance is horrible though.

Art Eatman
July 22, 2003, 07:35 AM
My favorite cap pistol was made of cast iron--and yeah, I could twirl it. Then WW II came along and we couldn't get caps. :(

I guess it was around 1966 that I gave my wife a Ruger Blackhawk for Christmas. (Well, I thought I wuz buying it for me, but she changed my mind.) I tried to twirl it (empty, of course) and decided I'd probably drop it before I got it all perfected. End of that nonsense. :)


July 22, 2003, 08:15 AM
There is a fellow named "Spinner" (guess why he is called that) who runs a website for CAS shooters. He can tell you all about twirling and even refer you to books written about it. http://www.gunfighter.com/

July 22, 2003, 08:28 AM
aw heck, ya caught me, i was twirling my little j frame when i first got it

also practiced letting it hang by one finger as if handing it over and recovering it



July 22, 2003, 08:30 AM
Tried it ONCE in the '70's with my then new 6-1/2" Blackhawk .357Mag, and when the blackie slipped off my finger during the upward part of the twirl...

Well, let's say I found out how sharp the pointy part of the Blackhawk hammer spur is......the pointy part of my chin is not spur-proof.

July 22, 2003, 10:39 AM
I remember watching the Rifleman w/ my dad...As for gun twirling, I'll have to plead guilty :uhoh:

July 22, 2003, 10:49 AM
If you want to get good at it for some reason (and I admit it looks pretty darn cool), I'd recommend one of those $50 SAA replicas (non firing) they sell at Cheaper than Dirt. That way, you're not going to bang up your multi-hundred-dollar firearms when you drop them... :)

Don Gwinn
July 22, 2003, 03:03 PM
I used to twirl an SAA all the time as I walked the two miles to Shelbyville to take the ferry. It didn't work very well because I had a large onion in my pocket, which was the fashion at the time. . . . .

Just kidding. I'm 25 years old, but I twirled my son's cap gun yesterday. :)

July 22, 2003, 03:25 PM
guilty, but only with toy guys as a kid. Was too busy shooting the real guns when I got older.

ed dixon
July 22, 2003, 03:45 PM
I'd like to ... but .45 Colt Vaquero is much bigger and heavier than my average-size hands. Broken fingers and high-pitched yelping would probably blow the desperado fantasy pretty quick.

July 22, 2003, 04:58 PM
I didn't realize the weight thing would be such an issue when I started the thread. The only revolver I ever "twirled" was a .22 Colt Buntline Scout. It had about an 8" barrel but that seemed to balance it really well. I never tried it with a full sized revolver. Glad to see I'm not the only one to give in to the temptation to twirl.

Johnny Guest
July 22, 2003, 08:11 PM
Yeah, guilty as charged. :rolleyes:

Did it with cap pistols. Did it with my first SA revolver, a Single Six, unloaded only, in about 1960. But I was really proud of that revolver - -- Only did it over a bed or couch.

I'd outgrown the urge by the time I got into centerfire handguns.:p


Ed Brunner
July 22, 2003, 08:51 PM

July 22, 2003, 09:04 PM
Sure, I did it. I started with a Fanner 50. I have done it with other guns over the years, after carefully checking their loaded condition (violation of rules #1,2,3).
After reading the book: Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting by Ed McGivern, I bought one of those Italian SAA clones, bought a fancy holster in Tijunana, loaded up a bunch of .45 Colt cases with wax bullets and spent about 10 minutes learning to become an exhibition shooter. I realized it was silly and dangerous and gave it up. I also got too fat to put on the gun belt.

July 22, 2003, 09:50 PM
Fanned but never twirled. Capguns kind of lost their appeal early on when the Old Man handed me a Red Ryder Daisey BBgun on my 7th birthday:D
I remember the Lone Ranger on radio and the Shadow (who used hypnosis, not guns - but then Llamont was a 'sissy' name too:p )/
TV = 9" B&W screen with a box the size of refrigerator and Uncle Milty and Gunsmoke - if Matt Dillon didn't twirl, why would anyone :confused:

Nowdays the closest we get to the Hollywood version of those days is the Cowboy Action stuff = try twirling at one of their shoots and they'll run you off the range (after a short group therapy session to recover from a mass attack of "Liability Neurosis"
:rolleyes: :p :what:

July 23, 2003, 12:14 AM
I've had no desire to 'twirl' since I was 7. I got a matched pair of Hopalong Cassidy cap pistols with black leather holsters/belt from Santa on Christmas morning. Immediately after strapping them on I just had to try the twirl and drop into holster routine. Never being well coordinated, I dropped them both and broke one of the shiny potmetal barrels clean off. Cried for hours.....
:cuss: :banghead:

July 23, 2003, 01:25 AM
I was already old when Rifleman was on. No twirling here, folk in my age group arrived on the planet sans twirl and knowing four rules of proper gun handling. I did slip once and shot my brother between the rivets of his Levi's with a daisy BB gun.

ed dixon
July 25, 2003, 08:43 PM
I'm considering getting a .32 mag. Vaquero in the near future and have wondered if it'd be more manageable for the holster gymnastics. I remember Glenn Ford and Sammy Davis Jr. doing some genuinely cool stuff with the trick spinning. (Am I old now? Can't remember and that's good.)
BTW, cap pistol twirling? Absolutely! Stone-cold murderer on that count. (Captain Kangaroo was askin' for it.)

July 25, 2003, 10:06 PM
Yeah, I did it a lot with my toy revolvers when I was a little girl in my cowgirl outfit (we ALL had those outfits!) And I think I may've tried it when I got my Ruger SP101 .357 mag revolver, after checking 4 times to make sure it was unloaded. Haven't even thought of doing that in 12 years, though--thankfully!

Funny you should mention that. I was thinking about it the other day, and trying to decide how many of the basic firearms handling laws that silly old trick violates. Let's see: 1) The gun is always loaded, 2) Never point the gun at anything you don't wish to destroy, 3) Know your target and what's behind it, 4) Keep your finger out of the trigger guard until you've got your gun aimed at what you're shooting at (for beginners, until you get a sight picture.)

Yep, pretty much violates them all. I'd never do it again, most ESPECIALLY not with my two Glocks--good God! :uhoh:

July 25, 2003, 11:50 PM
Sly Stallone twirls his Combat Elite in Cobra. It's all I can do to keep from trying that with my CDP, but I won't.:D

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