Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Word of the Day -- Quick Draw

Quick draw is a sport based on the romanticized art of the gunslingers in the American Old West, using traditional single action revolvers. World Fast Draw Association (WFDA) is the international sanctioning body. Unlike Cowboy action shooting, Fast Draw is shot with special blanks or wax bullets. While some competitions are strictly against the clock, with the fastest time winning, many are set up as head to head single or double elimination matches.

The object of fast draw as a combative sport is to quickly draw one's pistol and fire with the most
accuracy. The sport has been inspired by accounts of duels and gunfights which incorporated it during the Wild West, such as the Wild Bill Hickok – Davis Tutt duel, Luke Short-Jim Courtright Duel, Gunfight at the OK Corral, Long Branch Saloon Shootout and others, which in turn inspired the gunfights seen in Hollywood Western. Although unlike the depiction seen in Westerns, fast draw duels at that time were performed with the traditional dueling stance. Typically, historical Western duels were a crude form of the "Southern code duello," a highly formalized means of solving disputes between gentlemen with swords or guns that had its origins in European chivalry.

While the ability to draw a firearm quickly was a popular skill during the American frontier, modern fast draw is inspired more by gun duels in Western films than historical gunfights. Though many gunfighters were remembered to be dangerous with a pistol during the American frontier, only a few known historical individuals have been noted by historians as "fast", such as Wild Bill Hickok, Doc Holliday, John Wesley Hardin, Luke Short, Tom Horn and Billy the Kid. In Western movies, the characters' gun belts are often worn low on the hip and outer thigh, with the holster cut away around the pistol's trigger and grip for a smooth, fast draw. This type of holster is a Hollywood anachronism. Fast-draw artists can be distinguished from other movie cowboys because their guns will often be tied to their thigh. Long before holsters were steel-lined, they were soft and supple for comfortable all-day wear. A gunfighter would use tie-downs to keep his pistol from catching on the holster while drawing. Most of the time, gunfighters would just hide their pistols in their pockets, which was faster and more practical. Other gunfighters would use bridgeport rigs that gave a faster and easier draw.

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