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You have to be over 20 to recognize some of these names. Hollywood celebrities were not always anti 2A

Who was the fastest gun in Hollywood?


Ron Bolza
Slatington, Pennsylvania



Some of the names might surprise you. How about Sammy Davis Jr. and Jerry Lewis?


The first fast draw competition took place at Knott’s Berry Farm in 1954.


Hugh O’Brian claimed his 0.25 of a second was the fastest, but Davis Jr. and Lewis were reportedly faster. O’Brian challenged Audie Murphy to a contest, but when Murphy requested live ammunition, O’Brian wisely declined.


Others who were good at fast draw during the 1950s and 1960s, says Firearms Editor Phil Spangenberger, included Wally “Mr. Peepers” Cox, Hugh Downs (a host of the early Today show), dancer Donald O’Connor, singers Marty Robbins and Frankie Lane, and actors Glenn Ford, Clu Gulager, Ernest Borgnine, Jock Mahoney and Clint Eastwood.
 

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The heyday of the western movies and TV shows. No surprise that skills were more widely practiced and appreciated than they are now.
 

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We record the old westerns and watch lots of them. There is very little on current television shows or movies that we want to watch.
 

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I would have said Sammy Davis Jr. I remember seeing him in a couple of The Rifleman episodes showing off his gun handling skills. Wouldn't have guessed Jerry Lewis. I would imagine but don't know others who would be competent would be Charleton Heston, Charles Bronson, Steve McQueen, Tom Selleck, James Garner, maybe Brad Pitt.
 

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Not an actor but one of the fastest I’ve seen is Bill Jordan. Saw him balance a ping-pong ball on the back of his hand, draw and hit the balloon target. No one knew what happened to the ping-pong ball until he pulled it out of his holster. Carson’s eyes bugged out!
 

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That's some cool stuff, there. Hard to believe some of the fastest; just never would have thought it.
 

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There are claims that Peter Breck, Nick of The Big Valley, was the fastest. Let's dig them all up for one-against-one rematch.
 

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Not an actor but one of the fastest I’ve seen is Bill Jordan. Saw him balance a ping-pong ball on the back of his hand, draw and hit the balloon target. No one knew what happened to the ping-pong ball until he pulled it out of his holster. Carson’s eyes bugged out!
That Stunt was started with the statement that he could empty the gun before the ball hit the ground! No one really watched the ball till he took it out of the holster and dropped it! DR
 

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Most of these guys were taught by a guy named Arvo Ojala. He mostly worked as a teacher and Technical advisor, But his most famous role was the unnamed guy Marshal Dillion shoots in the opening of Gunsmoke. He also started a holster company that made quick draw holsters. One of his last students was Michel J Fox. DR
 

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Since someone spoke of Bill Jordan, I hope it's okay to say that my choice would be Charles Askins.
 

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When I was fourteen I spent quite a bit of time practicing fast draw with a model of the 1873 Colt Single Action Army revolver. I say model because it was not a firearm but rather a CO2 gas operated Crossman BB gun with the same weight and feel of the real thing with a, as I recall, 4 5/8" barrel. I got so that I could hold a paperback book with my shooting hand at the level of the gun's grip, drop that book then draw and shoot it before it could hit the ground. I felt pretty good about that at fourteen.

I know of some of the men mentioned here on this thread. In particular Sammy Davis, Jr. and Glenn Ford. Would enjoy hearing of others who were also really good at drawing a single action revolver.
 

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I would have said Sammy Davis Jr. I remember seeing him in a couple of The Rifleman episodes showing off his gun handling skills. Wouldn't have guessed Jerry Lewis. I would imagine but don't know others who would be competent would be Charleton Heston, Charles Bronson, Steve McQueen, Tom Selleck, James Garner, maybe Brad Pitt.
I never would have guessed Lewis was a gun guy.

 

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As an aside, I started going to Knott's Berry Farm in the '50s. All I can remember is panning for "gold," a Ferris wheel ride, fried chicken for lunch and all kinds of berry pies, jellies, and jams. It was quite a small venue as attached to the farm, even to a small child, and I remember walking on dirt.

I first became aware of Sammy Davis, Jr. being a gun handling enthusiast through some magazine in the '60s. Didn't he show some of his fancy skills on Carson once?
 

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Fastest draw period would have been Bob Munden. RIP and happy trails. You are fondly remembered.
 
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