What's Happening

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Kersey475: I read that the Virginia Tech shooter used a pair of handguns. Did he use them one at a time or did he dual wield them?

Fallingwater: humbly suggest we substitute the current picture with this (just the pic inside, obviously). While not taken from a movie or game, it represents the trope a whole lot better.

Looney Toons: Fighting with a sword in each hand is not an unheard-of practice, and is sometimes called "Florentine Style" (although the original Florentine style was sword-and-main-gauche [knife]).

BT The P: Two-weapon melee styles are common throughout the world. Using both hands in melee fighting is usually the norm, armed or unarmed. The affectation of using only one hand to fence is a very artificial notion born of European aristocrats and their "rules", plus the elimination of the buckler (small shield) from the fencer's arsenal. The reason Guns Akimbo is so unrealistic is that accurately firing any firearm, even a pistol, requires two hands; even sloppy one-handed firing requires a fair fraction of one's concentration.

At no point does Vash The Stampede fire two guns at the same time. The shows name Trigun refers to his three different weapons that he never uses at the same time. Wolfwood of the same show, however, does use two guns on multiple occasions.

(random passer-by): Pistol marksmen in the Olympics use a one-handed stance, as do competitors in a number of related disciplines. The two-handed stances taught for handguns now are a relatively recent innovation, dating back not much further than 1970. However, the larger point stands—in order to hit anything, the user must concentrate on what he is doing, and is almost invariably taught to focus his vision on the front sight of the pistol. You are very correct when you say that using two guns simultaneously is unavoidably a very awkward affair, no matter how many hands the user has.

Kendra Kirai: I removed the reloading from Halo 2, since Master Chief can, inexplicably, reload either weapon or both at the same time.

BT The P: Doesn't pressing the reload button cause you to drop the off-hand weapon? That's what I recall, but I haven't played the game in a while.

Kendra Kirai: Nope, it tends to drop off the screen, but it comes back up, fully (or as much as possible) loaded. It's inexplicable how he manages it, since two of the three of the reloadable guns you can use two of all but *require* two hands to load without doing some improbable juggling, or having an automatic clip loader on his armor (In which case, why would he need to use both hands when using only ONE gun?).

Darmok: The two-handed stance for holding a pistol is called the "Weaver Stance" (named after its inventor - Jack Weaver) and has been around since 1959.

Game Note: I believe "Blood" (circa 2000 or so) is responsible for the name of this trope, with a power-up called Guns Akimbo that twinned whatever you were holding at the time, including ammo, allowing you to suddenly rain death on everything on the screen.

BT The P: It's older than you think, the term has been in use for a while, Blood certainly didn't invent it.

Duckluck: I'll admit it sounds cool, but the name is actually incredibly deceptive. According to Webster's, Akimbo just means "having the hand at the hip and the elbow pointed outward." Therefore, not only does the name fail to indicate the fact that a person is using two guns at once, but it also suggests "shooting from the hip" which is something else entirely. I say we rename this. Two Fisting, maybe?

random gun dork: The idea of using a pair of FN P90 subguns one handed isn't as ludicrous as the article makes it sound. The P90 has a remarkably mild and manageable recoil, and being a bullpup, it has a good overall front-to-back balance. With short pulls of the trigger, even normal configuration subguns such as the PP Sh or MP 5 are manageable one handed. Still, it is a lot easier to aim if one uses both hands.

Ununnilium: Duckluck: Like BTTheP said, it's a term that's been in use for a while. IMHO, using a common fan term is preferable to using a more accurate but unmemorable one.

Duckluck:...but Two Fisting isn't just a fan term and has been around for quite a while. I'd never heard "Guns Akimbo" until I read this page, but I'd certainly heard Two Fisting. Since the term is both more accurate and more commonly used than Guns Akimbo, I don't see any terribly compelling reasons not to change it.

Ununnilium: Well, I've never heard of Two Fisting before you brought it up, but I had heard of Guns Akimbo.

Phartman: I prefer Guns Akimbo, but if we must rename it, then let's use something like Dual Wielding. Two Fisting sounds like something a good deal more disgusting than simply using two weapons at once.

Silent Hunter: A search for Guns Akimbo gets the Wikipedia entry on this (it's a bad entry). Two Fisting gets... er... porn.

Lale: Guns Akimbo is so catchy, but I wish we could either make Swords Akimbo or come up with a catchy name to include that, too.

Robert Bingham: Couldn't resist throwing in that quote from John Woo's Hard-Boiled, as it is a very appropriate quote for Guns Akimbo straight from one of the movies that made the trope popular.

Vogrin: I'm pretty sure the 'Akimbo' term is based on the way this gets depicted in Westerns, where you usually see the gunfighter still holding both guns at his waist. If the title does get changed, though, I'd suggest "Two-Gun Mojo", which I've seen this called several times.

Robert Bingham: Two Gun Mojo...I like it!

Rick: Also the original meaning of 'Akimbo' was simply "bowed", as in "bow-legged". Somewhere along the way, the word seems to have been confused with "askew". Admittedly, "Akimbo" sounds cooler, and its probably too late to salvage the original meaning of the word, but titles such as "guns akimbo" can be a source of much amusement to anyone with a knowledge of etymology. Yes, it's a catchy name, but it aggravates me in the same way that using the word "decimation" to describe a massacre grates on the nerves of other literary pedants.

Gentlemens Dame 883: Requesting someone Media Uploader the current image or replace it with an existing Media Uploader one, in order to avoid potential link-breaking.

C Heez0r: In regards to (random passer-by), the reason for the one-handed grip was that pistols were initially issued to cavalrymen, who would grip the gun with one hand and control the horse with the other. Thanks to Army bureaucracy this style of shooting was still taught long after the use of horses by the military had ended. The various free-pistol competitions still use this style because they were founded during this time period.

C Heez0r: As a response to random gun dork, just because you can hold both guns at the same time doesn't mean you can hit anything. A human cannot focus on getting a sight picture on two targets at the same time.

Cheez0r: Finally, the main article references "They didn't have speedloaders, guns often took quite a while to load, and in some cases bullets were not jacketed, meaning you had to load powder yourself." This is extremely incorrect. Jacketing is the process of applying a copper coating to a lead bullet to reduce fouling, especially at higher velocities. It should instead say that such guns did not use cartridges.

Gentlemens Dame 883: Um, re-request Media Uploading of main page image or replacement with an already Media Uploaded one? Nevermind, did it myself.
Silent Hunter: This section from the Stargate Atlantis example is on probation:
  • Considering that she's the team diplomat, this adds to the coolness tenfold.

Teyla's not Daniel Jackson by any stretch of the imagination. She's a capable warrior in her own right.
Robert Bingham: I thought I'd list the various "styles" of Guns Akimbo shooting, as I've seen several different ways of using two guns in movies, anime and videogaming. My favorite has to be Woo Style, though the first variant of the third style also appeals since you can actually freaking aim.
Does the Warhammer 40000's standard 'melee and gun' combo sound even remotely realistic? I mean, aiming your gun with two hands is probably infinitely better than holding a sword with it, but pretty much everyone who uses it is very experienced and well-trained, but in this universe, hitting stuff is probably more effective than just shooting it... as opposed to reality... and now I regret bringing it up.
  • Not that wonky, historically at least. I believe Officers during the 18-19th centuries would often wield pistols and swords.

Angel Season 4 Episode 7 Wes uses two pistols, prior to pulling out a shotgun.