Follow TV Tropes


Quick Draw

Go To

"There was a blur, and then shootin'. I didn't see no draw."
Sheriff Root, Preacher

The one-on-one gunfight with revolvers is a derivation of the more ancient practice of duelling with flintlock pistols and before that, the duel with swords. Thus, a key characteristic of many gunfighters in The Western and other genres is their ability to field their weapon of choice with lightning speed. This is critical to their ability to deliver the Instant Death Bullet rather than receive it, although they may choose to blast the gun out of their adversary's hand. Other cliches include having two guns on the gun belt, thus allowing shooting with a gun in each hand.

This is not Truth in Television. There are few records of such fights ever happening, probably because without the mentioned Instant Death Bullet, being a split second faster will not save your life even if you are also accurate. This is instead a case where the fictional trope shaped popular understanding of history. Which of course led to it being expected in any genre work depicting said history.

Because the trope is so well evolved, there are many refinements. Guns and holsters are commonly altered to make the quick draw more effective. Subverting the quick draw by removing an adversary's ammunition before the showdown is a well-known ploy. Shooting from the hip is a way to improve the speed of the draw at the expense of accuracy. You may also have the firearm in an apparatus that sends it directly into your hand.

The Western Showdown at High Noon among shooters is the classic setting for this trope, but it can appear in pretty much every genre with guns, and the best of best at this game will often earn the title of Fastest Gun in the West.

The sword analog of this trope is the Iaijutsu Practitioner in a Single-Stroke Battle.

Not to be confused with the 2013-2014 Hulu series.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Lagoon. Yakuza thug Chaka challenges Revy to a quick draw contest, with them drawing when the soda can he's holding hits the floor. But Revy has such contempt for him she charges at Chaka and knocks him down with a kick to the face. She then leads him to Ginji, who challenges Chaka to his own quick draw contest, with Ginji only armed with a samurai sword. Ginji wins and Revy can't resist challenging him herself. He turns her down the first time, but not the second.
  • In GANTZ, Izumi challenges Kurono to a quick draw duel at the end of his murderous shooting spree with the life of Kei's girlfriend Tae at stake. It's hardly a fair contest for Kurono as Izumi is armed with a pistol while he only has a Gantz gun — which is devastatingly destructive but functionally almost useless for duelling because of the massive time lag between the gun being fired and the target suffering the horrific effects. Regardless, he has no choice but to go ahead with it. They both raise their guns but Izumi shoots and Kurono goes down without his gun lighting up, which would indicate he got a shot off. However, as Izumi exults in his victory and heads over to kill Tae, Kurono pulls the SECOND trigger on his gun, having worked out that pulling one trigger locks the gun onto a target and then pulling the second fires a shot that can't miss. Knowing that if Izumi saw him fire he might turn and kill Tae out of spite before the shot reached him, and that getting hit wouldn't be an Instant Death Bullet unless it hit him in the head, he let Izumi shoot him, then fired from the ground, blowing Izumi's head off once he'd stopped paying attention to Kuruno. Batman Gambit at its finest (with a bit of Thanatos Gambit).
  • Golgo 13 has a notoriously quick draw speed. In one episode, a hitman measured it at 0.17 seconds. In the anime series, Golgo is up against a Mafia bodyguard who can draw faster than him. So he makes an appearance just as he's hauling a woman out of a car — the fraction of a second it takes for the mafiosi to let go of her is enough.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Occasionally, characters will face their opponents, daring the other to see who can summon their Stands and attack the fastest.
  • Kino from Kino's Journey is extremely talented when it comes to drawing and using guns at a moment's notice. Doesn't have a reputation, so doesn't count as Fastest Gun in the West. She's show practicing this as part of her daily routine.
  • The eponymous Sheriff, from Lies of the Sheriff Evans: Dead or Love has never been out-drawn, and has a (deserved) reputation as the best sheriff in the West. Too bad it doesn't help him with his love life.
  • Lupin III: Jigen is said to possess a 0.3 second quick-draw. He's also shown to take out three or more people who have already aimed their guns at him before he's drawn his Magnum. Usually by Blasting It Out of Their Hands.
  • Van Augur from One Piece was able to do this to Ace (with no effect, of course). Furthermore, he uses a rather large sniper rifle, not a pistol.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica : Homura, the walking armory of the series, is so fast she can unload a full Beretta in Kyubey's face in less than half a second, thanks to time mastery.
  • Trigun has an episode called "Quick Draw", in which Vash and Nicholas enter a quick draw competition to give the reward to a family in need. Vash being Vash and Nicholas being a priest, both are opposed to killing, but they can manage nonlethal shots. One gunman uses a particularly novel trick; he wears his clothes backwards and uses a Latex Perfection mask to pretend he's walking backwards before the draw when he actually never faces away from his opponent, so he doesn't have to turn around to shoot.
  • World Trigger: Yuba's trademark combat style is his ability to Quick Draw his firearms to instantly off opponents; especially to high mobility Attackers.

    Comic Books 
  • Juan Gimenez' comic 8 y ½ (part of the Cuestión de Tiempo series) has an interesting variation. Rock Murphy is a cowboy who is a downright supernaturally Quick Draw; his gun seems to literally teleport to his hand each time he duels. It turns out that a time traveller who idolizes Murphy stops time during each duel (with an appropriate device) and puts the gun in Rock's hand to give him a flawless victory. Once the time traveller is taken away by Time Police, Rock dies without the support.
  • Bat Lash always referred to himself as a "peaceable man", but this did not detract from his skills with a pistol. Bat was extremely fast on the draw, and could oftentimes outdraw multiple opponents.
  • Despite his reluctance to use guns, Batman. Only Jonah Hex has defeated Batman in a quick draw. This only makes him more badass.
  • In a Hitman story, one-shot antagonist Manko was able to light a cigarette, drop the lighter, draw, shoot three men, re-holster his gun, and then catch the still-lit lighter before it hit the ground.
    • Averted in another issue, where Tommy is facing a telepathic mutant who can outdraw anyone by reading when they've decided to draw and shooting them right then. The solution, as Nat puts it, is to have your buddy (Nat) sneak up behind and blow the mutant's head off with a shotgun.
  • As a nod to the strip's Space Western motif, Judge Dredd has done this on occasion, most notably against his brother, Rico. More impressively, Dredd holsters his lawgiver in his boot, yet can still outdraw other characters with ease.
  • Kid Colt (2009): In the final issue, Bounty Hunter Sherman Wilks, the main antagonist of the series, won't let Colt escape, but his personal code of honor means he'll put down his rifle and offer a fair gunfight instead of shooting Colt in cold blood. Both men approach the duel in good faith. Colt wins. Despite shooting left-handed, as his right (dominant) arm is still in a sling.
  • Lucky Luke: his signature move is outdrawing his own shadow. A moment's thinking will cause one to think that, given the way light works, this is the case for everyone and everything. Luke is simply able to put a hole through his shadow while the shadow still has its hand on the hilt.
  • The Saint of Killers from Preacher is explicitly described as having a draw so fast the policemen attacking him only saw blurs. This also serves to neutralize the protagonist's Compelling Voice. The first time the two met the Saint was taken by surprise and forced to obey Jesse's commands. The next time they met the Saint threatened to shoot Jesse the exact second he heard a single syllable from him, and Jesse (wisely) decided not to try his luck then, or any other time the two met.
  • While The Punisher generally relies on thorough planning, surprise, overwhelming firepower, hitting his opponents at their weak point, and getting the drop on his targets, he has also been shown to be incredibly fast on the draw. Part of the reason for this is that he doesn't waste time talking or looking for a nonviolent solution. If violence is called for, his guns are coming out from under his badass longcoat in a hurry.
  • The Two-Gun Kid. He once managed to outdraw an opponent whose guns were built into his arms.
  • In the Weird West Justice Riders, Wally "Kid Flash" West is, of course, a quick draw. When Booster Gold asks him to demonstrate, an entire row of bottles seems to explode without Wally apparently moving.
    Booster: Well, there's not much sense in me trying to compete with that.
    Wally: It'd be damn near impossible, since your gun's empty. I hadda borrow it for them last few bottles.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager Parody Fic "A Fistful of Mammary Gland", Seven of Nine starts to channel The Man With No Name, with requisite Quick Draw skills.
    As if by an unspoken signal, all three ensigns drew their phasers at once. There was a high-pitched whine like a Colt .45 in a spaghetti western. With a speed and accuracy that only comes from cybernetic hand-eye co-ordination and a computer-controlled aiming system, Seven fired three times from the hip, cutting them down in an instant.
  • Rocketship Voyager. The holster used by Spacefleet officers to hold their service pistol unlocks on sensing the owner's palmprint and pushes the butt into their hand for this trope. Captain Janeway puts this to good effect (albeit for a Mercy Kill rather than a gunfight) by drawing and firing her Colt .51 recoilless before a roomful of trigger-happy bodyguards have a chance to react. It doesn't hurt that she has a habit of standing with her hands on her hips, putting her hands conveniently close to her holster.

    Film — Animation 
  • Rango: Rattlesnake Jake can pump out huge amounts of fire from his Gatling tail, but he can also unleash a quick burst with uncanny accuracy and speed. He pops Wounded Bird from halfway across town based on nothing but the sound of Wounded Bird's gun cocking.
  • Parodied in Toy Story, with Woody telling an Etch to draw, followed by him drawing a picture of a gun.
  • The Rankin/Bass Productions Willy McBean and his Magic Machine has the time-travelling villain duelling Buffalo Bill to become the Fastest Gun in the West. After nearly shooting his foot off practising his draw, he decides to use a pullcord-activated gun hidden inside his Stetson (and pours glue in Buffalo Bill's holster just to be sure). Fortunately our heroes secretly switch this hat for a normal one.

    Film — Live Action 
  • 3:10 to Yuma (2007) had Ben Wade, one of the two main characters in the film, show that his reputation as a formidable gun fighter is well earned. In the ending he shoots all six bullets out of his revolver before any of his gang members can even so much as breath in his direction let alone react to him. What makes it even more amazing is that he doesn't fan the hammer of his revolver with his other hand, this quick draw is done with just one hand.
  • Demonstrated in the film of Angels & Demons where The Dragon holds up a pilfered police badge to distract a pair of policemen, then brings up his pistol and guns them both down before they can react.
  • In the Back to the Future trilogy, Marty McFly, surprisingly, turns out to be a talented quick-draw artist, from time spent in his local 7-Eleven playing Wild Gunman. He's just shown to be a "crack shot" at the game in Back to the Future Part II, but his talent really shows in Back to the Future Part III when he is challenged to a 19th Century shooting range and manages to shoot every single target — before this point, he'd probably never used a real gun in his life. His first shot goes completely wild because he wasn't prepared for the kick and he was being made to use his left hand, but he does absolutely perfect on his second attempt after switching.
  • In Black Patch, Carl trains himself to be one so he can confront Clay. The townsfolk think he's crazy, until he draws and empties his Colt Frontier (by fanning the hammer) faster than the Colonel, who already had his gun in his hand and was attempting to demonstrate how much faster the new double-action revolvers he is selling are.
  • In quite a few Blazing Saddles scenes, the Waco Kid pulls off shots without visibly drawing his revolvers. Not only does he draw and fire before we see him even move, he gets his guns back into their holsters as well.
  • Tom Cruise's amoral, disarmingly charming but deadly hitman character Vincent from Collateral. So fast that he can draw a pistol from a holster high up on his hip, almost in the small of his back (which is not really conducive to a fast draw) and get off five very accurate shots in less than two seconds, killing two men. One of whom was already pointing a gun at his face. It helped that they had no idea how dangerous he was and closed within arm's reach of him, allowing Vincent to knock the gun away with one hand while simultaneously drawing his gun with the other. By the time the two jerks realized they'd messed with the wrong man, they were already dead.
  • Desperado is an neo-Western, featuring a gunfighter who often produces two pistols from his sleeves.
  • Django Unchained: Both Django and Dr Schultz can shoot very quickly and accurately (though Django's better).
  • The climax of El Camino sees Jesse face off with Neil, the welder who helped keep him imprisoned at the neo-Nazi compound. Neil challenges him to a quick draw duel over $1,800, the last chunk of change Jesse needs before he can finally earn his freedom. Neil is a very quick shot, but not quick enough to beat Jesse just shooting a concealed gun through through his jacket pocket instead of taking his chances.
  • The Empire Strikes Back: Han Solo is fast enough that when surprised on Cloud City by Darth Vader and a squad of Stormtroopers, he's able to draw his blaster and get a shot off before the Sith Lord does anything. Unfortunately for him, Vader can easily No-Sell a blaster bolt with the Force before telekinetically disarming him.
  • In Gang of Roses, Zhang Li is the quickest draw of any of Rachel's gang. In her establishing character scene, she outdraws three men and guns them down without batting an eyelash.
  • Ghost in the Shell (2017) plays with the trope a bit, by having both prominent quick draws involve Aramaki, an elderly old-school Japanese cop, first against a team of corporate mercenaries, and later against an American Corrupt Corporate Executive. Both times the old Japanese cop ends the fight within seconds.
  • Deputy Langley is a quick draw practitioner in Ghost Town (1988). The opening scene is him practicing his draw in a junkyard, with the timer recording his draw as .34 of a second. Later in the film, it seems his skill is useless when he wins the Showdown at High Noon against Devlin, only to learn that the undead outlaw is immune to bullets. Then Langley learns that the sheriff's pistol can kill Devlin...
  • Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns are also famous for this. Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name has been known to take out four men in one draw, and the climactic showdowns are something to watch. Especially the final showdown in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, which had all three principal characters facing off in a graveyard clearing.
  • Grim Prairie Tales: Martin is a gunslinger who considers himself completely removed from the common run of killers. He is an extremely fast draw who only ever loads one bullet in his gun before a gunfight, boasting that he only needs one shot to kill an opponent.
  • In Guns, Girls and Gambling, The Cowboy describes himself as a quick draw. He does this after he draws and guns down the two Sheriffs who are aiming shotguns at him so fast that they have no chance to react.
    The Indian: Careful Sheriff. I hear he's a pretty good shot.
    (Two shots ring out and the Sheriffs fall over. everyone still standing turns to look at The Cowboy who twirls his guns and puts them back in his holsters)
    The Cowboy: I'm also a quick draw. This town wasn't big enough for the both of them. Either of them. Hell any of them.
  • Hannie Caulder: Price trains Hannie so that she becomes an expert at shooting accurately immediately after drawing. The ability serves her well as she always gets the first hit on each of the Clemens brothers, and of the three, only Frank is able to hit her back.
  • Le Professionnel: Though Beaumont has a chance to shoot Rosen in the back during the climax, he calls out and gives him a chance to drawn his gun. Cue a classic staredown followed by a quick draw.
  • The Man with the Golden Gun: James Bond tracks down Francisco Scaramanga to his island home, who throws down the gauntlet by challenging Bond to a duel, 20 paces and shooting. However, it turns into a game of cat and mouse when Scaramanga suddenly disappears during the paces.
  • The Magnificent Seven has Chris use this in his attempt to convince Gunfighter Wannabe Chico to go home: he tells Chico to clap as fast as he can before casually drawing his gun between the closing hands and inviting Chico to match the feat.
  • In Maverick, the eponymous character has very fast hands, and uses his quick draw skills to bluff his way out of confrontations. He's actually not a gunfighter at all, and would probably lose a gunfight because he is admittedly a terrible shot. Or at least that's what he WANTS his opponents to think...
  • In Nevada Smith, Max Sand is taught skill with firearms by a gunsmith he's travelling with, so he can carry out his Roaring Rampage of Revenge. One scene has them riding together with Sand suddenly drawing his pistol and pointing it back at an imaginary enemy, showing he's practicing this trope.
  • Harmonica in Once Upon a Time in the West, whose introductory scene ends with him gunning down three men, some armed with rifles.
  • Another Eastwood example, the title character from The Outlaw Josey Wales is famous for this. After one shootout against several men he explains the strategy and psychology involved to his partner.
  • The Quick and the Dead is full of this, being as it is about a quick draw competition. Notably, Keith David's character doesn't have a conventional holster — his gun is attached to a pivot on his belt (a Bridgeport Rig, also discussed in "Real Life" below), letting him fire from the hip without drawing it.
  • The American-West obsessed villains in Quigley Down Under actively practice this, and in the end force Quigley (who is a real American marksman, but a sniper specialist who insists he never had much use for a pistol) into one of these at the end. He still drops them all before any of them get a shot out.
    Quigley: Said I never had much use for one. Never said I didn't know how to use it.
  • Subverted in Rio Bravo; when asked why he carries a rifle, Sheriff Chance (John Wayne) replies that he found there were lots of men faster with a pistol.
  • RoboCop (2014): Murphy walks into the police station and confronts a fellow officer with evidence of him being a Dirty Cop. Despite the evidence playing on the computer screens for the entire department to see (or perhaps because of this) he decides to draw his weapon to kill Robocop, who is sitting right in front of him with his armoured visor up, suffering visible gunshot damage from an earlier battle. Unfortunately Murphy's enhanced cyborg reflexes are working just fine, and his software accurately predicts that the soon-to-be victim is about to shoot him.
  • In the first Rush Hour movie, Detective Carter is able to drop from a standing position, fire an ankle-holstered gun, stabilize his aim with his off-hand, and get a kill shot, in the time it takes the assassin Sang to draw and shoot a waist-holstered gun. In the second film, in the time Kenny takes to assume his fighting stance, Carter has his gun out and aimed at Kenny's head. Because of the over the shoulder camera shot, viewers can see Jackie Chan's Inspector Lee visibly startled. An earlier shot does show that about 8 seconds prior, Carter has his hands on his hips, and subtly moved his suit jacket out of the way of his draw, in case the weapon was necessary.
  • In Serenity, Mal finds himself up against The Operative who is a more skilled opponent, but Mal has a faster draw as seen in their final confrontation. The Operative's Static Stun Gun is already drawn and Mal still draws and fires before the Operative can get a shot off, sending him diving for cover. This is pointed out in the film's commentary.
  • Ned in ¡Three Amigos! gets challenged to such a duel when a former fan of his films claims he used trick photography to appear to be a quick drawer. He didn't.
  • Deconstructed in Unforgiven. Sheriff Daggett demonstrates to an author that he is indeed quick on the draw, but explains that accuracy goes out the window and it's all next to useless unless the shooter keeps a cool head. He also recalls a man who tried too hard to draw quickly and ended up shooting himself in the foot. Demonstrated in the finale where Munny does not rapidly gun down Daggett's men with a flick of the wrist, but instead draws and kneels down, deliberately aiming and gunning down the terrified mooks who all miss him in their panic.

  • Western novels, such as the works of Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour, are rife with detailed multi-page descriptions of the execution of the quick draw. Noir detectives also are adept at it, which is probably not surprising given their Western heritage.
  • Bands of Mourning (third book of Wax and Wayne): Wax's Evil Uncle Edwarn mockingly challenges him to an old-fashioned duel, saying that the chance to legally murder people is all that lawmen like Wax want. Both their guns and bullets are aluminum, so that means no Allomancy to interfere, but Wax knows Edwarn is planning to cheat anyway (he has a coin hidden in his mouth as an emergency weapon). Wax, however, has done tests with his friends, and knows that normal humans all draw at about the same speed; the first one to draw gets to shoot first, and that's it. Therefore, he doesn't even bother trying. Instead he just charges forward, tanking Edwarn's shot and tackling him, letting Wax capture him. This also proves that Edwarn was wrong about him: A lawman's job isn't to kill people, it's to take the hit so somebody else doesn't have to.
  • Ben Snow: Although he is trying to leave gun-play behind him (along with the persistent rumour that he is Billy the Kid), Ben is still phenomenally fast on the draw: able to draw and fire five times in the time it takes most men to get off one shot.
  • Stark already was the Fastest Gun in the West, but in Cloud of Sparrows, while "visiting" Japan, he faced a really fast ninja and a trained Iaijutsu Practitioner, the latter time using a katana, a weapon he had never even touched before. He won both times.
  • Roland from The Dark Tower novels. According to his teammate, Eddie Dean, he is so fast, that "he could almost have eaten a hamburger and drunk a milkshake before beginning his draw".
  • Deathworld: The junkmen use powerful handguns kept in a holster on the upper arm with a microchip inserted in the gun hand that senses when certain muscles tense. The gun then jumps out into the hand and immediately fires (the gun has no trigger guard), then returns to the holster. All this can take less than a second. The protagonist has this demonstrated to him when he tries to quickly pull out his own gun and point it at Kerk Pyrrus, only to see a very large barrel pointed between his eyes before his gun is halfway up.
  • Most of J.T. Edson's heroes are phenomenally fast draws. The fastest is probably Brad Counter of the Rockabye County series who has the advantage of modern pistols and holsters not available to the Wild West characters. One of the Rockabye County novels is titled The 1/4 Second Draw, which is Brad's best speed.
    • Unusually, the Ysabel Kid is repeatedly stated to take a full second to draw and shoot, which would get him killed in a fair fight with a real fast-draw artist. On the other hand, it's very rare for him to get into a pistol fight, and when he does, it is not usually one in which a fast draw counts for much.
  • The Executioner. Mack Bolan is not only a Cold Sniper but is skilled with a handgun as well. In one book he tosses a marksman's medal at the feet at a Mafia boss. The boss bends over to pick it up while whispering to his bodyguard, "Take him!" Witnesses afterwards are in dispute whether Bolan let him draw first, but the coroner finds a bullethole through the bodyguard's hand into his heart (showing he was killed in mid-draw) and another hole in the top of the boss' head (showing he never had the time to straighten up after picking up the medal).
  • Honor Harrington: In Field of Dishonor, Honor puts four rounds into a professional duellist, before he can even get one shot off. Unfortunately for the duellist, Honor grew up practicing pistoleering for sport as an active member of the Society for Creative Anachronismnote 
  • Jack Holloway in Little Fuzzy. Someone cried a warning, he turned, going for his pistol, and saw a Mook pointing a gun at him. As two different people commented afterward, pulling a gun on Jack Holloway is simply a way of committing suicide.
  • Morgan Kane, from the book series of the same name, is said to draw and fire in 1/5th of a second, making him one of the legendary gunslingers of the Old West. He is, however, knowledgeable enough to know that his accuracy is sacrificed in a quick draw, so he usually fires more than once.
  • The Rangers in Ranger's Apprentice do this with bows.
    "I saw him fire one shot in, actually I didn't. It just sort of...happened" —Sir Norris
  • In Rob Grant's solo Red Dwarf novel, Backwards, in the western section based on the "Gunmen Of The Apocalypse" episode, this happens a few times. The Cat's Riviera Kid alter ego has this as his special skill and Lister's Brett Riverboat character can do this with knives. Death, however, takes the cake. He manages to draw, fire and reholster his revolver in the middle of a speech. The whole thing takes less than the amount of time it takes him to say the word "point" and he lands a shot right in the middle of The Cat's forehead.
  • In the Resident Evil novelizations by S.D Perry, namely the first one entitled The Umbrella Conspiracy, we learn more about the S.T.A.R.S backstories and skills. For instance, Chris Redfield is known as the marksman of the S.T.A.R.S Alpha Team, edging out his friendly rival in the Bravo Team, Forest Speyer. However, Barry Burton reflects that, while Chris is the better "take aim and make your shot" marksman, Barry excels at the Quick draw, hitting his target unerringly from the hip. Given Barry's established role as the S.T.A.R.S weapons specialist, gun connoisseur, his membership with the N.R.A and his particular love for Revolvers (namely, his beloved Colt Python .357 Magnum), this is understandable.
  • In the classic Jack Schaefer novel, Shane goes into detail about the basic technique as well as many of the refinements practiced by others (two guns, the pistol-on-a-swivel, etc.). The climax also graphically illustrates that no matter how fast you are, you will lose an edge if you don't stay in practice.
  • A non-firearm example occurs in The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
    Strong of arm was Hiawatha;
    He could shoot ten arrows upward,
    Shoot them with such strength and swiftness,
    That the tenth had left the bow-string
    Ere the first to earth had fallen!
  • As with a lot of things in the Star Trek: New Frontier series, subverted by Mackenzie Calhoun. He blasts a prisoner with a phaser just before the prisoner could shoot his captain, and all the witnesses claimed Calhoun must be a lightning-fast quick draw. Turns out Calhoun had already decided to execute the prisoner (to spare his captain's tortured soul), and didn't even realize the guy had a weapon until a split-second before pressing the trigger.
    • Subverted again in another novel where Calhoun finds himself facing an opponent that he knows is faster on the draw than him. He gets around this by planting mining charges underneath where they're going to have their duel and then leading his opponent into position before pushing the button on the remote trigger.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Han Solo is shown to be a very fast draw. All three of Brian Daley's Solo novels feature Han in quick draw situations. In Han Solo at Star's End and Han Solo's Revenge, Han uses trickery and avoids a true fight against, respectively, Uul Rha Shan and Gallandro. In Han Solo and the Lost Legacy, Han actually does draw against Gallandro, and loses, getting wounded. Shortly thereafter, Gallandro is automated Slow Lasers.
  • The Survivalist, an After the End series by Jerry Ahern
    • The hero John Rourke tries to get an outlaw biker gang to stop killing a group of civilians; the leader says they'll do so if Rourke duels their quick-draw artist. His companions think it's suicide, but Rourke points out there's a difference between drawing down on a timer and dueling someone who's shooting back at you. Sure enough, Rourke wins.
    • General Varakov discovers that Vladimir Karamatzov of the KGB has beaten and raped Varakov's niece, so he blackmails Rourke into assassinating Karamatzov. Rourke is no assassin however, so he gives Karamatzov a fair chance by challenging him to a pistol duel.
  • Togetherly Long: The evil Emperor Von Mal is quite quick on the draw due to all his hours spent playing cowboys with Teeves.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an episode of The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., Brisco not only outdraws an opponent but puts his bullet right down the barrel of the other shooter's gun before the man can fire.
  • On Alias Smith and Jones, this is Kid Curry's claim to fame. Generally he doesn't even have to shoot; people tend to back down in a hurry when they suddenly find themselves staring down the barrel of the Kid's gun.
  • Arrow. In "State Vs. Queen", Count Vertigo has Felicity Smoak hostage and tells Oliver Queen to lower his bow and throw away the arrow. Oliver does so, but when the Count goes to kill Felicity anyway, Oliver draws an arrow from his quiver and shoots him, followed up by two more.
  • Blake's 7
    • Professional Killer Soolin joins our anti-heroes in the final season. In "Gold", she kills two guards approaching from opposite directions before Avon has a chance to fire, and in "Games" she even beats herself in a Quick Draw against a Deadly Game that's designed to match and then exceed her own performance. Her Establishing Character Moment shows this trope best.
      Dorian: I wouldn't poison a good wine, Avon. If I Wanted You Dead... there are much more direct ways of achieving it. I could snap my fingers... (He snaps his fingers—Soolin draws her gun and aims it at Avon before he can react) And you're dead. Fast isn't she?
    • In "Death Watch" a war is fought via Combat by Champion, but one side cheats by using an android. When the two champions agree to settle matters with a Quick Draw showdown, the android instantly outdraws his opponent, despite the latter being an experienced gunfighter famous for his Quick Draw. The question then becomes for our heroes, how do you defeat an opponent who's faster than human?
  • The Book of Boba Fett:
    • Chapter 6 opens with Cobb Vanth drawing against a group of Pyke spice smugglers, easily outdrawing them and scaring them away from Freetown. At the end of the episode Cad Bane walks into town and confronts Vanth. This leads to a Mexican Standoff between Bane, Vanth and Vanth's deputy. Bane wins; shooting Vanth in the shoulder and killing the deputy before either can fire.
    • Chapter 7 sees Bane facing off against Boba Fett this way. Once again, Bane draws faster but Boba's beskar armour tanks the blow. When Bane walks closer to inflict the Coup de Grâce it puts him in range for Boba to kill him with a melee blow from his gaderffi stick.
  • Michael Westen of Burn Notice prefers not to kill, but on one occasion he drew his gun so quickly he killed a man who already had his weapon drawn and aimed at Michael.
  • In the Jesse James Vs. Al Capone episode of Deadliest Warrior, Champion Gunslinger Joey Dillion (who was testing weapons for the Jesse James side) was able to draw and accurately fire his twin Colt revolvers in a quarter of a second in contrast to the Al Capone expert who took half a second to lift and fire his Tommy Gun. The Tommy Gun still got the edge due to More Dakka.
  • Occurs in the first episode (but in no other) of Deadwood. Wild Bill Hickok and Seth Bullock are interrogating a man. When he suddenly goes for his gun, Bullock and Hickok beat him to the draw and gun him down. Bullock earns some bad ass cred by being almost as fast as Hickok.
    Hickok: Who do you reckon got him?
    Bullock: My money'd be on you.
    • If you watch it in slow motion, you can see that Bill is indeed the faster draw, but not by much (and that's no guarantee that it wasn't Bullock's shot that got the guy either).
  • Doctor Who. In "The Gunfighters", Steven demonstrates his quick draw to the Doctor, only to drop his gun. When he picks it up again, it gets shot out of his hand by a real gunslinger, Wyatt Earp, who fortunately realises Steven was just showing off thanks to his less than impressive skills re this trope.
  • The late Edward Woodward had quite a quick draw demonstrated in both The Equalizer and Callan.
  • As noted in Film above, Mal Reynolds of Firefly displays a combination of speed and accuracy to beat people with their gun already drawn on him in the first episode.
    • Fun fact: the guy survives being shot in the eye and comes back for revenge in a follow-up comic. Mal obliges and shoots him in the other eye.
  • Paladin in Have Gun – Will Travel. In one episode, he's forced into a gunfight and wins. That doesn't make him this trope. The enemy was a professional gunslinger who's stated to have killed twelve men. That's still not what makes him fit this trope. No, what makes him fit this trope is that he let the professional draw first, and still managed to kill his opponent before the man even got off a shot.
  • Hunter (1984). Hunter kills a Central American diplomat who raped his partner Dee Dee McCall. A later episode has the man's brother turning up for revenge. He's a fan of Westerns so he kidnaps Hunter and says he will duel him for his life. Hunter shoots the gun out of his hand, then repeatedly shoots the pistol as the man keeps grabbing for it. This was despite a previous episode where Hunter ridiculed the idea of Blasting It Out of Their Hands.
  • In Justified US Marshal Raylan Givens is quick on the draw and shoots to kill.
  • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger has Captain Marvelous battling one of the enemies like this and won. Despite the enemy cheating.
  • Lawman: Marshall Dan Troop (to his surprise) finds himself outdrawn by a professional gunfighter. While recovering from his wounds, he notices that the gunfighter always incites his target to step closer to him. Realising the gunfighter is trading accuracy for speed, Marshall Troop confronts the gunman again and this time keeps his distance, winning the fatal shootout.
  • From "Calderone's Return" on Miami Vice. A hitman, posing as a limo driver, decides that There Is No Kill Like Overkill and empties a shotgun into the limo. One of the dead man's bodyguards appears out of nowhere and makes him drop the shotgun. Holding the hitman at gunpoint, the bodyguard makes the mistake of shifting his gaze to the destroyed limo...
    • Even more noteworthy because they got an actual pistol champion to play the hitman.
  • In The Mandalorian the titular hero takes out an opponent this way more than once. On a least one occasion, it's framed exactly as a Showdown at High Noon, then subverted when his opponent moves to lay down his weapon...only for the opponent to unexpectedly draw a hidden pistol from his boot...then played straight as the Mandalorian proves to be the faster draw, even caught off guard.
  • The Mr. Potato Head Show: It's implied that the original version of the cowboy episode ended with one of these, as there are camera angles sizing up both sheriff!Mr. Potato Head and outlaw!Johnny right before their showdown. (The closeups revealing that their holsters are empty did not stop this.)
  • The Professionals. In "Mixed Doubles", Bodie and Doyle are undergoing grueling training to protect a foreign head of state who's about to sign an important treaty. At the same time two hitmen are being trained to assassinate him. Bodie and Doyle practise their quick draw and are even shown polishing the inside of their shoulder holsters. Eventually Bodie and a hitman run into each other at the same time and draw their revolvers—fortunately Bodie is faster.
  • Just like his comic book counterpart, Jon Bernthal's The Punisher (2017) is quite the ice-cold gunslinger. His most memorable quick draw moment is being confronted, empty-handed, by six armed men. The leader points out he's outnumbered... and less than three seconds later, all but the leader are dead. And Frank still has questions. Made all the more impressive because Frank is using his signature 1911 pistol, which only holds eight rounds... and he didn't use them all. Six shots. Three seconds. Five fatalities, one disarmed, wounded prisoner.
  • An episode of Quantum Leap has Sam leap into a man destined to be killed in this manner by an old acquaintance. Al, who happens to be pretty good at quick draw, teaches him how to handle a gun properly, and Sam ends up winning the duel, wounding the other man.
  • Shadow and Bone. Jesper has to distract a couple of goons outside a nightclub, so draws their attention to a damaged sign behind them, then draws, hits the sign and reholsters his pistol with an innocent look on his face before they've turned back to face him.
  • An episode of Sliders has the characters slide into a world where Texas is an independent republic that also includes other states such as California. Modern technology and culture exist alongside Wild West rules, and office buildings alongside saloons. A "hostile takeover" has a whole different meaning here, and gunslingers are frequently hired by businessmen to take care of competition via this trope. Naturally, the heroes get mixed up in one when Quinn accidentally gets involved in a duel with a well-known gunslinger and ends up killing him. An instant celebrity (although he later finds out the guy was actually shot by a widow of one of his kills), Quinn is now the target of a Corrupt Corporate Executive who hires another famous gunslinger to take him down. Quinn ends up dropping his weapon, and the gunslinger refuses to kill an unarmed man in broad daylight. The businessman is arrested for his illegal practices.
  • In Stargate Atlantis, the rivalry between Sheppard and his Evil Counterpart Kolya ends with Kolya refusing to surrender and forcing Sheppard into this trope. Sheppard wins.
  • Sort of done in Time Trax. While tracking down yet another temporal fugitive, Darien meets and befriends a Texas Ranger, who also turns out to be from the future but has reformed. The man teacher Darien how to "shoot from the hip" rather than how Darien was taught at the 22nd century police academy. Naturally, this proves useful to take down the criminal (although he uses his PPT instead of a gun to send the fugitive back to the future).
  • In The Wild Wild West, one of Loveless' plans in "The Night of the Surreal McCoy" is to get Jim West to face deadly gunman Lightnin' McCoy in a quick draw situation. Jim is faster.
  • Wolf Hall has Thomas Cromwell do this with a knife, alluding to his past as a mercenary in Italy. When a man startles him in a dark courtyard, Cromwell's knife is at his throat in the blink of an eye.

  • The Beatles' Rocky Racoon challenges the man who stole his gal to a showdown:
    But Daniel was hot,
    He drew first and shot,
    And Rocky collapsed in the corner.
  • Subverted in Frank Gallop's "The Ballad of Irving:"
    They called him Irving.
    Big Irving.
    Big, short Irving.
    Big, short, fat Irving.
    The hundred and forty-second fastest gun in the West.
  • The song 'The Quick and the Blue' by The Megas interprets the fight against Quick Man as being one of these.
    My circuits slow;
    I'm not scared anymore.
    Reach for my weapon, and in turn,
    You're reachin' for yours.
    My circuits slow;
    What they said is a lie.
    The shots are heard and the
    Bullets scream death as they fly.
  • The Marty Robbins song Big Iron describes a duel between an Arizona Ranger and an outlaw named Texas Red:
    "There was forty feet between them when they stopped to make their play
    And the swiftness of the ranger is still talked about today
    Texas Red had not cleared leather fore a bullet fairly ripped
    And the ranger's aim was deadly with the big iron on his hip"
    • Robbins had a lot of songs in this vein — "Running Gun", "Mr. Shorty" and "The Ballad of Bill Thaxton" are just a few. The last has the titular Thaxton (a retired Texas Ranger) outdraws and kills another gunfighter despite being blind.
    • The music video for the Michael Martin Murphey cover had a twist. The Ranger drew and fired all right, but the killing shot came from a spectator firing from the window that no-one saw.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • The Far Side: A cowboy fatally demonstrates his complete lack of skill in this area by being beaten to the draw by a sloth.

  • This is one of the events in Cactus Canyon; the player must shoot a Bad Guy before time runs out to collect the bonus.
  • The "Shootout" mode in Lethal Weapon 3 requires you to pull the trigger on the ball launcher and shoot a criminal before he can do the same to you. The longer you wait to fire and the more bullets you use, the more points you get. And you have to do all this while the ball is still in play.
  • An Easter Egg in Sega Pinball's GoldenEye allows the player to get the drop on James Bond and shoot him dead.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Used, naturally enough, in Deadlands. In fact, Quick Draw is a skill available for everyone to purchase, and lengthy portions of the game's guns-and-gunplay splatbook was devoted to tricks and weapon modifications to improve one's simulated quick-draw skills.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • 1st Edition Oriental Adventures. The Iaijutsu skill allowed the user to draw a melee weapon with blinding speed, thus avoiding any combat penalties.
    • Edition 3.5 (and, of course, Pathfinder) has this as an a feat that allows you do draw your weapon (anything from a hand crossbow to a knife to a BFS) as a free action. Very useful for rogues, ninjas and other stealthy types, as well as general fighting in difficult places. Note that here, ammunition is also by default this, as are shuriken; if you're badass enough to get more than one shot (or star) in a round, and you don't have to muck about with loading your weapon, you just get the shots, no new feats required.
    • In 4th Edition, drawing weapons is a little bit easier for most classes, but it's still useful for classes like the rogue who can Back Stab an enemy they get the drop on for massive damage. Plus, Rule of Cool, you know?
  • GURPS has the Fast-Draw skill for this. For a heavy penalty characters can draw in less time than it takes a normal person can pull the trigger on a gun. It is also possible to buy a holsters designed to make a Quick Draw easier, see the Bridgeport Rig below.
  • Mechwarrior, BattleTech's RPG spinoff game, features the skill Quick draw, which allows the character to perform a simple action before initiative is rolled. This includes but is not limited to drawing one-handed weapons before combat starts. If they have their weapons already out, they are technically allowed to declare a preemptive attack.
  • Rifts has a sci-fi wild west setting, with a system for determining who wins in a quick-draw.
  • Shadowrun. In 2nd Edition a character could try to perform a Quick Draw action and use the drawn weapon in the same combat phase. If the attempt failed the character would have to wait until the next combat phase to fire.
  • Starblazer Adventures, based on the 1980's British science fiction Comic Book. The Quick Draw stunt allows you to instantly draw your weapon without penalty.
  • In Star Wars: Saga Edition, the Gunslinger Prestige Class gave a character who took it the ability to draw a pistol and make one attack with it even if they were caught completely by surprise. Depending on their initiative roll, this meant that it was potentially possible to be ambushed and kill the ambusher before they were able to attack you.
  • Witch Hunter: The Invisible World. The Fast Draw and Lightning Draw talents allowed a character to do this with no penalty.

    Video Games 
  • Boss battles in the Call of Juarez games are usually these, except for Colonel Barnsby and Juarez himself, who are content to stay on the other side of an impassable barrier, summon mooks, and shoot at you.
  • This is the signature ability of John Cooper, the protagonist of Desperados series. In the original game, he was able to take out up to three enemies with a single quick draw. The prequel cuts this down to two.
  • In Disco Elysium, the Player Character can pull this off against Major Kortenaer, provided that their Hand-Eye Coordination skill is up to snuff and/or they are able to distract him long enough by besting him psychologically through a combination of reading his body language and using any accumliated knowledge about his past against him. Do so successfully, and you will effectively take him out of action and throw his goons into disarray.
  • A higher Agility stat in Fallout: New Vegas means you pull out and reload weapons faster. There is also a perk called "Quick Draw" that cuts whatever your reload speed is by 1/3. Both are more important for switching weapons, because you'll usually be able to see a fight coming and having your weapon out only gives a penalty to movement speed if it's two-handed. In his old vaquero days, Raul Tejada was a talented quick draw who had fast hands. By settling his personal quest and encouraging him to be a gunfighter once again, he gains a perk that gets him a fire rate bonus to revolvers and lever-action rifles.
  • The WiiWare game Fast Draw is entirely made out of this, the difference being that you shoot real life cowboy people.
  • The aptly named Sheriff Quickdraw in Rare's Gunfright cleans Black Rock town of outlaws by shooting the rapidly moving bandits in a duel. In early stages, the player can outdraw the enemy even if the foe reaches for the gun first, but later on they are too fast and Quick draw needs to take the initiative, which makes the bandit call him a cheater for it.
  • Jak and Daxter are walking examples of this, being able to grab the BFG and fire off a shot in the same second.
  • Killer7: The Boss Battle between Dan Smith and Curtis Blackburn is fought like this in the fourth chapter (Encounter). The signal to shoot is when the pigeon next to Curtis flies; if you shoot too early or too late (or when the pigeon is only flapping the wings momentarily), Curtis will shoot you. Whoever receives four shots loses the duel.
  • Kingdom Hearts III: Re𝄌Mind: Data Xigbar has the unique "Showdown" Situation Command that triggers a sequence where Sora and Xigbar prepare to duel. Pressing the Attack button right when Xigbar shoots allows Sora to dodge to the side and fire a bolt of light, momentarily stunning Xigbar and leaving him wide open.
  • Quick Draw also appears as a minigame in Kirby's Adventure. A similar one, but with Iaijutsu appears Kirby Super Star.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel: Whenever Rean uses Autumn Leaf — Cutter, he sheathes his sword then immediately draws it out at fast speeds. It's also how he executes the fourth form in his second S-Craft in Cold Steel IV.
  • Mad Dog McCree: Quick Drawing occurs as a random challenge if you end up eating a bullet from one of Mad Dog's gangsters and still have at least one life left, or through normal gameplay.
  • Mario Party:
    • Mario Party 2: The duel minigame for Western Land involves a quick draw with cork guns. The player who presses A first after "Go" will fire first, win and get the coins that both players bet. If you fire too soon, you'll get a warning the first time, and lose the second time. Bowser has a gun duel with the winning player, resulting in both firing their shots at the same time — Bowser misses but the winning player hits.
    • Mario Party 5: In the minigame Shy Guy Showdown, two dueling characters have to wait until the Shy Guy host shows with a flag what button to press so the quickest-acting player shoots ink at the other. If a character presses the wrong button, or presses any button too early or when the host raises a flag showing a nonsensical icon or a non-button letter, they'll have their gun's ink splash their face and be disqualified.
  • In Mass Effect: Andromeda, Reyes Vidal and Sloane Kelly have one of these in space, complete with the potential for Blasting It Out of Their Hands. Subverted when Reyes has a sniper on standby ready to take Sloane out.
  • The eponymous Quick draw Battlemech in MechWarrior Online is not necessarily quicker to ready its weapons, but it has a bonus of an aim speed boost to its arm mounted weapons. This means it can get off the first shot or a reaction shot much faster than, say, a lumbering Dragon.
  • The last part of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, with Naked Snake and Ocelot doing a strange quick draw slash Russian Roulette thing. In the earlier boss battle, if you stand in plain sight and unequip your pistol. Ocelot will come out of hiding for a quick draw duel.
  • No More Heroes: The Boss Battle between Travis and Dr.Peace in the Rank 9 stage ends this way. The player has to press the button indicated on-screen so Travis wins, or else Dr. Peace will kill him. And this happens after Travis has made it to this point, close to victory.
  • This is the basis of Cole Cassidy's Deadeye Ultimate in Overwatch. He briefly holsters his revolver and slowly locks on to any enemies in his line of sight. If he gets a full lock-on and fires, it causes a One-Hit Kill. Enemies with less health take less time to lock on to, as well.
  • Paper Mario: The Origami King: On the first floor of Shogun Studio's theater (yes, a Wild Western performance in a Wutai amusement park, don't ask), Mario is roped into a three-round duel with Paper Macho outlaws. Missing the cue will result in the opponent shooting a civilian (fortunately another Paper Macho enemy), and missing the third time will result in a Game Over.
  • Pizza Tower: Upon depleting the last of The Vigilante's HP, he'll rope you into a draw duel for one last attack, and you have to fire first to finish the fight.
  • John Marston of Red Dead Redemption fame is quite the quick draw, as can be seen in the duel minigame and cutscenes.
  • Being a gun/sword slinger, the Kusagari-with-no-name from Red Steel 2 is a great example. Switching from sword to gun is instant, and the bullet lands in the target before the swap animation can even start. It's in first person, so there's no visual clue to see how he actually pulls it off. He can even quick draw the rifle.
  • In Vanguard Bandits, the Counter ability allows any character attacked from the front to quickly preempt the enemies attack.
  • XCOM 2: The Sharpshooter has a skill outright called Quick draw, which makes their pistol shots not end the turn if done as the first action. They also have the Lightning Hands skill that lets them take a pistol shot as a free action every four turns.

    Web Original 
  • The Duke of Francis in Twig fires not just from the hip but without drawing at all.

    Western Animation 
  • Beast Wars: One episode had Rattrap defeat Quickstrike in a quick draw duel. Keep in mind that Quickstrike's gun is is attached to his arm making this both incredible and ridiculous.
  • The Bugs Bunny cartoon "Hare Trigger" (Yosemite Sam's debut film) turns this into a joke. Sam gives Bugs one second to draw a gun, and Bugs does—on a sketchpad.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: In "Know it all Ed", the Eds engage in a turkey baster firing against the Kanker Sisters, firing all their ammo and missing every shot.
  • A Huckleberry Hound cartoon had Huck as the fastest gun alive, which is why the townsfolk are afraid to come near him, no matter how cordial he is. When a gunslinger challenges Huck for the title and loses, Huck offers to give up being the fastest gun alive so the gunslinger can take the title.
  • As noted by his name, Quick Draw McGraw is quick on drawing a gun. But once drawn, he can't implement it without shooting himself in the face.
  • Wacky Races: In "The Dopey Dakota Derby," Dick Dastardly impersonates outlaw Deadeye Dick in an effort to chase off the other racers. At gunpoint, he challenges them to draw, and Penelope Pitstop does just that. She draws a portrait of Dick which flatters him long enough for the racers to get away.

    Real Life 
  • There were one-on-one quick draw duels and shootouts that happened in the Old West, that probably inspired the quick draw duels and showdowns in Hollywood and popular culture. However, these gunfights were different and not as flashy as those that are seen in films and video games (in some of these fights, the guy who takes his time to shoot tends to win). The Youtube channel Random Badass Stuffs listed six historical cases of these kinds of shootout. Wikipedia also listed a page and a template dedicated to real life occurences of quick draw duels in the Old West.
    • The most famous and probably the first was when Wild Bill Hickock and Davis Tutt got into an argument over gambling issues. When they met in the street, Hickock warned Tutt not to approach him. Both made threatening gestures towards their guns, until both drew and fired. Tutt missed, Hickock did not. Note that they were dueling with pistols from 75 yards away. He was using an 1851 Colt Navy, a cap-and-ball revolver that was generally only accurate to around 30-40 yards. Not only did he hit his opponent at roughly twice the gun's recommended distance, he hit Tutt while he was in a "standard" dueling position (meaning he was facing to the side, with his arm outstretched to present the smallest possible target).
    • The second most infamous was the fight that happened in Forth Worth, Texas. Longhair Jim Courtright invited Luke Short outside to discuss their ongoing feud. They went out into the street and faced each other. Courtright then proceeded to threaten Short, before reaching to pull his gun. It got caught on part of his clothes, and then Luke Short drew his own gun and fired it from the hip. The shot hit Courtright in the thumb before traveling into his body. As Courtright attempted to shift the gun to his other hand, Short raised his own gun and fired into him four more times, killing him. It was ruled a justifiable homicide.
    • Jim Levy got into a gambling argument with Charlie Harrison. They ended up agreeing to meet in the streets. Both drew, but all of Harrison's shots went wild. Levy took more careful aim and hit Harrison, who fell down. Then Levy walked up to him, stood over him, and shot him again for good measure. This ended the duel.
  • The Nobel-winning physicist Niels Bohr once did an impromptu research project to find out why good guys in movies always win quick draw duels. After many mock gunfights against fellow physicist George Gamow, Bohr concluded that the villain always tries to draw his gun first (and so must consciously move his hands), while the hero always reacts and draws by reflex as soon as he sees the villain moving. Bohr theorized that reflex is always faster than conscious action, therefore, the good guy always wins. Research shows that "reactive advantage" is about 10% faster than conscious initiation, but this only shaves an average 21 milliseconds from a 200-millisecond action — not enough to out-draw an opponent. The researchers conclude that Bohr's anecdotal victories in all his mock duels "suggest that Bohr was a crack shot, in addition to being a brilliant physicist."
    • And of course, this had nothing to do with cooperative writers, directors, editors & actors.
  • Today, quick draws abound. There are competitions worldwide where shooters compete by emptying revolvers upon a target, sprint through training courses, and all sorts of feats as fast as humanly possible.
  • The Bridgeport Rig is a specialized holster that places the gun on a pivot that slides out, making for extremely quick draws in the right hands. While cowboy movies make some use of the design, there's no evidence they were used in any real life shoot outs.
  • Ted Blocker is the current record-holder in quick draw, using a speed-rig of his own design, from a visual start signal to the bullet hitting the target, in 0.25 seconds. That is, a quarter second. Gun guru Bill Jordan is on film doing it from a normal holster in 0.27 seconds. However, it must be noted that for all practically all quick draw competions, the contestants place their hands very carefully (just over the butt of the gun for the drawing hand, with the hand that fans the hammer of the pistol placed just over the hammer so that the motion of drawing the pistol will fan the hammer, without the need to move that hand at all). When these same people are asked to draw with the hands placed normally (at their sides) their speed is not particulary remarkable.
  • In 1978, police officer Ed Cantrell (sitting in the front passenger seat of a car) saw his aggressive and somewhat unstable deputy, Michael Rosa (sitting in the back seat) mouth at him "You motherf-cker" while going for his pistol. In the time it took for Rosa to lean back and unsnap his holster, Cantrell drew and shot over his shoulder, hitting Rosa between the eyes. Cantrell was actually arrested and tried for murder, and his lawyer (Gerry Spence) proved self-defense by the way Rosa's body was positioned. At the trial, in order to illustrate Cantrell's speed, Spence had a bailiff aim an unloaded pistol at Bill Jordan, and told him to pull the trigger the instant he saw Jordan go for his gun. Jordan drew and fired a blank so fast that the poor bailiff never had a chance. As everyone in the courtroom sat stunned, Spence turned to Jordan: "Mr. Jordan, you've seen Cantrell shoot before. How fast is he?" "Oh, he's a mite faster than me."
  • Senator Al Franken is actually a quick-draw champion. In Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them, he claims to be third in the US.
  • The Tueller Drill is designed to test how quickly one can draw a handgun against a knife-wielding attacker.
  • One justification for the quick draw duel (conceived of retroactively as historically they occurred rarely, if at all) was the goal of manipulating your opponent to reach for their pistol first while ultimately hitting your opponent before they hit you. This would allow the victor to claim self-defence rather than becoming an outlaw. This is essentially what happened in the Hicock-Tutt duel although Hicock's acquittal was an act of jury nullification. Of course, it makes no sense for either a wanted man nor an officer of the law confronting a wanted man to engage in this behaviour (unless the latter, for whatever reason, was looking to kill rather than apprehend the fugitive). It is a good explanation for the psychology of media portrayals though.


Video Example(s):


The Waco Kid

Once he puts the liquor away, The Waco Kid regains his old skill.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / QuickDraw

Media sources: