View Full Version : Fast and Fancy

09-28-2017, 01:02 PM
We probably are all familiar with Jerry M. and his shooting prowess. However he was preceded 75+ years ago by a chubby little fellow named Ed McGivern.

Here are some interesting parts from his book:

09-28-2017, 09:24 PM
A Master...

I see he was using Peters full load 158gr. wadcutters on that one world record target.

Jerry M . has broken some of his records but not all.

His Guinness world record for "The greatest rapid-fire feat" (set on August 20, 1932 at the Lead Club Range, South Dakota) still stands. He emptied two revolvers in less than 2 seconds.

Also, that McGivern was 57 when he set another record on September 13, 1932, shooting five rounds from a double-action revolver at 15 feet in 2/5 of a second, and covering the group with his hand, is amazing!

Truly astonishing!!

I had heard of him before, but not the book.

I think I am gonna order that book.

Thanks for sharing!

09-30-2017, 07:53 AM
I loaned mine out some years ago and it never came back. Gonna find that guy some day..........

McGivern was something else......a lethal revolver shot in a harmless looking package. He taught all manner of law enforcement in the delicate art of shooting the tires of moving cars, plugging the bad guy in a hostage situation (before the term was coined), etc, etc. I've tried his technique called "the poke" and it works. Now, if I can just hit what I'm shooting at..............

He always maintained that his skills were not gifts, but "learnable" by anyone. Interesting man!

10-01-2017, 12:21 AM
I purchased my copy of Fast And Fancy Revolver Shooting back in the late 70's. I read a magazine article about him and was fascinated by his shooting. Being an aspiring revolver enthusiast, I had to have that book. I never got far, but will say I did practice his hip shooting and got quiet good at hitting a playing card at 10 feet.

His long range and aerial skills were jaw dropping. I found it very wise he had plenty of witnesses sign his targets because most would never believe it happened had they not.


10-01-2017, 10:15 AM
A little out of focus


South of Lewistown, Montana.

10-02-2017, 10:35 PM
Very interesting. I'm going to have to dig up a copy of that book. Thanks!

10-03-2017, 10:30 AM
I have had a copy of his book for years. Recently I was in a book shop that was selling donated books, and picked up another for 2 (two) dollars. That made a nice birthday gift for one of the group I shoot with. Look around , they are out there.

10-04-2017, 03:43 PM
Just ordered a copy of the 70' hardbound reprint for $5.99 plus .99 shipping. Thriftbooks.com had one more copy without dust jacket for $5.77.

10-04-2017, 09:00 PM
I don't think any one handgun shooter has ever accomplished all that Ed McGivern did. While Jerry Miculek has earned his title as one of the true greatest, he's not accomplished all that Ed McGivern did. At least, not to my knowledge.

For those of you who have ordered Fancy and Fancy Revolver Shooting, once you receive it and see the targets any other photos, I believe you'll have to agree. 600 yards, 6 shots on a man sized silhouette? Yep! 5 aerial targets all clearly being turned to dust? Yep! Shooting through a washer in the air? Yep! As I said earlier, it was wise he had plenty of witnesses sign his targets. I never found any stated fact of how fast Mr. McGivern was on the draw, but as great as he was doing everything else he may very well have been the fastest gun alive ever. Sadly, we'll never know that part.

On a final note, Ed McGivern did all of his speed shooting one handed. I've never seen Jerry break any of Ed's records using just one hand as Ed would have. Ed believed the double action revolver was meant to be fired double action unless accuracy at long distance was called for.


10-04-2017, 09:18 PM
I had the privilege of seeing Ed shoot in a short film some time back in the mid 60's. He did his shooting with a fairly stock S&W as I read at one time. He was amazing. I will not get into a discussion about who was the best because there is no way to solve that since we can't bring people back from the dead for a head to head competition. Let me put it this way, I shot in the Master Class with a revolver in Combat Pistol in the 80's and I would not want to stand in front of Bill Jordan, Ed McGivern, or Jerry McKulek and challenge them to a duel. I would if forced to but I sure wouldn't go looking for trouble with them. I didn't get to be 75 by being stupid. james

10-26-2017, 07:29 PM
You never know what you might find on YouTube. He looks old, wish the footage was better, but probably not that much on him out there


If you'd like a copy, this company has a flat rate of $3.50 for shipping- buy one book or 50- $3.50
Paperbound for $4

10-26-2017, 07:51 PM
You never know what you might find on YouTube. He looks old, wish the footage was better, but probably not that much on him out there


Thanks for sharing the video!

Eddie Southgate
11-01-2017, 05:53 PM
I doubt Jerry M or ED either one would want to have a real shoot out with Bill Jordan .


11-01-2017, 06:44 PM
Interesting, thanks for sharing

11-11-2017, 05:46 PM
They had a program on a cable station that feature all those trick shot people. They used rifles, shotguns, and pistols and toured the country putting on shows. I could not imagine anybody duplicating their shows with all the lawyers.
My favorite was about Bill Jordan who ended his shows taking a 12 guage and punching a
hole in a stack of cinder blocks and then crawling through it.

02-17-2018, 12:23 AM
Regarding "Who was the best?"

In the words of Chris (Yul Brynner), "I wouldn't want to live on the difference".

03-22-2018, 01:09 PM
Well, since my original, loaned out copy isn't coming back....I found one on Ebay and bought it. Upon re-reading it for the first time in years, I notice that Ed McGivern was one very verbose guy! Sentences that could explain something in ten words seem to go on forever. Of course, that's the way English was taught back in "ye olde days". Still a heck of a book written by a heck of a guy!

10-13-2018, 10:39 AM
First read this book MANY years ago, when I found it a a public library. Am currently selling a lot of my old books, but my copy of Fast and Fancy will be one of the last to go.

Conversations above about the "old" shooters and gun writers brings the Stephen Hunter book, Pale Horse Coming, to mind. The main character is Earl Swaggert, who is Bob Lee Swaggert's father. It is set in the early 1950's and the hero sets out to rescue his long time friend from a forced labor prison camp somewhere in the deep south. He enlists the help of six famous "gun" guys, (which brings total to seven, and was probably a take off on the Magnificent of that same niumber) Ed McGivern, being one of them. Others with Charlie Atkins, Bill Jordon, Audy Murphy, Elmer Keith and I think, Jack O'Connor. Hunter takes significant poetic license with the characters, but, having read these guys sparing back in the 60s and 70s in the magazines, it could have been pretty accurate. Anyway, I thought it was a great book. Also was pretty accurate, in terms of corruption and prejudice that existed in those times. Not to get overly serious, but anyone who does not think things have changed in the country should read this book.

Did not mean to sidetrack the thread, but based on above comments, think some may find this book highly interesting.


10-16-2018, 04:37 PM
I wanted a copy I could take to work & gun shows but wanted to preserve my original no.1. I ordered a re-print from www.cornellpub.com Big surprise when arrived in that it is more than double the size of original..nice clear large bullet profile drawings.

10-16-2018, 06:10 PM
Great shooter, awful writer. :D

10-17-2018, 12:38 PM
I have owned this book for quite awhile, and enjoy it for reading about how different things are now than they were then.
An interesting side note being that I grew up not far from Lewistown, and have an uncle that gave me a good bit of his shooting gear before he moved off the ranch. Among that were a bunch of pitch targets that "his uncle who was a trick shooter around Lewistown back in the day" gave him. He then went on to explain that this uncle of his was good... really good and could hit these aerial targets and never missed. So good, in fact, that S&W used to send him guns to test out! Wouldn't you know who that guy turned out to be?? So, if my uncle is telling the truth, I have a handful of targets made by McGivern himself, in the manner described in the book.

Reverend Al
10-17-2018, 04:38 PM
I've had a copy of McGivern's book for years and it is an interesting read. His shooting abilities were WAY out of proportion to his diminutive size!

Geezer in NH
10-17-2018, 04:46 PM
Size or build means nothing in shooting abilities.

04-02-2019, 02:29 PM
Read this book years ago, along with Sixguns by Keith.

In the hands of men like this, the revolver is FAR for obsolete. Life has, unfortunately, changed to the point where men do not grow up and spend time with guns like these men did.

I see them as an inspiration, as in their day, the wheelgun was front line combat equipment, and they were on the cutting edge of its use.

there are things in that book that people these days think is impossible.