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Ed McGivern

Introducing 2010 Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame Inductee…
                                                                               Ed McGivern (1874 - 1957)

Edward ('Ed") McGivern from Lewistown, Montana, was a famous exhibition shooter, shooting instructor and author of the book Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting. McGivern also performed extensive research into the art of handgun shooting, particularly with the double action revolver.

The book he wrote was first published in 1938 is still printed by Skyhorse Publishing as a reference to handgun shooters. In it McGivern covers his career from early experimenting with single action revolvers, his career in exhibition shooting, his police training, and his experiments in long range revolver shooting.

Ed McGivern is renowned as one of the best hand gunners that ever lived. His Guinness world record for "The greatest rapid-fire feat" (set in August 20, 1932 as the Lead Club Range, South Dakota) still stands. This feat consisted of "firing two times from 15 feet five shots which could be covered by a silver half-dollar piece in 45/1 OO's of a second." Mr. McGivern was capable of many amazing shooting feats, most of them well documented in his book. To name a few:

He could break 6 simultaneously and thrown clay pigeons in the air before they they hit the ground.

He could hit a tin can hand thrown 20ft. in the air six times before it hit the ground.

He could shoot drive a tack or nail into wood.

He could shoot the spots out of playing cards, or split a playing card edge on.

He could shoot a dime on the fly.

Some of McGivern's records have been broken, but his one standing world record still stands and he made that record when he was 58 years old. Soon after that point, arthritis ended McGivern's competitive shooting career. But before his end he and his friend Elmer Keith, were instrumental in pushing the envelope in the early days of magnum revolvers. While Keith was primarily interested in hunting, McGivern was more interested in police use of the revolver. McGivern demonstrated that with proper sights and use, the .357 Magnum could be used on man-sized targets at ranges of up to 600 yards. McGivern experimented with different types of iron sights, including peep sights, and telescopic sights. His preferred type of iron sight for this use was a small diameter rear aperture and a post with a gold bead for the front.