Ed McGivern
The Sharpshooter

His Greatest Rapid-Fire Feat

Ed McGivern fired twice from 15 feet, five shots, which could be
covered by a silver half-dollar, in 0.45 of a second, August 20, 1932.

Ed McGivern needs no introduction to gun enthusiasts and serious marksmen. For more than 50 years he was revered as one of the top authorities in the field of small firearms. A world champion marksman who made The Guinness Book of World Records, he trained scores of law enforcement officers and developed a system of teaching that is as effective today as it was when his book, 'Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting,' was originally published. It resulted from years of research and experimentation conducted by McGivern, who utilized electric timers and other devices to determine the angles and techniques that would produce the fastest, most accurate revolver shooting. Packed with handgun lore and original photographs from the first edition, his much-sought-after book contains a wealth of facts and tips for marksmen everywhere.

World Record Still Stands

McGivern's Guinness world record for "The greatest rapid-fire feat," set on August 20, 1932 at the Lead Club Range in 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 of a second."

To name just a few more:

McGivern could break six simultaneously hand thrown clay pigeons (standard trap targets) in the air before they hit the ground.

He could hit a tin can hand thrown 20 feet 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 even split a playing card edge on.

McGivern could hit a dime on the fly.

All of these executed with either right or left hand, using a factory Smith & Wesson M&P double action revolver, purportedly his favorite handgun.

Competition shooter Jerry Miculek has attempted, and broken, some of McGivern's long standing records, such as the record for 60 shots fired from 10 revolvers.

Miculek is one of the world's fastest revolver shooters, holding a number of records, such as 8 shots (from an 8 shot revolver) in 1 second, but his attempt to beat McGivern's 5 shot record resulted in a time of only 0.57 of a second to McGivern's 0.45 of a second.

A testament to McGivern's ability was the fact that his 5 shot record was set in 1932, when McGivern was 58 years of age. Soon after that, arthritis ended McGivern's competitive shooting career.

Long range shooting

McGivern, along with 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. --

Now you know!

The fastest gunman in the world, Bob Munden, is next.