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The Fastest Gun in the West has the ultimate Quick Draw. Nobody can draw and fire a gun faster than this guy. As a result, he wins every duel he ends up in, and others tend to be reluctant to fight him.

However, this fearsome reputation tends to bring unwanted attention. Every two-bit varmint in the state wants to take a piece outta this guy to make themselves more Badass. Hence, the Fastest Gun in the West tends to have to keep travelling to try and find a place where nobody wants to fight them.

This character can be a hero or a villain. The heroic type won't bring out his guns unless absolutely necessary, and then only to bring down an Outlaw or Bandito. The villain is a sneaky bastard who just loves shootin' an' killin', but may be brought low by The Hero's resourcefulness.

If this character ever loses a duel, his mantle passes on to the one that killed him, who must then endure the same curse that the former fastest gun put up with.

It should also be noted that in a cynical or realistic scenario, being the fastest gun in the west is rarely much help if said character is somehow caught off guard. It hardly matters if one can draw faster than one can blink, it's of no use if one never sees the threat coming. Many a lightning fast gunslingers meet their end by a bullet to the back of the head rather then at high noon.

A Sub-Trope of The Gunslinger.

Examples of Fastest Gun in the West include:


Anime & Manga

  • Vash the Stampede from Trigun. He is able to fire three shots so fast, that they sound like just one.
  • A football example is featured in Eyeshield 21. The best quarterback in Kanto is Musyanokoji Shien, otherwise known as "The Quick-Draw Kid", due to having the quickest passing ability among all the players.
    • His team's name is "The Wild Gunmans" and they, of course, have a cowboy theme. Kid himself has the typical attitude of a heroic gunslinger; calm, wise, and non confrontational.
    • The series later explains his speed and accuracy is due to being a former competitive pistol shooter.

Comic Books

Film

  • Jim the Waco Kid in Blazing Saddles is a ludicrously extreme version. He can draw, fire six shots, and re-holster his gun before anyone else even draws. He can even take an object in front of him without seeming to move. His backstory also parodies the "unwanted attention from every two-bit thug with something to prove" aspect; Jim describes how he lost faith in everything when he was challenged by a seven-year-old; disheartened, Jim dropped his guns and turned away... and "the little bastard shot me in the ass."
  • Britt in The Magnificent Seven is fast with both guns and knives. Early in the movie, he shows just how fast he is by using a thrown knife to kill an opponent who has a gun.
  • Maverick. The title character shows off his quick-draw skills in a poker game. The man he faces off against John Hardin. Afterward, Hardin acknowledges that Maverick is fast. Of course, just because he can draw his gun really fast doesn't mean he can actually hit anything.
  • Ned Nederlander from Three Amigos! appears to be inhumanely fast in his movies. A disillusioned fan accuses him of using trick photography and challenges him to a duel to put it to the test. Turns out Ned was the real thing all along.
  • Several characters in Sergio Leone westerns, but particularily Harmonica in Once Upon a Time in the West, slightly subverted in the first scene: Harmomica manages to draw his gun and to shoot three men who had already their guns in their hands in a row... and then one of them manages to shoot him back before collapsing (interestingly, these three men should originally have been played by Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach, the three fastest guns in the West of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly).
  • Woody from Toy Story. Interestingly enough, early in the first film he's defeated by an Etch-a-Sketch.
  • Played with in Support Your Local Sheriff, Jason McCullough is very good with a pistol, but when asked why he doesn't have a reputation he says:

 "What would I want with a reputation? That's a good way to get yourself killed."

  • In Support Your Local Gunfighter, it's a man named "Swifty" Morgan.
  • In the 2007 Three Ten to Yuma, Ben Wade is noted as a startlingly fast draw. He even beats out all six members of his gang at the end of the movie at the same time.
  • The title character from the movie The Gunfighter.
  • The movie The Quick and the Dead (the newer one) revolves around a fast draw competition to determine who is the fastest gun in the West. It is implied that this is Fee Herrod's way of weeding out the competition that may come after him.
  • In Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Western comedy My Name Is Nobody, the title character Nobody is the fastest gun in the West. He could fire three shots so that the bandits heard only one, and could draw and reholster his gun after letting go of a saddle on his shoulder before the saddle could slide. and he does this several times in a row, too, causing the bad guys' eyes to go popping out of their heads.
  • Doc Holiday as portrayed in Tombstone.
  • A discussed trope in Unforgiven, in which Little Bill debunks various legendary quickdraw artists. He denies that quick-drawing is a particularly useful skill and asserts that luck often decides who lives ans dies. Bill Munny confirms that he was simply lucky during his career of gunfights.
  • The Man With No Name. Slightly subverted in that, while he is undoubtedly quick, he will use mirrors, decoys and improvised body armour to his advantage to get the drop on his opponents.


Literature

  • Matthew Stark in Cloud of Sparrows is the fastest, most accurate shooter in Texas. He gained notoriety after defeating Jimmy So Fast, and immediately started training hard to be able to beat anyone who might try to take him out for the prestige. His speed and reflexes are superior to those of the ninjas he runs into.
  • Roland in The Dark Tower is also a famously quick draw.
  • Jon Shannow, The Jerusalem Man from the David Gemmell books.
    • Note, however, that while incredibly fast, Shannow meets several men who are faster. When these men fight him, they die anyway - they may be faster, but he's far more badass (and businesslike; one man rides up to him, tells Shannow his death has been ordered, and asks if he has anything to say. Shannow shoots him, then says no).
      • It's also notable that Shannow has a way of drawing that whilst not strictly as fast as some of his enemies, is smooth, calm, unhurried and easy to overlook. He basically draws without his opponents noticing. Think Han Solo when he shoots Greedo.
  • Morgan Kane, from Louis Masterson's book series. To the point that when other famous (outlaw) gunslingers such as John Wesley Hardin or Johnny Ringo start trouble, the authorities send Kane after them, knowing the outlaws will not be able to resist the challenge.
  • Shane, obviously.
  • Dusty Fog from The Floating Outfit novels of J. T. Edson.


Live Action TV

  • Mal from Firefly has a quick gun hand. In the pilot, he guns down a man who has a gun to River's head without breaking his stride. In the Big Damn Movie, he outdraws a professional assassin and shoots the gun out of the guy's hand. And the whole crew repeatedly outguns opponents who already have the drop on them.
  • JD Smith from The Dakotas has this reputation. It causes him some heartbreak when he is quicker to the draw than his one time mentor
  • In the 1950s series Lawman, Marshall Dan Troop (to his surprise) finds himself outdrawn by a professional gunfighter. While recovering from his wounds, the Marshall realises that while the gunman is faster, he doesn't have time to aim correctly, so he must goad his target into coming closer. Marshall Troop confronts the gunman again and this time keeps his distance, winning the fatal shootout.
  • The main characters of Red Dwarf enter a western virtual reality game, complete with special powers. As a result, Cat becomes so fast, he can draw after the outlaws have fired and shoot their bullets out of the air!
  • "Wild" Bill Hickok in Deadwood shows off his skill at quickdrawing when a murderer tries to draw on him and gets gunned down before he can clear the holster. Seth Bullock also beats the man to the draw and comes close enough to Hickok's speed that they're not exactly sure who shot first.


Music

 141 could draw faster than he / but Irving was looking for 143

Radio

  • The Lone Ranger is also noted for being a faster draw than any one opponent, and a big fan of Blasting It Out of Their Hands. However, the radio and early TV series kept it somewhat plausible by not having him try to outdraw multiple people at once.

Video Games

  • Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist was trying for this title, until his defeat at the hands of Kenny the Kid (which cost him his ear) made him give up gunfighting in favor of pharmacology.
  • John later, Jack Marston, the player character in Red Dead Redemption In the dueling sequences, you can either shoot your opponent in the face, or shoot the gun out of his hand. You get the most honor points if you can shoot your opponet's gun and hat without killing him.
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