Gunspinning refers to the old west tradition and Hollywood legend of a cowboy gunslinger twirling his pistol around his trigger finger. Gunspinning is a western art such as trick roping, and is sometimes referred as gunplay, gun artistry, and gun twirling. Gunspinning is seen in many classic TV and film Westerns, such as Shane and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Some modern day western performers and actors such as Dony Robert and Joey Dillon can spin guns in each hand, and even incorporate juggling and tosses over the shoulders and around the body. Joey Dillon is a multiple world champion at this craft. In Resident Evil: Apocalypse, lead actress Milla Jovovich spins her dual Colt .45's before holstering them. In the RoboCop franchise, police officer Alex Murphy (RoboCop) is known for spinning his "Auto 9" (a modified Beretta 93R) before holstering it inside his mechanical leg, in the franchise's fictional universe, Murphy is inspired by his son's love of the popular television hero T.J. Laser.
A famous and more recent example of the latter is actor Michael Biehn's portrayal of Johnny Ringo and his gunspinning duel with Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer) in the film Tombstone (Doc parodies Ringo's gunspinning moves by duplicating them with a metal coffee-cup for comic effect). Champion Gunspinner Joey Dillon breaks down how these moves were done in an issue of True West Magazine.
In the video game franchise Metal Gear Solid, Revolver Ocelot is often seen incorporating this trick with both one or two revolvers in hand, hence his codename.
In the video game Mortal Kombat X, Erron Black is often seen spinning his revolvers before the fight begins, after completing his X-Ray move, and in his victory pose.
- Johnson, Dusty (August 2003). "(Gunspinning)". www.wildwestperformers.com. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- "Gun Twirling". TV Tropes. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- "Joey Dillon". Retrieved 23 April 2010.
- Dillon, Joey (October 2006). True West Magazine. Missing or empty