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Although the pistol was developed mostly as a cavalry arm that was necessarily used one-handed in order to leave the other free to control the steed, it had on occasion been grasped in both hands, probably from the beginning.
However, there is more to the Weaver than holding the pistol in both hands.
Normally the weak-side foot is slightly advanced so that the supporting arm elbow can be bent while the firing arm is fully extended, or nearly so.
The supporting hand pulls back against the firing hand to set up isometric tension that controls muzzle flip and tends to return the pistol to the original line of sight after each shot.
By Finn Aagaard Some years ago, Big Bear Lake, a southern California ski resort town, put on a *'Miners' Days" extravaganza for the commendable purpose of attracting its share of summer tourists.
Among the major activities was a "Leatherslap" fast-draw contest, organized by a retired colonel of Marines, John Dean Cooper, always known as -Jeff." Decrying the blanks commonly used in"fast draw" matches—Cooper held even then that the purpose in shooting is to hit the target—he decided on man-on-man bouts using paper silhouette targets at about 7 yds.
Though paper targets made it difficult to determine the match winner, the Leatherslap was a huge success, so much so that it became first an annual and then a monthly event, and the Bear Valley Gunslingers and later the South West Combat Pistol League were formed to run it.
In that first Leatherslap, single-action "cowboy" and double-action police revolvers predominated.
Only Cooper and Hugh Carpenter were eccentric enough to use the 1911 Colt .45 auto pistol.
All held their guns with one hand, naturally, and most employed point or hip-shooting, though Cooper says he did use the sights.
The next year a deputy sheriff named Jack Weaver shocked everyone by winning decisively while holding his revolver in both hands, and handgunning was changed forever.
Weaver was far from being the first pistolero to use both hands.