Johnny Yuma

I was watching the old television series “Johnny Yuma” and Johnny Cash’s lyrics uses the phrase, “Where the only law is a hook and a draw.” I don’t remember hearing or reading about that phrase anywhere else. Could you explain what it means? Art Graham (Rapid City, South Dakota)

I used to perform that song in the saloons in the late 1950s and figured it referred to a left or right hook to the jaw. A few years ago a fast draw, gun spinner Jim Dunham explained what it really meant. The “hook” refers to “hooking” the trigger guard as you draw the revolver from the holster.

As you pull your revolver out of the holster your thumb is cocking the hammer and at the same time your trigger or index finger is “hooking” on the trigger guard by the time the revolver is out of the holster and pointed towards the target only then the index finger goes into the trigger guard and touches the trigger.

Always remember—keep your index finger away from the trigger until the pistol is out of the holster and aimed at the target. Otherwise, you might ruin a good knee or shoot a hole in your foot.

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