My ancestor, Fred M. Hans, (aka, Lone Star ) was born in 1861 and died April 17, 1923 in Omaha. He is not very well known in todays wild west history, but i have a collection of more than 300 articles that were published about his exploits. I also have about 30 obituaries for him from various cities and states that mention his pistol shooting skills.
Fred Hans was a scout for the Army during what was known as the Sioux and Cheyenne Indian wars of the 1870s on the Northern plains. Fred Hans also frequently visited and assisted other military commanders and Indian agents at remote frontier outposts in Montana, Wyoming, and Dakota Territory before statehood, and Nebraska to search for and apprehend “renegade” indians (including chief Sitting Bull) who escaped the reservations, or to search for, locate and return white women and their children who had been captured by the natives. During the 1870′s and ’80′s, Fred “Lone Star” Hans was also able to use his scouting and gunfighting skills to track, locate, kill or arrest numerous notorious gang members of train robbers, horse thieves, cattle rustlers, and murderers, etc..
Fred M. HANS was credited with killing more than 20 Indians, including 12 with 11 shots at Wounded Knee, and 8 bandits including "Shacknasty Jim" (Mexican) at the "Hole-In_The-Wall" in 1877.
From a full-page obituary in the Saturday Blade CHICAGO dated May 12 1923–
–”When using both hands at once (when shooting both guns at once), it was Lone Star’s practice to keep the hammer pressed back while he pulled back the hammer and released it with his thumb, and he did it with such rapidity after a “draw” that a bullet was on it’s way by the time the weapon could be brought up to a level with the target.
When handling his weapons separately he could turn a single-action pistol into a veritable machine gun thru his expertness at “hammer fanning”. This method of firing consisted of holding the pistol in position with one hand while he flipped or “fanned” the hammer with the other. In a test not long ago he fired his old single-action revolver by this method faster than a late model automatic could be fired.” –
I would like to see my uncle get some well deserved recognition. I have never seen nor heard of anyone using that method of shooting with the thumbs. He was a dual pistol, cross-arm draw expert.