I know that it is a saying where cowboys can draw their pistol, but this does not refer to them hand-drawing their pistol (on paper, perhaps).

But can we say that shots are drawn (as in, gunshots)? I know that in this case, shots can be fired, but likewise, a pistol can also be fired, so... yeah.

I did some research, and given the definition of draw (to pull or drag, in this case), then I don't think shots can be drawn, but I have heard the saying "pull shots" before. My friend Matt used to play golf, and I think I might have heard it there, but to me, "shots drawn" sounds fine. Perhaps hearing how shots can be "pulled" in golf (i.e. tee shots) had an influence, but I wanna know if shots can actually be drawn, or if we could even say that.

An anagram of the third world war is dwelt horrid wrath (one that I found), so I decided to try and make an anagram of the second world war, where I got two options:

  • Now screw old hatred

  • We're cold, shot drawn

I know the first one makes sense (with some informal use of the word screw) but I am not so sure about the second anagram.

And that's why I asked this question. Can we say that shots could be drawn, or not really? If we can't, would we just stick to shots fired, or is there another word that could replace "fired"?

Thank you in advance :)

  • 1
    I'm not sure what you mean by hand-drawing, but to draw a weapon means to pull it out of its scabbard/holster ready for use. Commented Dec 16, 2018 at 9:08
  • @KateBunting Yes - it's short for "withdraw". In the same way that the "drawing room" is really the "withdrawing room", not a room with easels and life models.
    – WS2
    Commented Dec 16, 2018 at 9:26
  • 1
    Can gunshots be drawn? When I read your title I thought of a common drawing: a gunslinger holding his gun, with BANG in big letters beside it. That is how to draw gunshots.
    – GEdgar
    Commented Dec 16, 2018 at 14:22
  • @GEdgar Good one. And I believe punches are "drawn" with the letters "POW", or "WHAM"!
    – WS2
    Commented Dec 16, 2018 at 20:50

2 Answers 2


If you turn the viewpoint around, yes, sort of.

The well-known idiom draw fire typically is used to mean "attract angry criticism" ( as per Merriam-Webster). However, the original usage is literal: In a gunfight, you "draw fire" if you draw attention to yourself in a way that gets the enemy to shoot at you.This could be inadvertent (you did something to reveal your position to the shooter) or a distraction while others go on the attack.

From there, it's not far to "draw shots". You'd most likely be drawing specific shots.

As Officer Krupke arrived at the scene, his car drew shots from the second-floor apartment where the bank robbers had holed up.

Bart ran across the street, drawing shots from the desperadoes on the roof of the saloon. Fortunately, the hallmark of the Movie Bad Guy is Poor Aim.

I'm not sure how to make that work with WWII as a subject.

  • It might not work with WWII as a subject, but at least I know this for perhaps other future sentences. Thank you very much! :D
    – Mr Pie
    Commented Feb 3, 2019 at 17:19

Marria-Webster provides the following definition for draw (verb):

5 to take away from a place or position

draw her aside so we can ask a quick question

When drawing a pistol, you take it out of it's holster i.e. draw it.

For pull (verb) another definition is found:

3 : to hit (a ball) toward the left from a right-handed swing or toward the right from a left-handed swing

This is probably what is meant in "pulling a shot" in a sport such as golf.

Another interesting definition for pull:

7 : to bring (a weapon) into the open

pulled a knife

But since a shot on it's own is not a weapon, I'll say it's a stretch to say you can "pull a shot" in the sense of firing it.

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