Hand signals were an important part of the traditions of the schools in the Southwest Conference. Invention of "Guns Up" is attributed to 1961 Texas Tech alumnus, L. Glenn Dippel. Living in Austin with his wife Roxie, Dippel created "Guns Up" as a way to counter the "Hook 'em Horns" handsign he saw each day from fans of the Texas Longhorns.
Dippel experimented some before looking to the Raider Red mascot for inspiration. In 1971, he and some other Tech fans made decals with the phrase "Gun 'em Down". Shortly thereafter, Dippel shared the idea with the Saddle Tramps spirit organization who began using the hand signal immediately.