Working A Mare’s Leg

Henry Repeating Arms brings back a favorite from the days of black and white TV.

by Chick Blood

Let me see. Was it used by Chuck Connors to wipe out undesirables roaming the streets in The Rifleman? Was it first seen in iiWyatt Earp, Western Marshall or iiLawman or Gunsmoke or iiRawhide? Maybe it wasn’t on TV after all. Maybe was carried by Rooster Cogburn while he charged across a huge field shouting at some creep in a black hat who was waiting on the other side, “Fill your hand, you sunofabitch!”

No, to all the above. You’d have to have been a fan of another action hero to be in on the first appearance of a Mare’s Leg. The hero’s real name was Steve McQueen. In 1957, he showed up on the small screen as bounty hunter Josh Randall in iiTrackdown. The show was re-titled iiWanted, Dead Or Alive and Josh Randall toted his leg-holstered lever action throughout the series TV run from 1958 to 1961.

The series died, but the gun didn’t. I’ve had cause to wonder why it was called a Mare’s Leg. Why not a Stallion’s Leg or Bronco’s Leg?

Read more in our July 2013 issue. Back issues are available.

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