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Loop-Lever Rifle Shootout: History of The Rifleman's Carbine

Loop-Lever Rifle Shootout: History of The Rifleman's Carbine

The loop lever of “The Rifleman’s” rifle was a Winchester 92 that actor Chuck Connors spun and fired in the show’s opening sequence. (Photo courtesy of Rick Hacker)

For people of a certain age who grew up during the Golden Age of TV westerns in the 1950s and ’60s, practically every television station in the country was broadcasting the sounds of multiple gunshots and the clattering of galloping hooves that heralded the arrival of a diverse group of tall-in-the-saddle heroes whose dexterity with firearms became legendary among viewing audiences.

But no matter who received top billing in these horse operas, as they were called, the real stars of the shows for many of us were the guns that were used by the actors. Gun’s like Hugh O’Brian’s Buntline Special in “The Life And Times of Wyatt Earp” and Steve...

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