Is it any wonder that a lot of baby-boomer kids of my generation are keen on firearms and their use to mete out justice to bullies and evil-doers. The Rifleman, starring Chuck Connors (who was a dual top pro baseball and basketball player in the post-war years), told stories of justice, retribution, redemption, courage in adversity and good family values through the small-screen lives of characters Lucas McCain and his son Mark, who farmed in New Mexico in the 1880s.
The leveller in most showdowns was a Winchester Model 92 with an enlarged lever loop and a screw through the trigger guard; these modifications allowed Connors/McCain to loose off multiple rounds per second in blistering demonstrations of speed and marksmanship.
The show opening sequence displays a magazine full of “forty-fours” being fired down the much shot-up town street, where most of the confrontations took place – Connors then looks to camera with a cool, slightly menacing glare while reloading from his pocket.
You can look forward to more TV nostalgia in coming weeks – hope you enjoy it.