Tuesday, October 28, 2008

On The Mare's Leg.

So it turns out that the 1958 TV Series "Wanted: Dead or Alive" was not only a launchpad for Steve McQueen; it's actually very watchable.

The signature of the show is the Mare's Leg, a chopped Winchester 1892 rifle in .44-40. Oh, it's not particularly practical by any means - with 6 rounds on tap from a 12" barrel, you may as well just pack a Buntline-length SAA - it'll be faster shooting to boot. Load speed might be a bit faster, because the action ejects the empties, but it's still loaded a shot at a time into a gate.

But it's so damned cool. When someone with natural presence like McQueen swaggers on the shot with a gun that big on his hip, everyone pays attention. Plus, it's the same kind of appeal the Lupara has, and to a lesser extent the very late 1800s/early 1900s obsession with shoulder-stocked pistols - making a gun do something it wasn't originally intended to.

If one wanted to make a Mare's Leg that did something a 12" SAA couldn't, perhaps basing one off a Model 94 (in .30-30) would give it a bit of a boost, and make it a wrist-breaker. I shudder to think what shooting a Marlin 1895-based one would be like...apparently the 18" .45-70s sting bad enough.

The Mare's Leg is also legal conundrum, but that's another rant...

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