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Old 08-24-2002, 04:43 PM
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Location: Barbeque City, MO
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Lucas McCain's rifle - real or fiction?

Did Winchester rifles with the loop lever really exist in the West?
Did cowboys or anyone use them?
They looked like this:

http://northforkproductions.net/flip.htm

John Wayne used one in some of his movies.
It seems fancy for a real cowboy.
Old 08-24-2002, 05:19 PM
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That rifle is indeed a weird one. It appears from the picture you linked to that the screw that's threaded throught the "loop" is intended to pull the trigger and thus discharge the rifle during the act of levering. If so, shooting with any accuracy would not be possible. The rifle would be useless at distances of over say, 50 feet.
Did the cowboy install the screw in preparation for a gunfight? Why not simply use a pistol?
Just conjecture on my part, but I doubt that the rifle, as displayed, would be of practical use in the Old West or anywhere else.
Old 08-24-2002, 05:38 PM
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Lucas would use the screw whenever he wanted to rapid fire the rifle. Normally it would be set so the screw wouldn't touch the trigger.
This would allow him to spin the rifle with one hand to eject and put another bullet ready to fire.
Plus, it was an 11 bullet rifle. I think 9 was standard.
Old 08-24-2002, 05:52 PM
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Sounds like the modified it for the show per cites below


The Legendary Rifle: A Closer Look

Quote:
Lucas protected the town of North Fork with what was "in actuality" a model 1892 Winchester carbine. It was fitted with a large loop lever that enabled it to be spun and cocked in a dramatic fashion. The triggerguard incorporated a screw that could be set to trip the trigger every time the lever was closed, thus firing the gun. This was the secret to its rapid-firing technique. There were three carbines used in the show: a primary Winchester, another identical gun for backup, and a third version that was made from an El Tigre, a Spanish copy of the 1892 Winchester. The El Tigre was the gun usually carried in a saddle scabbard and used for rough work where a close-up wasn't involved. There were also two other loop lever Winchester 92 carbines that were used by Chuck in later years during his personal appearances. Today all four Winchester carbines are in private collections, while the whereabouts of the El Tigre is unknown. The program would open with Chuck rapid-firing eleven shots as he walked down the street of North Fork. Actually, he only fired ten shots; the eleventh had to be dubbed in to time out with the music. (Guns and Ammo magazine, 1995 annual edition.) For the kid who never grew up there's a replica rifle available just like the one Chuck Connors used.

also
http://tvacres.com/weapons_rifles.htm

Quote:
In the words of Chuck Connors "We decided to take the rifle; take off the regular lever and put this round lever on so I could get my hand through it." McCain's proficiency with his rifle earned him a reputation and nickname of "The Rifleman" when he lived in the Nations. He reportedly could squeeze off a round of ammunition every three-tenth of a second and fire eight times in two-and-a-half seconds
http://winchester-guns.com/manua...892_manual.pdf
Old 08-24-2002, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Marine_One
Lucas would use the screw whenever he wanted to rapid fire the rifle. Normally it would be set so the screw wouldn't touch the trigger.
This would allow him to spin the rifle with one hand to eject and put another bullet ready to fire.
Plus, it was an 11 bullet rifle. I think 9 was standard.
http://tvacres.com/weapons_rifles.htm


Quote:
At the beginning of each episode Lucas, with rifle in hand, walked down the streets of North Fork, and quickly emptied the chambers of rifle at an unidentified menace. He then recocked his rifle and reloaded amidst the blaring TV theme music composed by Herschel Burke Gilbert. (According to Guns and Ammo, 1995 edition, he actually only fired ten shots; the eleventh had to be dubbed in to time out with the music.)
Old 08-24-2002, 10:02 PM
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I have Winchester: An American Legend by R.L. Wilson, but it's been several years since I've read it and it is packed away with the rest of my books. However IIRC there is a reference that Winchester did not make a Model 92 with a large loop in the 1800s. I do remember seeing a large-loop carbine in the book, but I think it was a Model 94. Take this FWIW, as my memory may be faulty on this.

I have a Model 92 rifle (long octagonal barrel and rifle stocks) made in 1897 in .32-20 calibre. I believe Winchester currently makes, or at least currently made, a Model 94 carbine with a large loop lever.
Old 08-25-2002, 03:19 AM
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Location: Phoenix, AZ, US
Posts: 7,672
The loop looks neat but those of us who use lever rifles in cowboy action shooting regard the large loop as the worst possible modification as we emphasize accuracy and speed together. You just bang your knuckles trying to work the big lever fast. Spinning is of course verboten as it is a profound safety violation. At any rate the '92 doesn't work with a damn spinning because the cartridges tend fall out of the guides when it's any position but upright. The earlier '73 Winchester has a positive feeding system that will operate upside down or even sideways gangsta' style if you should so be inclined but I 've never seen one with a "John Wayne" loop.

FWIW I compete with both types, a Miroku made Winchester '92 with 24" round barrel and an Uberti made reproduction '73 with 24" octagon barrel. The '73 is heavier but I prefer it because of the smoothness of the toggle action and more reliable feeding. Lots of folks preferred it back then as well. Even after the Browning designed '92 came on the market the '73 continued in production well into the 20th century.
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