Widower Lucas McCain can fire a round with his specially modified Winchester in three-tenths of a second. Added to his high moral code and resolve enable him to help Marshal Micah Torrance maintain order in town while raising his son, Mark, on a ranch near North Fork, New Mexico. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the pilot for the series, by Sam Peckinpah (originally written for Gunsmoke but turned down for that show), Chuck Connors' character was named John McCain, not Lucas McCain, and he didn't have a son. It was producer Arnold Laven's idea to make McCain a widower with a son. Also, McCain was originally supposed to have been a dead shot with a pistol. Laven had the idea to use a customized Winchester rifle as McCain's weapon of choice. See more »
Lucas McCain's rifle is a modified 1892 .44-40 Winchester, even though the series clearly establishes itself in the 1880s. See more »
As a kid growing up in the 70s, "The Rifleman" was one the only other western besides "Wild, Wild, West" that I really liked--I envied Mark McCain and the great father he had on the show (played by Connors). Yes, each show was a morality play but so were many other shows of the 50s & 60s (including "Star Trek"). They made their point at a time when there was still some innocence in America, and even taught tolerance for people from other countries/cultures (for example, in the episode of "Rifleman" where a Japanese man gets insulted & pushed into a fight with one of the locals & uses Judo to defend himself). Lucas McCain taught his son by example NEVER to use a gun or fight unless it was self-defense. It sounds silly now, but when I was a kid I wished my dad had explained things to me the same way Chuck Connors did to his son in the show--ah well, thank goodness for TV writers! :)
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