Sunday, January 2, 2011


Happy New Years to my readers and fellow bloggers! I start the new year off with happy news, at least for me.

Way back in February of last year, I made a post calling out various lever action manufacturers about why they were not making AN AFFORDABLE version of the chopped down lever action carbine popularlized by Steve McQueen in the old western series of my youth, WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE.

Called alternately Mare's Laig, or Mare's Leg, because in the show McQueen once said the gun kicked like a Mare's Leg. That's because in the fictitious show version, the gun shot some incredibly huge caliber rifle shell, and to further compound the fiction, McQueen wore even larger sized cartridges on his gun belt than the gun would shoot.

Back in the 1990's, at least one fellow started making these guns out of old rifles. The exact rifle escapes me, but this fellow made some nice looking guns. If I recall, they were priced out at about $2,500 and you also had to pay a several hundred dollar fee to the BATF for a short barreled firearm.

Now I am a lawyer, but this is not legal advice. Consult your own attorney and don't rely on my version of the following. As I understand it, if a firearm receiver like a Lever Action in this case, has never actually been a rifle, then fitting it with a short barrel and a hand stock (not capable of shoulder fire) makes the gun exempt from the short barrel firearms rules. As I understand it.

So any maker of lever action rifles could take new receivers and make their own Mare's Laig gun, and yet it would be exempt from the short barrel firearm licensing rule and could be purchased just like any other handgun. By way of example, the flood of AR-15 "pistols" that are basically assault rifles with short barrels and no shoulder stock fly under the same radar of the law. As long as the receiver has never been a rifle, and it is equipped with short barrel and no shoulder stock, no problemo. As anyone knows, these assault rifle pistols are basically a sub-machine gun in semi-auto form.

And If'n I had the money (particularly for the ammo), I'd have me at least one of these nifty chopped down Ar-15's.

We all have dreams, and owning one of these guns has been a dream of mine since childhood. As a serious gunner, a public employee with two kids and a wife and all of the bills and appurtances that go along therewith, up to now these guns have been so overpriced as to be out of my range.

A few years ago, an italian maker began selling a cheaper version of the Mare's Leg, calling it I believe The Bounty Hunter. Made from a virgin receiver, you could buy one of those without obtaining federal license. But the price was still way too steep at about $1300 MSRP.

Earlier this year, Rossi began making a gun called the Ranch Hand, which is a Mare's Leg chambered in either .45 LC, .44 Magnum or .357 Magnum, and selling for about $500. I've yet to see one but am ready to buy one now.

Then I had a response to the above post from back in February that said that Henry Repeating Arms company is coming out with a .22 and a .45 LC version, and that the rimfire version will be selling for $300 or less. That is good news, and I really would like one of these in .22 and a Rossi in .357.

.357 and .38 Special ammo is cheaper than either .45 LC or .44 special/magnum, and .22's are light years cheaper than either of those. I'm looking for a fun factor, and a gun to take on fishing and hunting trips. But mostly for the fun factor, so if Henry gets there version in .22 out soon enough, that'll be the first one bought, simply based on ammo pricing and the volume of shooting I plan to do with it. Not to mention El Fisho Jr or Billy Ray.

I doubt my idea was the impetus for either Rossi or Henry to come out with a cheaper model of these guns. But at least it shows that others are thinking like me, or I'm thinking like them.

Or something.


  1. I own a Henry Mare's Leg 22LR. It is more accurate than any handgun because it is really a rifle. It shoots like a rifle. I can consistantly hit a 12 inch target at 75 yards. It is the most fun shooting gun I have. I will be buying the 45 Colt for hog hunting.

  2. I agree, it is the most fun shooting weapon I own. It is a fine weapon. I plan to get another one, as well as the 16" large loop .22 LR carbine soon. Bargain prices and such quality.

    I'm torn between the .44 Mag Rossi Ranch Hand and the .45 LC Henry. I'm not a big LC fan. But we both know the Henry is a far superior gun to the Rossi, so I may just have to learn to deal with the .45 LC.

    Isn't Hog Hunting Gun a great excuse for the Missus when getting a new gun? The lament has been heard recently around my home from the bride..."How many guns do you need to hunt hogs?"

    The answer I've taught El Fisho JR is "As many as I kin get my hands on.".

    Let me know how you like the .45 LC Henry and where the bargains are on this gun.