Mare’s Leg Rifle History

Replica Mare’s Leg Rifle by Denix, USA 1892

The Mare’s Leg Rifle features a shortened barrel and stock – also known originally as the Winchester Model 1892. This recognizable rifle, built in the USA, could be holstered like a pistol at the hip but also fired with the speed of lever-action rifle.

Featured in the TV series Wanted: Dead or Alive (1958-1961) it was used by Steve McQueen’s character Josh Randall – as such, it was also nick-named the Winchester Randall or Randall Special. “Mare’s Leg” was coined from McQueen’s previous role in 1957 in the TV series Trackdown.

For fan-culture enthusiasts, this rifle was also used in the TV series Firefly (and later the Serenity film) by Gina Torres, Zoe Washburne.

The original Mare’s Leg was made by cutting down a .44-40 caliber Winchester Model 1892 rifle to a size that could be worn in a large leg holster and used with one hand. The barrel was cut down to a length of twelve (or possibly nine) inches, and much of the butt-stock was removed.

1095Available to order as a replica from Denix, the Mare’s Leg Rifle replica features the same mechanics as the original – cock, hammer and click as well as the approximate weight and wood/metal content as the original. This replica DOES NOT load ammunition however, and is designed for collectors who would like a piece of history at a fraction of the price.

Other film appearances of the Mare’s Leg Rifle include:

  • Once Upon a Time in the West (1968 film)
  • Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. (1993–1994 television series)
  • The Magnificent Seven (1998–2000 television series)
  • Firefly (2002 television series) and Serenity (2005 film)
  • Zombieland (2009 film) used by Woody Harrelson throughout the film.