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Let's Talk about the Mares Leg. (Just for fun.)


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Late last year, I was diagnosed with cancer, and I began treatment in December.   I've not really talked all that much about it here, other than mentioning it in passing a couple of times.   But now, my treatment is over, I am home from the hospital, out of isolation, getting ready to go back to work, and most importantly, cancer free!  

The Lord has been good to me, and let the glory go to him.

That being said, as I was nearing the end of my recent stay in the hospital, I found myself wanting to have a "fun" discussion here on the Wire about Mares Leg type firearms.  Yes, I know they are not SASS legal, and this isn't really about how some clubs will let you shoot them at monthly events.  Rather, I just wanted to mention how owning, and occasionally shooting these guns is a lot of fun.   I know I'm not the only one here who owns them, so to everyone that does, this thread's for you!

And of course, a thread like this is worthless without pictures so...

863655752_WearingMaresLegs.thumb.JPG.608e59dabe5c6a873e4ff6ea19361a05.JPG

 

That's me, wearing not one, but two Mares Leg type pistols.

 

Now, this brings up the first of many questions.

Question Number 1:  Is it Mares Leg, Mare's Leg, Mares Laig or Mare's Laig?  I've seen all 4 variations.

 

Now there are more than a few pistols of this type out on the market.  The most common ones are probably the ones based on Winchester 92, just like the original on the TV show we all remember.

 

327544938_MaresLeg.thumb.JPG.98acaee47a7f6a3903521ca1a4447fc0.JPG

 

This one is a Chiappa take down in .44 Magnum.  Of the 92 based pistols, this is the most expensive variant, but you get what you pay for.  In my opinion, Chiappa makes the best 92 on the market today.  No stupid safety, and ready to go with a smooth as grease action right out of the box.   If there is any drawback, it's that the lever you see here is an aftermarket accessory.  It comes from the factory with a kind of oversized D shaped lever.   Let me say right now that spin cocking this thing, (with snap caps!) does not work.  The cartridge flies out of the action when the gun is upside down and clatters across the floor!  But, it's still a cool gun to shoot, and the fun factor is at the top of the charts.

 

Question Number 2:  What are some opinions of the Rossi version of this gun?

Question Number 3:  Or of the non take down Chiappa if somebody has one.
Question Number 4:  Does anyone else make a 92 based version of this pistol?

 

Leaving the world of the 92 based pistols behind, probably the rarest of this type of firearm is the AWA Lightning Bolt, which is a Mare's Leg type pistol based on the Colt Lighting.

1417096269_LightningBolt.thumb.JPG.341d2ed991214f25e2d1df45cc89a5c0.JPG

 

AWA did not make very many of these before they faded away into history.   I was very lucky to find one.  This is a .45 Colt.  Shooting this gun is really quite enjoyable, and once at a club that let me use it, I shot a clean match with it.   The fun factor is off the charts with this gun.

 

Question number 5:  Anybody else around here have one of these things?

Question number 6:  Anybody know how many actually got made?

 

And of course, there is a relative newcomer to this type of firearm, first made popular in the movie, Terminator 2...

 

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Again, made by Chiappa, in my opinion the maker of the best 87's on the market today.  A sweet shooter with surprisingly little recoil.  I am glad I got this gun.  Very fun to shoot, no matter how you slice it.   This was the shotgun I used in my aforementioned clean match.  I didn't have the 92 yet, so I used my "Big Iron" for the other pistol.

Question Number 7:  Anybody else got one of these?

 

Just for fun, here's all three guns...

13322300_AllThree.thumb.JPG.7f3bcb1e5d161496aa5ec191ee65099c.JPG

 

Okay, at the risk of sounding goofy...

Question Number 8:  Anyone else have a "Full Battery?"  That is to say, the Terminator shotgun and 2 pistols of this type?

 

Question Number 9:  Is the one based on the Henry Big Boy worth mentioning?

 

Question Number 10:  If they were actually on the market, wouldn't a 73 Mares Leg be cool?

Question Number 11:  Would a Mare's Leg based on the Henry be a good ersatz Volcanic?

 

And finally, I wish to leave you with this...

1199012754_GunfighterMares.thumb.JPG.c2b5662c26a573e4e1af195af6828664.JPG

 

Question 12:  Just how the heck are you supposed to shoot Gunfighter style with these things?

Edited by H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619
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48 minutes ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

...Question 12:  Just how the heck are you supposed to shoot Gunfighter style with these things?

 

You spin cock them, and then after the first stage you gracefully accept the decision to kick you out of the club. ;)

 

Good on ya for keeping ahead of the Big C.

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I like the middle one. Congratulations on your victory.

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9 minutes ago, Yul Lose said:

I like the middle one. Congratulations on your victory.

 

Thank you.

I too like the middle gun.   I'm a Lightning guy to begin with and I really wanted to have one of them.  I was very, very fortunate to find one.   It's kinda fun to "group" the Lightning Bolt with a small, medium and large frame Lightning.

Or for that matter, the Mares Leg with a 9422, 92 and an 86.

 

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Congratulations! I am happy to hear you’re better. :)

 

I have thought that a Mare’s Leg would be a fun gun to have. I have only handled 1 of them but haven’t shot one. I think the one I handled was a Chiappa. I was very interested in it until they hit me with a $1200 price tag. Part of that cost was the really nice holster or scabbard made for it. 
 

I think I would like a Henry .22 LR Mare’s Leg. It would be a fairly inexpensive way to get a unique fun gun and find out if I might be interested in a larger caliber model. 

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The Mares Leg pistols look cool... but the only ones I have ever seen were the Henry's and the Rossi's at gunshows.

 

BTW... what ever happened to the Rossi Ranchhand?  Have not seen one in about four years... and that one was selling for $800+.

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6 hours ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

Question Number 1:  Is it Mares Leg, Mare's Leg, Mares Laig or Mare's Laig?  I've seen all 4 variations.

As I understand it, McQueen decided that it was a Mare's Laig.

 

The Single Action Army was a hog leg, and this was bigger than the Colt, so it must belong to a horse not a pig, and there you go.

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5 hours ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

 

How do you spin cock the pump gun?

Thanks.  :)

I'm sorry, I should have been more clear.  You don't actually spin cock the pump gun.  You have the action so tuned and light that you can thrust the gun forward and backward in your hand and the slide will move on its own.  But you spin the pump gun along with the lever gun anyway, just for effect.  Be sure you pump the Lightning AFTER spinning, not before. ;) .

Oh, and be sure someone is videoing it, along with the posse's reaction.  Plus, you never know, the paramedics might want to see the footage.

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20 hours ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

But you spin the pump gun along with the lever gun anyway,

I always imagined somehow shooting myself in the armpit…Shoulder Blossom anyone? :blink: Heebie-Jeebies font needed :wacko:

 

 

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 I've had several over the years.  This is a new chiappa I have in the shop now in .44 mag.  

 

 Fun guns

IMG_20220622_094702.jpg

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Congrats on your Cancer success, I too am stage 4 cancer free after 10 chemo treatments and prayers from a lot of family and friends. 
I have 2 fantasy weapons that I want to get, both 92’s, a 92 Henry like John Wayne holds in The Commancheros and a Mates Leg as well, both Rossi’s in .44 mag so I could shoot specials. I would be having Nate Kiowa Jones do both, as he actually took the Rossi Ranch hand and got it to the “size” in the show. And I would do the first version with the “D” lever. 
Unfortunately I missed out on getting the Rifleman version done as I believe the man that was doing them is no longer in business.  Hopefully in a couple years I can get the first 2 done. 

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With the recent SCOTUS decision in mind, many are speculating that the rules about what kind of pistols you can buy in Massachusetts may be doomed.   If that happens, I just might get a non takedown Chiappa in .45 Colt to work with the Lightning Bolt in the same caliber.

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Howdy,

A friend who worked on several guns for me said

he would set up a rifleman style rifle but delivered the parts

to the buyer and the buyer could assemble the last parts of the rifle.

My friend thought the setup was stupid dangerous.

He didnt want to get sued.

Fireing on closing the lever....reeeeeeeeeeel dangerous.

Best

CR

 

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On 6/20/2022 at 4:50 PM, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

Let me say right now that spin cocking this thing, (with snap caps!) does not work.  The cartridge flies out of the action when the gun is upside down and clatters across the floor! 

I sent all of my 92s - whoever made them - to Steve Young. And while he was slicking up that bottom one there I asked him if he could do the modification that will allow you to load it while spin cocking it.

 

He said yes he could.

 

So I asked him if he would.

 

He said no he would not.

Rossi 92 SRC, 357 & 45 Colt.jpg

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On 6/20/2022 at 6:49 PM, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

 

How do you spin cock the pump gun?

Thanks.  :)

According to Hollywood: you spin it down 180 while pulling it tight to your body.  This puts the upside down sliding forearm in your armpit.  Squeeze your arm to your rib to hold the pump then pull the gun back and forth causing the action to cycle.  Then rotate it back the 180 degrees into proper shooting position.

 

 

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If the gun has a lever, when you spin it it is spinning on the lever loop.

 

A pump, having no lever loop, would have to spin in the trigger guard. Once you have worked the action to chamber a round, the hammer is cocked. Spinning it back around 180° to get it in shooting position??!!?!? 

 

As soon as the weight of the gun hits the trigger on that cocked gun, it will go bang. At that point the muzzle will be pointed somewhere between your foot and about 2 feet in front of you. You are either going to fill your shorts, or fall to the ground screaming with a hole in your foot.

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