Friday, November 25, 2005
For some reason I was thinking about this old show today. I used to catch reruns of it on Saturday afternoons when I was a kid--they would squeeze one in between Roy Rogers and Hopalong Cassidy--back when they actually showed stuff worth watching on Saturday afternoons. This was one of the greatest TV shows of all time, in my opinion, and certainly one of the really good westerns--possibly the best half-hour western series ever. Unfortunately, according to what I have been able to find online, only the first two seasons are available on DVD, although it ran for six seasons. When people think of old west heroes, many at first think of the Lone Ranger. But for me, the ultimate old west hero was always Paladin. I'm talking, of course, about Have Gun - Will Travel.
However, there were a couple of problems with his gun that I must mention. His revolver was "handcrafted to [his] specifications." Two things, at least, were supposed to set this gun apart.
1) The barrel was rifled--"a rarity in a hand weapon." Rifled barrels were actually the standard by the 1870's. I have never heard of a smoothbore revolver, Colt or otherwise. A revolver without a rifled barrel would certainly be the exception, and be pretty much worthless compared to all the revolvers carried by everyone else.
2) His revolver had a trigger pull of one ounce. To intentionally create a gun with a trigger pull this light would seem to me to be the height of stupidity. To begin with, I think that the trigger itself would weigh at least an ounce, if not more. With a trigger pull this light, it means that if you bundled about 30 paper clips together with a rubber band and tied them to the trigger, it would be enough weight to pull the trigger.
Both of these assertions were obviously the creation of some Hollywood goofball who knew nothing about guns.
It's still one of my favorite shows, and I wish they'd re-run it on the Encore Westerns channel, or TVLand, or somewhere. And with all the bad movies made from old TV shows, this one certainly seems ripe for exploitation.
Here is a link to a good fan site for the show.
Richard Boone, who played Paladin, was also the voice of Smaug in The Hobbit.