The television character "The Rifleman" shot the Winchester just like Cherokee Bill. Did they get this idea from Cherokee Bill? Bill said he shot in this fashion to rattle people. But for accuracy he shot from the shoulder. They say he could make a Winchester hum like a sewing machine by shooting from the hip.
A similar story is told about Bob Dalton. Robert B. Smith writes (in Daltons!) that "like the other brothers, he was an expert horseman, and he was the best shot of them all. Veteran U.S. Deputy Marshal Heck Thomas, who could shoot a little himself, called Bob ˜one of the most accurate shots I ever saw . . . [he] fired his rifle mostly from his side or hip, very seldom bringing the gun to his shoulder. . . .' Bob practiced his marksmanship every chance he got. A young frontier boy, son of the Osage agency doctor (and also a witness to Bob's whisky selling) said later that Bob paid him a quarter to throw tin cans into the air while Bob shot at them. The story goes that Bob could put three rounds into a thrown tomato can--from the hip--before his target hit the ground"( pp. 46-47).
Speed is another reason as demonstrated by the February 14, 1897 gun fight between John Walner and Little Bill Lewis. Both used Winchesters, both were marksmen, but Little Bill bit the dust because when Walner confronted him, Bill tried to bring his rifle to his shoulder, whereas Walner swung his rifle up, clamped the butt to his hip, and fired. The split seconds saved met all the difference.
This method of shooting the Winchester may have been more peculiar to the Twin Territories than other places in the Old West.
Just FYI...the Winchester used by Chuck Connors in "The Rifleman" was modified using a screw through the lever/trigger guard ranging upward at an angle. In this fashion, the tip of the screw would run along the trigger causing it to discharge. Hence his rapid fire capability. A forerunner of the modern day "assault rifle":-)
On the Trail
editor, Oklahombres Journal
On the Trail
Secretary, Oklahombres Inc.
Cherokee Bill did it without a screw attachment.
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