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The Rifleman is an American live-action western from the late 1950s and early 1960s.
The story is about Lucas McCain and his son, Mark McCain. Mark's mother and Lucas' wife was killed by bandits, breaking Lucas' heart forever and making him swear to always take care of Mark and those who can't defend themselves. Lucas wins enough money in a turkey shooting contest to buy a plot in New Mexico, but soon discovers that the town nearby is on the brink of falling apart due to crime. Lucas dedicates his time to protecting the town and looking to kill the fastest man in the West.
- Actor Allusion: Duke Snider, Chuck Connors' former Dodgers teammate, once played an outlaw in one of the episodes.
- The Alcoholic: Micah Torrance, who gets a second chance from Lucas.
- Bandito: A whole band of them appears in "The Vaqueros".
- Daddy Issues: Lil, though she and her father do rebuild the relationship.
- Easily Forgiven: Lucas gave lots of people second chances, but YMMV on how much they were deserved.
- Evil Twin: Lucas has one who comes back for an episode.
- Gun Twirling: Of the "twirl a lever-action gun to cock it" variety.
- Instrumental Theme Tune: Tune is preceded in opening credits by a rapid firing of 12 shots and the announcer calling out, "The Rifleman!".
- Hey, It's That Guy!: You constantly see the same actors coming back in different roles.
- Heartbroken Badass: Lucas is so devastated by his wife's death that he never remarries, and her memory is often brought up.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Lil
- Hunter Trapper: In the episode "Day of the Hunter", one of these tries to goad Lucas McCain into killing him in a showdown.
- Missing Mom: Mark's mother and Lucas' wife.
- Not Allowed to Grow Up: Averted with Mark, surprisingly for the day. He is 11 at the beginning of the series and 15 at the end, allowed to age naturally.
- Recycled in Space!: Brandon Tartikoff originally pitched Deep Space Nine as "The Rifleman in space".
- Shirtless Scene: Lucas spends most of "The Vaqueros" without a shirt, and his hair all messed up. And it is awesome.
- Unorthodox Reload: The "flip-cock method" became the show's gimmick.