March 4, 2014
The 1873 Winchester in .44-40 used by Paul Newman in the 1967 Western film, HOMBRE, has two countersunk holes drilled through the trigger. They were there at least in one scene where Newman if shooting from atop a stagecoach.
My theory as to why they are there was to add something to the trigger to enable Newman to rapidly lever fire the rifle without risking the sharp end of the trigger from harpooning his finger. During that scene the rifle is laying atop a stagecoach (aka “mud wagon”) and the trigger is not visible.
Does anyone have any other ideas? Has anyone ever seen any other rifle with holes drilled through the trigger?
November 19, 2006
July 26, 2012
They screwed something to the trigger, I’m assuming it is a “safety” of some sorts so they couldn’t pull the trigger, I’m not sure. Someone from The Winchester Collector magazine posted this as an article they were intending to publish in an issue, I’m not sure if it ever was but here is what was said about it.
“It definitely is an 1873 Winchester in .44-40 caliber. It is owned by Peter Sherayko of Caravan West Productions who acquired it in the late 1980s from 20th Century Fox. The bottom of the receiver is stamped “20TH FOX”.
The rifle was manufactured in 1909 in .44-40 caliber with a heavy, round barrel and full-length magazine tube. Sometime during its life the barrel and magazine tube were shortened, giving it the appearance of a Winchester Sporting Model with a “button” magazine. It is unknown if this was done before or after being acquired by 20th Century Fox.
I have examined the rifle and taken detailed photos for an article I intend to publish in an upcoming issue of The Winchester Collector magazine. The rifle has a cracked wooden forend, is missing parts, and has been roughly welded to make repairs. Surprisingly, it was in this condition during filming but the imperfections are not obvious even on a large movie screen. Close examination of a high-definition DVD of the film confirmed that the imperfections were there during filming.”
January 27, 1992
I think it simply serves the purpose of firing the rifle when the lever closes. Similar in function to what was used on “The Rifleman” 1892 lever. The piece on the 1873 rifle is fixed to release the lever/hammer safety located in the lower tang and trip the trigger at the same time. That wasn’t needed for the 1892 carbine and rifle. I will add that the movie has always been one of my favorites! RDB