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Old 11-07-2014, 06:21 PM   #1
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Tales of Texas Rangers

Having found a DVD of several episodes of this 50's police show, I was reminded of how much my interest in firearms was developed by this series in particular and the early cop shows and movies in general of that period. The Smith & Wesson pre-war 5"nickel-plated .38-44 Heavy Duty revolvers carried by Jace and Clay were somehow seared in my memory. I thought that was the most beautiful handgun I had ever seen, and was thrilled when maybe 15 years ago I found one almost identical without the ivory stocks in a pawn shop for $300. Although not nearly in pristine condition it still looks great with the Jay Scott pearl grips I opted to put on it. That I've never shot it is a shame and something I plan to correct soon with my renewed interest in that particular model that now goes for the price of a good used car in almost all venues. Anybody else have a favorite model handgun or rifle which interest can be traced to a TV show or movie?
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Old 11-07-2014, 10:32 PM   #2
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Tales of Texas Rangers (on the radio... not TV) was one of my favorite programs when I was in first and second grade... I was heartbroken when the show ended after only two seasons.

I suspect this program is what led me to admire the Rangers so much... I was lucky enough to meet Ranger Captain M.T. 'Lone Wolf" Gonzelas (probably spelled it wrong) in Waco shortly after we moved there in 1956 or so... he must have already been retired by then, but we were staying at a motel near Conelley Air Force Base there pending getting quarters where he apparently stayed a day or two... I would have been much less impressed to have met President Eisenhower than Gonzelas!! He was incredibly pleasant and nice, a real old style Texas Gentleman and generously was nice to a youngster who worshiped him... Maybe he was just bored being away from home for a few days... maybe he enjoyed talking to an Air Force pilot... who knows... but he was always the gentleman and greatly impressed me. I was VERY impressed by the old gentleman... I wish I had video of that.

ANyway, I believe all the Tales of Texas Rangers radio programs are available for free down load here...

https://archive.org/details/TalesOfTheTexasRangers

They are still most enjoyable...

V/r

Chuck


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Originally Posted by romeofoxtrot View Post
Having found a DVD of several episodes of this 50's police show, I was reminded of how much my interest in firearms was developed by this series in particular and the early cop shows and movies in general of that period. The Smith & Wesson pre-war 5"nickel-plated .38-44 Heavy Duty revolvers carried by Jace and Clay were somehow seared in my memory. I thought that was the most beautiful handgun I had ever seen, and was thrilled when maybe 15 years ago I found one almost identical without the ivory stocks in a pawn shop for $300. Although not nearly in pristine condition it still looks great with the Jay Scott pearl grips I opted to put on it. That I've never shot it is a shame and something I plan to correct soon with my renewed interest in that particular model that now goes for the price of a good used car in almost all venues. Anybody else have a favorite model handgun or rifle which interest can be traced to a TV show or movie?
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Old 11-08-2014, 10:03 AM   #3
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Oh my gosh! All the horse operas I watched growing up had Colt SAAs--Roy, Hoppe, and Gene knew a good thing.
Starsky and Hutch=the 6" Python. I carried a 4" I the SO
Jim Rockford's Detective Special, yeah, carried one as a back up for awhile.
Elliot Ness's (The Untouchables) Colt Police Positive Special (the very first revolver I purchased with my own $ back in college.)
And of course Dirty Harry first introduced me to the S&W Model 29 "the most powerful handgun the world"
All were fun to collect & shoot, but I came to appreciate utility over fashion and what looks good on camera isn't necessarily the wisest choice when your bacon may be on the line.
While paring down my herd of fighting tools I said adios to many celebrities. It became an object lesson on how sentimentality can be detrimental to one's purpose.
However that Python was certainly a beauty!
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Old 11-08-2014, 10:18 AM   #4
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As to rifles, Chuck Connor's The Rifleman was a big hit when I was growing up (and I admit to having a Daisy Spittin' Image 94 as a kid) but Winchester lever actions didn't attract me until I was in college and my dad suggested I start collecting them(pre-'68) while they still could be found cheaply. When I flew a Super Cub in Alaska I developed an attachment to an old ex-GI M1894 I carried as part of the required survival kit---it was that accurate.
The only real "collectors gun" I still own is a ruined Winchester 1892 in .44-40 (from firing black powder blanks) stamped "Property of Fox Studios" with brass tacks hammered into the butt stock---supposedly used in the filming of Cochise. Sentimentality won out with that one.
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Old 11-08-2014, 10:38 PM   #5
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I recall Chuck Connors as the Rifleman and Steve McQueen as the something-or-other with a sawed-off Winchester.

I may be a little younger than you gentlemen (though don't try to tell that to my knees) because I was rather smitten with Napoleon Solo's pistol on "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." I believe that it was, or pretended to be, a bobbed P-38 with a "silencer" about the length of a wine cork. Pretty cool. I eventually got a plastic PPK-ish looking thing that I glued something on to the end of that looked like a small silencer, and wore it in shoulder rig, also plastic. My imaginative life as a twelve-year-old was intense. Now, I leave the counter-intelligence spy stuff to the pro's. For the most part.
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Old 11-09-2014, 09:39 AM   #6
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This thread reminds me that handgun aren't portrayed very positively all that much on television anymore. I wonder how that will effect the next generation?

I don't watch TV anymore, but I've been told that NCIS is one of the few programs which features good guys with handguns.
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Old 11-09-2014, 12:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
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This thread reminds me that handgun aren't portrayed very positively all that much on television anymore. I wonder how that will effect the next generation? ....
At the risk of having to censure myself for making a 'political comment', I'll say that the answer is an obvious one and pray that we will leave that question and move on.

In a sense, what you are seeing with the portrayal of firearms by the media and entertainment industry is one of the oldest forms of societal manipulation. it is how 'propaganda' works. Say something often enough, loud enough and to enough people and it becomes the 'truth' - at least the 'truth' that society accepts and believes.

I will add that we are seeing it with many other issues as well.

With that, let us move on to happier, less controversial thoughts.
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Old 01-10-2015, 05:56 PM   #8
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We have a chain store in this part of Tennessee known as "Tractor Supply", and among their many interesting products is a magazine section I always peruse whenever visiting to stock up on dog food. Yesterday I saw a Collector's Edition of "American Cowboy" devoted to "Legends" and this one was the "Texas Rangers." It is full of photos old and new, TV shows and movies about that law enforcement organization, stories, and all kinds of other interesting information about the history and real achievements of the Rangers. I especially noted, CXM, a photo of Manual T. Gonzaullas, whom you mentioned in your post above as the media consultant for the 50's TV show that is the title of this post. This photo gives some biographical information and shows him as a relatively young officer describing how he got his nickname of "El Lobo Solo" or "the Lone Wolf." It is a fascinating read and well worth a trip to West Tennessee to get your copy unless, of course, you have a Tractor Supply or bookstore in your area that still has copies available. There is a notation in fine print on the cover that says "display until December 30, 2014." Guess I was just lucky, although the manager of the store not only knew about the edition I was buying at the checkout but had himself visited the Ranger Museum in Waco. Maybe there are still a lot of us Texas Ranger fans around.
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Old 01-10-2015, 06:15 PM   #9
 
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I grew up on all the same shows and was always fascinated by the guns. I had that Man From Uncle P38 with long silencer and shoulder stock attachments. I had a Luger for playing war. I loved Peter Gunn and 77 Sunset Strip and had a .38 snubnose I carried in its shoulder rig to Saturday catechism class. Unfortunately, it fell out from under my jacket. All I got was laughed at. Imagine the hoopla if that happened today. Oh, and of course I had the requisite Colt replica capgun (annoyed the h--- out of my parents).
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Old 01-10-2015, 10:17 PM   #10
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@BHP940: Evidently, we had the same childhood, rich with imagination and occasional embarrassing weapons accidents.
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