I must have missed this issue of the comic when it came out ...
The first funny picture notwithstanding, I was a big fan of The Rifleman TV series as a kid. It ran, in black-and-white, from 1958-1963, starring Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford.
In the 1880's, Lucas McCain was a widower raising his pre-pube son, Mark, on a ranch in North Fork, New Mexico. Westerns were all the rage on the tube back then, and this one had two gimmicks: First, no momma on the ranch, and second, there was that rifle. This was a tricked-out Winchester lever-action that McCain could twirl, spin, and cook off shoots as fast as a machinegun. Ten shots in the magazine, one in the pipe, yet sometimes McCain would fire off a dozen rounds without reloading. Hell of a gun, the Winchester.
A model 1892 carbine, in .44-40, which meant the gun didn't come out until years after the time and setting for the TV show, but they played with a couple, so there might have been an 1873 model in there. The .44-40 round–numbers are, respectively, caliber and grains of power–was Winchester's first centerfire metallic cartridge, and there were also revolvers chambered for it, including the Colt six-shooter.
Ostensibly a man of peace who was always telling his son that violence was a last resort and like that, McCain pretty much kept the Winchester ammo division in business all by himself, the number of rounds he blasted off ...
(Much like a character with a similar name who would arrive on the tube nearly ten years later, Kwai Chang Caine, McCain was a great example of do-like-I-say-not-like-I-do, and never far away from his thunderstick. Bad guys dropped like poisoned flies back in them days of violent TV.)
Connors was a serious jock. He played pro basketball–for the Celtics in Boston–and later went on to play pro baseball, including a stint with the Brooklyn Dodgers, one of only a dozen or so men to ever do both sports as a pro. His fame as a basketball player was that he was the first guy to ever break a backboard.
Before Connors got the role of Lucas McCain, he was best known for his starring role in the Disney movie, Old Yeller. After The Rifleman, he went on to various character parts, and his last years, he played a villain on Spencer, a werewolf in the Fox series Werewolf, and was on the western series Paradise.
There are two stores about how Connors got the role of McCain. The first is probably true, but mundane: The producers interviewed forty or fifty actors, and decided that Connors was the guy, but low-balled their offer, which he turned down. One of the producers then saw Old Yeller and determined that they had to have him, so they upped the ante, and he signed on.
The second story is probably apocryphal, but I like it better: As each actor auditioning for the part walked into the room, a flunky would toss a Winchester rifle at them unexpectedly.
Supposedly Connors, because he'd been a pro baseball player used to handling bats thrown to him, just reached out and caught the rifle, no problem, and he was the only guy who made it look easy.
A lifelong smoker, Connors died of pneumonia secondary to lung cancer, at the age of 71, in 1992.