In the Western show "The Rifleman", the titular character and crackshot Lucas McCain wields an anachronistic lever-action rifle modified for rapid fire. The most peculiar aspect of his shooting is that he does not rest the stock on his shoulder, but on his hip.

I cannot find the reason for this, like whether it was something rarely done in real life or an entirely fictional character quirk. The search is somewhat complicated by the fact that the term "hip fire" does not refer to resting a stock on the hip.

  • Isn't this just a cliché of Westerns in general? – F1Krazy Oct 22 at 22:08
  • Maybe? I haven't watched many Westerns, and I usually see people using revolvers. And when people used rifles, I usually see shoulder fire and actual hip fire, not putting the stock right on the hip. – BatWannaBe Oct 23 at 3:43

  • If he had not fired his rifle from his hip, the firing rate would suffer as the reloading would have taken longer.

Please refer to this video(starting from 7:00) for how fast you can reload if this rifle is fired from the shoulder.

The reasons regarding why this rifle (Winchester 1892) is being fired by the rifleman in such a fashion

  • The target(s) he tries to hit is not really far away from him, technically lower accuracy is compensated by rapid firing rate.

I admit if the rifleman is firing a modern sub machine gun or automatic rifle from his hip, it will make more sense.

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  • Lucas' rapid fire is not explained by his strange hipfire, but rather his modified rifle. Lucas's lever has a screw that hits the trigger when the lever is closed (S3E14), so he gets to keep his finger out of the way. Otherwise he would need to either risk slamming the pointy trigger into his finger or realign his finger on the trigger for each shot, slowing him down. There are several videos of people firing a lever-action far faster than the man in your video, and it does appear that the finger-trigger alignment limits their speed from reaching Lucas'. – BatWannaBe Oct 23 at 10:04

It’s also a way for shooters to show off. It’s more difficult to be accurate from the hip, but some people are pretty good at it with enough practice. I’m kind of an ace at hipshooting.

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