Monday, December 9, 2013

Best Gun Handling Celebrities: Leif Erickson

Leif Ericson firing a Winchester model 1892 modified to look like an 1860 Henry rifle.

Leif Erickson (1911-1986) was a tall and handsome actor with a powerful booming voice.  Leif had many memorable performances in film. He is best known as the tough determined rancher John Cannon in the western series “High Chaparral”. 
 The High Chaparral may be the best western TV series ever made. It features a variety of characters, innovative writing, and consistently good acting. Leif and the other cast member routinely handled firearms against Apaches and various bandits. In a credible attempt to replicate henry rifles, Winchester 92s with hand guards removed, are used to portray the earlier rifles.  In several non-shooting scenes, actual Henry’s are used.
Of course, almost every character carries or uses a single action pistol, the most memorable is a nickel plated 1875 Remington carried by John Cannon’s brother in law. Leif is believable with his weapon handling. He may have learned about weapons during his World War II service. Leif was a Navy combat photographer and was wounded twice.  Sadly, The High Chaparral was cancelled after four seasons.  The western was on it way out and even the shows high ratings could not save it.           

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