smokewood_nevada_robert_davi_peacemaker_coltAs the sun reaches high in the baking Nevada sky, two steely-eyed gunmen slowly walk toward each other in the dusty street.

Each man’s cold stare pierces through the other’s like a bullet. As they reach dueling distance they stop—ready to play out their deadly game of life or death. Slowly, each man lowers his hand toward his holstered Colt, fingers twitching, taunting their iron nerves as the moment of truth approaches. Like lightning, as each hand grips the butt of his Peacemaker, the tense silence is suddenly broken by a high-pitched shout!

“Sorry fellas! So sorry for being late, but we can proceed now . . . according to the rules.”

“What?” one of the dumbfounded pistoleers asks. “What the Hell is goin’ on?” asks the other. “Oh yes, we have very rigid rules on gunfighting here, please let me explain,” says the interloper. “I’m Dale Baxter, the new mayor here in Smokewood.”

Sound crazy? Well, it is . . . in a way. This is the opening of a short teaser film I had the opportunity to work on this year. It’s a quirky Western sitcom titled Smokewood, Nevada, that follows the misadventures of a high-voiced Eastern dude who is the newly appointed mayor (portrayed by Mark Odlum, also the head writer for the show, along with director John Dabrowski), of the rough-and-ready frontier town. Shortly after his arrival in Smokewood, Baxter, who has many progressive ideas—few of which are received well by the local population—manages to make enemies of the town’s two most ruthless gunfighters, Johnny Morgan, portrayed by Bruce Boxleitner (Tron, Babylon 5, How the West Was Won), and Ike Wilson, played by Robert Davi (James Bond film License to Kill, HBO’s Blind Justice).

The show is played out in a straightforward manner, with on-camera interviews with the characters that add to the program’s offbeat humor, executive producer Trevor Crafts says. The sitcom features plenty of good old Western action and catchy dialogue, along with a flavorful look at the real West, as well as the reel West. With a town full of Old West characters, like Johnny Morgan’s “Over the Belt” Gang of well-worn, aged cowhands (of which yours truly plays one) and, of course, enough young faces, this upbeat comedy is bound to captivate an audience.

The overall look of the film’s costuming, guns and saddle tack is authentic, adding to this mockudrama’s realistic look. Al Frisch, of Hollywood Guns & Props, who costumed, set dressed and armored the show, supplied the gunslingers with historic Colts. Boxleitner wields one of gunman Jack Wilson’s (played by Jack Palance) Peacemakers from the classic Shane, while Davi packs one of Richard Boone’s Paladin Colts. I supplied the horses and period saddlery.

Along with the gunfight sequence, an action-packed and comedic stagecoach chase and a holdup (with actor Martin Kove) were also filmed, giving this writer a chance to saddle up for some exciting riding and shooting.

Watch for Smokewood, Nevada, to be aired in the not-too-distant future.


modern_double_derringer_cobra_titan_cimarron_armA Modern Double Derringer

Reminiscent of the old frontier double derringer, Cimarron Arms’s new Cobra Titan is a powerhouse single-action, pocket carry gun that’s chambered to take the .45 Colt round or .410 shotshells (additional calibers to follow). Weighing in at just 16.4 ounces (empty), it measures just 5.5 inches overall, is 3.7 inches high and has 3.5-inch barrels. Other features include a rebounding hammer, a removable trigger guard, rosewood grips and a choice of polished, black or satin (shown) stainless steel finish. This double derringer is ideal for self-defense or fun plinking. Cimarron-Firearms.com830-997-9090

Phil Spangenberger writes for Guns & Ammo, appears on the History Channel and other documentary networks, produces Wild West shows, is a Hollywood gun coach and character actor, and is True West’s Firearms Editor.

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