Who is the man James Arness shoots every week in the introduction to Gunsmoke?

atm-logoWho is the man James Arness shoots every week in the introduction to Gunsmoke?

Dan Clutter
Denison, Iowa

Gun expert Jim Dunham wrote in the April 2014 Wild West History Association Journal that Arvo Ojala was the man gunned down weekly by James Arness’s Matt Dillon. The fast-draw expert taught many Hollywood stars—including Arness.

Ojala came to Hollywood in the early 1950s, opened a leather shop and patented the first real “fast-draw” holster. He utilized the buscadero design, where the holster hangs from a slot in the gunbelt, that we see in most of those Westerns of the 1950s-60s.

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Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His latest book is Wyatt Earp: Showdown at Tombstone.  If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu

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