The BEST episodes of The Rifleman

Every episode of The Rifleman ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of The Rifleman!

Widower Lucas McCain can fire a round with his specially modified Winchester in three-tenths of a second. Added to his high moral code and resolve enable him to help Marshal Micah Torrance maintain order in town while raising his son, Mark, on a ranch near North Fork, New Mexico.

Last Updated: 5/30/2024Network: ABC (US)Status: Ended
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Ordeal
star
8.58
12 votes

#1 - Ordeal

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired 11/17/1959

When their wagon breaks down, Mark and an injured Lucas are stranded in the desert.

Directors: Paul Landres
Watch Now:Amazon
The Boarding House
star
8.52
23 votes

#2 - The Boarding House

Season 1 - Episode 22 - Aired 2/24/1959

Reformed card sharp Julia Massini now runs a respectable boarding house in North Fork, but Sid Fallon is threatening to reveal her sordid past unless she lets him turn the establishment into a saloon and gambling hall.

Directors: Sam Peckinpah
Watch Now:Amazon
The Sister
star
8.46
74 votes

#3 - The Sister

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired 11/25/1958

Rebecca Snipe is returning to North Fork after a long visit away. Before her stage left, she over hears a man saying he's going to North Fork to kill a big man with a big mouth. Upon Rebecca's arrival in North Fork, Mark is smitten with her and gets it in his head to play matchmaker between her and his pa. Thinking Lucas has intentions on their sister, the Snipe brothers come looking for Lucas to see if he measures up to their standard of being good enough for her.

Watch Now:Amazon
The Gaucho
star
8.40
25 votes

#4 - The Gaucho

Season 1 - Episode 14 - Aired 12/30/1958

Rumson, without even saying to whom he had sold his property, left the bill of sale with the bank and moved away from North Fork. Curge, who's highest offer was upped by $1,000.00 is upset because Rumson sold out to a "peppergut". The Argentez family who bought the place are from Argentina. Lucas arranges for Mark to hang out with Manolo, who teaches Mark to use the Bolas. Manolo is angered at anyone who shows interest in his sister, he believes she is only for a "Caballero". Her latest suitor, Ned Dunnell, has been found murdered and the townsfolk are quick to believe it was Manolo.

Directors: Jerry Hopper
Writer: Bruce Geller
Watch Now:Amazon
The Jailbird
star
8.40
15 votes

#5 - The Jailbird

Season 2 - Episode 33 - Aired 5/10/1960

When Lucas hires an ex-con as a ranch hand, the man is the first one under suspicion when a robbery and murder occur in the area.

Directors: Don Taylor
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The Vision
star
8.33
12 votes

#6 - The Vision

Season 2 - Episode 26 - Aired 3/22/1960

After Mark contracts typhoid fever and has a vision of his dead mother, he no longer seems interested in getting well.

Directors: Don Medford
Writer: Cyril Hume
Watch Now:Amazon
Three-Legged Terror
star
8.33
18 votes

#7 - Three-Legged Terror

Season 1 - Episode 30 - Aired 4/21/1959

When a rambunctious teenager wrecks a schoolroom, Lucas McCain, as a member of the North Fork school board, asks the boy's reluctant uncle to pay for the damages.

Directors: William Conrad
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The Fourflusher
star
8.31
13 votes

#8 - The Fourflusher

Season 2 - Episode 32 - Aired 5/3/1960

A sharecropper enters his colt in a horse race, hoping to win enough money to buy his farm from the owner, who has bet on Mark McCain's entry.

Directors: Joseph H. Lewis
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The Angry Man
star
8.29
17 votes

#9 - The Angry Man

Season 1 - Episode 31 - Aired 4/28/1959

The McCains try to be tolerant of their embittered neighbor Abel MacDonald, who tels Lucas to keep off his land and won't allow his son to become friends with Mark, but they decide he's gone too far when he won't allow his injured boy to get medical treatment.

Directors: Jerrry Hopper
Watch Now:Amazon
The Marshal
star
8.29
82 votes

#10 - The Marshal

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired 10/21/1958

Micah Torrance, a once famous lawman, is introduced as a drunken derelict, who stumbles into North Fork. Micah, nursing an arm crippled in a gunfight, is hired by Lucas to help out at the ranch. Three outlaws ride into town looking for revenge against Micah. When they kill the sheriff, it's up to Lucas and Micah to protect North Fork. Micah becomes North Fork's full-time Marshal.

Directors: Sam Peckinpah
Watch Now:Amazon
The Mind Reader
star
8.27
15 votes

#11 - The Mind Reader

Season 1 - Episode 40 - Aired 6/30/1959

When a wealthy rancher is killed, Mark suggests that they seek the aid of a mind reader to identify the murderer.

Directors: Don Medford
Watch Now:Amazon
The Prodigal
star
8.27
15 votes

#12 - The Prodigal

Season 2 - Episode 31 - Aired 4/26/1960

To keep his invalid mother happy, an outlaw forces Lucas and Mark to go along with a masquerade that he is the owner of Lucas's ranch.

Directors: Don McDougall
Watch Now:Amazon
The Coward
star
8.25
12 votes

#13 - The Coward

Season 2 - Episode 13 - Aired 12/22/1959

Lucas becomes involved in a battle between an aspiring writer and a cocky, bragging trail boss.

Directors: James Neilson
Watch Now:Amazon
Home Ranch
star
8.21
98 votes

#14 - Home Ranch

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 10/7/1958

Two hired hands of a wealthy cattleman, who has been using the ranch for grazing his cattle, demand that Lucas move out. When Lucas refuses, he is beaten and dragged and then the ranch house is burned down. They left Lucas and Mark with the burning house and rode off with Lucas' rifle. Leaving Mark to tend to the animals, Lucas tracks them down and confronts their boss, Mr. Jackford.

Directors: Arnold Laven
Watch Now:Amazon
A Case of Identity
star
8.21
14 votes

#15 - A Case of Identity

Season 2 - Episode 17 - Aired 1/19/1960

Mark finds himself in grave danger when two unscrupulous detectives searching for a man's long-lost son claim that it is Mark.

Directors: John Peyser
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The Deadly Wait
star
8.21
19 votes

#16 - The Deadly Wait

Season 1 - Episode 26 - Aired 3/24/1959

Dan Nowry, released from Yuma prison, arrives in North Fork intent on getting even with Marshal Torrance,who helped send him to jail.

Directors: Joseph H. Lewis
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New Orleans Menace
star
8.19
68 votes

#17 - New Orleans Menace

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired 12/26/1958

Tiffauges, a wealthy and sadistic Frenchman, who is used to getting whatever he wants, decides he wishes to purchase the McCain Ranch. Tiffauges' lead man, Xavier, proclaims Lucas to be muy macho, and does not believe Lucas will give in so easily. Xavier and the other men are tiring of being subjected to Tiffauges' whippings and cruel treatment. Lucas plays on the men's longing for freedom to keep his ranch.

Directors: Arnold Laven
Writer: Cyril Hume
Watch Now:Amazon
The Pet
star
8.19
32 votes

#18 - The Pet

Season 1 - Episode 15 - Aired 1/6/1959

Ward Haskins guns down Joe Flecker, who has evidence that could be used to blackmail him. Haskins thinks the information was given to Lucas, since he brought Flecker to the doctor before he died. Stirred up by Haskins behavior, Lucas goes through Flecker's things, finding a wanted poster for Haskins in the sole of Flecker's boot. He also finds Doc Burrage drinking. Doc is discouraged because three children have died of an anthrax epidemic that he has the new serum for, but nobody is willing to allow him to administer it in time. Haskins rides out to the ranch and is bitten by Flecker's horse, which is now believed to have anthrax. Mark overhears about how anthrax always causes death and is worried because he had bitten by Flecker's horse, also.

Directors: Joseph H. Lewis
Writer: Ken Kolb
Watch Now:Amazon
The Horse Traders
star
8.15
13 votes

#19 - The Horse Traders

Season 2 - Episode 20 - Aired 2/9/1960

When a horse dealer transporting a prize stallion stops in North Fork, two saddle tramps try to use trickery to obtain it.

Writer: Jack Curtis
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The Second Witness
star
8.14
21 votes

#20 - The Second Witness

Season 1 - Episode 23 - Aired 3/30/1959

Lucas puts his life in jeopardy when he agrees to testify in a murder case where the first witness was killed before he could testify, and the killer is still at large.

Directors: Lewis Allen
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Hero
star
8.14
14 votes

#21 - Hero

Season 2 - Episode 19 - Aired 2/2/1960

After a young stablehand kills a notorious gunslinger, he is baffled by the hostility of the townspeople about giving him the reward.

Directors: Joseph H. Lewis
Writer: Albert Aley
Watch Now:Amazon
Meeting at Midnight
star
8.14
14 votes

#22 - Meeting at Midnight

Season 2 - Episode 34 - Aired 5/17/1960

Lucas helps his former Army captain, now an undercover federal agent, infiltrate a gang of bank robbers.

Directors: Don Medford
Watch Now:Amazon
The Blowout
star
8.10
21 votes

#23 - The Blowout

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired 10/13/1959

Newly arrived gunslinger Al Walker throws a mammoth party at the saloon, keeping acting Marshal Ben Waller busy until Lucas is forced to intervene.

Directors: James Neilson
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Nora
star
8.09
11 votes

#24 - Nora

Season 2 - Episode 35 - Aired 5/24/1960

Lucas finds himself involved in murder when he gallantly steps to the aid of a beautiful woman.

Directors: Ted Post
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The Hangman
star
8.07
14 votes

#25 - The Hangman

Season 2 - Episode 36 - Aired 5/31/1960

An ex-convict is blamed for a brutal crime despite his claims of rehabilitation.

Directors: Joseph H. Lewis
Watch Now:Amazon