Zoe's... dare-I-say signature weapon is modeled after a Winchester M1892 lever action carbine with shortened stock, magazine, and barrel. It also features a dovetail mount for a scope. The weapon's presence is an obvious tribute to Steve McQueen, who carried a very similar shortened rifle in the television series Wanted Dead or Alive.
The custom large loop was not designed for smacking people (though it's very handy for that). The larger loop's main purpose is to allow one to work the action while wearing heavy gloves. This modification became popular during the mid-20th Century popularity of Western movies and TV shows, employed so the rifle could be twirled, thus allowing it to be levered, and a new cartridge chambered using only one hand. This was first done by John Wayne as Ringo in the 1939 Western, "Stagecoach," and then popularized by Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain in "The Rifleman." This technique is very unsafe in real life, but looks impressive on the screen.
The Mare's Leg was created for and originally used by Josh Randall (portrayed by Steve McQueen) in the 1960's television western series "Wanted: Dead or Alive." It is technically not a carbine (a rifle with a 16 inch barrel), as it has a 12 inch barrel. It is considered a pistol. The Mare's Leg is very impractical, in reality. The sawed-down stock makes it very difficult to use the sights for long-range targeting, while the weapon's relatively large size makes it slower to draw than a conventional pistol. With the shortened magazine tube (which runs underneath the barrel), the Mare's Leg holds the same amount of ammunition as a much smaller six-shot revolver.
==Legally owning a Mare's Leg in the United States==
There are three methods for legally owning a Mare's Leg in the United States.
1) You can purchase a lever-action rifle in a pistol caliber, choosing one with a 16" barrel (legal minimum) and then trim the buttstock down so as to make the overall length 26" or greater (legal minimum). To ensure that you do not run afoul of the law, it's advised to make it slightly longer than 26" to avoid any measurement disputes.
This rifle would be approximately 4" longer in the barrel than Zoe's carbine, but has the benefit of being inexpensive, as low as $300 if one buys a used Marlin 1894, or Rossi/Puma copy of a Winchester 1892.
2) You can purchase one of the above rifles, and then obtain from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATFE) a $200 tax-stamp to create a "Short Barreled Rifle" (SBR). An SBR is a rifle with a barrel length under 16", or overall length under 26". SB Rs? may or may not be legal in your state. This method would result in a more accurate copy of Zoe's carbine, but requires the expense and paperwork of the SBR stamp, and would require the modifier to have some basic metalworking ability in order to cleanly cut the barrel and magazine tube.
3) You can purchase a factory or custom Mare's Leg. If a Mare's Leg is built up with a short barrel from the beginning (rather than being trimmed down from a rifle), it is legally a handgun, and may be owned anywhere where a handgun is legal (most of the U.S.). As of late 2008, JB Custom produces custom Mare's Legs, and Legacy International is beginning to produce a factory Mare's Leg under the name "Puma Bounty Hunter". Both models are more expensive than the above options, but have the advantage of being "off the shelf" ready-made, and being legally handguns. If you purchase such a gun, it'd be advisable to keep a brochure from the company in your gun-case, so as to be able to explain to any legal authorities that it is a legal handgun, and not a cut-down SBR.