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The working title of the film was Latigo. Opening and closing onscreen cast credits differ slightly in order. At the end of the film, after happily married "Latigo Smith" and "Patience Barton" are shown kissing inside a train, Jack Elam as "Jug May" is shown standing at the back of the moving train's caboose, where he explains that "Colonel Ames" goes broke, "Abigail" and "Taylor Barton" marry, and although Patience never attends Miss Hunter's College, seven of her daughters do. Finally, Elam adds that he becomes a "big star" of Italian Westerns, a reference to his own prominent role in the 1968 Sergio Leone Western, Once Upon a Time in the West.
According to the Variety review, the film was based on an old script by the late James Edward Grant, who died in 1966. Support Your Local Gunfighter marked the last film of Grant, who began his career as a news reporter in Chicago. An August 1970 Daily Variety article reported that, except for one day at Golden Oak Ranch in Newhall, CA, which was owned by Walt Disney Studios, the film was shot entirely on the western street of the Studio City lot of CBS Studio Center, which was also known as Cinema Center Films and formerly, was the Republic Studios lot. The article noted that the "street western" was filmed mostly at night, as that was "one way to avoid smog and a 'canned' studio look." Modern sources add John Daheim, Jim Nolan, Guy Way and Eugene Jackson to the cast.
According to the Los Angeles Times review, "Elam, ever the crazy-eyed reprobate, threatens to walk off with the entire movie in what is probably his biggest role to date." As noted in several reviews, Support Your Local Gunfighter was produced as a "follow-up" to the 1969 film Support Your Local Sheriff! , which was also directed by Burt Kennedy and starred James Garner, and used many of the same cast and crew members. According to a March 1971 Hollywood Reporter news item, a first draft script was written for a third film, titled Support Your Local Coward, but that project never reached fruition.