Cast & Crew
Dave "tex" O'brien
Texas Rangers Tex Wyatt, Jim Steele and Panhandle Perkins are sent to apprehend a masked bandit who rides a pinto pony and has been robbing Pony Express riders. While stopped along the trail, the three witness the shooting of another Express rider and gallop to the man's rescue. The wounded rider, Walter Collins, asks the rangers to take him to his sister, Kitty Collins, at the Yuba post office. Meanwhile, in Yuba, Tom Torrant, the owner of the local stage line, proposes to Kitty, but she rejects him and voices her suspicions that he is the "Pinto Bandit" because he rides a pinto pony. Kitty accuses Torrant of trying to drive her out of business because he disapproves of her involvement in the mail route. Soon after, the rangers deliver Walter to Kitty's house, and Panhandle summons Doc Carson to treat him. When Sheriff Bisbee arrives to question them about the robbery, they discover that the bullet that the doctor has extracted from Walter's wound has disappeared. Wary of the three newcomers, townsfolk Draw Dudley, P. J. Heneberry and Spur Sneeley suggest that Tex, Jim and Panhandle stole the bullet. Later, Kitty confides her suspicion to the rangers that Torrant is the Pinto Bandit and Jim offers to help her unmask the outlaw. Panhandle, intent on finding gold, begins to pan dirt outside of Kitty's house. When he finds the missing bullet there, the rangers note that it is an unusual .41 caliber and surmise that Walter's assailant threw it out the window to conceal the evidence. Meanwhile, at the saloon, Doc informs Torrant that Kitty has become overly friendly with Jim. Consequently, when Tex, Jim and Panhandle enter the saloon, the jealous Torrant slugs Jim. As everyone in the saloon joins the ensuing mêlée, Panhandle, in the chaos, empties the bullets from all the combatants' guns. When all the bullets prove to be .45 caliber, Tex deduces that the bandit uses the .41 caliber bullet only when he robs the mail riders. Several days later, Kitty challenges Torrant to prove his innocence by unmasking the real bandit. Accepting her challenge, Torrant rides off and is followed by Jim and Tex, who lose him in the hills. After Torrant rides out of sight, Tex and Jim witness the shooting of another Pony Express rider and see Torrant galloping away on his pinto. Tex and Jim pursue him, but when they catch him, they find that his gun is loaded with .45 caliber bullets, thus casting doubt that he was the assailant. When Tex and Jim inform the sheriff about the shooting, Bisbee vouches for Torrant's character. Soon after, Torrant informs Kitty that the mail contract is to be awarded to the winner of a three-horse relay race. Jim, Tex and Panhandle immediately volunteer to represent Kitty's team in the race. As Torrant assembles his team, the third team, comprised of Heneberry, Draw and Sneeley, plot to sabotage their competition. Later, when the rangers find a horse painted to look like a pinto in Sneeley's corral, they realize that someone is planning to kill the lead rider. On the day of the race, Panhandle rides the first leg, Jim the second and Tex the third. As Tex nears the finish line, a band of men ride from the hills and surround him. Panhandle and Jim come to his rescue and Tex tosses Jim the mailbag so that he can complete the race. On an overlook, meanwhile, a figure mounted on a pinto horse watches and, when Jim rides into view, shoots him. Tex and Panhandle overtake Jim's assailant and, upon unmasking him, discover that he is Doc Carson. Carson then confesses that he is in league with Sneeley, Henberry and Draw to win the mail contract and admits to painting his horse to throw suspicion on Torrant. As Tex arrests Carson, Panhandle and the uninjured Jim ride to apprehend the others. Upon winning the race, Torrant is awarded the mail contract. Handing the contract to Kitty, Torrant asks her to help run the mail line, and as she accepts it, she kisses him.
Dave "tex" O'brien
The onscreen credits read "The Texas Rangers in The Pinto Bandit." This film opens with the following written dedication: "Dedicated to the law officers of the Old West who led the fight for law and order in the pioneer days of this country in 1880." For additional information on the "Texas Ranger" series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry below for The Rangers Take Over. Modern sources add Kermit Maynard and Jimmy Aubrey to the cast.