Just why…and how…does somebody manage to get a piece of the Statue of Liberty and put it into a 1911 pistol? If anyone can do it, it would be CEO of West Coast Choppers and gun enthusiast Jesse James.
The “Lady Liberty” Full Damascus Cisco 1911 is valued at $85,000, mostly due to the 500 hours of labor it required over about a year, but also for the opportunity to own a handgun that contains “the DNA of America’s biggest symbol of freedom.”
James has only made one of the pistols at his Texas-based Jesse James Firearms Unlimited and plans to only make two more, according to this story from forbes.com, and each one has a little bit from an original handrail piece from the statue’s torch.
“A person that will remain anonymous was involved in the restoration (of the Statue of Liberty). He happened upon a piece of original handrail from around the torch. It was just laying there, so he grabbed it, and it ended up in my hands,” James told Forbes.
On Instagram, James said “pistol has pieces of The Statue of Liberty woven into the Damascus making it an Amazing piece of American History.”
James says two of the three uber-expensive pistols have been sold already.
James chronicled the earliest stages of the pistol’s creation on Instagram with photos of the start, the rails they started with, their flattening https://www.instagram.com/p/BHhyBHcAdrW/, and cutting the metal into appropriate sizes.
James has made guns for notables in the past, such as a pair of custom guns for Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (RIP, Brangelina), which you can read about here. He’s also made a gun for Texas Gov. Rick Perry with the Texas Seal of the Governor on it.
James recently donated the serial #001 of a rare Damascus 1911 to the NRA Museums. The ornate 1911 is chambered in .38 Super and forged from 1084 and 15n20 steels, with the swirling wood-like aesthetics of Damascus steel prominent throughout the slide, frame and the grips, according to this post from NRAblog.com.
The pistol features a side-mounted red-dot sight, a compensator, and an oversized cocking handle attached to the slide, also forged from Damascus steel.
While the first pistol is a gift, this story from guns.com says James intends to offer a limited run of the custom-built Damascus 1911 to collectors for a cool $85,000.
The NRA will display the pistol at the National Firearms Museum’s Artistry in Arms Exhibition later this month.