Elvis Presley fans celebrated what would have been the King of Rock n’ Roll’s birthday over the weekend. Ironically, a gun he gave as a present to a bodyguard in the 1970s sold for more than $10,000 at auction simultaneously, according to this story from guns.com.
The story says Richard Grob was Elvis’s bodyguard from 1967 until Presley passed away in 1977, and that he also served as sort of a firearms advisor to the superstar.
The story says Grob wrote in a notarized affidavit that he was with Elvis when he traded a ring for a Colt Police Positive .32 caliber pistol at Tiny’s Gun Store in Palm Springs, California.
From Grob’s affidavit:
“Elvis Presley had a natural feeling for and love of firearms. He obtained many different types, shot them, and collected them. He also knew that I had a similar love for firearms and was an expert shot with them. On several occasions he asked me to take him to the shooting range and practice with him in his desire to improve his shooting ability. We fired many different weapons at the range from revolvers, semiautomatic pistols, to full automatic rifles and shotguns. He particularly enjoyed shooting my personal championship combat competition revolver. This weapon was a Colt Python 357 Magnum with a six-inch barrel, special honed action, and special grips.”
Grob says in the sworn document that Elvis relied on him to provide advice about handling, firepower, and recoil as well as collectability and price.
“Additionally, he was concerned on the ability of different people being able to handle the weapon. It should be noted that Elvis often bought firearms to give to other people and particularly women.”
As for the revolver in question, Grob says the owner of Tiny’s Gun Store (yep, Grob says his name was Tiny) admired one of Elvis’ rings and they decided to trade for it. Tiny offered a few different items, including a Colt Police Positive .32 caliber revolver with a four-inch barrel.
“I advised Elvis that this was a good collectors’ weapon because of its age and condition, and it was one of the items he traded for the ring.”
Grob says the gun was made by Colt in Hartford, Connecticut between 1933 and 1941 and was the second issue of the model.
After he took it to the range and tried the .32 on jugs of water and fruit Elvis determined that it did far less damage than .38 caliber or 9mm pistols he owned, but that it did produce little recoil and noise.
It turned out to not be enough gun for Elvis, and he gave it to Grob.
Fifteen people bid on the revolver at The Guest House at Graceland, a hotel in Memphis. The gun was auctioned with more than 160 pieces of Elvis memorabilia like clothes, jewelry, and credit cards. All in total, the auction brought in $330,000. the story says.
Elvis’s love of firearms has been well documented, and he famously presented President Richard Nixon with a Colt .45 pistol in a display case on Dec. 21, 1970. In return, Nixon gave Elvis a badge from the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, which would become the DEA.