These guns were owned by Mister Show Business and the March King. They celebrated the tools of the trade and even played a tune or two. Take a look at our salute to music through these fascinating firearms.
Entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. was a longtime gun owner and fast-draw competitor—his quickness with a Colt .45 was legendary and he could easily out-duel fellow Rat Packers Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. This nickel-plated revolver, engraved with his name on the backstrap, was modified for fast-draw sport with an especially contoured hammer and a light trigger pull.
When the Ithaca Gun Company decided to manufacture the very finest trap gun, they sought out famed U.S. Marine Corps bandmaster and composer John Philip Sousa—also an avid trapshooter—for advice. The resulting Sousa Grade shotgun was Ithaca’s finest smoothbore. Only 11 were ever made, and this example was personally presented by Ithaca to John Philip Sousa.
In the 1950s, with the airwaves filling with the sounds of rock ‘n’ roll, Winchester designed a prototype .308 Model 70 with a built-in radio. A speaker was seared into the right side of the stock with a series of holes allowing the sound to be heard. However, the new Winchester proved to be a hard sell, and this single prototype rifle was the only one ever made.
This Colt Single-Action Army Revolver was made for the former shop supervisor of the Colt Custom Shop, Al DeJohn, and it bears the serial “Sam’l Colt 1.” It has three cylinders and includes engraving by Alvin White featuring the U.S. Army, Harley Davidson and musical instrument themes.