First Damascus From Jesse James

posted on September 26, 2017
Michael Ives

This feature appears in the October ‘17 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.  

Since its inception, the classic 1911 platform has offered many gunsmiths the opportunity to customize, and finally for automobile/motorcycle artist Jesse James, the time had come.

Crafting a .38 Super semi-automatic pistol out of 1084 and 15N20 steels, his creation presents swirling patterns in the Damascus steel of the frame, slide and even the grip panels. Ready for competition with a fitted compensator and side-mounted red-dot sight­—as well as an oversized cocking handle, also built from Damascus steel—this custom handgun is the first from Jesse James Firearms Unlimited. Bearing serial number 1, this Damascus Cisco creation was donated to the NRA Museums in early 2017 and is currently featured on display in the National Firearms Museum galleries.

The NRA National Firearms Museum at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Va.; the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Mo.; and the Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, N.M.; each have fine selections of historic arms on display. Admission to each is free, and donations are gratefully accepted. For more information, visit, phone (703) 267-1600 or email [email protected].



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