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One of the people in American history least likely in need of an introduction is Elvis Aaron Presley. His life is one of constant dichotomy: down-home country boy and provocative rock-n-roll superstar.

The dusty roads of Tupelo, Mississippi, contrasted with the neon and rhinestones of Las Vegas. Military fatigues to pink Cadillacs. He also blurred lines musically, combining country, blues, gospel, and R&B into a rock and roll style that made him The King.

It resulted in an unmatchable career. 150 albums that reached gold, platinum, or multiplatinum status, 114 Top 40 hits, 31 feature films, 14 Grammy nominations, three TV specials, and numerous performances in Las Vegas.

But even numbers as lofty as these fail to capture the man’s musical influence, charisma, charitable nature, sensuality, good looks, magnetism, or kindness. Nor do they come anywhere close to indicating his social significance in the realms of modesty, race, musical stylings, and sheer pop stardom.

It is perhaps ironic then, that a man so difficult to categorize is readily identified by first name alone.

It is with this immense significance that Rock Island Auction Company is proud to present Elvis’ revolvers and other significant pieces of memorabilia in their May 2017 Premiere Firearms Auction.

Smith & Wesson Model 19-2

Elvis Smith and Wesson Model 19

This elaborate, exhibition grade .357 magnum revolver was once part of the personal collection of Elvis Presley. It is accompanied by a mountain of documents and receipts establishing its direct and unbroken line of provenance.

This gun was licensed to the King by serial number on Nov 6, 1970. Likely already planning the handgun’s presentation, he then had it sent to Friedrick Wilhelm Heym Co. in Germany for custom embellishment.

They clearly spared no expense, slathering the little K-frame revolver with relief leaf and scroll engraving, gold and silver inlaid borders, and five incredible raised gold North American game animals. An expected sight on a fine large game rifle perhaps, but a rare and opulent touch for this small Smith & Wesson.

Elvis holding the Smith & Wesson 19-2

Such exquisite work also extends to the staghorn grips which have been elaborately engraved in a similar vine and scroll pattern and feature two engraved game animals of their own. Not a square inch of this gun was left undecorated, a feat not unsurprising to those familiar with Elvis’ style during that time.

Once completed, he brought the Smith & Wesson along on a trip to Washington D.C. and presented it to Vice President Spiro Agnew that same year. Unfortunately for Agnew, he was only able to keep the presentation revolver for a short period of time before returning it as he was under investigation for corruption, which would eventually result in his resignation and other penalties.

With the Smith & Wesson back in the King’s possession, it was only a matter of time before he would find occasion to present the handgun created for such a purpose.

That opportunity came when some of Elvis’ friends were going to be stranded at a local airport. Elvis called the sheriff, Gene Barksdale, to call in a favor and have his friends picked up.

Such close communication was not irregular as Presley was a great friend to law enforcement, frequently gifting local departments donations, cars, equipment and uniforms for their softball team, and even paying the funeral expenses for a fallen officer.

That night, Sheriff Barksdale left with his nephew, an administrative assistant, picked up the hapless travelers and shuttled them to Graceland. While Elvis was talking to Sheriff Barksdale the subject of guns was brought up, and before long he said, “Well, sheriff, I got something for ya.”

The King left the room and when he came back, he had this very Smith & Wesson Model 19-2 in his hand and presented it to Sheriff Barksdale, much to the sheriff’s complete surprise.

At a later date, Sheriff Barksdale passed that Smith & Wesson Model 19 on to his nephew, the administrative assistant who helped ferry the travelers that night. From that nephew, this incredible collector firearm comes to Rock Island Auction Company and to gun collectors and Elvis enthusiasts around the world.

Colt Python of Elvis Presley

Elvis Colt Python

It’s no secret that in recent years the popularity, and resultant prices, of Colt Python double action revolvers has skyrocketed. Add to that the ever-present demand and the consistently high prices of Elvis memorabilia and you’ve set the stage for a bidding war at auction.

This Colt Python was also owned by Presley and is accompanied by its original registration to the King. Even as early as 1973 it was featured in Guns Magazine, so while it has been in the public eye for some time, it has not been available for public sale since Elvis himself bought it. Until now.

Elvis Colt Python Guns Magazine

As can be seen, it is decorated in the same style as the Smith & Wesson Model 19-2, with the work again performed by Friedrick Wilhelm Heym Co. in Germany.

This sumptuous snake gun was presented by Elvis to Richard Grob, the Director of Security and Operations for Elvis Presley Enterprises. Grob worked for Presley from 1967 until his death in 1977 and in that time became a close personal friend and confidant. He advised the King on many of his firearm purchases and frequently accompanied him to firing ranges.

This Colt Python enjoys 95% coverage of the same masterfully executed relief leaf and scroll engraving that was ordered on his Smith & Wesson Model 19. Silver and gold inlays abound, often serving as borders, and again five raised gold North American big game animals make their presence known around the frame.

The scrimshaw-esque grips are again a perfect compliment with their sweeping scrollwork framing a leaping stag on one side and a pouncing mountain lion on the other.


These incredible pieces of Elvis memorabilia are only the beginning of an incredible firearms auction that takes place May 5 – 7, 2017. The three-day event will include over 2,800 lots with spectacular, one-of-a-kind Winchesters, over 100 Class III items, remarkable Colts, and an unmatched selection of sporting arms.

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    • Nooooooooooooo! Pretty guns. Nice guns. Worthy of a display case(if allowed in your state).

    • Tom, you have the right idea of it.
      Everyone remember Pixar’s “Toy Story”? The wish of every toy is to be played with, well, the same could be said of guns – if it can be fired, it should be.

    • Strych, you are right at the age of people who weren’t under the spell of Elvis.

      He doesn’t have the cultural significance to you that folks like RF and myself tended to have.

      Well, RF anyways. the ‘Big E’ never really floated my boat, either. He wasn’t a great songwriter, he just stood on that stage and looked good in the suit. And he shook his ass. OK, its debatable he was a good singer.

      The point I’m getting at with this is, it won’t be long before the folks that just have to own Elvis stuff won’t be buying it, because they will be dead.

      Then the value of that gun can return to what it should have been in the first place…

      • While waiting in airport security lines I have asked my fellow detainees “How many terrorists has the TSA caught? Hint: It’s the same number of songs that Elvis wrote.” It’s possible he wrote songs but he didn’t record them. Tom Parker forced some songwriters to give Elvis partial credit that he didn’t deserve.

        • This is true: Elvis wasn’t a songwriter. But when he sang a [great] song, he owned it. The various remakes and tributes prove that point.

          Interesting story:

          When Elvis moved to RCA (from Sun), he’d listen to demo recordings sent to him by various songwriters. Heartbreak hotel, for example, was sent to him by a schoolteacher who based the song on a suicide note (“I walk a lonely street”). It went on to be the only song ever to top the Pop, Country AND R&B charts.

          The songwriters would sing their song in “the Elvis style.” Elvis copied them more-or-less exactly. So Elvis was imitating people who imitated Elvis.

          Albert Goldman’s biography of Elvis is a treasure trove of wild ass information about his life and career, including his penchant for secretly watching girls in white underwear wrestle each other. FWIW.

      • Which is *still* out of my range, but that’s OK, having owned both, I prefer the 4″ Python,

      • I am of the Elvis generation, and I beg to differ.

        My favorite musicians of that era were Marty Robbins, Buck Owens and Roy Orbison. They could do three things that Elvis could not: Sing, write a song, and play guitar!

        Elvis was a ham and a sham, and he used a guitar as a prop. To add insult to injury he died on the toilet from a drug overdose! He gives good musicians a bad name.


        • I challenge you to listen to the Sun Sessions recordings and not come away with a better understanding of Elvis’ impact on popular music. Not to mention the RCA hit songs.

          His later career was FILLED with drek. Much of it unlistenable. His movie soundtracks are particularly horrendous, written by a couple of Hollywood hacks (thanks Col. Parker).

          But there’s gold in them thar hills. Elvis’ Memphis recordings are as soulful as music can get. And yes, that includes the treacly In The Ghetto. His Comeback Special recordings are awesome, including his return to number one hit If I Can Dream. (Written the night before he recorded it.) American Trilogy is nothing less than outstanding.

          Elvis was one of the greatest singers to have ever lived. His descent into drug abuse is a horrific tale of talent squandered. He died at the age of 42, a bloated and depressed shell of his former self.

      • I don’t mind the guy’s music… well some of it at least, I’m not as well versed in Elvis as I am in, say, The Allman Brothers or, well, most other music. He’s alright in my book but just not really my cup-o-tea.

        I’m not commenting on the price or the Elvis factor. I just think those guns are overdone to the point of absurdity and. dare I say, maybe even to the point of obscenity.

        As for Charlie’s comment, dude an OD is the way a lot the greats go out. Dee Dee Ramone, Hendrix, Mydland, Morrison, Sid Vicious, GG Allen, John Scott, Joplin, Slovak, Cobain, DuBrow, Allen Woody… hell that list goes on for miles. Heck, I think even Carl Crack died from an OD. Gerry Garcia sure tried like the Devil to kill himself with drugs but that tough bastard just kept going until his ticker gave out (that was probably related to the drug use though).

        • Those folks I doubt mean a thing to Charlie, Strych.

          Based on the guys Charlie listed, he and my dad would get along great. 🙂 That’s what pop had on in his old ’58 truck.

          I agree with you, Charlie. That’s why I wrote ” he just stood on that stage and looked good in the suit. And he shook his ass.”

          To add to your list Charlie, Hank Williams was one of the greats, and he died of a drug overdose…

        • If you don’t at least know who Hendrix or Joplin were… damn, I don’t even know what to say about that.

      • Did he actually write any of his songs? I know most of his big hits weren’t his at least (in the ghetto was a Mac Davis song… about Lubbock, Texas. Just an example)

      • The problem is many of his songs are seen, sometimes rightly, as pop-ish drool, but the man could sing like no one before or since. To have those looks and THAT incredible voice I can forgive him for a lack of songwriting/instrument playing prowess, as for his sense of style……some of ya’ll need to take a look back at the gaudiness of the late 60’s to the late 70’s. Barbarella to Xanadu anyone?

  1. Wow cool…that Sheriff’s nephew will be saying “thank you very much” when these sell for an obscene total?

  2. I’m gonna bid on those incredible works of art. What an heirloom to pass on to the family! …..If I win the lottery before then.

    • I mean, if you’re looking at them just as guns, sure.

      But these aren’t just guns: these are the guns of Elvis. What do you think he should have, a standard blued revolver? I don’t think so.

  3. I saw Elvis live in Las Vegas in 1977 I believe but maybe 76 and he was a great stage performer you really don’t see that in the cheesy movies that he did but he could entertain a crowd very well and the women loved his shaking of the hips. I went with my mother that night and saw him live. She’s been gone for quite some time now but I would love to have either of those guns in particular The Cult. Elvis was very into firearms and had a very large collection at Graceland at one time.

  4. Gorgeous. Works of art, and all the better for being owned, and given away, by the King.
    Yes, I’m a huge Elvis fan. One of my happier times in life was playing a blues set in Memphis at Graceland. It was awesome to sit down and pick in the jungle room (without a doubt the best room in the house, and the only one Elvis decorated himself.)
    I’d change my EDC practice and open carry either one of those pistols every damn day, and I’d shoot an old TV out each month as a tribute.
    TCB MF!

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