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Born in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis Presley went on to sell over a billion records, star in over thirty films, serve his country with honor, win over the hearts of millions of fans around the world, and become an international superstar. He is one of the most celebrated entertainers of all time. His face and his voice are instantly recognized. He is an enduring American icon who succeeded and rose to the top. As Elvis put it: “Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.”
Everything Elvis touched—from clothes and cars to mansions and music— was transformed by his magnetic personality and signature style. But he was also a down-to-earth, hard working man who adored his mother, valued his friends, and loved his country. He never forgot where he came from, and was always ready to do the right thing. Whether captivating crowds onstage, serving his country in the military, or thrilling us from the silver screen, including his classic Westerns like Love Me Tender, Elvis’s very first film, Elvis mesmerized all of us.
You don’t pay tribute to a legend with an ordinary firearm. You pay tribute with a conversation piece. The Elvis Presley™ Tribute Lever-Action Shotgun is issued on a limited-edition, exceptional recreation of the innovative and popular 1887 lever-action shotgun once produced by Winchester, made even more memorable with the addition of a “bootleg” grip. Craftsmen commissioned specifically for this project by America Remembers decorate each Elvis Presley™ Tribute Lever-Action Shotgun in 24-karat gold and gleaming nickel. The entire project has been officially authorized by Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.
Two American Originals Come Together
In the 1880s, Winchester teamed with genius gunmaker John Browning to create a shotgun that could incorporate the lever-action that was so popular in Winchester rifles. Browning delivered the iconic design of the 1887, a shotgun that could deliver 12-gauge stopping power like a rifle with the luxury of a five round magazine (plus one in the chamber). It was the first truly commercially successful repeating shotgun. The quick loading and high-capacity proved to be the perfect combination for lawmen, express companies, and detective agents.
The Old West was an era that fascinated Elvis, and was also one that served as a setting for some of his most memorable films. Shotguns were essential tools for survival in the Old West, carried by everyone from farmers and settlers to business owners and lawmen. With a shotgun, you could feed an entire family or defend your ranch or business. You could find one tucked behind the bar at the local saloon, or locked away in the local sheriff’s armory.
Elvis and Western Film
In 1954, Elvis Presley made his first professional recordings at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee. Within two years, he was an international sensation, with an every-growing list of hit records that helped define the sound of Rock & Roll. Blending gospel, blues and country music styles, Elvis created a totally new sound, one that thrilled millions of listeners and made the young singer from Tupelo, Mississippi the worldwide spokesman for an entire generation.
It wasn’t long before Hollywood took notice of this new musical superstar. Studio executives reasoned that the talent, good looks and charm that made Elvis a sensation in concert could translate to equal success on the big screen, and they were right. For his first movie, Twentieth Century-Fox selected Elvis to star in The Reno Brothers, a Western period piece set just after the Civil War. On the strength of the classic ballad Elvis sang for the soundtrack, the film was renamed Love Me Tender. Even before the title song was released as a single, there were advance orders for nearly one million copies. In less than a month, the Love Me Tender single shot to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard chart, with sales eventually reaching double platinum status.
When the film premiered at New York City’s Paramount Theater in 1956, the assembled press and throngs of fans stood outside the theater as giant drapes were pulled aside to reveal a 40-foot tall Elvis cutout attached to the building’s marquee. Love Me Tender debuted in the number two position at the box office, and earned back its cost very quickly. It was the first of 33 motion pictures for Elvis, who would establish himself as one of Hollywood’s most bankable superstars.
Two of Elvis’ remaining films would return him to the Western genre, and many critics and fans consider them high points of his movie career. First, in 1960 Elvis appeared in Flaming Star, playing a rancher whose parentage was half Kiowa Indian. Never fully at home in either culture, the character is tormented by his mixed heritage when hostilities break out between settlers and the Native Americans. It was a challenging, serious role and Elvis impressed the critics and fans with a performance that showed his tremendous range as an actor. The movie opened to strong reviews and Elvis was inducted into the Los Angeles Indian Tribal Council for his “constructive portrayal of a man of Indian blood.” Nine years later, his third and final Western was Charro! where he played a reformed outlaw who goes up against his former gang to save a town. Charro! is the only film in which Elvis does not sing on camera.
Honoring a Legend and American Icon
Each Elvis Presley™ Tribute Lever-Action Shotgun in this limited edition of 500 is a fully functioning, working lever-action shotgun—a detailed recreation of the 1887 original. Each shotgun is created by the expert gunsmiths of Chiappa. Using leading edge machinery, high-quality modern materials, and unparalleled craftsmanship, this 19th-century legend is back for 21st-century collectors. Each Tribute features an 18.5” smoothbore barrel with a polished bootleg grip and walnut forend. On each side of the gold and nickel decorated receiver, you’ll find detailed portraits of Elvis Presley, displayed in 24-karat gold, as radiant as the handsome American star we know and love, with his classic good looks and million-dollar smile.
On the left side, Elvis is featured in an oval ring of 24-karat gold wearing a banded cowboy hat, looking as handsome as ever. Behind him, majestic sandstone buttes and mesas recall the wild beauty of spectacular Western film locations. The right side of the receiver features Elvis flashing his million-watt smile, looking straight on in his confident, handsome way that America still can’t get enough of. In front of a fence and natural backdrop, with a cactus and western landscape behind him, Elvis looks like he’s on-set in one of his Western films.
Featured prominently inside each gold-decorated oval frame is a recreation of Elvis Presley’s authentic signature. Beautiful 24-karat gold and nickel scrollwork outline the portraits of Elvis on both sides of the receiver.
On each Elvis Presley™ Tribute Lever-Action Shotgun, the full-size shoulder stock is replaced with a rounded pistol grip sometimes called a bootleg grip. This distinctive look immediately sets the Tribute apart. You can guarantee that admirers will want to hold it in their hands; you can’t blame them. The weight and heft of the shotgun is balanced perfectly with its smooth grip. Walk a few paces with it, and you’ll probably pick up some of Elvis’ classic swagger.
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