Sailor tattoos are badges of honor for those who go to sea. But they are much more than simple decoration. Tattoos paint a picture of the man himself, where he’s been and what he believes. Some tattoos are earned after milestones and accomplishments. Others offer a loftier representation, connecting sailors to the lore and mythology of past mariners.
For generations of American men who served in the U.S. Navy, tattoos became part of the image. Uncle Sam didn’t consider custom ink work standard issue for sailors although sailors are often associated with tattoos. Many veterans fondly remember their tattoo experience as part of their initiation. For many, it was considered a rite of passage into manhood. Sailors saw tattoos as symbols of strength, inspiration, and hope. These memories, manifested through their ink, live on in the tattoo traditions of today.
Though times have changed, many of the same iconic nautical images worn by sailors through history are as popular today as in the past. Every new sailor who gets a fresh anchor on his forearm, a sparrow on his shoulder, or a lighthouse on his leg is upholding a proud tradition that continues generation after generation.
First in a Series from Tattoo Arms™: The Sailor Tattoo Tribute Pistol
America Remembers is pleased to introduce the Sailor Tattoo Tribute Pistol. The very first in our unique series of Tattoo Arms™ firearms from America Remembers, this stunning Tribute is a working Colt® Government Model® Pistol in caliber .45 ACP honoring the heritage of the legendary sailor tattoo. Only 500 Tributes have been authorized by America Remembers. Decorated with popular nautical images, created by a talented tattoo artist, this Tribute captures the popular tradition of nautical tattoos. Craftsmen commissioned specifically for this project by America Remembers decorate each pistol in sparkling 24-karat gold artwork and nickel on an elegantly blued pistol.
A Classic American Firearm
In honoring the tattoo traditions of American sailors, we chose a legendary American sidearm with a distinctive mark of its own. The Sailor Tattoo Tribute Pistol is a fully functional, working Colt® Government Model® Pistol. The Colt .45 military sidearm is a classic American firearm, and widely considered by generations of American veterans as the finest and most powerful military sidearm ever issued. The incomparable Colt .45 became America’s official service handgun in 1911 and remained the faithful sidearm of America’s Armed Forces throughout the greatest military campaigns of the 20th century, and continues in use even today.
A Tribute to Nautical Tattoo Tradition
In the fine tradition of handsomely designed presentation firearms, we have worked to make each Sailor Tattoo Pistol a museum-quality masterpiece. In every aspect of its finish, we have held fast to the goal of creating a powerful Tribute to the tattooing traditions of all who have served at sea.
Each Sailor Tattoo Tribute Pistol is a work of art in blued steel featuring custom artwork that honors the quintessential tattoos of the American sailor. Complementing the gold and nickel are handsome faux ivory grips, decorated on both sides with a fresh-faced beauty posed with an anchor. The desirous siren in the sailor hat represents all the ladies (or one special lady) waiting for a sailor back home. Getting the tattooed likeness of your sweetheart or a superstar pin-up was a way of staying close.
The left side of the slide features common sailing artifacts and symbols from time at sea any sailor would recognize. A lighthouse symbolizing hope stands at the front end. Near the center is a fully rigged sailing ship that originally represented rounding the Cape Horn peninsula of South America, as well as long and strenuous times spent at sea. The tumultuous water where the Pacific and Atlantic met seasoned any sailor in the craft of navigation. “Rounding the horn” meant facing strong winds, currents, and even icebergs. Long journeys turned men into brothers.
Next to the ship in the center of the slide is a swallow. These tattoos advertised experience on the open water as one swallow represented 5,000 miles of travel. The boat propeller, found next to the swallow, was believed to give sailors the strength to propel themselves forward in case of a shipwreck. The back of the slide features the phrase “Homeward Bound,” which stirred thoughts of soon holding your loved ones close once again. Next to this elegant banner you’ll find the five-pointed North Star representing the resourcefulness of sailors both past and present. True sailors need only the constellations to guide them through the darkest of nights.
The end of each slide features an anchor with “Tattoo Arms” emblazoned on a flowing banner. An iconic symbol for sailors, the anchor represents steadfastness, stability and hope, which were especially important for sailors who regularly found themselves at the mercy of the elements.
The right side of the receiver features prominent sailor tattoos of lore and mysticism. A pig and rooster occupy the far right of the slide. Since these animals were typically kept in wooden crates that floated to shore in a shipwreck, sailors believed tattooing them on their legs helped keep them safe from drowning. Adjacent to these animals lies a flirtatious mermaid. The allure of these mystical creatures represents the temptation of the sea.
The center of the slide features the popular turtle tattoo and crossed cannons with a lifering. Turtle tattoos were earned after crossing the hot doldrums by the equator. The famous crossed cannons and lifering signified military naval service. Cannons represented defense and the lifering meant camaraderie among the Navy brotherhood.
Near the front of the slide you can see King Neptune rising from the waves, trident in hand, on a seahorse-driven chariot. Neptune, the god of the sea, represented crossing the deadly equatorial regions as well.
Sailors, wherever they traveled, remained connected with home through their tattoos. Regardless of who was waiting for them back home, many sailors chose to show their sentimental side with personalized ink work. Near the end of the slide, you can see a “Mom” and “Dad” banner that represents this sentiment.
Optional Display Case
An optional high-quality display case is also available. The locking glass lid protects against dust and unauthorized handling. The glass lid locks with a brass key, and the case liner is custom-contoured to securely hold your pistol in place.
Secure Your Piece of Sailor Tattoo History Today
The Sailor Tattoo Tribute Pistol is issued in an exclusive limited edition of only 500 Tribute pistols, available exclusively from America Remembers. We encourage you to reserve yours today to ensure that you are among the limited number of collectors who will be able to welcome this exclusive issue into their collection.
Order now and we will arrange delivery of your working Tribute through a licensed firearms dealer of your choice. As always, you will receive your Sailor Tattoo Tribute Pistol with our 30-day guarantee of satisfaction. If you are not completely satisfied after personal inspection, you may return your Tribute to us in original unfired condition for a complete and courteous refund. You can mail us your order, or to prioritize your order and confirm availability, call us toll-free at 1-800-682-2291. Your Tribute will be individually numbered and a matching numbered Certificate of Authenticity will also accompany your Tribute.
Tattoos have existed as an art form for centuries, but in the modern world, it’s the sailors who made them special. They adapted the tattoo art into a modern medium of storytelling and camaraderie with their seafaring brotherhood. In many ways, they taught the world the true language of tattoos and how to use them to communicate who you are, where you’ve been, and who and what matters to you most. Whether you are a sailor, a maritime enthusiast, a tattoo enthusiast, or a collector of handsomely decorated presentation firearms, this exceptional Tribute remembering the legendary tattoos of proud sailors is sure to become a conversational piece in your collection.
Since the “Sailor Tattoo Tribute Pistol” is a working Colt® .45 pistol, we will arrange delivery through a licensed firearms dealer of your choice. (Not available in California, Maryland or Massachusetts)
I wish to reserve the “Sailor Tattoo Tribute Pistol”, a working Colt .45 pistol, at the current issue price of $1,995.* Each Tribute is numbered within the edition limit of 500, and is accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity. Thirty-day return privilege.
Please charge my credit card a deposit of $195 per pistol. I will pay the balance at the rate of $100 per month, with no interest or carrying charge.
* All orders are subject to acceptance and credit verification prior to shipment. Sales tax is required in certain states and will be added. Shipping and handling will be added to each order. Virginia residents please add sales tax.