The freedom-loving firearm is one of the latest from master fabricator James’s Austin, Texas-based Jesse James Firearms Unlimited, which he launched in 2013.
The “Lady Liberty” Full Damascus Cisco 1911’s steep price tag is due to the fact that it takes a year to make and some 500 hours of labor.
For your money, James notes, you get a firearm that contains “the DNA of America’s biggest symbol of freedom,” which, he adds, makes it “an Amazing piece of American History.”
If you want one, though, you better act quick. He’s only made three, and he’s sold two already.
Over email, I asked James how the unique project came to be.
How and when did you acquire the original handrail pieces from the Statue of Liberty?
A person that will remain anonymous was involved in the restoration [of the Statue of Liberty]. He happened upon a piece of original handrail from around the torch. It was just laying there, so he grabbed it, and it ended up in my hands.
Why did you decide to put “the DNA of America’s biggest symbol of freedom” into a firearm?
Once I got the original handrail, it was a pretty easy decision/concept.
You’ve made one and are making only two more of these. Has anyone bought one yet?
Two of the three are sold.
How much does the “Lady Liberty” 1911 cost?
$85,000. I know that seems like a lot, but it takes a full year to make and about 500 hours labor.
You appeared on Season 8 of “The Apprentice,” and you’re an outspoken Trump supporter. How do you see the Trump administration impacting the firearms business?
Everything is going great!
James chronicled part of the creation of the “Lady Liberty” pistols on social media, including the start, the rails, the flattening, and the cutting.
The final result generated some 8,600 Instagram likes and enthusiastic comments from those resigned to dreaming of affording it.
“id gladly trade you one of my kidneys for one of your 1911’s,” one Facebook follower mused.
Previously, James has made custom firearms for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (hers is engraved “MAMA KNOWS BEST,” and his is engraved “BIG PAPA”), Texas Governor Rick Perry (it’s got the Texas Seal of the Governor on it), and an heir to the Genovese crime family (it’s named “The Godfather”).
James has a licensing partnership with the National Rifle Association focused on the lifestyle category, from shirts to bar stools — NRA Originals.