Throughout his military career, General George S. Patton, Jr. had the opportunity to test and use many different handguns. However, one of his favorite sidearms was a .45 caliber Colt Model 1873 Single Action Army Revolver with a 4 3/4″ barrel. George S. Patton, Jr. acquired the pistol in 1916 while he was serving with General Pershing in the Punitive Expedition seeking to capture Pancho Villa.
This was no ordinary Colt. It was silver plated, extensively engraved by Colt’s chief engraver, Cuno Helfricht, and was fitted with ivory grips carved with the intertwined initials “GSP.” This revolver today is proudly displayed at the General Patton Museum in Fort Knox, Kentucky.
Shortly after receiving the revolver, George S. Patton, Jr. had to rely on the revolver in a shootout with Julio Cárdenas, Pancho Villa’s bodyguard, and other followers of Villa. It was May 14, 1916. Lt. George S. Patton was leading a caravan of three automobiles on a journey to purchase food for the troops. When they stopped at a ranch and approached the ranch house, the Americans came under attack. George S. Patton, Jr. fired back with his revolver and later recounted the details to his father — “I fired back five times with my new revolver and one of them ducked back in the house. I found out later that this was Cárdenas and that I had hit both he and his horse.”
The General George S. Patton, Jr. Tribute Revolver honors the memory of one of America’s foremost fighting men. Each revolver now available in this edition is produced for us by the master craftsmen of Uberti, who have expertly created this classic firearm just as they have created so many of the western classics since 1959, and have established themselves as the premier maker of historical firearms recreations. The family of General George S. Patton, Jr. has authorized the Tribute and each revolver is polished and decorated by craftsmen specifically commissioned for the Tribute by America Remembers. The Tribute revolver is polished and decorated in nickel and the artwork is featured in 24-karat gold with blackened patinaed highlights.
The recoil shield depicts General George S. Patton, Jr. in a fleece-collared jacket during the Battle of the Bulge in the winter of 1944. A masterpiece in its own right, the cylinder is emblazoned with six portraits of General George S. Patton, Jr. – in his VMI cadet uniform; during the Mexican border campaign; as a young officer in World War I; in his tanker uniform during maneuvers; late in the war, going into Germany; and postwar, in his 4-star overseas cap. On both sides of the barrel are a banner and scroll inscribed with “General George S. Patton, Jr.” The hammer, trigger, base pin, base pin lock screw, action screws, ejector rod head, grip medallion, grip screw and grip screw escutcheons are all decorated with 24-karat gold. Grips are faux ivory with an intertwined “GSP” monogram on each. On the bottom of the grip frame is your revolver’s own special and certified issue number, from 001-500 attesting to the fact that it is one of an issue of only 500.