‘Mister Show Business’ loses his 1911 to the scrappers postmortem

Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck spoke at City Hall last Wednesday next to a table of guns including what appeared to be a Thompson semi-auto carbine, a few AK-pattern rifles, and some AR-15 lower receivers. The guns were part of a 791-weapon haul from the City’s annual Gun Buyback event held last Saturday that saw $200 gift cards from Ralph’s traded for the guns.

Sure, they are unwanted guns that could have eventually found their way into the hands of criminal elements who are prohibited from buying guns from lawful dealers over the counter, but there most likely weren’t any honest crooks themselves in line last weekend to turn their gatts in.

Most of the guns weren’t worth much, as evidenced from the fact that Papa Garcetti could only cough up a few pitiful examples to show off, but there was one really nice piece that probably could have been saved.

It was a milsurp M1911A1 that, at least until his death, was registered to Sammy Davis Jr.


The entertainer died May 16, 1990 at age 64 in Beverly Hills after a battle with throat cancer. Besides being a talented performer and founding member of the Rat Pack, SDJ was an accomplished trick shooter.

Occasionally wearing his custom 1873 Colt SAAs on stage with his highly-tooled one-of-a-kind Western rig, SDJ would captivate fans with an exhibition of his quick-draw abilities.

He also reportedly loved to target shoot and was a guest star on a number of popular Western TV shows of the 50s and 60s such as “The Rifleman,” “Zane Grey Theatre,” and “Wild, Wild West” where he got to use hardware on screen.

sammy davis junior cross draw shoulder rig

As for his M1911, I spoke with the public affairs people with the LAPD and the Mayor’s office, championing the possibility (which would cost the city nothing) of exhibiting SDJ’s .45 at the LAPD Museum. They could even have scrapped the barrel or internals in an effort to render it harmless and included an anti-gun treatise on how it was bought “off the streets” in an effort to save lives.

Nope, they advised. As the gun was not stolen or used in a pending crime as far as they knew of, it would be scrapped.

And they were:

gun buyback confiscation lapd turn in registration lapd photo (1)

More info and sad pictures in my column at Guns.com

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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