Perhaps there is no more important series of events in all of human history than the those that lead to the creation of the United States of America. While history has borne witness to the rise and fall of countless nation states, the tale of the founding of the United States is as unique as it is implausible.
When we think back on what the history books told us, certain images come to mind. We think about Washington rallying his troops at Valley Forges. Jefferson and Franklin eloquently persuading the unsure colonists join to the cause. We think of John Hancock signing his name so large that the King George not need his spectacles to read it. We envision our founders riding into the fray, musket in one hand, flag in the other, fearless in the face of vastly superior numbers, charging into history for that one chance to win our freedom.
For all of our most romanticized visions on our illustrious history, there is but one thing that cannot be dismissed…what was true about war in 1776, is true about war today…War Is Hell.
Very seldom thought about is the price that was paid by those that took up the mantle of American freedom. Even more sad is that many of those that sacrificed their lives for our freedom are lost to history. Countless names, never recorded for posterity, but each paying a debt that can never be reimbursed.
Sadly, the same can be said about the modern American Warrior Class. The men and women of the Armed Forces, each for their own reason, have pledged themselves to the very same cause…Liberty. Whether at home, or in some far-flung nation, those that wear the uniform have dedicated themselves, whatever the cost to the preservation of the American way of life.
They put their name and lives on the line, without knowing what will be asked of them, but prepared to fulfill the obligation nonetheless. In their journey through service, many leave behind them much more than just footprints in the sand. They leave behind blood, sweat, and fallen friends. For those that make it back to the world, many come bearing scars that can be visible, invisible, and in many cases, both. Whether it be missing limbs, Traumatic Brain Injury, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or Survivors Guilt, each of our service members come home a casualty of the cause of freedom.
We have all heard the nightmarish stories about our veterans being mistreated by the very governmental agencies that were established to treat them and make their transition home easier. Months of waiting for medical appointments, misdiagnosed, neglected…each instance in itself is abhorrent and not fitting of the nation, or the people that our warriors gave of themselves defending. In return for their courageous and selfless acts, our nation has but one responsibility, and that is to take care of those that stood on the front line so that we could be free…this is an obligation that has not been met.
However, there are those that have taken up the New Mantle of Leadership and have dedicated themselves to the betterment of those that have given so much of themselves. One such organization is the XTreme Couture G.I. Foundation. Founded in 2009 by Mixed Martial Arts Legend, and Army Veteran, Randy “The Natural” Couture, the XTreme Couture G.I. Foundation has taken a new approach to helping our American Heroes.
Randy has spent countless hours traveling, and meeting with the men and women that have defended our nation, and done what few others have done…he made their cause his own. While many other “celebrity” types have lent a voice or written a check, Randy went further and became individually invested in our warriors lives. Having once worn the uniform himself, Randy understands that once you take the oath of service, there is no expiration date.
As shown by the Commission of the “Liberty Rifle” when it comes to helping our Veterans the XTreme Couture Foundation lives up to its name….XTreme.
Commissioned by Randy Couture, and built by Keith Berry of 51Fifty Rifles with the assistance of Outlaw Ordinance, Elftmann Tactical, Uintah Precision, Titan Ballistics, Vortex Optics, Hogue Inc, Harris Bipods, Zach Brown Customs, McGowen Precision Barrels, and Spartan Mounts. The Liberty Rifle is a testament to the American Ideal, and the Revolutionary Spirit that Birthed the Greatest Nation the world has ever known.
From the Butt-Pad to the Muzzle, ever square inch of this magnificent rifle exudes the American Revolution. From Washington Crossing the Delaware, the Gadsden Flag, the Signing at Liberty Hall, with every look, we found something new. Even the most astute history buff would be hard pressed to catch every detail that was laser etched into the one-of-a-kind work of art. With a weight and length commiserate to the muskets our Founders would have carried into battle, and sporting a traditional octagonal barrel, even the dimensions of this rifle are a tribute to the revolution.
The Liberty Rifle is more than just a sum of her parts. She is a culmination of tens of thousands of hours of thoughtful detail, historical reference, and most of all, a passion to help those that preserve our way of life. To best describe the Liberty Rifle, we defer to the expertise of the man who built her, Keith Berry.
“This profound and empowering statement was the inspiration for our rifle “Liberty”. The first in a series of rifles built by 51Fifty Rifles to pay home-age and tribute to the many struggles, wins, losses and acts in our countries history and forming. And dedicated to the brave men and women who have fought for it since our founding. 100% of all proceeds will go directly to the Xtreme Couture GI Foundation.
The influence for the design of “Liberty” came from the Revolutionary War, the arguments and quarrels leading up to the war and the after math of the war. We wanted the size and shape of the rifle to embody that of the original musket. The original muskets used in the Revolutionary War weighed approximately 14 pounds and were about 42 inches long. “Liberty” weighs approximately 17 pounds and is a whopping 45 inches long. This rifle is truly custom and unique, from it’s one off aluminum butt-stock to the 20″ hand-guard, with a custom 26″ octagon bull barrel chambered in .338 Federal. We’ve topped this rifle off with a high end scope instead of a bayonet to allow for better accuracy at distances out to 500 yards.
The iconic imagery custom engraved from butt-stock to hand guard encapsulates events occurring during different phases of this time period. From Washington crossing the Delaware, to the Liberty Bell and Gadsden snake, the signing of the Declaration of Independence as well as other historical images from the era. The entire rifle also has a custom cerakote paint job, so don’t be afraid to take it to the range and show it off. And to keep it true to the period, it lives in a custom built wooden rifle crate complete with rope handles ready to mount on the wall so she can be displayed proudly for everyone to enjoy her beauty.”
The Liberty First Foundation is blessed to have been granted the opportunity to present this rifle to the Second Amendment Community, and we encourage you to participate in any way you can to help us share this story. We will be following this story in the months to come and the Liberty Rifle may yet be making another appearance before too long….but if you want a chance to see her up close and personal….ticket information can be found in the links above.
Photography by: Lori Egdorf
Layout by: Michael Marshall