Uberti's Wild West

Just as passionate about the “ring of truth” in its ad campaign as the company is about its replica firearms.

Just as passionate about the “ring of truth” in its ad campaign as the company is about its replica firearms.

Click image above for larger view

Benelli USA wanted the characters, location and props in its latest Uberti ads, online catalog and videos to have an authentic Old West look and feel that would not only fit its frontier replica firearms, but also create an exciting atmosphere of Western outdoors adventure.

Yours truly was pleased to be brought on board to serve as the historical consultant for the project. Benelli hired me to ensure its Uberti campaign spoke directly to Old West historical firearms buffs and re-enactors.

Lee Thomas Kjos, a topnotch outdoor photographer, originally planned to shoot the campaign in Arizona. Yet when he realized that I was “dialed in” with people, places and animals in the southern California area, the game plan was moved to my home range.

Kjos wanted to photograph several hombres who had that “lean and mean” look of the Old West, but also could convincingly act out the scenes for his cameras. A colorful cast was assembled from several of my amigos who had played roles in various productions, including History Channel documentaries, and those I knew could be counted on to perform the roles accurately. These folks were Larry Brady, Al P. Bringas, Eric H. Heisner, Brent Hudspeth and Wyatt McCrea (grandson of Joel McCrea, the actor who starred in numerous Westerns, including Peckinpah’s 1962 film Ride the High Country).

Jay T. and Maria Rockwell, of Hollywood Trick Horses, brought in three of their horses. One of them, Butch Cassidy, a beautiful rearing buckskin that entertained at the Universal Studios tours for years, had been the double for the lead horse Cisco in Kevin Costner’s 1990 multi-Oscar-winning film Dances With Wolves. (Butch Cassidy was used in the scene where the adolescent Indian braves try to steal Cisco, only to get bucked off.)

Al Frisch, of Hollywood Guns & Props, supplied the location, period gunleather and other props. Al and I have worked together on a number of film and TV productions; we can almost read each other’s mind when it comes to proper gear for certain scenes, firearms safety and other important aspects of filmmaking. Frisch is well known for supplying authentic gear, along with a great-looking Western town set.

Frisch’s partner, the cinematographer and director Stephen McCurry, even volunteered to lend a hand. Under McCurry’s able assistance and the guidance of Stephen McKelvain, Benelli’s vice president of Marketing & Communications, the cast and crew shot the still photos and video scenarios for the 2010 campaign.

Utilizing a motor-drive camera, Kjos captured a host of exciting action shots featuring Uberti guns, rearing and galloping horses, and shooting scenarios involving buffalo hunters, cowboy camps and Indian fights. You’ve undoubtedly seen some of these eye-catching ads in True West already. Now you know the passion and hard work that fueled their creation. For more visuals and videos that show off Uberti’s 2010 frontier replica firearms, visit

True Westerners

ELizabeth Fenn

ELizabeth Fenn

If I had been a member of the Corps of Discovery, I would have brought my own via...

Video Villa!

Video Villa!

Mexican Revolution leader Pancho Villa knew the value of good publicity. Mutual F...

Studying Villa’s Raid

Studying Villa’s Raid

March 9, 1916, started out bad for the 13th Cavalry at Camp Furlong. Ignoring th...

APRIL 2015

True West Magazine Issue April 2015
Buy This Back Issue: April 2015

MAY 2015

True West Magazine Issue May 2015
Buy This Back Issue: May 2015

JUNE 2015

True West Magazine Issue June 2015
Buy This Back Issue: June 2015

JULY 2015

True West Magazine Issue July 2015
Buy This Back Issue: July 2015


True West Magazine Issue August 2015
Buy This Back Issue: August 2015

True West Site Guide


True West captures the spirit of the American West with authenticity, personality and humor by linking our history to our present. Whether you call it the Wild West, the Old West or the Far West, America's frontier history comes to life in True West, the world's oldest, continuously published Western Americana magazine.

Western movie fans, re-enactors, history buffs and road warriors, we got your history covered: outlaw, cowboy, Indian, lawman, gunfighter, fur trapper, miner, prospector, gambler, soldier, entertainer and pioneer. Check out these True Westerners now!

Product of the Month

The Illustrated Life and Times of Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp

"Your book is fascinating, coupling your powerful illustrations [and] tracking...from birth to Tombstone to the legend [Wyatt] had become;...even Wyatt would approve." --By Hugh O'Brian, of the TV series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp

"Hands down the definitive books on Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday." --By Allen Barra, New York Newsday