In Defense of Cabot Guns

Cabot 1911 (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

You need to get from the airport to a business meeting. Take a cab! It’s quick, it’s easy and it beats the hell out of public transportation. Alternatively, at least in theory, you could have a driver pick you up. It’s even quicker and easier (no waiting in a cold taxi queue) and it’s better. The car’s quieter, cleaner and more comfortable. It smells good. The driver’s nicer (in a reserved and dignified way). The limo’s more prestigious, should such things matter. Now, remind me again why it’s not OK to spend $6k+ on a 1911? The way I see it . . .

Just as a bruised and battered taxi does the same job as a chauffeur-driven Mercedes S-Class, a garden-variety 1911 does the same job as a Cabot 1911. Both cars gets you where you where you want to go. Both guns fire .45 caliber bullets with great accuracy and reasonable reliability (see: JWT’s article to follow).

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By the same token, racking the slide on a Cabot 1911 accomplishes the same task as racking the side on a Para-Remington 1911. The gun chambers or ejects a round, or does nothing whatsoever. The difference in feel is unimaginable – unless you’ve racked the slide on a Cabot 1911. The Pennsylvania pistol’s supernaturally silky. The rail moves like a MAGLEV train gliding on a magnetic track. It is nothing – I repeat – nothing like any other 1911 you can buy.

I won’t bore you with the amount of OCD engineering that goes into a Cabot 1911. Suffice it to say, there’s no cure for the pleasure a slide-racked Cabot induces. “Do you mind if I take this into the bathroom?” I asked a roomful of company ‘smiths. They all laughed because they get it. On some level, manipulating a pistol shouldn’t trigger that much pleasure.

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Is that pleasure worth a $5000 premium? Oh hell yes. If only because Cabot’s using customers cash to make racking their gun’s slide sound distinctive. Sexy. Satisfying. And then patent the result, just like Harley-Davidson patents their bikes’ sonic signature.

Again, really? Really. There are people on this planet who would pay – have paid, will pay – insane amounts of money just to listen to a Ducati Monster or a Ford GT fire-up. Or, be still my beating heart, racing down the road with the engine at full chat. Is spending the better part of ten grand on a 1911 for the way the slide sounds that crazy?

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Of course it is! Lucky for you, you’re under no obligation to fund this seemingly psychotic concept (unlike, say, paying for the war in Afghanistan). Even if you aren’t a slave to haptic and auditory pleasure, a Cabot 1911 tempts naysayers with obvious aesthetic excellence. Their guns are physically flawless, groomed to perfection. OK, sure, some of the designs make me wonder if owners don’t secretly lust after a diamond-encrusted grill. You know: for their mouth. Or maybe the patio too, come to think of it . . .

No matter what you think of gold guns (which aren’t really gold) or grip panels fashioned from mammoth tusks and meteorites, Cabot’s craftsmanship is otherworldly. Tool marks? We’re WAY beyond looking for tool marks. We’re talking about guns whose luster is so deep and rich the damn things nearly glow in the dark. Guns with engravings that would make an 18th century scrimshaw artist throw himself into the belly of a whale.

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Bling’s not my thing. I’m a form-follows-function kinda guy; a man who celebrates the Oreo cookie for its quintessence. But there’s no denying that a Cabot 1911 is a work of art. The money spent on buying a one keeps superb artisans – from hugely skilled machinists to a guy for whom metal polishing is a calling – employed. It preserves their talents, passion and epic OCD. Cabot buyers aren’t just customers, they’re patrons. Enablers? Whatever.

Jonathan and I journeyed to Cabot’s PA digs to check up on the repairs to the FTF fest TTAG tested. I won’t spoil his post(s) for you. Let’s just say that JWT’s report on the gun’s mechanical genesis and performance may at least partially please those of you who judge a hugely expensive gun, indeed any gun, not just on its looks and provenance, but also on its ability to do what it was designed to do: fire bits of lead downrange accurately and reliably.

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I say that because some people can’t be pleased. As Oscar Wilde famously kvetched,”Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” That said, there’s always a relationship between price and value. Not to coin a phrase, you get what you pay for. In Cabot’s case, people pay stacks of Grovers for world-class craftsmanship in a fully functioning firearm. Or not. You don’t have to buy one. But before you diss Cabot buyers please consider this: sometimes showing off is the right thing to do. For all concerned.

comments

  1. avatar dph says:

    So, you’re still fawning over a $6000 gun that had to be sent back twice because it could not fulfill it’s basic mission, I don’t get it. I get that they are beautiful works of art, but if they don’t work what’s the point?

    1. avatar Tex300BLK says:

      Ferraris and Lambos (or any super cars) cost more than the average American house to buy, and need regular service and maintenance to run properly. I have heard that owning a super car on average will cost you the value of a brand new midsize car every year when you count, fuel, periodic maintenance, upkeep, insurance etc etc etc. The cherry on top of all of that is by the time they have about 10-20k miles on the odometer they are worth about 1/2 to 1/3 of their initial purchase price, this because however nice they are, they require an inordinate amount of maintenance and upkeep to run properly. So, much like this gun, in the strictest sense of point A to point B transportation they fail miserably as they cannot be treated as reliable or practical for the given job.

      Does this make them any less fun to drive if you can afford all of that and have a reliable primary car to drive every day? Does it make me want to own one any less? No, and f*$k No

      1. avatar brian says:

        Not entirely true, the insurance part, yes. The engineering and testing that goes into Ferrari’s and etc.. comes from decades of dedication and experience, millions of racing hours and testing. These machines generally don’t have problems, the problems they do have stem from idiot billionaires who have no idea how to own cars like this, they get garage stored for years, beat on by poor drivers and usually end up sold or wrecked before their first oil change.
        You could spend that money just to hear a lambo fire up and idle or just to look at it, I’m sure somebody has done it, some buy just to collect and store. But even if purchased for eye candy alone, they still RUN…. well!

        1. avatar Tex300BLK says:

          You missed my point, do any of those factors (real or misinformed) make me want one any less? No

          Same deal with the Cabot, I would love to one day have enough money that spending several grand on the ultimate BBQ Gun like the black diamond or their damascus model (which is a hell of a lot more expensive) wouldnt be an issue, and if/when I do, you better believe I will. Same goes for the Ferrari… one day 🙂

        2. avatar styrgwillidar says:

          Yeah, you can take delivery of your Ferrari or Lamborghini and go to the track and the car will perform. (Now, I’d vastly prefer a Cadillac CTS-V with a manual transmission, but that’s just me).

          You apparently can’t take delivery of a Cabot and do the equivalent, take it to the range and have it perform.

          That said, if someone can afford it and wants to spend their money that way- more power to them. Their money their choice and I don’t care about their motivations. One more firearm manufacturer remaining in business. Up to them whether they feel they got their money’s worth- even if it’s just to have a gun that looks that good.

        3. avatar Drew says:

          Ferraris and lambos have a well established reputation for poor reliability. And rightfully so. In lambos case at least they are currently benefitting from VWs engendering prowess, but even then VWs are known to inhabit the lower half of most long term reliability reports. besides the largely hand assembled nature of these cars that invites lots of human error and low production numbers that prevent extensive improvements the fact is these cars are not family sedans. They do not enjoy the same broad margins as typical production cars. Lamborghini clutches go out often because they are only precisely as big as the engineers think they need to be to function.

      2. avatar PPGMD says:

        Periodic MX on cars is similar to scheduled parts replacements. The Cabot went back wasn’t parts replacement it was because it didn’t work period. That is like taking a car back because it stalled out, not like taking it back for an oil change.

        Now if you want to see the true Ferraris and Lambos of the gun world. Enter the world of competition shooting. Each discipline has a team of gun smiths building guns for their sport. And one thing they all have in common, is that their guns are expected to work for at the very least an entire shooting season (which can be up to 50,000 rounds).

    2. avatar Jim Barrett says:

      You are looking at a prime example of cognitive dissonance. A $6,000 gun HAS to be better than some cheapo thousand dollar piece of trash. The problems experienced by the testers not once but twice must be the work of aliens, the government or Moms Demanding Action.

      But, by all means, if you have the scratch to drop 6K on a gun that sounds pretty, but won’t fulfill its primary function, don’t let me get in your way.

      ‘course by the same token, you also raise serious concerns with your objectivity if you keep going back to the well of non-functional guns trying to convince us that all of this craftsmanship is enough to overcome the failure of the gun’s basic function.

      1. avatar things that go boom says:

        LOL PWNED!

      2. avatar Drew says:

        Do you have any reason to think that ca boys in general are bad guns?

        1. avatar Jim Barrett says:

          Well, let’s think about this for a moment.

          In fairness, we only have one example by which to judge. However, said example was sent to TTAG by the manufacturer as a (presumably) prime example of their work. Unfortunately, many guns that TTAG reviews are demos sent by the manufacturer for review puposes as opposed to a production gun purchased on the street. One would think that an intelligent manufacturer would take pains to ensure that any gun sent for review purposes would be free of problems.

          Secondly, when you explain your outrageously high cost by touting your quality and manufacturing skill, one kind of expects to see that quality reflected in the product. In this case, the manufacturer had not one, but two opporunities to deliver a quality product, then failed to do so.

          So, can I conclude that all Cavot guns ar inferior? Of course not. I can however conclude that I would never spend $6,000+ of my own hard earned cash to find out whether I get a good gun or a dog. I’d rather go with a Wilson Combat, save a couple of grand and know what I’m getting.

  2. avatar preston says:

    i think its a little silly but who cares.

  3. avatar brainman says:

    Since I spent $4000 on a guitar yesterday, I’m gonna STFU about this one.

    1. avatar brian says:

      But I bet the guitar works.

    2. avatar Myrealname says:

      But does that four thousand dollar guitar frequently stop playing?

      1. avatar Tex300BLK says:

        If you can only afford to own one gun I am going to go out on a limb and assume you are not in the target audience for Cabot. Lots of things that are incredibly expensive don’t necessarily work better than something a small fraction of the price… that’s not the point. Indulgence isn’t required to have a justification based on rational thought, logic, or practicality.

        Putting on my flame suit and preparing myself for the rage of all the “all my guns serve purpose and have to be 110% reliable even feeding calibers other than what is stamped on the barrel, if my 40 cant feed 9mm while being full of mud after months of no cleaning then its OUT! you hear me? OUT! I have no time for pretty things! I’ll take 600 Mosin Nagants before I buy a $6000 1911!” There I think I covered them all.

        1. avatar Jake Tallman says:

          True, something expensive doesn’t necessarily need to function better than something that costs a fraction of the price. But it absolutely should not function SIGNIFICANTLY worse.

        2. avatar Tex300BLK says:

          Says who? Like I said above, buying something luxurious requires absolutely zero justification other than I want it and I have enough money (or a big enough limit on the credit card for some) to buy it.

        3. avatar Jim Barrett says:

          I understand your basic premise, but in the case of Cabot, they don’t justify their high cost through bling such as diamond and ruby encrusted grips or real gold plating or any of that sort of thing (though I’m sure you can get those options for even more money). They justify the cost by claiming superior workmanship. That claim was simply not borne out by the testing TTAG performed.

          In some regards they play in the same space as Wilson Combat and other high end gun makers whose upper end offerings play in the same price range as Cabot, but those guns actually work well.

    3. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Haha. Yup. You “get it”.

    4. avatar JWTaylor says:

      brainman, I hear you. My budget/camping mandolin was more than 4k. Craftsmanship cost, and so does legally obtained high quality wood.

    5. avatar KMc says:

      I spent $4500 on a bicycle a couple of years back. No, I don’t ride it. Or take it down from my shop ceiling and sit on it. I must be nuts as well.

  4. avatar PeterK says:

    Preaching to the choir a little? Feel like those who get it get it. And those who don’t just aren’t there yet. 😉

    Love the pics, though. Worth the price of admission just for those. Damascus steel slide? Yes please!

    1. avatar paulWTAMU says:

      It isn’t for me, but I can get dropping real money on a gun.

      I can’t get being happy with a gun that I dropped 4 figures on that didn’t actually shoot reliably. That’s where the disconnect is coming from.

  5. avatar brian says:

    If you paid for limo service and it broke down every 100 feet, every time, causing delays and aggravation but you received no cost reduction, you would stop using that service.

    The “dirty taxi” gets you to work or your business meeting on time, every time, and if it breaks down, you just grab another “dirty taxi”.

    Tell me again why you would pay $6000 for something that doesn’t work?

    1. avatar Drew says:

      You tell me why this is representative of either the rest of cab bots guns or the multitudes of similarly priced guns.

      1. avatar Grindstone says:

        Got a review of a Cabot 1911 that didn’t FTF that you’d like to share with the class?

  6. avatar tdiinva says:

    “The difference in feel is unimaginable – unless you’ve racked the slide on a Cabot 1911. The Pennsylvania pistol’s supernaturally silky. The rail moves like a MAGLEV train gliding on a magnetic track. It is nothing – I repeat – nothing like any other 1911 you can buy.”

    Except the more clunky feel and sound of racking my Springfield Milspec or my RIA always leads to a round being chambered and then going down range without an ensuing failure to feed.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      In-fricking-deed.

    2. avatar Gene says:

      Not to mention the difference found when the first idiot mark appears or it falls. Marks on a RIA, Ruger, etc generally are considered character. On a $6K one?

      1. avatar SteveInCO says:

        A friend of mine, looking at a gun I own (I don’t use that particular gun much any more, having found something I like a bit better) said his favorite thing about it was that had obviously been fired a lot.

      2. avatar Grindstone says:

        Never owned a 1911 before getting my RIA. I never even heard of the “idiot mark” until fairly recently, yet I’ve still somehow managed to never make the mark.

  7. avatar Defens says:

    Nice gun(s). So is beating a dead thoroughbred a more fulfilling experience than beating a dead donkey?

  8. avatar Hannibal says:

    I like their butter.

  9. avatar Avid Reader says:

    I used to work for a British company that sold ridiculously expensive fly fishing gear. When people who didn’t know the sport would ask why someone would pay $300 for a reel that functionally did the same thing as a $35 Pflueger, our response was along the lines of “If you have a Chevy and a Jag in the garage, which one are you going to take for a drive on a nice Sunday afternoon?”

    Then again, our stuff generally worked.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      I don’t know. It depends on whether the Chevy is a Camaro or a Cruze.

      1. avatar styrgwillidar says:

        Would depend on whether the Jags electrical system has been acting up, again. Although better to be stranded in the Jag somewhere on a sunny day than when it’s raining.

    2. avatar Grindstone says:

      Considering neither have a good reputation for reliability… I’ll stick with my Tacoma.

  10. avatar Tex300BLK says:

    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

    Truer words were never spoken…. Also after seeing that beautiful damascus steel slide and perfect wood grips I am caught again in the dilema… When is the appropriate time to tell my wife that our children wont be going to college?

    1. avatar Forrestt C. says:

      I find its far easier to apologize then it is to get permission.

      1. avatar Tex300BLK says:

        Generally true… but in this case I would like to avoid getting shot by my brand new $6000 1911 🙂

        1. avatar Jake Tallman says:

          Well, you should be fine there, given that the damn thing doesn’t work….

        2. avatar styrgwillidar says:

          Not completely true- it will fire at least one round before failure.

  11. avatar Xanthro says:

    Really expensive firearms remind me of this store in Munich Germany. Everything in there is of exceptional quality, a level of leather work that is almost unnatural. The leather feels like a combination of butter and the softest silk, yet is still strong.
    The least expensive item in the store is a shoe horn, and it cost over 900 Euro. It’s a SHOE HORN.
    A shaving kit is 2,000 Euro. Luggage in in the tens of thousands of Euro. A pair of boots cost a house in some cities.
    Even for people who make a good amount of money, it’s an exceedingly expensive store.
    That said, you are not just purchasing a leather item, what people are doing is buying the continuation of leather working skills that go back hundreds of years. The people buying at that store might not ever actually use the items, but they keep a traditional skill alive, and that has importance to them.
    That is what you are buying when you purchase a Cabot firearm. You aren’t buying the firearm alone, you are literally paying a huge premium to keep a skill set alive so it can be passed down to others. That’s always expensive.
    Nor, will it likely work as efficiently or reliably as something much cheaper. A Cabot firearm is not your go to firearm, or your carry firearm. It’s literally a “working” piece of art. In many ways, they really are safe queens.
    There’s nothing wrong with safe queens when you have the money, because people who spend that kind of money usually know what they are getting, and they are purchasing something other than the item. They are purchasing a continuation of a traditional skill.

    1. avatar Steve in MD says:

      If the gun doesn’t work, do we really want to support the continuation of the “skill” that made it?

      1. avatar Xanthro says:

        Yes, because you aren’t paying for something to fire, you are paying for that finish and the metal working and polishing skills required to achieve that finish.
        Literally, no person buying a Cabot pistol is using that for self defense. Frankly, actual reliability is way down on the list of reasons to purchase one. It’s not a pistol simply to be used.

        1. avatar Jim Barrett says:

          Sorry, I beg to differ. Wealthy people drop real money (for their guns $6K is the deposit) on bespoke rifles yet still plan to take them hunting. If I want a piece of art, I’ll buy art. Even at $6K, I don’t consider this to be a mere safe queen. Sure- If I got my hands on a mint condition Colt 1911-a-nothing in mint condition built around, say, 1911, THAT would qualify as a display not a shooting piece.

          The $6K price tag puts is only a little above some of the higher end Wilson Combat guns and those are working guns in addition to being fine pieces of craftsmanship. It simply is not expensive enough to qualify as a full time safe queen and should not be compared with guns that are.

          Even the guy who drops mid six figures on a Bentley is going to want to drive it, not leave it in the garage.

    2. avatar tdiinva says:

      You can spend that and more on a Beretta shotgun in the full knowledge that when you pull the trigger it goes boom.

    3. avatar John A. Smith says:

      “That is what you are buying when you purchase a Cabot firearm. You aren’t buying the firearm alone, you are literally paying a huge premium to keep a skill set alive so it can be passed down to others. That’s always expensive.”

      Please don’t take this as offensive, but I think Cabot doesn’t stand for that at all. Cabot is able to build guns to such fine tolerances specifically because almost everything is done via CNC. I get that there’s a lot of engineering involved in that…but the whole idea is that one you get your machines, supplies, and code down pat, you can make the same perfect gun over and over again by flipping a switch. Sure, there’s hand polishing and engraving, but let’s not pretend these are anything more than very, very well made production pistols.

      If I were looking to keep a skill set alive through buying a 1911, I’d pay Ned Christiansen, Bill Laughridge, Larry Vickers, Terry Tussey — or someone like those guys to build one from me by hand.

      1. avatar Quinn says:

        Chuck Rodgers, Jason Burton, and Stan Chen also come to mind. True 1911 smiths who’s touch is worth gold. Cabot is all for looks, nothing more than an over priced gimmick brand. And when you’re laying down that kind of cash, I’ll buy two more Wilson CQB’s that work every single time.

      2. avatar RB says:

        John,
        The contrary is true. It takes far more human time to build a Cabot that it does for a custom builder to modify oversize parts. CNC machining is only rough work at Cabot. It takes the finesse of a highly skilled craftsman to control grinding equipment. It is manually operated where the speed of the tool and angle of approach require years of experience to master to work to tolerances which are beyond that which can be achieved by traditional hand work. Over 70 individuals are involved in the production of a Black Diamond. Finish work such as hand polishing alone involves rare skills and hand work you will find in no other 1911. Different tools – human driven and finessed otherwise it would have been done by traditional CNC manufacturing.

        1. avatar SteveInCO says:

          I have the greatest respect for the craftsmen.

          But their skill doesn’t mean that the overall product isn’t a turd. One could conceivably pay the best musicians in the world to play utter noise (e.g., most modern classical) and though they clearly are doing so with great skill, the result is still bad.

        2. avatar John A. Smith says:

          Again, I don’t mean to be rude, RB, but what you’re saying is the exact opposite of what Cabot says. Take a look at this video from Steve Orange from Cabot, describing how the guns are made.

          Specifically, he says: “…to be able to recreate each and every item over and over again, there is no hand fit whatsoever…” He then discusses the fact that the guns are CNC machined and ground. Again, so the parts are completely interchangeable between guns.

          They’re nice guns, but they’re not handmade. Period.

    4. avatar Grindstone says:

      I figure we let the market decide if the skill is “valuable”.

  12. avatar Tom in Georgia says:

    It’s still a free market, so whatever floats your boat, right?

    Tom

    1. avatar styrgwillidar says:

      Yep, not something I would ever buy, but I’ve got no problem with someone else deciding that’s what they want to do with their money.

    2. avatar Grindstone says:

      And we’ll still make fun of those who drop too much money on a shiny piece of steel that can’t go bang.

  13. avatar General Zod says:

    Considering that my $500 Rock Island 1911 is just as accurate, shoots the same .45ACP (but isn’t as finicky about whose ammo it eats) and is much more reliable…yeah, I don’t see any reason to drop ten times as much on a pistol I can’t be certain will go bang when I want it to.

  14. avatar Joe R. says:

    You’re talking “shiny” in a black-gun era. Tell me I can take it swimming with no effect on the weapon, and that it shoots through (well we can’t joke about shooting “through schools” anymore) concrete bunkers hidden deep inside caves and I’ll get a 3rd job to afford one.

    I do applaud Cabot though on craftsmanship and artisanship. I am grateful that people still do these things and I hope the waiting list never shortens.

  15. avatar cogline says:

    I would rather buy a couple Colt Pythons or one Korth.

  16. avatar Bobby McKellar says:

    $5K….for a beautiful 1911 isn’t unheard of these days, BUT it has to be $5K worth of RELIABLE to be worth it. Otherwise what you truly have is a piece of “art” to “oooh and ahhh” over. This simple fact makes this article MOOT at best & completely ignorant, misguided and borderline stupid at worst.

    1. avatar styrgwillidar says:

      For you it has to be reliable. In a free market an item is worth what someone is willing to pay. Maybe not to me, but to the person selling it and the person buying it- they set the value. A Cabot is worth it because there are folks out there willing to pay that amount for a beautiful 1911 that is only marginally reliable. Their money, their choice and I don’t care how other folks spend their money.

      I bought a Sig 1911 and I won’t consider it worth what I paid for it until I put a wide variety of ammo through it and see how they all feed. If they feed reliably, I’ll consider it worth the money. If they don’t, I’ll be taking it up with SIG – because like you, I believe for what I paid it should run reliably with most commercially available ammo.

      1. avatar JD says:

        Every Sig I have handled new out of the box felt like the slide was made of glass riding on oiled glass rails. They also cost much less than 6k.
        I get craftsmanship but I don’t get nonfunctional craftsmanship. You would think a company that sent a top shelf priced pistol to one of the largest gun blogs in existence as an example piece would make sure it was 100% in appearance AND function.

  17. avatar Art out West says:

    I guess I am just too sensible, practical, and middle class. I have absolutely no interest in guns like that. Firearms are tools. I want tools that work and look reasonably presentable. Rugers, Glocks, CZs, S&Ws, etc. are good enough for me (of course I am one of the pitiful souls who doesn’t even have a 1911 yet – HORROR OF HORRORS). I’ll probably buy a 1911 someday. It is on my list. When I get one however, it will definitely cost less than a grand.

    If somebody has a net worth of at least a couple million dollars (I don’t yet), and they wish to spend this much on a handgun, then good for them. On the other hand, if somebody has to borrow money to buy something like this, that is just sad.

    Of course I am also a guy who doesn’t get his pleasures in the bathroom by himself. I get them from the woman I love and am spending my life with (practical and sensible).

    1. Masturbation is fertility control. Just sayin’…

    2. avatar Tex300BLK says:

      yeah right… whats the statistic again? 95% of men admit to it and the other 5% are liars… I would imagine its similar breakdown for people who admit they would buy a Cabot or other similarly obscenely priced show piece if they could afford it vs those who defiantly claim they wouldnt.

      1. avatar Another Robert says:

        Well, you never know how you would definitely react to a set of circumstances until it actually happens. But as I sit here–no, I wouldn’t buy the Cabot even if I had so much money I wouldn’t notice the price. Nothing to be defiant about, just not made for bling. And for some unknown reason, tricked-out 1911s just kind of irritate me. Something psychological, I’m sure…

      2. avatar SteveInCO says:

        When I was somewhat better off financially than I am today, I bought a lot of fine art. It graces the walls of my house now. I certainly don’t have an issue with people spending a fecal tonne of money on stuff that looks nice, and I have obviously done so myself.

        But my artwork isn’t pretending to be a functioning tool, either.

      3. avatar Art out West says:

        Didn’t say I never did, just don’t anymore. I did a lot in the past, and then I grew up. For what it’s worth check out http://yourbrainonporn.com/
        There is enough stuff there to make a guy think twice.

        Back to the guns, even if I had obscene amounts of money, there are a lot of other toys I’d rather buy than $6,000 pistols. Something full auto would be nice. A Barrett .50 cal. would be nice. Some SBR’s, a few suppressors, a Colt Python, etc. would all be great.

  18. avatar surlycmd says:

    The point isn’t how much it costs or if it works. The point is freewill. Buy a product or don’t buy a product. For whatever reason.

  19. avatar JJ48 says:

    Meh. When I get a 1911, I’d sooner get one that’s a GI weapon from WW1 or WW2.

  20. avatar Sean N says:

    I’ve never shot a Cabot.
    I saw one in person once. They counter guy wouldn’t let me touch it. Might mar the finish. My fingerprints might mar the finish. On a gun. You get that? If was willing to put down a slight downpayment, say, full price, they would let me touch it, and rack the slide and check function and everything.

    I am, and always will be most likely, one of those who doesn’t get it. Sure, it’s beautiful. And yeah, it’s slicker than a greased up Taiwan hooker. But at the very base of it… the most likely use it will ever have is either sitting in a safe, or poking holes in paper.

    Now, I’m sure that this gun was a fluke. Cabot made the gun as they always do, to the same high quality they always do. Certainly, not every Cabot is going to be a big ol’ box of suck. Every maker has issues and lemons.

    But for 6k? That 45 better work the first time. It better work every time. For 6k, it better feed, fire, eject reliably. And for 6k, the damn thing better be happy with any ammo I feed it. And I mean Ball, HP, dead soft lead, black powder cowboy loads. Hell, for 6k, that damn thing better eat 9mm and like it.

    I’m not going to go along with this “Sure, it has stoppages and had to go back to the shop twice, BUT LOOK HOW SHINY IT IS!” crap. If I have to send my food back to the kitchen more than once, I leave the restaurant. These pictures on TTAG’s facebook page, and this bit from RF… it smacks of payola.

    The original review of this gun was harsh, as it should have been. Does fixing the gun excuse the original performance? No. Sure, they fixed it, but it was still delivered in an unacceptable condition. This article? It feels like RF is patting Cabot on the back, saying “It’s ok, I still love you. Let’s pretend it never happened.”

    1. avatar styrgwillidar says:

      ‘Every maker has issues and lemons….“Sure, it has stoppages and had to go back to the shop twice, ‘

      I’ve always said the measure of a company’s service isn’t that they never have a problem, it’s how they deal with it when it occurs.

      Sending something in for repair and getting it returned still broken or poorly functioning is bad. There is no excuse for that firearm to not function flawlessly after being returned the first time. A luxury end product, ~6 times the cost of a quality product (think SIG 1911 vice a bargain/low end) should be backed by great service. Great service is not having to return a luxury product twice. It should have been returned functioning flawlessly, with a letter of apology explaining the defect, what was done to correct it, and some effort (swag) to compensate the customer for the inconvenience and to emphasize this isn’t the quality of product this manufacturer expects getting into the customer’s hands.

    2. avatar bontai Joe says:

      Gotta remember that Robert also has a deep love affair with his Caracal pistol that also has problems and at last reading, can not be fixed. Pretty is nice, I sometimes like pretty, but pretty does not necessarily mean it is good. There are lots of “pretty” women out there that are not worth 5 minutes of conversation.

  21. avatar Chris says:

    Those Damascus slide Cabot’s in the last picture are gorgeous, finally a great looking Cabot 1911.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Great looking, except for those trashy-looking star cutouts in the triggers. That’s some Bubba shit right there.

  22. avatar Freeheel says:

    Put me down in the don’t get it group. Years ago I worked ski patrol. Folks would come up all the time and ask me about this new expensive ski or component. I always replied “how many racers do you see using it?” That usually settled the “but it is expensive and awesome” argument.

    I see lots of racers in Ferraris. I don’t see any racers using Cabots.

      1. avatar Freeheel says:

        Ok one out of how many? 893? I’ve been to plenty of events and have yet to see one person using Cabots. I’ve seen thousands using colts, springfields, sti, Wilsons, etc. Very few of those are stock. Call me when 25% of the field is using Cabots.

    1. avatar JWTaylor says:

      Freeheel, misread your quote on the Ferrari, the site keeps crashing on me. The 25 percent thing still makes no sense to me.

  23. avatar xwing says:

    Since you mentioned it… I have a Ducati Monster (a 2007 695) with Termi pipes. I love the sound, but it’s a funny comparison because Ducati’s ARE NOT expensive. It was $9000 or so new and is far below your average Harley. I bought mine used for $4500 and I’m below the price of this gun… YIKES!

    1. avatar Freeheel says:

      That was my point. Though I didn’t explain it so well. A company called Volant came out with expensive hand made skis in the early 90’s. People raved about the shininess of them and how handmade they were. They were 2-3 times the cost of Volkls or Dynastars. Yet in the end no racers used them because they weren’t better just more expensive..

      In some fields the really expensive stuff really does work and gets raced like Ferraris. But there are plenty of people racing mini coopers evey week also. And by the way I like Ducati even if only to say desmodromic.

  24. avatar Vitsaus says:

    The article is more or less what Kim Kardashian might blog if she was into guns. Its a bit dishonest to say that ALL that money is going into quality. A lot of it is going into just the finish, which has nothing to do with the quality of the gun or its performance as a weapon. I like to think this way: If I sink 5k into a 1911, what am I getting? If I sink 5k into a black rifle, I’m getting a wrecking ball. The other thing I’ve got to ask myself is “Do I really want a gun that some Mexican Cartel guy would find attractive?” the answer is no.

    1. avatar styrgwillidar says:

      You’re missing the point that ‘quality’ is defined by the customer and measured by what he’s willing to pay for it. Cabot quality is looks/finish- because that’s what the customer they’re marketing to defines as the quality setting it apart from other brands.

  25. avatar SteveInCO says:

    :Just as a bruised and battered taxi does the same job as a chauffeur-driven Mercedes S-Class, a garden-variety 1911 does the same job as a Cabot 1911.

    This is where you fail, Robert. The issue ISN’T “why not buy something better looking/feeling that does the same job.” People are entitled to spend their money however they wish.

    But given that the “garden variety 1911” will almost certainly do its job better than the Cabot, that’s not what’s at issue. You would be paying lots more money for something that works worse. Are you still entitled to do it with your own money? Sure.

    But you’re deluding yourself if you actually think you are getting something that works as well as the garden variety, and you are also deluding yourself if other people aren’t going to think you’re a bit of a dufus for throwing your money away on a lemon.

    ,”Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” That said, there’s always a relationship between price and value.

    Yes, there is such a relationship. It’s very unlikely you will get more value than you pay for. It’s QUITE likely you won’t get the value you paid for. That’s technically known as a “ripoff” and someone buying a Cabot out of ignorance as to what a jam-o-matic it is is being ripped off.

    Although, like I said, it’s your money. Blow the bucks on the purdy gold-plated turd if you want to. Just don’t imagine others will be impressed.

  26. avatar Bob says:

    beauty/reliability/performance/cost

    I know if I paid $6k for a gun it better function much better than a 1k gun, or it better perform (group size) exponentially better than a 1k gun and I could accept a little unreliability, or it better be so beautiful it should be a religious experience to look upon it., that I don’t care about the reliability or performance.

    All things in life have tradeoffs, but $6k there should be few of them.

    1. avatar Xanthro says:

      What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a piece of art?
      For firearm collectors, they need to be functional, but they are not intended as daily shooters. That’s what the Cabot is, it’s not really any different than other art on your wall.
      I’d love to have that Damascus Steel slide Cabot in the picture. It would be a display item. I’d take it to the range every once in awhile, and people coming to the house could admire it, as any other piece of art.
      It sure wouldn’t be something I’d chose to carry or for self defense, but it’s not designed for that.

  27. avatar bryan1980 says:

    If you have the cash, more power to ya. It’s not for me, though, even if it did function.

  28. avatar Shwiggie says:

    I always hate hearing the “you get what you pay for” argument because it means you have to deny the concept of diminishing returns.

    To illustrate, I asked at a LGS if they knew if they would be getting the new CZ Scorpion in at any point on the near future. The guy behind the country suggested I wait for a new PDW coming from LWRC, with whom they have some sort of partnership. When I counter-suggested that I wasn’t intending to pay double or triple for something that does essentially the same thing, I was told, “you get what you pay for.” And you do, but not when it isn’t what you want to start with, and particularly when you aren’t getting double or triple the value to go with it.

    That’s how I see this. I don’t begrudge anyone anything they can afford that isn’t immoral, illegal, or unethical; but don’t try to tell me that this is significantly superior to something that costs a third or less…and actually works, to boot.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      If only it were merely a matter of diminishing returns.

      Diminishing returns is generally applied to the situation where you spend twice as much (say) on an item but you only get a 1.5 fold increase (say) in quality. Your first bucket of money bought 1.0 quality and your second, equal sized bucket of money bought 0.5 more quality. Your marginal return for the addtional bucket of money has diminished.

      This is likely the case with the Skorpion vs. the other gun you mentioned. The Skorpion is one third the price but more than 1/3 the quality, or looking at it the other way, the other gun is three times the price but not 3 times the quality. But at least it IS better. You’d take the other gun if it cost the same, it just isn’t worth three times as much.

      In the case of the Cabot, the return on additional money isn’t just shrinking, it has actually gone negative! “Diminishing return” certainly could describe this, but it really isn’t a strong enough term for it. You’d actually rather have the utterly stock Rock Island than the Cabot if they were offered to you free of charge. (Other than the “flip ti to some sucker who doesn’t know sh!t so I can buy a dozen Rock Islands” potential, of course.) Just to distinguish between the usual and this unusually bad situation, let’s call this situation, where the marginal return hasn’t just shrunk but is actually going negative, a “negative marginal return.” as opposed to a “diminishing [marginal] return”

      Of course this assumes that what you value is “does what a gun is supposed to do” when buying something that purports to be a gun. If, on the other hand, what you value is “looks cool” *and* your tastes run towards the looks of the piece, then, your return on your additional money isn’t negative. But it more than likely still diminishes. Does that $6000 sculpture that looks like a gun look twice as nice as that $3000 sculpture-of-a-gun right next to it?

  29. avatar RenegadeDave says:

    Depends what you’re buying it for. If it’s 6K it’s likely more to look at I would think. I think there’s a sweet spot on value and price for pretty much anything, you’re traveling up the asymptote that is the quality/price matrix. Obviously the Cabot falls WAYYYY up there. But when you have 6k to spend on a shooting iron, I suspect you’re not hurting for a carry piece, and you’re not planning on putting it in a night stand or the glovebox of your truck. Whether it shoots reliably or not, it can still sit in a display case and bring the end user pleasure.

    I’m not there yet. I would rather have 2 Wilsons, or a Wilson, a Valor or VBOB, and a GSG/Sig 1911-22, but I’m not their target audience. Handling a Valor next to Sigs, Springers, RIAs: I get the Valor is obviously the nicer piece. I suspect that is obvious with a Wilson/Ed Brown/ Les Baer/ Nighthawk next to the Valor, or the Cabot next to a Wilson, but I suspect the difference with the Wilson would be primarily the bells and whistles. Damascus steel! Nice!

  30. avatar Jeff says:

    Oh man, what an article. In defense of a $5k 1911 that doesn’t work.

    Articles like this really contribute to the “gun snob” image that TTAG seems to have developed, in my opinion – specifically towards anything 1911, AR, or FN.

  31. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    As I read this, I’m cleaning a few dozen Damascus steel pocket knives that will retail for well over a grand. They sell as fast as we can make them.
    To each their own. I personally like quality. Sometimes I just don’t care what it costs.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      Tom,

      With a damascus steel knife you are getting value you don’t get from a $100 knife.

      Not true in this case, unless you value form over function.

    2. avatar RocketScientist says:

      This would be a fair analogy, if you were selling the damascus steel knives at a grand a pop, but they didnt hold and edge, the blade would break during normal usage, and the folding mechanism would bind, or not lock open (assuming we’re talking folders). I seriously doubt you’d have people lined up paying a grand for an absolutely beautiful “knife” that wouldn’t actually cut anything, and would break if you tried.

  32. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    I’m fairly new to the gun thing(4 years). But I’ve been an antique and art dealer for many years. $6000 qualifies as art. This is not a carry gun or even a match gun. I’d hate to drop or scratch this either. Get it to work and be happy you have 6000bucks to blow on this…

  33. avatar RogUinta says:

    I still think those triggers are offensively tacky.

  34. avatar David says:

    If you are going to drop obscene amounts of money that could feed a third-world village for . . . indefinitely . . . then please do an original build and not just an over-priced 1911. Be a “connoisseur”:

    Memphis: I’ve been in L.A. for three months now. I have money, I have taste. But I’m not on anybody’s “A” list, and Saturday night is the loneliest night for the week for me.

    Roger the Car Salesman: Well, a Ferrari would certainly change that.

    Memphis: Perhaps, Mmmm. But, you know, this is the one. Yes, yes yes… I saw three of these parked outside the local Starbucks this morning, which tells me only one thing. There’s too many self-Indulgent wieners in this city with too much bloody money! Now, if I was driving a 1967 275 GTB four-cam…

    Roger the Car Salesman: You would not be a self-indulgent wiener, sir… You’d be a connoisseur.

    Memphis: Precisely. Champagne would fall from the heavens. Doors would open. Velvet ropes would part.

  35. avatar RocketScientist says:

    Using your analogy of a taxi vs a town car… it would be a fitting one if the town car cost literally 10 times as much as the taxi (a possibility, I’ve never hired one). Furthermore (and this is where your analogy really falls apart) after paying that much, the beautiful luxurious town car arrived, and promptly broke down pulling away from the terminal. And the service sent another one, and after waiting an hour for it to arrive, it drove off, and made it as far as the interstate on-ramp before breaking down. Still seem like a good value? Oh, and this line is priceless: “By the same token, racking the slide on a Cabot 1911 accomplishes the same task as racking the side on a Para-Remington 1911. The gun chambers or ejects a round”…. except that it doesn’t. Even after shipping it back to the manufacturer for repairs, it still didn’t work.

    Listen, I’m a firm believer in personal choice/freedom. I try very hard to not judge people for how they spend their own money. If you want something, and it makes you happy, who am I to say otherwise. So if you really like your $6000 non-functioning firearm, and it’s worth all that money for a “gun” that looks gorgeous, and has a feel like none other when the slide is racked (but wont actually reliably fire a round down range) then more power to ya, and I honestly am happy for you to be able to own something you obviously lust over so much. But for myself, and by all appearances the majority of visitors to TTAG, there is NO WAY in hell I’d drop 1/4 that amount of money on a gun as unreliable as that. And trying to convince us that we’re just a bunch of unenlightened peasants because we don’t agree is not going to accomplish much.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      These assurances by Farago, Tex300BLK et. al., that I (or anyone in his right mind, or other variations) am really lusting after this vastly overpriced and blinged up piece of shit and just don’t want to admit it are extremely irritating. It’s the same error the antis make when they claim that the minute we get a gun in our hands we’ll be overcome with an urge to put out a swath of destruction rivaling Genghis Khan’s.

      Don’t tell me what I think. If you get to tell me what I think, I’ll tell you what I think you are really thinking and you will like it even less.

  36. avatar Red in Texas says:

    A trip to the maker, and all of a sudden, it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. I think I’ll stick to the “news” stories, and skip the reviews, as I don’t see how I could trust any of them from now on.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Harsh! The Truth About Guns will continue to tell the truth about guns. It’s what we do. It’s how we roll.

      1. avatar Shakey says:

        Maybe that was true a while ago, but not any more RF. I know that RCAG (“RF’s Clickbait About Guns”) is not a catchy name but that’s what you have become.

    2. avatar things that go boom says:

      Amen, brother

    3. avatar SteveInCO says:

      This isn’t a review.

      Otherwise, I might agree with you. If this were a review, it’d be biased trash.

      1. avatar Red in Texas says:

        You’re right, it is not a review. It is a huge back pedal(after being invited to the Cabot house) on a pistol that got 2 less than favorable reviews from this blog. 3rd times a charm I guess. Will the R51 be getting the same courtesy after it is released again?

        1. avatar SteveInCO says:

          And if the new R51 is in fact a decent gun, it will deserve a good review.

          In this case nothing whatsoever has changed. We’ve had presented to us zero evidence that Cabot has fixed their shit, and yet we get to read bullshit lines like:

          Just as a bruised and battered taxi does the same job as a chauffeur-driven Mercedes S-Class, a garden-variety 1911 does the same job as a Cabot 1911.

          when we know the truth is the garden variety 1911 isn’t NEARLY as proficient at malfunctioning.

          It’s a good thing this was an opinion piece, where one can pretty much say whatever stupid crap they want and it’s only their opinion.

  37. avatar rosignol says:

    Now, remind me again why it’s not OK to spend $6k+ on a 1911?

    Eh?

    Is it your money?
    Are your children and spouse provided for?
    Have you honored the terms of any agreements with creditors?
    Are your other needs provided for?

    If you can answer ‘yes’ to all of the above, spend whatever you like, on whatever you like. I won’t think any less of you for it. It’s your money, not mine.

  38. avatar actionphysicalman says:

    Although, I imagine that Robert wrote this in exchange for the tour and whatever else he got from them (feel good talk, maybe). I don’t have a problem with that. He is not trying to convince anyone that these pieces are something they are not and value is completely subjective.

  39. avatar Eric says:

    The class warfare that goes on in posts like this never fails to disappoint.

  40. avatar Bill Loeb says:

    Cabot makes the world’s most precise guns.

    The advanced grinding techniques are truly amazing.
    Frames are fit to a tolerance of 1/1000 of an inch.

    While I don’t know why the firearms would not function, there is no company that stands more squarely behind their products than Cabot. If it ain’t right…they will make it right.

  41. avatar Glenn says:

    I still believe there’s ‘money well spent’, and then there’s ‘extravagant excess’. Even my Hi-Point C9, is more accurate, than I am capable of shooting it. But it does exactly what I want it to do, and what it was designed for – nothing more or less.

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