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).
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.