We were on hand at the NRA convention Saturday afternoon for Cabot Guns‘ unveiling of their Big Bang Pistol Set, a matched pair of 1911s made from the 4.5 billion year old Gibeon meteorite. All parts of the guns — other than the barrels — are made of the meteorite material. If you’re interested, the value of the guns has been estimated at $4.5 million. We understand there’s been no shortage of interest from prospective purchasers. Here’s Cabot’s press release . . .
Cabot Guns, the all-American gun company and industry-leading purveyor of luxury handguns, has unveiled this past weekend at the 2016 NRA Annual Meetings and Convention in Louisville, Kentucky a highly anticipated pistol set constructed from meteorite.
For four-and-a-half billion years, the Gibeon meteorite flew through the depths of space. When pre-historic man discovered its remains in sub-Saharan Africa, they used the metal to make some of mankind’s first weapons. Thousands of years later, Cabot Guns has repeated the feat, transforming a 35kg (77-lb) chunk of Gibeon into a mirror-image pair of left and right-handed working pistols named The Big Bang Pistol Set.
“Craftsman and meteorite collectors have long-prized the Gibeon meteorite for the beauty of its Widmanstatten crystalline pattern,” Cabot Founder and President Rob Bianchin says. “Luxury goods companies have used it to make watch faces, jewelry and other artistic objects. This is the first time anyone’s ever made a functioning mechanical device out of the material.”
Working with meteorite is no small feat – from a metallurgy standpoint, the material lacks perfect uniformity, not to mention the hundreds of tiny extra-terrestrial inclusions blasted into the Gibeon meteorite’s interior during its journey to Earth.
Cabot Guns used X-ray photography, 3-D modeling, CAD-CAM design, aerospace construction techniques, electron-beam technology, and endless hours of careful craftsmanship to create two matching (left and right handed) out-of-this-world specimens based on John Moses Browning’s legendary 1911-style pistol design.
Each component was laboriously planned, tested and painstakingly cut to incorporate both the exterior bark (regmaglypts) and interior of the meteorite as design elements.
The aesthetic finish of the pistols is Cabots’ homage to the various states that can be drawn from this rarest of material. The Widmanstatten pattern was developed by the very slow cooling of the planetesimal core at a rate of a few degrees per million years. “Drawing out the Widmanstatten from the material through acid etching is an art itself,” say Cabot COO and lead engineer, Michael Hebor. “It has a will of it’s own.”
The result is an aesthetic tour-de-force — from the prized Widmanstetten pattern adorning both major and minor surfaces to the high-polish grips and judicious use of the meteor’s “bark” on the trigger face and grips. And yes, the guns work.
“We test-fired both guns at our Indiana facility,” Bianchin reveals. “It was even more nerve-racking than the first time we cut through the meteor. But they shot. Everything worked exactly as it should.”
What is price for perfection? “We’re listing them at $4,500,000,” Bianchin says, “which is the current record for the most expensive firearms ever sold. Worth every penny.”
In addition to introducing the meteorite pistols, Cabot Guns presented a Sandrin knife constructed from the space age material tungsten carbide adorned with meteorite handles . “The Sandrin knife is the perfect compliment to the guns,” states Bianchin. “Crafted to tolerances measured in parallelism of 0.0002 inches, the knife is a work of art unto itself — and by far and away the most precise knife ever made by man. We’re calling it The Big Bang Knife.” Cabot Guns will be making Sandrin tungsten carbide knives available to the public starting in June.
“In the last five years, Cabot Guns has made a meteoric rise to the top of the luxury firearms industry. It’s only appropriate that we now make pistols made from a world famous meteor,” says Bianchin tongue in cheek.
Kings, Pharaohs and conquerors have historically carried — for both ceremonial and practical purposes — weapons of unmatched construction and aesthetic appeal, constructed of rare and exotic materials. Perhaps now a modern sovereign may carry at their sides and in their hands a weapon with no earthly equal.