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Less than an hour after I laid hands on the Cabot Guns S103 Commander I was putting lead on targets. After my previous experience with their Black Diamond’s reliability (eventually and completely rectified), I wasn’t going to waste my time if the S103 wasn’t totally reliable straight out of the box.

Over the next two days, I shot 500 rounds through the S103 without any kind of malfunction, with all kinds of ammunition, various brands of magazines, and zero cleaning or maintenance of any kind.

That settled that. But not everything . . .


I had one complaint. The frame near the S103’s grip safety had a relatively sharp angle that was uncomfortable when depressed, becoming noticeable when firing long strings. It wasn’t a manufacturing blemish — Cabots don’t have manufacturing blemishes. It was down to how the frame was cut.

Seeing as how I was still able to ram 500 rounds through the S103 Commander in two days of shooting, it wasn’t a big deal. But even at this lower price point (for a Cabot), I expected perfection.

So I mentioned it to Cabot CEO Rob Bianchin. He said he’d never heard that objection before, and asked me to return the gun. They rounded the S103’s edge and declared their intention to do so with future firearms.

I asked Rob how much the folks at Cabot go out and pound on these beautiful, high-end 1911s. I challenged him to bring some Indiana Cabots to Austin, Texas, to see what their high-end handguns can do. In short, I asked him to put his money where his mouth is. Surrender some $4000 to $12,000 guns for TTAG’s team to hammer on.

Challenge made. Challenge accepted.


With several members of TTAG staff and extended firearms family in tow, Cabot Chief of Operations Mike Hebor journeyed to Best of the West Shooting Sports with 10 Cabots. Mr. Hebor brought the S103, an American Joe, a Jones Delux, an S100, a true left-handed Government model, and a few more.

TTAG brought a couple thousand rounds of Blazer and American Eagle .45ACP — target rounds that probably aren’t what owners normally run through their Cabots. Though presented with a smorgasbord of some of the most beautiful guns you’ll ever see, all I wanted to do was to put that S103 through its paces again. I wanted Mr. Hebor to see first-hand what I expected a 1911 to do.


For the first rounds out of the gun, I used my EDC 1911 magazines and the spare mags I carry in my truck. I’d filled those six mags with my 185gr Hornady XTP hand loads, Remington’s 185gr Golden Sabers, and SIG SAUER’s 200gr V-Crown JHPs. While everyone was loading the Federal and Blazer FMJ’s into still more mags, I emptied mine onto a series of Action Targets. The results: zero failures. Forty-six mixed self-defense rounds ringing steel. Lead flying. Hope in the air.

What happened next can only be described as a firearms feeding frenzy. As a shooter or two would go on the line and fire, everyone else loaded magazines. Simply put, the firing never stopped. In about an hour, we blew through a thousand rounds of .45. I asked the S103 to bring it and, oh, it brought it.

I put 358 rounds through that pistol in 23 minutes. Just for starters.


I gave the S103 a brief respite when the slide got too hot to touch. Then we got back at it. All in all, for both tests, our team put around 900 rounds through the S103, half of those at break neck speed. I seriously doubt anyone at Cabot has ever seen one of their guns worked so hard.

Through all of this I had only one failure to fully eject at around round 180: a stovepipe. To be fair, the Blazer round felt wrong when I shot it. As soon as I pulled the trigger I knew something was different. It was the only malfunction of any kind I experienced, and was almost certainly due to an undercharged round.

We fed the gun using magazines from STI, Wilson Combat and Cabot Guns. We had one issue with one Wilson mag — until we realized that it didn’t work in any gun other than RF’s Officer-framed 1911. It wouldn’t fully seat in any of the Cabots, my STI or my Colt — a mag issue, not a gun problem.


Folks, you can complain about the Cabot’s price. You can complain about the stars in the trigger (which I dig). But you can’t complain about the S103’s reliability. What we did that day would have been a good amount of shooting for an AR-15. For a four-inch commander-framed .45? Go out and try it with your EDC and let me know how far you get in 23 minutes.

What about accuracy?

During my first test with this pistol, using the supplied 185gr ASYM HPs, my five-round groups were an average of 1.4”. I shot those groups for 84 rounds, and the deviation was never more than .2”. Not bad at all.

What about when I wasn’t feeding the S103 Commander the very nice and expensive ASYM rounds and the gun was still hot to the touch?

Jon Wayne Taylor shooting the Cabot S103 (courtesy

I didn’t have a proper bench set-up and no bags, so I paced off 25 yards and laid down in the prone. Using garden variety American Eagle 230gr FMJ’s, the gun still shot extremely well, printing a 1¾” seven-shot group.  Note: that’s without cleaning or lubing of the gun after the initial shots of the day, while the frame was still hot from shooting.


The S series is an “entry level” Cabot. As such, the S103 Commander doesn’t wear the deep lustrous finish of the higher end Cabot models. The S103’s finish is pure satin, done exceptionally well. As you’d expect, there were no blemishes, tool marks, errors or mistakes anywhere on the gun. None.


The S103’s slide itself is marked only at the rear with the CG star logo. There’s no roll mark forward of the rear cocking serrations. It puts the focus on the gun’s clean lines and great design, a much appreciated departure from other high-end manufacturers. The S103 exudes class and quality.


The top of the S103 has been finished to perfection. The flattened top of the slide is serrated, with the angles matching those of the flat front of the rear site to the point of the front sight. The rear sight is a matte black, non-adjustable ramp sight. It’s the optional front sight that really sets this gun apart, though.

This gun has a wide brass bead front sight, similar to those on my best hunting revolvers. The sight absolutely shines in the light, and works beautifully in fast fire. Beyond its purely functional appeal, the front sight also punctuates the style of the pistol.


Cabot offers a few options to make the pistol you buy your own. Chief amongst them: the finish, the grips and the sights. If you wanted to seriously pretty-up this already attractive gun, you could go with their fancy walnut grips, checkered or carved with lines from the Golden Mean. Cabot also offers a satin black finish, but it would be hard for me to choose anything other than the brushed steel of the model I reviewed.

[Southpaws take special note: for $350 more, this gun can be made in a true left hand configuration, including the ejection port.]

The main Cabot line uses a computer machining process to create repeatable tolerances well beyond what the human eye, or hand, can accomplish. The S103’s manufacturing process is more traditional, requiring hand fitting of the frame to the slide. But that doesn’t mean the gun is just another 1911 Commander.

The original Colt Commander doesn’t feel like the Government model when the gun cycles. Those Commanders feel snappier, and that’s not just due to the reduced the weight. To get a Commander to cycle reliably, Colt reduced the length of the recoil stroke of the slide with shorter rails.

The Colt Government slide rails measure 5.766” and frame rails are at 3.539”. A traditional Colt Commander measures 5.566” for the slide rails and 3.439” for the frame rails.

Cabot wanted their Commander-length slide to feel like a Government-length slide. So they changed the design of the barrel, bushing, and recoil system to maintain the same length of the slide and frame rails. The S103’s slide and rails are the same length as a Colt Government’s.

Cabot calls this “Full Cycle Technology” and it accounts for the improved feel as the gun cycles and returns to battery.


The first time I shot this gun, it was full-on Texas summer, with heat over the century mark. That’s where the execution of the grip of the Cabot S103 was much appreciated. Both the front and back straps of the frame are firmly checkered, and they dig right into my fingers. The scales are black scalloped G10 with the Cabot shield medallion in the center. The small cut on the left scale gives me easy access to the magazine release, which is large and well textured.

Cabot’s reputation took a serious ding when I reviewed their Black Diamond a while back. Again, the company went out of its way to correct the gun and their manufacturing and quality control processes. In fact, they moved their entire operation to a dedicated facility and hired new staff to improve their product. Seriously.

Cabot Guns’ ability to produce fully functional, exquisitely beautiful, perfectly finished 1911’s is now beyond reproach. The “entry-level” S103 proved this to my complete satisfaction.

Specifications: Cabot Guns S103 Commander 1911

Caliber: .45 ACP
Barrel: 4.25-inch national match grade
Finish: matte stainless or optional black nitride
Hand polished feed ramp
Front strap rhombus checkering, 24 LPI
RH thumb safety from billet
Beveled and chamfered magwell
Hand polished end on guide rod
Sights: Low mount fixed rear (Optional Adjustable), brass bead front
Beaver Tail Grip Safety from billet
Grips: G-10 or optional walnut
Cabot 8-round magazine
MSRP: $3,695

Ratings (out of five stars):

Appearance and Style * * * * *
No shock there, Cabot has always nailed the style game. This one has a more subdued elegance, imparting a particular sense of class on a gun I’d be proud to make my EDC.

Accuracy * * * * *
Sub two-inch groups both times I shot it. 1¾” seven-round group at 25 yards with an impromptu set-up and cheap range ammo when the gun is dirty at hot? Yeah, that’s five stars.

Reliability * * * * *
Mr. Hebor admitted that he’d never seen one of their guns put through a test like that. Three hundred fifty-eight rounds in 23 minutes isn’t normal. Heck, it took teamwork to get it done. But the gun ran and ran and ran.

Overall * * * * *
I’ve written before than Cabot’s customer service is on a different level, but their willingness to accept my challenge showed more: a true faith in their products. The company didn’t know what ammo I’d use, what magazines, how I’d shoot the pistol, or what I expected. A lot could have gone wrong here.

The Cabot S103 Commander thrived in the fastest torture test I’ve ever inflicted on a 1911, taking everything I threw at it. And it’s a beautiful gun to boot. The S103 is one of the rare times that a high-end 1911 outperforms the hype. It’s simply an exceptional pistol.

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  1. I understand why his post needed to be made. Those black diamonds were terrible from my recollection of the post about them.

    Maybe I’m just not a 1911 guy, or I’ve never handled and fired anything of that price as far as craftsmanship, but I don’t get it.

    Nothing, as far as your testing, would be any bit of a challenge for most handguns in the $500-800 range. Sigs, Glocks, M&P’s, XD’s, Berettas, they all could’ve done that.

    I know I’m going to piss someone off, but truth is truth. I’ll admit my ignorance to such expensive guns, so other than a price tag, and someone’s hand fitting, what makes these(and others), better than anything else that goes bang when you pull the trigger?

    • No need to be pissed of at all, but maybe a need to reset your perceptions about what those guns can and can’t do. I’ve reviewed most of the guns you’ve listed, and most didn’t make it 500 rounds over several days, a much easier task. My newest Sig hasn’t made it 300 rounds without consistent failures to eject, and that’s after being sent back to sig. The Glock 20 and 42 I reviewed didn’t get through 200 rounds before multiple failures. The course I was at last week had a G17 and a G34 both have repeated FTF and had to be broken down and cleaned, with only about 200 rounds into them. The M&Ps I’ve reviewed never made the 500 round mark. And none of the guns on that list shoot that accurately.
      I hear people all the time talk about how many rounds have gone through their guns. Rarely does it match what they actually shoot or how I see their guns perform on the range.
      Just give it a try. With crap ammo put more than 350 rounds through your .45acp in 23 minutes. Maybe your gun works great, but actually try it first.

      • If that were true, very few people could afford a reliable defense gun. I’ve personally never seen a glock that couldn’t chomp through 500 rounds of iffy-to-average (Blazer->Winchester) ammo in an afternoon without a failure. The G42 is the only one I’ve seen have issues, and that was ‘just’ it being picky about what loads it would cycle reliably.

        • People tell me that all the time. Their gun runs forever…no problems…eats anything…accurate. The range rarely backs that up.
          But note I didn’t say you couldn’t get a reliable gun for those prices. Reliable is a subjective term. 1 failure out of 100 is still reliable. Those guns just aren’t as reliable as this one. At least not the ones I’ve actually tested.

        • I’m fine with people spending their money on whatever they want, especially if it’s guns. 🙂

          But no, it doesn’t appear in this case that $4000 buys you any more reliability than my $500 glocks, and I assume my experience is typical. I don’t really appreciate the implication that I’m exaggerating/lying about it.

          I’ve had relatively unreliable guns of various price ranges (1 failure in 100 is very much NOT reliable in my book, I want 1 in 1000 or better), but I don’t carry those.

      • That would be quite a bit out of the norm for those guns. I own all of those listed as well, and I’ve put 250-300 rounds a day through them without a problem of any kind on multiple occasions…with range ammo. They all can go through 50 rounds of Gold Dot after having 150-200 rounds of range ammo through them the same day – without cleaning of any kind. I did have a Sig P220 Carry model that started having ejection problems after about 300 rounds. Since Sig replaced the extractor it’s been flawless through several hundred rounds. That was obviously a defective extractor. While any gun from any manufacturer can have a problem, most of the guns mentioned are excellent right out of the box with a prior cleaning and lube. You must have run into a bevy of lemons in short order…something I find rather unlikely.

      • What about CZ’s? Particularly those without a firing pin block (Shadows, TacSports, pre-B’s)? My SP-01 Shadow actually DOES eat anything I put in it, of any weight (though I haven’t put any reloads in it yet) from 115-147 so far. I know I’ve put more than 2k of plain-‘ol winchester white box alone through it, and have NEVER had any kind of FTF or malfunction at all with them or anything else. Groups from a rest rarely stray beyond 1″ @ 25yds, handheld groups @ 10-15yds almost all go through the same ragged hole. Even with my threaded match-grade barrel, total cost is still less than 1/3 the Cabot, though my comment is not about total value, just comparing reliability and accuracy. Mine seems typical of CZ’s in general, and especially the non-firing pin block models (I am not very familiar with the Omega trigger models, however).

      • If you are having these significant issues within 500 rounds of purchase I either say bull crap or you have some other issues than with the guns.

    • Do you remember Professor Hemlock’s final lecture/parting words to his art class in The Eiger Sanction? He was talking about this very thing.

        • Dr. Jonathan Hemlock, Clint Eastwood’s character, said something to the effect that art wasn’t for the masses. It was for the fairly rare person that could appreciate it.

    • I’ve got that much wrapped up in guns that hold only one or two rounds before they’re reloaded.

        • 18 guns that never fail? You are either supernaturally blessed or you are an unreliable witness.

          • 18 that never fail–got rid of anything that had any issues–sold off a few nice guns that did not make the grade

    • I can afford a 4000+ dollar gun…..but will never buy it. But i don’t question the sanity of those that do. Spend your money how you will. And let me spend mine how I will.

        • You’re going to wake up one fine morning and realize that being a skinhead is a no win, non profit lifestyle. Or not. But you’ll always be a day late and a dollar short til you do. Bird droppings.

          When you’re 55 and realize you have nothing you’re going to be even angrier than you are now. It won’t be the mud peoples fault. It’ll be the fault of the ignorant savage looking at you from the bathroom mirror.

          Darwin at work.

    • True. But I would like to sell those distinguished gentlemen who would pay for this paperweight I have an awesome galvanized pipe rubber band and spitwad shooter for a shade under $8000.

  2. My two beefs:

    1. The EDM’ed (or broached, but I’m betting on EDM) star cut-outs on the trigger. To me, it’s like a pretty girl who has put a bolt through her face. All I can do is moan and ask “Why? Who told you this was a good idea?”

    2. The Allen-head grip screws. At that price, I want to see slotted screws, and I want to see them timed up perfectly on the long axis of the grip.

    • Aesthetics are generally subjective, but I agree that those triggers are about as classy as lower back tattoos. While I very much appreciate Cabot’s precision and finishes in general, I suppose I have a different sense of style than they do.

      • Me, too. Instead of starts I’d like dollar signs. Might as well flaunt it when you’ve got it.

        • ” Instead of stars I’d like dollar signs.”

          I’m confident Cabot would be happy to make you one like that.

          Were I ever to own one (*not* likely, but not from lack of desire) I’d ask Cabot to make the trigger sans any EDM crapola.

          Jon – Was that the one I missed out on?

  3. Yet another multi thousand dollar 1911. I really don’t get the 1911 craze, especially when they come with a price tag like this. Is it a mosquito borne infection of some kind?

    What makes this thing so special that it’s worth $3600? I get paying for collectors items, but this thing has no real providence and is basically a prettied up… 1911… It doesn’t even have a threaded barrel.

    Don’t get me wrong; it’s a cool gun. I just don’t understand the 1911 culture at all.

    • Neither do I–have shot them & all that, but do not care to own one & would NEVER use one for a carry gun

      • Since we have already proven (again), that they can be reliable and accurate guns, what other reason would you have for never carrying a 1911?

        • Same reason I do not drive cars with 100 year old designs, newer more modern stuff works better–that deal carrying ‘cocked and locked’ does not appeal to me

        • “newer more modern stuff works better” What do you mean? Do you mean “more modern stuff” is more accurate? More reliable? Carries better? All of the above? Please cite some examples.

        • I can tell you exactly why a 1911 sparks no interest in me in terms of a carry piece: because I carry a USP in .45.

          Your average full size 1911 weighs in at about 2.44lbs with a mag but unloaded. That’s 2lbs 7.04oz. Standard configuration would be 7+1, so massing 8 rounds of Remington Golden Saber JHP rounds (my carry round) we find that loading it adds 5.15oz. Total carry weight. 2lbs, 12.19oz.

          My USP, fully loaded with 12+1 of the same ammo masses in at 2lbs 7.40oz. That’s 4.79oz lighter, I’ve got five more rounds in her and the package is essentially the same size.

          Additionally, I can trick out my USP, which I can’t do with this many 1911’s.

          With a TLR2 and a mount adapter added on she comes in at 2lbs, 12.75oz. Now the USP is 0.56oz heavier but she’s got a weapons light and laser on her and still has 5 more rounds on tap.

          Even further, since my USP has a threaded barrel I can slap my SilencerCo Osprey on her for a total weight of 3lbs, 7.65oz for home defense.

          So for 11.46 oz more than a 1911, I get sound and flash suppression, a light and laser and five more rounds on tap should I need them. Oh, and all that stuff put together, with tax stamp still costs less than this 1911.

          So going back to base models, my carry gun is lighter than this thing and has more ammo. It’s just as reliable (the only failures I’ve had were when I shot her to failure with the can on her and that took over 300 rounds un-muffled she’d go a lot farther before she choked on soot) and it’s more than accurate enough. I have no idea what a bench test would do but unmuffled my USP will chase a milk jug around at 35 yards all day (or until the jug is shot to pieces). Oh, and my gun cost less than 1/3rd what this 1911 did.

          So why would I pay more than 3x the price for a gun that’s just as good as my USP but weighs more, holds less ammo and is less modifiable to my situation? Answer: I wouldn’t. In fact, most 1911’s I’ve seen that are quality cost about on par with the USP but again, same price for less ammo, more weight and less modification. Sure I can get one with a rail and a threaded barrel but now it costs more than the USP and still has the same drawbacks in terms of weight and ammo capacity.

          USP FTW IMHO. 1911’s are cool guns, I just don’t see why anyone would want one for carry, especially with this kind of price tag.

        • We’ll have to agree to disagree on this.

          Jim Barrett reviewed the USP back in 2012 and said “I’ve fired about a thousand rounds of various types of ammo without any problems.” In fact the only problem he could find was with Hornady .45 Auto +P 230 grain XTP. which Hornady admitted was a problem on their end.

          “Hornady has admitted that some of their cases are over sized and this has been causing problems.”

          Further, I’ll quote the review “It is, however, an ultra-rugged gun with more than merely adequate accuracy designed for the rigorous demands of the American special operations community. God knows why you’d need that much durability in a handgun.”

          As for accuracy… Quite honestly, I suspect that the USP is just as accurate as this tricked out 1911. Since it shoots a 10 round pattern just a smidgen larger than a quarter (.995″) at 20 feet in the hands of Mr. Barrett. [You guys can hash out who’s the better handgunner.]

          Personally, I’m not seeing enough difference for this to matter in any situation I can rationally imagine. Even if the USP is slightly less accurate it doesn’t matter a whit in the context of a DGU which is my point with all of this.

          This thing might be cool for 1911 competition or even general competition. As a carry gun it’s severely lacking in my estimation, as are most 1911’s. It’s hellishly overpriced to boot.

        • strych9, yes, we will have to disagree. If you are comparing this Cabot to a HK USP, and find the USP superior, yes, there’s just no point in arguing with you. I’ve owned a USP, and no longer do. It’s a good gun, just nowhere in the same league or accuracy or reliability, much less carry-ability of this gun. As for the well written review you cite, please note that a 1 inch group at 20 feet would be more than twice as large as the S103, and the thousand rounds fired was over a full year’s time for his review. Not in 2 days of shooting, as this gun did. The HK is 1/3rd the cost, and at that price point, is a great gun. But in fails every other performance category in comparison to this Cabot.

        • So I ran the math. Assuming you’re both exactly the same in your shooting proficiency the USP has a spread of 0.119 degrees while the Cabot has a spread of 0.111 degrees. Again, that’s not really fair because you both shot the gun without a rest.

          That said, technically the Cabot is better (or maybe you’re a very slightly better shot). Better enough that anyone would actually notice IRL? No.

          Sorry to keep at this but let’s matrix it.

          Weight: Cabot loses.
          Ammo capacity: Cabot loses.
          Mods: Cabot loses.
          Size: Draw.
          Reliability: At best a draw, but probably in the USP’s favor because you fired half as many rounds with the same experience. That would need further testing.
          Accuracy: At best a very, very slight edge to the Cabot. 7% of one degree of arc to be exact.
          Price: USP hands down.

          USP FTW all day, every day. I’m not trying to shit on this 1911 but at it’s price point you’re talking the difference between a high end Citizen watch and a Rolex at absolute best. Does the Citizen not tell time well enough for you?

          Rarely do I disagree with you but on this one… I do. At absolute best the Cabot gets +1 while the USP gets +4.

          Truth be told 99.9% of people can’t wring every last ounce out of the USP. For this gun it would be 99.999%. What advantages it does have are outweighed entirely by average user population and it’s drawbacks. Considering that most people can’t shoot the USP to it’s full potential, giving them a more accurate gun is a waste, especially at a $2600 increase in price.

          Look, you can love it all you want and carry it all you want, it’s still an ostensibly free country. Simply put, for your average carrier, the USP is superior. Fit and finish may be better on the Cabot. Hell, everything may be better, but that doesn’t make it a better carry gun when real life is considered. Just for example, due to it’s tactical barrel, my very likely USP won’t come out of battery if I shove it in your gut. The Cabot will. The Cabot is like a Ferrari. It does a couple things really well. That don’t make it a daily driver.

        • strych9, I think you must have missed where the review you cited measured in feet, and my review measures in yards. That should highlight the difference in accuracy. The USP’s groups were 267% larger.
          Even so, if your argument orignally was that no 1911 is good enough to carry, not that this particular 1911 was. Its a ridiculous assertion, especially now that we’ve all accepted that the 1911 is at some point at least slightly more accurate and at least as reliable as your EDC.

        • Oh, and BTW if the all the numbers from this are accurate that means the USP would shoot a 1.87″ pattern at 25 yards, 0.12″ (3.048mm) larger. So you’re paying on the order of $216 per 1/100 of an inch of better performance at that range.

          If you think that’s worth it, then go for it. Personally I don’t. That’s not even the difference between making and failing the dreaded “hostage taker” situation.

      • Junkman:

        You do realize that there is nothing new in your so-called modern designs that wasn’t developed 100+ years ago right? Just because Gaston Glock used plastic doesn’t make a Glock new technology. It is just an evolution.

        • Why the instant assumption he’s talking about a Glock?

          Given that the 1911 is the oldest semi-auto design in common use today, he could have been comparing it to almost any other semi auto, and complain that the design is “old.”

          NB: I don’t think a design being “old” is a disqualifier as such (there are good old designs, bad old designs, good new designs and bad new designs) (and yes, I do have issues with 1911s, but the design’s age isn’t one of them)…I just wonder how you jumped to the conclusion he was a Glock boy.

        • Wanted a cabot since i ve read about them. But i thought the whole point of cabot was how the gun was made using only machines which gives them the .0001 (wutever) tolerance.
          Anyway I went with a nighthawk instead mainly cause of price. I also own a usp45 compact. Cant really compare the 2 guns. There something about a higher end 1911 that makes it feels right on my hip. Now i want a stan chen but wait list is like 8years atleast according to the fourms a year ago.
          People who buys 3 or 4000.00 pistols isnt looking for practical. Yea my glocks can do the same but my nighthawk makes me feel better when i holster it the morning.

    • “What makes this thing so special that it’s worth $3600?” A thing is worth exactly what someone will pay for it.
      I would pay that amount for this gun because I’ve actually tested that it is extremely reliable, (more so than most pistols I test), very accurate, (more so that most pistols that I test), comfortable to carry and conceal, fast to draw and fire (more so than most pistols of it’s size and caliber that I test), and is pretty, (far, far more so than most of the pistols I test.)

    • Well then, you probably would never understand the double gun upland shotgun culture, where the entry price is about where this 1911 is, and then it goes up to 10’s of thousands of dollars.

      Some folks just want to own quality.

      It all part of the same reason why I like Parker, Fox, Lefever and LC Smith shotguns. They harken back to a time when we made stuff in America, and it was quality. Today, when I look at almost everything, it’s schlock crap. Doesn’t matter whether we’re talking cars, houses, guns, whatever. Mass-production crap. When I go into a victorian-era home, I like to marvel over the finish carpentry in the cabinets, the trim, the stairways, the handrails, you name it. Hundreds to thousands of man-hours of attention to detail – it appeals to some of us the same way that attention to very small details on guns do.

      If you really want to see something, you should look at the miniature gun market. I’m talking about hand-made working reproductions of guns at 1/2 or 1/4 scale. Little jewels of machining and hand-fitting, some of them actually fire custom-made cartridges that are also to scale. Some of those miniature guns cost double what this 1911 costs – and collectors buy them.

      • I will take ‘functional beauty’ any day over elaborate designs–to me a GM vehicle is far better & more practical than any German, etc high end vehicle–because of my extremely varied background I have actually driven (almost) any vehicle you care to name–you do not have to spend a fortune to get stuff that ACTUALLY works extremely well–also, with hand crafted firearms, off the shelf replacement parts do not exist–the gun needs to be sent back for the replacement part to be hand fitted–I like practical designs & quality does not have to have a huge pricetag

        • The Duesenberg was an American car. They worked and worked well – and set speed records in their day. They were the epitome of American quality in their day, from where we got the expression “That’s a Duesy” – meaning something nice. Also built in that day were guns like the Winchester Model 21, a very nice SxS that was proven to be nearly indestructible. They fired over 2,000 proof loads through it, with no dimensional change. I seriously doubt that most shotguns built today could hold together, much less not change in dimension, on a steady diet of proof loads.

          If you want all function over form, then you should check out life in a communist nation, where the apartment buildings are built out of unadorned ferroconcrete, without even paint on the outside, their cars work (after a fashion), their guns work, but only well enough for a conscript, and their women are, well… plain, and dress (and are probably shaped like) Hillary in one of her Mao-style jackets.

        • from where we got the expression “That’s a Duesy”

          Now THAT, I did not know. Of course, I usually see it spelled “doozy” which hides the origin pretty well.

          I’m not sure anyone under 30 actually uses it or would recognize it, so it may end up on the ash heap of linguistic history.

      • DG:

        Everybody who is love with the “good old days” imagines themselves as members of yesterday’s 1% when being in the 1% meant something. Odds are you would be working 12 hours a day in a coal mine coughing up your lungs up at night. While I admire craftsmanship, I will take today’s mass produced “a shlock” over my most likely status back in Victorian days.

      • “When I go into a victorian-era home, I like to marvel over the finish carpentry in the cabinets, the trim, the stairways, the handrails, you name it.”

        No offense here DG, but is that house any better at keeping the rain off your head than a rambler that costs half or a third the price? No. It’s not. A gun is a freaking tool not the damn Mona Lisa. It either functions within acceptable tolerances or it does not. Anything else is eye candy nonsense.

        In this case we’re talking about a pistol, a personal defense weapon. Not something owned by Elvis. WTF would anyone pay $3600 for a gift to the cops when they could pay less than 1/3rd that amount for the same basic item? That makes no sense. You shoot someone with that in some states and it’s gone. You think you’re gonna get it back in those states? Dream on. Think they’re gonna destroy it? HA! You just gave some copper a really expensive gun for free.

        This gun reeks of B.T. Barnum. It does not increase it’s usability to the tune of being worth an extra $2600 over your basic $1000 rig. It’s effectively a rip off based on a name. More weight, less ammo, no describable real world increase in reliability, shootability or quality.

        All you’re doing is throwing an extra $2600 down the drain if if you have to use it. I’ll put it up against half a dozen other guns and I’ll bet you serious money that the difference IRL is basically nothing other than that this thing is man-bling.

        • strych9…

          Since this thread is 4 years old, hopefully you have moved on with your life by now, but just in case, I wanted to add my .02…

          “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

          If you don’t want to spend your money on a custom made gun, don’t. Life is too short to spend your time arguing about something that is basically a purchase make for “other than utilitarian reasons.” The bulk of your arguments are based on your perception of utilitarian factors.

          Cabot is not building pistols for the “common man.” Plenty of gun manufacturers are in the space. Cabot is making a superior quality product for those that appreciate superior quality, as they see it.

          This is America! Buy whatever makes you happy. Obviously, some people are happy buying Cabot 1911’s. Just like some people drive Fords and some people buy Ferraris.

          Me? I am retiring this year. I am going to buy a custom 1911. Why? Because I can. I have worked for 54 years. For my 70th Birthday, and my retirement gift to myself, I am buying a custom pistol. I just haven’t decided made by whom…yet.

          Enjoy your shooting adventures. I sure intend to.

    • I am 1911 fanboy and I agree with you. We keep saying guns are just tools. Who besides the Navy pays multiple thousands for a hammer? (The hammer really didn’t cost that much. They were burying funds for black programs). The most I can see paying for any pistol is maybe $1500 for something like a Springfield TRP. My MILSPEC and RIA Tac II work just fine.

      • The hammer really didn’t cost that much. They were burying funds for black programs

        I know NOTHING about how the military purchases hammers and toilet seats, nor how they do cost accounting. But I wouldn’t be surprised if a huge part of the cost weren’t for bureaucratic overhead. Pure speculation on my part.

        And/or “milspec” ratings, which genuinely can add cost to manufacturing. How much? Probably not all of it. Again, pure speculation on my part.

  4. I don’t get why anyone would drive a Ferrari. I’ve got an F-250 and an old Camaro, for less than one quarter of the Ferrari price. What is it with those Ferrari guys??

      • I like old things built well, but I highly recommend test driving a Tesla P90D or P100D in Ludicrous mode. I’ve driven some fast cars, but never anything that has accelerated like a P90D. It made my G37S feel like a garbage truck.

    • So they can show off & then wreck them because they are idiots–check out the web site ”’

      • Whereas I have little respect for those who own such fast, agile vehicles and refuse to wreck them.

        • I was in the commute with a Lambo Friday. Or the lane next over from it. Pretty car. But I don’t I would fit in it without a shoehorn and some lube.

          Would that make me a expensive cars sex toy?

  5. I understand someone’s desire to own one of these. I own a $12,000.00 shotgun which I bought because;
    1. I always wanted one.
    2. If I didn’t buy it now, I probably never would.
    3. I can afford it, no bills go unpaid and nobody goes hungry.
    This 1911 is not my cup of tea, but I get it.


    • It’s like riding a Harley… If you’ve gotta explain, they wouldn’t understand.

  6. “TTAG brought a couple thousand rounds of Blazer and American Eagle .45ACP — target rounds that probably aren’t what owners normally run through their Cabots.”

    somehow i suspect the average Cabot owner doesn’t shoot their Cabots very much at all.

  7. Good for Cabot that they fixed their reliability issues, at least on the ones they deliver to people writing gun reviews.

    I’m a late in life fan of the 1911, own a couple, and carry them once in a great while. But I wouldn’t spend this kind of dough on a Cabot. Maybe half that much on a Les Baer, or near to it on a Wilson or Nighthawk.

    The stars in the trigger don’t bug me, it’s that stupid looking cocking “serration”.

    Oh and for the USP fanboy, not all of us want to hang crap off their handgun, have a merely ok trigger and a grip the size of the working end of a baseball bat.

      • Shadowhawk or Warhawk Commander and the Guardian I guess are in the same ballpark. Mainly how does this compare to the other highend 1911 builders and such.

        A Nighthawk is on my wishlist after shooting a GRP so I can understand high dollar guns.

        • Parts quality and finish are about the same. The Nighthawk will have more options available (RMR cuts, threaded barrels, different style checkering, color combos, etc…). You will be limited on sight options with the Cabot since the front sight dovetail is different (front to back instead of left to right) and I don’t know if they offer taller or shorter front sights depending on how tall a rear sight gets put on.

          Can’t help you with feel.

    • Personally, I would buy a Nighthawk, Wilson, Guncrafter, Ed Brown before I would get a full custom like a Cabot. Paying a TON extra for something like slide serrations makes no sense to me. Also the resale on these is terrible, check them out on gunbroker or the classified section of 1911 addicts. Of the semi custom, guncrafter are my favorite followed by wilson, Ed brown and Dan Wesson. I have had mixed results with Nighthawk. STI is not in the same category IMO.

  8. I never put any faith or seriousness in Cabot 1911s until this year. Cabot bought Alchemy Custom and hired Robert Schauland to help improve their design and production methods. The man knows 1911s, He’s worked at Springfield Custom. He’s worked for Les Baer. He’s made some masterpieces at Alchemy Custom. Check out some of the guns he’s worked on with Google Image search. Pretty soon, Cabot is going to be better than they claim, and I want to see it.

  9. Thank you for the kind words, Mr. Henderson. The method of shooting groups for this test was laying on the ground shooting off a sandbag. I can tell you, the way we build these guns, they are much more accurate than the test results indicate. JWT is a heck of a shooter though, I’ll say that!

  10. If you want, and can afford quality, then this is the gun to buy.
    If you want reliability, then buy a good wheel gun.
    Failure to fire, go to the next chamber.
    Stove pipe, Never happen.
    Failure to eject, Doesn’t happen during a firing sequence.
    Failure to pick up a round from non seated mag, Huh?
    Need more rounds, That’s why we have speed loaders, or carry a secondary backup gun.
    Don’t like wheel guns, want this one, then save you shekels, you going to need a lot of them!

  11. Unless they gave you the gun, I don’t buy it. after 45 years of shooting everything from Dective specials to Gold Cups. A glock 19 is by far the most reliable handgun for 1/5 the cost with 15 rounds, or a #) “S”, if you like 45’s. There is no gun worth that much money that doesn’t have diamonds sewn inthe grips, unless it’s a classic of some sort like an original 1911 in the pistol arena. I know Ed Brown makes a good gun at around 2500, and that’s about the top price a 1911 is worth, or a Wilson Combat , which has run away to the 3-10 thousand dollar range,
    These are for the same guys that think a Ferrari will destroy a Corvette, I have had both when young and dumb. The Ferrari never ran right and it was new, 2 friends had them and within a year they were akk gone, The Corvette was faster and worked every day.

  12. I can kill a bad guy just as dead with my Taurus PT111 G2 nine millimeter millennial that cost me 215 bucks as you can with that incredibly overpriced gat you are writing about… In fact for that kind of money I can buy 17 more of the one I have, and have them everywhere!! You need to be a gun snob with a lot of extra cash to even consider something like that… I’ll keep my Taurus!

  13. Its a beautiful gun no doubt and I have a soft spot for 1911s. However I would never pay that much for one no matter who’s name was on it. I once borrowed a new in the box springfield GI 1911 from my daughters friend and went to the range. Right out of the box without any prep cleaning/oiling put 6 rds into 2″ with 1 flyer. The 1st rd was a half inch dead left of center X at approx 20 yds. Thats pretty damn good to me and a heck of a lot cheaper than $3600.00.
    And for the one who said “Its like riding a Harley…….”, I can and do ride around on my old Harley and have just as much fun as the guy on that $25k bling barge.

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