TTAG Project Gun: Otto Carter’s Design for the Cabot 1911’s Dust Cover

Otto Carter TTAG Project Gun 1911 dust cover design (courtesy The Truth About Skill)


Quick! Where’s the “dust cover” on a 1911? Make the jump for an image ID’ing the part on my favorite Cabot: a prototype stainless steel 1911. (Dibs!) Master Engraver Otto Carter devised the pattern for TTAG’s Project Gun: a Cabot S-Class 1911 engraved in the Victorian Aesthetic style. At least one member of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia has suggested that Art Nouveau would be more appropriate. But I reckon you’ve got give an artist of Otto’s caliber his freedom. This is not his first engraved gun rodeo. Nor, we suspect, will it be his last . . .

Cabot 1911 dust cover (courtesy The Truth About Guns)


  1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Doing on in a “Steam punk” design would look really cool.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Now *that* would be cool.

      Hang some little brass pressure gauges off it…

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        Not off it, but gold gauges inlaid could be pretty nice.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          Some kind of spring coil over oil-filled dampened strut linkage for magazine changes…

  2. avatar SteveInCO says:

    Why waste this man’s talent/ability on such a turd?

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Rather bluntly stated, but I suppose that is a good question.

    2. avatar Larry D says:

      I have never heard of a Cabot. I have a SA 1911A1 Loaded. It has served me well.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        “I have never heard of a Cabot.”

        Cabot has a bit of a history here in TTAG.

        They make arguably the best made 1911. The tightest tolerances in the business. And what can happen when they are made that way.

        This review gives you a bit of an idea how it was perceived…

  3. avatar FortWorthColtGuy says:

    Cabot Guns – Firearms for people with more money than brains.

    God bless capitalism and the free market! I just wish I could have gotten in on the ground floor of this Ponzi scheme.

    1. avatar Bobby McKellar says:

      AMEN!!! I love what Cabot has done but I never thought I’d see anyone exceed Les Baer, Wilson, Nighthawk, etc COMBINED in their pricing LMAO!!

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Uh, I don’t think “Ponzi scheme” means what you think it means. Regardless of what you think of Cabot’s products, they’re not making financial payouts of your money to some earlier buyer of their products.

      If you want to see a for-real Ponzi scheme, look at Social Security.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        or “Hope and Change”…

      2. avatar SteveInCO says:

        Right on the money DG.

        The buyer of the first Cabot Black ShinyTurd hasn’t been receiving money funneled to him from subsequent buyers of Cabot Black ShinyTurds, so it’s not a Ponzi scheme.

        However, FortWorthColtGuy was probably just trying to say “way to make money off of suckers” and he’d be correct if he had phrased it that way.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          The Cabot is more of a study of ‘unintended consequences’ than anything.

          A machine made with such precision that the tiniest bit of dirt jams it up tight.

  4. avatar Bobby McKellar says:

    Which of you Lilliputians suggested “art nouveau”???

  5. avatar Don Nelson says:

    Following this project with keen anticipation. Everyone likes floral engraving and most like germanic oak motifs, but “aesthetic movement” is both different and glamorous. Keep posting!

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      “Everyone” is a bit of an overstatement.

  6. avatar CarlosT says:

    Art Deco would be cool as well. If you want to be really daring someday, engrave a gun in the surrealist style.

    1. avatar Jordan says:

      I just had a vision. An art studio with many of the more famous paintings engraved on various firearms. A Monet on a Glock. A DaVinci on a 1911, a Van Gogh on Ruger, etc. That would be a gallery I would pay to see.

  7. avatar Ralph says:

    Or Otto could do what Ruger does and stamp the entire manual onto the barrel.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      I’m going to agree with the guy a few days back who suggested a ‘ Return Authorization Number’ be engraved on the slide (as a time-saver for the new owner).

  8. avatar jwtaylor says:

    Hey RF, I’ll trade you a lifetime of unlicensed medical care for this gun. (Don’t worry TTAGers, with my quality of care a lifetime tends to not be that long anyway.)

    1. avatar Gene says:

      Dibs on RF’s guns and ammo!

  9. avatar Rog Uinta says:

    This is going to be epically tragic.

  10. avatar DaveM says:

    Why not just go with $ signs all over it?
    Change font size and style along with disclaimer “Not intended for actual self defense use”

    1. avatar Hank says:

      How about a $2 bill Constitution scene on the slide?

    2. avatar SteveInCO says:

      Last time we got an update on this, someone suggested engraving an RMA number on it. Still seems like a decent idea to me. Pick a fancy 19th century font if it would fit in better with the scheme.

  11. avatar Coop says:

    I can’t believe nobody else has made this comment yet. I always understood the dust cover to be the part of the *frame* forward of the trigger guard that, in recoil, overlaps the part of the slide in question (judging from the circle and the shape of the engraving). A bit of searching seems to confirm this. I’m less sure of what to call the part of the slide at issue, but “recoil spring tunnel” appears to be a candidate, though that seems to emohasize the interior surface.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      That was my understanding too, but I wasn’t sure enough to come out and ask; I figured I was just mistaken.

    2. avatar Rifleman762 says:

      You are 100% correct. The red circle is encircling the part of the slide that houses the recoil spring. If there was a full length dust cover, it’d fall within the red circle. This frame has a “normal” length dust cover, which is the part of the frame that extends forward of the trigger guard.

      C’mon, TTAG- get it together! Y’all should know what a damn 1911 dust cover looks like!

  12. avatar Don in PA says:

    Otto’s work on his web pages is amazing, but this Victorian aesthetic pales in comparison to the designs he usually uses. Look at his motorcycle work, those designs would be amazing on a 1911.


  13. avatar Mehul Kamdar says:

    That will be a beautiful pistol. Not sure if you gentlemen will carry it – it would make you nervous about marking it if you did. 🙂 In any case, well done. TTAG is finally working on artistic guns in addition to the ARs and polymer pistols that most of us carry. Never a bad idea to broaden horizons, and you would provide gun artists greater visibility as well.

    Thank you, and good shooting!

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