Late last year Cabot Guns announced that it is working on producing a pair of 1911 pistols made from an extraordinary material: pieces of the famous Gibeon meteor. The company is attending the SHOT Show in Las Vegas this week, and recently announced that the matched set will be finished in time for the NRA Annual Meeting and Convention in Louisville, Kentucky in May, where it will be on display to the public.

“We wanted to raise the bar again,” said Cabot founder and President Rob Bianchin in a previous press release, “The pistol set will be a modern work of functional art and the ultimate set of luxury guns. It’s both romantic and fascinating to imagine that this meteor traveled across the heavens for four billion years before landing on Earth and is now being transformed into Cabot pistols.”

The company, known for its lavish custom 1911 pistols, also announced several new details regarding the pistol, including answering specifically which parts of the firearms will be made from the meteorite. According to Fox News, the frame, trigger, slide, and grips will be made entirely from meteorite metal, as well as possibly some other smaller components. Cabot Guns also released a picture of the cut meteorite the guns will be made from.

The gun maker acquired 77 pounds of the Gibeon meteorite for use in the company’s pistols. Previously, the meteorite was only cut for grips. Making a 1911—or any other firearm—nearly entirely out of a meteorite is practically unheard of. Some have questioned the durability of the metal in comparison to traditional steels. Cabot specified that the meteor is about 80 percent iron and a mix of cobalt, phosphorus, and other materials.

“Simply slicing the meteor involved a 3D model as the material was examined and cuts planned like a gemologist might cut a diamond,” Bianchin said.

Cabot Guns has already started cutting into the meteorite pieces and uploaded a video of a meteorite bar, which will be used for small components, last week. The company says that once the components are acid-etched, the meteorite’s characteristic Widmanstatten pattern will emerge.

Meteorite iron has long been a curiosity among metallurgists. However, despite popular appeal, meteorite metal is commonly acknowledged as an impractical material for modern tools. That does not mean people have stopped trying to build interesting things from it. Just recently, legendary Japanese swordsmith Yoshindo Yoshiwara crafted a katana from a fragment of Gibeon meteorite. The sword is currently held at the Chiba Institute of Technology and is named, rather aptly, the Sword of Heaven.

Once finished, it is likely that the Cabot 1911s, currently named the “Big Bang” set, will reach the same level of fame. The company says that it expects to auction off the set between $500,000 to $1 million, possibly making it one of the most expensive custom pistol sets that are not antiques. At least, not in a traditional sense—the pistols are made from metal that has been traveling through space for billions of years.

A 3D model of the uncut meteorite chunk.
A 3D model of the uncut meteorite chunk.

 

Featured image courtesy Cabot Guns

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