Monday, January 04, 2016 by Greg White
Reach for the sky just took on a whole new meaning. Cabot Guns, an American gun company, is in the preliminary stages of creating a gun from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite that was first discovered in the sub-Saharan part of Africa in 1838.
The company hopes to sell the extraterrestrial pistols for as much as $1 million at an auction next year. “It hasn’t been done before and that’s the kind of thing that drives me,” Cabot founder and president Rob Bianchin told CNN. “I think it’s fair to state many of the pistols we have constructed border on art.”(1)
“Meteor is rare, more so than terrestrial precious metals and I wanted to create a set of guns that were formed from a material that had intrinsic value,” he added.(1)
The collector’s piece will be chiseled from the Gibeon meteor, which experts believe crash-landed into Earth during pre-historic times.
“Not only is the age and metallurgical composition of the Gibeon meteor fantastical, it is considered the Cadillac of meteors in large part because of the aesthetic Widmanstattten pattern exhibited but the meteorites grain pattern once acid etched,” Cabot Guns said in a press release.(2)
Cabot Guns is a four-year-old company close to Pittsburgh, which is often heralded as the Rolls Royce of gun makers. Previous customers of the company include actor Joe Mantegna, rocker Kid Rock and Twisted Sister’s Dee Snyder.
Bianchin says holding the meteorite is “awe-inspiring,” but claims crafting a gun from a 4.5 billion year old rock has its hurdles. He compares slicing the meteorite to “cutting a rare diamond.”(1)
Thus far, Cabot has crafted a pair of pistol grips from the meteorite, and hopes to move forward by building an entire gun from the space rock.
“We were not sure it was possible, but we have passed the critical stage of construction and we are confident these will be a fully functional set of left and right-handed mirror image pistols,” he said. “Building each component has been a science experiment.”(1)
The gun company hopes to forge a “Big Bang pistol set” from a 35-kilogram and a pair of semiautomatic .45 caliber pistols of the 1911 style.
Cabot specializes in 1911 style pistols, which were created in the late 1800s and used by the U.S military for over 80 years, including both World Wars, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Cabot Guns claims a collector has offered $250,000 just based upon the idea of the gun; however, the gun company believes the value of the “unprecedented” could exceed $1 million.(1)
These figures underline how much profit can be made from mining space materials. Just recently, the Obama administration signed a space mining legislation into law, which gives U.S. companies the right to mine or sell whatever materials they cultivate from astronomical bodies.
The signing of the law could trigger an extraterrestrial gold rush among private space industries, and even unsuspecting companies like Cabot Guns. Eric Anderson, co-founder and co-chairperson of Planetary Resources, called the legislation “the single greatest recognition of property rights in history.”(3)
“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,” Bianchin said.(2)
The Gibeon meteorite itself is prized for its distinct patterns of crystallized metal, known as the Widmanstätten lines. It falls within a class of meteorites that are composed of many tons of iron. Waxed nuggets of Gibeon meteorite sell on eBay starting at $50.(2)
The guns will be debuted for the first time at the NRA Annual Meeting and Convention in May.(1)