Their current owners call them “extraterrestrial pistols” because they came from outer space. Potential buyers can own these 4 billion-year-old weapons, dubbed the “Big Bang Pistol Set” for a mere $4.5 million. What are these guns and where did they come from?
Long rumored and finally unveiled by Cabot Guns at a gun show in late May, the pistols are made from a piece of the Gibeon meteorite which crashed during unspecified prehistoric times near what is now the town of Gibeon, Namibia. It apparently exploded in the atmosphere and scattered large chunks across the area. The meteorite was first “discovered” in 1838 by English Captain J.E. Alexander who heard rumors of large (2-foot square) pieces near the Great Fish River and brought back samples. However, the natives had already found fragments of the meteorite and were using them to make tools and, ironically, arrowheads and spear points.
As Europeans took over the area for cattle ranches, numerous large pieces were found, ranging from 100 to 500 kg (220 to 1100 pounds) and one topping 635 kg (1400 pounds). Believed to have come from an asteroid or an exploded star, the meteorites (radiometric dating puts them at about 4 billion years old) are composed primarily of an iron-nickel alloy (90% iron, 8% nickel) along with cobalt and phosphorus and is classified as an octahedrite meteorite with a Widmanstätten pattern . As such, the estimated 25 tons of meteorites removed from the area (despite an obviously ineffective ban by the Namibian government) have been used to make jewelry.
And now, guns. Rob Bianchin, founder of Cabot Guns, announced plans last year to forge twin 1911 handguns out of a 77 pound piece of Gibeon meteorite. They were made using X-rays, 3-D modeling, electron-beam welding and EDM wire cutting. The slides, frames, triggers, magazine release, and grips of the guns are made of Gibeon, with only the springs, sears, barrels, hammer strut, pins, screws, and slide rails made from conventional metals.
The world’s first outer space firearms were unveiled at a gun show in Louisville, Kentucky, in May 2016. While original estimates valued the meteorite guns at $1 million, the price tag is now $4.5 million, which would make them the most expensive guns in history.
Would you pay $4.5 million for a set of guns made from one of the rarest objects on earth taken from one of the most historically significant meteor sites in the world?