Dragon Fire: Cabot’s $129,000 Monster of a 1911

Cabot Guns has broken the mold again with this one-of-a-kind engraved 1911 artwork, the Dragon Fire.

Cabot Guns has just announced the completion of their latest piece of art, the Dragon Fire. It’s a one-of-a-kind 1911 crafted with Master Engraver, Lee Griffiths. What were they thinking? Well, GunsAmerica spoke with Cabot Guns’ CEO, Rob Bianchin to find out.

“It was an artistic risk,” Bianchin said in a phone interview. “The key is working with the right talent.”

The entire pistol is engraved in fine detail.

Bianchin’s team of custom gun makers are creative and skilled craftsmen who constantly turn out 1911s that are assembled with precision. They also innovate new ways to improve a hundred-year-old platform. Their new Rebellion is a good example.

The front sight is a genuine ruby.

But Bianchin wasn’t only talking about his team of talented craftsmen. He asked Lee Griffiths to join the project as well. Griffiths is a certified Master Engraver and worked last year on Cabot’s Dante’s Inferno, another cutsom-crafted 1911 engraved with scenes from the epic poem. That gun has already sold.

Griffiths’ work on Dragon Fire is so rich that it’s more of a bas-relief than a simple engraving. The concept started more than a year ago and was just released at the engravers conference this week. Each cut and scratch and stipple is made with intention. Griffiths even had to make some new tools to realize his vision for this piece.

This is the view of the right side of the grip (the slide is to the left). It looks like this dragon has already seen some action.

It’s a fully functioning standard 1911 in .45 ACP. But every millimeter has been engraved with the dragon. The scales bear shading and texture that makes it appear much deeper than it is. There are details of scars in the scales that leave you wondering what action this dragon has seen. 

The eyes are composed of black marquis-cut diamonds (1/2 carat each) and 24 rubies. Gold leaf defines the fire erupting from its mouth. A ruby also makes up the front sight. The rear sight is a raised notch that forms the dragon’s brow.

The eyes have one carat’s-worth of black diamonds and 24 rubies.

The four upper teeth on each side of the barrel bring new meaning to “slide serrations.” Those teeth were crafted by Griffiths and welded to the slide. They are positioned such that they stop short of biting your hand when the weapon cycles.

The teeth stand out from the slide but won’t bite when the gun cycles.

What’s more, the pistol is part of an oil painting of the complete dragon. strong magnets behind the canvas hold the gun in place and the painting is set in the front of a wall vault where the dragon keeps watch over his hoard.

The gun is part of an oil painting of the dragon. It’s held in place by strong magnets behind the canvas, and the painting is complete without the gun, too. It’s the face of a wall vault.

Bianchin is pleased with the results. “It’s humbling to see this level of work,” he said. Griffiths is a disciplined and dedicated artist.

A fierce-looking pistol!

The Dragon Fire’s price is set at $129,000. When we asked Bianchin how many magazines are included, he chuckled and said, “As many as you want.” Find out more about the Dragon Fire at Cabot Guns.

Dragon Fire

  • Caliber: 45acp
  • Engraver: Lee Griffiths
  • Engraving Method: Hand Engraving And Stippling
  • Pistol Material: 416 Stainless Steel
  • Serial Number: Dragon1911
  • Pupils: Jet Black, Marquis Cut Diamonds, 1 Carat Total Weight.
  • Iris: 24 Rubies
  • Front Sight: Genuine Ruby
  • Detail: Gold leaf

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About the author: Levi Sim is an avid hunter, and an increasingly avid shooter. He strives to make delicious and simple recipes from the game he kills. He makes a living as a professional photographer, writer, and photography instructor. Check out his work and he’d love to connect on Instagram: @outdoorslevi

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • samuel meola March 20, 2020, 5:22 pm

    sorry i would not care if it was solid gold i still would not pay $129000.00

  • John Massey March 13, 2020, 10:33 am

    Also, it seems those teeth are just a snag waiting to happen! At that price, it should also have been made service worthy.

    • J June 26, 2020, 6:10 am

      At 100k+ your new safe queen doesn’t need to be “service ready” because no one’s ever going to see it unless it’s in a display case.

  • John Massey March 13, 2020, 10:32 am

    ‘Tis a shame the builder didn’t hollow the front sight and insert fiber optic to light (ignite) that ruby!

    Also, it seems those teeth are just a snag waiting to happen! At that price, it should also have been made service worthy.

  • John Massey March 13, 2020, 10:29 am

    ‘Tis a shame the builder didn’t hollow the front sight and insert fiber optic to light (ignite) that ruby!

  • MB March 13, 2020, 10:28 am

    Something for the president of the More Money than Brains Club. A gun is a tool, when it becomes a “work of art” it ends up useless as tool. I’ll stick with a Romanian TTC Tokarev , which has a real fireball out the barrel for $200…

  • IPDAILY March 13, 2020, 9:27 am

    Well I’m thinking that is really something else? What i don’t know? If i were to put that gun on my list of must haves, it would be right there at the bottom of that list. The concept is cool but they missed the mark on this one. For me that gun is nothing more than a glorified $129,000.00 engraved paper weight. But i’m sure someone will have to have it? Like my mom always said to me. “Some people have more money than brains.”

  • Steve March 13, 2020, 9:05 am

    This gun is not ugly, you have to look at I as a piece of art. Just think of the hours in workmanship it took to develope this amazing pistol. The very detailed engraving, the inlay of the jewel work.
    Folks, this is not an easy thing to do, the creative art aspect is fantastic to me.
    Each has their own opinion.

    • Mark N. March 15, 2020, 1:43 am

      I do not doubt the skill of the artist, nor do I disfavor engraved pieces, in fact I rather like many of them. There are a slew of beautifully engraved rifles and shotguns from Europe, and a few American master engravers whose works are stunning. But this looks like a cartoon.

      • RICK March 26, 2020, 5:24 pm

        Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • MAS March 13, 2020, 8:43 am

    No thanks. Like others, impressed with the art work, but not as a firearm. Looks like a cartel kingpin’s prized possession.

  • Andrew Ling March 13, 2020, 7:29 am

    Art is in the eyes of the beholder. Who said this, anyway? Average American like me will not be able to afford, much less fire, a pistol like this one. As a matter of fact, the most expensive working 1911 that I own is a 9MM
    Accuracy X by Steve Huff, a living and shooting master gun maker and champion. It cost me a arm and a leg.
    I still shoot it now and then. This Cabot gun is way out of my league. Who is to salivate over this gun? Let’s hear it.

  • Maynard Sorensen March 13, 2020, 3:14 am

    Not the art of yesteryear, Greibel, Kornbrath, and a handful of others in the last century some connected to Winchester, Browning , and out of Germany and Austria were true Master Artisans. Griebel did a SinglevAction Colt for me in the 1950 including 6 or 7 animals and birds taking over a year to do it, including gold bands and gold ilays for under $300!

    He offered the relief animals to me in gold inlays for $25 each, I thanked him but felt I had alteady overspent my budget. Those kind of hand engravers, along with their art are gone for ever.

    • Bill W March 13, 2020, 12:22 pm

      If you think they are all gone, I suggest you check out Colt factory Master Engraver, Michael Dubber’s website. Not quite the prices you named, but the quality and artistry are there.

  • Mark N. March 11, 2020, 1:42 am

    Sorry Lee, but that is one FUGLY gun.

    • Bill T. March 13, 2020, 5:06 am

      Uh, yeah………. I’ll grant the artistic skill required, but that thing is ugly!

    • Slim March 13, 2020, 8:54 am

      129,000 dollars, I wouldn’t five them a grand! Sad part is I’ve looked for a LEGIT TALENTED TRUE HAND ENGRAVED for WELL OVER TEN YEARS and have found ZERO! NOT ONE REPLY! So these guys with skills are to busy wasting time building a two thousand dollar gun at BEST and THINK it warrants a price tag of over a HUNDRED GRAND for ONE SINGLE gun that has the technology of the EARLY NINETEEN HUNDREDS! When they could be doing REAL WORLD engravings people ACRUALLY WANT as ONLY KIDS AND KIDS WHO NEVER GREW UP are literally the ONLY people on EARTH that think dragons are cool! And not sure how gold looks like fire but okay! 129,000…. What are people smoking these days?!? I could buy TWENTY FIVE BELT AND MAG FED AR’s for that price and tell me ONE person who would rather have this safe queen pistol or TWENTY FIVE WITH MONEY LEFT OVER FULL AUTO CAPABLE uppers that can be put on to ANY mil spec lower AR-15 OR M16\M4 and have a REAL DEAL BATTLE RIFLE(TWENTY FIVE OF THEM!)and shoot as much as you have linked together or have mags filled.

      ANY REAL DEAL TALENTED HAND ENGRAVERS ONLY that want to make some money doing engracings on GLOCK slides and other small parts and AR’s reply to my message and maybe we can work together on multiple projects I’d like to do in my and families guns.

  • SeppW March 9, 2020, 5:31 pm


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