$5000 Revolver – Korth Mongoose Silver

The author had an opportunity to evaluate probably the most expensive revolver on the market today. His thought was revealing.

Haters are going to hate!

Ok, let’s get the hate out of the way now! The Korth Mongoose sells for close to $5,000! I have no doubt that this may be the most expensive revolver ever covered by GunsAmerica. Yes, you can buy three and a third Pythons for the cost of the Mongoose. I get it! It’s not something most of us will ever buy. I’ll readily admit that it’s not a pistol I would ever consider buying. So, this review is much like having the opportunity to drive a friend’s Ferrari Roma, knowing you will never own one! You do it because it’s fun and interesting.

That out of the way, a little background is in order. Willi Korth started the company in the mid-fifties with the goal to make the best revolver in the world. Based in West Germany, the Korth represents the best in German engineering and quality. Think of it as the Mercedes of the wheelgun world. At the 2016 SHOT Show, Mark Stone, Nighthawks CEO, met with Martin Rotuman, Korth’s CEO. A friendship developed from that meeting and that resulted in a business relationship. Korth wanted to expand their market to the U.S. but, as with other European companies, Korth did not have an understanding of the market. At the same time, Nighthawk was looking to expand to Europe. To quote Stone, “It is a near perfect relationship and friendship. They are great people and it is more than just guns.”

Korth revolvers are manufactured in Germany and exclusively imported by Nighthawk Custom. The Mongoose is similar in size to the Smith & Wesson L frame.

Nighthawk now carries ten different models of Korth revolvers, the latest being the Mongoose Silver. I found the moniker interesting in that the Mongoose is a snake killer. Nighthawk is known, not only for their quality but their “one gun – one gunsmith” business model. Each gun is built, finished, and tested by a single gunsmith. If you own a Nighthawk 1911, you will find that gunsmith’s initials stamped on the frame, under the grip. Korth uses this same process. When Korth revolvers are received at Nighthawk, they undergo a complete technical and quality control inspection by a Korth trained gunsmith. Each revolver is then test-fired, re-inspected, cleaned, and boxed for shipment.

Mongoose Silver Details

So, let’s get to the details of the Mongoose Silver. The Mongoose is a medium frame, double action, revolver that is chambered in .357 Magnum with an optional 9mm cylinder. With its 4.25” barrel, full underlug barrel, and clean lines, it is hard not to compare it to the Colt Python. The Korth uses a coil mainspring and has a roller action for one of the best double actions I have ever felt. The accompanying photo shows the lock work and the enclosed mainspring. The double-action on our test pistol averaged 9.7 lbs. while the single action averaged 3.7 lbs. The finish on our test pistol is a durable silver DLC coating. This finish adds a considerable amount to the cost of the pistol.

The new Mongoose is finished with a silver DLC coating. This is both attractive as well as durable.

Externally, the Mongoose is a very clean looking pistol with attractive lines. The barrel is void of any markings and the frame markings are tastefully done. The full under-lug barrel is reminiscent of the S&W L frame. On the left side of the frame is the Korth logo while on the right side is the Nighthawk logo, the required ATF markings of the company name, city, and state, and the serial number. Because the Mongoose is a multi-caliber revolver, the caliber designation is located on the barrel in the ejection rod recess. The top of the frame is contoured to flow to the barrel and features serrations that flow to the top of the barrel. The barrel is deeply crowned and polished.

The Mongoose carries Nighthawk markings on the right side of the frame.
The Mongoose trigger is nicely radiused and fully adjustable.
The barrel is polished and features a deep crown.

The trigger on the Mongoose is fully adjustable and is radiused and the face is nicely polished. Interestingly, the only machine marks found on the Mongoose are on the sides of the trigger. The hammer has a unique shape with double recesses. The cylinder release is a traditional shape but the release moves at a 45-degree upward direction. The front sight is a ramped post that has a domed gold bead while the rear sight is a square notch blade that is fully adjustable. The front sight blade is retained by a retention screw above the muzzle and is easily replaced. The stocks are Turkish walnut that are large target models and are perfectly fitted to the pistol.

The rear sight is plain black, fully adjustable, and utilizes opposing screws for windage adjustments.
The front sight features a gold domed bead insert that gathers light well, in most settings.
The mechanical design is unique to Korth and has an enclosed mainspring.

Range Time

On the range, the Korth was very pleasant to shoot. Magnum loads were managed by the weight of the pistol and the stocks. Federal .357 Magnum 158 grain Hydra Shok averaged 1,319 fps and rang the steel targets with authority. We also shot Speers .38 Special 125 gr. Gold Dot and their 125 grain TMJ range load. The Gold Dot averaged 696 fps while the TMJ load averaged a very mild 917 fps. The Korth is capable of far better accuracy than I am. That said I still managed several sub-two inch groups when shooting off a bench at 25 yards. Unfortunately, our test pistol did not come with a 9mm cylinder. It would have been interesting to compare the two calibers.

On the range, the Korth proved to be the best shooting revolver the author has ever had an opportunity to shoot. Of course, it should be!
All of the shooters appreciated the design of the stocks on the Mongoose.
The cylinder is removed via a push button on the right side of the frame. This not only allows for the installation of a 9mm cylinder, but aids in cleaning.
The cylinder gap, on the Mongoose, must measure between .005 and .006 to be within specifications.

To open the cylinder, the release is moved forward and upward at a 45 degree angle. For shooters accustomed to a Smith & Wesson style release, this did not take any real adjustment.

Unlike most assignments, I was able to have three experienced shooters evaluate the Mongoose. The testing was conducted on separate range trips and each shooter evaluated the Korth without any knowledge of the other shooter’s scores. The Korth scored very well and, in general, the scores were very consistent. All three shooters were impressed with the Mongoose, especially with the sights, action, and stocks. Even with the hottest Magnum loads, the Mongoose was comfortable to shoot.

Like many projects, our evaluation period was not as long, nor as extensive, as we would have liked. The round count was more limited due to the ammunition shortage. In addition, after my second range trip, I received a call from Mark Stone saying he needed my sample returned as soon as possible. There was a requirement for another project and my pistol was the only one available. All of the others, that had been imported, had already shipped to dealers. I guess that is a good problem to have. However, my test drive was over!

Final Thoughts

During my discussion with Mark Stone, I asked if the Korth partnership had met his expectation. While specific sales numbers are confidential, he stated initial sales met the projections. Since that time sales have grown, with some months exceeding projections by 100%. One reason for the success is Nighthawk’s extensive dealer network and loyal customer base.

As I said at the beginning of this review, the Korth is not for everyone. Still, there are those firearm enthusiasts that have the disposable income to buy high-end products. It could be a Rolex, a King Ranch Ford F150, or a Korth. While I am not in that category, I do appreciate the opportunity I had to evaluate the Mongoose for this publication. If nothing else, you can always just window shop on Nighthawk’s website.

Nighthawk Custom/Korth Mongoose Silver
Caliber.357 Magnum/9mm
Weight38.5 oz.
Cylinder Capacity6 rounds
ActionDouble/Single Action
SightsAdjustable Rear/Gold Bead Front
StocksTurkish Walnut Combat
FinishSilver DLC Coating

For more information visit Nighthawk Custom website.

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{ 38 comments… add one }
  • Eric February 2, 2021, 1:11 am

    I’ll stick with my .357 Ruger speed six. Eats anything and is durable as hell. Owned it for over 20 years now.

  • J Karn January 29, 2021, 4:05 pm

    Wow. Talk about overpriced! $5K? For what? For 1/5 of that, you can get a Smith & Wesson TRR8 from the custom shop, that will do everything the Korth does and much more. 33% more firepower (8 shot cylinder), faster reloads with full moon clips, same brass bead front sight that is hand-replaceable without tools, same .357 magnum caliber, and top and bottom rails that can be attached or removed at will to allow all sorts of practical and useful enhancements such as red dots, scopes, lights, lasers, etc. And if you have tried the trigger on any S&W Custom Shop revolver, you will know that a SA/DA revolver trigger can’t possibly get much better without running the serious risk of liability issues. Knock off a zero, and I’d seriously consider it, but, as it stands, there are much better revolvers for far less money.

  • Peter Brown January 29, 2021, 1:29 pm

    I haven’t heard of Korth for many years. $5K? Were I collecting and younger, I would buy one in a second. No doubt about it, $5K is a load of cash but it may do better than cd’s as an investment. I’d like to have ten minutes to examine one or thirty or so minutes to shoot one. It’s mechanical beauty.

  • Fee January 27, 2021, 11:28 pm

    Wait till someone imports more Turkish made handguns. Competition is coming for US manufacturers on handgun prices.

  • Walrus Gumboot January 27, 2021, 10:19 am

    Beautiful with so many amazing cosmetic features. Six shots with long double action pull and a reload requiring practice to get six more in a reasonable amount of time. This gun definitely has a prominent place….in my safe. Or hang it on the wall with rest of my art.

  • Bryan January 27, 2021, 2:11 am

    I don’t know enough about revolvers to make a judgement about relative quality from one gun to another,
    BUT IF this is really as good as some say,
    WHAT can you get for $5000 today?
    A nice set of used, 50+ year old, OEM side pipes for a ‘69 Corvette.
    A probably fairly reliable winter rat for commuting on New York State’s heavily salted winter roads.
    Freakin’ tile for the kitchen floor.
    OR what may be one of the absolute best pistols in the world?
    If for once in my life I could actually own one “best” of anything I’d really want to own, I’d go for it.
    Not that anybody’s gonna cry with me, but I actually went for ……… the floor tile.
    Because if I didn’t, a certain beautiful woman whom I love dearly would make the rest of my life even more of a living hell than she already does.
    I’ve got a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food on my table, and a big recliner under my ass.
    I look from the blazing logs in the fireplace to the 65 inch flatscreen on the wall, to the view out my window of the sun setting behind the mountains that line my back yard.
    Yeah, cry for me.
    If I were God I’d zap me straight to hell.
    Miserable, ungrateful piece of … .

  • DIYinSTL January 26, 2021, 7:14 pm

    If you shoot a lot, the price of the gun does not make much difference. While we all like to get a bargain, you can still be “penny wise and pound foolish.” If over your ownership you fire 100,000 rounds at an average of 75 cents per, that’s $75k. So taking in your overall shooting cost, the difference between $5,000 and $500 is small but the difference between shooting thousands of rounds with a big smile on your face vs. a small smile is huge. Next NRA annual meeting I attend, if there is one, will have me checking this gun out at the Nighthawk booth.

  • Bryan January 26, 2021, 11:53 am

    Yeah…I’ve got a really nice .357, worth about $1,100…but for you…$5000.00…better get it now as there’s a high roller in Hollywood that’s been eyeing it…

    …not just no…hell no…

    ..before you throw down hard earned cash…just for a minute…one minute…really think about what you’re doing…

  • Greg Becker January 25, 2021, 8:20 pm

    This was a total waste of space! This is a unreachable an unrealistic piece of metal that in my opinion!

  • Walleye January 25, 2021, 7:13 pm

    At least it doesn’t have that stupid QR code laser engraved on the frame, along with the rediculous laminate wood stocks like the new Colt Pythons. Bonus points for the adjustable trigger. Perhaps this will raise the bar for Colt and S&W.

  • Robert Campbell January 25, 2021, 5:57 pm

    I luvs me some revolvers. Sure….if I had Oprah $$$

  • Deveron Martin January 25, 2021, 5:03 pm

    I’ve had four Pythons in my life and they were good but sold them.I bought a six inch Mongoose and i have to say it’s in another plateau.Excellent piece.

  • Kurt Schreiber January 25, 2021, 5:03 pm

    I used to think Mercedes was Top-of-the Line….until I owned and operated one for three years.
    Supposed bragging rights aside, there is little to brag about when you are constantly driving a loaner car and your fancy buggy is making a warm nest at the dealer’s. That is not to mention the wheelbarrows of cash required to get it out of hock!
    This was on a new vehicle. I took possession with 25 miles on it.

    Now, to revolvers.
    How did accuracy compare with say a Python, or a Ruger Super Blackhawk or a S&W?
    No mention of that in the article.

    It is obvious Korth is selling to a niche market but at least a new Ferrari can give a new Corvette a run.
    I’m glad someone had some fun!

  • Lt Col Richard G Vaught, USAF, Ret January 25, 2021, 3:23 pm

    Had a 357/9 mm Korth I purchased in Germany in 1988 as a captain, and it was the finest gun I have ever owned; trigger pull was like glass and totally accurate (1/8 inch at 25 meters). Paid $1500 USD for it then and sold it in 1994 for $5000 and still kicking myself for doing so. Have had or shot every type of gun from Holland & Holland to Merkels to you name it, and NOTHING comes close to a Korth. It is the top of the line Mercedes Benz of hand guns; Colt and the rest are poor fourth cousins to a Korth. And yes, I own Colt, S&W, etc and their best of their best but a Korth they aren’t.

  • Area52 January 25, 2021, 1:13 pm

    At that price it’s like the rolex of revolvers. I would be afraid to take it to the range on the thought that it might get scratch and reduce the value. I also don’t like the way the inside barrel extends beyond the outer shell. It looks like the face of the barrel could get damaged easily.
    It look as though it’s more of a showpiece than anything else.

  • davud January 25, 2021, 1:01 pm

    the revolver in the photo with the sideplate off is not the same gun as in other photos. different finish, different rib, different trigger (no hole), different hammer spur shape, different front and rear sight.


    • Frank January 28, 2021, 8:23 am

      Admittedly speculating here… but perhaps it’s a stock photo of the disassembled revolver. The manufacturer may have supplied one to discourage reviewers from playing “where does this extra screw go?!?”

  • Paul Harmon January 25, 2021, 12:55 pm

    Having had to have lived in Arkansas for 16 years I learned a lot about how unaccepting of outsiders,how they feel they can steal from said outsider a suffer no reprisal from the law because of their oath to the clan. Make no mistake sheriffs there could not be more corrupt. That Berryville,Arkansas stamp on the frame makes me look at that firearm, and now nighthawks with disqust and distain

    • Kris Colt January 25, 2021, 5:44 pm

      Snowflake sorry the bad people of Arkansas hurt your feelings, sounds like you would be happier in Portland or Seattle

      • Peter Brown January 29, 2021, 1:32 pm

        True, that…diaper brigade.

  • Jon simon January 25, 2021, 11:42 am

    I still have my $425 S&W model 19 from 1985 still looks like new i cant tell you how many rounds i put through it . and my $450 Beretta 92fs .so ya i am good for now i would never spend more than $1500 for a gun there are way to many other excellent hand guns out there for a third the price and lower .that and the fact that i am not a status seeker kind of guy.

  • Thomas January 25, 2021, 11:19 am

    When somebody says accurate I expect less than 1” at 25yds and less than 2” at 50 yds like my H&K Mark 23. With me it shoots 7/8” at 25yds and 1 3/4 at 50 yds I’ve let a few friends who are better than me and they can shoot 3/4” and 1 1/2 groups at 25& 50 yds.

  • Zupglick January 25, 2021, 11:18 am

    Nice gun.
    For my purposes, I’ll stick with my 629.

  • Mike in a Truck January 25, 2021, 9:33 am

    I wouldn’t blame anyone for getting this revolver..its still a free country- for now. I can afford it but I just dont have a need for it. I have all the revolvers I want at present. But if they toss in a years supply of high end “executive companions” I may go for it.

  • GomeznSA January 25, 2021, 9:28 am

    Meh – of you want a boutique gun – that will likely spend most of its time in a good safe – AND you have LOTS of extra green backs laying around, this is likely a good choice for you. Most of us mere mortals would (and do) buy a usable gun – one that we can tote around in any environment on a daily basis. For example, I had a chance to buy either a S&W M66 or a Python for a duty gun about 4 decades ago – I opted for the Smith due to the durability factor. Yes, I regretted not getting the Python but it would likely not have held up to the daily use I needed at the time.
    YMMV – choose wisely.

  • Evan Friend January 25, 2021, 9:07 am

    It’s a revolver. You’re paying $5000 for an obsolete gun that doesn’t have any historical value.

    This is just a way to bilk idiots out of their money.

    • Tom Rutledge January 25, 2021, 10:57 am

      I agree LOL

    • jack January 25, 2021, 11:04 am

      Just another way over inflated toy for the top 2% to go with their Ferrari’s, Gucci’s & Vera Wang’s.

  • TOM BROLLINI January 25, 2021, 9:00 am

    ~LOL don’t think so!

  • Shazam Wadawaste’oCash January 25, 2021, 7:57 am

    With a $5k price tag, the korth should have a little better finishing than is illustrated by blemish quality logos and s/n as pictured. Not to mention a smith and Wesson clone that could fund several smiths. Just buy two smiths , you’ll need the rest to buy the ammo you can find at today’s strong arm prices . There is a bispoke tool for every price range , I’d rather have multiple guns use some money to feed the homeless but to each their own.

    • Joe H2 January 25, 2021, 8:32 am

      Concur with your assessment 100% to include fitment. If I’m spending $5K on a firearm… having hand fitted perfection better be evident… if you look closely at the adjustable trigger picture, you can see misalignment scrapes… I have shot and handled these … its just an over priced, over engineered smith… id rather own several N frame Mod 27/28/29s that can handle hot loads and come back for more unlike a Pythons weakness… heck even the modern 627-5 is equal to this quality at a 3rd of the price…

  • stephen hammill January 25, 2021, 7:20 am

    A comparison with Freedom Arms revolvers might be interesting, although SA vs DA and 5-shot vs six might muddy the waters.

    Could you knock around in the woods with this gun?

  • Chris McLaughlin January 25, 2021, 7:17 am

    I would like to see a direct comparison of the Python, S&W, Korth and the Manurehen .357 revolvers just to see how they stack up, comparatively.
    …or better yet, I would like to participate in the comparison.

  • Bush Sean January 25, 2021, 4:15 am

    If I am going spend that much on revolver, would try and find a Phillips & Rogers Medusa first that shoots everything in the .30 cal range including 9mm and 30 carbine.

  • Blue Dog (he/him) January 23, 2021, 10:52 pm

    She’s a beaut, but at $5000, I’d hope the 9mm cylinder is included.

    Comparing to the L-Frame sounds good. I’ve always found that the L-frame felt so much more lithe in my hand than a K-frame.

    I may cost three and three thirds what the pitiable nuPython does but it is probably ten times the gun. At least. So that’s like a value factor of over three.

    • Fred Ward January 25, 2021, 8:32 am

      Depends on what you value. I’m not impressed with the new Pythons, I’ve seen them arrive at the retailer missing screw. But then, I’ve wanted a Korth for years.

      • Blue Dog (he/him) January 25, 2021, 4:22 pm

        I apologize if my comment was not clear. I could not agree with you more – the current line of Colt Pythons are overpriced junk. They look and feel like they are made by Charter and Charter revolvers are still overpriced junk at a third the price of the Python. Old Pythons are nice enough but sell on the secondary market for two to three times what they would otherwise be worth because Rick Grimes made a big deal about it.

        • Jake January 30, 2021, 12:03 pm

          Pythons are the most overrated revolvers of which I am aware. Especially the old UAW made guns. Bad triggers, bad heat treating etc.
          The new one still has the same third rate New Service trigger mech from the late 1800’s.
          That said, the Korth is probably really nice but I have handled Performance Center S&W’s with triggers that are mind blowing good. L frames can have seven rounds and some N frames have eight.
          The new Kimber Target .357 seems to be of this same “quality” level in a gorgeous six shooter for $900+ pandemic pricing.
          If you really need a gun and for whatever reason it must be a .357 magnum, I would want the 7 round L frame or 8 round N frame cut for moon clips. Just my opinion.

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