The Cabot Guns D-Day Pistols – From Sand to Steel

Cabot D-Day

You might know the name Cabot Guns only because of a single project done nearly a decade ago now, and if that’s your only touchpoint with the brand, that’s a real shame.

While the Big Bang Set is undoubtedly a marvelous blending of craftsmanship, out-of-the-box thinking, and America’s handgun, there’s a set of pistols that ought to ignite a fire in the heart of every red-blooded American from Cabot.

It is this set of pistols that I firmly believe should be front of mind when we look back at Cabot Guns in the years to come. Pistols that, with meticulous thoughtfulness and precision craftsmanship, celebrate the sacrifices of D-Day in an unrivaled manner. 

Cabot Guns, and founder Rob Bianchin have always been focused on celebrating American exceptionalism, and heroism. On any given day, you could quote Rob as saying “the 1911 is the hero’s gun.” The company is built around the celebration of America. Our pistol. Crafted from US sourced, US manufactured materials, and reimagined in the most incredible of ways time and time again.

Cabot D-DayIn 2023, Bianchin had the privilege of meeting renowned blacksmith and Vietnam veteran Ray Rybar. With the 80th anniversary of D-Day looming on the horizon, Rybar proposed something that can only be described as awe-inspiring – utilizing a near-forgotten art to transform the sand of Normandy’s beaches into steel. This conversation spurred Bianchin and Rybar into action, and began the long process of crafting this excellent set of anniversary pistols. Rybar’s own Uncle, Army Sergeant John Galla of the 115th Rifle Company, 29th Division, was one of the first souls to land at Omaha Beach 80 years ago today. 

No set of pistols will ever again match the thoughtfulness found in these two commemorative sidearms.

The D-Day Pistols are full-size classic government-style 1911s chambered for .45 ACP. Each pistol features Damascus steel slides, grips, and triggers finished using traditional bluing techniques. Serial number D-Day1944 received a relic finish to honor the historic pieces used in its creation, while serial number 6-JUNE-1944 displays a powerful contrast between dark and light through a historic oxidation process.

Cabot D-Day

The pistols are housed in custom cases crafted by retired Navy SEAL Jimmy Hintzke and his team at Valhalla’s Forge in Virginia Beach. The cases include metal plaques with invasion maps and images, and the interior is inscribed with the names of the 24 U.S. and Allied divisions that participated in D-Day. A presentation tray for the pistol features insignia of the U.S. Paratrooper and Ranger regiments, and a pocket includes booklets of the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, and The Bill of Rights.

One D-Day Pistol will be sold, with all proceeds going to veteran charities, while Cabot Guns will retain the other for future display. Cabot Guns dedicates these pistols to the brave men and women who served, ensuring we never forget their sacrifice.

The Cabot Guns D-Day Pistols – From Sand to Steel

Cabot D-Day

Overlooking Omaha Beach, there is a cemetery spanning roughly 173 acres. In this hallowed ground alone, 9,387 American War Dead have found their final resting place. The majority of those buried at the Normandy America Cemetery found their home here after dying in the defense of liberty upon landing on the beaches, or in the subsequent campaigns. Sand from Omaha beach, collected under the watchful eyes of nearly 10,000 American souls, and rich in iron ore, is infused into the steel of Cabot’s pistols. Sand from both Utah and Omaha beach became the base of the Damascus billets.

The ore-rich sand of the beaches of Normandy contain far more than the materials required to produce a billet. 80 years later, each grain still holds with it the blood, sweat, and tears of the heroes of D-Day. There’s a reason Operation Overlord is held in such reverence in the Western World. You see the impact of these moments on the faces of every child in France, as they embrace our nation’s veterans, who liberated their families generations ago. It’s heroism that spans time, that knows no limit, and in the regions who were saved, reverence for these men, and the American fighting spirit they defined so clearly is forever etched into their minds.

In addition to the sand, Rybar used recovered D-Day metals such as pieces of weapons and equipment to forge his Damascus. Bolts and barrels from Thompson machine guns and M1 Garands, parachute rings and snaps, bayonets, ship and aircraft part, web buckles, and finally, a piece of steel from Uncle John’s helmet, worn by him during the D-Day landings.

In the steel, Rybar created stunning mosaics and legible words and symbols. Undoubtedly, crafting Damascus in this manner is an incredible feat, and the effort shines through with the words emblazoned in the metal, such as the heartfelt term of remembrance, “some gave all.”

Cabot D-Day

In the United States, we often bicker, otherize our political rivals, and belittle one another beyond belief. So often we focus exclusively on what makes us different. And yet, on days like June 6, we should be reminded that these differences are trivial, they are the result of a world rendered safe, and a country made complacent by the actions of others, so far away. Men who spent years away from those that they loved, and men who would never return home again. Those in Normandy certainly have not, and will not ever forget the indomitable American fighting spirit, and all of the promises of freedom that spirit represents. It would serve us well, all these thousands of miles away, to spend more time in reverence of such sacrifice, instead of on ourselves, our hubris, our foolhardy pride. The world in which we reside began on June 6, 1944.

Like Cabot Guns, we would do well to remember that.

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