Most people would say a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite that fell to Earth in prehistoric times belongs in a museum. Robert Bianchin decided to use it to make the world’s most expensive and exclusive set of pistols. Bianchin, a Canadian by birth, moved to the U.S. in 2002 to pursue a career in economics and finance, and quickly devoted himself to obtaining citizenship after becoming enthralled with the American Constitution.
A recreational shooter, the Second Amendment in particular called to him, and a decade ago he decided to start creating American-made pistols of incomparable quality and craftsmanship. He based them on the Colt 1911, the iconic .45 caliber automatic that served as the standard-issue sidearm for the United States Armed Forces from 1911 to 1985 in its original form.
When he was first starting out, “There was no business case study in making extremely high-quality pistols at the time,” Bianchin says. “The industry had been on the decline for decades, and while there was a small but vibrant niche for high-end long guns, all of those options were located in either Britain, Italy or Germany.”
Bianchin has said his “thesis was simple; If there are folks who can appreciate fine mechanical watches, there would be some who would recognize the same quality in a handgun. It was our goal to create an important and enduring American brand, with the stipulation that if one wanted the finest pistol in the world, it would be completely American made”—down to grips made of mammoth ivory found in Alaska, dating to the Ice Age.
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