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Cabot Guns Insurrection: First Look & Review

A functional work of art, the Cabot Guns Insurrection is a double-stack 1911 in 9mm that pushes the boundaries of what is possible in terms of design, manufacture, and performance.

Cabot Guns Insurrection: First Look & Review

Guns & Ammo got an early hands-on look at the latest offering from Cabot Guns — the Insurrection 9mm double-stack 1911. (Photo by Keith Wood)

If you are a high-end 1911 enthusiast, you’re in no doubt familiar with Cabot Guns. Cabot has carved a niche for itself by building extremely unique 1911-style handguns, combining mind-blowing materials and design components with state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques. Cabot’s newest offering is the Insurrection, which is a notable departure from the company’s existing lineup.

Cabot Guns began as an experiment in American craftsmanship. When the 2008 financial crisis drained the demand for precision-made parts for aircraft and other uses, a group of Cabot, Pennsylvania, machinists and their equipment sat idle. Those craftsmen set upon a path to build the ultimate 1911, a passion project that put each man’s skills and ingenuity to the test. The result of their labors was an incredibly well-built 1911 and a viable enterprise was born. Since that day, those same American workers have pushed the boundaries of what is possible, taking on ambitious projects using rare materials and unorthodox techniques. If you’ve never heard of them, do a search for “Big Bang 1911” and make sure you’re sitting down. Cabot’s latest creation is more down-to-earth in terms of materials and price, but the new Insurrection will certainly turn heads.

cabot-insurrection-Rail
(Image courtesy of Cabot Guns)

The Insurrection is Cabot Guns’ first foray into the double-stack 1911 market, a sector where the company’s founder never thought they would tread.  “I once famously said that the double-stack will be important to nobody in 100 years,” CEO Rob Bianchin told me. “But I think I was wrong.  The expansion of the market into that platform has really evolved over the past seven to 10 years.”

In typical Cabot style, the Insurrection is not just another double-stack clone, but rather a handgun that was essentially designed and engineered from the ground up. Most double-stacks on the market are blocky and relatively simple to manufacture.  Not the Insurrection. “We approached it in a way where, stylistically, we wanted it to look unique,” Bianchin said.

cabot-insurrection-right
(Image courtesy of Cabot Guns)

For starters, there are no polymer or aluminum components on the Insurrection — the entire pistol is machined from billets of American-made 416 series stainless steel. “I knew we would have to do something special,” Bianchin said. “The grip module and frame are machining works of art. There’s a lot of detail on there that was very time-intensive to produce.” Looking at the grip, he is not exaggerating. The machining and finishing are flawless, with no detail untouched. Every radius and cut made with a specific stylistic or functional purpose. The grip is smooth to the touch, yet practical in terms of is gripping surfaces. My favorite element is the slick section below the triggerguard that helps the hand slide quickly into acquiring a solid grip.

The Insurrection is a Government-sized 1911, with a 5-inch match barrel with the crown cut flush with the bushing. The tri-topped slide is available with a reverse ledge rear and either a serrated black or fiber optic front sight. The reverse dovetail front sight is held captive at its forward edge by a special barrel bushing so that it cannot come loose under recoil. Optics-ready variants are offered as well. Our sample came with a Trijicon SRO installed along with iron sights that provided a lower-1/3 co-witness with our optic’s dot. The arrangement keeps the sights accessible when needed but out of the way when using the dot.

cabot-insurrection-left
(Image courtesy of Cabot Guns)

The slide has angled cocking serrations along with slots milled into the angled top panels, exposing the barrel beneath. Those slots correspond with optional barrel porting to reduce felt recoil and muzzle rise. The Insurrection uses a full-length guide rod with an 11-pound recoil spring. The company includes 10- and 9-pound springs with the gun for tuning the pistol to lighter loads.

Internally, the Insurrection uses Cabot Guns’ proprietary Advantage extractor, which eliminates one of the potential failure points in the 1911 design.  Standard upgraded 1911 components such as a beavertail grip safety, extended ambidextrous thumb safety, a Delta-style hammer and a checkered magazine catch are present. The entire handgun is finished in Plasma/PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) DLC (Diamond-Like Coating). DLC is hard but also incredibly thin, which makes it compatible with precision-fit components. Unlike some finishes out there, DLC also shows off the careful prep work and polishing underneath. A raw stainless version will be available as well.

cabot-insurrection-in the white
Unlike many double-stack 1911s, the Insurrection is made entirely of machined steel parts. It's such a machining masterpiece, guns will be offered "in the white" so that owners can fully appreciate the manufacturing. (Image courtesy of Cabot Guns)

With so many double-stack 1911s out there, one would assume that the magazine function would have been worked out to perfection by now. Cabot sourced magazines from numerous sources but could not find a satisfactory product without making their own modifications. Cabot’s in-house gunsmiths have tuned and optimized the Insurrection’s 17-round magazines to maximize reliability. Two magazines are included and additional 17 and 20-round magazines will be available for purchase. Magazines are cross-compatible with units designed for the STI/Staccato 2011 as well.




The gun isn’t just beautiful to look at, its functional fit and finish are exceptional. Critical mating areas of the pistol are held to a machining tolerance of .0005-inch, that’s five ten-thousandths of an inch. The Insurrection that we sampled fed, fired and functioned with 100 percent reliability, straight out of the box. The optimized magazines mated perfectly to the ramped barrel, feeding cartridges into the fully supported chamber while and the internal extractor and ejector handled spent brass on the way out.

cabot-insurrection with target
(Image courtesy of Cabot Guns)

The star of the show for me, though, was the trigger. Our example broke consistently at 3 pounds, 8 ounces, with zero creep. Is the trigger on a $5,995 pistol really that much better than on a $1,000 gun? In this case, the answer is a resounding “yes!”

Unlike Cabot Guns’ One-of-A-Kind (OAK) Collection, the Insurrection will join the company’s lineup of production handguns. It will be available in different configurations with options offered such as a mounted optic and a ported barrel, both of which were present on our test sample.

Recommended


Shooting the gun was quite an experience. As a 42-ounce all-steel 1911 chambered in 9x19mm, recoil was extremely mild. Add in the barrel ports, which diminish recoil by around 20 percent according to high-speed video analysis, and you have a super soft-shooting handgun. It is tough to quantify the tactile feel of shooting a handgun built to such precise tolerances. The cycling is silky-smooth, as if the slide is riding on ball bearings smeared with graphite. It’s just downright pleasant.

cabot-insurrection-disassembled
(Image courtesy of Cabot Guns)

Accuracy was phenomenal thanks to the match barrel, which was properly hand-fit both at the bushing and breech ends. Our example repeatedly exceeded Cabot Guns 1.5 inches at 25-yard accuracy guarantee.

Cabot Guns believes that anything worth doing is worth doing well. The Insurrection is a great example of that commitment to quality. This is a well-built, uniquely styled handgun that is accurate, reliable and attractive. This is not an “everyman” double-stack but, rather, a highly tuned example of a premium product line.

Cabot Guns Insurrection

  • Type: Single-action, semiautomatic pistol
  • Chambering: 9mm
  • Capacity: 17+1 (tested)
  • Barrel: 5 in. match 
  • Overall Length: 8.75 in.
  • Height: 5.9 in.
  • Width: 1.5 in.
  • Frame: Machined 416 stainless steel 
  • Slide: Machined 416 stainless steel 
  • Sights: Serrated black, 1/3 co-witness with Trijicon SRO (tested) 
  • Trigger: 3 lbs., 8 oz. (tested)
  • Safety: Ambidextrous thumb lever, grip safety
  • Weight: 2 lbs., 9.6 oz.
  • MSRP: $5,995
  • Manufacturer: Cabot Guns, 724-524-1002, cabotguns.com 
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