Korth: you either know the name or you don’t. And if you do know it, you either dream of one day scraping together the scratch to buy one of the legendary German gunmaker’s custom pistols, or you think it’s silly to shell out untold thousands of dollars for a gun that’s not even made in the USA. I fall onto the former camp: I seriously want a Korth, but all the research I had done into finding and buying one of their guns had me despairing of ever being able to afford one. But today I got the chance to talk price and availability with a Korth rep at their booth, and I have good news to share: yes, the prices for Korth pistols are insanely high, but they’re not as high as may have been lead to believe.
Some googling for Korth pricing will turn up various forum threads where people who know people who know people who once called Korth’s only US distributor about a scoring a gun are weighing in with prices that they heard a decade ago. I’ve heard that the Korth Combat Magnum, for instance, starts at $20,000. And then there’s the Korth 9mm pistol, a unique-looking design that random forum people over the years have claimed goes for upwards of $40,000. But let’s take a look at some guns and see what they actually run.
The facts: you can pay $30K for a Korth, but you don’t have to
Korth had a range of handguns on display at their booth, and did my best to capture the magic with my camera. The aforementioned Korth Combat Magnum in .357, shown above, starts at around $5,000. Yeah, it’s way pricey, but it’s nowhere near what has been rumored.
If you want to pay a little more, there’s an interesting-looking hardened finish available on their guns, which you can see above. The gun above retails for $6,500.
Above is my personal grail gun, the 9mm Korth Classic in a silver plasma finish. This gun comes in at $7,000 in the configuration shown here. Note that this gun is a prototype that won’t be available in the US until the middle of this year, and yeah, when I finish building out my AR collection I do plan to shell out for this bad-boy.
The .45ACP Korth Classic is where things start getting very expensive. The gun shown above sold for $30,000 with all of the engraving. If that’s your thing and you’ve got the money to burn, its’ all good, I suppose. Then there are the Damascus steel guns — Korth’s Nibelungen line — which cost even more.
The revolver shown above retails for a whopping $37,000. The only other folded-steel weapon I can think of that costs this much is a Japanese katana from mastersmith Yoshindo Yoshihara. Madness!
The gun above has a cutaway that Korth was using to show the inner workings of the gun. I’ve included this shot so that you see the Damascus detail on the chamber.
Damascus is beautiful, but modern Damascus isn’t exactly legendary for its durability. I’m a knife nut, and though I’ve considered this or that Damascus blade over the years, I’ve never actually pulled the trigger on a purchase for durability/maintenance reasons. So as gorgeous as the Korth Damascus pistol is, it’s not for me.
Ultimately, I was thrilled to find out that Korth’s prices are actually within the reach of mere mortals. $7,000 is definitely a lot of money to spend on 9mm, but guys blow that much on German watches all of the time.
If you’re looking to score a Korth, there’s only one US distributor for Korth: some guy named Earl who runs the poorly maintained korth-usa.com site. (I am not making this up. ) Korth is looking for more US distributors, so drop them a line if you’re interested in selling their guns stateside.
Update:In response to Ian’s request in the comments, here’s a side shot of the cutaway cocking mechanism.
And in response to reader Michael Z., the German Korth rep himself told me: “Vee haf one US distributor. His name ist Earl.” I almost LOLed when he said that, but he was so serious I had to choke it down.