When Steve and I were walking the aisles at SHOT this past January we happened across the Christensen Arms booth. What I saw in the way of precision rifles, AR’s and 1911’s really got my attention more than any other booth I’d visited.
As I started looking over the various offerings of bolt-action rifles, custom high quality AR’s and very handsome custom 1911’s I was hooked. I immediately requested a Damascus 1911 for review. It took six months to arrive but it was very much worth the wait.
As you’ve already seen from the first photo it’s a work of art at least to me. The slide is made of Swedish Damascus steel with a Titanium frame and Tungsten Carbide runners. The grips are carbon fiber. All parts are hand fitted.
After I picked it up from my FFL I gave it a close once over. Three things I look for on any 1911 is the grip safety fit and function as well as the beavertail part of the grip safeties fit to the frame. Next up is the frame to slide fit. Last is the barrel lug fit. The fit on all of these parts was excellent. The space between the beavertail and frame was just a hairline. The grip safety also released where it should instead of having to be depressed all the way down. I also checked the trigger pull and found it breaks like the proverbial glass rod at four pounds exactly.
Christensen uses a unique set of slide cuts. It seems no matter which way you grasp the slide these cuts provide a very good grip. The Carbon Fiber grips are handsome in appearance but they looked like they would be slick. They really aren’t and provide a grip similar to a smooth wood grip.
Available in Commander, Government
,and Tactical Government models
Hand-fit Damascus slide with
tungsten carbide runners
Custom Slide Serrations
Hand fit Match Grade Barrel
Tritium Novak night sights
Stainless adjustable trigger
Weight 35.4 oz
After assembling the gun I took it out to the range to get an idea of its accuracy and handling. Now you might think one 1911 handles like any other but this 1911s weight is distributed differently because of the difference between the Titanium frame and the Damascus slide. Even so it didn’t take very long to adjust.
As far as accuracy the Christensen can hold it’s own with any other custom pistol. Most of the groups fired from the ten yard line while standing unsupported and firing slowly came in at just a hair over one inch. Groups from the fifteen-yard line were about one and half inches as long as I did my part.During my several range trips I fired several hundred rounds without any type of malfunction.
An interesting aside is the owner has another company that makes aerospace parts and assemblies for NASA and others. I’m rather sure this is where the inspiration came from in creating a 1911 with these unusual metals.
There’s no arguing that the Christensen Damascus Commander is one of the finest custom 1911’s I’ve ever shot.The only downside is the cost. For most of us the price is out of our range.Regardless of the price this is one 1911 I wanted to share with readers who appreciate a fine firearm. However there are certainly a good number of shooters who can afford the price. It would obviously be the centerpiece of just about any 1911 collection.