Gun Review: Christensen Arms Damascus Commander

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.

Showcase 2 Christensen ArmsChristensen Arms

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.

Showcase Christensen ArmsChristensen Arms

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
Titanium frame
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.

DSC_0151 copy
An example of the other custom guns

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.

MSRP: $4750.00

Christensen Arms Website

Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


  • Lew

    Anyone who has used a titanium frame/liner lock knife will know about “lock rock”, what happens due to the relative difference in hardness between the soft titanium and the hard steel. Any such issues/potential issues?

    I have to say though, the thing looks bloody stunning.

    • Laserbait

      Shouldn’t be a problem with the
      tungsten carbide runners.

    • As Laserbait posted the Tungsten Carbide runners take care of that concern. Sure is gorgeous for certain.

  • Alex C.

    That is truly a magnificently beautiful pistol.

  • Inverted Polarity

    Wow. Nearly $5000. Nice gun but too expensive.

    • That Swedish steel and Titanium is some expensive stuff. I got to where I looked at the material cost as adding that extra $1500 or so. Wilson Combats are over $3000 in some models. It made sense to me to break it down that way.
      It’s like I said there are those who don’t blink at prices like this one. We regualar guys just get to appreciate them for what they are.

    • Esh325

      It’s a lavishly made 1911, it’s not suppose to be practical.

  • Lolinski

    I usually do not condone criminal activities but…….Take it and run……..RUN I TELL YOU!

    • Funny you should say that. I told one of the guys I deal with at Christensen I was running off with it to south America and marry it:-)
      So i’d be a bigamist big deal I’d have the pistol–LOL!
      It goes back tomorrow which I honestly hate!

  • Titanium frame and it still weighs 35oz?

  • One thing I should have added. The carbon fiber grips are available separately. MSRP from Christensen is $140.

  • Brandon

    If I won the lottery.

  • Man pippy

    Eh, I prefer shiny.

  • Seth Meyers

    “After I picked it up from my FFL”


    “FFL”, huh? You can’t just say “gun store” or “gun dealer” anymore. We have to say “FFL” every time, to be all inside-baseball.

    • And what if my “FFL’ doesn’t have a store what would you have me call him?

      There are still those who have had home FFL’s for a long time. They have local friends they order for or transfer for—- They may be gunsmiths who work at home in a rural area and everyone knows them.

      I did use the name of a shop years ago. He retired. If I had a store name I’d use it like I used to.

  • Nicks87

    Meh, it’s kinda nice.

  • Mystick

    Pretty…. and pretty expensive.

  • David jones

    I just got a Christensen 1911 officer 3.25 and went to the range and several loads I tried failed to fire. What loads does Christensen recommend for this gun?

  • gauge

    My husband paid $6000 for a custom made riffle ” bolt action” to the Christensenarms last November. It was very emotional buy,and it took 6 months to get the riffle.
    Unfortunately nether the gun,nor the service provided by Christensenarms match the money paid and expectations.
    The sales people were nice at first but then there was very little after service support.
    The gun did not arrive as promised. They did not try to get it to us on time and when it arrive it was not even sighted in. He could not hit a 2 feet mark at 25 yards.
    2 weeks later, white spots and discolorations appeared on the carbon stock while the riffle was sitting idle in the case.
    The rounds get stuck easily in the chamber and it is difficult to remove. On a couple of occasions it got so stuck that the bullet separated from the barrel, spilling the powder inside the chamber/barrel.

    We sent out a number of questions, however Christensenarms do not respond in a timely manner. When they do, it is unclear providing either too much information in the form of tables or too little by being vague and not to the point.

    The gun was sent to them for repair. They broke the zero stop on the brand-new night force scope and sent the scope for repair, which no one know how long it will take.

    The whole buying experience was very poor. We are unsatisfied with the expensive product that failed to perform and are generally disappointed by the lack of interest and response that the overrated company shows in its clients and products.

  • Hyok Kim

    Is the barrel CM or SS? I read that SS barrel and SS slide don’t work very well due to galling unless heat treated differently from one another.