Alchemy Custom Weaponry Prime

Bender

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Joined
Mar 30, 2018
Messages
1,957
Location
Dark side o the moon.....
No place to post an Alchemy Custom Weaponry review, so here it is

Well, I’ve been interested in Rob’s work for quite a while. Who is Rob you ask? He is Rob Schauland, a pistol smith that owned Alchemy Custom Weaponry. He has built more than a few pistols, many 1911 Addicts have sampled his work. My 1st experience with his work was on a Springfield Champion TRP that I bought from a friend. He had Alchemy refinish it and accomplish a few cosmetic details. Overall, the work was intriguing enough to want me to sample more.

Last year Rob announced that Alchemy Custom Weaponry was closing shop. Rob was selling the company and would be working in the upper level of the purchasing company. They were being acquired and in the future there would be a Alchemy Custom Weaponry line.

So that brings us to what we have here. Alchemy Custom Weaponry has created a model that they call the Prime. I saw it and jumped in with my boots on. Here are the build specs.

Government model .45 ACP
Frame and Slide Machined from Forged 4140 Carbon Steel
Beveled Magazine Well
25 LPI Checkered Front Strap
25 LPI Checkered Flat Mainspring Housing
Tuned and polished extractor
Hardened Steel Pin Set
Forged Steel Slide Stop
Lowered ejection port
Extended Billet Steel Pinned Ejector
Polished feed ramp
Throated barrel
ACW Rear Sight, Lo Profile Tac Hook, .140” U-Notch
Cylinder & Slide Single Side Thumb Safety
Serrated Black Front Sight with Blended Dovetail Fit
Traditional guide rod and cap.
Checkered Walnut Grips
Two – 8 Round Blued Magazines with Steel Followers

Here are my overall thoughts about features and components.

-Grips: They are like many factory provided grips, wood and nice checkering
-Grip Screws: Slotted screws with o-rings...these screws were clocked
-Finish: Blued finish with matte rounds and very nicely brushed flats
-Front Strap & MSH: 25 LPI, many think this checkering is nearly perfect
-Frame to slide fit is great. No perceived movement but still extremely smooth. The blend at the heel is perfect. The action is nearly as tight to break open as a Springfield Pro. A surface does not need to one used, but it does take a bit more oomph to break than many semi-custom pistols, barrel bushing has no noticeable play, turntable by hand
-Slide Stop: Simply stunning! Very functional, very ergonomic.
-Thumb Safety: Same as the slide stop. Works extremely well. The thumb safety has a great feel for shooting thumb over safety. Radius of the thumb safety matches the frame very well when in the off position. A perfect feel and proper snick-snick when actuated.
-Barrel and crown: Great fit, beautifully cut crown and bevel. Overall work is excellent. Lower lugs looked well when checked with Sharpie, no barrel bump here
-Trigger: Trigger break is great. Very crisp break, no scale available but feels like a 3.5-4# break. Just the right and out of pre-travel, little to no over travel
-Sear/Disconnector/Hammer/firing pin: Typical bits and pieces for a semi-custom. No issues.
-Grip Safety: Well fitted, and works well. Not as well fit as a custom build, but better than many I have seen from other semi-custom builders.
-Under-cut Trigger guard: I like it. Much higher than most.
-Bevel: The carry bevel on the slide is very nicely done. Just enough to work well. Very even also.
-Feed ramp polish: It seems to be average. Looks as if it was polished well before the frame was finished. No feeding issues, so it is not of a concern.
-Ejection port cut: It's of the standard variety, very classic without live round ejection cut. I prefer this style of port.
-Front sight: I am on the fence about this. It’s a basic .170” sight with a simple white dot. as sights are very personable, this is a good choice for those that will replace it.
-Rear sight: A solid, hooked, very well blended and fitted sight. This is one of the best rears I've seen, for a factory sight. .140” U groove, I like this one.
-MSH: High quality housing. Fit well, exterior lines are good.
-Mag catch: Typical semi custom part. Nicely beveled, grippy but does not snag.
-Magwell bevel: Average for a semi custom pistol, great feature

That's about all i can think of. Pistol was purchased from an Addicts dealer who had three in stock. I hear that ACW is adding features and options. Magwell, and naked slides are two options that I have heard chatter about. Extremely nice pistol for the price. Lately I’ve been asked what does this ACW compare to. After a lot of consideration, I’m thinking it falls somewhere between a Baer and a Guncrafter. Much better attention to detail than the Baer but not as much fluff and buff as a GI. I prefer the blued finish over the nitride that my Guncrafter has. Some asked if I was concerned with the bluing rusting. I plan on keeping the rust rubbed off with leather. The overall build is a no nonsense piece that rivals many other semi-customs in the $2700 range. Grips are from GunnerProducts.....stunning ivory with a slight bit of bark. My pictures do neither their due justice.

E5A53D68-108A-4704-A957-A7B92B1A9C16.jpeg 53627E30-3D0B-4170-862E-B92BDB4D8874.jpeg
 

ThePlumber

Well-Known Fanatic
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Messages
548
Nice and clean, great looking.

Also love that it’s not an A1 frame.

Those ARE nice grips. Congratulations, G.
 
Last edited:

WWB

WWB
Joined
Mar 30, 2018
Messages
389
Very Nice congrats. The alchemy guns certainly have my attention.
 

Rafe

New Fanatic
Joined
Jul 31, 2018
Messages
3
No place to post an Alchemy Custom Weaponry review, so here it is

Well, I’ve been interested in Rob’s work for quite a while. Who is Rob you ask? He is Rob Schauland, a pistol smith that owned Alchemy Custom Weaponry. He has built more than a few pistols, many 1911 Addicts have sampled his work. My 1st experience with his work was on a Springfield Champion TRP that I bought from a friend. He had Alchemy refinish it and accomplish a few cosmetic details. Overall, the work was intriguing enough to want me to sample more.

Last year Rob announced that Alchemy Custom Weaponry was closing shop. Rob was selling the company and would be working in the upper level of the purchasing company. They were being acquired and in the future there would be a Alchemy Custom Weaponry line.

So that brings us to what we have here. Alchemy Custom Weaponry has created a model that they call the Prime. I saw it and jumped in with my boots on. Here are the build specs.

Government model .45 ACP
Frame and Slide Machined from Forged 4140 Carbon Steel
Beveled Magazine Well
25 LPI Checkered Front Strap
25 LPI Checkered Flat Mainspring Housing
Tuned and polished extractor
Hardened Steel Pin Set
Forged Steel Slide Stop
Lowered ejection port
Extended Billet Steel Pinned Ejector
Polished feed ramp
Throated barrel
ACW Rear Sight, Lo Profile Tac Hook, .140” U-Notch
Cylinder & Slide Single Side Thumb Safety
Serrated Black Front Sight with Blended Dovetail Fit
Traditional guide rod and cap.
Checkered Walnut Grips
Two – 8 Round Blued Magazines with Steel Followers

Here are my overall thoughts about features and components.

-Grips: They are like many factory provided grips, wood and nice checkering
-Grip Screws: Slotted screws with o-rings...these screws were clocked
-Finish: Blued finish with matte rounds and very nicely brushed flats
-Front Strap & MSH: 25 LPI, many think this checkering is nearly perfect
-Frame to slide fit is great. No perceived movement but still extremely smooth. The blend at the heel is perfect. The action is nearly as tight to break open as a Springfield Pro. A surface does not need to one used, but it does take a bit more oomph to break than many semi-custom pistols, barrel bushing has no noticeable play, turntable by hand
-Slide Stop: Simply stunning! Very functional, very ergonomic.
-Thumb Safety: Same as the slide stop. Works extremely well. The thumb safety has a great feel for shooting thumb over safety. Radius of the thumb safety matches the frame very well when in the off position. A perfect feel and proper snick-snick when actuated.
-Barrel and crown: Great fit, beautifully cut crown and bevel. Overall work is excellent. Lower lugs looked well when checked with Sharpie, no barrel bump here
-Trigger: Trigger break is great. Very crisp break, no scale available but feels like a 3.5-4# break. Just the right and out of pre-travel, little to no over travel
-Sear/Disconnector/Hammer/firing pin: Typical bits and pieces for a semi-custom. No issues.
-Grip Safety: Well fitted, and works well. Not as well fit as a custom build, but better than many I have seen from other semi-custom builders.
-Under-cut Trigger guard: I like it. Much higher than most.
-Bevel: The carry bevel on the slide is very nicely done. Just enough to work well. Very even also.
-Feed ramp polish: It seems to be average. Looks as if it was polished well before the frame was finished. No feeding issues, so it is not of a concern.
-Ejection port cut: It's of the standard variety, very classic without live round ejection cut. I prefer this style of port.
-Front sight: I am on the fence about this. It’s a basic .170” sight with a simple white dot. as sights are very personable, this is a good choice for those that will replace it.
-Rear sight: A solid, hooked, very well blended and fitted sight. This is one of the best rears I've seen, for a factory sight. .140” U groove, I like this one.
-MSH: High quality housing. Fit well, exterior lines are good.
-Mag catch: Typical semi custom part. Nicely beveled, grippy but does not snag.
-Magwell bevel: Average for a semi custom pistol, great feature

That's about all i can think of. Pistol was purchased from an Addicts dealer who had three in stock. I hear that ACW is adding features and options. Magwell, and naked slides are two options that I have heard chatter about. Extremely nice pistol for the price. Lately I’ve been asked what does this ACW compare to. After a lot of consideration, I’m thinking it falls somewhere between a Baer and a Guncrafter. Much better attention to detail than the Baer but not as much fluff and buff as a GI. I prefer the blued finish over the nitride that my Guncrafter has. Some asked if I was concerned with the bluing rusting. I plan on keeping the rust rubbed off with leather. The overall build is a no nonsense piece that rivals many other semi-customs in the $2700 range. Grips are from GunnerProducts.....stunning ivory with a slight bit of bark. My pictures do neither their due justice.

View attachment 858 View attachment 859
Very nice, makes me want to start looking for a nice carry-shooter again. Thanks.
 

awmp

Well-Known Fanatic
Joined
Jul 31, 2018
Messages
56
Rob always makes nice stuff. Love the clean lines and the grips make the pistol even better.
 

Otofly

Fanatic
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
5
As always, you have a great eye my friend! Saw this one on Addicts also, only wished it was in 9mm.
 

Rafe

New Fanatic
Joined
Jul 31, 2018
Messages
3
As always, you have a great eye my friend! Saw this one on Addicts also, only wished it was in 9mm.
Yes, all my 1911's are in 9mm. as are my CZ's. Easy to shoot and easy on the wallet. Looking for a light weight Commander size weapon in 9mm. now. Will see where the search sends me.
 

Bender

Well-Known Fanatic
Joined
Mar 30, 2018
Messages
1,957
Location
Dark side o the moon.....
So, I got some rounds down range with the Prime while at the Nighthawk shoot. It just so happens that Bob Reeves was standing near when I got it out of the case. He asked about it and I handed her over. He looked it over a bit and I insisted he fire the 1st mag through it. He seemed pleased with it, commented about how smooth a shooter it is.

I really didn’t keep track of how many rounds were fired that day, I’m guessing 250-400. It shot extremely well, no jams or issues. Trigger break is great, reset is awesome. The combination of the thumb safety, grip safety and the high front strap cut allows for a very high hold. This is on of the contributing factors to it shooting so smoothly.

Personally, I believe this Prime is one of the best values in the semi-custom market today. It’s styling is that of a hot rodded big block ‘66 Chevelle. Old school 1911 frame, minimal beveling, just enough to break the edges. Late model upgrades, beaver tail, sights, checkering.....all modern day, useful mods. Everything you need without leaving you wanting.
 

41 Charlie

Well-Known Fanatic
Joined
Nov 6, 2018
Messages
729
Location
East Missouri
Excellent write up, Greg! As usual, I’m late to the party. But now with my ACW Classic Carry (38 Super) on order, I’ve found myself reading everything I can regarding Rob’s work. Much thanks for the detailed post!
 

Nikrnic

Active Fanatic
Joined
Mar 26, 2019
Messages
36
I may be replacing my Wilson CQB with a Prime. I have a newly purchased ACW Brimstone and it's everything and more than any 1911 I own or ever owned and I've had many semi and full custom builds.

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
 

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