Guncrafter Guncrafter Commander 9mm/38 Super....thoughts

Bender

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Dark side o the moon.....
Ok, I must admit, I've owned a few Guncrafters and I have only done one review. The first three were government No Names, the last being a bob tailed 45 commander length. Why did I sell them? Why do I sell them all? I am out to own them all, one pistol at a time. I think I am beginning to figure out what I want and may actually be keeping some for a while.

First off, I gotta say, Alex Zimmerman, Derek, an the entire GI family is simply awesome. Alex has an amazing sense of what works and what does not. I saw a discussion where Alex had explained his rationale behind the 15 LPI checkering. The GI models are built to be used. He stated that the 30 LPI can be marred and even the 20 LPI was just not enough for him. He wanted a tough, durable grip and I believe he nailed it with the 15 LPI. While you would think it would be painful to grip, it is VERY comfortable and provides a great grip on the pistol. The finish on most is a melonite type finish......Uber-durable! The only thing to remember is have the pistol built to your specs, once the melonite is on, I do not believe it can be reapplied easily or cheaply, if any frame or slide mods are desired. The look of the finish has a no nonsense, semi-flat to matte hue. Looks a great deal like a matte blue finish. Also good to keep in mind, some cleaners will blotch the finish with some melonite finishes. I have not had any issues with Slip 2000 EWL and WeaponShield for general lubing and Kano Kroil for cleaning the exterior. I can not speak of any other cleaners or lubes.

The GI I recently acquired was ordered as a No Name Commander, chambered in 9mm with a 38 Super barrel also included. It does have a few options from GI.
- Flat top, serrated slide
- Gold bead front sight, u-notch rear
- Flushed slide stop pin, beveled frame
- Flushed and beveled barrel crown
- Shreader grips

Here are my overall thoughts about features and components.

- Grips: I have always liked Shreader grips. They are a modern material, minimal grab on clothing while allowing for a great grip. Very little abrasion if in contact with skin if lightly sanded. I did replace the grips with a set of VZ I had on hand. Not my favorites, but they match the magwell perfectly. I need to get a pic of those grips.
-Grip Screws: One of thing I do not care for is these screws. They tend to collect debris and perspiration, corrosion sets in in the hex well. I often them with slotted screws.
- Finish: The melonite finish they use is a deep, matte, non-reflective finish. Near perfect for a carry pistol.
- Front and Back Strap: 15 LPI, many think it will be overly abrasive or nearly painful. Grip textures are very subjective, some do not care for the 20 LPI on pistols. I like that texture as well. The GI treatment is just as grippy, but a great deal more comfortable. Really hard for me to get a pic of, but the tops of the checkering "polymids" are slightly flat. This allows for a very corse, but extremely comfortable checkering pattern. Much less abrasive than 20 LPI.
- Frame Slide To slide. The blend at the heel is perfect! No complaints there at all.
- Frame slide flit: Very tight, extremely smooth and no play at all. The action on this one is nearly as tight to break open as a Springer Pro. A surface does not need to one used, but it does take a bit more oomph to break than many pistols.
- Slide Stop: Simply stunning! I love this slide stop. My favorite is a Harrison slide stop though. GI has added the small groove that prevents the idiot scratch.
- Thumb Safety: Same as the slide stop, works extremely well. The thumb safety is on the perfect arc for shooting thumb over safety. The shape of the thumb safety matches the frame very well when in the off position.
- Barrel and crown: Great fit. Barrel is flip used and beveled. Overall work is excellent.
- Trigger: Trigger is excellent. Very crisp break, have not used the scale available but feels like a 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: Perfectly fitted, and works well. Not as well fit as a custom build, but much better than many I have seen from other semi-custom builders.
- Under-cut Trigger guard: I like it. Not cut as far as many, but higher than a standard Colt trigger guard. Just enough for a great grip, not high enough to really notice it has been altered.
- Bevel: The carry bevel on the slide is very nicely done. Just enough to work well.
- Feed ramp polish: Can you say mirror?
- Ejection port cut: It's of the standard variety looks great.
- Front sight: I am on the fence with this. Not sure if I am going to like it, need rounds down range in an outdoor setting. I have been gravitating toward FO front sights.
- Rear sight: Score 10. This is one of the best rears I've seen, for a factory sight. The serrations are very fine, reduce any glare to nil. And it uses 2 set screws.
- MSH: High quality housing, fits extremely well, magwell is a great feature. It something I really don’t usually care for.
- Mag catch: Typical semi custom part. Nicely beveled, grippy but does not snag.
- Magwell bevel: Above average for a semi custom pistol.

That's about all i can think of stating. Extremely nice pistol for the price. I have thought that Guncrafter has been one of the best kept secrets in the semi-custom 1911 industry. I have owned many of the semi-customs, quality is right there with the other manufacturers in the Arkansas area. I feel the Guncrafter build ideology is a no nonsense pistol with an impeccable finish, lack of machine, sanding or file marks. It is on par with or better than it’s competition. It’s hard to compare different brands as I realize these companies, just like many pistolsmiths have a different build philosophy.

One note about Guncrafter. I and a couple friends recently visited Guncrafter. We essentially dropped in on them and were welcomed like family. Derek & Chelsea are wonderful at handling the day to day operations at GI. Truly wonderful people, I’m sure Alex is extremely pleased to have found them for the GI family. We received a tour of the shop & even get some range time in. Shot the 1st Guncrafter ever made, it’s a government length, 50 GI. Oh yea, we shot it with an Osprey screwed on. I can not thank them enough.

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ZoidMeister

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The Hamlet Squire of Tomfoolery . . .
I love seeing stuff like this.

@welcome.gif Welcome to the forum Derek.

I speak for many when I say, "We really appreciate participation from the makers of our beloved 1911's, Guncrafter being one of the most revered."

We value our "shenanigans" almost as much as our firearms around here. Stop in often enough and you will (hopefully) grow to appreciate them.

Zoid (aka Gary)
 

DPGI

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Sep 28, 2018
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View attachment 1429 Welcome to the forum Derek.

I speak for many when I say, "We really appreciate participation from the makers of our beloved 1911's, Guncrafter being one of the most revered."

We value our "shenanigans" almost as much as our firearms around here. Stop in often enough and you will (hopefully) grow to appreciate them.

Zoid (aka Gary)

Thank you!

I don't always have the time to be as active on the forums as I would like to be, but I do my best to keep my presence up.

Not only is this a great way for me to keep my finger on the pulse of what is happening, but it also gives me an opportunity to establish and build on personal relationships... which, at the end of the day, is what it is all about.

I can't wait to meet more of you guys!
 

ThePlumber

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Apr 8, 2018
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Awesome review, G. Guncrafters are no nonsense workhorses, in my experience. Congrats on a great pistol.
 

Monadh

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Apr 29, 2018
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Raleigh, NC
Bender, did you get a chance to shoot the Hellcat x2? I had my mind set on a Frag Commander, but dadgum if the Hx2 didn't steal my heart.
 

Bender

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Dark side o the moon.....
Bender, did you get a chance to shoot the Hellcat x2? I had my mind set on a Frag Commander, but dadgum if the Hx2 didn't steal my heart.

I did get the opportunity to shoot the X2. I did not take prescription glasses along. I could barely see the front sight and embarrassed myself greatly. Derek was more than gracious and a stunning host.

The X2 is the answer to the traits I did not care about concerning the STI doublestack. A wonderful shooter, I see one in my future
 

Bender

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Dark side o the moon.....
Oh,.....I did leave that out.

I felt as if the Guncrafter X2 had two major innovations that I quickly noticed when shooting. The grip frame was the major innovation here. This double stack 2011'ish X2 did not feel cheap like many of the polymer frame double stacks do. The Frag treatment was grippy, without being overbearing as some of the polymer grips can be. Secondly, the lightened slide seemed to simply shoot flatter with less recoil and nearly no muzzle dip when returning to battery.
 

Busa Dave

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Nov 7, 2018
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DFW
Very nice write up number one, number two very nice shooting iron there 38 super is one I have a soft spot for always have always will! After looking at the specs and reading your review mine would only have one change. A bigger gold bead front sight but I cannot see this one from the pics it may be perfect. I am able to shoot them much better and they never have to be replaced like the glow in the dark ones but understand why people like them.
 

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