Gun Review: Alchemy Arms Anomaly 1911 Pistol | Karen Hunter

Anomaly, something that deviates from the normal or expected. There couldn’t be a better name for the Commander size Anomaly 1911 pistol from Alchemy Arms, The Anomaly. Alchemy Custom Weapons, (ACW), a division of Cabot Guns, was created by master gunsmith R. Schauland, a renowned craftsman that has created a line-up of no-nonsense guns.  Alchemy states this line-up of guns as being “handmade, hand-fit, bold and a welcome throwback to Old World craftmanship, classic styling cues, and reliable performance.”

In this line-up the Anomaly brings something different to the table as it is very unique in comparison. The inspiration for this pistol came from the classic lines of Browning’s 1903 Hammerless pistol. Alchemy states that the Anomaly is their vision of what the offspring of the 1903 and the 1911 might have been. Although the aesthetics give a very vintage feel, the inner mechanics host all of the benefits of 21st century performance which allows the Anomaly to offer the best of both worlds.


One interesting aspect is that the Anomaly boasts a “hammerless” design coupled with a non-obtrusive beavertail grip safety. This gives the gun an edge for conceal carry in the world of 1911’s as it creates a more comfortable and snag free conceal carry option. The hand fit frame and slide are fully designed by ACW Founder R. Schauland and feature the highest grip rise in the industry. This allows the shooter a higher grip which in turn lends to great ergonomics and comfort. Some of my favorite features of the Anomaly are well worth a mention. The Front Strap and MSH feature custom bordered checkering. The slide has an Exclusive fastback style with blended hammer and bobbed grip safety. Hand beveled edges for comfort and style. Hand fit match grade barrel and bushing, hand polished ignition components and a hand polished blued finish. The pistol also comes with an accuracy guarantee of 1.5” at 25 yards, which is very impressive.

For testing and evaluation, I used my own personal Anomaly that is chambered in .45 ACP, but this gun is also available in 9mm and 38 Super. My Anomaly has well over 2000 rounds run through it and I can honestly say that I have never had an issue. I believe that this is two-fold. First, there is a difference between a well-crafted gun that has been hand fitted and a gun that is made more for “bargain pricing”. Second, I understand the 1911 platform well. Having knowledge of the care involved and an understanding of how a 1911 runs is crucial to be able to seriously run it as it was intended, and to fully appreciate the platform. Lacking either will more than likely set you up for a bad experience. When I first received my Anomaly, the tolerances were tighter than any gun I’ve ever shot. After approximately 500 rounds, the gun was exactly where I needed it to be. This is a very normal “break-in” period for any gun. One thing that really caught my attention was the gold bead front sight. I had never seen anything like this before. So simple and small, yet it brings such a bold factor to this gun. Not only eye-catching, it also works well! I wasn’t certain how I would like shooting with this sight, but in the end, I really enjoyed it. I had very quick sight acquisition and follow-up shots were just as fast.

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I have had the privilege of meeting R. Schauland and even watched as he performed his gunsmithing magic, very impressive to say the least. I am no gunsmith in any way, shape, or form, but I can tell you that Schauland’s passion and talent are poured into every single gun he builds. The Anomaly offers superb craftsmanship and reliability unlike any other 1911 in its class with an MSRP of $2995.00. In the world of 1911’s, to get something of this finely tuned caliber, that’s a very modest price. If you’re knowledgeable of the 1911 platform and have been looking to find the perfect one for you, this is a pistol you really need to look into. With ACW you not only get a phenomenal gun, but you become family as well with great customer service.


  • Available Caliber: .45 ACP, 9mm or 38 Super
  • Frame and Slide Machined From Forged 4140 Carbon Steel
  • Beveled Magazine Well
  • 25 LPI Checkered Front Strap
  • 25 LPI Flat, Checkered Mainspring Housing
  • Tuned and polished extractor
  • Forged Steel Slide Stop
  • Hardened Steel Pin Set
  • Lowered ejection port
  • Extended Billet Steel Pinned Ejector
  • Polished feed ramp
  • Throated barrel
  • ACW Fixed Rear Sight with Serrated Blade, Lo Profile Tac Hook and .140” Wide U-Notch
  • Serrated Black Front Sight with Blended Dovetail Fit
  • Traditional guide rod and cap.
  • Checkered Wood Grips
  • Two – 8 Round Magazines with Steel Followers

Price 2995 Lead time is 5-6 months

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