May 2009

High-End 45 ACP Follow-Up: Michiguns Commander Custom

Fabulously expensive and hard to come by, the Commander is a meticulously prepared self-defense work of art. Is it right for you? Maybe not. But good craftsmanship is a joy to behold.

In the April 2009 issue, our test team shot and evaluated three high-end custom full-size 1911s: the Combat Custom, $2895, from Luke Volkmann of Volkmann Custom Inc.; Wilsonís CQB, $2550, and Les Baerís Premier II Super-Tac, $2280. Attempting to pick the best one was anything but easy. They were all excellent. But we graded the Wilson CQB as the best of that trio. At the same time we also shot and evaluated a fourth product, but held back the test data for this special report because the gun was massively more expensive and harder to get than the other three. This follow-up will cover a Michiguns 45 Commander Custom, about $5000, available from Ned Christiansen. If you want a gun from Michiguns, be prepared to wait five or six years. Christiansenís innovative touches and incredible machining skills (heís a one-man shop) have vaulted him to the top echelon of gunsmiths, with a resultant huge backlog. As before, we tested with four types of ammunition, Black Hillsí hardball, Federal 185-grain Hi-Shok JHP, Cor-Bon 230-grain JHP, and with cast-lead, 230-grain round-nose Ultramax. We tested during a severe winter in Idaho, and thus had trouble achieving the gunsí full accuracy potential. With the Federal 185-grain JHPs, the Commander bested the CQB slightly, with an average group size of 1.5 inches to 1.6 inches. The margin was a little wider with the Cor-Bon 230-grain JHPs, with the Commander shooting average group sizes of 1.4 inches compared to the CQBís 2.0-inch average. The measurements with the Ultramax 230-grain cast roundnose had the Commander in front 1.4 inches to 1.7 inches, and likewise for the Black Hills 230-grain ball, 1.3 inches to 1.6 inches. All were five-shot groups fired at 15 yards.

To continue reading this article you must be a paid subscriber.

Subscribe to Gun Tests

Get the next year of Gun Tests for just $24. Don’t wait another minute to get the knowledge you need to make the best possible firearms investment. Our offer is guaranteed. You can cancel at any time and we'll send a full refund for any unmailed copies. No strings, no hassle.

Or get 12 months of Gun Tests Digital. You get unlimited access to everything on the site including all current and past monthly issues in PDF format.

Subscriber Log In

Forgot your password? Click Here.

Already subscribe but haven't registered for all the benefits of the website? Click here.