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I have owned several custom handguns over the years from a variety of gunsmiths, both well-known and unknown. I have never had anyone build a gun for me "from the ground up", so to speak, and I had been considering it for quite a while.

I liked the work that Brian Bilby did and was going to order one of his "Professional Series" pistols from him just before his untimely demise. The Defensive Service Pistol was to be what I would have him build. I liked the components and the appearance of the final product.

Not a long time ago, I was looking through my folders full of custom gunsmith brochures and found an old ACP one. It struck me that I could still have my custom pistol, I would just have to get someone else to build it for me. (duh)

I proceded to order most of the parts that Brian used from Caspian and from Brownell's.

I talked to a lot of gunsmiths about my little project and automatically dismissed any of them who had anything bad to say about my choices in parts (cast Caspian frame, Ed Brown parts throughout the gun, Navidrex grips, etc.). I settled on one relatively well-known guy that I had done business with in the past. There was still something missing, though. The guy (whose name I will not mention) did good work, but I hesitated in sending the parts and I actually posted them for sale a time or two.

Then I saw a posting about something called "conamyds." They looked interesting, so I followed the thread and I looked at the Michiguns website, which showcased the work of Ned Christiansen. It looked very innovative and I thought that I would give him a call.

Ned was great to talk to and didn't sneer at some of my parts choices. His ideas weren't exactly like mine, but pretty close. I sent some information to him and requested a quote for the work and promptly got one back. Not the cheapest prices, but not the highest, either. Despite some misgivings (premature buyer's remorse?), I decided that I should just go with it. The guy's work looked really clean and I thought he might be OK. I looked up every posting that he had made on this board and on the 1911 forum and he seemed that he knew what he was talking about, so the parts were sent.

Over the last several weeks, Ned has been working on my gun. He has kept in contact with me via e-mail and the occasional phone call (on his dime, mostly) to ask me if I wanted certain modifications done in a certain way or if he could try something out on the gun. At least once or twice a week, we would discuss some detail.

Over the last week, Ned has been testing out the finished product. He has kept in touch with me on what it was doing and has even mailed targets to me showing me what the gun was doing from a rest with certain ammo.

I got the gun today. I am EXTREMELY pleased by it. It is cosmetically fantastic. It is probably the "cleanest" looking custom gun that I have ever owned. It shows attention to DETAIL, not just a 'smith doing something that he's done a thousand times before on autopilot.

I haven't gotten out to shoot it, yet, but I will do so over the weekend. Ned has pictures of it and so do I. Anyone wishing to look at them can e-mail me (I haven't gotten around to figuring out how to post on this board yet).

Ned has offered to correct any deficiencies that I find in the gun, whether functional or cosmetic. He is standing behind his work.

Overall, I have to report that my dealings with Michiguns has been about as good as anyone can expect out of any gunsmith anywhere. I'm sure that there are others out there who do as well, but this is what I've always looked for in my dealings with a gunsmith. When I pay as much as I paid (and it's confidential, but I will say that I feel that I got more than what I paid for), I expect good service. After all, that's why we buy CUSTOM guns, isn't it?

Thanks, Ned.
 

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Infinite thanks for the comments, Harold. I'm hoping you have a good digital camera and a better knack for photography that I do, in other words, I think the pics I sent you were pretty poor.

Where's the range report....? I think you'll really like my special hit-probability enhancing feature I call the "double-ought" treatment, where it shoots a group at ten yards equivalent to a buckshot pattern at 50 yards....
 

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Ned said: "Where's the range report....? I think you'll really like my special hit-probability enhancing feature I call the "double-ought" treatment, where it shoots a group at ten yards equivalent to a buckshot pattern at 50 yards...."

Whereupon Harold said: Doh! (followed by a thud as he fainted).
 
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