To Les Baer or not to Les Baer


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Ghostrider_23
March 7, 2007, 03:08 PM
I have two S.A. 1911's, one is a full size 5 inch and the other is a 4 inch. Both are stainless steel and have been matched and loaded by S.A. I was thinking about trading the two S.A.'s in for one 4 inch Les Baer:scrutiny: Does anyone have a Les Baer and is it worth it to do what I'd like to do and will there be that much more improvement from a S.A. 1911's. Would you trade up or keep what you have if you were in my shoes???:confused:

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CWL
March 7, 2007, 03:17 PM
Les Baer pistols are in a different category than SA Loaded models. You will be able to visibly notice how the slide/frame are fitted as well as barrel & bushing when compared to the SAs.

With that said, in your case, I don't think it would be worth your while to trade-away the SAs for one pistol. You will miss not having two pistols no matter how nice the newer one is.

Keep one SA and trade-up the other one to a Les Baer.

critter
March 7, 2007, 03:56 PM
I got a LB a few months ago. I have (or have had) about 6 other 1911's. I can not tell you how much I really like the LB! It is far and above any others I have ever had.

The tolerances are SO CLOSE you will SWEAR it can not possibly work. It will-AND it will be 100%. It will be absolutely superbly accurate. In about 1000 rounds, it will begin to be broken in and will be the slickest operating firearm you ever picked up. The only thing close would be a tightly fitted and hard chromed 1911-they are that slick.

Everybody owes it to himself at leat once to get a REALLY good, high end 1911 and the LB is as close to being "IT" as you can get short of a REALLY expensive, hand built, top of the line custom piece.

Do whatever you need to do but get yourself a LB!

Chuck R.
March 7, 2007, 04:37 PM
Don’t look at it as trading two for one, look at it as getting the one pistol you will want to shoot all the time.

I have two Baer’s, a Stinger for CCW and a Concept V with some “extra’s” for IDPA/range use. My 11 other handguns now sit in the safe and hardly ever get out to the range. One of those is a Colt Gold Cup that I haven’t bothered to shoot since my Concept V arrived.

They really are amazing in how reliable they are while still being tight and accurate. I used my Stinger for a Combat Pistol/Low light class last Saturday, just shy of 400 rounds of my 200 grain LSWC reloads without a hitch.

Get the Baer.

Chuck

Ala Dan
March 7, 2007, 05:39 PM
What other's have said, is very true~! I can't add much too the conversation,
except to say that my Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special has been totally 100%
of what I expected; and then some. Designed by Clint Smith who runs the
"Thunder Ranch" program; and built by Les Baer Custom, these firearms are
amazingly accurate to the point where it gets down right boring~! In my case,
I particulary like the high-cut 30 lpi checkering on the front strap; as it allows
for a good, firm grip. My only complaint (which is a minute point), is the use
of factory Trijicon night sights; as they are a lttle hard too pick up during
daylight hours.

If you want to experience shooting good, tight groups with a quality semi-
custom .45 ACP; then get yourself a BAER. There is nothing else like it~! ;)

Black Majik
March 7, 2007, 05:40 PM
Oh my, definitely "to Les Baer!"

I'll echo everyone elses experience, whether or not to trade is really up to you. But I'll tell ya this, like Chuck, all my production 1911s now sit at home. They no longer get any love, sadly. Theres this feeling of picking a new Baer up that is pretty much indescribable. The tolerances are so tight that you'd be surprised there was more than one piece of steel in that gun. The whole gun is so solid it feels like one giant chunk of forged steel. It's bank vault tight, with breakin' starting around 1200 rds.

What's really amazing is when you get a couple thousand rounds through it. The action would start to open up with ease, but gosh be darned it still won't get the shakes.

Accuracy is pretty unreal too. With the option of 1.5" at 50 yards, how could you complain. The thing is, Baers are more shooter guns. They're meant to be shot to heck and back, used like a hammer. The bluing is really simple, it doesn't have the gorgeous finish like Ed Browns or Nighthawk, but I really don't have reservations of putting my pistols through good use. The Baers usually run well out of the box, or need to be broken in. I love both of mine, I keep a Custom Carry as a backup if my PII ever does... if it ever dies...

But what are you doing here, check out the Les Baer forum at 1911forum.com. All the Baer info you need. Chuck and myself are on there...


http://forum.1911forum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=34


Early congrats since I'm sure you'll pick one up shortly. :evil:

cochise
March 7, 2007, 05:45 PM
I bought a Concept V about 5 years ago. The only thing wrong was to put it away in the safe. I started using it about a year ago, and now it is the most shot handgun. :)

hceptj
March 7, 2007, 05:49 PM
yes, i love mine...never knew just how good a 1911 could be until i got it...its now a member of the "could never sell it" club in my house...:)

farscott
March 7, 2007, 05:49 PM
I own both Baer and SA pistols, and I would rather pay for custom work on one of the SA guns from one of the LTW smiths than buy a Baer. One of the LTW smiths can really make your SA guns shine.

I have two SA pistols, a "Basic" and a "Mil-Spec", that received the John Harrison magic, and neither of my Baer pistols (a TRS HD and a Monolith Heavy 9x19) are in the same class. The slide/frame fit is just as tight as my Baer pistols, the accuracy is as good, and the pistols just plain run. In addition, I can take the guns down with no tools (other than allen wrench for the two-piece FLGR on the "Basic").

That being said, if I was in a hurry, I would buy a Baer because the wait list is getting pretty long. Baer builds a heck of a pistol for the price.

conan
March 7, 2007, 09:28 PM
Do all Les Baer's come with the 3" 50 yard guarantee? Or is it just most or some models? How much more is the 1 1/2" guarantee?

USAFA06STX
March 8, 2007, 05:49 AM
I would probably sell off one of the Springfields while keeping the other, even if it means saving up a little bit more in order to purchase the Les Baer. I enjoy having high quality firearms but at the same time I also value having some that do not such a high price tag. There are just certain occasions when I prefer to have a "beater" with me instead of one of my nicer pistols.

cochise
March 8, 2007, 06:44 AM
Conan, go here for some good info.:)




http://www.lesbaer.com/

mmike87
March 8, 2007, 10:18 AM
I own two 1911 pistols. A Les Baer Super Tac and a Wilson Professional command-sized bobtailed pistol.

I love them both. Both are flawless in form and function. Neither has ever failed. The Wilson cost $500 more than the Baer.

My Baer has the "Bear Coat" finish instead of the blueing. Aside from the fact that I couldn't rack the slide easily at all at first, after a hundred rounds or so it was a smooth as a gravy sandwich. You'd swear the slide was on ball bearings.

I think Baer pistols are the "best buy" of the "semi-custom" market.

Powder_Burn
March 8, 2007, 11:49 AM
I've owned a LB Concept V and now have a Premier II. Both are the best .45's I have ever owned from an accuracy and reliability standpoint. Prior to that, I owned Dawson built STI's, Kimbers, and Colts, but all had one issue or another which took away my confidence in the 1911 design. I ended up going to <gasp> plastic guns for defense! However, the LB's restored my confidence in the reliability of the 1911 and they are very accurate. They do not have MIM parts and are precisely fit which are key advantages over the Springfield. However, I am not sure I would trade 2 Springfields for 1 Baer. Maybe trade 1 Springfield and buy a used Baer covering the spread with cash. If you buy a used LB, it may already be broken in which will save you ~$150 on ammo as well.

mljdeckard
March 8, 2007, 01:59 PM
I start getting feisty when anyone (gun magazine editors) start telling me that my 'merely adequate' Kimber 1911 is sub-standard and must be replaced.

I shot a Nighthawk Custom 1911, which retails for $2700, and I was reminded of Vincent Vega; "Excuse me, did you just say five-dollar milkshake? It's a milkshake, right? Milk and ice cream. No bourbon or anything in it??" and later; "WOW!! That's a great milkshake. That's the best milkshake I've ever tasted. But it ain't worth five dollars." (But I will admit that the machined aluminum grips felt VERY nice.)

My Kimber does better than 2" at 25 yards. The Nighthawk guarantees 1" at 25 yards. I can't even shoot that well. I have never had a failure of any kind in my Kimber using factory ammo. It seems to me that the law of diminishing returns comes in very quickly here. TO ME, 1" of accuracy is NOT worth $2000.

Get whatever you can afford and fits well for you. But I have yet to be convinced that any of these 'custom' 1911s are a significant improvement over my mostly stock Kimber, while (at least) doubling the price.

Kruzr
March 8, 2007, 03:06 PM
But I have yet to be convinced that any of these 'custom' 1911s are a significant improvement over my mostly stock Kimber, while (at least) doubling the price.

I used to say that exact same thing. I couldn't imagine that I would shoot a gun better than I did my Kimber Target. One day a friend said, go shoot 100 rounds through my Monolith out on Lane 10. I did. About round 50, I realized I was dead wrong.

Now I own two Les Baers and my next 1911 (like I need another one) will also be a Baer.

Rinspeed
March 8, 2007, 03:18 PM
I own both Baer and SA pistols, and I would rather pay for custom work on one of the SA guns from one of the LTW smiths than buy a Baer. One of the LTW smiths can really make your SA guns shine.



Probably cost you twice as much and you would end up with a pistol that would shoot almost as good as a Baer. Not to mention the wait.

farscott
March 8, 2007, 03:51 PM
Probably cost you twice as much and you would end up with a pistol that would shoot almost as good as a Baer. Not to mention the wait Actually the whole pistol (the SA "Mil-Spec") cost me $1800 (including the base pistol) and the wait was two months. Just as accurate and reliable as my Baer pistols which each cost about $2000.

Baer makes a good gun, but some smiths do excellent work at great prices, especially if you avoid cosmetic stuff. The plus side with a smith is you get what you want like 20lpi checkering and a Heinie Slant-Pro rear sight, not 30 lpi and Keng sights.

Peter M. Eick
March 8, 2007, 08:31 PM
I have 3 Baer's and do not regret any of them. The one problem with Baer's is they are tight and once you get used to the accuracy and tightness of the guns, then other guns feel cheap or flimsy along side. I am not saying that tightness equates to accuracy, just it is hard to pick up other guns and not wonder why they were so loose.....

conan
March 8, 2007, 09:11 PM
cochise, thank you for the great link! Good Lord, the next question is how one decides which model to get. I know what I am saving for.

45crittergitter
March 20, 2007, 12:03 AM
I have 2 Baers that I wouldn't trade for one SA :D

If you're thinking you only want one 1911, then sell the SAs and get a Baer (or whatever). If you like 2 1911s, sell one and ante up for the custom gun. Personally, I think the Baer is a bit overpriced new. However, I got my last one in 90% + condition used for $1200. A great deal IMHO.

waynedm
March 20, 2007, 01:54 PM
Les Baers are the top of the food chain in 1911s. Whether you trade up for one or buy straight up you can't go wrong getting one.

Ala Dan
March 20, 2007, 04:53 PM
I bought my Baer TRS NIB for a shade over $1500; but then again, I sell 'em
for a living~! ;) :D

El Tejon
March 20, 2007, 05:28 PM
I love my Les Baers (I have 4 TRSs) and think you will be quite happy. I'd go 5" but that is me.

I did have problems with #3 which I posted about a few years ago: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=83224

The problem was corrected at no charge to me by Les Baer.

trbon8r
March 20, 2007, 07:21 PM
I say buy the Baer. My Concept II has been great. The gun has been 100% reliable through about 1500 rounds now. The Concept II cost me $1250 a year and half ago through Sporting Arms. They are a little more now, but still a good deal for the money.

Regarding buying a Colt, SA, Kimber, or whatever and sending it off to a smith, I will pass thank you. I've been on the receiving end of so much crap gunsmithing work that I have vowed no "gunsmith" will ever touch one of my guns again unless the gun is flat out inoperable. Even then I'll try to fix it myself unless I lack either the tools or know how to do it. Before anyone questions my choice of gunsmiths, be advised I've been burned by not only local smiths but a couple of the "legends" that are often idolized on various internet forums.

My advice is to order the Baer you want and be done with it. The next 1911 I buy will definitely be a Baer.

Dobe
March 20, 2007, 07:37 PM
It is really hard to appreciate a 1911 like the LB, unless you own one, and it sounds as though you eventually will. I don't own one myself, I own an Ed Brown. Both are quality 1911's. But there is still a difference between holding one at a gun store, and owning one. I have found that there is even a difference between shooting a friend's at a range and owning one (besides having to come up with the ca$h).

Once you own one, you spend a little more time shooting it at the range. You notice how consistant and smooth the trigger is. You notice how your groups shrink. You also spend a little more time cleaning a high dollar handgun. That too, is where you will appreciate the money you have spent. This is when you will notice the fit and finish, the workmanship, and heart that went into your 1911.

Then you'll find a way to get another.:D

glockman19
March 20, 2007, 08:18 PM
YES Les Baer. You will truly appreciate the 1911 after owning one. What one will you get? I like the THUNDER RANCH “COMMANCHE” SPECIAL in stainless.

Mad Magyar
March 20, 2007, 08:36 PM
"Conspicuous Consumption" at it's worst.....:D

Chuck R.
March 20, 2007, 09:18 PM
It is really hard to appreciate a 1911 like the LB, unless you own one, and it sounds as though you eventually will. I don't own one myself, I own an Ed Brown. Both are quality 1911's. But there is still a difference between holding one at a gun store, and owning one. I have found that there is even a difference between shooting a friend's at a range and owning one (besides having to come up with the ca$h).

Once you own one, you spend a little more time shooting it at the range. You notice how consistant and smooth the trigger is. You notice how your groups shrink. You also spend a little more time cleaning a high dollar handgun. That too, is where you will appreciate the money you have spent. This is when you will notice the fit and finish, the workmanship, and heart that went into your 1911.

Then you'll find a way to get another.
__________________
Dobe

It's just so......................true.

Chuck

Rinspeed
March 20, 2007, 09:35 PM
Personally, I think the Baer is a bit overpriced new


That's the first time I think I've heard that. Overpriced compared to what? I think the offer by far the best value in any 1911 for around $1200-1600. No comparison.

45crittergitter
April 3, 2007, 11:10 PM
I've never seen a new one in that price range. My latest catalog starts around $1640, I think.

kbheiner7
April 4, 2007, 12:08 AM
Baer's are a steal at their current prices. IMO, they're better pistols that the other semi-custom guns (Brown is close, but typially several hundred more) - even better than the ones that cost another grand.

robctwo
April 4, 2007, 11:04 AM
I have had a SA loaded for about a year. I replaced the innards with Ed Brown parts and improved the trigger pull a lot. It shoots good. Very reliable.

I recently found a used Les Baer PII on Guns America, with the 1 1/2" guarantee and a factory installed mag well. Bought it for $1,650 including shipping. Paid $35 for the ffl and background check. The gun had about 800-900 rounds through it according to the seller, and appears to be right, I've put more than that through it since I've had it. Very nice gun. Having some feeding issues with some of my reloads, but that will sort itself out.

I'm not a great shot, but had some time to shoot at 50 yards on our rifle range the other day. Can consistently hit an 8.5 x 11" sheet of paper two hand off hand with the Baer. Not every round, but way more than 50%. Didn't have the SA along to compare, but the Baer was shooting a bit better than my Ed Brown Executive Target. I attribute that in part to the size of the front sight. The Brown front sight covered the paper width and the Baer had a bit of white showing on each side of the post, so centering was easier.

Having said all that, my SA is not for sale. It might be at some time, but I've put a lot of my time into getting it to where it is, and I feel closer to it because of that effort. I envision some lively three gun challenge shooting between them as the weather improves.

Rinspeed
April 4, 2007, 11:19 AM
I've never seen a new one in that price range. My latest catalog starts around $1640, I think.



Sporting Arms had the PII for $1400 a month or so ago. The concept 5 was $50 less if I remember right.

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