Customize or buy used Les Baer


August 6, 2008, 11:49 AM
I have a Kimber stainless "Series I" that I enjoy. My plans are to have it sent to Ted Yost and have him customize it. It would cost around $1200 dollars to have done and would end up with similiar features as a Les Baer Thunder Ranch. The other option is to purchase a used Baer for the same price and sell my Kimber to help fund the Baer. Since this would be my only 1911 I'm torn between what to do. Would a customized Kimber be as good as a Baer? Does Ted Yost even work on Kimbers anymore?

What would you guys do and why?

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Ala Dan
August 6, 2008, 12:10 PM
Sorry, I can't answer your questions 'bout Mr. Yost or his work; but I
understand that its "TOP QUALITY"~! But, as the proud owner of a
5" Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special 1911; I believe that I would have
to go that route, in place of a "worked over" Kimber~! :scrutiny: ;)

August 6, 2008, 12:15 PM
I say keep the Kimber as is and slowly save up for the Baer. The Kimber is already a fine gun, so there really is no need to tweak it. It would make a good backup to the Baer.

I myself found a Concept II for $1100. It's a great gun, and it was my 2nd 1911. My first was a Kimber Custom II. I could've sold the Custom II to fund my Baer, but I thought it prudent to have a spare around. I'd never get rid of a Series I Kimber due to the difficulty in finding a replacement.

Black Majik
August 6, 2008, 12:23 PM
I agree wholeheartedly with Kamagong. I have both a pre-series II Kimber, and Baers too, they're totally different animals. Even customizing the Kimber, IMO won't really get it to the level of shooting a Les Baer.

The undercut checkering, rediculously tight and smooth action, and smooth operation would be head and shoulders above the Kimber. Don't sell the Kimber to fund the Baer though, I personally enjoy my Kimber just as much. They're just... different.

Plus, it'll make you appreciate your Baer that much more ;)

August 6, 2008, 12:48 PM
This is coming from someone who once had a Kimber Custom II Target and had the gun customized by none other than Bruce Gray. There is nothing wrong but having a customized Kimber but in the end a Kimber is still a Kimber. Bruce installed a magwell and replaced all the fire control parts with Wilson non MIM parts. The MIM parts would not hold a good trigger job. When Bruce was finished the trigger broke like a glass rod. Very clean, no creep and it was fun to shoot.

Place that next to a Baer and well the Kimber gets kicked to the curb. I sold my Kimber and and kept my more accurate Sig 220ST.

Moral of the story. Buy once cry once :)

August 6, 2008, 12:48 PM
I own a Kimber Team Match II, and it's a fine handgun.

But the Les Baer PII I also own is a step above the Kimber.

My groups are smaller with the Baer and it's the only target 1911 I shoot for score these days.

August 6, 2008, 12:57 PM
Les Baer all the way! Only you can decide if you need to sell your Kimber, but a Les Baer is the way to go.

August 6, 2008, 01:34 PM
Les Baer

August 6, 2008, 01:50 PM
I say keep the Kimber as is and slowly save up for the Baer. Yep. :)

August 7, 2008, 06:57 PM
If you keep your eyes open, you can find lightly used Baers in the very low teens.

Tom Fury
August 7, 2008, 07:18 PM
They're not getting any cheaper...
chees, TF

August 7, 2008, 07:40 PM
Wow, I'm suprised that a Yost Kimber doesn't rank up there with a Baer. Maybe it wouldn't be worth completely customizing.

I do have a good price on a used Baer. But I still need to sell something to purchase it. If I sell, it will come down to a refinished (by Colt) python or the kimber.

The python is because it's the only revolver and 357 I own. I have a XD and Kimber both in 45 so by adding a third 45 it would make buying ammo easier.

August 8, 2008, 02:24 AM
Don't sale, but save.

I had a pre II Kimber Ultra CDP and loved it I now have a LB TRS and it's totally different the checkering the trigger the resale (if ever. Not.)

Put one on layaway make payments do something but keep what you got and enjoy both of them or all of them.

August 8, 2008, 10:50 AM
You always lose money on a custom, usually lots of money! I like customs and have done several by different makers and still have one. The Baer is better for re-sell and MAY be just as good. I have a Monolith Heavy that is every bit as good as anything I've had built. Go with Baer.

August 8, 2008, 11:19 AM
There is a used Baer listed on The Firing Line classifieds.

August 8, 2008, 01:20 PM
Since I can't afford it I might as well pass this deal along. There is one for $1250 on snipershide. In good shape but slight blueing wear on the edge.

August 8, 2008, 02:47 PM
If as some say, in case of problems "One of something equals none" then I'd keep the perfectly servicable and paid-for Kimber and put the $1200 into the Baer.

But then again I've been razzed for being too much of a 'belt and suspenders' kind of guy.

Mr. Yost is said to build a very fine 1911, but so is Les Baer.

A new pistol from Baer would involve some lead time before delivery, as would custom work from Yost. If it was or had to be my only 1911, I'd take how long that currently is running for either into consideration.

A nice used example of either could likely be had in much shorter order, although how directly comparable the features and relative prices might turn out to be could vary greatly.

It seems to me that putting another $1200 of custom work into perfectly good pistol you probably already have some $700-800 in when you can get something so closely equivalent in terms of build quality and features for the same $1200 only makes sense if you think you stand to be able to realize a substantial portion of the total investment if you had to, or what the intangibles of having something "made just for me" are worth to you.

Tough call.

August 8, 2008, 03:42 PM
I've got a brand new Les Baer TRS...blued...never queen...I'd sell it to you for $1200 plus take that kimber off your hands. Then you'll have an actual thunder ranch. Let me know.

August 8, 2008, 04:48 PM
Thanks for the offer but I'll pass.

To everyone else, the Baer just sold. Good thing since my will power was being sorely tested.

Black Majik
August 8, 2008, 05:46 PM
After this thread with a unanimous vote towards the Baer, I think you'll be thinking of one for a long, long time.. :D

August 8, 2008, 06:22 PM
Funny thing--after buying my 1.5" PII Supertac, I don't feel the need to buy any more 1911's....:D

Josh Aston
August 8, 2008, 07:14 PM
Personally, I'd take the Yost over the Les Baer any day. I realize that Les Baers are nice guns, but something about having a gun built just the way I want it by a top smith tips the scale in favor of the Yost rebuilt custom.

Peter M. Eick
August 8, 2008, 09:22 PM
Go Baer and customize it. My 10mm Heavy Weight Monolith is a one of kind custom job. 1.5" groups etc.

August 8, 2008, 10:34 PM
Was the Yost customizing to your specs or just a "package"? I am kind of picky with the mods that I want done (for example, I HATE ambi safeties), so I would pick the customizations and have Yost do them. His work is world class, he just doesn't have Las Baer's rep (yet).

August 9, 2008, 04:31 AM
The name on the slide means very little.

What matters is reliability and accuracy.

Get what you want.

Or is this just a Kimber vs. SA thread?

August 9, 2008, 06:29 AM
Buy the Baer.

August 9, 2008, 09:28 AM
I'd never get rid of a Series I Kimber due to the difficulty in finding a replacement.

My thoughts exactly. Sell some blood. Sell a kidney. Sell your kid's kidney. Add the Baer, it will take your .45 collection to another level.

August 10, 2008, 10:08 AM
definitely hang on the the series I and save for the baer

August 10, 2008, 10:15 AM
Go Baer, think about it, would someone want a upgraded Kimber, or a Les Baer. Its an easy choice.

August 16, 2008, 07:14 PM

Harold Mayo
August 16, 2008, 07:33 PM
Buy the Baer and sell the series I Kimber to me.

One poster said that you lose lots of money on a custom pistol but that's true only with some gunsmiths. Right now, the Yost name means quality (and has for quite some time). If you lost money on it in a future sale, it wouldn't be much.

Sell the Kimber to me. Seriously.

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