Springfield Custom Carry or Les Baer Custom Carry?


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CPshooter
May 4, 2010, 02:43 AM
Hello folks,


I've spent the last few days researching 1911s from the higher-end makers and it has come down to two: a Springfield Armory Custom Carry or a Les Baer Custom Carry. At first I was going to go with a $600 Mil Spec and upgrade from there. Then I realized I'd be much better off ordering a Custom Carry from Springfield's Custom Shop and getting everything I want in one convenient stop.

I'm looking for a well-made, no-frills 5" 1911 without front cocking serrations, FLGR, ambi-safety, etc.

So here are my two options:

1) SA Custom Carry (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://homepage.mac.com/nategjesdal/.Pictures/Gun%2520Pics/Springfield%2520Custom/Custom%2520Carry%2520%25231.jpg&imgrefurl=http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php%3Ft%3D178643&usg=__UkcCKMUP1btdUbcTb9fEKWtQfGU=&h=768&w=1024&sz=260&hl=en&start=3&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=OnD-Z_d2fjBMUM:&tbnh=113&tbnw=150&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dspringfield%2Barmory%2Bcustom%2Bcarry%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox%26ndsp%3D18%26tbs%3Disch:1) (around $1450 from what I understand, but haven't verified the price since it's not listed on Springfield's website)

The following would be performed by the Custom Shop while it's there:
- Undercut trigger guard for high-hand grip ($75)
- 30lpi front strap checkering ($140)
TOTAL: $1665

2) Les Baer Custom Carry ($1830) (http://www.lesbaer.com/CusCarry.html)
- specify NO front cocking serrations or ambi-safety (assuming no extra charge for omitting these two features)
TOTAL: $1830

Both guns come standard with a blued finish. (The SA Custom Carry offers an optional parkerized finish at no additional cost, but I'll probably stick with the blue finish if I go with the SA) I plan on sending in whatever gun I go with for a Birdsong Black-T or IonBond Black DLC finish after it develops some serious holster wear down the road.

Heinie Ledge or Slant Pro Straight-8s will replace the stock sights either way.

Which would you go with and why? Also, anyone know the current wait time for both guns?

Thanks in advance!

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parputt
May 4, 2010, 11:28 AM
Les Baer with out a doubt. I have a SA mil-spec and Baer TRS. The SA is a nice gun, but for an extra 200.00 you are getting a much better weapon.

kamagong
May 4, 2010, 12:21 PM
Interesting dilemma. I have both a Baer and a Springfield Custom 1911 and they are both great guns. If I had to choose only one though I'd get the Springfield for the simple fact that it has the lifetime warranty. The fact that you can specify other options like Heinie sights or a Black-T finish is also nice, Baer will only use his parts.

Don't confuse the SA Mil-Spec or even the TRP with the Custom Carry. The first two are production guns, although the TRP is a very nice one. The Springfield Custom Carry on the other hand is a true semi-custom, built one at a time and hand fit with premium parts. The quality of the Springfield Custom Shop's work is on par with the offerings from Les Baer, Ed Brown, Nighthawk, or Wilson Combat.

http://img413.imageshack.us/img413/7603/springfieldcustomcarry.jpg

http://img267.imageshack.us/img267/8607/lesbaerconceptii.jpg

Shipwreck
May 4, 2010, 01:30 PM
I'd go with the Custom Springer - They make a great gun. The only neg is the 1 year wait period on your order. I have no idea what the Les Baer wait is, but I do not think it is that long.

I have 1 Custom Shop Springer, and I love it :) I had it done in 9mm.

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g320/mistershipwreck/Operator-red2.jpg

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g320/mistershipwreck/Operator-red1.jpg

EddieNFL
May 4, 2010, 01:56 PM
Baer

1KPerDay
May 4, 2010, 01:59 PM
Nice pistols, fellers. *droool*

rellascout
May 4, 2010, 02:37 PM
No contest... get the Baer.

benderx4
May 4, 2010, 03:38 PM
Very interesting dilemma, indeed. Keep in mind that the Springer Custom is pretty much an entirely different gun than the "ordinary" Springfield Armory 1911.

I own both guns as well, a Springer Custom TG01 and a Les Baer TRS. These are my two remaining 1911s of almost a dozen I've owned. That should tell you something in and of itself. So, in other words, you can't go wrong with either choice.

It probably should boil down to availability, wait time, lifetime warranty of the SA, trigger, looks, fit to your hand, etc. And just so you know, the fit and finish of both my guns are equal to, or superior to any Nighthawk, Brown or Wilson I've handled. As for the trigger, my nod goes to the TGO1, whereas my son prefers the Baer.

Two great guns, it just comes down to which will work the best for YOU!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3328/3327666437_867dfcb2a3.jpg

rellascout
May 4, 2010, 03:48 PM
If the Springer is so wonderful why does it matter if it comes with a lifetime warranty?

Baer comes with no written warranty but I have never heard of them ever not correcting or fixing their work.

On all custom pistols and rifles we want your 100% satisfaction. As long as customer abuse has not created a problem, we will probably repair your custom pistol or rifle free of charge. If you have a problem, itís usually ammunition related and we can help you over the phone with any concerns you might have. If you have questions, please feel free to call during office hours.

Springer Customs are nice guns but they do not have the reputation that Baer. They are and always will be connected to the Imbel based gun which Springer slaps its name on. This IMHO hurts their perception and their value. You will get more for a Baer, Wilson or Brown because everything these companies offer are semi-custom.

If you are dropping $1450 to $1800 the resale value has to come into play because it is an indicator where "real world" value meets "perceived value."

In the end they are both good guns and you will probably be happy with either but again for me it was no contest. It was les baer or a full house custom Colt done by the smith of my choice. Springer never entered the picture in any form.

kamagong
May 4, 2010, 04:23 PM
If the Springer is so wonderful why does it matter if it comes with a lifetime warranty?

Baer comes with no written warranty but I have never heard of them ever not correcting or fixing their work.

On all custom pistols and rifles we want your 100% satisfaction. As long as customer abuse has not created a problem, we will probably repair your custom pistol or rifle free of charge. If you have a problem, it’s usually ammunition related and we can help you over the phone with any concerns you might have. If you have questions, please feel free to call during office hours.
Springer Customs are nice guns but they do not have the reputation that Baer. They are and always will be connected to the Imbel based gun which Springer slaps its name on. This IMHO hurts their perception and their value. You will get more for a Baer, Wilson or Brown because everything these companies offer are semi-custom.

If you are dropping $1450 to $1800 the resale value has to come into play because it is an indicator where "real world" value meets "perceived value."

In the end they are both good guns and you will probably be happy with either but again for me it was no contest. It was les baer or a full house custom Colt done by the smith of my choice. Springer never entered the picture in any form.

The underlined portion in red is why I consider the Springfield lifetime warranty important. Both semi-custom houses produce great guns. That isn't to say that they are 100% perfect however, no man-made item is. Sooner or later they will let a lemon out the door. If I was that unlucky individual that owned the lemon I would definitely appreciate the peace of mind that comes with knowing that my 1911 is covered by a lifetime warranty rather than wondering if the maker "will probably repair your custom pistol or rifle free of charge." That said I haven't had any problems with my Concept II and I don't have any reservations recommending Les Baer based on my experiences. But IMO the existence of a lifetime warranty (for any firearm) is definitely an issue to consider.

Shipwreck
May 4, 2010, 04:52 PM
Resale value for a Springer Professional does not drop any more than any other semi-custom/custom.

They will do anything you want too. I look at my Full Rail Operator as a custom gun, not a semicustom. They don't make too many of them. And, I've never seen another one in 9mm on any website before. I don't know exactly how many they made in that caliber, but I'll bet it ain't many.

But, everyone has their own opinion of what they like best. I prefer Ed Browns and Springfield Customs over Nighthawks, Les Baers and Wilson.s It's just whatever your thing is.

EddieNFL
May 4, 2010, 04:56 PM
I prefer Springfields over Kimbers.

ttheel
May 4, 2010, 05:02 PM
This one's easy. Baer.

CPshooter
May 4, 2010, 08:23 PM
I appreciate the comments guys!

I ordered the Springfield Custom Carry.:D

The reason I went with the Springfield is because I got it just the way I wanted, the first time around. I'm sure the Baer is an amazing pistol and I plan on buying a Premier II at some point down the road, but right now the Springfield was just calling my name.

The SA lifetime warranty is important to me. Not because I think it will break, but because I've heard that Baer tells their customers to "keep shooting" when their brand new gun doesn't work properly out of the box, and even refuses to take the gun back until it has had a certain number of rounds through it. Considering I've read countless threads on Baers working perfectly right out of the box, if I happen to be an unlucky one that gets a lemon, I refuse to put $500 worth of ammo through a gun before it's considered defective to the manufacturer.

Calling the Springfield Custom Shop was a refreshingly pleasant experience. I talked to Dave the first time and got some general information. He was very helpful and enthusiastic. I called back a second time a few hours later and spoke with a very nice lady named Deb. I asked her some questions about some of the custom options I was considering and she was very knowledgeable and helpful. She even offered to email me pictures of a frame that had the undercut trigger guard feature I was considering. All in all, it was a very pleasant experience!

So here's a run-down of what I ordered:

-Custom Carry 1911 (full-size) - $1495

-Heinie LEDGE Straight-8 night sights (Heinie cut) - $260

-Black T finish (complete pistol) - $195

-30 LPI front strap checkering (hand cut) - $250

-Undercut front strap for high-hand grip - $75

-Serrate rear of slide to match Heinie sight serrations - $75

TOTAL: $2350

The only thing I'm iffy about is the rear slide serrations. My thought was that it will provide a better sight picture by blending in with the Heinie serrations, making it easier for my eyes to focus on the front sight. However, I've never actually handled a 1911 with this setup. I'm worried that I might be wasting $75 and possibly overdoing it. My goal was a no-frills, functional "fighting" pistol. Are rear slide serrations considered a "frill?" What do you guys think?

Oh yeah...and now the wait begins! :eek: I was told 8-12 months. I'm afraid it's not going to be easy...

CPshooter
May 4, 2010, 08:32 PM
Here are the pictures of the cut they are going to make under the trigger guard for a "high hand grip." Has anyone had experience with this type of undercut? If so, how does it feel and is it comfortable?

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n106/TonyG749/Colt_Style_001.jpg
http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n106/TonyG749/Colt_Style_003.jpg
http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n106/TonyG749/Colt_Style_004.jpg

rklessdriver
May 4, 2010, 09:40 PM
CPshooter-
That undercut is the same cut that COLT uses on it's enhanced pistols.

I personally like it.
Will

Shipwreck
May 4, 2010, 09:49 PM
I have rear slide serrations on that full rail operator - They are nice. When paired with a rear sight that is serrated too, it looks sweet. I'd keep that option if I were you.

kamagong
May 4, 2010, 10:05 PM
If you want to save money I'd keep the serrated slide and go for machine cut checkering instead of the hand cut.

CPshooter
May 4, 2010, 11:36 PM
Thanks guys. I'll probably stick with the rear slide serrations.

kamagong- While on the phone with Deb, I made sure to ask what the difference was between hand-cut and machine-cut checkering before I spent the extra $$. I was told that they will feel the same, but machine-cut checkering tends to leave "uneven lines that might run too far upwards towards the trigger guard." She made an analogy to an "uneven picket fence." I've actually noticed this on quite a few 1911s just from looking at pics online and wondered why they were like that.

I was told that if I want an absolutely perfect checkering job with "every single square coming to a perfect and symmetrical point" I would need a hand-cut checkering job, which takes much more time and care to perform.

Saving money is always a good thing, but when I'm already spending $2k + on a handgun, what's an extra $110 to make it perfect? :)

CPshooter
May 5, 2010, 01:53 PM
Anyone know approximately how much the Baer Custom Carry would cost?

I called Baer directly and they said the price of $1830 listed on their website is retail price and I would have to order through a dealer. I don't have a clue how much a dealer would charge for this gun. I tried calling John @ Proload because I've been told they are a great dealer to work with, but nobody is answering the phone.

I'm asking because I'm tempted to just go with the Baer instead due to the fact that the wait time is only 4 months instead of up to 1 year with the Springfield.:uhoh:

ttheel
May 5, 2010, 03:35 PM
I would also be tempted to go with the Baer for the price. You can order the Custom Carrry from Impact guns for 1995.00. You may can do even better than that from a local dealer. Here is a link to the gun at Impact guns.
http://www.impactguns.com/store/LBP9001.html

kamagong
May 5, 2010, 04:09 PM
Give Becky a call at www.sportingarms.com She also has good prices, better than the $1995 at Impact Guns.

ttheel
May 5, 2010, 04:33 PM
Hammerback Guns has it for $1899.00.
http://hammerbackguns.com/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=38&sort=20a&page=2

Supertac45
May 5, 2010, 08:22 PM
I'd get the Baer. Made in the U.S.A., and not Brazil to start with.

benderx4
May 5, 2010, 09:47 PM
I got my Baer TRS from Becky at SportingArms.com and they are great to deal with. No doubt they could hook you up.

CPshooter
May 6, 2010, 02:45 AM
Isn't $1899 kind of high for a Custom Carry? The Les Baer website says the retail price is $1830. When I called them earlier today to ask if I could order direct from them and pick it up through my FFL dealer, they said I couldn't and that I would have to order it through a Les Baer dealer.

So I'm assuming dealers get dealer pricing, right? Why, then, are these dealers charging more than MSRP? Doesn't make sense to me. Assuming dealer pricing is low enough for the dealers to make a buck, shouldn't the price I pay be lower than the $1830 listed on the Les Baer website?

CPshooter
May 6, 2010, 02:50 AM
ttheel-

Does Hammerback actually have it in stock??? Their website does not say.

CPshooter
May 6, 2010, 03:31 AM
Just came across this thread from 1911Forum.com (http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=270820).

I must say, this definitely makes me a little nervous about getting a Baer. It's not that he's having trouble, but that Baer just told him to shoot more after he's already spent over $700 on ammo. Maybe it's just me, but I don't believe in having to pay another $700 in ammo before I get a working gun.

Since the SA Custom Shop hasn't contacted me yet for my payment information, I guess I'll have to wait and see what the best price will be for the Baer Custom Carry before I finalize my order with SA. Gosh..if it weren't for the 8-12 month wait I'd go with the SA without a doubt.

atomd
May 6, 2010, 08:11 AM
They are both nice but I would go for the Baer myself.

Shipwreck
May 6, 2010, 10:17 AM
Since the SA Custom Shop hasn't contacted me yet for my payment information,

You have to go thru an FFL to finalize a sale with the Springer Custom Shop. I used George at gunslingers, as he gives you a break off the MSRP (I saved about $200 off the price the Custom Shop gave me), and you need not pay sales tax (unless you live in the state that George works out of).

Springfield won't finalize an order until an FFL contacts them and give them his FFL info. Then, 30% must be sent as a deposit.

Greg528iT
May 6, 2010, 11:54 AM
Well, after another day of multiple failures at the range on Saturday I decided it was time to give Les a call. Les recommended the following 3 options for the Concept VII

Federal American Eagle 230 gr FMJ.
Federal Hydra-Shok 230 gr JHP
Remington Golden Saber

Very nice man and very helpful. I called in the morning and the woman I spoke with took down my info and said he would call me back. About 2 hours later he called me personally. He said to call him any time. I really appreciate that level of customer service in the day and age of bad service as the norm.

It reads to me that Mr B just suggested loads that should feed better.

Greg528iT
May 6, 2010, 11:57 AM
oooops

Shipwreck
May 6, 2010, 02:18 PM
You just felt like repeating that 3 minutes later, for your only two posts, huh? :P

CPshooter
May 6, 2010, 03:43 PM
You have to go thru an FFL to finalize a sale with the Springer Custom Shop. I used George at gunslingers, as he gives you a break off the MSRP (I saved about $200 off the price the Custom Shop gave me), and you need not pay sales tax (unless you live in the state that George works out of).

Springfield won't finalize an order until an FFL contacts them and give them his FFL info. Then, 30% must be sent as a deposit.Really?

Dave told me I could just give them my FFL's info and pay the dealer's price myself if it was "okay with my FFL."

I need to call them back just to double check.

Shipwreck
May 6, 2010, 04:38 PM
I've ordered from the Custom Shop before - and dealt with Deb. You should deal with her anyway, to finalize anything. I've read from others that people have gotten quotes from Dave that were wrong - and Deb had to fix them and the price went up. But, I've ordered from them 2x actually. That is the procedure.

At the end of March I cancelled my 2nd order with them that I had made in Dec 2009. I have been having some strange health issues and have had all sorts of medical tests. In the middle of that, I decided what was the point of getting another super expensive 1911 when my hands had the shakes very badly. Thankfully, they agreed to refund my deposit except for $10. Since then, I've mostly recovered - turns out I had Lunesta (the prescription sleep aid) withdrawl - SERIOUS withdrawal with MS like symptoms, dizzyness, tinnitus, neck problems and all sorts of other weird things after not taking it for just 3 days.

Anyway, having dealt with the custom shop 2x now, that's the only way they seemed to do business in my 2 cases. And, others have reported the same on the 1911 forums.

SwampWolf
May 6, 2010, 05:41 PM
[QUOTE]The Springfield Custom Carry on the other hand is a true semi-custom, built one at a time and hand fit with premium parts. [/QUOTE

Where did you get those gorgeous grips on your Springfield pistol, kamagong?

CPshooter
May 6, 2010, 06:23 PM
Thanks for the heads up Shipwreck.

I'll give them a call tomorrow morning to double-check.

At first, Dave said $1795. I was like "whoa I thought I read in a few places that it was around $1450...I didn't know it was going for that much." Right away he said that if I had an FFL that was willing to do the transfer for just a small fee, then I'd be "looking at $300 less or $1495."

Hell, if the Springfield is going to cost me $1795 WITHOUT front strap checkering, Black T finish, etc., then I'm better off going with a Baer.

I still haven't been able to reach John at Proload to get a quote for the Custom Carry. I'm hoping I can get it for less than the $1830 MSRP listed on the Les Baer site. I'm also thinking about finding a LNIB used Baer to save a few hundred.

kamagong
May 6, 2010, 07:12 PM
Where did you get those gorgeous grips on your Springfield pistol, kamagong?

www.raascogrips.com

Shipwreck
May 6, 2010, 08:38 PM
Nice grips... I just like regular pachmeyer wrap around grips. I started with aluma grips on the gun, and another couple of different types of grips. But, I have found that I prefer rubber grips on my handguns.

I used to have an Mc Operator 1911, and I loved the grips. I sold it to pay for 1/2 of my Ed Brown, but I missed the grips. I have them on both of my expensive 1911s... So, yes, cheap grips one expensive guns...

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g320/mistershipwreck/1911-group98.jpg

Shipwreck
May 6, 2010, 08:41 PM
Thanks for the heads up Shipwreck.

I'll give them a call tomorrow morning to double-check.

At first, Dave said $1795. I was like "whoa I thought I read in a few places that it was around $1450...I didn't know it was going for that much." Right away he said that if I had an FFL that was willing to do the transfer for just a small fee, then I'd be "looking at $300 less or $1495."

The Custom Carry I had ordered (but cancelled) was going to cost me almost $2700. But, it was going to have a 9mm bull barrel with NP3 on the barrel and Black T on the gun. Also, it was going to have 25 LPi hand checkering. The MSRP was about $2900 before George's discount

CPshooter
May 6, 2010, 11:16 PM
I did some searching online today and it seems Baers are available lightly used for very reasonable prices.

Man...decisions, decisions!

BlayGlock
May 16, 2010, 01:50 AM
Maybe a little late but here is my take.

My first "semi custom" that I ordered was a Springfield Custom Carry 9mm. The quality of thier workmanship on the ones I had seen were outstanding and they will build you one exactly like you want it.

If it helps any. Les Baer got his start in the Springfield custom shop.

I also had a Les Baer Monolith Heavyweight for a bit. I was underwhelmmed with it and traded it for a Nighthawk. Now I have a second Nighthawk on the way. I do like the new Les Baer Boss and I may get one one day.

Peter M. Eick
May 16, 2010, 12:42 PM
Currently owning 3 Baer's I can only say, get the Baer. It has more resell value and has great support if you don't dink with it.

Quack
May 16, 2010, 06:14 PM
i'm gonna say Springfield. i just like their guns, for some reason Baer's just don't do it for me. My 2 Custom Shop guns are great guns and are 2 of my top 3 favorites (Ed Brown Kobra Carry is the other)

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