Les Baer Premier II 15,000 round report


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The Wiry Irishman
October 24, 2010, 05:28 PM
The gun
Les Baer Premier II, Bead blasted hard chrome, adjustable nights sights, 1.5 inch guarantee.

My previous writeups:
Initial Impressions and first 1000 rounds (http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=468197)
1000 rounds in 2 hours (http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=504974)
10,000 round report (http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=508120)

Ammo

200 230gr. Gold Dot
200 230gr. +p HST
9000 230gr cast LRN reloads, loaded with mostly 4.8gr. Bullseye or 6.0 gr. Unique (excluding load development, also one or two thousand were loaded with 6.3 or 6.5gr Unique. 1000 Mastercast bullets, 8000 Missouri)
600 200gr cast SWC reloads, 3.6gr. Bullseye (Lasercast bullets)
5000 230gr Missouri LRN over 4.7gr Bullseye

Maintenance

Field strip and clean with Ballistol after ever shooting session, typically 200-500 rounds. Detail strip and clean every 2000 rounds. Replace recoil spring (18#) and firing pin spring every 3000 rounds. Replace mainspring and sear spring every 10,000 rounds. Lube with FP-10.

Accuracy

I don't shoot rested, but I can still hold the same 2 inch 50 round groups at 50 feet I always could, so it hasn't degraded at all, as you would expect. Lockup is still tight, and the bushing still won't budge without a wrench.

Modifications

10-8 flat trigger. Small parts polished (read on for an explanation), about 40 sets of my own handmade grips. (I've settle on stippled Ebony Gaboon)

Malfunctions

Lots of failure to return to battery during the first few hundred rounds. After it was broken in, I've only had two malfunctions not due to my crappy range mags, a failure to feed at about 14,750 rounds, and a very unsettling one where the fire control parts just totally locked up. The hammer was back as it should be, but the trigger moved a little and then stopped, like the sear was cemented in place. I thought maybe some crud got in there and bound it up, but I detail stripped it and nothing was out of order, and everything was lubed properly.

Parts Breakages

This is where it gets ugly. If you've read my other reports you'll know its had some issues, but here's a recap plus everything that's happened since.

Barrel link pin
Loose rear sight blade
2 slide stops
Sear spring
Thumb safety

Bear took care of all the problems quickly a free of charge. Their customer service is excellent.

General

The gun is really well fitted and finished and a real joy to shoot. When things aren't falling apart, it feeds, fires, and ejects (into low-earth orbit) very reliably. But, things still fall apart. My suspicion is that the slide stops and thumb safety broke due to Hydrogen Embrittlement from the chroming process. After the second slide stop broke I had them replace broken chromed parts with stainless. None of those parts have broken so far, but that fact that the gun has broken like clockwork every 3000 rounds combined with the bizarre firing group lockup has eliminated my trust in the gun. I no longer carry it, and its been relegated to IDPA and Bullseye duty. If it can get to 20,000 rounds with no more parts breakages or bizarre malfunctions, I might carry again. So far its had 1500 through it since the last breakage (safety) and about 800 since the bizarre lockup problem. We'll see how it fares. I debated selling to fund an SVI carry gun, but decided against it because 1) I couldn't get much for a gun with this many problems and 2) It really does work most of the time. Plenty reliable enough for competition, which it excels at, just not enough for me to stake my life on and 3) Even though its been such a problem child, I still love it.

Wear, pics, etc

Breechface:
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs796.snc4/67644_10100188322028078_13717046_56686350_6253677_n.jpg

Slide locking lugs:
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs951.snc4/74481_10100188322117898_13717046_56686352_1308667_n.jpg

Frame rails:
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs412.ash2/69066_10100188322222688_13717046_56686354_5944681_n.jpg

Ejector:
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs914.snc4/72719_10100188322282568_13717046_56686356_3967720_n.jpg

Barrel:
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs838.snc4/69894_10100188322417298_13717046_56686361_2038238_n.jpg

Barrel locking lugs:
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs906.snc4/71939_10100188322542048_13717046_56686362_2891688_n.jpg

Bore: (little bit of leading in there)
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs763.snc4/66335_10100188322586958_13717046_56686363_4079877_n.jpg

Extractor:
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs076.ash2/37151_10100188322621888_13717046_56686365_7776743_n.jpg

All put together with shiny small parts. When the second slide stop broke, I had them replace it with bead blasted stainless. When the safety broke, I had them replace it with stainless. Forgot to specify bead blasted, so it just looked weird with a bead blasted slide stop and a shiny safety. I decided to fix this and got out my sanding block and fine-grit paper and turned the bead blasted stop into a polished one. But it turned out way shinier than the safety. So I got out the Mothers mag polish and polished the safety to match. Then the trigger looked odd. Polished that. And the hammer flats. And masked off the fitted parts of the bushing a polished the rest. So now all the small parts match. It looked pretty weird to me at first, but its growing on me.
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs814.snc4/69416_10100188322796538_13717046_56686368_5166398_n.jpg

Exterior finish is holding up very well, considering the gun got heavy holster use:
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs397.ash2/67560_10100188322696738_13717046_56686366_5001325_n.jpg

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JTQ
October 24, 2010, 08:35 PM
Keep shooting. Good work.

EddieNFL
October 24, 2010, 09:11 PM
Pretty high parts failure rate for only 15K. Any suggested reasons from Baer?

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