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Old July 18, 2014, 08:28 AM   #26
johnmcl
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Hellishot,

Let me share with you my experiences on Les Baer 1911s.

As JTQ pointed out, the bluing on the LB frames is pretty darn weak. I saw holster wear using a kydex holster within weeks of acquisition. Keeping in mind that this gun is a shooter, and not a safe queen so what I perceived was the migration from a new gun to a comfortably used gun. I like the look.

Olympus makes an assertion that Les Baers are a target gun. That's really only true for the specific target configurations. While I'm no fan of adjustable sights on a defensive gun, that Premier II will run with the best of them right out of the box. The point made later in this thread of fixed sights giving you more after market flexibility is spot on. On my defense LB I swapped out the night sights for a black 10-8 wide sight, then installed a Dawson Precision fiber optic front sight. Such a configuration move on a Premier would be problematic.

The perspective on service with a bad attitude from Baer is not mine. I have called into Baer a few times with questions on the gun. Three times Les Baer called me back to ensure that all things were good. He spent an inordinate amount of time explaining approaches, strategies, and fixes. The other people in the service department were just as responsive and accurate. In short, I find them just fine on the service perspective.

Value is a subjective metric. From my point of view, the LB defensive gun I have is worth every dime I have in it. If you're after a true recommendation, get the LB and don't look back. This is one gun that will be an heirloom.
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Old July 18, 2014, 08:41 AM   #27
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If you can get a Baer at Wesson prices, grab it. LBs are the equal to a Wilson or Nighthawk. Those that think a DW is in that lofty group have spilled CZ Kool Aid all over themselves.
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Old July 18, 2014, 09:12 AM   #28
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Hex agree with you totally!... If you can get a NIB LB at the same price of a DW, go for it!
I think anyone who has shot or held/inspected a Nighthawk, Wilson, LB, Ed Brown can immediately see the quality and attention to detail these pistolas offer! Racking some of their slides is like 'a warm knife thru butter'.... and they shoot just as well!
However, most of these pistolas are in the $2500-3500 price range, so you ARE paying for that quality.
Now, pushing the DW 'kool-aid' aside, DW offers a line of pistols that are VERY well made, with hand-fitted forged-steel frames, slides and barrels, parts that are mostly DW made, and NO MIM. You can get a basic Heritage for about $1100 and their 'best' Valor for about $1500.
So what they are offering is that 'middle ground' between the production SAs and Colts, and the true top-line pistols mentioned...
And if $$dollars are not an issue, every 1911 lover should own one of these and try their 'kool-aid'!
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Old July 18, 2014, 11:42 AM   #29
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I was not trying to imply all Baers were target models, only the model that the OP was comparing to the Valor.
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Old July 18, 2014, 02:55 PM   #30
ifit
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Well said Gzoh, heck I got my brand new Heritage for $1042
For those curious on what u get for your money here's a great video on the heritage complete detailed and stripped review of each part. the Valor I bet is also worth every penny. And the a Heritage is DW enttry level 1911

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krjPZ0IXZQE
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Old July 18, 2014, 04:04 PM   #31
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I've run close to 30k rounds through my DW, been a bit since I did a primer count, so I'll pitch in my knowledge. But first off I'll say if it was my choice, I'd get the DW because it is a stainless gun with the option of a durable black finish if I wanted it.

Comparing the brands, both can and do put out lemons. My DW had several problems out of the box. For starters it wouldn't go to slide lock with the magazines DW supplied me with. I could shoot a full mag without it going to slide lock and manually rack the slide over and over again without it going to slide lock. It also had major feeding problems with any bullet profile other than FMJ with a short OAL. The barrel bushing fit the barrel so tight that it would pull the barrel forward too soon and cause a 3 point jam. It also gave me light strikes on primers.

Now does DW have an excellent customer service dept? It depends how you look at it. They have a very responsive customer service dept. Keith will personally answer your emails in a very timely manner and is more than willing to have your 1911 shipped back to him so it can be looked at. I sent mine back after going through the "break in" period and still having all the same problems. He replaced the firing pin spring with a reduced power spring, solving one of my three issues, and sent the gun back to me. I ended up solving the feeding problems by sanding down the end of the barrel and replacing the slide stop with one meant for a 38 super. Still to this day my gun is picky about what magazines it will slide lock on. Not all DWs are like mine in this regard though.

But OTOH Baer will put out a lemon as well. My friend, who is rich and owns multiple guns from every brand mentioned here so far, got a 38 super from them recently. I think it was the Stinger. The gun came from the factory without even so much as a test fire. It had feeding problems out of the box. After sending Baer a video of it malfunctioning they sent him some new magazines for the gun, which was ironic in a way. Last I heard he sent it back the Les Baer for service as well.

When comparing the models themselves, they are essentially the same gun function wise. One isn't a tactical gun with the other being a target gun. They are both 1911s with parts built to virtually the exact same dimensions. Both are going to be expected to feed modern defensive ammunition and SWCs. Both use a single stack 45acp magazine. A $40 rear sight, whether it be a target sight or a tactical sight doesn't define what $1500+ gun is. The Baer does come with a 3" accuracy guarantee, which the DW doesn't. Does that mean something to you? Maybe, maybe not. The Baer is made from a steel that rusts easily with a blued finish that is legendary in how quickly it wears off. All DW guns are stainless, which is a big plus in my opinion, and if you get a finish it is very durable. When I bought my DW they were also using a Ed Brown beavertail safety that allowed a higher grip on the gun. I think they are still offering that, be it made by DW or Ed Brown still. It is nice but not a game changer.

When people start talking about Browns, Wilsons and Nighthawks being "worth" something over a DW or a Baer, I have to wonder how exactly. Is it more durable? No. More reliable? Depends on the individual gun but the answer is no when comparing one brand to the next. More accurate? No. Reliability, accuracy and durability are the heart and soul of a handgun. The $1000 or more price difference is in the name and some gunsmithing options that don't come close to justifying the cost. If someone wants to pay the price difference that is up to them, but there isn't a quantifiable way to say those guns are better than the guns the OP is looking at (unless they are stainless).
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Old July 18, 2014, 05:05 PM   #32
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A solid "Amen, Brother"...

As NW stated...
"Reliability, accuracy and durability are the heart and soul of a handgun. The $1000 or more price difference is in the name and some gunsmithing options that don't come close to justifying the cost. If someone wants to pay the price difference that is up to them."

Couldn't have said it better myself!!

.
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Old July 18, 2014, 05:43 PM   #33
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My 1911 experience is limited to Kimbers, Springfields and Les Baers. IMHO, Kimbers are accurate, but not 100%. The Springfields, 1 reliable, but not super accurate; 1 fairly accurate, but not reliable. The Les Baer, reliable and accurate. When I got the LB, I could have gotten any 1911. I chose the LB w/1.5" guarantee in part because of the test target: 9/16" group. I shoot Bullseye in competition and have gotten a 1.4" group @ 50yds, offhand, so I believe the test target. Incidentally, I do carry the LB, day in and day out, and am very satisfied with my choice. The LB is the only one that has not been back to its maker or been smithed (so far.)
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Old July 18, 2014, 06:04 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWcityguy2
When people start talking about Browns, Wilsons and Nighthawks being "worth" something over a DW or a Baer, I have to wonder how exactly. Is it more durable? No. More reliable? Depends on the individual gun but the answer is no when comparing one brand to the next. More accurate? No. Reliability, accuracy and durability are the heart and soul of a handgun. The $1000 or more price difference is in the name and some gunsmithing options that don't come close to justifying the cost. If someone wants to pay the price difference that is up to them, but there isn't a quantifiable way to say those guns are better than the guns the OP is looking at (unless they are stainless)..
And your experience with "Browns, Wilsons and Nighthawks" is what exactly? You make many claims but based on what? Do you own any of the semi-custom brands you mentioned?
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Old July 18, 2014, 06:32 PM   #35
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Neither...
If you're going to spend that kind of money, have one built by a master gunsmith. Choose a good base gun like a Ranger Officer or use a Caspian frame and slide. You'll want a Kart barrel and a decent ignition system like a Cylinder & Slide. But match grade parts are worthless if not fitted right, so finding the right smith is absolutely critical. As nice as DWs or LBs are....at the end of the day, they're off-the-shelf mass produced guns.
IMO, the only way to compare the quality of one gun over another is to shoot it in a Ransom Rest.
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Old July 18, 2014, 07:20 PM   #36
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Quote:
And your experience with "Browns, Wilsons and Nighthawks" is what exactly? You make many claims but based on what? Do you own any of the semi-custom brands you mentioned?
I shoot against "Browns, Wilsons and Nighthawks" at USPSA and IDPA events. When I'm the better shooter, I score higher in the rankings. I'll also handle them and compare them after the match if I'm interested. There's no magic in those higher dollar 1911s.
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Old July 18, 2014, 07:22 PM   #37
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So no real experience then, just opinion. I have two DWs and three EBs so my observations are based on actual use and ownership.
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Old July 18, 2014, 07:28 PM   #38
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You should disagree with the points I'm making instead of attacking me as the source.
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Old July 18, 2014, 10:25 PM   #39
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Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by NWcityguy2
When people start talking about Browns, Wilsons and Nighthawks being "worth" something over a DW or a Baer, I have to wonder how exactly. Is it more durable? No. More reliable? Depends on the individual gun but the answer is no when comparing one brand to the next. More accurate? No. Reliability, accuracy and durability are the heart and soul of a handgun. The $1000 or more price difference is in the name and some gunsmithing options that don't come close to justifying the cost. If someone wants to pay the price difference that is up to them, but there isn't a quantifiable way to say those guns are better than the guns the OP is looking at (unless they are stainless)..
And your experience with "Browns, Wilsons and Nighthawks" is what exactly? You make many claims but based on what? Do you own any of the semi-custom brands you mentioned?
I actually own examples from each and will agree with him/her, for the most part..

The extra money is definitely seen in the fit/finish (dehorn, lines, options, etc.).. My Bear shoots as good as my more expensive handguns, just don't look the part of a high dollar firearm.. Which matters nothing to me, as I treat them all like my Glocks....
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Old July 18, 2014, 11:05 PM   #40
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i have owned both

which one turns you on when you look at it and handle it? i hate to say that we are all so shallow, but cool guns are just that--COOL. SATISFY YOUR AESTHETIC PREFERENCES AND BE SURE THAT BOTH WILL SHOOT UNDER TWO INCHES AT 25 YARDS.
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Old July 20, 2014, 10:37 AM   #41
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This is timely. I was just talking to a distributor about special ordering a LB Premier II yesterday. I'm a form follow function guy ... pretty is as pretty does. My old service Sig P226 shoots better than my Kimber or my Colt Gold Cup... and that just don't seem right. I'm thinking no fwd serrations, strong side safety and short trigger ... and the "inch and a half" so when I miss the bullseye I know it's me not the gun...
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Old July 20, 2014, 10:16 PM   #42
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I say LB.
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Old July 22, 2014, 06:32 PM   #43
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I have found like in all forms of competition and sport. It's the person not the appliance that makes the difference. Just because you can afford an Indy car, doesn't make you a championship driver. If you are winning every event you enter with a decent gun, then you probably should have a better one. If you can't take one of the top 3 places, every time you participate, then it probably isn't the gun that is going to make the slightest difference.
It's kind of like watching the Bentley pull up and the chauffeur get out, open the trunk, "Boot", and hand the old gentleman his 100,000 shotgun. Then watch a kid with a Plymouth Valiant pull up smoking with oil, and shoot the pants off him with his 200 dollar used gun.
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