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Old July 15, 2014, 02:02 PM   #1
hellishot
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Dan Wesson Valor or Les Baer

I had a chance to handle both the Valor and Premier II model, and I love both of them. I like the duty coat on the Valor but at the same time I like the aesthetics of the Les Baer. The sights on Valor is a plus but I like the adjustable rear sights too. The pricing is very similar around $1700. Valor is not as tight as the Les.

What I am saying is that I am conflicted on which to buy. I been reading around but I need to hear some recent experiences with either firearms.

How has the bluing on the Les Baer hold up over the years?

Thanks in advance.
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Old July 15, 2014, 02:08 PM   #2
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Les Baer blueing is a known weakness. Most owners actually love how their guns quickly show holster wear. I do to.

I'm not a fan of adjustable sights on a 1911. The sight cut on the slide is different and if you ever want something else on the gun, you will be very limited in your options. I know what they are (so the folks don't have to let me know), and while they may be fine sights, I think they look terrible. I prefer fixed sights on 1911's.

Here is a TRS at 30,000 rounds http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=451456
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Old July 15, 2014, 02:26 PM   #3
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LB is my vote.
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Old July 15, 2014, 02:43 PM   #4
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It really depends on your intended use. The Baer is more of a target setup while the Valor is a combat/defensive setup. One will be better suited than the other more than likely.

In terms of build quality, I think they both very competitive with each other. Accuracy will likely go to the Baer if the gun has the 1.5" guarantee.

Personally, I just don't like the fact that Baer bluing is so mediocre. You're building a top tier pistol and the customer is paying a reasonably high price, I'd want a finish that held up a little better. I can fully attest to the Duty Treatment on the Dan Wesson though. That's a finish will be tough as nails for a LONG time and likely won't show any wear at all. Mine haven't yet.
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Old July 15, 2014, 05:26 PM   #5
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I have the DW Valor in Black Duty Coat, I bought it lightly used for quite a bit less than new, and I recommend it highly
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Old July 15, 2014, 05:48 PM   #6
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There is no wrong choice
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Old July 15, 2014, 06:56 PM   #7
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I have a Valor and a V-Bob. They were far from perfect out of the box and even after sending the V-Bob slide back to DW to fix the rear sight it's still messed up. That said, the Valor is a decent pistol once I fixed the burrs inside the frame, thumb safety and magazine release. The sights are excellent and I really like the Duty Coat. I'll most likely sell the V-Bob. I have no experience with Les Baer products but that blued finish is enough to dissuade me from ever buying a LB 1911. I like stainless steel frames and slides with some form of salt nitride finish. I have three Ed Browns that are vastly superior to the DWs in almost every respect, but the one area where the DWs win out is the Duty finish.
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Old July 15, 2014, 07:00 PM   #8
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Reckon you never saw the burrs in a Les Baer gun...?


Burrs aren't always bad, and a tight slide to frame fit isn't always good
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Old July 15, 2014, 10:46 PM   #9
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Personally, the choice is easy.

Both brands are built to high standards, both brands generally garner positive comments. The deciding factor is the well known lack of customer service offered by Baer. If I have an issue with my Dan Wesson, I know it will be addressed quickly and with a smile. If I have an issue with a Baer, it may very well be addressed with a nasty attitude and a frown.
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Old July 16, 2014, 08:41 AM   #10
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Like every used gun I get, my DW Valor was tuned up by my gunsmith, and now it's a tremendously accurate and reliable range gun. I had an issue where the gun would (occasionally) fail to lock back on an empty mag, but that was solved when the slide stop was refitted. I have not yet owned a production 1911 regardless of cost that couldn't use some tuning or tweaking to get it to run the way I want it to, that is the nature of these beasts!

Last edited by JDR; July 16, 2014 at 08:51 AM.
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Old July 16, 2014, 11:45 AM   #11
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As RussB said "There is no wrong choice" here!... Both are excellent, quality pistolas... and if you can get either NIB in that $1700 price range, it's your call.
I own several 1911 DWs (along with my Colts) and they have ALL been dead-accurate, flawless shoots right out of the box.
For me, the DWs have been an 'uber-quality' 1911 at a 'reasonable' price. Their slide, frame and barrel are all forged steel and hand-fitted, and almost all parts are DW made with no MIM. Fit and finish on my Valor has been A+ and after 500+ rnds, it has been flawless and extremely accurate.
Regarding DW Customer Service... A+.... their Duty finish (tho I have SS) is again A+... Fit and finish A+++.
I have never owned a LB but have had the opportunity to shoot several at the range, and have been impressed (however, the Monolith was about $2500).
LB has a reputation for making quality, super-tight 1911s... but this 'tight-ness' thing can be excessive and taken to an extreme!!
Both of my Colts are not quite as 'tight' as my Valor... but both are dead-accurate shoots!!
Good luck in choosing... my vote is for the VALOR!!

BTW: Here's a pic of the fit on my Valor... Honestly, not sure how much 'tighter' you gotta get then this!!


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Old July 16, 2014, 12:09 PM   #12
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Like others have said, there is no wrong choice BUT I would handle both again and see which one feels the best. One will call out to you!

If it were me, I'd go with the Valor. I just LOVE the classic lines of the gun and think it's just so nice!
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Old July 16, 2014, 12:16 PM   #13
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I have owned both. I shot many tens of thousands of rounds through my PII when I was using it for L10 in USPSA. The blueing took a hike so I had it hardchromed by Tripp. The build quality on a Dan Wesson can be hit or miss (I had a V-Bob that was a miss), but the same can be true for any maker. Like folks have said, either is a great gun. It is really up to you as far as which you like better from a subjective point of view. If I were looking for a pistol for USPSA competition use I would get the Baer.
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Old July 16, 2014, 01:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GZOh
I own several 1911 DWs and they have ALL been dead-accurate, flawless shoots right out of the box ...
.... Fit and finish on my Valor has been A+ and after 500+ rnds, it has been flawless and extremely accurate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GZOh
Regarding DW Customer Service... A+....
Given your glowing DW report and your use of the word "flawless" I have to wonder how you'd know anything about their customer service.
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Old July 16, 2014, 02:08 PM   #15
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I definitely would not consider DW quality to be "hit or miss". That, TO ME, implies you take a gamble with their guns. My experience is that you'll almost certainly get a "hit". I've owned and currently own many DWs and I've never found a single problem with any of them. Sure, everyone turns out lemons, but don't believe their guns are "hit or miss". Now, RIA, those guns are hit or miss! I've owned many of those too, with over 50% having significant problems that needed manufacturer attention.

Both DW and Baer are great choices.
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Old July 16, 2014, 02:12 PM   #16
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Here is my limited view. I've only handled a couple of L. Baers and both were very good shooters and quality made. My DW Pointman 7 in 10MM is a fine 1911. The DW did have to make a return trip to DW for refinement as I had some FTF issues. DW customer service was good. In consideration of the above and the same sales price I would opt for the Baer.
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Old July 16, 2014, 02:14 PM   #17
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When I define 'flawless' I simply mean that with 'break-in' and all shooting thereafter (using various types of .45 ammo- ie. Federal, Winchester, S&B, HPs, etc) I experienced NO/ZERO malfunctions, fail-to-fire's, fail-to-eject, battery issues, etc.... or simply put, a gun that performs with ZERO issues... that IMO is Flawless!
Regarding Customer Service I rate this by CS 'attitude' in dealing with customers, their promptness in returning calls/emails, their desire to 'fix' a problem and 'make it right' without placing blame or 'deflecting' the issue, handling shipping costs, turn-around time, and actually fixing the problem. Regarding my DW CS experiences... on my first DW (Heritage) I was not used to the 'tightness' of the bushing and never experienced that difficulty removing a NIB bushing. Called DW, was told to send the gun in (emailed a FEDEX label) and in ONE week gun was returned, with a letter of explanation and a phone call... polished, loosened-up, perfect! Second was an infrequent magazine-eject issue (CBob)... same as above, sent gun in, week+ later, back and working properly! I have also had many phone-in questions re: proper break-in, lubing, finishes, etc. that were ALL thoroughly and very courteously answered. In all my years of shooting, the only two-or-three other companies that have provided me with this high level of CS has been Springfield Armory, Colt and S&W!
Hope this clarifies and answers your question.
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Old July 16, 2014, 02:30 PM   #18
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GZOh,
Yes, thanks for the detailed explanation. I wish that both of my DWs were good to go out of the box and I also wish that the rear sight issue on the V-Bob was resolved to my satisfaction but it wasn't. I had to wait months before DW could even look at the slide due to their buidling burning down. I realize that those were very unusual circumstances but they have no excuse for shipping two $1,800 pistols that had numerous manufacturing defects including excessive barrel movement in lock up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ankeny
The build quality on a Dan Wesson can be hit or miss
Based on my sample size of two I agree with this statement. If you visit Dave Severn's website you might come away with the conclusion that he agrees with it too. Now that I've resolved all of the issues with the Valor it's a good pistol but at $1,800 there shouldn't be any need to resolve anything. Just my opinion based on my experience.
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Old July 16, 2014, 02:54 PM   #19
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1858... Sorry about your DW issues and the time taken to fix 'em.
Trust me, I'm not a DW employee or commissioned salesman, but my DWs have been great and all my dealings with DW have been nothing short of positive!
As you and I know, ALL quality manufacturers can still have their occassional 'lemon' (check some of the posts for Ed Brown and LB)...
maybe its 'luck-of-the-draw' or I've just been fortunate, but have owned many SIGs, CZs and BHPs, and have never had any issues. And I do agree, nothing pisses me off more than spending good dollars (ie. $1000+) and not getting a quality/dependable gun!! And yes, Dave S does a great job selling quality guns!
I guess what it boils down to is, when you do get that quality/dependable pistola you appreciate it and thank the 'Gun-Gods' for gracing you!!
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Old July 16, 2014, 07:47 PM   #20
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For a similar price there is no doubt I would get the Baer.
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Old July 16, 2014, 09:41 PM   #21
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I've no experience with the Les Baers, but my Valor shoots really well. I've shot 450 rounds through it with no problems. And the sights on it (Heinie Straight Eights) are my favorite of all my handguns.
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Old July 17, 2014, 08:00 AM   #22
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No experience with DW but do own a Baer PII and Monolith. I'm quite pleased with both pistols. They have not seen anything but my reloads in the ~10 years I have owned them and I honestly don't remember one malfunction in all that time.
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Old July 18, 2014, 12:27 AM   #23
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I've had four Valors and highly recommend them. I think that for the price and features they can't be beat.
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Old July 18, 2014, 04:44 AM   #24
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Gzoh that's a beautiful classy 1911, that's what drew me to the DW line of pistols. Which I picked up my Heritage couple days ago. I know it's not a valor but someday may move up What surprised me of my DW other than build quality is it's accuracy, some pics of the first shots through my DW...they are accurate. These were shot sitting with a front bag, if I really took my time the 25y group I know would be tighter
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Old July 18, 2014, 05:22 AM   #25
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Congrats ifit on your new Heritage (my first DW)... real nice shooting!
You'll find that other than a couple appearance and finish differences, it's the same gun as the Valor...
And Yes, they are VERY accurate pistolas!!
The only negative to this whole 'DW thing' is... as they say, "these babies tend to multiply"!
A companion for my Valor...

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