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Les Baer Premier II - 10,000 round report

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by The Wiry Irishman, Feb 26, 2010.

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  1. The Wiry Irishman

    The Wiry Irishman Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,178
    Location:
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    The Gun:

    Les Baer Premier II
    1.5" Guarantee
    Adjustable night sights
    Bead-blasted hard chrome
    Solid trigger
    Ordered February 2009, received August 2009

    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)

    Magazines:

    Metalform 8 round, traditional metal follower
    Metalform 10 round, rounded metal follower
    Shooting Star 8 round, traditional metal follower
    Baer 8 round, plastic follower
    Tripp 8 round, hybrid follower
    Tripp 10 round, hybrid follower
    Kimber 7 round, traditional metal follower


    Maintenance, etc:

    18.5# recoil spring changed every 3000 rounds
    Firing pin spring changed with every recoil spring (hey, they come with the Wolff recoil springs, so why not?)
    Cleaned after every firing (ranging from 200 - 1000 rounds in one session)
    Lubed with CLP initially, switched to FP-10
    Detail stripped and detail cleaned every 2000 rounds
    Mainspring replaced at 10,000 rounds

    Issues:

    2600 rounds - Barrel link pin broke. Contacted Baer, spoke to the man himself, had two free new ones at my door 48 hours later.

    6000 rounds - Nub on slide stop that gets pushed up by follower broke clean off. Gun still functioned, just would not lock back on an empty mag. Also the rear sight blade seemed kinda loose. Sent it back to Baer, they fitted a new slide stop and gave me a new rear sight free of charge, I also had them fit a pair of spare extractors and a solid trigger on my dime. (after receiving the pistol, the speed hole trigger was the only thing I wished was different) Total time at Baer: a little less than a months. Impressive considering they had to have the slide stop and extractors plated. The gun came back almost as tight as it was when it was new.

    9000 rounds - Tab on sear spring that holds it into the frame broke. Fitted a spare that used to be in my Kimber, it was back up in running in less than an hour.

    About a quarter of my Metalform 8 round mags did not like to feed the last round, the slide would just skim right over it and lock up on an empty chamber. These mags were marked and set aside for range use. After returning from Baer to have the slide stop replaced, these mags functioned normally. I have had two malfunctions outside of breakin that were not magazine (aforementioned issue with Metalforms, the Baer mag it came with flips hollowpoints vertically inside the mag but feeds ball just fine) or ammo related. (backwards primer in reload, etc) Both were failures to feed where the bullet missed high going into the chamber and the case head stayed in the magazine. The last one occured between 6000 and 6200 rounds, making at least 3800 rounds since its last malfunction.

    Wear, Accuracy, and Picturey Goodness:

    My 10,000th round:

    [​IMG]

    Said round being fired:

    [​IMG]

    Accuracy - I only bench rest the gun during load development because its possibly the most boring thing you can do with a handgun. I was hoping I could get some nice little groups today to show how accurate this gun is, but I was a little off my game and they had some disappointing spread to them. I even completely missed the rings once. They were all shot at 15 yards, standing, 50 rounds per bull.

    [​IMG]

    Sometimes your first shot on target is so good you just have to leave it alone and move on to the next one:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Stripped down after I got it home: (10 1911 nerd points to the first person that can identify what part is missing)

    [​IMG]

    Extractor:

    [​IMG]

    Ejector:

    [​IMG]

    Slide locking lugs:

    [​IMG]

    Barrel locking lugs:

    [​IMG]

    Bottom of slide:

    [​IMG]

    Top of frame:

    [​IMG]

    The best shot I could get of the bore with crappy light. It still looks like it did new, but shooting all lead like I do, it should last close to forever:

    [​IMG]

    Breech face:

    [​IMG]

    And it all put together again:

    [​IMG]

    General Thoughts:

    I really love this gun, which explains why its my highest round count gun and how it got there so quickly. I really can't think of anything I'd want to change about it, or any real criticism of it. I especially love the hard chome finish, both the look of it, and the fact that it doesn't really wear, it just gets shiny. I do, however, find it amusing that I had more parts breakages with this gun in the first 6000 rounds (2) than I had with my MIM-filled Kimber that the internet tells me will crumble to dust at the first sign of danger (0). I'd be kinda miffed about that, but every company makes a few bad parts, I have been running it kind of hard (though I don't think the gun would know the difference between 10,000 rounds in 6 months and 10,000 in 6 years) and Baer service for my problems has been excellent. I couldn't be happier with my purchase.
     
  2. The Wiry Irishman

    The Wiry Irishman Member

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    And one more pretty pic just for the heck of it:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    For what you paid for that handgun, the handgun considered by many to be the Cadillac of 1911s, it seems like you had a bunch of stuff break before it was supposed to.

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  4. lexjj

    lexjj Member

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    the missing part is the main spring. :)
     
  5. DBR

    DBR Member

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    The fact the link broke and the appearance of the front lug in the slide suggest the timing may be off.
     
  6. Ruggles

    Ruggles member

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    Great write ! Nice pics as well.

    Leave to the high road to have someone post a honest report on their gun and somebody feels the need to be negative and critical. :( I will never understand that mentality.

    Great performance out of your Baer, the fact that you put 10,000 rds down range with it shows how much you enjoy it. Your and the gun's accuracy seem to be just fine to me as well :)

    Did I mention great pics?

    Congrats!!!!
     
  7. harmon rabb

    harmon rabb Member

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    someone post the 75,000 round glock test where the only issue was the mag springs losing strength over time :eek:
     
  8. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    Mr. Ruggles,

    I do not feel that my post was negative or critical, just realistic.

    Les Baers are not inexpensive. IMO for what you pay for one it should clean your house and wash your car too, instead of breaking what are supposed to be premium grade parts inside of 10,000 rounds.

    And without digging up and beating equine bones, I will say there are many handguns on the market that cost less and have fewer parts breakage issues than the subject Les Baer.

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  9. steveracer

    steveracer Member

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    Yeah, but they had to shoot 75,000 rounds out of a Glock. Which would you prefer to shoot all that ammo out of?
    Very nice pistol.
     
  10. Ruggles

    Ruggles member

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    "Yeah, but they had to shoot 75,000 rounds out of a Glock. Which would you prefer to shoot all that ammo out of?
    Very nice pistol."


    That is the truth. :)


    "Mr. Ruggles,

    I do not feel that my post was negative or critical, just realistic.

    Les Baers are not inexpensive. IMO for what you pay for one it should clean your house and wash your car too, instead of breaking what are supposed to be premium grade parts inside of 10,000 rounds.

    And without digging up and beating equine bones, I will say there are many handguns on the market that cost less and have fewer parts breakage issues than the subject Les Baer."


    You have you view and I have mine, just so happens you are wrong in this case. :) The man puts a lot of effort and time into a nice range report and your reply is basically "you got ripped off". At least that is how I read your post.

    You do not like the price point of a Baer then don't buy one, bashing someone else for doing so is being negative and critical for no good reason. It seems you do not understand the 1911 platform well enough, if you did you would understand the price point for one from Baer, Brown, Wilson etc.

    To the OP sorry to get sidetracked on your thread.
     
  11. The Wiry Irishman

    The Wiry Irishman Member

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    I agree.
     
  12. RP88

    RP88 Member

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    Honestly, that is disheartening that an LB had any sort of mechanical issue in 10k rounds. But as said, things do happen.
     
  13. trbon8r

    trbon8r Member

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    I do appreciate the OP's honest update about his Baer. So many folks sugar coat the details and range reports for their model or brand of choice for whatever reason. An honest report like this is most welcome.

    That being said, posts like this are why I have sworn off ever buying another production 1911. From now on it will only be a custom build from the ground up by a local smith that I trust using components carefully selected by myself and the smith.

    I've got some good production 1911s, but because it is an expensive design to manufacture, quality control is pretty much out the window and shortcuts in manufacturing are rampant. Getting a good or bad gun is too much of a crap shoot these days. I'll sink the money into a custom build put together by a guy that I know cares about his work instead of a guy that has a quota on how many guns he is supposed to build in an hour.
     
  14. The Wiry Irishman

    The Wiry Irishman Member

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    Here's something kinda silly but kinda neat I did with the 10000th piece of brass put through my gun:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hopefully I'll be able to fill the second cutout by the end of the year.
     
  15. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    that's a lot of rounds!!

    nice looking pistol, me likey, likey!

    nice write up... thanks for posting...

    it was very.... Wiry :)
     
  16. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    Very cool idea. I've got about 9,000 rounds through my Sig P220. I will have to keep this in mind. So far it's been a good gun for me. If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably have gone with the all stainless version. There is some wear on the Aluminum frame and I will likely send it back to Sig just to have them give it a 10,000 round check up.
     
  17. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    It is good to see someone happy with their Baer. :) My Thunder Ranch Special has a special place in my heart, though it probably has less than 1000 rounds through it. Those rounds have been malfunction-free, which is better than can be said of my first Glock G22, a real drama queen. My second G22, however, was much better, only malfing once that I can recall.

    I presently use SIG P229 pistols at work, police duty, so I carry them on my own time, too, as I like to keep things like trigger pull consistent 24/7. (I have to buy my own duty weapons, and only certain .40 DA pistols are on the present "approved" list.) The SIGs have been boringly reliable, but that type of boredom is quite OK with me. When I no longer have to carry a pistol that is DA for the first shot, I may revert to my 1911s as carry guns, and have been looking at, and handling, Baers such as the Premier II and SRP at a local dealer. I recently acquired a Josh Bulman FDS holster for the 1911, as I use an FDS to carry a P229 now. Familiarity is a good thing. :)
     
  18. 76shuvlinoff

    76shuvlinoff Member

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    Yeah, the OP got ripped off and he should send that pos to me so he won't be further humiliated by it. :rolleyes:

    The report was nicely done, a breath of fresh air actually. The usual school of piranha is to be expected.
     
  19. JellyJar

    JellyJar Member

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    On that barrel locking lug picture, is that a crack in the barrel or a scratch or something else?
     
  20. Patrick R

    Patrick R Member

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    Nice gun.

    For my Springfield TRP & Mil spec 45s.

    I have been loading my Mastercast & Missouri 230 gr LRNs with 4.9 gr Unique.

    Kicks pretty good at 4.9. I'll bet the recoil is heavy duty using 6.5 gr Unique?
     
  21. surfinUSA

    surfinUSA Member

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    The OP did a great job in his report (thorough and honest, and surprisingly candid in light of the cost of his pistol).

    But I also don't think any parts should break in 10,000 rounds either especially at the cost of that gun. But similar things happened in the well known sig 220 10,000 round test.

    Would I say my Colt Combat Elite is a better value for the dollar? I don't know. I love the Colt but it will probably be a long time before it sees 10,000 rounds so I don't know how it will hold up. A commander I previously owned did so with nothing more than spring changes (recoil and magazine). But thats just one gun and one reason I bought another Colt. Other have had different experiences.

    I think that leoncarr made a valid point in a respectful manner. And I think the Irishman got a good gun and is happy with his purchase so everything is pretty much cool in this thread.

    Oh, by the way give me 75,000 rounds and I'll be happy to shoothem through one of my Glocks.
     
  22. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

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    Great 10K report. I love 1911's that's one nice pistol. Mine is a PT 1911 with just over 4K rounds through it.
     
  23. mec

    mec Member

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    The Right Thing To Do. The major suspects can advertise a good 1911 but their only real interest is the cash register. Capable and honest pistolsmiths are out there if you can find them-though they are very rare. One place to look would be the American Pistolsmith's Guild as they try to weed out crooks, weasels and borderline personalities.
     
  24. The Wiry Irishman

    The Wiry Irishman Member

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    At the outdoor range I use I would put a tarp in front of the enclosure (just a wood roof about 10-12 feet height) and stand next to it so it would catch my brass. 6.5 Unique isn't too bad to shoot, definitely stiff, but it would drop the brass on top of the enclosure. I developed the load to replicate the recoil of my carry ammo, then one day I was cycling my old carry ammo through and realized "Holy crap, I must have remembered something wrong, my plinking ammo is hotter than my carry ammo!" During load development I worked all the way up to the max of 7.3 grains. Let me tell you, that was brutal.
     
  25. The Wiry Irishman

    The Wiry Irishman Member

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    Something else. Specifically, a cat hair.
     
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