Les Baer (thoughts)

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Mark_Mark, May 28, 2021.

  1. Sundancer2004

    Sundancer2004 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2016
    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    Oak island, nc
     
    Mark_Mark likes this.
  2. Dragonfly

    Dragonfly Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    I picked up a used but in excellent condition Les Baer (I’m sorry but I don’t remember the exact model but it’s shown below) a few years ago after wanting one for years. I loved the the look and feel of the pistol but when I took it to the range it didn’t shoot any better than the SIG 1911 Commander that I’d purchased for 1/3 the price. As luck would have it, I received a message literally while I was still at the range from someone looking to buy it. I think I probably could have eventually found a load that worked well in the Baer but I was so disappointed in its performance compared to the SIG that I sold it.

    yGJGF6Y.jpg
     
    DR505, Reinz, bannockburn and 3 others like this.
  3. WVsig

    WVsig Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,706
    I do not doubt your experience but when we talk accuracy I think it always helps to add context to the statements so we can consider them properly. For me all 1911's should hold a 3" group at 25 yards from a ransom rest. Accurate 1911s shoot 1" groups at 25 yards from the same rest. Extremely accurate 1911's shoot sub 2" groups at 50 yards. In terms of accuracy and 5" 1911s for my money 50 yards is where pistols really distinguish themselves. As I alluded to above most shooters including myself cannot shoot consistently enough to out shoot most 1911s inherent mechanical accuracy at 50 yards. I am simply not that good a shooter. For me at 50 yards I am a minute of man shooter in that I can keep an entire mag on a 2/3 size IDPA Steel target consistently. My groups with my Baer at that range or really any pistol in the safe are more about me than the gun.

    When you are shooting offhand under 15 yards the accuracy on paper is more about the Indian than the arrow assuming the gun is not defective and the ammo is decent. So I would as @Dragonfly at what distance were you shooting?
     
    Reinz, ontarget, JR24 and 1 other person like this.
  4. JR24

    JR24 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Messages:
    4,491
    Location:
    Upper Midwest
    I agree. I've also found, in my hands, high end 1911s don't shoot any better than my lower priced options, like my Dan Wesson. Clearly a me limitation.

    But getting past production adds more than simply shooting to a 1911. The quality, the fitted parts, the feel is so hard to quantify but is worth it, in my mind. I don't currently have a Wilson 1911 but every time I shoot my father's (eventhough, frankly, I don't shoot it well. Not used to the POI on Wilson's FO he's got on there, I always group low. I just need it for a few weeks of range trips and dry fire/laser bullets) I just love the feel. My next 1911 will be a Wilson, probably a Carry Comp Professional.

    But yeah, it's usually the Indian, not the arrow, until/if your skill reaches the point to really eek that extra bit of precision and accuracy out of a gun.
     
    Reinz likes this.
  5. Dragonfly

    Dragonfly Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    I went back through my photo library to get these pictures—it was almost seven years ago. I don’t remember the actual ammo used but it would have been some type of factory 230 gr. FMJ. Here are the pictures from the Baer (probably taken at 20m and 15m):
    3Y7jZcz.jpg
    6fVM1oq.jpg

    and here are the ones from the SIG Compact Stainless (same, ammo, same distance)
    p4dsW57.jpg
    pj2p3EA.jpg

    It was my first time out with both pistols. I had been thinking about getting a Baer for about 20 years when I got this one and I was quite downcast about the results. As I mentioned above, I received a message from a member of another gun forum who’d seen the pictures I’d posted and offered to buy it. I don’t think that there was anything wrong with the pistol, and I would not have been surprised if it shot really well with another load, but I did not regret selling it. I owned an early Nighthawk Custom GRP (back when they were somewhat more affordable) and that pistol shot everything accurately without a fuss.
     
    qwert65, Reinz, WVsig and 1 other person like this.
  6. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    Messages:
    2,933
    Good shooting!
     
    WVsig likes this.
  7. WVsig

    WVsig Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,706
    From a rest or off hand? Do you know if the original owner properly broke in the pistol? Ammo will make a difference for some pistols as I am sure you know.

    The targets you out up are not bad shooting for 15-20 meters. To be honest the difference in those groups and the low left tell me it was the shooter interfacing with the particular pistol more than the pistol. At aimed slow fire I would have expected both pistols to stay in center of each target.

    The way I see it the pistol grouped about the same as the Sig just a different point of impact. Was it a fixed sight Baer or a adjustable. Not to pick on you but this is why sometimes the internet can be misleading. A single range session with unkown ammo was enough for you to proclaim that the Les Baer you had was not accurate. IMHO you didn't really shot it enough to know. YMMV
     
    Reinz likes this.
  8. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    Messages:
    2,933
    You work hard and get to a point in your life you would like the finer things that you have read about. No, I can’t run that gun like a Grand Master... but I can pretend to!
     
    qwert65, Reinz and JR24 like this.
  9. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    Messages:
    2,933
    aaah, the winless debate of “just as good”

    I look at it like this, If your good with a Sig Compact, then you would be great with Custom Les Baer. I think...
     
    WVsig likes this.
  10. WVsig

    WVsig Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,706
    Just go full house bespoke custom and call it a day... LOL

    YijqRWk.jpg

    uJJO28H.jpg

    RJAsAs8.jpg

    MaGwlaS.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Reinz, JR24 and Mark_Mark like this.
  11. Dragonfly

    Dragonfly Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Yes, you’re right, I didn’t shoot it enough to find out. But after seeing a $700 pistol shoot as well as a $2000 Baer I wasn’t really interested in undertaking the effort to prove it, especially with an offer to buy the Baer.
     
    Mark_Mark and WVsig like this.
  12. WVsig

    WVsig Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,706
    Yes I agree when you look at the targets I think it was a matter of familiarity with one gun vs the other. If you put them into rest at 20M I would imagine the groups would be the same.
     
    JR24 and Mark_Mark like this.
  13. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    Messages:
    2,933
  14. WVsig

    WVsig Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,706
    I do not question your decision. I am just pointing out that the statement in no way should be taken as a representation of the guns accuracy or the accuracy level of Baers in general. That was the point I was attempting to make not that you should not have moved on.

    I personally find even for a new gun in the same platform small differences in configuration can lead to slightly different groups. Things like grips, length of the trigger and even the beavertail. It does not show up shooting for speed at under 10 yards but when you stretch it out a bit you see it. I have 12+ Browning HI Powers. Some shoot better in my hands vs others but all of them shoot about the same rested. It is me interfacing with the particular gun which changes "accuracy."
     
  15. WVsig

    WVsig Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,706
    With a massive Stan Chen Gen 2 magwell which is no thicker than the frame. I love it because it does not take away from the lines of the pistol.

    Cyoui3t.jpg

    WcUpxlY.jpg
     
  16. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    Messages:
    2,933
    very nice!!! is this your gun???
     
  17. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    Messages:
    2,933
    this video just came out about custom 1911 Starting with Les Baer all the way to CB Gunworks! check it out! one of my favorite gun channels

     
    Reinz likes this.
  18. WVsig

    WVsig Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,706
    Yes It was built on a Colt 70 Series by Don Wiiliams of the Action Works.
     
    Mark_Mark likes this.
  19. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    Messages:
    2,933
    that magwell looks like it hasn’t seen a quick reload before... do you shot it or just look at it?

    I have rifles that I just look at, so I understand.
     
  20. WVsig

    WVsig Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,706
    Cool video but in no way is what he is showing the full spectrum of 1911 semi-custom to custom 1911s. He is also wrong about Nighthawk. Their motto is "One Gun One Smith". They have lots of gunsmiths but only one of them works on a particular gun. https://www.nighthawkcustom.com/about-nighthawk

    For my money the top end of the 1911 world are people like Ted Yost, Don Williams, John Harrison, Jason Burton, Lou Biondo, Hilton Yam, Stan Chen, CT Chen, Ned Christiansen and the late Jim Garthwaite. They are all a single man shop which has a personal aesthetic that they built to. You find one you like and you work with them to make a pistol which is a functional work of art. IMHO they are a completely different animal then the world of semi-custom guns like Les Baer, Wilson Combat or Nighthawk. They also cost a lot more. LOL

    My next project is taking this Colt WWI repro...

    p3YlFw9.jpg

    And turning it into this with the help of Ted Yost.

    mOxF9OD.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2021
    bannockburn and Mark_Mark like this.
  21. WVsig

    WVsig Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,706
    The gun is shot. It is not a safe queen. The pistol was finished in Ion Bond. If you look at this pick you can see some whitish lines. They are from mag changes. With Ion Bond wear on the magwell area show up as whitish lines which pretty much disappear with a little oil. It is one of the most durable finishes I have encountered. Only hard chrome wears better. Most of those pics are beauty shots taken when the pistol first came back. This type of gun is a big step up from a Les Baer in terms of personalization and finish. IMHO.
     
    Mark_Mark likes this.
  22. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    Messages:
    2,933
    One man Shops! One day man!

    Very nice collection of 1911’s!

    I’m just getting into 1911’s, I think it takes time and maturity to really appreciate the 1911. But for now, Les Baer... here I come!
     
    WVsig likes this.
  23. Charlie Martinez

    Charlie Martinez Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2018
    Messages:
    574
    Location:
    Florida
    I shot for several years with a group of Bullseye style shooters and a few had Les Baer target 1911's. They were extremely happy with their pistols and on several occasions I was told to trade my Colt National Match pistol for a Les Baer. Les Baer target 1911's were guaranteed to shoot 2-inch groups at 50 yards so in their opinion the Les Baer was "a better 50 yard pistol".
     
    Mark_Mark and WVsig like this.
  24. tark

    tark Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Messages:
    3,672
    Location:
    atkinson, ill
    And don't forget Richard Heinie!!
     
    WVsig and Mark_Mark like this.
  25. tark

    tark Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Messages:
    3,672
    Location:
    atkinson, ill
    I'm having a bit of a problem with this post. The extractor hole was drilled out oval? And removing "a few burrs" fixed the problem? Please explain how that works. The rear sight was "molded poorly?" That means that the man who fitted the sight didn't notice the defect. Neither did the final assembler who then test fired the gun after assembly. The same goes for the front sight. Finally, Les himself would have missed all this when he gave the gun a final visual inspection. Yes, Les really did look over every gun before it was bagged and shipped. And finally, the checkering was full of crossovers in the lines? I did that checkering so this is kind of personal to me. It did not leave my bench with crossed lines. There certainly aren't any in the picture you posted. Here again the assemblers and Les himself would not miss anything that obvious.

    I'll concede the blueing problem. Baer's have that reputation. But your other complaints seem....uh.....well, nevermind.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice