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Retirement present from Les Baer

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by tark, Nov 2, 2015.

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  1. tark

    tark Member

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    Hi guys. The idiot finally learned how to post pics!!! How about this for a retirement gift from Les Baer.
     

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  2. kcofohio
    • Contributing Member

    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    tark, congrats on your retirement! Nice gift. Much better than a watch. :)
     
  3. Bama Drifter

    Bama Drifter Member

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    BBQ

    Wow, that's a real fine piece. A barbecue gun if ever was... maybe at this point in the year a Thanksgiving Dinner gun :D
     
  4. johnmcl

    johnmcl Member

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    Tark,

    Now *that's* a retirement gift. I've seen those commemorative engraved guns in the catalogs and marvel at the work. I'm sure you are going to enjoy handling that gun for many years to come.

    Now the real question, will you shoot it?
     
  5. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    That's one very, very fine retirement gift! As someone else wrote, way nicer than any gold watch would ever be.
     
  6. tark

    tark Member

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    I actually got the pistol three years ago when I retired then. I just learned how to post pics yesterday (Moron). Here's another pic of the gun along with the issue of Handgunner that it was featured in, The gun on the cover of the mag is mine. The Ivory grips are real.

    To answer the question , yes I did shoot it. Seven rounds, one standard mag's worth, just so I could say I shot it! When The writer requested a gun to test, Les decided to pull a little Joke and sent him this one. The writer called back in a panic, saying that "I can't Shoot that thing, its too pretty!" He was instructed to shoot the snot out of it. So he put 200 rounds through it. I put another seven and the gun will never be fired again.
     

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  7. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    very nice...
     
  8. aarondhgraham

    aarondhgraham Member

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    That's a shame,,,

    Aarond

    .
     
  9. hoghunting

    hoghunting Member

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    Geez, so Les gives you a used gun for retirement!!:)

    I'm sure you are very proud of that pistol, I know I would be.
     
  10. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    Agreed.

    I would do exactly what they told that gun writer to do. With proper care you would hardly be able to tell anyway.

    But whatever your decision is, congrats friend. A mighty fine looking pistol.

    How many years did you have with the company, if you don't mind my asking.
     
  11. SC Shooter

    SC Shooter Member

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    Wow! They must have really appreciated your years of service.
     
  12. Manny

    Manny Member

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    I stand with gun writer Mike Venturino on this subject. Mr V has a very high grade Sharps rifle that was a special gift from his wife if IIRC. Being an enthusiastic and very accomplished competitor in Black Powder Silhouette, that Sharps is shot extensively and bears a few dings along with honest wear from a lot of use. He figures that rifle was a gift for his use and enjoyment, so use it and enjoy it is what he does. I believe if I had that fine LB pictured I'd use it just as much if not more as that Sharps is used. To me that use is what really makes a special gun special. It helps it attain not just a rich patina from honest use, but wonderful stories & memories too.
     
  13. glove

    glove Member

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    Sweet. Now get out there and enjoy your retirement.:)
     
  14. george burns

    george burns Member

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    It's like the Ferrari that sat in the garage because I was afraid to get a scratch on it. I sold it after 6 months, only because people would intentionally try to do damage to it, like open a door into another car, or drop a cigarette of ice-cream on it purposely. After a while you can't use it anyhow. Even dinned at a nice restaurant would become about the car, but The only translation I see is if someone intentionally dropped or scratched it.
    I still drove the car, although not much during daylight, at night I would take it way out to Montauk, Before Radar, and rip it up. Or take it to the track in this case the range, and shoot the heck out of it, till I got my fix. If you own it, you should take advantage of all of the labor, time and effort that went into crafting that baby, and use the talents of the many who toiled to learn their craft in order to make it for you.
     
  15. tark

    tark Member

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    Believe me, I have thought long and hard about shooting it, but decided against it. I have other 1911s . This one will go to my son, an heirloom gun if there ever was one.

    Some people shoot theirs. A lot.... One Clint Smith comes to mind..... His looks like it was dragged behind a truck on a gravel road. I was horrified when I saw it. The engraver touched it up and we re-blued it and put some new ivory grips on it (several hundred dollars there) and it was like new. I asked Clint at the next Shot Show what he did with it. He smiled and announced that was gonna "Shoot the (expletive deleted) out of it". I guess Clint doesn't have any safe queens.

    Les likes to play pranks on Gun writers. He sent Charlie Petty a gun to test once that had an interesting serial#, the number was 1. It wasn't the first gun we had made, Les just saved a few #s out of each batch for this reason or that. He decided to use #1 one day, so it went on a lightweight (aluminum) framed Commander length .45. Charlie had a cow! He refused to shoot it and Les finally talked him into putting some rounds through it.

    Arkansas Paul, I worked for Les for twenty one years. When he left the Custom Shop Director's post at Springfield Armory I went with him. That was 1992. I retired in 2013. My job from day one was Checkering the front strap. Later on, I also did frame to slide fitting, but I never stopped checkering. In time I did every job in the shop except barrel lockup and final assembly. Those two jobs are the most difficult and I just never had the time to learn them.

    Thanks for the compliments guys. And rest assured I AM ENJOYING my retirement!!!!
     
  16. COK

    COK Member

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    Beautiful gun .
     
  17. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed Member

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    Very cool and congrats on the retirement.
     
  18. WC145

    WC145 Member

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    Beautiful gun, though, being a Baer, I'm sure it was built to be a shooter first and a show piece second. I can understand and appreciate your decision not to use it, however, your story reminds me of how I came to carry and use my best guns, custom 1911s, all the time.

    I shot a couple of matches with a distinguished older gentleman, a retired SF officer, several years ago, he's since passed but I won't forget him. He was shooting a fully engraved, ivory stocked, Dane Burns custom 1927 Colt. I asked him about the gun because I was amazed he was shooting it. He told me he had a matching 1923 Colt at home and he'd had Burns build the pair for him to replace a brace of Colts he'd carried since Armand Swenson built them for him in 1967 and he'd retired to the safe after almost 40 years.
    He taught me that no matter what the cost, if a gun is built to be shot, shoot it, if it is built to be carried, carry it, otherwise, and I quote, "What's the point of spending all that money, son?".
     
  19. righteoushoot

    righteoushoot Member

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    STELLAR piece! May you use it in good health for many years to come. Wow!
     
  20. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    I didn't get mine.

    I'll have to call and see if it was lost in shipment.

    That's some bling there dude. Take it to the range and wring it out.
     
  21. Steve S.

    Steve S. Member

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    Les gave me a base model PII about three years ago; I have never worked for/ with the man and I am not retiring (yet) - so, I had to give him $1,700.00 for the privilege - it was worth it - great handgun.
     
  22. Capt. Ct.

    Capt. Ct. Member

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    Congratulations on both the gun and the retirement. When I retired from the post office I was supposed to get a 30 year lapel pin but they forgot to give it to me. Must be nice to feel appreciated. :D
     
  23. Missouri Farmer

    Missouri Farmer Member

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    She's a looker!
     
  24. roval

    roval Member

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    Were you the one that fitted that slide to the frame before it went to engraving ?
     
  25. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    That's really sweet tark, and congrats on your retirement.

    I
    d have a hard time not shooting that one.
     
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