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It really isn't necessary to post the same thing three times.

I can't speak for Dean, but I've had quite a bit of experience with Baer's guns- especially the .45s.

IMO workmanship is consistently very good and there is nothing to criticize. I think he puts them together too tight but they always run just as they come. Accuracy has been uniformly excellent.

The only problem I've had was with a 9mm that did not shoot as well as expected.

If you have specific questions fire away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry, my computers acting strange today?!?!

Save for the Comanche, are they all built on the same frame? Super Tac, TRS, Custom Carry? I hear that after about 1.5K rounds its still a bit tight but smoother.

I own:

Para P-13
Kimber Custom II and Pro Tac II
Colt 1991A1
Springfield Customized by The Action Works
SA Compact

So after shooting a friends TRS, I figured you only live once and bought one...great price $1,400 NIB shipped.

I hear that after shooting it, your 1911 life after just aint the same with anything else...

Triggerman
 

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I think they definitely improve with use and I think you'd have one hell of a time wearing one out.

I don't know about the tactical rail stuff, but the critical dimensions are the same.

When you see what some other shops charge for lesser guns I think Baer's are a bargain. I've been to his shop and found nothing to gripe about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Charlie Petty said:
I think they definitely improve with use and I think you'd have one hell of a time wearing one out.

I don't know about the tactical rail stuff, but the critical dimensions are the same.

When you see what some other shops charge for lesser guns I think Baer's are a bargain. I've been to his shop and found nothing to gripe about.
Agreed. Some shops here in Kali charge some ridiculous prices for there goodies. A Kimber TLE runs about $940 + tax + dros + just because we can + whatever we can think of. The CDP is about a smooth $1k + etc. ( So the LB TRS is a bargain!)

Every 1911 I own, save for the ProTactical II, has been worked on and enhanced. They have all been 100% reliable. But I have never owned a high end 1911 out of the Box. On X-Mas Eve I found a NIB LB TRS for $1400 (shipped) :shock: .....I treated myself and she is being shipped as we speak.....(Merry X-Mas to me :sm_angel: )

After shooting my buddies I was sold!! I will have pics and a range report when I get my paws on her...

Triggerman
 

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18-20 years ago, Lester Baer, then of Minesite Road in Allentown, as I recollect, was recommended to me by a pin-shooting cop named Joe Camparato, as being a pretty good alternative to Wilson or Clark, so a couple of guys in my club used him. His prices were competitive, his delivery times acceptable, and his work apparently suitable.

The proof, however, is in the shooting, and I had to call him and ask in he was a Class 3 manufacturer after two of the four Springfield Armory 1911A1 guns he delivered started lapsing into the always exciting burst-fire.

Back they went and he grudingly made them "right."

Shortly thereafter, the last 1911A1 .45 ACP "comp gun" he'd delivered experienced a catastrophic failure, and the shooter, who was nothing if not "pretty," required the services of our club's plastic surgeon. An examination of Baer's work, and some gauging of the chamber revealed a hideously hogged-out throat area!

The shooter and I placed a call to Lester, explained what had happened, and Lester's sole response… which became a refrain… was "What can I tell ya?"

It's been my experience that those whose first line of response is "What can I tell ya?," have nothing to tell you. His character established to my satisfaction, I resolved to not have anything to do with the man again!

And I haven't.

From Pennsylvania to went to Geneseo as Fratelli Reese's first "Custom Shop" manager, and we all shuttered shuddered (Thanks, Snake!).

When he left that position and set out on his own in Quad Cities, we were amused.

But then he started releasing his own 1911 slides and receivers, and some very knowledgeable people were muy impressed! One, the once and future Indycar builder George Huening, my colleage and a friend of Huening's, "Farmer Frank" James informed me, asserted that Baer's slide and frames were the "truest" he'd ever seen, and used them exclusively during the time he preferred to build guns before returning to the race car game.

The only pistol of his with which I had any experience was the gun which Jules brought up to Long Island eight-nine years back… it performed as advertised, I knocked out a quick piece on it for Combat Handguns as I recollect, and that was that. (Except that at the next SHOT Show, Lester tried to siddle up to me, all smiley-like, and make nice… it was a tense moment!)

Other bits of information have come my way regarding the guns Lester did for the FBI, but that is anecdotal, and I have no direct knowledge of the reports… CeePee who always has better wires into Quantico than do I, may know more on this if he's able to share.

For me, it's always been about "character," and even if he was building the best guns around, I'm afraid that Lester long ago failed the minimum character standard… in my view.
 

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When I took LFI-II in 1989, one of my fellow students showed up with a brand-new--as in he hadn't shot it yet--LB comp gun pimped out with all the bells and whistles and cup holders and stuff (everything but optical sights) and a price tag of $1200 or $1400, which was a pretty sizable chunk of scratch for a "carry" gun in those days. On the very first string it went FA, and the second time it did it (which wasn't long), Mas made him retire it. He shot the rest of that day and the next two with borrowed guns.

I offered to fix it for him, which would have taken maybe 10 minutes, but he adamantly refused. "You're not touching my $1400 Les Baer gun!" he says. "Well, HE didn't make it work, so I don't know what you'd be risking," says I. The brilliant logic of this escaped him. Meanwhile, my homebuilt Commander (Fed Ord frame, Essex slide) perked right along, and it had had about 500-600 rounds through it without cleaning before the class started. (I did have one position four stoppage at some point, most likely due to an oversized lead-bullet reload.)

The guy finally got his LB special running for the fourth day of the class, after they got an emergency consult of some kind from a local gunsmith. (Evidently if you have a sign over your door and charge money, people will trust you.) I still chuckle over the whole thing. And my homebuilt Commander is still perking along.

But that WAS a long, long time ago. Maybe Mr. Baer's work has improved since then.
 

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I have five Les Baers and they are all fantastic pistols. Never had a problem with any of them. I have called Baer several times with questions and they put Les right on the phone. He always answers any questions I have. I switched to Baers after owning several Wilson CQB's and a Protector with numerous issues and very poor customer service from Wilson. I think the Baer Thunder Ranch is the best high end 1911 for the money. You can find them for around $1500 if you look hard enough. I was one of those who used to think Baers were too tight but like many Baer owners found out that it does not inhibit their reliability at all.
 

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Dean, I have avoided this topic, but since it came up again I do have some comments.

The original question dealt with the quality of Baer's guns but you addressed something entirely different. While I am truly sorry you had a bad experience it seems to me that yours is a minority view. I wonder too if your acknowleged animus toward the brothers Reese did not color things a little.

My experience with any gun company may not be typical but we have had others state that they were well treated and your experience was a long time ago.

I am not nearly as close to Quantico as I once was, but I do have some information that must remain confidential. I will say that there was plenty of blame to go around in that mess and Les deserves only part.

BTW: I still think the guns are too tight but they do indeed work.
 

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I've delighted… truly… that others have had good experiences with Lester's firearms, but I return to the question of character. Man built a Springfield Armory that kB!'d in the owner's squash, and then when confronted with the hogged-out chamber, says "What can I tell ya?!"

Parts can fail, and people can get hit with a big chunk of blue ice standing in their backyard… that's a matter of happenstance. But "What can I tell ya?!" is a matter of character and personal integrity in my book. And if one doesn't have that, it doesn't matter how good it guns are. It's the ol' "hardware" vs. "software" issue.

He couldn't tell me anything then, he can't tell me anything today, and he hasn't sold anyone I know other than Jules, anything since he was in Allentown.

And that was before he went to work in Illinois, so the Reeses are not germane to any of the issues other than it was ironic that they were in the difficult position of having to point a finger at a pistolsmith they couldn't name, because that 'smith was by that time heading up their Custom Shop.
 

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Charlie, I seem to remember you were very impressed with a Baer Commander style pistol that TB brought to one of the Gunstocks. IIRC, after running it through the Ransom rest, you were interested in trying the same at 50 yds because the group was tighter than any you'd seen from a Commander style gun. Am I remembering correctly?
 

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But Dean is there never to be salvation or mistakes corrected?

Yes Richard that is correct and the next time TB came back with a Thunder Ranch gun that also shot the lights out (0.75" for 10 shots @25 yd IIRC). Julians gun shot pretty well too. I guess that makes at least 3 he's sold eh?

My problem with this goes far beyond Dean's experience with Les Baer to the tendency within our fraternity to let an experience from 20 years back discolor today's reality. Sure some companies always make junk and stay in business for reasons we'll never know but usually the marketplace sorts all that out for us.
 

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Cee Pee, I'm one of those jokers that REMEMBERS as well.

There are certain companies that I won't do business with now, due to "problems" that occurred decades ago.

As for companies that always make junk, not too long ago, I bought (suspiciously, but bought) into the rubbish about how Century had changed. All new, better, and Willy-Wonka Wonderful. Three sticks (two CETMEs and a Kalashnikov) later, I can tell you this: I'll NEVER purchase an untested Scent-urea stick again!

Sproingfeld Aromry? Customer service? EH! If I purchase another Geneseo built item again, I'll be dunked in honey and thrown to the sugar starved lesbians.

And the list goes on.......

But I respect your opinion, and this ain't a slam!
 

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I dunno, Charlie… mebbe I'm all wet. Mistakes do get corrected. A mis-shipped part, wrong size, wrong color, etc.

But we're not talking the readily "fixable," rather the response to an error, and that's the issue of character. I don't know any other way to express myself on it.

"Salvation?" That's an issue that's beyond my belief system, I guess. I would think that that starts to accepting responsibility for one's actions, and, if there are any to be made, "amends."

Ya brood about it a couple of days, think things through, then call back and acknowledge that the response was inappropriate to the situation, and either offer to fix the problem, or ask "What can we do to make things better?" If that doesn't ever occur to the person responsible, that's beyond Quality Control/Quality Assurance or Customer Service.

I believe I've adequately acknowledged the positives I've either experienced first hand (Jule's blaster circa 1996) or anecdotal reports from people I trust, and I've framed my own comments in a context and time-frame so as to not mislead anyone.

Again, I'm delighted that others are happy with their Les Baer products and service… perhaps someone sat down with Lester when he came back out on his own and had a little counseling session with him. I dunno….
 

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No offense taken Bravo. I didn't think it was a slam at all.

Actually I think this has been a very worthwhile exercise. Dean and I have had different experiences which both of us reported well enough for someone else to make their own judgements. And we did it without name calling, or personal attack. Where else on the net might you find that?
 

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CP---


I know he has sold quite a few to me! I believe I have about 6 or 8 1911's and one of his AR15's in the vault. I have never encountered the first problem nor have any body else I have heard speak up (with his current line.)

This discussion almost reminds me of Savage Rifles. They currently make what most in the industry believe to be the best out of the box rifles in the mid price market. Yet, alot of customers dismiss them because of the JUNK they produced in the 80's and early 90's.
 

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mikegunner said:
Savage Rifles. They currently make what most in the industry believe to be the best out of the box rifles in the mid price market.
I learned that the hard way.

I never said I win EVERY wager I make ;-)

The key words being "mid price market". I still prefer the Stealth personally.
 

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Bravo,

That is why I put that proviso in my statement. One always has to compare apples to apples. I have many high dollar rifles that will outshoot a Savage, but Savage does kick Remington and Ruger's butts in their respective market segment.

From my experiences, Les Baer products are right at the top of the market segment he produces product within.
 
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