GREat guns but overpriced ...
Definitely not cheap but seems like you get more for the money than with Brown or Wilson.
"...you get more for the money than with Brown or Wilson."
Hmmm.... a lot of Baer fanatics claim they get a better 'bang-for-the-buck' value-- but that's because the Baers cost less outright. Wilsons and Browns are finished better than Baers. Tweakin' accuracy and fitment quality is like getting another 1/2 second off that quarter mile dragster--it's exponentially more expensive the closer one gets to "perfection". Browns and Wilsons are delivered as ready-to-shoot, right out of the box with a "no excuses" warranty. Baer makes the same claim, but if you peruse the major 1911 forums, you'll find that his is the least-favored warranty program of the Big Three. Les' CS reputation is certainly no peer to Brown and Wilson amongst those who've owned all three and needed service. It makes sense--he can't afford it to be at his prices.
His guns are extremely tight-fitted--he wisely (and cleverly, I might add) claims the lack of finishing--i. e., the tightness of his guns' fitment--are a feature
of his builds. Anyone who understands the mechanics of the 1911 knows that barrel-to-slide-to-bushing fit is imperative, accounting for ~95% of a 1911's accuracy. The slide-to-frame fit only adds 5%. As Ed Brown says, "it doesn't have to be tight--it has to be right. Any tighter than zero movement is useless." Testimony to this is the accuracy guarantee from all 3 houses. Brown guarantees 1-1/2" at 50yd with any of their guns. They're never nearly as tight as a NIB Baer. Yet the Baer 1-1/2" accuracy guarantee costs an additional $300 IF
the gun is a 5" or larger--tight delivery and all; all bets are off on any Baer shorter than 5"--he just can't afford to accurize shorter guns for the prices he charges. Wilson guarantees his 5" guns for 1" @ 25yd, which falls at least to 2" @ 50yd (his 4.0" guns are guaranteed at 1-1/2" @ 25yd). Apples to apples, there's little money saved and much more warranty service to be gained if the same 1-1/2" gun is purchased from Wilson or Brown. And few who've seen them side- by-side-by-side will claim Baers are better-finished than a Wilson or Brown.
Does anyone really
think Les Baer can put out a balls-to-balls comparable product guaranteeing the same
accuracy, having the same quality of fit and finish, and touting the same stellar warranty-service reputation as Wilson (and to a lesser extent, Brown) for ~20% less cost?? Think it through.
Read up thoroughly on the three factories on the 1911 forums. I think the favoritism for one brand to another is highly prejudiced by the (prospective) owner's budget, but be extremely careful if you're considering a Baer shorter than the standard 5". The reputation of his shorter guns is dubious at best. Those owners who've had problems have purchased a money pit. Here are just a few examples that popped up with an easy Google search:
Read between the lines... if you've got a problem with your Baer, getting a satisfactory FACTORY response and service you'd be delighted with
is a 50/50 proposition. But it's a crap shoot. A Baer purchase can save a bundle up front if you luck out and you get a fully functional and reliable Baer. The odds are with you, probably better than 80/20, in spite of forum feedbacks.
If you want *real* accuracy--say, 5/8" at 25yd with self-defense ammo, you'll have to move up a level to the true custom smiths. I dunno anything about the local 'smiths... but CT Brian, Ted Yost, and John Harrison can put those numbers up with their Colt Commanders (4-1/4" barrels). But then, you're talkin' big money, now.