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Old February 13, 2013, 05:20 PM   #1
Vinnie Harold
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How and where do you buy a Les Baer 1911?

I went to the range today to practice a new grip on my STI RangeMaster in 9 mm. After getting used to the grip I decided I want another 1911, but in .45 cal.

I decided on Les Baer and have looked all over the net and they are scarcer than hens' teeth. I spoke with the company and they estimated an 8 - 12 month wait.
I have no problem with that but before I spend $2000 plus, I would like to at least hold the firearm in my hand.
The range officer I spoke to said that getting hands on with a Les Baer is next to impossible, but he also said that he was positive that if I bought one, I would be happy with it sight unseen.

Is that how it works? What has been your experience finding one and "trying" one.
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Old February 13, 2013, 06:02 PM   #2
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Try there.

I personally haven't held one but I've held an Ed Brown special forces and the slide to frame fit is like sliding on BUTTER. I assume it's something like that. I personally prefer Wilson Combat and Ed Brown over Les Baer only for aesthetic reasons.
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Old February 13, 2013, 06:07 PM   #3
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I have a Monolith I bought from CJ. Great store. Great prices. Great gun.
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Old February 13, 2013, 07:05 PM   #4
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Yes, in this day and age.....if you want a semi-custom gun from Wilson Combat, Ed Brown, Nighhawk or Les're not going to find too many of them in inventory .....

While I do have a shop in my area - that will occasionally carry a gun from one or two of the above mfg's.....yes, for the most part, when you're spending $ 2,500 - $ 4,000 for one of these guns, you should custom order them thru your local dealer...partly, so you get the gun specd exactly the way you want it.
Before you decide on a Les least look at the offerings from Nighhawk, Ed Brown and Wilson Combat ....on their websites...or locally if you can find some.

Personally, I one one Baer ( a monolith 5"), 1 Brown (a Kobra Carry 5"), a couple of Wilsons ( 5" CQB and 5" Protector) - and no Nighthawks.... and out of the 4 mfg's .....I'd put Wilson first, Ed Brown a close 2nd...Nighthawk a distant 3rd ...and Les Baer a very distant 4th... In fact I'd be hard pressed to tell you a Baer is a better gun than what comes out of Kimbers custom shop - or even Springfields higher end models...or maybe Sig for that matter....

Baer is the cheapest of the 4 mfg's .../ and in my opinion:

a. his fit and finish is not anywhere close to what the other 3 are - his blued surfaces are especially soft and the blue is not very "deep" - so the steel underneath tends to show thru...
b. his options are not as many
c. he makes his guns too tight - unnecessarily tight and it takes way too long to break them in
Ask around at your local range....maybe there are some guys shooting one of these 4 mfg's ....( two of my local ranges have some Nighthawks in their rental cases )...

In my area.....
has a 5" Baer Monolith in stock.....

Adventure sports had at least one Baer and a Wilson in stock last week...

I've been around 1911's a long time...and everybody should buy what they like - and what they can afford ( and we all have budgets - so compromise is not a bad word ) ...but I have the only Baer I'll ever buy - don't want another one / I have the only Ed Brown I'll ever buy although its a very nice gun....but hands down the best 1911's in my safe are my 2 wilson's...and while most any Wilson Combat handgun will cost you between $ 3,000 and $6,000 the $3,000 models like the full sized CQB or Protector models all have the 1" guarantee at 25 yds...and at least mine, ran 100%, right out of the box brand new....and I have over 20,000 rds now thru 1 wilson ( 10 yrs old - its my primary carry gun / a little over 40,000 thru the other one ( 7 yrs old now) as a primary range gun....

Last edited by BigJimP; February 13, 2013 at 07:15 PM.
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Old February 13, 2013, 08:36 PM   #5
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I had a local ffl order a commanche monolith for me in June. I am still waiting. Any day now.
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Old February 13, 2013, 08:42 PM   #6
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I also recommend cj1911heaven for a Baer.

Nice collection BigJimP! I wish I had that many nice 1911's. I was, however, fortunate enough to get my first Wilson this past year. .... Wow! Yes, you pay a lot more money than an off the shelf Kimber, Colt, etc. but there IS a difference, and one that I'm willing to pay again in the future. I have other nice 1911's (STI and Dan Wesson), but now that I've spoiled myself with the Wilson I want to add more to my stable. I would also like to add an Ed Brown for something different.

I am also wanting to add a Les Baer... Not because they are as nice as a Wilson or Brown, but because of their build philosophy. Baer's are "hard fit" and are meant to be very tight. Les Baer recommends you shoot 5-600 rounds through it BEFORE you break it down the first time. Apparently this helps break it in and laps in the slide. Plus, from everything I've been able to read, Baers are very accurate and have some of the best triggers in the business. Won't know if that's true, it will be hard to beat my Wilson in those respects, I guess I'll find out when I get one.
So regardless of whether a Baer is as nice as a Wilson, Brown, etc...I want one because they are built differently and I like diversity in my 1911's.

Get a Baer if you can find one, let us know how it shoots! If you find "the Boss" model somewhere at a reasonable price, let me know...
Life is too short to not buy the handguns you want.....or think you gotta have.......or is just pretty......or a good deal.......(insert reason here)
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Old February 14, 2013, 01:24 AM   #7
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I have a Thunder Ranch Special and just bought a Monolith Heavyweight. I bought my Thunder Ranch Special per-owned at a gun show and it is easily one of my favorite guns. Everyone who I have let shoot my TRS loves it and it makes everyone seem like a great shot. Yes the gun is extremely tight, but it has also been completely reliable.

I just picked up my Monolith Heavyweight so I have not yet had a chance to shoot it yet. The gun is extremely tight and the finish is flawless. I bought mine through There are at least 10 to 15 available at any time.

For me, a high end 1911 is like a luxury watch. A cheaper watch will get the job done, but a high end 1911 just feels special. Of course you expect these watches to be more precise and have nicer finishes. I do not have any experience with Ed Brown, Wilson Combat, or Nighthawk Custom but it would probably be like comparing Rolex, Omega, Breitling.
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Old February 14, 2013, 09:10 AM   #8
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You may have to wait for some time as les baer is so far backed up they are not takeing orders. You could try for a Dan Wesson . As a production 1911 they build a very good pistol. The other great 1911's will be some kind of a loooong wait. Most any you see in a gun shop are used or ordered buy the lgs.
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Old February 14, 2013, 12:27 PM   #9
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My Baer shoots well now....very accurate, good trigger...( but not more accurate than my Wilsons / and not a better trigger than my Wilsons)....

and it took closer to 2,000 rds to fully break in my Baer Monolilth ..and 40 boxes is a lot of money for a break in ...even at $ 15 a box ...let alone $ 25 ...even if you reload.

Wilson Combat has a different philosophy ...and they still have the 1" guarantee at 25 yds.../ and while my Baer will shoot good groups - they aren't better than my Wilsons either.../ but Wilson has a recommended break in period as well...( but both of my guns ran 100% during the breakin period ...)...
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Old February 14, 2013, 12:42 PM   #10
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here are some of my 1911's...

Wilson CQB 5" at bottom ( blued - with a black armor tuff on it) ....and all stainless Wilson Protector next up from bottom 5" ....then a pair of Kimbers ( Gold combat stainless II and a Tactical Pro II model) ....Baer Monolith is at upper left...

photos don't tell you how they shoot...anything can look pretty good / but does it perform...?? ( my Wilsons perform ...and look good )...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Wilson Close Qtrs Battle .45 ACP.jpg (240.6 KB, 252 views)
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Old February 14, 2013, 03:37 PM   #11
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Big Jim,

Is that Monolith stainless or has it been chromed? I like it!

Kahr Guy,

Please do not spread mis-information. There are 37 Les Baer 1911s currently available on Gun Broker right now. I just ordered my Monolith Heavyweight less than a month ago and it was shipped out right away. Dan Wesson is NOT Les Baer.
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Old February 14, 2013, 03:46 PM   #12
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The finish on my Baer what Baer calls T chrome....the rounded areas are matte chrome ..and the flats are blued.
( photo isn't that good ) ...finish isn't that good ( in my opinion )..../ note the blue left in the Baer logo on the slide../ and the blue was also slopped inside the slide...( which are both issues, I've seen on other Baer 1911's new in the sales cases in my area ).../ T chrome concept is a pretty good look Stephen, if it were executed would be a lot better ....

Here are a couple better photos... - ..........

please ignore the idiot scratches on this side, my 34 yr old son did that ...( it was an accident when he was putting it back together - slide release slipped on him ...) ...but since he's going to own this gun one of these days, it'll remind him to be more careful...( I Hope )...or I may send it to Wilson Combat - and as a favor, ask them to refinish it for me ( but then I'd probably keep it )...

Last edited by BigJimP; February 14, 2013 at 03:54 PM.
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Old February 14, 2013, 08:28 PM   #13
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I also used CJ at 1911Heaven. Excellent transaction and had it shipped to my dealer in a couple days. Credit card ok with no extra charge. You just have to find what you want in CJ's inventory. He orders up a bunch at a time from LB that he thinks will be desired. I got a 9mm with 1.5" guaranteed PII. Not something that is real popular, but CJ had some. His prices are good and he periodically has sales also.
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