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View Full Version : Les Baer vs. Ed Brown


hiyabrad
05-03-2012, 12:32 PM
Hi All,

I am thinking about getting either a:

Les Baer Ultimate Recon or Ultimate Tactical Carry

or

Ed Brown Special Forces

and was wondering what you all thought about the various pistols and manufactures.

Yes, I am aware of the "approved list" and prepared to go SSE.

Thanks all!

RazzB7
05-03-2012, 12:41 PM
You can't really go wrong with either one. They're both great manufacturers. I personally have been lusting after a Ed Brown for a very long time.

drdanno84
05-03-2012, 1:05 PM
Browns are nice guns, but I prefer the Baers because of their classic 1911 look.
You can't beat the quality and accuracy of these guns. The recon is a superb pistol, I recently purchased a custom carry from 1911 heaven (crazy john), got the 1.5" guarantee for around 2000.00. The brown will cost you considerable more, give john a call, he also carries browns and can answer all of your questions regarding these guns.

kb58
05-03-2012, 1:15 PM
Unless someone's shoot a lot of rounds through both it's unlikely you'll get an objective answer...

Javi
05-03-2012, 1:40 PM
I saw this the other day:

BMs8b7U2tsI

I don't know a lot about Ed Brown products but apparently the guy's a jerk? Hahah, I dunno. I like Les as a person and his products.

BoJackUSMC
05-03-2012, 1:41 PM
Cant go wrong with either one

drdanno84
05-03-2012, 1:59 PM
Is the Brown really worth the extra $500.00 from a Baer? Especially with that hideous "chainlink checkering?148161

148162

148163

drdanno84
05-03-2012, 2:04 PM
148164

148165

RazzB7
05-03-2012, 2:20 PM
I saw this the other day:

BMs8b7U2tsI

I don't know a lot about Ed Brown products but apparently the guy's a jerk? Hahah, I dunno. I like Les as a person and his products.

Looks to me like that guy is butt-hurt because Ed Brown didn't fawn all over him for being an "internet journalist".

keenkeen
05-03-2012, 2:26 PM
There have been several:

"Ed Brown is a jerk."

"Ed Brown was mean to me when I called them."

"Ed Brown was mean to my LGS when they called him"

"Ed Brown is a Dick"

posts on Calguns over the last year.

Always makes me LOL...people are really sensitive I guess.

teflondog
05-03-2012, 2:35 PM
I have a Les Baer TRS and an Ed Brown Special Forces. In terms of reliability and accuracy, they're pretty much the same gun. But over time I've come to appreciate the small differences between them.

The Special Forces has a few advantages as a carry weapon such as a more durable finish, being a couple ounces lighter, and not requiring a bushing wrench to clean. The grip is also slightly smaller in diameter due to a thinner front strap. Ed Browns are consistent. He makes only two 1911s: a government and a commander in either stainless or carbon steel. The only differences between the various models are options such as grip/slide texturing, finish, and bobtail.

The Baer has more character. Every time I field strip my TRS, I can't help but admire the file marks on the slide and the minor imperfections in the hand checkering. It's definitely not a cookie cutter gun like the Ed Brown.

Freq18Hz
05-03-2012, 4:23 PM
Having handled both, but not shooting either I can tell you:

Ed Brown has more consistent fit and finish. Les Baer feels more solid, and look better IMO when the finish wears.

No idea about performance. Ed Brown is purportedly not a people person, I think this has zero to do with how good his guns are/aren't. I know two retailers that have stopped carrying his guns though due to some alleged shady business practices.

Ed Brown parts are supplied on other 1911's (Dan Wesson, etc.). Les Baer's aren't.

If money was no object, and I did not live in California, I would rather have a Wilson Combat than either of them.

-Freq

LovingTheYear1911
05-03-2012, 4:52 PM
Wilson Combat

rromeo
05-03-2012, 4:54 PM
Years ago, Ed Brown built his guns on Les Base frames and slides.

gotshotgun?
05-03-2012, 4:56 PM
Years ago, Ed Brown built his guns on Les Base frames and slides.

I think that sums it up pretty much right there then, no?

chickenfried
05-03-2012, 5:05 PM
I love my baer PII. But since you're in the mid $2000 price range, what about a wilson? Shelling out that amount of dough might as well get the famous Wilson Customer service. Baer and brown CS seems more hit or miss.

Ryan C.
05-03-2012, 5:08 PM
LOL that video of that guy whining made me want to buy an Ed Brown. I'm glad he punked him

hiyabrad
05-03-2012, 5:15 PM
I guess I will need to throw Wilson into the mix and check them out. I just have never really heard them mentioned in the same breath as Brown and Baer.

drdanno84
05-03-2012, 5:40 PM
BAER'S, WILSON'S, BROWN'S, NIGHTHAWKS, they're all hand fitted with custom parts, what some have are more bells and whistles on them that really doesn't improve accuracy.

NorCal1911Fan
05-03-2012, 5:57 PM
Both are great guns. I sold my Brown after getting a Nighthawk but kept my Baer. If you have a chance to hold and play with them both do so and see which one suits you better. You won't be disappointed with either.

Cyc Wid It
05-03-2012, 6:48 PM
Really not a fan of the chain link, but that's a preference thing.

mleroux21
05-03-2012, 6:54 PM
In my opinion you can not go wrong with either. However, there are subtle differences on guns of this caliber. I personally have pistols from most of each of the higher end manufacturer's. Therefore this is my subjective opinion of each.

Ed Brown Special Forces: Great gun, shoots great and looks great to me with no FCS and the chainlink checkering. The chainlink checkering is just enough and not too much grip. Lockup is tight but not Baer tight seems to lockup just a little bit more just before it hits battery. The Ed Browns finish is not as durable as some other baked on finishes.

Les Baer: Great Shooter, but don't judge it till it has at least 500 rounds through it. Baers are tight, I mean extremely tight. The Baers that I have are great shooters at a great price but I had to shoot at least 4-500 rounds to see what they truly where capable of. Downside on finish is the Blue finish looks nice, but is a thin.

Wilson: Great shooter, great lockup and ready to go out of the box. Cost a bit more than a Baer or Brown but it functions perfect right out of the box. Its a ready to go shooter. Customer Service is great and they are always willing to help with any problems. Problem in CA is that we only have Green Black CQB's on the CA DOJ list. That is unless you want a railed CQB or other higher end model. But you can always SSE.

Nighthawk: Great shooter, great lockup and ready to go out of the box. Yes, it is almost like a Wilson. Maybe because they used to work for them. I have heard that the newer models leaving the shop are not on Par with the work that most are use to. This could be due to the recent changes in smiths. Wilson took a few of their smiths back and NH has replaced them with newer smiths. Look at the new test targets if you dont believe. But decide for yourself.

Gun Crafters: If you are willing to go for a SSE I would highly suggest going with the NO NAME. Great fit and finish and you get a great gun for the price. That is just my opinion. They offer a great gun at a great price just like NH use to a few years back. The No Name is like a CQB Elite but at less than a CQB price. The Melonite finish on these is durable and is quite pretty.

With all this said, you cannot go wrong with any of these guns. They are all great shooters but like anything the differences are in the details. Most people will not notice the differences unless you have them side by side to compare. Personally I like the look of a naked slide and no FCS
, so if you are willing to go the SSE route you can get either and be happy.

rromeo
05-03-2012, 7:47 PM
I think that sums it up pretty much right there then, no?

What does that sum up? That Baer parts are good, even Ed Brown starts with them? Or if Les Baer is good, then Ed Brown must be better since it's a Baer+ ?

tacticalcity
05-03-2012, 9:01 PM
Wilson Combat

LOL. Was waiting for that.

All the high-end 1911s are great. Few people can afford to have 10 from each brand. They usually pick a brand, get really impressed with that brand, and then stick with it. Or they don't get their socks knocked off and try another one the next time around. Finding somebody who has a great deal of trigger time on a wide varitey of them will difficult given their price point.

What little I know causes me to like both brands mentioned by OP as well as Wilson Combat and Nighthawk. I have yet to pick a brand and pony up for one. Too many other priorities and distractions in life. Sure would like to. It will be a real status "I have arrived" moment. Like your first luxury watch or car.

fennecfrank
05-03-2012, 10:19 PM
You should look at Guncrafter Industries. Their "Pistol with No Name" and "American" are really nice. The built is better than most makers (Nighthawk, Wilson, Ed Brown, Les Baer).

Guncrafter American
http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn81/bereahoward/IMG_2178.jpg

Pistol with No Name
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UYPQCK9wJhg/TvywvWIScnI/AAAAAAAAHS8/TJQ4GD9t9qY/s1600/gun+4.jpg

The shredder grips shown above, along with 15 lpi checkering, are what I considered the most secured 1911 grips I ever hold.

I haven't met any Guncrafter Owner who doesn't stand by their Guncrafter guns.

sirgiles
05-03-2012, 10:20 PM
i suggest you go to 1911 forum and use the seach feature. there was an objective review by a well respected gunsmith many years back about the internal parts used on each pistol. to the aficionados, these are 2 very different 1911s.

jeffrice6
05-04-2012, 2:04 AM
i suggest you go to 1911 forum and use the seach feature. there was an objective review by a well respected gunsmith many years back about the internal parts used on each pistol. to the aficionados, these are 2 very different 1911s.

Link or findings???

hyperion.excal
05-04-2012, 2:19 AM
You should look at Guncrafter Industries. Their "Pistol with No Name" and "American" are really nice. The built is better than most makers (Nighthawk, Wilson, Ed Brown, Les Baer).

Guncrafter American
http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn81/bereahoward/IMG_2178.jpg

Pistol with No Name
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UYPQCK9wJhg/TvywvWIScnI/AAAAAAAAHS8/TJQ4GD9t9qY/s1600/gun+4.jpg

The shredder grips shown above, along with 15 lpi checkering, are what I considered the most secured 1911 grips I ever hold.

I haven't met any Guncrafter Owner who doesn't stand by their Guncrafter guns.

Nice grips!

Freq18Hz
05-04-2012, 8:46 AM
LOL. Was waiting for that.

All the high-end 1911s are great. Few people can afford to have 10 from each brand. They usually pick a brand, get really impressed with that brand, and then stick with it. Or they don't get their socks knocked off and try another one the next time around. Finding somebody who has a great deal of trigger time on a wide varitey of them will difficult given their price point.

What little I know causes me to like both brands mentioned by OP as well as Wilson Combat and Nighthawk. I have yet to pick a brand and pony up for one. Too many other priorities and distractions in life. Sure would like to. It will be a real status "I have arrived" moment. Like your first luxury watch or car.

Sell off your glocks, pretty sure you could manage a Baer or Wilson.

-Freq

redcliff
05-04-2012, 9:19 AM
The Springfield Professional is another one to throw into the mix at that level. Extremely accurate and reliable and well fit.

dholla
05-04-2012, 2:59 PM
I chose a Brown SF after handling all the big players.

I couldn't find any where to rent one, so my decision was based on closing my eyes and having the sales guy hand me each one a couple of times. The SF just felt the best in my hands.

teflondog
05-04-2012, 3:09 PM
The Springfield Professional is another one to throw into the mix at that level. Extremely accurate and reliable and well fit.

While I don't doubt that the Springfield Pro is an excellent gun, I wouldn't feel comfortable paying that much for a 1911 with MIM parts in it. Even the less expensive Dan Wesson CBOB has no MIM parts.

RazzB7
05-04-2012, 3:12 PM
Excuse my ignorance...but what is MIM?

teflondog
05-04-2012, 3:14 PM
Excuse my ignorance...but what is MIM?

Metal injection molding. The best way I can describe it is that it's like making a part by pouring JB weld into a mold.

Many 1911 aficionados replace all the MIM parts in their 1911s with forged or machined parts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_injection_molding

barca101
05-04-2012, 8:41 PM
If I had a choice, I would pick the most recent talked about hi end gun makers. They are GunCrafter Industries and The Volkmann Clint Smith Combat Special. Love the combat special.

fennecfrank
05-04-2012, 10:30 PM
Nice grips!

those are standard grips on both "pistol with no name" and "american".

with them, the gun won't leave your hand unless you want it to.

You can also buy just the grips from Guncrafter:

#GISG GI Shredder Grips (gray/black)......$64.95

http://www.guncrafterindustries.com/order_pricing.shtml

keenkeen
05-04-2012, 10:33 PM
While I don't doubt that the Springfield Pro is an excellent gun, I wouldn't feel comfortable paying that much for a 1911 with MIM parts in it. Even the less expensive Dan Wesson CBOB has no MIM parts.

Meh...the SA Pro passed the FBI field tests and if the MIM parts are good enough for them they are OK with me.

Bro KV
05-04-2012, 10:50 PM
Absolutely love my Baer SRP and the hard chrome finish is perfect. I've owned a Springfield TRP Operator full rail and IMO doesn't hold a candle to the Baer. But my next two 1911's will be a Wilson TE and Ed Brown

http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h63/customshopkv1/7cda1f0a.jpg

Dhena81
05-04-2012, 11:04 PM
Meh...the SA Pro passed the FBI field tests and if the MIM parts are good enough for them they are OK with me.

They used to be good enough for Wilson too.


If properly done a quality made MIM part from people that know how to make MIM parts will last the life time of your gun. Funny how people complain about MIM in their 1911's Sigs ect but no one in the Glock camp complains what does that tell you some manufactures QC aren't up to par.

Dhena81
05-04-2012, 11:07 PM
You should look at Guncrafter Industries. Their "Pistol with No Name" and "American" are really nice. The built is better than most makers (Nighthawk, Wilson, Ed Brown, Les Baer).

Guncrafter American
http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn81/bereahoward/IMG_2178.jpg

Pistol with No Name
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UYPQCK9wJhg/TvywvWIScnI/AAAAAAAAHS8/TJQ4GD9t9qY/s1600/gun+4.jpg

The shredder grips shown above, along with 15 lpi checkering, are what I considered the most secured 1911 grips I ever hold.

I haven't met any Guncrafter Owner who doesn't stand by their Guncrafter guns.

I looked on Guncrafters website and couldn't find the no name with a LR. I guess they offer it but I didn't even see it in their options. That may very well be the 1911 I end up getting in the near future.

redcliff
05-04-2012, 11:35 PM
While I don't doubt that the Springfield Pro is an excellent gun, I wouldn't feel comfortable paying that much for a 1911 with MIM parts in it. Even the less expensive Dan Wesson CBOB has no MIM parts.

I mentioned the Pro because it beat all challengers in the accuracy and reliability tests by the FBI, including Les Baer and Wilson, even with it's mim slide stop, firing pin stop, disconnector and magazine release. Both before and after the 20,000 round durability test. And it is backed by the best customer service/lifetime warranty in the 1911 business imho. While the Pro isn't everyones cup of tea it certainly has a lot of fans willing to wait 18 months for their's to be built.

By the way, most CBOB's have cast frames.

Hank Dodge
05-04-2012, 11:55 PM
I like the Baers. I've had the chance to handle quite a few of them over the years and I currently own two myself. They are generally very reliable and accurate, I have had absolutely no issues with mine after thousands of rounds. Les Baer is a straight shooter himself and he doesn't mince words, give him a call and discuss your needs. I found him very helpful deciding on my first Thunder Ranch Special.

Brown and Wilson make fine guns as well; but at the price point Baer hits the market, it is a very hard gun to beat.

fennecfrank
05-05-2012, 7:34 AM
I looked on Guncrafters website and couldn't find the no name with a LR. I guess they offer it but I didn't even see it in their options. That may very well be the 1911 I end up getting in the near future.


LR? You mean Light Rail? The ones offered by Guncrafter Industries with Light Rail are their Model #2 and "the American".

Model #2 (full rail)
http://www.guncrafterindustries.com/model1_50gi_m2.shtml

The American
http://www.guncrafterindustries.com/american.shtml


The american is the pistol with no name with the light rail and mag well.

Freq18Hz
05-05-2012, 8:37 AM
I've never shot a Pro, but I shot a Baer once. Have handled both extensively. Worrying about MIM parts on the Pro would be my last concern. The fit and finish equals or exceeds any Baer, Brown, Wilson, Nighthawk I have handled.

That being said, I would never pay the premium or the wait for a Pro. I ordered a Baer.

This has already been said, but the fit and finish difference between all these manufactures is like splitting hairs. It's like: "which formula one car do you want to take for a few laps around the track?"

You would need to be a far superior operator than myself to notice a difference.

For the record: if you think a new Baer is tight, ya'll should have seen my 1992 Springfield NM when I found it. It could not be manually cycled. Old school tight build, never shot, never re-lubed. :)

-Freq

Legasat
05-05-2012, 9:19 AM
By the way, most CBOB's have cast frames.

Not since 2009.

mleroux21
05-05-2012, 9:36 AM
LR? You mean Light Rail? The ones offered by Guncrafter Industries with Light Rail are their Model #2 and "the American".

Model #2 (full rail)
http://www.guncrafterindustries.com/model1_50gi_m2.shtml

The American
http://www.guncrafterindustries.com/american.shtml


The american is the pistol with no name with the light rail and mag well.

If you talk to Dave over at DRC Firearms you can also get a custom No Name like I did. I have a Full Dust cover No Name gettting made, so it looks like a #2 rail but is a No Name with a Bushing.

Now if I can only get them to make a NN in 10mm.

Marc

fennecfrank
05-05-2012, 9:56 AM
If you talk to Dave over at DRC Firearms you can also get a custom No Name like I did. I have a Full Dust cover No Name gettting made, so it looks like a #2 rail but is a No Name with a Bushing.

Now if I can only get them to make a NN in 10mm.

Marc


Yeap. An NN in 10mm will be very nice.

Would love to see your NN. Please send me a picture when you get it. Thank you.

rogervzv
05-05-2012, 10:08 AM
LOL. Was waiting for that.

All the high-end 1911s are great. Few people can afford to have 10 from each brand. They usually pick a brand, get really impressed with that brand, and then stick with it. Or they don't get their socks knocked off and try another one the next time around. Finding somebody who has a great deal of trigger time on a wide varitey of them will difficult given their price point.



Yes, that's right. I myself have fired just a few magazines out of other peoples' Baers, Wilsons, etc. I have a Colt Gold Cup Series 70 (bought in 1980) and a couple of Dan Wesson PM7-45s, which are a Series 70-type stainless 1911 that is grandfathered onto the roster. In fact the DW PM7 is kept in Dan Wesson's line-up pretty much solely for the California market.

The DW 1911s, unlike some of the slightly more expensive ones, are manufactured using state-of-the-art digital machine tools rather than being hand-fitted like the Baers. Personally I am convinced that this produces a better gun, even if a bit less expensive. A DW PM7 can be had in Soviet California for about $1,500. In my limited ability to compare, I will take it over a Baer any time. The fit-and-finish are better, and unlike a Baer a Dan Wesson shoots perfectly and reliably right out of the box. The fit is so precise that both my Dan Wessons were perfectly zeroed right out of the box. The slides are very tight; much more so than my cherished Gold Cup.

Nothing against the Baers, which are outstanding pistols. But you pay a lot for the hand-fitting and I do not think that it produces a gun as precisely made as the Dan Wesson. In terms of accuracy, my Dan Wessons always ellicit attention when I go to the range, like yesterday. :D

jeffrice6
05-05-2012, 1:01 PM
unlike a Baer a Dan Wesson shoots perfectly and reliably right out of the box. The fit is so precise that both my Dan Wessons were perfectly zeroed right out of the box.

Have you owned a Baer? What Baer do you know of that wasn't zeroed & didn't shoot perfectly and reliably right out of the box? Not saying that it hasen't ever happened, but Baers are known for these attributes.

chickenfried
05-05-2012, 1:11 PM
Guess I'll help the thread drift, since the OP was looking towards the high end. But I've owned both a Baer PII and DW CBOB. No comparison, Baer is the better gun. Heck my colt nrm and Kimber were both more accurate and reliable than the DW. CBOB shot about 5" high at 15 yards and was finicky with ammo that functioned perfectly in the other guns. But it was a pretty gun.

Add to the list of horse trading regrets. Selling the Colt to get the DW:(.

mleroux21
05-05-2012, 3:04 PM
Yes, that's right. I myself have fired just a few magazines out of other peoples' Baers, Wilsons, etc. I have a Colt Gold Cup Series 70 (bought in 1980) and a couple of Dan Wesson PM7-45s, which are a Series 70-type stainless 1911 that is grandfathered onto the roster. In fact the DW PM7 is kept in Dan Wesson's line-up pretty much solely for the California market.

The DW 1911s, unlike some of the slightly more expensive ones, are manufactured using state-of-the-art digital machine tools rather than being hand-fitted like the Baers. Personally I am convinced that this produces a better gun, even if a bit less expensive. A DW PM7 can be had in Soviet California for about $1,500. In my limited ability to compare, I will take it over a Baer any time. The fit-and-finish are better, and unlike a Baer a Dan Wesson shoots perfectly and reliably right out of the box. The fit is so precise that both my Dan Wessons were perfectly zeroed right out of the box. The slides are very tight; much more so than my cherished Gold Cup.

Nothing against the Baers, which are outstanding pistols. But you pay a lot for the hand-fitting and I do not think that it produces a gun as precisely made as the Dan Wesson. In terms of accuracy, my Dan Wessons always ellicit attention when I go to the range, like yesterday. :D


I agree that Dan Wesson makes a great pistol. However, I have to disagree with you on the machine fitting vs hand fitting. Hand fitting if done by the right smith would be tight and smooth. I have not had a Dan Wesson feel as if it was on glass slides but still lock up tight. I am not discounting the quality you get for the price. I am just saying that you get a better overall gun from a higher end smith. But it is all in the details, most people do not care for the details or even see them. So Dan Wesson is a great contendor but it is no Wilson Supergrade.

NiteQwill
05-05-2012, 4:56 PM
For the price of a DW Valor or PM-7, you can have a Baer for the same price, if not cheaper. Remember, Baer does not charge any extra to build "what you want" for many of their options.

DW are amazing guns, but it's not a Baer.

hiyabrad
05-06-2012, 10:27 AM
I wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts on this question. My current thinking is either Les Baer or Nighthawk and will continue to chew on this a bit. Thanks.