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View Full Version : Purchasing a Les Baer as 1st Handgun


iakonafuji
09-06-2012, 10:07 AM
Hey CG'ers...I guess since I'm new to the boards, I'll give a quick bio to give you all an idea of my background. For years I've been a buyer and seller of a multitude of products (ranging from electronics, glass art, and automotive parts), and at the moment I am a partner in an aftermarket car parts company while brokering high-end glass art to galleries in California.My firearms experience is admittedly low in comparison to everyone here, but I've been wanting to get into the hobby/sport for quite sometime, however I am not the type to dive into a new (expensive) hobby without doing my proper homework. I am 21 years old so right now my brain is a sponge for information and every bit of advice is truly appreciated.

My theory in almost every hobby I partake in is 'Do It Once and Do it Right', so that is why I am not considering what some would suggest as an entry level 1911 such as a Ruger (did anyone else get a headache from reading that guys' thread arguing the qualified differences between the Ruger SR1911 vs Les Baer?!). I truly appreciate products that take time above and beyond the ordinary to make sure the end result is remarkable, and that is why my attention has been brought to Les Baer 1911's.

I'd likely only use the 1911 at the Range (local ones include Reeds and Target Masters, both of which I've been to), and I am open to paying upwards of $2500, give or take, with the capability to potentially upgrade it and further tailor it to myself in the future.

My question for the board is not only Which model would you recommend in my price range? but also given my inexperience with firearms, let alone Les Baers, What would be the best way I can familiarize myself with the intricacies of these firearms in a comfortable environment where I am able to learn/not be in a retail setting such as Reeds where I haven't received the friendliest of responses when asking simple questions.

Again, thanks in advance for your input.

NorCal Einstein
09-06-2012, 10:14 AM
Before you go and commit to a higher end 1911 like that, do you have any experience shooting a 1911? At least enough to make you say "that's what I want"?

They might look cool and they get their share of rave online, but if the platform doesn't work well in your hands then it doesn't quite make sense to get one.

JeremyS
09-06-2012, 10:15 AM
The super high-end, super tight 1911's require more maintenance and attention to detail than a standard production gun. Having not shot many guns in the past, I WOULD purchase something inexpensive that you can learn on and accidently scratch and take apart to tinker with the mechanical parts to see how it works, etc etc etc, before getting something truly high end. PLUS, it will give you an idea of what you like and don't like in a gun. Then you won't have to ask us which model you should get. You'll know based on how your preferences have developed through experience. What I like isn't necessarily what you like, and you'll have no idea if you want full size or commander size or this or that or the other without trying it first. AT LEAST rent a few different 1911's in different sizes, sights, grip safety styles, and other things to decide what you like best.

If you really like the 1911 platform, I would get a Rock Island Armory for like $400 and play with it for a while, then get the Les Baer or a Dan Wesson Valor (my preference) or Nighthawk or whatever. You'll have no problem selling the Rock Island for at least 80% of what you paid for it and I think it will be more than worth it for learning purposes.

HPGunner
09-06-2012, 10:22 AM
Befriend someone that has a 1911 and learn the gun inside and out. Shoot it, take it apart and clean it, and shoot it some more. If you can't find someone that would allow you to mess with one. Just get an inexpensive used 1911 to strip down and put back together and beat on (including putting your first take down mark, aka idiot scratch) while you wait months for your custom $2500 Les Baer, Wilson Combat, Ed Brown, or Nighthawk. Watch a bunch of You Tube and you'll be a 1911 armorer in no time.

Lead Waster
09-06-2012, 10:52 AM
To be honest, I think that this is not a "Buy once, cry once" situation if you are a newbie to the platform.

If I were you (and I'm not), I would take $500 to buy a lower end 1911. Shoot the crap out of it, then decide which LB you want. OR, rent 1911s for a bunch of range sessions. Get to know them and what features you like/hate about them. That will let you determine which LB you want to get.

You can just buy a nice LB with the $2500, but I think you would appreciate it more if you tried the production level guns first, whether buying one, renting one or borrowing one. A guy who learns to drive in his Dad's Porshe won't appreciate it as much as the guy who learned to drive in a 1988 VW Rabbit.

And as always, nobody can tell you which gun you should buy because nobody else has your hands, eyes and experience level.

dls
09-06-2012, 11:05 AM
It wasn't my first firearm,but my first 1911,
I bought the Les Baer Super-tac 1.5",it was in your price range. I watched videos and read up on them while I waited 16+2 weeks for it to show up.
I had the cash, that's what I wanted, so I bought it.

I kill the hell out of cans with it.

INFAMOUS762X39
09-06-2012, 11:20 AM
My first 1911 I ever shot was my friend's Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special.

My first Pistol is a Kimber 1911 TLE, it's a keeper I love it. My 2nd 1911 will be a Les Baer, I just can't decided on which model. :o

ChaneRZ
09-06-2012, 11:23 AM
Please don't do the idiot mark on high end 1911.

Ducman
09-06-2012, 11:42 AM
Just a piece of advice, Don't ever settle!!! If thats what your heart is set at and can afford it by all means, you won't regret it.

al8550
09-06-2012, 11:44 AM
Please don't do the idiot mark on high end 1911.

This^^^^^^ but yeah if you can afford it...Go for it!!!!

iakonafuji
09-06-2012, 11:46 AM
Before you go and commit to a higher end 1911 like that, do you have any experience shooting a 1911? At least enough to make you say "that's what I want"?

They might look cool and they get their share of rave online, but if the platform doesn't work well in your hands then it doesn't quite make sense to get one.

I should have stated that the times I have been to a range with family friends (both enthusiasts and LEOs) I have shot a 1911 the majority of the time, using a Glock Model 19(? I believe) a few times. I was foolish not to mention this as my primary inspiration to get a 1911 that will be my personal piece, and being a first piece I would like for it to be somewhat special.

The super high-end, super tight 1911's require more maintenance and attention to detail than a standard production gun. Having not shot many guns in the past, I WOULD purchase something inexpensive that you can learn on and accidently scratch and take apart to tinker with the mechanical parts to see how it works, etc etc etc, before getting something truly high end. PLUS, it will give you an idea of what you like and don't like in a gun. Then you won't have to ask us which model you should get. You'll know based on how your preferences have developed through experience. What I like isn't necessarily what you like, and you'll have no idea if you want full size or commander size or this or that or the other without trying it first. AT LEAST rent a few different 1911's in different sizes, sights, grip safety styles, and other things to decide what you like best.

If you really like the 1911 platform, I would get a Rock Island Armory for like $400 and play with it for a while, then get the Les Baer or a Dan Wesson Valor (my preference) or Nighthawk or whatever. You'll have no problem selling the Rock Island for at least 80% of what you paid for it and I think it will be more than worth it for learning purposes.

Thanks for your input! I understand where you are coming from by saying I should pick up a cheaper 1911 to familiarize myself with the platform...which is quite in line with what this commenter says below... V

Befriend someone that has a 1911 and learn the gun inside and out. Shoot it, take it apart and clean it, and shoot it some more. If you can't find someone that would allow you to mess with one. Just get an inexpensive used 1911 to strip down and put back together and beat on (including putting your first take down mark, aka idiot scratch) while you wait months for your custom $2500 Les Baer, Wilson Combat, Ed Brown, or Nighthawk. Watch a bunch of You Tube and you'll be a 1911 armorer in no time.

This is a wonderful suggestion and I appreciate your input...I did not like the idea of picking up an entry level 1911 to shoot and tailor to my likes, but I did not take into consideration how much experience I will need when handling a Les Baer maintenance-wise. As mentioned earlier, I've been working in the car industry for 5 years now and I started working on Hondas and Acuras (which I still specialize in today) which are some of the most fantastic budget cars in the world, and to date I can say I've added many higher end companies to my list of familiar cars I am comfortable working on. With that said...I will completely agree with you and say that I would not feel comfortable working on a Les Baer without having taken apart any 1911 several times over, and I think a cheap one that I can eventually give to a friend once I get my LB.

To be honest, I think that this is not a "Buy once, cry once" situation if you are a newbie to the platform.

If I were you (and I'm not), I would take $500 to buy a lower end 1911. Shoot the crap out of it, then decide which LB you want. OR, rent 1911s for a bunch of range sessions. Get to know them and what features you like/hate about them. That will let you determine which LB you want to get.

You can just buy a nice LB with the $2500, but I think you would appreciate it more if you tried the production level guns first, whether buying one, renting one or borrowing one. A guy who learns to drive in his Dad's Porshe won't appreciate it as much as the guy who learned to drive in a 1988 VW Rabbit.

And as always, nobody can tell you which gun you should buy because nobody else has your hands, eyes and experience level.

I think what I have said in my previous responses to other posts falls quite in line with many of your suggestions, so I will thank you as well :)

...HOWEVER as a huge car enthusiast I would argue that a 16-Year old, hormones-raging young man, being raised in an environment with a Porsche around, would certainly appreciate the chance to learn how to drive on such a tailored driving machine ;) Sorry, that was just the car-nut in me coming out.

It wasn't my first firearm,but my first 1911,
I bought the Les Baer Super-tac 1.5",it was in your price range. I watched videos and read up on them while I waited 16+2 weeks for it to show up.
I had the cash, that's what I wanted, so I bought it.

I kill the hell out of cans with it.

Could you perhaps briefly explain what you like about your Super-tac? Other than the fact it kicks the ****outta some cans ;)

My first 1911 I ever shot was my friend's Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special.

My first Pistol is a Kimber 1911 TLE, it's a keeper I love it. My 2nd 1911 will be a Les Baer, I just can't decided on which model. :o

Would you buy the TRS after having shot it?




In general, now that I've received some great input from you all...in short, what would you recommend as a donor 1911 that I can learn what I need to learn on it before experimenting on an LB?

iakonafuji
09-06-2012, 11:49 AM
Just a piece of advice, Don't ever settle!!! If thats what your heart is set at and can afford it by all means, you won't regret it.

THIS. This is what I go by in so many aspects of my hobbies and pretty much life in general. If I have two options in front of me, and one option is a clear example of 'settling' then I will forever wonder 'What-If' I bought the better option to begin with. I don't like living life with 'What-If's if I can help it :)

asgalindez
09-06-2012, 11:53 AM
Another plus for getting an entry level 1911 first is, when you take a new shooter out for their first time they can shoot your cheap gun.

No one shoots my Les Baer until they prove they're not gonna do anything stupid with/to it.

EDIT: if I were just getting into 1911s, I'd be looking at a Rock Island Tactical, Springfield MilSpec, or a Colt Series 1991.

oghl888
09-06-2012, 11:54 AM
Shooting 45's will also cost a lot of money. So the gun itself should be good enough to make shooting 45's worth the cost (and enjoyable). LB's are tight and workman like in the world of semi-custom 1911s. If that's your thing, then any of them would do.

The TRS is supposed to be designed for carry (night sights, thin grip, single sided thumb safety, etc). If you are target shooting mostly, you may want something else in the LB range that's designed for target (with the 1.5 inch guarantee if you care about that and are capable of that accuracy).

good luck.

Ducman
09-06-2012, 11:58 AM
THIS. This is what I go by in so many aspects of my hobbies and pretty much life in general. If I have two options in front of me, and one option is a clear example of 'settling' then I will forever wonder 'What-If' I bought the better option to begin with. I don't like living life with 'What-If's if I can help it :)


What if???????? is the million dollar question :D

what's not to like?

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q1/DSC_0022.jpg

t0kie
09-06-2012, 12:01 PM
If money is not an issue, then Baer is a great choice. My 1st 1911 was a Springfield Loaded Model, then from there I got hooked and bought the better ones.

skosh69
09-06-2012, 12:33 PM
Go for it! For $2500 or so...you can even get yourself an Ed Brown!

dls
09-06-2012, 12:38 PM
Could you perhaps briefly explain what you like about your Super-tac? Other than the fact it kicks the ****outta some cans ;)



I like the adjustable sights,although on the Super-tac they are night sights,which I don't really need since I only target shoot with it.

And the Super-tac is slightly deburred,compared to the standard P-II.

I liked the Dupont-S coating at first,which is why I bought the S-tac, but didn't care for the day 1 wear on the barrel and hood area,also I thought the barrel bushing would be black,like shown on the Les Baer site,but it wasn't.
I wanted it all black, so I had it IonBond coated a couple weeks later.

I like the fact that it's capable of shooting 1.5" groups @50yds,even though I'm not,so I specd that option too.
I don't sell my gun's, so my grand kids will have the 1.5" guarantee certificate and all the other paper work that goes with it,thought it would make a decent heirloom piece one day.

Not one problem with it yet,but I'm under 1000 rounds.

If I had a do over,I'd just get the P-II,and ionBond it,since I really like that coating.

If I could order off roster or do the SSE, I would have ordered a clean slide, no FCS no roll marks,strong side safety and magwell.

Les Baer' prowler III looks interesting,if you can get it.

gti_20ae
09-06-2012, 12:38 PM
Since it is your first gun, just go to a LGS with high end 1911 like Les Baer, Ed Brown, Nighthawk, and just try out different one to see which one fit you the most. If you like the platform, trust me, this won't be your last 1911, you will just buy another one that fit you better.

gwanghoops
09-06-2012, 1:51 PM
1. Take the NRA basic pistol class
2. Buy a common / standard non-customized handgun (Glock, Sig, FN, CZ, etc.)
3. Take additional private instruction with your handgun
4. Practice
5. Buy more guns.
6. Buy Les Baer and truly appreciate it.

InGrAM
09-06-2012, 1:53 PM
Ed Brown is your friend but Les Baer is great too. You might want to check out the Dan Wesson Valor 1911's great 1911s for the money.

Here is a used Ed Brown for $1825.00
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=304072464

And like others have said if you like the 1911 platform, which I don't see why you wouldn't, it wont be your last 1911.

TripleThreat
09-06-2012, 2:02 PM
I suggest getting a Kimber 1911 to start with.

I'm local, retired and have lot's of experience and time. Let me know if you'd like me to help you with anything, I be more than happy to help you get started.

Triple

mysak
09-06-2012, 2:28 PM
Never settle if you can afford it, buy it. 400 dollars is a lot to throw away on a rock island they're garbage compared to a les baer. I assure you someone near by will be glad to show you your away around your les baer. Not only that you know you are getting an all American made piece you can be proud of.

Dont_Shoot_im_Chinese
09-06-2012, 2:50 PM
I'd also suggest buying a lower end 1911 for now or shooting as many different 1911 as possible. Les Baer 1911 are a work of art but one wouldn't truly appreciate it if you didn't understand first hand at how different it is from others. Not to throw this off topic but have you considered a nice rifle AND and entry 1911? I dont have a ton of money and therefore only have a RIA tactical but I'll tell you what....I wouldn't trade this for any new 1911 that cost less than 1k!

JackRydden224
09-06-2012, 3:21 PM
Go get it while you can. If you don't like it as much as you think you can always trade a $2000 gun for something else. You can get a nice AR/AK and a Glock/Sig/S&W for that price.

sammy
09-06-2012, 3:36 PM
I understand your desire to cry once and buy a great gun that will last a life time or two. Gun are different than other higher end products on a couple ways. An experienced shooter will shoot a $400 gun ten times better than a new shooter with a $2500 gun. A $2500 dollar gun will not make you a better shooter is what I am trying to say. I own 2 Les Baers, lots of Glocks and other cheaper guns as well. Having owned all these guns and shot them lots the last gun I would but is a Les Baer for a first gun. A good first gun should be easy to maintain, field strip, reliable and good for self defense. It is my experience that none of my 1911's are reliable enough to be used for HD. No way. They are range and IDPA guns only.

If you want to meet up at USI in Concord you are welcome to give them a try. Since you are a new shooter I would be happy to let you try other guns that I think would be better for you but ultimately it is your decision.

Lead Waster
09-06-2012, 3:47 PM
Funny, I just got back from the range and shot my friends Sig 1911. The first time I shot it, I didn't have a 1911. Then I bought an RIA Tactical and shot it. Now coming back to the Sig I really could tell the difference in the trigger. His Sig's trigger is way lighter and is an absolute pleasure. mine ... not so much. But that's OK, I am getting what I want out of the RIA and that is trigger time behind a 1911. One day I may get that beautiful awesome 1911, but for now I'm enjoying the Tactical.

Oh, I should point out that I "idiot marked" my RIA, but ... the finish on it is not exactly showroom finish so, I just chalk it up to experience with the gun. Now if I had done that with some fancy pants 1911, I'd cry.

I'm not at the stage yet where I would FULLY appreciate a super nice 1911, but having shot my RIA for a while, I can now tell where some of the extra money goes to.
Plus I insist that I am the limiting factor, not the gun. When that changes, I'll get the fancy pants gun.

lilro
09-06-2012, 3:56 PM
Go for something cheaper. If you do get into shooting as a hobby, that will definitely not be your only firearm. There is no "one size fits all" in firearms. You'll want everything.

jessegpresley
09-06-2012, 4:15 PM
Buy the Les Baer now. Don't waste your money on cheaper guns thinking you're saving money. The Les Baer is just gonna be more expensive and take longer to obtain by the time you realize it's what you should have gotten in the first place.

Snoopy47
09-06-2012, 5:10 PM
Go for something cheaper. If you do get into shooting as a hobby, that will definitely not be your only firearm. There is no "one size fits all" in firearms. You'll want everything.

Cost is relative.

I recommend the:
Premier II.
OR
Super Tac (the Premier II with night sights and coated finish)

Here’s the thing with guns. There’s a very good chance you might change your shooting interests, and what you started with won’t be the gun that ends up being your preferred piece of equipment for this hobby.

There are nuances to 1911’s, and I picked up my last Les Bear for $1600 out the door because the owner wanted a Thunder Ranch. Essentially the same quality of platform, but I saved $600 and didn’t have to wait 7 months because he bought one he in the end didn’t want to continue shooting.

Having shot various layouts of 1911s the entire enjoyment of shooting is enhanced by:
Serrated front strap
Beaver Tail Grip Safety
Extended Safety
Quality Sights (one with adjustable sights if you plan to do more long distance shooting)

The sight selection thing is a personal preference, and you will be better off with adjustable ones until you start using it for more defensive shooting and IDPA type competitions. But even then, you can still get away with them. However shooting longer distances with fixed sights becomes a bit of a challenge if you decided to shoot more precision matches.

All Les Baers are essentially the same quality with the only main difference being the 1.5 package. The main differences between them are how they are laid out, and finishes

Beware the idiot mark. A Les Baer was my 3rd 1911 (and 5th), and by then I figured out how to avoid messing it up. But the one I just got came with it because the previous owner was like you. It was his first gun.

patrickstarfish
09-06-2012, 6:02 PM
Go for it! I did, got the p2. However, I'm now getting into polymer 9mm.

tgil
09-06-2012, 6:02 PM
I own a Les Baer TRS 1.5", and couldn't be more pleased with it. It's an incredible pistol that I'm sure you would be extremely happy with. Having said that My 1st 1911 was a Springfield loaded, also a great gun. But having the SA to get used to and comfortable with, I think was a great thing. It also gave me a basis for comparison to the Les Baer. Both guns are fine pistols, but honestly, there is no way to discribe the difference without shooting both. I think having a quality first 1911 (opinions will vary on this) to get familiar with is a wise step before moving up to the higher end customs. Also as a side note, my Springfield does have a small "idiot scratch".:o. The Les Baer, no way!
:cheers2:

ZNinerFan
09-06-2012, 6:18 PM
I know you have your heart set on a Les Baer but if you are going the SSE route consider getting a Dan Wesson Valor.

I plan on getting one next year along with a S&W 460v.

mysak
09-06-2012, 6:56 PM
Also if you decide to check more of a "production" 1911 check out the S&W 1911's. I've had my S&W DK 1911 I believe I picked it up for $1200 had it for about 9 years and has never failed on me. Even though they Aren't "true" 1911's with external extractors IMHO the best production 1911 for the money.

I still say go for the les baer though.

CK_32
09-06-2012, 7:35 PM
Buy a Glock. Don't get a les for your first. You will regret the day you get your first idiot scratch or actually want to role in the dirt and get her dirty and can't play with the rest of the boys.

Buy sub $1k for your first hand gun.. Don't even buy a 1911 until at least a year later after your first hand gun.

Brian1979
09-06-2012, 7:59 PM
Great gun but I would suggest a Springfield TRP as an excellent first 1911. It was my first and as many mentioned I made mistakes on it and its scared for life. Things you dont understand yet will happen and you will damage your baby.

A few things are the mentioned idiot scratch, dropping hammer when slide is off the gun, how to field strip and not induce wear on barrel/bushing fit, etc. There are many things that can happen on a 1911 that you will kick yourself for later.

The TRP is amazing and mine has 40k rounds though it and I shoot competition with it. The gun is stock even down to the grips and yet I own 2 Les Baers but still choose to shoot that one. Baers are nice but for a first timer you wont appreciate anything if you dont know what you have. A TRP will spoil you just the same and you will save about $500-800 vs a Baer. When I got my Wilson Combat I realized what the fuss was about and it by far trumps by Baers in finish and fit. I only know this and was able to instantly compare features because of owning other guns.

I am not saying not to buy a 1911 like some others and I dont think a Glock will scratch that itch you have. You only found interest in a 1911 because like most you realize they are what every gun tries to be. I have glocks and HK as well but nothing beats the sexiness of a 1911. Its truly the king of guns but you have to spend money to get a nice one which seems to be your plan. I just think you will be equally happy buying a TRP and save some money in the end.

nightwolf0215
09-06-2012, 8:08 PM
Hi there, and welcome to the board! You'll find yourself addicted to this forum in no time.

I also started buying my first gun in May. It was an excited experience. And from my own personal perspective, here is what I would have done if I started over knowing what I know now: Buy whatever you can afford, but just make sure you buy it at a price that you can sell it again later.

Here is why. Its nice if you like your first gun and decide to keep it, but its a hit and miss. Also, you learn A LOT more about a gun once you start. Owning one is different from shooting one. And you will never stop. You will start out with something, then you will want something nicer, then something nicer, and it never really stops.

With that out of the way, for Les Baer models, I like the Thunder Ranch Special the most. All Les Baer will shoots the same unless you are REALLY good at it. TRS is a good model to start with, very nicely built, and will definitely satisfy your hunger. :)

Shapes And Colors
09-06-2012, 8:11 PM
Buy the Les Baer now. Don't waste your money on cheaper guns thinking you're saving money. The Les Baer is just gonna be more expensive and take longer to obtain by the time you realize it's what you should have gotten in the first place.

Gotta agree with Jesse on this one.

al8550
09-06-2012, 8:22 PM
Buy the Les Baer now. Don't waste your money on cheaper guns thinking you're saving money. The Les Baer is just gonna be more expensive and take longer to obtain by the time you realize it's what you should have gotten in the first place.

Yup.....Just Do it Already!!!!!

http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g480/al8550/photo-15.jpg

patrickstarfish
09-06-2012, 9:01 PM
Les is more.

Sorry, I couldn't resist it.

Shapes And Colors
09-06-2012, 9:06 PM
Les is more.

Sorry, I couldn't resist it.

LOL. :D

Snoopy47
09-06-2012, 9:12 PM
You will regret the day you get your first idiot scratch or actually want to role in the dirt and get her dirty and can't play with the rest of the boys.

It will do just fine. Mine didn't fail, and I literally rolled around in the mud doing weak hand reloads and firing. The holster prevented total submersion. Shooting it blasted the rest of it off.

http://i676.photobucket.com/albums/vv124/motoman47/P1000426.jpg

Shapes And Colors
09-06-2012, 9:13 PM
It will do just fine. Mine didn't fail, and I literally rolled around in the mud doing weak hand reloads and firing. The holster prevented total submersion. Shooting it blasted the rest of it off.

http://i676.photobucket.com/albums/vv124/motoman47/P1000426.jpg

Now that's what I like to see. It's a tool, not a trophy. Somehow they always look better a little dirtied up.

XDJYo
09-06-2012, 9:18 PM
First off, skip the purchasing part.

Get to Reeds and take a First Steps Pistol safety class with Bill Tidwell. It will give you the information that you may be looking for that the people at the LGS don't have time to answer for you. If you are truly serious about a sport, it will take time to learn it and learn it correctly. The best gun on the planet doesn't mean squat if you don't know how to handle it SAFELY. This is the most important thing about this hobby. Learn and obey the rules of gun safety. Your exposure has given you a head start, but you, me, we all can learn from others.

You have time to learn. To research. To shop. Get to some other shops that have more of a selection of pistols so you can have a go at handling and feeling their triggers. A 1911 and a Glock aren't the only pistols out there. Check out a Hi-Power. A CZ, a Beretta, XD, Sigs and the list goes on and on. You want to buy once, cry once? Then, shop. And shop a lot. Read. Research. Listen.

I took over 6 months of research before I settled on my first pistol. I shot a handful and handled many before I settled on what I bought. It was not an easy choice.

Happy Hunting to you and be safe.

Snoopy47
09-06-2012, 9:21 PM
Actually, this question is best asked at the 1911 forum in the Les Baer sub forum.

http://forums.1911forum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=34

The comments will be biased in the right direction :D

Buddhabelly
09-06-2012, 9:25 PM
It is my experience that none of my 1911's are reliable enough to be used for HD. No way. They are range and IDPA guns only.


Statement like this makes me want to puke.

bigmike82
09-06-2012, 9:26 PM
With a high cost handgun, you're gonna put a lot of wear on it learning how to shoot. Which is fine if you don't mind paying the cost. It might be more prudent buying a Kimber and learning how to shoot on that, and then buy a high-end 1911. That way, you'll be a good shoot when you buy that pistol (which goes a long way to making you happier with your purchase), you'll know the mechanics of the platform (making you less likely to leave idiot marks), and you'll be able to compare the fit and feel of the LB to the Kimber (again, making you happier with the purchase).

Plus, if you buy the Kimber from a private party, you'll be able to resell it for a tiny loss if any, so you're not giving anything up financially.

I don't think you'll be as likely to appreciate the awesomeness of the LB without first trying out something else. Heck, if you want to see what a bad 1911 feels like, get a Springfield GI or a Rock Island. Shoot a few hundred rounds, then compare with an LB.

Ducman
09-06-2012, 9:27 PM
when my TRS grows up, she's going to be just like this (over 15k rounds when this was posted 3 yrs. ago)

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb224/Naciones73/TRS%2016k%20Report/3SlideRight.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb224/Naciones73/TRS%2016k%20Report/16EjectionPort.jpg


http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb224/Naciones73/TRS%2016k%20Report/17LeftRear.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb224/Naciones73/TRS%2016k%20Report/20FrontOblique.jpg


who cares about idiot marks, it's a tool ! it's meant to be shot not a safe queen !

InGrAM
09-07-2012, 1:26 AM
There is a hell of a lot of 1911 ignorance in this thread.... :sleeping:

OP: Buy the Les Baer you want, don't let some know nothings on a forum even come close to changing your mind.

JackRydden224
09-07-2012, 1:57 AM
There is a hell of a lot of 1911 ignorance in this thread.... :sleeping:

OP: Buy the Les Baer you want, don't let some know nothings on a forum even come close to changing your mind.

Yes, purchase the gun you want while you can. I called up Crazy John today and custom ordered an Ultimate Recon. It'll take 6-8month to deliver. You can order now or order later and god knows when you'll get it.

My suggestion though, if you have the extra dough you can buy a RIA to full the spot for the time being. If you sell it you might lose $150 - $ 200 bucks but think of it as a rental fee for using the gun for half a year.

diver160651
09-07-2012, 8:01 AM
Yes, purchase the gun you want while you can. I called up Crazy John today and custom ordered an Ultimate Recon. It'll take 6-8month to deliver. You can order now or order later and god knows when you'll get it.

My suggestion though, if you have the extra dough you can buy a RIA to full the spot for the time being. If you sell it you might lose $150 - $ 200 bucks but think of it as a rental fee for using the gun for half a year.

Great advice! If money is not a factor, buy one in stock.

My les bear is not harder to shoot than my kimber, not harder than my springer.... There is less of a learning curve to shoot a gun with a glass break trigger than a gritty mushy one.

TripleThreat
09-07-2012, 9:14 AM
Statement like this makes me want to puke.

If you clean up mine, I'll clean up yours.....

Triple

teflondog
09-07-2012, 9:28 AM
My very first gun was a Les Baer TRS so I have some experience on this. Don't listen to the people who say to buy a lesser 1911 to learn how to shoot. I really don't see the point in doing that since a Les Baer is an excellent gun to learn with. You'll spend more time shooting than clearing malfunctions like you may do on cheaper 1911s. Baers are meant for shooting and will easily handle thousands of rounds before they're even considered broken in. If you're enamored with the 1911 design like I am, then you may eventually want a top tier 1911 in the future anyway, so skip the hassle of buying a cheap 1911 only to sell it later so you can upgrade to a Les Baer.

M&PTactical
09-07-2012, 9:30 AM
I highly recommend the Les Baer 1911's. I just bought my first 1911 two months ago and it is the Premier II with the 1.5" guarantee. I have several other handguns and i tested a ton of 1911's before making the purchase.

The Les Baer's are tight it was actually pretty funny because the guy giving me the handgun safety overview could not rack the slide so I had to do it for him and when he was showing me how to open the slide slightly to check for a round he shot the dummy round clear across the room. Now that I have 800 rounds thru her with 0 issues is has loosened up.

This gun is way more accurate than I, which is a good feeling because I know when I have a bad group it is my fault and I cannot blame it on the gun. If you are just going to use it at the range I would go with the Premier II as it has the target sights and is a beautiful gun.

Black Majik
09-07-2012, 9:33 AM
Go for it. Les Baer prices are just going to keep going up in price.

sneather
09-07-2012, 9:39 AM
The stupid man always pays twice.

I think this is a great saying. If you buy something that you ultimately didn't want. Then you're going to spend more money in the long run, because you will STILL buy what you first desired.

If you can afford it, buy it. Only you can decide. As for the notion that you need some cheap gun to learn on? No logic there. I might agree, if you said that you wanted to teach yourself custom gunsmithing, with that gun as the test mule. But that's not what you're talking about.

jcaoloveshine
09-07-2012, 9:59 AM
iak,

I am local to you. My LB TRS is going back to Baer today for some repair work, but I also have an Ed Brown Special Forces 1911 (~$2300-2500 range, within your budget).

The Baer is my beater gun, the Ed Brown has a much more refined finish and is not as tight.

You're more than welcome to try out the Brown at Targetmasters this weekend, or any other local Bay Area range. Let me know.

ElDub1950
09-07-2012, 10:18 AM
Just an observation that it seems like people who love 1911s and have excellent performance with them have taken the time and put in the effort to actually learn their guns inside and out and actually know how to keep them in optimal running order. But people who bash 1911s never bothered to learn much more that how to clean the barrel OR decided they are a gunsmith and have tweaked their gun in all the wrong ways. As several people said, you might appreciate the primo models more if you cut your teeth on a more generic model that you can break and scratch a few times without loosing sleep over it.

chickenfried
09-07-2012, 10:23 AM
I've owned baer, colt, kimber, and Dan Wesson 1911's. Starting out with a Les Baer sounds like a good plan to me. My Glock 19 was not "perfection" it was as reliable as the kimber and DW. My baer's been more reliable than all three.

21? usually takes people longer to figure this out :p

My theory in almost every hobby I partake in is 'Do It Once and Do it Right',

JeremyS
09-07-2012, 10:44 AM
While I do still think you should buy an inexpensive one to play with and then sell when you get your nice 1911 of choice (and that could be because you order a baer now and it takes 3 months to get), I do have an awfully nice, even harder-to-get 1911 if you're interested :p. Springfield PC1911 Professional from their custom shop. Made for FBI, actually. About a 2-3 year wait for one of these and it's a $3,300 or so gun new. Low round count, basically pristine condition. Right at your budget, but available now. SA custom catalog (it's the first 1911 listed. Note the names on those boxes: border patrol, fbi, Selleck, motion picture weapons :) ): https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BytZbxONHZtCTVdOd2xQRlRPZ2s

Ducman
09-07-2012, 11:44 AM
There is a hell of a lot of 1911 ignorance in this thread.... :sleeping:

OP: Buy the Les Baer you want, don't let some know nothings on a forum even come close to changing your mind.

Yes, purchase the gun you want while you can. I called up Crazy John today and custom ordered an Ultimate Recon. It'll take 6-8month to deliver. You can order now or order later and god knows when you'll get it.

My suggestion though, if you have the extra dough you can buy a RIA to full the spot for the time being. If you sell it you might lose $150 - $ 200 bucks but think of it as a rental fee for using the gun for half a year.

Great advice! If money is not a factor, buy one in stock.

My les bear is not harder to shoot than my kimber, not harder than my springer.... There is less of a learning curve to shoot a gun with a glass break trigger than a gritty mushy one.

My very first gun was a Les Baer TRS so I have some experience on this. Don't listen to the people who say to buy a lesser 1911 to learn how to shoot. I really don't see the point in doing that since a Les Baer is an excellent gun to learn with. You'll spend more time shooting than clearing malfunctions like you may do on cheaper 1911s. Baers are meant for shooting and will easily handle thousands of rounds before they're even considered broken in. If you're enamored with the 1911 design like I am, then you may eventually want a top tier 1911 in the future anyway, so skip the hassle of buying a cheap 1911 only to sell it later so you can upgrade to a Les Baer.

I highly recommend the Les Baer 1911's. I just bought my first 1911 two months ago and it is the Premier II with the 1.5" guarantee. I have several other handguns and i tested a ton of 1911's before making the purchase.

The Les Baer's are tight it was actually pretty funny because the guy giving me the handgun safety overview could not rack the slide so I had to do it for him and when he was showing me how to open the slide slightly to check for a round he shot the dummy round clear across the room. Now that I have 800 rounds thru her with 0 issues is has loosened up.

This gun is way more accurate than I, which is a good feeling because I know when I have a bad group it is my fault and I cannot blame it on the gun. If you are just going to use it at the range I would go with the Premier II as it has the target sights and is a beautiful gun.

Go for it. Les Baer prices are just going to keep going up in price.

The stupid man always pays twice.

I think this is a great saying. If you buy something that you ultimately didn't want. Then you're going to spend more money in the long run, because you will STILL buy what you first desired.

If you can afford it, buy it. Only you can decide. As for the notion that you need some cheap gun to learn on? No logic there. I might agree, if you said that you wanted to teach yourself custom gunsmithing, with that gun as the test mule. But that's not what you're talking about.

iak,

I am local to you. My LB TRS is going back to Baer today for some repair work, but I also have an Ed Brown Special Forces 1911 (~$2300-2500 range, within your budget).

The Baer is my beater gun, the Ed Brown has a much more refined finish and is not as tight.

You're more than welcome to try out the Brown at Targetmasters this weekend, or any other local Bay Area range. Let me know.

Just an observation that it seems like people who love 1911s and have excellent performance with them have taken the time and put in the effort to actually learn their guns inside and out and actually know how to keep them in optimal running order. But people who bash 1911s never bothered to learn much more that how to clean the barrel OR decided they are a gunsmith and have tweaked their gun in all the wrong ways. As several people said, you might appreciate the primo models more if you cut your teeth on a more generic model that you can break and scratch a few times without loosing sleep over it.

I've owned baer, colt, kimber, and Dan Wesson 1911's. Starting out with a Les Baer sounds like a good plan to me. My Glock 19 was not "perfection" it was as reliable as the kimber and DW. My baer's been more reliable than all three.

21? usually takes people longer to figure this out :p


To sum it up :D:D Just what they said :43::43:

Lead Waster
09-07-2012, 12:24 PM
The stupid man always pays twice.

I think this is a great saying. If you buy something that you ultimately didn't want. Then you're going to spend more money in the long run, because you will STILL buy what you first desired.

If you can afford it, buy it. Only you can decide. As for the notion that you need some cheap gun to learn on? No logic there. I might agree, if you said that you wanted to teach yourself custom gunsmithing, with that gun as the test mule. But that's not what you're talking about.

In this case the stupid man ends up with two guns... not excessively stupid then.

JackRydden224
09-07-2012, 12:27 PM
In this case the stupid man ends up with two guns... not excessively stupid then.

You can never have too many guns.

My Les Baer won't be ready for another 6-8mo. I use it as the perfect excuse/reason to by a RIA 1911 in 9mm to fulfill the emptiness in my heart :D

Honestly, guns don't depreciate that much if you sell it. Just think of whatever money you lose as a rental fee..

Trakker
09-07-2012, 1:02 PM
Buy to shoot or buy to fondle


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

sneather
09-07-2012, 1:48 PM
In this case the stupid man ends up with two guns... not excessively stupid then.

Yeah...It's not like you can really have too many guns. ;-)
But I think it's still a good saying, and applies well to most choices in life.

skyscraper
09-07-2012, 5:56 PM
Buy what you want the first time. Who cares about scratches? Guns can be refinished . My first 1911 was a $1200 kimber(regretted that one) second was a trp and then a Pro. If I did it all over I would have no problem buying the pro as my first pistol. As long as you stick with the hobby, you won't regret or lose any money on a baer

enzo357
09-07-2012, 7:40 PM
My first 1911 was a Les Baer Prem 11 with 1.5 gurantee. Loved it when I got it, and years later still love it. Thing shoots great and brings a smile to my face every time it gets shot.

Yeah sure, some people would be afraid to have an "upper end" gun as a learning tool. To be honest, learning to take care and shoot your 1911 is not rocket science. Take classes, meet fellow shooters, find a smith you like in your area. You will be fine.

In the mean time you have something you really enjoy. Only bad thing, soon you will want another "high end gun." Do it right the first time.

jcaoloveshine
09-07-2012, 7:46 PM
Baers are nice...but I've always thought of them as beater semicustoms.

The thin bluing & simple but classic build just screams "SHOOT ME!!!"

When I hold my Ed Brown I just want to cradle it and tuck it in....

Sam
09-07-2012, 8:25 PM
When I was 21, my first pistol I bought was a Wilson CQB. Quite simply, it was an awesome gun. It shot so well and was such a pleasure to own. I also owned my Dad's Glocks and thought they were ugly guns that simply not worth my time. Why shoot something plastic with a horrible trigger that felt like a block when I could shoot something that felt ergonomic, had a saaaweeet trigger and had top notch fit and finish?

A year ago, or about three years after buying my Wilson, I bought an M&P. I ended up loving it. I could shoot it, abuse it, and it wouldn't malfunction on me. It obviously wasn't as nice as a my Wilson, but it shot well enough and was reliable even when filthy dirty. I had freed myself from making sure my pistol was always clean and oiled. I am now shooting primarily Glocks, for the same reasons as my M&P. The ergonomics no longer bother me, the trigger is acceptable for daily use, and reliability is there even when I'm lazy with cleaning and lubing the gun. Also, the Glocks and M&Ps I own are chambered in 9mm, which I feel is a better choice for a defensive caliber than .45 ACP.

At least for me, I've found the poly pistols to be a better option since they give me outstanding reliability through any and all conditions. Now, I'm not saying my Wilson wasn't reliable. It would however need regular cleanings and lubrication. If you are just looking at a range gun, the Les Baer would be an outstanding choice. If you are looking for a defensive gun, the Les Baer is still an excellent choice, but it will require more maintenance and is chambered in what I believe is a less than ideal defensive caliber.

pipboy
09-07-2012, 8:56 PM
Buy a Glock. Don't get a les for your first. You will regret the day you get your first idiot scratch or actually want to role in the dirt and get her dirty and can't play with the rest of the boys.


Hmmmm I must have missed that memo...

http://i740.photobucket.com/albums/xx48/JJL_photos/Falcon.jpg

M&PTactical
09-08-2012, 12:06 AM
When I was 21, my first pistol I bought was a Wilson CQB. Quite simply, it was an awesome gun. It shot so well and was such a pleasure to own. I also owned my Dad's Glocks and thought they were ugly guns that simply not worth my time. Why shoot something plastic with a horrible trigger that felt like a block when I could shoot something that felt ergonomic, had a saaaweeet trigger and had top notch fit and finish?

A year ago, or about three years after buying my Wilson, I bought an M&P. I ended up loving it. I could shoot it, abuse it, and it wouldn't malfunction on me. It obviously wasn't as nice as a my Wilson, but it shot well enough and was reliable even when filthy dirty. I had freed myself from making sure my pistol was always clean and oiled. I am now shooting primarily Glocks, for the same reasons as my M&P. The ergonomics no longer bother me, the trigger is acceptable for daily use, and reliability is there even when I'm lazy with cleaning and lubing the gun. Also, the Glocks and M&Ps I own are chambered in 9mm, which I feel is a better choice for a defensive caliber than .45 ACP.

At least for me, I've found the poly pistols to be a better option since they give me outstanding reliability through any and all conditions. Now, I'm not saying my Wilson wasn't reliable. It would however need regular cleanings and lubrication. If you are just looking at a range gun, the Les Baer would be an outstanding choice. If you are looking for a defensive gun, the Les Baer is still an excellent choice, but it will require more maintenance and is chambered in what I believe is a less than ideal defensive caliber.

How can you possibly call 45ACP a bad defensive round???

InGrAM
09-08-2012, 12:30 AM
Hmmmm I must have missed that memo...

http://i740.photobucket.com/albums/xx48/JJL_photos/Falcon.jpg

Wow, that is awesome. No ****ting.

:D Looks great.

Sam
09-08-2012, 3:22 PM
How can you possibly call 45ACP a bad defensive round???

Bad? Absolutely not. Ideal? No. We can go round and round on the issue, but in essence, modern 9mm JHPs are effective for self defense while remaining more controllable, cheaper to practice with and offer more capacity with standard magazines than 45 ACP. 45 ACP is an adequate round but modern bullet technology has really changed the defensive round discussion.

jcaoloveshine
09-08-2012, 3:25 PM
Bad? Absolutely not. Ideal? No. We can go round and round on the issue, but in essence, modern 9mm JHPs are effective for self defense while remaining more controllable, cheaper to practice and with more capacity with standard magazines.

Perhaps...but every time you shoot 45acp out of a 1911, JMB winks at you from heaven.

Fishslayer
09-08-2012, 6:06 PM
Befriend someone that has a 1911 and learn the gun inside and out. Shoot it, take it apart and clean it, and shoot it some more.

^^^This.

And if you're considering a $2K pistol make sure you can reassemble it without installing an "idiot mark." :D

Hamachi
09-09-2012, 7:48 AM
If your having trouble making a decision on which Baer model give CJ a call at 1911 heaven. That's where I got my PII. He was the best price and had a ton of Baers in stock.

JeremyS
09-09-2012, 11:14 AM
Perhaps...but every time you shoot 45acp out of a 1911, JMB winks at you from heaven.I dunno. The 1911 was just the prototype for his next and final (or close to final?) gun, which was a high capacity 9mm :p. I think JMB is a 9mm guy also.



...runs away...

rccar
09-09-2012, 11:40 AM
While you're waiting 16weeks for the Bauer, get a rock island to play with. Sell the rock island after the Bauer arrives.

JackRydden224
09-09-2012, 11:51 AM
While you're waiting 16weeks for the Bauer, get a rock island to play with. Sell the rock island after the Bauer arrives.

Yup. Get the Rock Island in 9mm so you'll have two different types of 1911. You don't need to sell the Rock Island afterwards.

Btw if you are going to custom order one it takes 6-8months, not 16 weeks. If you go with a Premier II Crazy John has it in stock.

jcaoloveshine
09-09-2012, 11:58 AM
I dunno. The 1911 was just the prototype for his next and final (or close to final?) gun, which was a high capacity 9mm :p. I think JMB is a 9mm guy also.



...runs away...

NOOOO

FATHER...WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME???

:D

Grimey
09-09-2012, 12:04 PM
My theory in almost every hobby I partake in is 'Do It Once and Do it Right', so that is why I am not considering ...

From your post it sounds like I just worked through a similar situation, coming from a similar background.

The problem with getting into firearms is choice overload and the high signal to noise of information. Everyone seems so personally invested in each firearm its hard to make sense of anything.

I have similar taste and budget as you, and two months ago picked up my first handgun. After not being able to find any clear path, I settled for what is seemingly the safest best - Ruger 22/45. I couldn't find a bad review of it. Biggest complaint is people having difficulty with disassembly - 30mins on youtube and I had the procedure committed to memory before ever handling the pistol.

The decision on the Ruger was mainly to satisfy the urge to buy something, and go through the process. Before the 10 day wait was over, I spent 2x the purchase price in mods and ammo. I've had a blast shooting it. Still need to install the Burris Fastfire w/ low mount....

For the second pistol (this month's purchase), I went back to original goal - getting something quality / interesting. It wasn't that much easier of a choice. I ended up SSE'ing a Sig 1911 Tac Ops. I looked into a bunch of 1911's and I'll admit there were nicer ones - I just didn't think I'd notice the difference by doubling the price.

The 22/45 did teach me one lesson - I like to shoot....allot. Its easy to justify spending more on the firearm, 'cause you can lie to yourself in a bunch of different ways. But ammo cost add up and you can really see the expense of this hobby. A range trip w/ the .22 eats up ~$15-20ish in ammo. The 1911 is like $60 - if you can find cheap ammo.

I guess this can also complicate things, at 2x a week range visit your looking at $400ish a month in ammo, $4800 a year - makes the invest in a $2k 1911 look cheap. Still, I think the Sig Tac-Ops gave me all the basic bells and whistles while i'm learning, so when I get ready for a Nighthawk, Les Bear, etc - I'll be able to know exactly what I want. That is the problem you have now, a $2000 custom gun you buy will be someone else's custom gun. You can't know the feature that are must-haves for you until you put a lot of rounds down range.

I guess, my advice is - you can own more than one pistol. Just buy one to get started and learn by doing. Its near impossible to spend money on the 'wrong' gun.

I'm already planning the next purchase STI 9mm 1911, S&W M&P Pro?

hung380
09-09-2012, 12:35 PM
You can never have too many guns.

My Les Baer won't be ready for another 6-8mo. I use it as the perfect excuse/reason to by a RIA 1911 in 9mm to fulfill the emptiness in my heart :D

Honestly, guns don't depreciate that much if you sell it. Just think of whatever money you lose as a rental fee..

This is what I did! Lol
Ordered my pII and one month into to 6-7 month wait I went out and bought a sig 1911 scorpion.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I717 using Tapatalk 2

Hung.A
09-19-2012, 2:36 PM
Get it man, Les Baer is a good gun to build sentiment with, it'll wear in and grow with you.

sjd78
09-19-2012, 10:22 PM
Don't waste your time or money on a lesser quality 1911. If you have the pocket book to afford a Les Baer 1911 then by all means purchase one. Don't let others try and talk you into throwing away money on some piece of junk that will have little resale value. Get what you want and shoot the hell out of it. Train hard and run it hard. Thats what Les Baer builds them for!

kamagong
10-06-2012, 8:51 AM
I suggest handling some Baers first prior to buying. 1911s built by the various manufacturers all feel a little different. Some people think they're too tight. Others (like me) appreciate the solid feel, like it is made from a single piece of steel.

You say that you are local to Reed's. They have a Premier II, I suggest renting it for an hour or two.

when my TRS grows up, she's going to be just like this

Mine is slowly getting there.

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/1162/lesbaerconceptii8.jpg

http://img856.imageshack.us/img856/8231/lesbaerconceptii9.jpg

http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/8201/lesbaerconceptii7.jpg

They grow up so fast. :D

fullspeed1
10-06-2012, 6:19 PM
My TRS. One hell of a quality firearm.

http://i488.photobucket.com/albums/rr250/fullspeed1/image-4.jpg