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  #1  
Old 05-01-2009, 4:47 PM
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Question Kimber Custom vs Les Baer

Please, explain the difference which commands Les Baer's higher premium?
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  #2  
Old 05-01-2009, 4:58 PM
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To start. No MIM and a Kart barrel.

I'll let everyone else chime in..
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  #3  
Old 05-01-2009, 5:11 PM
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fit, quality, customer service, accuracy, bilt with love
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Old 05-01-2009, 5:14 PM
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Originally Posted by colossians323 View Post
fit, quality, customer service, accuracy, bilt with love
Could you be more specific about fit and quality?
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  #5  
Old 05-01-2009, 6:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Black Majik View Post
To start. No MIM and a Kart barrel.

I'll let everyone else chime in..
Forgive the noob question, but what is MIM? What does it stand for, and why is it bad?
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  #6  
Old 05-01-2009, 7:00 PM
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MIM=Metal Injection Molding

Part is cast to create its shape not milled from a forged piece of steel.
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  #7  
Old 05-01-2009, 8:38 PM
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of my 5 kimbers 3 are custom shop raptor II's.
I would rate them as good as any les Baer.
I did have a minor issue with a pro carry II but it now shoots flawlessly.
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  #8  
Old 05-01-2009, 8:55 PM
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I think I would cry if I reached into my safe and found my Les Baer was replaced by a Kimber. But that is just me!
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  #9  
Old 05-01-2009, 9:01 PM
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I've owned a Kimber Custom II and still own a Kimber Raptor II and a Les Baer TRS.

The Les Baer is built with tighter tolerances all around which is supposed to attribute to accuracy. No MIM as mentioned and trigger pull and reset are both superior to Kimber's.

Kimbers are great guns but there is definitely a difference in craftsmanship when compared to a Les Baer.
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  #10  
Old 05-01-2009, 9:22 PM
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Not to bash on Kimber, but does Kimber have the external extractor figured out yet ?? I had a Eclipse for a short time because I felt in love w/ that 2-Tone finish but the gun was an extractor night mare ! I know guys had Smith & GSR's and they didn't have the problems I'd w/ my Kimber. I finally got a better 2-Tone fix when Sig came out w/ Equinox series, needless to say, I bought a couple & never looked back at another Kimber again.
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  #11  
Old 05-01-2009, 9:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hybridkarpower View Post
Not to bash on Kimber, but does Kimber have the external extractor figured out yet ?? I had a Eclipse for a short time because I felt in love w/ that 2-Tone finish but the gun was an extractor night mare ! I know guys had Smith & GSR's and they didn't have the problems I'd w/ my Kimber. I finally got a better 2-Tone fix when Sig came out w/ Equinox series, needless to say, I bought a couple & never looked back at another Kimber again.
Yea they have that problem figured out. Give customer service a call, send in your slide, and they'll give you a new one without the external extractor.
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  #12  
Old 05-01-2009, 9:28 PM
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i've shot both and owned a kimber...i still really want a les baer trs. the first time i picked one up and shot it, all 7 rnds went into a quarter sized hole.

i think for newer shooters u have to keep in mind both are good guns and high end guns will shoot better than you can. if you have the extra money and want something u can grow into, buy the baer. if money is tight get the kimber and i bet it will still outshoot you.
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  #13  
Old 05-01-2009, 9:56 PM
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OMG I can't believe you're comparing a Kimber to a Baer.
The people at 1911forums.com would be all over this one.
I used to have a Kimber TLE and that thing was a problem child since day one. And the trigger had so much creep and overtravel it was ridiculous.
I sold it and got a Baer TRS and it's like night and day in terms of fit, function, and accuracy.
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  #14  
Old 05-01-2009, 11:12 PM
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Oh blah blah les baer... My pro cdp 2 is a beautiful gun and a beautiful shooter. It's a top notch 1911. Some of the les baer guns are top notch 1911s as well. Whiners at 1911forums, can't even stand to read threads there. (although I stick to calguns exclusively these days for anything guns related).
Don't compare the almost $2000 trs to an $800 tle, come on. Compare it to a custom shop gun.
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  #15  
Old 05-01-2009, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigcalidave View Post
Oh blah blah les baer... My pro cdp 2 is a beautiful gun and a beautiful shooter. It's a top notch 1911. Some of the les baer guns are top notch 1911s as well. Whiners at 1911forums, can't even stand to read threads there. (although I stick to calguns exclusively these days for anything guns related).
Don't compare the almost $2000 trs to an $800 tle, come on. Compare it to a custom shop gun.
+1 on that. My question was about Custom Shop Kimbers. Do they still use MIM barrels there?
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  #16  
Old 05-02-2009, 12:36 AM
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What MIM barrels? The barrels are most certainly forged steel.
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  #17  
Old 05-02-2009, 12:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigcalidave View Post
Compare it to a custom shop gun.
Comparing the Custom II I had to the Raptor II (a Custom Shop gun), they were both comparable in build quality. IMO the Raptor II cost more for the cosmetic differences and the night sights.

Maybe a different Custom Shop gun might be built better? The Gold Combat MSRP is just over $2000.
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  #18  
Old 05-02-2009, 5:13 AM
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The Kart barrels will outlast a stainless barrel any day. Maybe twice as long. the material is so hard that the inside of the barrel looks like a mirror because it is so smooth.
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  #19  
Old 05-02-2009, 6:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The SoCal Gunner View Post
Comparing the Custom II I had to the Raptor II (a Custom Shop gun), they were both comparable in build quality. IMO the Raptor II cost more for the cosmetic differences and the night sights.

Maybe a different Custom Shop gun might be built better? The Gold Combat MSRP is just over $2000.
The Custom II is NOT a Kimber Custom shop gun. The Raptor II is. And...My Raptor II's were closer to $1,300, not $800. The Custom II is a great entry level 1911.

Les Baer makes a great gun. one of the best 1911's available. I personally like the Thunder Ranch if I were to get one.
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  #20  
Old 05-02-2009, 1:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glockman19 View Post
The Custom II is NOT a Kimber Custom shop gun. The Raptor II is. And...My Raptor II's were closer to $1,300, not $800. The Custom II is a great entry level 1911.

Les Baer makes a great gun. one of the best 1911's available. I personally like the Thunder Ranch if I were to get one.
I don't believe he was stating the Custom II is a Kimber Custom shop gun, he was stating that his previous Custom II is comparable to his Raptor II.
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  #21  
Old 05-02-2009, 1:48 PM
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IMHO/.02: Kimber CUSTOM vs. Les Baer = Apples to Oranges. Yes, I have owned in the past a Kimber, Gold Combat II. They are great shooters for what they are.
Also, have shot/Fondled, a Les Baer TRS.........TRS =

Would I buy a Kimber = Yes, but for what it is. A mass produced "production" gun with options are some bells/whistles. Many I know have Kimbers and are pleased with them. They shoot them for what they are, and Kimbers Shoot NICE & TIGHT. Again, just as is. Not to customize, just as is.

BUT, some want only the best "without" a half year to a full year+ wait = Les Baer. People call them semi, I hate even saying that. I feel they are FULL Customs. Seen insight to their production and IMHO, nothing close to an assembly line. One piece fitted by hand one by one. Nothing I saw reassembled the word "semi"

Again, MY OPINION = "To Each His/Her Own"

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  #22  
Old 05-02-2009, 1:52 PM
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neither
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  #23  
Old 05-02-2009, 2:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Majik View Post
I don't believe he was stating the Custom II is a Kimber Custom shop gun, he was stating that his previous Custom II is comparable to his Raptor II.
I got it. just didn't agree. My Custom II breaks at 5lb, my Raptor II 3.5lb. right from the factory. the barrel on my Raptor II fits "perfectly" and has a wonerfully polished feed ramp eating everything I feed it, the Custom II barrel fits well, not nearly as tight, and you can clearly see the difference when side by side. I like the serrations of the Raptor II and the high polish finish as oposed to the flat kimpro fininsh on the Custom II. Night sights are different as are Raptor and Standard grips. Don't forget the ambi safety on the raptor and the single one on the Custom II.

Both are a joy to shoot.

so...just because they are the same color doesn't mean they are comprable from a shooting perspective.

That said...for someone who thinks the two Kimbers are "comprable", then wants to compare a Custom Shop Kimber to a Les Baer is like comparing a Mercedes C-class, (kimber Custom II) to Mercedes S-class, (Kimber Custom Shop, Raptor, Warrior...) to a Bentley (Les Baer, love that Thunder Ranch Special). If you're into fast cars substitute Porsche for Mercedes and Ferrari/Mazaratti for Bentley.

After 5 Kimbers I'd like to keep the Raptor II's and switch out the Custom II and Pro Carry II for Pro & Ultra Stainless Raptor II's, my next 1911 however, will be a Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special. http://www.lesbaer.com/thundr.html
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  #24  
Old 05-02-2009, 2:39 PM
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You don't have to agree. The only thing I can't compare is the trigger pull on each gun since I don't own a gauge but Kimber listed same pull weight for both guns.

The Custom II I owned had a tight lockup. Slide to frame fit was excellent as well as the barrel (even though not over-sized and fit by hand as they do on the Raptor according to Kimber). Slide moved like it was on ball bearings. Safety engaged and disengaged very nicely. Finish is not the fanciest but nice on a combat pistol and was consistent. Aluminum trigger was nice and tight with very little play.

Raptor II has most of the above. The slide movement isn't as smooth as the Custom II but still very good and tight. Ambidextrous safety engagement and disengagement isn't as smooth with a little play when using the right side safety. Trigger is loose and rattles (which I'll replace soon). Finish on the slide stop and safety isn't as consistent but I really don't care too much.

Both shot very well but I've had more time with the Raptor and it shoots very nicely. Overall fitment of parts and rounding of corners are the same.

Comparable IMO and take into account the ~$500 MSRP price difference.

Why did I get rid of the Custom II? Because I wanted night sights, ambidextrous safety, liked the looks and finish of the Raptor, and got it for a very good price.

It isn't really comparing a C-class to an S-class. More like a C300 and then a C350 sport. A bit more umph (hand fit barrel) and maybe some cosmetic differences.

And of course this is my opinion from the guns I own or have owned.

Last edited by The SoCal Gunner; 05-02-2009 at 2:41 PM..
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  #25  
Old 05-02-2009, 2:47 PM
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+1 les baer.
tighter tolerance.

but if you are just plinking, get a kimber or RIA.
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  #26  
Old 05-02-2009, 3:12 PM
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Tolerance? Where? There isn't a part of my cdp that has any play. Can't get tighter than that.
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Old 05-02-2009, 3:17 PM
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Quote:
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Tolerance? Where? There isn't a part of my cdp that has any play. Can't get tighter than that.
Uh... yes it can.

Have you tried a Baer yet?
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  #28  
Old 05-02-2009, 3:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Majik View Post
Uh... yes it can.

Have you tried a Baer yet?
If it's so tight, is it easy to operate? Also, what about reliability? It's like AR vs AK. AR is tighter and therefore more precise, but more prone to jam when dirty and AK is the other way around.
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  #29  
Old 05-02-2009, 3:58 PM
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While I'm not the biggest Les Baer fan I don't think even the custom shop Kimbers can compare. If you inspect the two side by slide inside and out it's evident more time has been spent on the Baer, not just on fitting parts but in the finish, the uniformity of the checkering, the finish on the outer surfaces. There are many other things.

I also believe there are other high end 1911 makers who do even a better job than Baer on these same areas.
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  #30  
Old 05-02-2009, 4:07 PM
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Baer has it's own unique type of "tightness". I've never heard other high-end 1911s (Ed Brown, Wilson or Nighthawk for example) described the way Baers are described in regards to "tightness".

It's not so tight that it affects function. The frame/slide action on my Baer is smooth as glass. The barrel/bushing fit is...well, tight.

If you've never experienced a Baer firsthand, in particular a brand spankin' new one, then you have no idea what we're all talking about. Once you actually have one in your hand, rack it (with the hammer down) and you'll probably say "Okay, that's what those idiots were talking about!"
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  #31  
Old 05-02-2009, 4:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Majik View Post
Uh... yes it can.

Have you tried a Baer yet?
Yeah, I have, and it was just as tight. Not better. Where's the better? My slide racks like glass, the trigger is light and crisp, I don't take care of the gun well at all, and it's still great! I just detail stripped the thing for the first time in almost 8 years and thousands of rounds. No, the baer is not a better gun. Maybe a more expensive gun, but I also never liked the way any of the baer guns looked. They are all sharp and ugly, with hard edges and lines. So IMHO the Kimber is better! Don't try to say that something based in personal preference is a fact based on imaginary specifications! It's not. Although that argument is the basis of the internet.
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  #32  
Old 05-02-2009, 5:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigcalidave View Post
Yeah, I have, and it was just as tight. Not better. Where's the better? My slide racks like glass, the trigger is light and crisp, I don't take care of the gun well at all, and it's still great! I just detail stripped the thing for the first time in almost 8 years and thousands of rounds. No, the baer is not a better gun. Maybe a more expensive gun, but I also never liked the way any of the baer guns looked. They are all sharp and ugly, with hard edges and lines. So IMHO the Kimber is better! Don't try to say that something based in personal preference is a fact based on imaginary specifications! It's not. Although that argument is the basis of the internet.
I'm a big fan of Kimbers as well, please don't get me wrong. I own Kimbers myself, one of them being a pre-series II Classic Royal.

However, the differences are quite significant. Since you mentioned detail stripping yours, I can tell you that Baers are fitted to much tighter tolerances on the inside as well. The sear pin through the frame, disconnector and sear has less slack and play than through my Kimbers.

The bushing is so tight, even after 15K or so rounds, it still requires a bushing wrench to turn.

Running your fingers along the barrel, you can feel the bump towards the end of the barrel where it meets the bushing for tight lockup.

With a Kart barrel, no MIM parts, lack of a Schwartz Safety and an accuracy guarantee of 3" at 50 yards, it's tough to say the Kimber is comparable. However, I don't believe a Baer is the end all, be all of 1911s. There are many which are better.

It is personal preference whether the difference is worth it. My Kimbers are also tack drivers, reliable and fun to shoot. I've trusted it as a carry gun before, it is quite a fine handgun.

I'm just comparing between the two, with my personally owned guns.
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  #33  
Old 05-02-2009, 8:42 PM
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"There is no such thing as BEST in a world of individuals"
--Hugh Prather

All of them are fun to shoot and accurate and reliable. Aren't those the 3 most important atributes you want in a gun?

A beautiful gun that jams and can't hit the broad side of a barn isn't fun to shoot.

I happen to like Kimbers for the 3 reasons above in addition to great value. I spent the difference on ammo.
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Old 05-02-2009, 8:53 PM
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Are there MIM parts in Kimber Custom Shop Models?
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Old 05-02-2009, 9:17 PM
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Quote:
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Are there MIM parts in Kimber Custom Shop Models?
I'm sure there are.
All parts MIM, Cut or Forged can and will break.
I'm also sure that they meet a higher standard of quality control.
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Old 05-02-2009, 9:34 PM
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rob roy,
you are welcome to shoot my les baer tom. at metcalf range (10am) to experience it first hand.
kimber lovers are welcome to compare theirs.
if im at the pistol range, look for a brown wilson combat range bag.
if im at the rifle range, look for a socom 16.
bring ammo!!!

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  #37  
Old 05-03-2009, 1:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asgalindez View Post
If you've never experienced a Baer firsthand, in particular a brand spankin' new one, then you have no idea what we're all talking about. Once you actually have one in your hand, rack it (with the hammer down) and you'll probably say "Okay, that's what those idiots were talking about!"
This should have ended the thread awhile back.
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  #38  
Old 05-03-2009, 2:17 AM
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why? Its a completely subjective argument. Just like how I can pull the trigger on a glock and CRINGE at how horrible it is, but some people still swear they are the greatest guns on earth. Can't end a thread with VS in the title by saying one is better!!! duh.
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Old 05-03-2009, 8:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigcalidave View Post
why? Its a completely subjective argument. Just like how I can pull the trigger on a glock and CRINGE at how horrible it is, but some people still swear they are the greatest guns on earth. Can't end a thread with VS in the title by saying one is better!!! duh.
True, it is completely subjective and all comes down to preference. This is like comparing a Corvette to a Ferrari. One is assembled on at a factory assembly line with machines...while the other is put together by hand. There is a difference. I own a Kimber and my friend owns a Les Baer. But not just tightness of barrel and slide; the other small parts are blended and fitted in to place. Just by looking at the rear of the gun...grip safety, hammer, ejector, main spring housing, firing pin stop, and the rear of extractor...they are all smoothed out and fitted to the point where all the parts look like they are outlined with a fine thin piece of hair.
Im looking at the rear of my Kimber(Eclipse) right now. There are small gaps at the bottom where the grip safety meets the frame. The slide and extractor are not completely flush with the slide. The ejector looks like it is in more, and is also not flush with the frame. This is the same pistol as yours, and I can see these differences compared to the Les Baer. This is where that extra money is spent...and this is just one area where the LBs are placed in a higher level compared to the Eclipse.
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:28 AM
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asgalindez asgalindez is offline
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I like the comparison to cars, so I'll give one of my own.

Let's use Mustangs to represent a 1911. You can buy a Cobra (Kimber) or a Saleen (Baer).

Both are performance oriented. Some would consider the Saleen better. Some would see no huge difference between the two - they both go fast right? Someone who owns a Cobra but never drove a Saleen would probably say "why pay more to do what my Cobra can do already?"

Some would appreciate the subtle differences between the two, and decide which is better according to their personal preferences.

I own a Kimber Eclipse Custom II 10mm and a Les Baer Custom Carry. Both are great guns. I like the Baer more because of the attention to detail. The Kimber is a close second.
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