Sidearms & Scatterguns Les Bear or Ed Brown 1911

dar1246

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Looking at add another 1911 to the family. Looking for some opinions on these two choices. I have a Wilson and love it but would like another custom.
 

71firebird400

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I own an Ed Brown (SF Carry) and love it; I've also got a Wilson in the safe and the Brown seems very similar in construction to it. If you've never handled a Baer you really need to; I'm not sure I've found a 1911 that is fit as tight as a Baer and I've played with more than one full-blown Bullseye gun. I've never shot a Baer personally, but one reason I shy away from them is I feel that the bluing would wear quickly compared to the coatings offered by other manufacturers.

One other manufacturer that I can recommend is Nighthawk; I've had experience with several of them and all have been stellar.
 
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YTALER

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I had a Baer that would shoot 1 1/2 inches at 50yds with no problem. However it was a safe queen and the "Baer Coat" finish started flaking off and also the thumb safety was difficult to use. I have never been talked to in such a condescending way as I experienced with them. My local shop quite carrying them due to similar customer service issues. I sold mine. Go Wilson or Brown.
 

Pester

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in my search to replace my old Kimber I looked at a lot of 1911's and was able to shoot many of them. For me it came down to the Baer, Wilson, Nighthawk and a Springfield. I visited all the local high end shops (within a 140 radius) and there were a few common themes.

1. They are all good pistols
2. The Baer, based on dealer input, had really poor support and service ( called all 4 of them and I would say Nighthawk was, by far, the most accomodating).

The way the Nighthawk fit my hand and the folks at Nighthawk made my decision easy. Going to pick up my Nighthawk this week.

Not a bad position to be in having to choose between any of those...
 

mikemcg9mm

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I currently have a Brown Kobra Carry LW and love it. I have had Wilson's, Brown's, Nighthawk's, and Baer's. They are all great guns. I still have the Brown, the others have moved on.
 

eddiemac

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I have an Ed Brown Special Forces that makes an average pistol shooter (me) look like a great shooter. Their customer service is very good as mine had a 5 lb trigger pull that they fixed and they also upgraded my grips to fancy cocobolo for no extra charge. Nighthawk is also great but not as good a deal as the Ed Brown (contact Crazy John at 1911 Heaven for Ed Brown pricing, he was the best around a year ago).
 

Wolf22

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Les Baer IMO - tight as snot, but the Premier II i had the opp. to shoot on occasion never failed for me or the owner. Really prefer LB's serrations and is a more friendly gent to the avg. person.

Beyond that - EB is the man when it came to tolerances and really examining the parts of a 1911.........

Sick to think I balked on a new EB Exec Elite with GenIII coating, new for $1695. ughhhh.

Personally - I'd go after a Rock River Arms Elite Commando or Tact. model..........or a Yo-Bo 1*

For bigger money - Pistol Dynamics Combat Evolution Special by Paul L.
 
P

Pleistarchus

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EB SF Custom

Had this built close to a year ago. They do great work. Shoots better now than ever. Haven't had one failure feeding it anything you can imagine.
 

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eddiemac

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Correction, I checked out Crazy Johns web page and apparently he had a falling out with Ed Brown, so he no longer carries them but is still in the Les Baer 1911 business.
 

Lazlo

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    Brown all the way. He CNC's all components with the exception of the trigger, grips, and sights. Being able to keep all the control in-house makes him very competitive.

    Baer's, in my experience, were overly tight and required hundreds of rounds to "break in". Owning a Brown quickly reminded me that tight is not necessarily better, nor more accurate.
     
    M

    milo 2.0

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    Take a Baer, Brown, and Wilson, hold them all up and look at them from the back, the Ed Brown will look like a tight fiitting jigsaw puzzle, the other two pale in comparison. The Baer will be so tight you can't rack the slide, still functions flawlessly, the Wilson just flat out funtions, but the Brown oooozzes qaulity.
    I've owned 3 Baer's , 1 Ed Brown, yet to get a Wilson, every time I decide I want one, the price has risen 3-400.00 bucks, so I opt out.

    You're lucky to be in the dilema!
     

    Cartman

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    I own two Ed Browns and a Wilson, among others. I would get a Springfield Professional. But there is now, I believe, AT LEAST a two year wait if you want new. If you need more immediate gratification I would save some money and get a Dan Wesson. The quality, in my experience, meets or exceeds the browns and will cost less. I will own a Baer some day so don't take this as trashing them, but the examples I've handled at SHOT were not particularly impressive. I will probably own a Nighthawk as well. But the Springer Pro and Dan Wesson are bang for the buck and quality leaders IMO where you might pay more but will likely not get more -- especially with the Springer Pro. YMMV
     

    clmayfield

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    I have a Les Baer with the 1.5" guarantee that I love. In choosing between these, I would consider price, accuracy, fit and finish. Brown has unquestionably better fit and finish. The Baer has machining marks on unexposed parts and surfaces. You can get a Baer in stainless, but not one with the 1.5" guarantee. If you buy from Crazy John, you can get a Baer cheap.

    Honestly, accuracy is not a primary consideration for a pistol, but if it is a prime consideration for you, I would get a Baer with the 1.5" guarantee. Also, if price is a main consideration, the Baer is a bit cheaper. If fit and finish are important, go with Brown. I also think Brown has better reswll value. Both are great pistols. For the money, I would look into the Dan Wesson Valor (as mentioned above). My next 1911 will be either a Dan Wesson or a Baer Monolith Heavyweight.
     

    snipe10

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    Haven't shot a Baer but just bought a Brown SF Carry. I have a full size Volkmann which is the best 1911 I've ever shot but wanted a commander and didn't want to wait a year. So far, I like the Brown a lot!
     

    021411

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    It's been over 10 years since I've own a Les Baer but at one point I did have a Les Baer TRS. It was one of the early production runs (Ser# < 1000) and that thing was "bank vault tight" as many described it at the time. It was so tight out of the box I had a really hard time racking the slide. It loosened up over time but the fit was pretty damn remarkable. I don't know how the current crop of Les Baer's are though. I've only handled the Ed Brown 1911s but they seemed top notch as well.

    I saw that review on the Springfield Professional and I'm not turned off by it at all. If I were to pick one 1911 for hard use/duty work, that would be it. From what I recall, there are more Professionals out in the field (LE/Fed type work) than other custom 1911 models.
     

    dar1246

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    I ended up with a Les Bear UTC 5" model from CJ1911Heaven. He was great to deal with and ships on Monday. Look at the Ed Brown and it was another 800 bones and I might get one later. I think the Les Bear is an itch I have to do. John did talk about the guns are built tight. I will shoot enough the first weekend to break it in.

    If I do enough horse trading. I might go ahead and get a Ed Brown afterwards.
     

    Cartman

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    I don't doubt that there are good Springfield Professional's out there, but this review scared me away-

    Hype vs. Reality, The Springfield Professional PC9111

    Well the guy removed his extractor, had a function problem, sent it to SA, who fixed it by adjusting the extractor. After getting it back he is head over heels in love with the gun and, after owning a crap load of high and low end 1911s, his go-to SHTF gun. As for the tritium insert, did SA make the sight, or did Novak? I think if you read the whole thread it is a great endorsement of the Pro. The guy also went on to order another. That said, I do find it ridiculous that there are any MIM parts on the gun. Even Dan Wessons (at least the vintage I have) don't; and they cost a lot less.

    I did find the guy's description of the Pro as the firearms equivalent of a 1911 unicorn (due to rarity) funny. For me, a Valtro 1911 is more of a 1911 unicorn. Still, it looks like they've only made about 4,000 Pros since 1998 -- so its not like the market is swimming in them, and of those made, most are duty sidearms.

    Finally, as I think I pointed out in another thread, a $5,000 Wilson has a nicer fit and finish to be sure. But I think the Pro is hard to beat for a working gun. YMMV
     

    clmayfield

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    I ended up with a Les Bear UTC 5" model from CJ1911Heaven. He was great to deal with and ships on Monday. Look at the Ed Brown and it was another 800 bones and I might get one later. I think the Les Bear is an itch I have to do. John did talk about the guns are built tight. I will shoot enough the first weekend to break it in.

    If I do enough horse trading. I might go ahead and get a Ed Brown afterwards.

    Enjoy your pistol. I should note that the more recent Baers are not as tight as the old ones. Baer got a lot of feedback on that and has loosened up a bit as a result. There is also a myth that the 1.5" is tighter than the standard. This is not true in general and the reverse is often true.
     

    beercow

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    When did they loosen them up? I have one purchased 8/12 and its still tight to the point I have to press check to break lockup and that's after about 1000 rounds.
     

    knifenix

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    I have a LB Ultra Tactical, 2000 plus rounds without a hic cup. Great Pistols! I also have a Wilson CQB functions flawlessly. My next 1911 will be an ED Brown Kobra Carry in stainless. i don't think you can go wrong with any of the three manuf. Les Baer good gun for the money with a wait of about 14 months with crazy John. Wilsons are pricey and wait of about 2 years for a non supergrade model. Have no experience with Ed Brown but hope to soon when funds permit.