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Question for Dane about Les Baer Stuff

4650 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Dane Burns
Hi Dane,

I know you and alot of smiths aren't real fond of Les Baer guns. What kind of stuff have you seen on them that you don't like or needs to get changed or fixed? I've heard of heat treat issues but I was just curious about other stuff.


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Hey McGee,

The heat treat is the biggy. I cracked a frame myself and have heard of a lot of frame failures in the last six years. Not many lately though to be honest. So I suspect they have cleaned up some of the problems.

The biggest issue between Baer product and my customer service is LB's warrenty. Les refused to back his product. Brownell's saved me from eating several of his frames.

For that reason, the same one that got LB booted from the guild, I no longer suggest or use Baer products.
Education is a wondeful thing. Too bad I always get mine after the fact. Thanks for the info Dane.

I still like my Stinger. I do have one problem with it though as I stated in my post one topic down from this one. I hope I can get this sorted out without too much hoopla. If you have any ideas for me to try so I can isolate the problem, they would be appreciated.

Good point on Baer's warranty problems. I have heard the same thing thing from others, and have as a result decided not to purchase one of his Stinger's, but rather have a gun built.

On the quality of the Les baer frame/slide, I am looking at an Ed Brown catalog from 1997 where Ed waxes eloquent on the advantages of using Les Baer slides and frames. He imply's that they are the best. Was the quality better back then, or was Ed confused (I understand that he no longer uses the Les Baer stuff)?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: TaxPhd on 2001-04-22 14:33 ]</font>
To be fair at the time Baer was undoubtly the best on the market. It took some time for the problems to show up and Les' less than stellar customer service to catch up with him.

Ed Brown now uses Caspian frames and slides with his own name on them. But that is secret, so don't spread it around, OK?

BTW Caspian has NEVER had a cast steel frame returned to them for warremty. Their products have a "lifetime warrenty". More importantly Caspain has stellar customer service.

I don't have time now , but when I return next week ask me about Les Baer and THUNDER RANCH. Least we forget the Wilson Combat and TR connection.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-04-22 15:45 ]</font>
Thanks, Dane.

I guess I made a good choice. The gun I'm having built will be on a Caspian cast Officers frame with a Caspian Commander slide. Opinions of people who seem to know, and Caspian's reputation for quality and service made the decision for me.

I can't wait to hear about the TR/Wilson Combat connection!
Dane, do we get to hear about the TR/Wilson Combat connection?

I'd really like to hear the story about Thunder Ranch and Baer.
OK, this is what I was told by one of the players in the saga.

Bill Wilson was training at Thunder Ranch. The first of his "tactical training" and before IDPA. Clint used Bill's face in a number of ads supporting TR and Bill was building the THUNDER RANCH SPECIAL pistol at Clint's request.

Bill decided to make a "tactical training" series of video tapes. He askes Clint if he would like to be involved with Bill retaining editorial control and being shown as an instructor in the tapes.

Some how the personalities involved couldn't agree on the "instructor/editorial" thing I am told.

The following year of ads in national publications with Bill Wilson supporting Thunder Ranch and Clint Smith supporting Les Baer were the end result of that venture.

The Wilson Combat training tapes feature Bill Wilson, business man, gun maker and IPSC shooter, Lenny Magil, photographer and film editor, and finally Ken Hackathorn, a professional tactical trainer.

My take on this? Bill should build and sell guns, Clint should show folks how to use them.
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