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Post by 1911a145 on Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:08 pm

Can anyone give me opinion on current les Baer models for bullsye shooting? Looking at getting a wadcutter and hardball. Any info appreciated

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Post by mikemyers on Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:18 pm

That's what I started with.  Not a very good choice.  Just to get it to shoot bullseye loads meant having Dave Salyer modify the barrel.  The gun was so tight I could barely operate it.  Save some money, buy something like a relatively inexpensive Springfield, and send it to Dave Salyer or one of the other bullseye gunsmiths to turn it into a Bullseye Gun.  It's a long story, and Dave can explain it better than I can, but Baer built the Premiere II for something other than Bullseye.  They do sell a gun specifically for bullseye, but how many Bullseye shooters do you see here using one?

In addition to Dave, look up Jon Eulette, and KC here in the forums, and check with them too.  I've now got two Salyer 45's, one with a Nelson kit up on top.  Talk to all of  them before you buy anything.  

If I had it to do over again, I'd never have spent the $2K for the Baer - the only good thing is they keep their value, and if I want, I can sell it for a good price.
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Post by Wobbley on Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:25 pm

For not much more than a Springfield RO you can get this.  It may not be available as the posting is getting old, but it would be a fine entry level gun and may actually be much much better.


https://www.bullseyeforum.net/t15347-colt-series-70-build
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Post by kjanracing on Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:36 pm

Look at Rock River Arms. Totally happy with mine.
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Post by mpolans on Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:57 pm

Generally, I think they're over-priced and Rock River Arms guns are usually a better deal. That said, one of my tightest fit guns right now (barrel to slide, slide to frame, etc) is a Les Baer wadgun with a frame mounted dot...go figure. Some of my other guns are a Rock River wadgun, a KC Customs wadgun, a Steve Woods-built 1911, a stock STI Range Master, and a couple stock STI Spartans.

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Post by radjag on Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:35 am

Wobbley wrote:For not much more than a Springfield RO you can get this.  It may not be available as the posting is getting old, but it would be a fine entry level gun and may actually be much much better.


https://www.bullseyeforum.net/t15347-colt-series-70-build
I understand where Wobbley is coming from, but, AFAIK, the rib and extended front sight on the Colt 70 means that it does not comply with CMP Service Pistol Rules - so it is no good as a "hardball" gun as it stands. Most everyone would prefer an optic on a wad gun, so, again, the rib would need to be replaced with a rail. It is at a good price level if the rest of the gun is as listed, but I'm not qualified to make a judgement on better/not than a mildly worked on SARO.

I have a SARO which was upgraded last year by Roddy Toyota - it performs very well - certainly good enough to reach Master level if the person pulling the trigger is good enough Embarassed Embarassed

My first wad gun was a used Baer with frame mount. It was very picky about ammo and I quickly came to hate that frame mount, awkward to cycle the slide and a PITA when stripping for cleaning. IMHO.

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Post by john bickar on Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:58 am

Wobbley wrote:For not much more than a Springfield RO you can get this.  It may not be available as the posting is getting old, but it would be a fine entry level gun and may actually be much much better.


https://www.bullseyeforum.net/t15347-colt-series-70-build
I tried to gobble that one up but the powers that be won't let me have it.
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Post by chiz1180 on Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:06 am

I shoot a Springfield range officer for ball/service pistol matches, I paid about $700 and it easily groups 3" at 50 yards from a ransom rest. Does it have the same cool factor as a les baer, probably not.

As far as a Wadgun is concerned, a frame mount is not my first choice. I find cleaning a gun with a frame mount a bit more time consuming. However you should more easily be able to shoot light loads with one. 

Several people I regularly shoot with shoot Les Baer guns and are very happy with them. Some people I shoot with don't like them at all.

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Post by dronning on Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:28 am

I have both the wad cutter and the hardball and 2 Premier II's.  3 of the 4 were great guns out of the box the 4th (one of the Premier's) needed some fitting before functioning.  After breaking it in my wad cutter shot a 50yd 7 shot group on a RR that fit under a quarter, it was a solid 2" gun. After about 5K rounds it opened up but is still under 3". I eventually upgraded to a KC built gun and if I had it to do over that's where I would start.  

No reason to buy the hardball gun get since a Premier II now qualifies for EIC matches.  The Springfield RO with a little smith work is the way to go.  Get 2 have a dot put on one and keep the irons on the other.  You will save 30-40% verses buying the LB.

- Dave
I think getting a well made LB is more of a crap shoot now verses years ago.
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Post by mikemyers on Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:45 pm

Maybe I should have been a little less harsh in my first post.  In many ways I enjoyed, and still enjoy, the Baer Premiere II, after I shot enough full load ammo to loosen it up enough so I could rack the slide, and eventually I could even remove the barrel bushing.  The gun never liked bullseye ammo, especially my Magnus #801 ammo.  I took photos of the fired ammo and photos of the insides of the gun to show where it was hitting/binding, and then sent the barrel and slide stop to Dave Salyer who worked his usual magic on it, and now my PII feeds SWC ammo with no complaints.

I don't want to drill and tap the Baer slide for a rail so I'm still shooting the gun with steel sights.  Part of me wants to get rid of it, but a bigger part of me tells me I've got so much $$ and effort and time invested in it, I should keep it forever.  

The photo in my Profile box at the right is my Salyer Springfield.  I'm the third owner, and Dave tells me it is still tight, not in need of anything.  The previous owner was using it for practice while he built his own gun.  Everything with the Springfield is fine, but Dave tells me he never did some extra fitting he does to make it compatible with a 22 conversion.  With the Nelson on top, the hammer "follows" the slide, rather than staying back after each shot.  I could send it back to Dave for adjustment, but I took the easy way out, and put the Nelson Conversion on my Salyer Caspian wad gun instead.

If I had this all to do over again, I'd follow Dave's original advice, but a Springfield, and get it to Dave to make into a Wad gun, compatible with a 22 Conversion.


One more thing to add - that my Baer jammed up with my SWC ammo is NOT a fault in the Baer.  Baer built the Premier II for certain uses, which did NOT include Bullseye Competition.  In no way am I upset at Baer about this (.....although I hated how tight he made the gun - it took 2,000 rounds to start to get freed up).  For 230 grain Winchester White Box ammo, it was flawless.

As long as I'm saying this much I have one more "issue".  I've never learned the magic trick of how to re-install the slide stop.  Pachmayr made a tool that greatly simplified this, and after buying it, I was no longer as frustrated as before.  BUT, there is a simple thing that any gunsmith can do with a Slide Stop that makes it effortless to get back in place.  Dave did it for both my Wad Guns, and when I sent him my barrel for modification, I also sent the slide stop.  Now the Baer slide stop is effortless to re-install.     :-)
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Post by lakemurrayman on Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:08 pm

I have 2 Les Baer wadcutters,bought in 2013.The finish on the guns are not show room beautiful but I didn't buy them for that.I have not had one problem with either gun.I shoot one for centerfire and one in 45.There is no difference in the 2 guns.These 2 guns will not hold anyone back.I don't know how many rounds they have but 2 years ago i bought 35,000 wolf primers and i have 1,000 left.My opinion is that the Les Baers are wonderful.One last thing,the only magazines that have ever been in them are Wilsons.
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Post by 71firebird400 on Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:51 pm

Have Baer P2, and absolutely love it. The gun has run since day 1, regardless of ammo. It'll cycle anything I load for it all the way down to super light 160 SWC's. There are a lot of good options out there for 1911's but nothing is more frustrating than when something isn't reliable.

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Post by Myke on Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:51 pm

I have both a frame mount and a slide mount wadcutter guns. They will both hold sub 1 1/2" at 50 yards with Federal ammo out of a Ransom Rest. I have put thousands of rounds through the slide mount gun with zero problems or loss in accuracy. I will say that these are my 2nd and 3rd Baers - and everyone had the worst trigger on the planet right out of the box. I replaced the entire assembly, disconnector, bow, hammer, sear and was able to get a very crisp break. The overall guns are really nice - the triggers are terrible. JMO

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