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les baer custom - beware

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Post by Lenny53 6/29/2021, 2:24 pm

Buyers BEWARE! If you are shopping for a bullseye gun – RUN AWAY! If you hope to get even a small resemblance of customer service – RUN AWAY!
I purchased bullseye wad from these guys in November of 2020. I also paid for 1.5″ guarantee barrel. Usually these come with test target that demonstrates the 1.5″ group. Mine came without the target and it did not shoot even close to 1.5″. I called them and asked about it. They said that they forgot to include the target and it takes 500 “brake in” shots to get the group. Given today’s supply shortage it was not easy to go through 500 shots of .45ACP, but I did shoot close to a thousand rounds. I shot from the rest, from hand and from RansomRest – NO GROUP. So, I called again (please be aware that their phone only answers 2-3 times a week if you are lucky) and asked what the problem was. Needless to say – of course!- the problem was me. Mr. Baer, I am a bullseye champion of Ukraine and shoot 97% at 50 yards. Also I used all possible loads available from the best load gurus in USA and none of them shot even a small resemblance of the group. I also reverse engineered your favorite Atlanta Arms ammo and got the same junky group.
So at the beginning of April of 21 I called again and demanded them to prove that the gun shoots! Of course, they did not even think offering paying for the shipping, so I paid for it. As of today the gun is still there and I have no any proof that the gun shoots 1.5″. Any time I call them and if I am lucky and somebody picks up the phone – I am getting the same answer – we are still testing. At some point Mr. Baer picked up the phone and here is a beautiful one: after yelling (literally Y E L L I N G!) at me and accusing me that I can’t shoot and that the gun is not designed to be used with RansomRest and that ALL LOADED AMMO IS JUNK, he said that the gun is already (!!!!) shooting a good group but he is waiting for another ammo to prove it!!!! That was said 3 months ago. Is he still waiting? If the gun already shoots a group, can I see it? Even if we forget about me, how about other customers who purchased bullseye gun last 3-4 months – are they also waiting for 3 months to get their test target? DON’T WAIST YOUR TIME AND MONEY – RUN AWAY, BUY SOMEWHERE ELSE

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Post by Jon Eulette 6/29/2021, 2:39 pm

This is not the first time I have heard of LB stories like this. It’s sad that Les feels the need to yell at customers when typically Baer (company) is truly at fault. I have helped many shooters over the years return pistols to Baer for corrective repairs; typically barrel related. If I wasn’t a gunsmith I would never purchase one. They build into great BE guns and I like using them as a base pistol. 
Sorry your having problems with them.
Jon
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Post by bruce martindale 6/29/2021, 3:02 pm

Sorry to hear that, the early ones were good.

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Post by Axehandle 6/29/2021, 3:05 pm

+1   Paid KC to put a new barrel in mine...

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Post by James Hensler 6/29/2021, 5:15 pm

So it’s shoots 1.5 inch group at Les Baer but for you to duplicate it you have to shoot 500 rounds???? Did anyone else pick up on that?
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Post by Axehandle 6/29/2021, 5:37 pm

Les just needs to stay off the customer service phone.  I've talked to multiple people who have found him to be extraordinarily rude.  Met him at the Bianchi Cup 30 or so years ago and knew right off he would NEVER build a gun for me.  Currently have a couple with his markings on them but I did not have them built and never will.

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Post by jglenn21 6/29/2021, 6:49 pm

James Hensler wrote:So it’s shoots 1.5 inch group at Les Baer but for you to duplicate it you have to shoot 500 rounds???? Did anyone else pick up on that?


Yep,  logic is apparently not a strong suit there
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Post by mikemyers 6/29/2021, 7:51 pm

Of all the guns I have bought in my life, by far the most frustrating was the Baer Premiere II.  

I spoke to him only one time, and I would rate him at a zero for customer support.  He insisted that the original recoil spring (I think 18#) was the proper spring for bullseye loads.  I didn't argue - I got advice from others.  There was a lady at Baer who usually answered my calls - she seemed much more civil on the phone, and gave me better information that Les did.

My Premier II would not cycle bullseye ammo - I took photos of everything, sent the photos to Dave Salyer, and after Dave explained the problem, sent the barrel to Dave who fixed it, and returned it.  

To be fair, it did shoot Winchester White Box 230 grain ammo just fine, so I'm not sure this was a valid complaint.  It's a pretty gun, and now I like it, for when I want to shoot with iron sights.  For the cost of that gun though, I should have bought a real Bullseye gun from Dave, KC, Jon, or one of the other smiths who I read about so often here.


Back to this thread - call again, and if you get someone other than Les on the phone, ask them to send it back to you ASAP.  Make up a reason.  And then, if it behaves the same, send it off to someone involved in Bullseye guns.  Do you have access to a good rest, for testing it?
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Post by SW-52 6/29/2021, 8:03 pm

I never spend my money on a Les Baer gun, not the first time i read a bad review of Les Baer Pistols. If you want a better option than a les Baer, buy a Springfield Range officer and send to KC, Jon or a Accuracy X multisight slide fitted to existing frame you will obtain a Better pistol tnan a Les Baer.
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Post by Lenny53 6/29/2021, 9:00 pm

James Hensler wrote:So it’s shoots 1.5 inch group at Les Baer but for you to duplicate it you have to shoot 500 rounds???? Did anyone else pick up on that?
I don't think they even tested it!

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Post by Lenny53 6/29/2021, 9:08 pm

mikemyers wrote:Of all the guns I have bought in my life, by far the most frustrating was the Baer Premiere II.  

I spoke to him only one time, and I would rate him at a zero for customer support.  He insisted that the original recoil spring (I think 18#) was the proper spring for bullseye loads.  I didn't argue - I got advice from others.  There was a lady at Baer who usually answered my calls - she seemed much more civil on the phone, and gave me better information that Les did.

My Premier II would not cycle bullseye ammo - I took photos of everything, sent the photos to Dave Salyer, and after Dave explained the problem, sent the barrel to Dave who fixed it, and returned it.  

To be fair, it did shoot Winchester White Box 230 grain ammo just fine, so I'm not sure this was a valid complaint.  It's a pretty gun, and now I like it, for when I want to shoot with iron sights.  For the cost of that gun though, I should have bought a real Bullseye gun from Dave, KC, Jon, or one of the other smiths who I read about so often here.


Back to this thread - call again, and if you get someone other than Les on the phone, ask them to send it back to you ASAP.  Make up a reason.  And then, if it behaves the same, send it off to someone involved in Bullseye guns.  Do you have access to a good rest, for testing it?
Mike, I can not get my gun back! The lady on the phone says the gun is at Les' office and he is not here and she does not know when he will be back. HOW CAN I EVEN GET MY GUN BACK?

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Post by kc.crawford.7 6/30/2021, 5:36 am

Get in touch with the Illinois attorney general's office and initiate a case against them.  Get their attention.
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Post by BE Mike 6/30/2021, 6:57 am

I have found, over the years, that the vast majority of folks in the gun/ ammo industry are honest and will bend over backwards to please the customer. That being said, there are rare exceptions. I suppose that is why the Rock River guys split with Les many years ago to start their own business.
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Post by JIMPGOV 6/30/2021, 7:58 am

kc.crawford.7 wrote:Get in touch with the Illinois attorney general's office and initiate a case against them.  Get their attention.
KC HE'S IN IOWA NOW. JP

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Post by Froneck 6/30/2021, 8:44 am

How can anyone say a pistol will shoot 1.5" if it has to shoot 500 rounds to break-in? Maybe if your lucky one 10 shot group out of 50 fired just might shoot 1.5"? Some time ago a friend of mine was telling me of a Les Baer video showing how he made target guns. A somewhat production line of a few guys working on guns, each doing a different task! I seen quite a few problems, I told him it was a good video of how Not to build at Target BE pistol! I don't work on the 1911 as a business but do it for a select few friends. When the gun leaves the shop it will shoot 1.5" or less and continue shooting 1.5" after 5000 rounds! Most top pistol smiths that build target 1911s for BE competition take pride in their work and would send out a gun that is shooting a group requested! As mentioned earlier getting a Range Officer and sending it to KC or Jon is better than buying a Les Bunk!

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Post by mikemyers 6/30/2021, 10:21 am

Lenny53 wrote:Mike, I can not get my gun back! The lady on the phone says the gun is at Les' office and he is not here and she does not know when he will be back. HOW CAN I EVEN GET MY GUN BACK?
The first thing I would do, today if possible, is put together a file on your gun, with copies of any paper correspondence, and dates/times/participants of any of your communications.  You'll have it all together and organized when/if needed.

If you have a lawyer friend, or someone involved in legal advice, they can help, but you will likely need to pay them.

What I think they might tell you, is what kind of letter you should send them, via certified/registered USPS Express Mail, return receipt required, essentially saying you want the gun shipped back to you in the next X days, or you will start legal proceedings to recover it.  If it's worth $2,000 or more, and they are not returning it to you, that might qualify as a felony.  If a lawyer could draft the document, and send it to the Baer Company, such that someone at the company needs to sign for receipt of the letter, that might get them to return it to you sooner.  If there are penalties for not doing so, those could be mentioned in the letter.  (Real legal advice would be much better for you than suggestions made here in the forum - I'm sure there are things you should say, as well as things you should not say.)

I'm assuming the paperwork and documents should be sent to "Les Baer Custom Inc", attention Les Baer, at their Iowa address.

In the meantime, call back one more time, and get the name and position of the person you are connected to, and document everything this person says.  If you sound serious enough about this, it might instigate some action.  My own thoughts are that you should demand written proof that the gun is on its way back to by (5 days?) or you will return to your lawyer to instigate legal proceedings, as well as posting this complaint on ever gun-related forum that you can find, along with the copy of the file on the history of this gun and your dealings.  Specifically say, in writing, that you do NOT want them to work on the gun, examine the gun, or do anything else that justifies their keeping it any longer - and if it is apart, they should send you all the pieces.  

Other people here can probably enhance what I've just written.  A lawyer could do much better.  It might cost you, but it should speed up the return.
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Post by Wobbley 6/30/2021, 5:27 pm

This is not legal advice; I’m not an attorney, don’t play one on TV, and I didn’t spend last night at a Holiday Inn.  

Regardless of the value, what Baer is doing is not a felony as they are not “stealing”.  What is happening is a tort called “conversion” at worst and or “failure to return property in a bailment”. Only after service of demand to return and in some states certain types of goods, does it rise to a larceny.   

So with all that said, what I would do now (for the OP), is write a formal letter demanding it be returned.  Each state has its quirks so some due diligence online searching for proper formats.  This might help.  https://eforms.com/demand-letter/personal-property/  

As I understand this, the OP is in the Ukraine, so that might complicate things with ITAR rules, but this is the place to start.
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Post by Wlw145s 6/30/2021, 8:40 pm

I’ve had a very different experience. Just received my second LB. Both were received with test targets at 1.25” (below 1.5 guarantee). My first has been flawless after the 500 round break in. I use a 14’ spring for bullseye loads using iron sights. Flawless. 7k+ rounds so far. It shoots WAY better than I do. Trigger is better than ok, but not awesome. I wonder if ppl follow the break in guidance. DONT break it down. Shoot hardball for 500+ rounds.

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Post by inthebeech 7/1/2021, 6:40 am

Realistically though what can you really be assured of if you got a scrap of paper in the mail with ten circles cut out of it?  YOU need to be able to duplicate it and if you can't after a reasonable attempt and the sales receipt says something like "1.5 in guarantee" then KC is right.  As much as I did not want Elliot Spitzer to get any favorable press, he was on a retailer like white on rice when I submitted a request to investigate a particular business.  This is what the state AG is there to do.
Good luck.
Meanwhile, just FYI that the last time I spoke to Rock River ( six months now) they had about four Basic Limited models on their shelf.  No wait.  And maybe it was just smoke but the guy I talked to on the phone told me that they build that model with the SAME level of precision as their Limited Match.  It just doesn't have quite as many features and it isn't shiny.  
Ed
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Post by mikemyers 7/1/2021, 7:23 am

I think all that is irrelevant now.  The main thing is to find a way to get Les Baer to return his gun....

I would be so angry if this was me, I'd have a one-track mind - just getting the gun back.
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Post by jjfitch 7/1/2021, 9:36 am

This is an interesting thread.

There have been other threads on other forums that debunk the "500 round break in"! 

Just how does any break in regimen improve accuracy?

How does additional wear, say lower barrel lug or barrel hood wear predictably?

Not trying to hijack the thread.

This conversation might just help the OP reason with "Mr. Personality"!

Smiles,
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Post by Froneck 7/1/2021, 9:52 am

Wlw145s wrote:I’ve had a very different experience. Just received my second LB. Both were received with test targets at 1.25” (below 1.5 guarantee). My first has been flawless after the 500 round break in. I use a 14’ spring for bullseye loads using iron sights. Flawless. 7k+ rounds so far. It shoots WAY better than I do. Trigger is better than ok, but not awesome. I wonder if ppl follow the break in guidance. DONT break it down. Shoot hardball for 500+ rounds.

I don't understand if the guns shoot 1.25" why break it in? How was it tested if break-in is required? Do I assume hardball ammo is to be used on a wadcutter gun? As mentioned the test target is only a piece of paper with holes in it. I can make a 1911 shoot 1/2" group! Just don't mention the target was only 10 yards away! You didn't mention what a 50 yard test group the pistols will shoot with the ammo you are using. What do you mean by it shoots a better group that you do? 1.25" group is better than anyone does! May I ask your NRA Precision classification so as to determine what group size you shoot?
 Mike, I agree we should help get the gun returned, however the OP's point was to bring awareness to what Les Baer is selling.The guns may have been great in the past but I'm hearing they are not very good now and it's best to warn new shooters so they don't get stuck buying Les Bunk.

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Post by mikemyers 7/1/2021, 10:10 am

I sort of respectfully disagree.

I was both told, and led to believe, that the long break in had nothing to do with accuracy, and everything to do with the gun parts wearing in so they would move smoothly.  When I got the gun, there was no way I could rack the slide.  There is a video on YouTube about how to remove a "hard fit bushing".  Eventually, just as Les and the lady who answered the phones told me, the gun loosened up a little.  It's still VERY tight, but I can rack the slide, and I can disassemble and re-assemble the gun.  

That's what people in the various forums told me as well.  Nobody ever suggested the gun would shoot better once it was broken in, and I would have assumed the opposite.

All my discussions with Les Baer were on the phone, not in writing, so I have nothing to prove that's what they told me, but it certainly IS what I was led to believe.  


Also, about that last comment, if you go to https://www.lesbaer.com you will find a big ad that he is trying to hire gunsmiths.  Maybe the new gunsmiths need more experience.

As to the accuracy option - I always figured that was just a way for them to get more money.
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Post by rich.tullo 7/1/2021, 12:22 pm

I had 2 Les Baers on from Champions choice and another I bought from a local guy. Both Shot good. Les Built a gun for my Dad back in the day. So I never experienced these types of problems. Rock River are much better.
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Post by mikemyers 7/1/2021, 2:51 pm

There is a story behind why I bought one.  I had a Colt Combat Commander, which the people at my range said was not appropriate in its current condition for Bullseye.  One club member had bulged his barrel - sent the gun back to Baer for lots of new parts, and he no longer wanted it.  The people at the club said it would be good for me, so I bought it from him.

I don't have enough 1911's to compare it with, but I think it's a great gun.  I do the best I can with the iron sights.  I guess Rock River might have been better, but if I had it to do all over again, I would have bought a Springfield Armory Range Officer, and had it shipped direct to Dave Salyer to make it into a wad gun.  Or Jon, or KC, both from this forum.  

I did buy a used Springfield/Salyer, which is what I would use for 45 Bullseye, and I bought another gun Dave built, on a Caspian frame, which now has a Nelson upper.


Back to the Baer - part of me says I should sell it asap, as I'm not really using it.  A bigger part of me says to keep it forever.  I did go through the silly discussions with Baer, once with him directly, and if I had been buying a new gun at the time, I'd have gone elsewhere.  Maybe all his advice was good for "most" shooters, but certainly not for Bullseye.

Some people (like Dave Nelson) go to extreme lengths to make sure you are pleased with your purchase, and help you get it going well.  Maybe Les was bored with me, and just wanted to get me off the phone.  I don't know.  If I was buying "off the shelf" I probably should have gotten an Ed Brown or a Wilson - but apparently neither of them is optimized for Bullseye.
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