Les Baer’s .38 Stinger
A Flat-Shooting, Light-Recoiling Alternative To The .45 ACP.
I’ve enjoyed being in this great industry for over 30 years now, and one of the best things about it are the people involved. Sure, the guns and gear are fun, but it’s the people who make it animated. To say I’ve met some colorful characters is to sorely understate things, but that’s what keeps us all coming back for more. A new gun is just a hunk of metal, plastic and wood. But combine it with the designers, manufacturers, marketers and legions of others involved — and suddenly everything becomes much, much more interesting.
Among my very favorite characters (Yeah, that’s right Les, you’re a certified character …) is Les Baer. Les is an irascible, talented force to be reckoned with, possessing unquenchable drive for quality that, simply put — can’t be stopped by anything. That drive for quality shows in the Les Baer Custom lineup of products. Something of note is the fact if you bought two Baer 1911s of the exact same model, you’d end up with two guns with exactly the same performance and standards. The same legendary lock-up, same appealingly predictable accuracy and the same fit and finish. In short, you get what you pay for, every time, and you can take that to the bank with you.
Some have called Baer guns “production” or “semi-production” guns — but they aren’t. They are true custom guns, each built one at a time, from slides and frames Les actually does build in-house, and each one overseen ruthlessly by Les himself. Frames are hand-fit, barrels are hand-fit, bushings are hand-fit and everything has to meet exacting standards. Guess who sets those standards? By the way, Les even test-fires each gun personally.
If I tell a reader asking for advice on selecting a 1911 to check out Les Baer Custom (along with other makers) — if they buy from Baer, I invariably hear back from them saying how pleased they are with their new gun. With some other makers, it’s sometimes a catch-as-catch can. Sometimes the reader is happy — sometimes they’re not. To me, it’s significant when repeat customers of a maker are disappointed in a new gun that doesn’t match the performance and workmanship of a previous one they bought — from the same maker. And that’s the rub. Consistency in quality and performance is what sets a maker — custom or not — from the competition. Les Baer Custom offers consistency.
By Roy Huntington
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