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Reviews : Arsenal

Les Baer Super-Tac

Les Baer’s .45 ACP is the finest production 1911 in existence…period.

January 01, 2003  |  by Roy Huntington

Feature Rich

Three tritium dots are visible on the Super-Tac’s adjustable sights.

There are times when you simply can't afford to scrimp. If you're motivated enough to learn to handle 1911s  and your department is forward-looking enough to understand their value, then the final period to the sentence is top-notch equipment. Why stop half-way?

The Baer 1911 Premier II Super-Tac is the top of the line flagship in the tactical/duty pistol format from the Baer shop. There are dozens of other combinations, but this one, perhaps more than any other, epitomizes what a Baer pistol can offer.

Serrations on the frontstrap and a match-grade trigger are two of many standard features of the Super-Tac.

Some specifics are important to discuss here. The frame, slide, and barrel are National Match configuration and the barrel bushing is carefully fitted as part of the package, of course. The slide is double serrated (forward serrations afford the ability to safely press-check a gun) and the low-mount adjustable rear sight and dovetailed front sight are both tritium. Some may argue the merits of adjustable sights on a duty gun, and, if you don't like them, simply get one with fixed sights.

Ambi-safety, tuned and polished ejector, Baer speed trigger, beavertail grip safety, beveled mag well, polished feed ram, and throated barrel are a short list of features. When you factor in the checkered front strap, deburring, and special Bear Coat anti-corrosion finish, you still aren't finished, but you get the idea. The other little thing? Les Baer personally guarantees these guns will shoot under 3 inches at 50 yards.

Do you really need performance like that in a duty pistol? Perhaps a better question is, can you afford not to have a gun that will perform like that? The really scary part is that Baer will build you the same gun that will shoot at less than one-and-one-half inches at 50 yards. Who needs a rifle, anyway?

Exactly nobody in the business- other than a rare few highly talented custom 'smiths-could make that guarantee. And their guns would take three years to get and cost enough that you wouldn't be able to afford your new Harley-Davidson.

At the Range

Teamed up here with a custom Wedge holster from Haugen Handgun Leather, the Les Baer Super-Tac defines the 1911 genre.

Yes, we shot this beauty. At 25 yards, using an Outer's Pistol Perch (basically a semi-fancy wrist rest) the test gun shot ragged one-hole groups with an assortment of ammo. Loaded with quality Black Hills hardball and premium self-defense ammo from Federal, Winchester, PMC, Remington, and Cor-Bon, the Super-Tac was almost scarily easy to shoot. Put the sights on the target, take a breath, let some out, hold it, and squeeze. Another hole goes into the same spot.

We had to try it. At 50 yards, we got 4.5-inch to 5-inch groups on a bright, sunny day that was causing us fits due to glare. But still, I barely shoot that well with a rifle. A bull's-eye shooter who was watching at the local range, asked if he could try. His match ammo shot exactly 2.80-inches at 50 yards! I don't usually use exclamation marks but we saw it ourselves and it's the absolute truth. Ask anyone who has ever shot a Les Baer pistol.

The range where we tested this pistol has a 100-yard gong that's about 12 inches across. After a shot or two to get the range, we could hit it every time. Every, single time. This is something special indeed and won't soon be forgotten by those who were there and who did it.

This Les Baer Super-Tac test turned into an experience for everyone who shot it. I know for a fact Baer has sold three pistols because of this test. And one of them is to me, since this test gun will not be returned. A check will be sent in its stead.

In my role as editor of American Handgunner magazine, I see countless custom 1911s and other high-quality pistols. The guns from the custom shops are often such that they take your breath away. Unbelievable workmanship, accuracy that astounds, and prices that can easily approach the $5,000 mark, are the norm.

Yet, when a reader, or a cop, or anyone asks me which 1911 he or she should buy, I tell them a Les Baer, unless they are willing to wait years and pay thousands more. And this test has only reconfirmed my impressions.

Les Baer Custom
Premier II Super-Tac

Caliber: .45 ACP (also available in .400 Cor Bon)
Barrel Length: 5 inches
Weight: 37 ounces
Trigger Pull: 4 pounds
Finish: Black, Bear Coat
Capacity: 8-round magazine
Action: Single action, 1911 style
Sights: Adjustable, tritium
Price: $1,933

Roy Huntington is editor of American Handgunner magazine and a retired
police officer who serves on the POLICE advisory board.

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Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

Paul alden @ 6/7/2013 6:12 PM

I have this very model and will attest to the facts stated,as I have had the same results.

Paul alden @ 6/7/2013 6:12 PM

I have this very model and will attest to the facts stated,as I have had the same results.

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