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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you could have only one 1911, what would it be?

I'm 61, retired and have a bunch of revolvers. I'm only going to be allowed - by you know who - to buy one 1911 so I can buy a nice one. I'm looking at either an Ed Brown Special Forces model or a Les Baer SRP Govt. model. What would you buy, and why?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I'm going to buy either a Les Brown SRP Govt. model or an Ed Brown Special Forces. I can only buy one and it will be my only 1911. I've got a bunch of revolvers and some long guns but this will be my first and last 1911. I'm 61 and just shoot for fun. Appearance and feel are as important to me as accuracy though none of my guns are safe queens. What would any of you do?
 

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I've got one Ed Brown and two Les Baers, not the models you mention however. I would say the Ed Brown gets the edge from the ones I have. The fit and finish are a little better on the Brown. Accuracy is a toss up, all being tack drivers. The Brown isn't fit as tight, but is still accurate. If you've ever handled a new Baer, you know what tight is.
 

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layvuz4,

Welcome to the forum!

The fact that I have a certain reputation as being somewhat mildly in support of Les Baer pistols notwithstanding :shades: I think you present a tough decision. I say this, since in your list of criteria, you mention a certain preference for aesthetics. Model to model, the finish work on Browns is somewhat more extensive and some think that the STI-style stippling is more attractive than checkering.
The Special Forces, in its basic iteration is a blued finish. While arguably the prettiest, it is the least hard wearing of all finishes and will show signs of wear in short order. It has very minimal rust preventing ability and requires more maintenence. In contrast, the SRP comes standard with Bear Coat, a hard wearing, Teflon-S derivative, which not only adds tremendous protection, but cuts way down on friction and collection of dirt. It is also noticably smoother from the holster.
The SRP also comes standard with an ambi-safety and front cocking serrations. These may, or may not be important to you. The SRP comes with three magazines, as to where the SF comes with one and the others are rather overpriced IMO.
If I were to order the SF, I would have them omit the cheesey "Special Forces" stamping.
While I like Ed Brown pistols a great deal, I bought the SRP. Admittedly, much of this had to do with past experience with Baer products and what I consider to be a satisfying relationship with Les Baer Custom. Another reason was that my dealer of preference is Pro Load Distributors, for reasons of both price and unmatched service and they don't Ed Brown.
The SRP is somewhat more expensive than the SF, with a $2339 MSRP. Upon comparison, it becomes clear that the differences stated above account for the $340 up-charge.
And, that's just about how close they are. Both are extraordinarily well built pistols, made with the best available components. I strongly suggest handling at least one example of each before throwing down, particularly to see whether, or not the stippled surfaces feel as secure for you as checkering.
Tough one. Hope this helps.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow! I didn't expect such well-thought-out and helpful responses so quickly. Many thanks you guys. Ping Ping, from you especially, I really learned a lot.
 

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Pretty easy i went with the Les Baer 4 times Vs a Ed brown .. and i was thinking of the SF on the last one but went with a Baer again
 

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Like Ping Ping and Bud White, I have several Les Baer, including an SRP. I have one Ed Brown, a Kobra Carry.

I think the Ed Brown has a slight edge as far as aesthetics go; they're very nicely finished guns. But if I were to have only one 1911, I think I'd go with the SRP. My opinion may be influenced by the fact that I have a couple of Les Baer that are particularly high mileage, and their performance continues to be exceptional.

But it is a tough choice, and I think you'd have a hard time going wrong with either.
 

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I have Bears and a Brown.... both are Tac Drivers and very reliable... comes down to looks and feel, I also have Nighthawks and Wilsons if I could only keep one of them it would be my Les Baer ULTIMATE MASTER 1 1/2" upgrade...spend the extra $$ the SRP & SF are good guns the UM is a great gun for competition or carry ... between the SF or SRP Flip a coin :biggrin:
 

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I really expected a more definitive answer from Lucho on this, since he has examples of both. But, I guess it just goes to show how close the two really are. As with most high-end 1911s, it really comes down to past experience and prefered features.

Like I said in the beginning, this is not an easy call.

Here's the best part: There's no wrong decision to be made!
 

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This is just MPO... I am no expert but I have a few high end 1911's from the big 4... Les Baer...Ed Brown...Wilson & Nighthawk. I sold most of my Nighthawks over priced guns that have sub par finish with storm lake barrels. I got my first Baer a little over a year ago and starting selling some of my Nighthawks. I like Wilson Combat... better standard finish and better barrels there Supergrade models are nice but over priced. Now as far as Baer & Brown my 3 favorite range guns are my Les Baer UM, Ed Brown ET and Wilson Classic all 3 are freaky accurate at 30 yards and beyond...I have zero interest in what a $2000 on up 1911 will do at 30 feet. I carry a Nighthawk Dominator because I like target sights and it is good at 25 yards and Nighthawk does make a very reliable 5" 1911... plus it looks good. I also carry my Les Baer UM JMO the best out of the box semi custom 1911 on the market. The UM is just a monster of a gun at 30 yards I have done (on a good day) 5 shot groups of 1" hand held. I like my Ed Brown so much because I have also done 5 shot 1" groups with it so at this point I would only buy another Ed Brown or Les Baer that said I have a full custom 1911 coming in about 6 months that should be freaky at 50 yards. For me now its Baer or Brown both are true tac drivers that are very reliable ...
 

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I was not trying to bash Nighthawk they make fine 1911's but JMO at this point I only want guns that afford me the best shot at putting bullets throught the same hole at 30 yards and out. I feel a full custom or Les Baer ...Ed Brown or Wilson in a semi custom 1911 give me the best chance of making me smile at the range. If I ever did get another Nighthawk I would have it made with a Kart Barrel and in 2 tone HC & DB but at that much money I can get a full custom :wink: or a Ed Brown or Les Baer with money left over to get some ammo.:wink:
 

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If you read between the lines, my friend Lucho, makes good sense.

As I read his meanderings, it's Baer, or full-house custom. $$$ decides.
 

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More random meanderings:

"The gun control agenda is based on the view that ordinary citizens cannot be trusted to use the physical power of arms responsibly. But a people that cannot be trusted with guns cannot be trusted with the much more dangerous powers of self-government. The gun control agenda is thus an implicit denial of the human capacity for self-government and is tyrannical in principle."

This completes my hijack.
DD
 
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...The Special Forces, in its basic iteration is a blued finish...
This will be the only time, past, present or future I will EVER attempt to correct, nay, clarify a statement made by the venerable, Ping. I humbly submit the following: The Special Forces comes standard with Ed's GEN III coating. He will however provide any finish he offers on any gun he sells, but the standard finish on a stock Special Forces is the GEN III. I would also lose the rollmark on the slide if I were to order one.

I have been in hog heaven the last month with my first Les Baer to accompany my Kobra Carry. If I was facing the OP's dilema, I would get the SRP. I am just loving shooting my new Baer. PERIOD! That said I think the Ed Brown is a pheonominal gun. If your choice was for a blued gun, I may lean towards the Brown for that extra little love in the finish, but based on the criteria from the OP.... SRP baby!
Enjoy~
 

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First of all, my friend, I am not that "venerable", nor even remotely respectable; if you query my friends, Tim, OD and Bud...

But, I am correctable and love to be wrong. My experience with EB guns is limited and the only SF models I've fondled have been blued. That, and a quick look at their ever-outdated website, confirmed for me that blued was still the standard finish.

I'd still take an SRP, but you've trumped me with your superior knowledge.

Carry on, Sir. I always look forward to your posts.

This will be the only time, past, present or future I will EVER attempt to correct, nay, clarify a statement made by the venerable, Ping. I humbly submit the following: The Special Forces comes standard with Ed's GEN III coating. He will however provide any finish he offers on any gun he sells, but the standard finish on a stock Special Forces is the GEN III. I would also lose the rollmark on the slide if I were to order one.

I have been in hog heaven the last month with my first Les Baer to accompany my Kobra Carry. If I was facing the OP's dilema, I would get the SRP. I am just loving shooting my new Baer. PERIOD! That said I think the Ed Brown is a pheonominal gun. If your choice was for a blued gun, I may lean towards the Brown for that extra little love in the finish, but based on the criteria from the OP.... SRP baby!
Enjoy~
 

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I don't think you can go wrong between Les Baer and Ed Brown, but I would throw a wrench in the works. As this is to be "the gun" you might want to look both Springfield Armory Professional and Rock River Arms 1911's. IMHO they should be considered in this field as well. I don't own a Brown but I do have a Les Baer TRS, Rock River Limited Match and a Professional and they all function similarly great but are very different in how they feel and look.

But dollar for dollar I don't think you can beat a Les Baer. Compared to other semi custom guns they don't cost a lot to buy and they hold their value very well.
 

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Nice forum,

While I am partial to Ed Browns, I love both of mine and have ordered a 3rd a Naked slide Special Forces Light Rail, I just received my first Baer a TRS, and Baers are awesome guns! I have a Premiere 2 Tactical Hardchromed on order, I have not shot my TRS yet, but my Ed Browns are more acurate than I am capable of shooting, while you wont go wrong with either, I personally think the Browns are finished better,

Best Regards,
 
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