Les Baer Build

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Seacowboys, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I was looking for a Double-Star or other cheap 1911 frame to build a lower for a .22 conversion kit top that I've had for a few years and came across a Les Baer frame in the white at the gun show last weekend. He was asking $500 but after my fourth tip by looking at it, he made me an offer for $350 and I took it. I have all the parts for the build so I installed the grip bushings, then had to fit the adjustable trigger. The fitting required taking several .001 off op and bottom to allow it to freely pass through with minimal tolerence. Once the trigger was installed, the mag release goes it, it required a tiny polish and re-blue to smoothly operate. The ejector came next. It required some polishing as well on the posts and, once set, I used a 1/16" left-twist drill to make the cut in the post to allow the pin to fit. I found left-twist drill bits at Harbor Freight. The reasoning behind the left-twist is that it pulls the posts downward as it drills ( a right twist tends to push the post away, making a bad fit). The sear and dis-connect went in next and required no fitting but I did smooth the contact surfaces with a soft-stone. The hammer spring strut pin required some filing on the pin to allow it to pass between the frame opening on the rounded commander hammer I chose. Once the hammer was installed, the main spring and a Pachmyer hammer-spring housing were installed and pined with the hammer down to allow me to fit the ambidextrous thumb safety. Fitting a thumb safety is a painstakingly slow process. I am awaiting delivery of a staking tool from Midway before installing the plunger tube., it should arrive by the weekend. I am still having some issues with the grip safety fitting that will require some stoning and a refinish but the frame contour is a perfect fit. The trigger breaks crisply at about 3 pounds with no creep and the thumb safety positively engages and releases without firing the weapon. If you remove even a tiny bit too much from the safety, a 1911 will fire when the hammer is dropped. I have a nice set of stag grips for it and an extended belled magazine well that attaches to the lower grip bushings. I have not decided what length I will cut the frame yet, waiting to see how it balances with a full magazine and the top installed.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Pics would be nice.
    Sgt Nambu likes this.
  3. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Man, I love building custom 1911s sounds like your just about done and ready to test drive it! I agree, cutting the frame after every thing else is tested and function checked, after every thing else is fit and blended in nice is the way to go! For me, This is THE area I am the most anal with 1911s. the "cut" should meet the under cut ball milled area of the slide perfectly, otherwise it looks wrong ( to me any way). I cannot tell you how many times I have seen guys custom build a 1911 only to have this area not fit and looks like the wrong side of ass! I buy my frames over size and un cut for the barrel for this reason, and mine come out looking very nice, just as J.M.B. intended! Now to find wide body mags for one of my STI 2011 series frames for a .22 conversion!!!
  4. Legion489

    Legion489 Rev. 2:19 Banned

    Les is only a few miles from me and the word on the street is there are a LOT of guns coming back due to, so to speak, "less than satisfactory finish", inside and out. For what you spent on that frame (OK, plus $15 more) you could have bought a complete Rock Island Armory .45. Then sold the parts you didn't want/need and had a completely good frame for $150 or less.
  5. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    You know, regardless of what a person sets out to do there will always be someone that tries to lemon it with should ofs and could ofs. I bought the the frame because I wanted it. I have all the parts that I need for the build except for a plunger tube and staking tool, (that came in the mail last night). FYI, I have a couple of Rock Islands, a few Norincos, several Colts, a couple of Kimbers, a Remington Rand, and a few more 1911s; I am sort of a 1911 kind of person. I like tinkering with them and the build is something I wanted to do. There were some issues, the mag well is a little tight, the main spring housing guides had to be opened a bit, I got a little re-shaping to do where the slide meets the back of the receiver, and I got to cut the frame and curve it to make an ascetically appealing mate with the slide, all of which, I really enjoy doing and when I get done with it, and shoot tiny little groups of holes in paper, I get the satisfaction of knowing I built the damned thing. 20161224_205515.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
  6. OldDude49

    OldDude49 Just n old guy


    You really need to send me that firearm for a LONG evaluation and testing thing.... OK? :D
  7. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Had a bitching time getting the slide stop to fit until I discovered a lip at the front of thr feed ramp block that prevented the barrel pin block from seating far enough rear. A couple hours with a set of needle files and problem solved. Now all that is left is a tiny bit of blending the back of the frame and extractor with the slide and taking her down for a blueing. Test fired a coouple of magazines and got the bugs killed. 20161231_175351.
  8. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I have four STI 2011, two in .40 for Limited USPSA and two .38 Super Open guns. I haven't seen any .22 conversion kits for them but wow, one of those Big-stick magazines that holds 28 .38 Supers would probably handle a box of ,22s...damn, now I got to start looking. LOL, found em...Advantage Arms Secure Online Store: 1911 Magazines
    Bob Marvel has them too, but they are only 10 rd.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
    Ura-Ki likes this.
  9. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Damn, Now i'm in real trouble! I think a full time, dedicated 2011 series 1911 in .22 is going to be Da Bomb! Thanks for the links, that's been the hangup for going this route. I love these 2011 series STI pistols, I run mine in ether 10 mm or .45 and have just built one in 9mm for the Wife, Really nice shooters!!!
  10. Tackleberry

    Tackleberry Krieg Hündchen

    Seacowboys, very nice.
  11. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I just built a .45 acp upper for this frame and it is sweet. Used an Ed Brown national match barrel and bushing, STI extractor, firing pin, and Trueglow sights with a tritium capsule inside fibr optics, The trigger breaks at a crisp 2 lbs and the frame to slide fit is exceptional, couldn't resist the walnut Punisher grips. 20170430_224654.
    Ganado, ghrit and Gator 45/70 like this.
  12. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Awesome looking piece! You did well.
  13. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Guess now, I'll look around for a DOUBLE star lower to build for the .22 conversion kit
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
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