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I've done MUCH research on semi-custom/premium 1911's and decided to go with Baer for their reputed accuracy and tight fit.I'll probably go with a Stinger for easier carry and one of the steel frames for longer life.

I'm wondering if you guys think a hard chromed carbon steel slide/frame is better in the longrun for durability and longterm integrity than a Stainless combo.I don't know if gauling is still a problem with all the good lubes available these days.Maybe a cabon steel slide and stainless frame are the best combo?

I know this sounds rediculous and nitpicky since its probably impossible to shoot either combo to death,but IMO if I'm going to put down this kinda money for a pistol,I want it to perform at a top level when I hand it down to my grand kid.This is a (longterm purchase)....so to speak.

Thanks for any info you can share,Byron
 

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Byron 2112,
A Baer pistol in any of the configurations should last you a lifetime. Both bluing and hard chroming are finishes applied to the base metal (carbon steel) and will eventually wear and require refinishing. This may or may not occur in your lifetime. That would depend on how often you shoot/carry your pistol. Stainless on the other hand, is the base metal and refinishing is not necessary. In most cases you could do the touch-up work yourself (i.e. removing scratches). The main thing to remember about any finish is that it must be maintained. Hope this helps.

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My opinion - I'm no expert, I've just owned and shot 45's for 25 years or so...

My combat competition 45's (IDPA) are all good old Carbon Steel with satin hard chromed lower half’s, I like the super hard finish, very wear resistant, always looks good, and holds critical tolerances well. Stainless, even hardened stainless, is softer (i.e. rails wear more, and if you harden SS a bit it much in an attempt to make it more durable, you get a higher potential for cracking --- I’ve seen several cracked or broken SS slides, but never a carbon steel one).

Just one shooter opinion -
 

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I have a Stainless Baer and a Carbon steel Baer and both work flawless. I like the look of blueing better but the stainless holds up much much better. I also know that some claim that the stainless can rust but my never has even with a very humid storage area. My blued guns however will get rust spots in the humid storage area if I don't bathe them in oil regularly.

Ybbeat
Steel is real baby!
 

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Hard chrome over stainless steel is the most durable combo.
 

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I would go with the carbon steel over stainless. In fact, I have, three times. Running a silicon cloth over the gun as you take it off at night is really no big deal. For what it's worth, Les does not offer the 1.5" at 50 yards option on stainless guns, only carbon steel ones. You can take that however you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for replying fellas.Thats interesting about the 1.5" at 50 yard guarantee not being available on stainless CraigZ.Thanks
 

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Originally posted by craigz:
For what it's worth, Les does not offer the 1.5" at 50 yards option on stainless guns, only carbon steel ones. You can take that however you want.
Sorry Craig, you are wrong. Baer offers the 1.5" on STEEL guns only (carbon or stainless). Les will not guarantee this on alloy/aluminum framed guns.

Please do not imply that stainless is any less accurate than carbon steel - it is not.
 

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Hard Chrome is applied directly to the base metal. (It is not bumper chrome where it has a flash coat of copper)

I see many guns with over 50 k rounds
The Hard chrome guns Look better longer, and are easier to clean than a carbon steel guns.
Same for ss.

Gun ss is usually 416 which is just ss (hence the occasional rust incident) and is usually on a frame less than 30 rc.
Hard Chrome is in the 70 rc range. They hard chrome Taps and drill because it is harder than the base 65 rc HSS. Tough stuff.

You see Carbon slides crack also, usually around the ejecton port, both sides, and usually induction hardend slides. The ss slides cracking at the front are not a confidence builder. (not baer slides by the way)

geo ><>
 

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Originally posted by shane45-1911:
Sorry Craig, you are wrong. Baer offers the 1.5" on STEEL guns only (carbon or stainless). Les will not guarantee this on alloy/aluminum framed guns.
This is from an eMail repley;
First off, we do not do the 1-1/2" groups or 9X23 caliber on any of the stainless steel pistols...karen

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Frank

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-- Benjamin Franklin, 1759


[This message has been edited by Frank Sottile (edited 09-15-2001).]
 

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I thought this problem had been solved but in the early days of SS pistols, they couldn't be fitted as tight because of galling problems. That may be the reason for the reduced accuracy guarentee.
 

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Frank, Les told me personally that they will guarantee 1.5" accuracy on any of their guns (stainless or carbon), except aluminum or on their Commanche (4 1/4") length gun.
 

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Well,
I got that eMail from Karen about two months ago, maybe Les has not informed Karen of that fact. BUT where is Jim?, he could be a real help in this matter, after all, he builds the Pistols.

And in a reply I just got from Ed Brown's Shop on the subject of SS VS. CS;
"There is no difference in the durability (or any other property relevant to a 1911 like longevity, holding up to recoil, cracking, etc.) of stainless vs. blue. Stainless steel simply has more chromium in it, which makes it stainless. A stainless 9x23 would be equal in every way to a blue 9x23."
[This message has been edited by Frank Sottile (edited 09-17-2001).]
 

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Ah, the perpetual question, carbon vs. stainless. Carbon steel can be machined to tighter tolerances without the galling problems associated with stainless. Hard Chroming in on form or another "seals" the carbon steel, protecting it from the elements, and in my case, from my sweat which corrodes Pyrex glass. I have had both stanless and nickel/chromed guns and cannot tell the difference between the two in corrosion resistance. However, you must bear in mind that I have a strict weapon maintenance regimen. Stainless will be somewhat more forgiving if routine maintenance is neglected, however, like any other pistol, it may fail if abused.
 

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Det25 said:
I have had both stanless and nickel/chromed guns and cannot tell the difference between the two in corrosion resistance.
The only gun I have found thus far that will not rust to sweat is my Ruger SP101...and I am talking belly band, 90 degree weather....

Not that I am an expert, but I do manufacture items out of both a lot of materials. As for Stainless Steel (SS) or Carbon Steel (CS): CS is actually stronger. Stainless is more resistant to the things such as salt water, and of course wears far better than CS. My preference for SS actually comes from the ease of cleaning because it is far easier to see "goop" on a SS gun instead of a CS one. However, SS reflects at night and most "gun conflicts" occur at night (also a believer in night sights, though it only really helps the first shot, because after that the flash usually puts you a little off). If memory serves me well "experts" like David Lauck ("the Tactical 1911") say that Hard Chrome over CS is better because there is less chance of galling[right spelling?].

I own them both. I will be buying a TRS, blued. After it wears out I will send it in for hard chrome some day. When that day comes, I probably won't be on message boards :)

Hope this helps.

Len Bosh Jr.
[email protected]
www.bosh.com
 

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I have a Les Baer Concept III. It is virtually the same as a PII, but it has a stainless frame. It fits tight, and shoots much better than I do even though I did not pay for the 1.5" guarantee. I have about 4000 rounds through it and there are no problems with galling or undo wear between the carbon steel slide and the stainless frame.

There are two other considerations to be wieghed between hard chrome and stainless frames. Hard chromed frames are more expensive than stainless at the initial purchase, and if any work is done to the frame at a later time, refinishing the hard chrome is much more expensive than stainless.

I love the two-tone look. My next 1911 will have a stainless frame with a carbon steel slide.
 
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