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What's a typical Break-In for a 4 1/4" Baer?

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by Big_Drunk, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. Big_Drunk


    Dec 28, 2009
    After field stripping, light cleaning and lubricating (Break-Free), I took a "new to me" Les Baer Commanche to a range. The pistol was purported to have about 200 rounds through it; although, after disassembly, I seriously doubt it had 200 rounds fired. I wouldn't be surprised to learn it had not been fired by the first owner.

    Of course, it was incredibly tight. I had a few FTF's. The few rounds that just weren't quite making it out of the magazine into the chamber were Winchester 230gr XTS HP's. There was one Golden Sabre that didn't feed but after that, those worked well. They appeared to be stuck on the beveled part of the frame that serves as a feed ramp, and when I slingshot the slide they went right in the chamber. The FTF happened about three times when I first started shooting and then it worked great for about 150 rounds. Toward the end of my session I had two more FTF's with the Winchester HP's in different magazines.

    The only magazine that experienced no problems was a mag that came with the pistol from Les Baer. There was a Wilson 47D that only had one FTF a the end of the day. There were two CMC Power mags that had like two FTF's each.

    I'm not disappointed. The pistol seems really accurate. The trigger is great. I'm just going to keep cleaning it and shooting it and hopefully It'll work itself out.

    I'm thinking the first few were because of the close tolerances and the last couple was because of the tolerances combined with the pistol getting fouled. There was a period of 130 rounds or so in the middle when it was shooting everything sometimes mixed in the mags. It never malfunctioned with the ball ammo. Any thoughts?
  2. MD357


    Jul 13, 2008
    It takes about 3-4K rounds before a Baer gets to somewhat normal "tightness" by my experiences.

  3. break it in with ball ammo first. once broken-in, you can experiment with HPs. Good luck
  4. Hokie1911

    Hokie1911 >

    Dec 26, 2003
    NE Ohio
    Yeah, obviously you're doing something wrong. I can PM you my address and you can send it to me for, ummmmmm, proper break-in. :whistling:
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  5. brzusa.1911


    Jun 22, 2010
    Big_Drunk, which Commanche do you have? I have a SS (CVIII) Commanche and mine has 450 rounds trouble free, the only HPs I fired through it were WWB JHP, I will try GoldenSabers sometime this week and post results. If you have the blue commanche, it may be the tolerances are tighter than in the SS guns. My blue Custom Carry feels tighter than my SS, eventhough the SS is freaking tight already. My CC is a work to take down for a field strip (I love it), the CVIII is a pain as well, but a little less painfull.

    When I received both guns, both bought NIB, I took them down, cleaned the rails with gunscrubber and a toothbrush, and the barrel with a boresnake. Then a sprayed the whole gun with breakfree to remove any gunscrubber left out.

    I lubbed the life of the rails - used TW25B first, racked the slide (without the barrel and spring) maybe 5-10 times against the frame just to spread the grease, applied a little of TW25B to the barrel lugs on the slide along with FP10 (mixed them both). When everything was well lubbed, I applied some drops of FP10 to the rails and re-assembled the gun. It felt much, much, much...smoother than when I received from the dealer.

    As I said, the CVIII took 450 rounds without problems, the CC has 200 also without problems.
  6. Big_Drunk


    Dec 28, 2009
    It is a CVII. As you know. it is blued. I may have been a little ambitious with the variety of HP's. It actually only FTF once with the Golden Sabre's; it was the Winchester XTS HP's that gave the most trouble. I fired about 175 rounds total, myself.

    I like the lubrication regiment you suggested. I used break-free, because that's what they put on them at Les Baer. I would have slathered it down with slide glide-lite, but that jar was at my office! You're right, disassembly/assembly was something! I had heard that Baer suggests shooting 500 rounds before initial cleaning! (to loosen it up for disassembly). I'm going to clean it up real good and try the Slide Glide-lite this time. You're going to laugh, but the main purpose of my outing was to practice sweeping the safety and changing magazines for when the Springfield Pro arrives! (Pro is the only 1911 authorized for duty carry.)

    hokie...Thanks for your generous offer!:supergrin: Your response makes me feel that you think the issue will soon resolve itself! (This is a fun site. I like it that the mood is always light!)

    Thanks for the swift replies.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  7. Hokie1911

    Hokie1911 >

    Dec 26, 2003
    NE Ohio
    SlideGlide is good stuff. That's what I use on my rails, etc... and CLP to lube. My advice....lube her up and break her in good. :thumbsup:
  8. samuse


    Jul 30, 2008
    South TX
    Amazing. A las Baer that won't run and it's no big deal? Something is not right with that pistol. It should work.
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson

    Jul 10, 2001
    Big thread on another board about how the Commanche 4.25" departs from Colt Commander design and sometimes has to be fixed.
    Go down until you get to John Harrison's description of the difference and his take on the matter.
  10. Officer's Match

    Officer's Match S.R.D. v

    Jun 22, 2007
    Lancaster, Ohio
    Guns don't get tighter with use. Les Baer's are deliberately "too" tight initially. Something that one can chuckle about tens of thousands of rounds later.
  11. SIGShooter

    SIGShooter Hucklebucks

    Jan 25, 2005
    There are 2,735 rounds through my Thunder Ranch. It is just now starting to loosen up. I still cannot remove the bushing by hand. It is still extremely tight.

    I still consider my gun not broken in yet. I'm thinking about another 2500 rounds and I will be good to go. I can only speculate as to how many rounds for a commanche for break-in…I'm thinking, initially, 3,000…
  12. samuse


    Jul 30, 2008
    South TX

    Guns don't heal either. My Baer was 100% outta the box. As should any gun that cost as much.
  13. Big_Drunk


    Dec 28, 2009
    My slight issue is with feeding, not ejection.

    Did the 100% perfect experiences include a mix of hp ammo right off the bat? My main issue was with the Winchester XTS HP's. It did great with ball ammunition. I'll let ya'll know how this plays out. I'm really not too concerned. If there's something more than a break-in issue, I know it can be worked out. I really like the gun.
  14. Question on a brand new 1911 NIB is it a good idea to fild strip it down & clean it before firing the 200 break in round's through it ? or should I fire it first then field clean & lub it ?
  15. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed JAFO

    Feb 28, 2001

    Les Baer recommends you shoot 500 rounds through one of his before cleaning or field stripping. I shot 300 rounds the first day and took it apart for a good cleaning. Most of the new pistols I've bought I just wiped the exterior down ran a couple patches down the bore and went shooting. :dunno:
  16. Many 1911 problems are usually from the magazines you are using.
    It sometimes takes a few experiments to find the right mags for your gun.
    I like to "polish" the rails and some of the other tight things on a new gun.
    I said polish, not remove any metal.
    I like to polish the bushing outside dimensions so that you can take it apart without a bushing wrench. That requires some very fine sandpaper and a gentle touch.
    I would try different magazines before I worried about the gun.
    I consider a 1911 reliable if I can get 1000 rounds through her without a problem.
    It sometimes takes experimenting with ammo too.
  17. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
  18. Big_Drunk


    Dec 28, 2009
    I cleaned the pistol and lubricated it with Slide-Glide Lite. I shot 130 rounds today with about 75 Winchester and Golden Saber HP's mixed in with no malfunctions of any kind. I was quite pleased.
  19. moredes


    Dec 11, 2002
    The two most common culprits to bad feeding are magazines and extractor tension. If you have no more problems, then my point is moot. If not, Google 'extractor tension' and tweak your extractor if necessary. It's not hard; ya don't need any 'mechanical skills', just diligence and patience. (Almost nobody likes Baer magazines--they're not selling "like hotcakes" like the 47D.)

    One of the reasons Baer products are cheaper than Wilson and Brown's is because the customer does the final polishing (by paying for the ammo). "500" is his 'magic number'...some don't need half that much, some claim to need 6x that number. It's a crapshoot.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010