Here are two quick pics. I hope to get out to the range this weekend, but my honey-do list is pretty big.
My initial impressions on external fit and finish. My comparisons are to my only other semi-custom a 2006 SACS Custom Carry:
1) This pistol is solid -- slide to frame fit is incredible and nothing moves when you shake it: Feels like shaking a piece of bar stock steel. Tighter than my CC.
2) Rear slide to frame fit is very well done -- on par with earlier SACS work.
3) Trigger is nice -- just about right for me in weight for a defensive pistol, breaks cleanly and only exhibits a touch of creep that is inconsequential. Not quite as good as my CC, but it will do just fine.
4) Pistol unlocks with only a bit more effort required than on my CC. This was a surprise to me. I have read how insufferably tight some Baers are and that you darn near need a mallet to unlock them. This pistol is far from that. All I can say is that this pistol is tight, but not so tight I cannot hand cycle it easily.
5) Thumb safety is firm. I am not sure this will "break in" but it is manageable as is. It certainly won't get knocked off easily by accident. My CC has what I consider the gold standard of thumb safety fit -- with a nice snick on and off and one that can be managed with just the shooting hand thumb to engage/dis-engage. To re-engage the TS on my Baer, I need to use my support hand. We will see how it is after a few hundred reps.
6) I specified a plain/blackened rear sight and tritium front post. The sight is a Kensight knock-off of a Novak low mount. I will probably put a 10-8 on it. Front Tritium is marked Ameriglo and is nice and bright.
7) Hand checkered 30 LPI front strap is well-executed and straight. The terminations on the sides and top and bottom are uniform and nicely done.
8) BTGS is nicely shaped for a high grip. The fit/blending is good, not quite as nice as my CC, but nicer than other semi-custom offerings out there. It will be just fine.
9) Stocks are of the slim variety and look very nice and offer a good purchase. Since the Baer frame is a touch bigger front to back, the slim profile works well with my hand. This pistol feels different in hand than other 1911s I have -- but in a good way. Shooting grip feels very solid. I will stay with these grips for a while and see how it goes.
10) Pistol arrived in the standard cardboard box with standard accouterments (3 magazines) and the 1.5" group target cut-out. Would love to see this pistol arrive in a soft-sided gun rug, but I know this wishful thinking. The pistol was packaged up soaked in oil and sealed in a plastic bag which is just fine with me.
Overall impression: This pistol seems born to work hard and I can't wait to wear the bluing off of it. Of course, the proof is in the shooting -- and I will get a report out on that ASAP. I plan to shoot about 500 rounds through it with Wilson 47D and ETM HD/+P magazines before I strip it for its initial cleaning. Will keep it lubed generously throughout.
Congrats, Slam. I really like my UTC and had almost no "break-in" issues with it. Mine's a .38 Super and I changed out the slim grips for some in standard width. I may eventually change the sights but they're good and bright right now. Mine came with a Trijicon front sight and LB rear.
OK -- first range report: 100 rounds of Winchester "white box" 230gr FMJ down the pipe. 0 malfunctions.
The only issue I had was that the Wilson ETM HD/+P magazine base plates were a bit tall at the front (or the relief cut on the front strap is too shallow) and they would not seat. The 47D's seated fine, but were a bit sticky with the magazine release. Will see how things loosen up over time.
Target below is at 8 yards offhand. When I did my part, the pistol shot very well -- looks like a keeper!
I thought I would try the Baer magazines just for kicks. I have read people's impressions about these magazines in the past, but thought I would give them a try. On round #5 I got my first failure to feed. I went back to my 47Ds without any further issues over the next 95 rounds. Makes me scratch my head a bit ... but whatever.
Overall I am really happy with this pistol. As far as the magazines go ... I will just keep my ETMs for my SACS CC which really likes them. I might pick up a Tripp and a CMC RPM magazine and see how they do in the Baer as I have heard good things about both -- or I will just stick with 47Ds. Figuring that out is half the fun...
Will write back when I get a better round count on the pistol. 300 rounds to go until I clean it ... my OCD is kicking in big time.
^^^ Many thanks! Pistol continues to run flawlessly with the Wilson 47 magazine. The one (of three) supplied Baer magazines is problematic so I have just set them all aside for now. I have not yet ordered any other magazines to try but will get around to it.
At about 500 rounds now and the pistol is easy to work with. Action unlocks without much fuss -- if I wanted to do a press check that is no problem.
Congratulations on your new UTC. These are my fav's - full length, big bore, single sided safety, and glad to see you opted out of the FCS. You're going to love this beauty. Here's a couple pic's of my ol' girl.