November 20, 2013
Back in 2010 Les Baer brought out his Boss 45 1911 pistol. It was his tribute to what has been referred to as his favorite muscle car, the Mustang Boss 429, and it was a big hit with pistoleros.Early this year, Baer announced a new 1911 named for another famous muscle car.
This pistol is called the Hemi 572, and it honors the 1970 Plymouth 'Cuda with 572 Hemi Super Street motor.
Anyone who has followed 1911s for the past 28 years or so knows of Les Baer. He and his craftsmen have been turning out fabulously accurate custom pistols for close to three decades. The new Hemi carries on in that tradition, but there are a few touches that make this new pistol special.
And just in case you don't already know it, Les Baer is almost as famous in the world of cars as he is in the gun business. His drag racing accomplishments consist of hundreds of wins, including the 1997 and 1999 Pro 5.0 championships.
He's also a consummate collector of special-edition Mustangs, 'Cudas, Cobras, and other rare muscle cars. It's no wonder that the Les Baer Custom company logo combines images of muscle cars and 1911s.
I'm definitely no expert on cars, but even I have heard of Hemi, and according to what I've learned from some friends who are what we politely refer to as "gearheads," the Hemi 'Cuda is sleek and powerful. It's the very definition of high performance in muscle cars.
In similar fashion, the .45 ACP LBC Hemi 572 pistol sports sleek lines and has the most high-tech of 1911 features. It's based on the LBC Premier II pistol, and it is guaranteed to shoot 3.00 inches at 50 yards with approved ammunition.
Special touches on this new 1911 include double serrations on the slide; a green fiber-optic front sight (replicating the Sassy Grass Green color of Les Baer's own 1970 Hemi 'Cuda); a checkered flat mainspring housing (20 lines per inch); black VZ grips; hard chrome slide and frame finish; and Dupont S finish on the ambidextrous thumb safety, slide stop, magazine catch and magazine catch lock, hammer, trigger, barrel, plunger tube, hammer pin, sear pin, recoil plug, and hex-head screws.
To my eyes, it's one of the classiest looking new 1911s to come on the scene. List price is $2,395, and it comes with two eight-round magazines.
The Hemi's rear sight is an adjustable model with fine serrations on the blade. The beavertail grip safety features a memory bump, and the flat mainspring housing is checkered 20 lines per inch.
The pistol comes with VZ G10 grips and sports a natural stainless hard chrome finish on the slide and frame. The controls wear black Dupont S finish, and the frontstrap is checkered 30 lines per inch.
The Hemi 572's front sight has a green fiber-optic insert, and the slide has forward serrations.
Les Baer's passion for cars infused this 1911 with the sleek and sexy lines of the 1970 Plymouth 'Cuda with 572 Hemi Super Street motor.
The Hemi's range performance matches its fantastic styling. I fired the new Hemi with five factory loads, ranging in bullet weight from 165 to 230 grains. To remove human error from the equation, I mounted the pistol in my Ransom Rest and fired three, five-shot groups at 25 yards with each of the factory loads.
This duty/defense pistol, to my way of thinking, is a real showstopper. Its best group average came with the Black Hills 200-grain LSWC load, and it was a tight 1.58 inches. Second place wasn't far off, with Hornady's 185-grain Z-Max load coming in at 1.60 inches. Two loads tied for third place, and they were the 165- and 230-grain loads from Federal and Remington.
They both averaged 1.75 inches. Bringing up the rear was the Winchester 230-grain PDX1. It averaged 1.88 inches. Considering that the accepted accuracy rule of thumb for defense and duty pistols is 4.25 inches at 25 yards, the LBC Hemi 572 blows the doors off of those guns.
As for velocities, the Federal 165-grain Guard Dog load was the fastest out of the Hemi's 5-inch barrel; it averaged 1,063 fps. The load with the smallest extreme spread, with an average of just 16, was Remington's 230-grain Golden Saber offering. And the load with the lowest standard deviation, a single-digit figure, was the Black Hills 200-grain LSWC.
I also shot the Hemi 572 at steel plates and found the black rear sight and green fiber-optic front sight combination to be very effective. Acquisition was really fast, and that says a lot because I am in no way a fast shooter. My shooting technique is generally slow and methodical, but even I could pick up that fiber-optic front sight pretty quickly.
In fact, I made multiple hits on the swinging steel target in rapid succession. On top of that, the pistol functioned reliably during my shooting session, which totaled 200 rounds, and I didn't experience a single malfunction the entire time.
Sleek, sexy lines; great sights and easy-to-use controls; and fantastic range performance — the Les Baer Hemi 572 has it all.