While I have no experience with the Baer .223's, I have to say I think they're probably somewhat overpriced compared to the other options out there. I realize they're custom from one end to the other, but I shoot a Rock River Arms Varmint model, and can shoot 1/4" 5 shot groups at 125 yds at a savings of around $1300, if the Baer prices I've seen are correct. Bushmaster also make s a real good AR in Varmint configuration, so take it for what it's worth, but I can't justify the extra outlay in cash that can be applied to good optics, dies, powder, bullets and so on. Email me if you need some more info, B
I think I'd have to second that. I'm no expert w/ AR rifles, but I have had several. W/ proper handloads, all would shoot sub-minute, and most would shoot sub half-inch groups. Even the stubby little 16" carbines. Pretty much factory guns, w/ a Jewell trigger added in the mix. The claims that Les Baer makes for their guns are not really a stretch. About any custom AR smith like White Oak Precision (John Holliger), Accuracy Speaks (Derrick Martin), Compass Lake Precision (Frank White), or Alber Turner will build you a top of the line, no-holds-barred custom AR for *less*, certainly probably not any more (unless you're asking for some weird features) than Les Baer. Plus, these guys have been in the AR 'industry' for quite a while. They didn't hop on the bandwagon after it became profitable. Most of them either specialize in Service/Match rifles, or ARs in particular. A rather demanding clientele to say the least.
Also, one of the things that Les Baer makes a big deal out of is their machined upper/lowers that are 'mated' together for a super tight fit. Hate to break it to you, but when it comes to ARs, thats more of a 'feel-good' thing for the shooter than anything else. People have tried it about every which-way, and the AR platform just doesn't benefit significantly from a tight upper-to-lower fit. It falls more in the category of 'it works on other kinds of guns, so it can't hurt'. Some competitors, like the US Army Marksmanship Unit glass beds their upper and lower receivers to one another to achieve the same results, but again, mainly for shooter 'feel' in position shooting (a lot of people don't like the rifle to 'flex' while they are cranked in w/ a tight sling). And as far as gimmicky stuff, what's up w/ that friggin' handguard (snicker) on the Baer guns?
Just my $0.02 worth. If you have the $$$ to spend, look up the above smiths on the web, give them a call, tell them what you want. Ask for an estimate. See what you get. Otherwise, a Bushmaster Varminter, or even a Bushmaster V-Match 20", or a Rock River Arms or DPMS varminter is pretty darn accurate for the $$$ relative to a Les Baer.
I've been shooting my brothers DPMS Panther with the 16" SS fluted barrel and it is unbelievable accurate even with the cheapest ammo we can find. All under 1/4" at 100yds off a rest and I am not just saying that. It does have a Pentax 8-32 and a Jewel trigger that helps but I would never do anything other than that to one if they shoot this well. Oh, and he NEVER cleans the thing either, just abuses it completely. Went to barrow it and it was laying in the snow in the back of his Toyota!! More money than brains. Sorry Derrick but you asked for that one. It's a super rifle and I never liked them ar's until that one changed my mind.
I got first dibs on this sweethart when it come up, and it will come up guaranteed. I give him another six months or so. It's been in my cabinet for 3 months already, I'm waiting to see if he forgets where it is.