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The very limited edition Les Baer Thunder Ranch is a 1911-type 7+1 .45 ACP semi-automatic. Nestled in beautiful Lakeview, Oregon is Thunder Ranch, a shooting school founded by Clint Smith. For the 25th anniversary of the school, Thunder Ranch decided to team with Les Baer Custom, one of the top American custom 1911 makers to produce. Only 250 of these were marketed.

All 250 have special serial numbers starting with "TR", which stands for Thunder Ranch. The slide top and grip pads also feature the distinctive Thunder Ranch logo and the words “TR Special”. It’s a shield with three diagonal lines and a lightning bolt behind the shield. These symbolize the company’s ethos: lightning for offense and the three diagonal lines for accuracy, power and speed.

Baer uses high-quality Baer NM components, and NM stands for National Match. The barrel vaulted Baer steel NM slide has many tightly packed narrow front and rear diagonal serrations. It is fitted to the Baer steel NM frame, and in it fits the Baer NM barrel.

The gun has a blued finish on the slide and frame. Thus almost everything is dark except the stainless steel barrel bushing, the stainless steel trigger, the two large unfinished grip screws, the hammer and, of course, the wood panels. The recoil spring plug is hatched. The muzzle itself is black.

Atop the slide is a Baer dovetail front sight with a tritium insert. A few inches further back is an LBC deluxe fixed combat rear sight with a pair of tritium inserts.

The right slide is engraved with the Thunder Ranch logo. The left side is engraved with “BAER Custom”. At back is a Baer deluxe Commander hammer and sear. Below that is an upturned beavertail and below it a Baer beavertail safety.

The barrel is throated and has a polished feed ramp for enhanced reliability.

The frame is very much a classic M1911A1 design. Coming from Baer, that’s no surprise. However, there are some interesting details. The gun has a Baer extended ejector, and the ejection port is flared. Rounded edges abound.

The gun is set up for right hand use. So the organic thumb release, checkered slide stop and serrated magazine release are all on the left. The other side shows the respective attachment points.

The trigger, by Baer, is an aluminum match trigger with a clean breaking crisp 4-pound pull.

The wooden grips look traditional with the endless hand-cut diamond pattern and the two larger diamond flat screw surrounds. However, they also have the striped shield and lightning Thunder Ranch logo.

The frontstrap is checkered at 30 lines per inch while the mainspring housing is flat and checkered at 20 lines per inch.

The Les Baer Thunder Ranch .45 ACP comes standard with stainless steel 7-round premium magazines that slot in nicely into the beveled magazine well. Les Bair is based in LeClair, Iowa, and their guns are Made in USA.

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