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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I searched around and it probably isn’t important; however, how many Thunder Ranch Special Baers were made in Hillsdale? How many total in Iowa? I have see numbers on Iowa guns ~5500 if I remember.

who has the lowest and highest number from each location here.

just fun and my continuing education as a lifelong leaner :)
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Hmm, Les Baer wasn’t even head of the Springfield Custom Shop until ‘85~’86 and didn’t start Les Baer Customs until 1991

Hillsdale - 1984 build date - below 2500 serial number
Only relaying what Les Baer folks told me. If it's wrong it's wrong, but that's what the lady who researched it told me. Either she misspoke or I misheard, either one is a distinct possibility.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
From another post

Here's some info. posted by Alchemy Custom on the 1911 Forum in reference to my 1997 Stainless PII:

That is actually a legit Hillsdale gun. Ways to spot the difference.

1.) Top of checkering doesn't have a border/checkering stands proud of front strap.
2.) Standard GI spec radius on the front strap.
3.) Front cocking serrations terminate properly with the dust cover instead of overlapping.
4.) Grip safety is different than current guns. Old style Ed Brown most likely
5.) Color mismatches are due to parts being either nickel plated or hard chromed.

The extractor is most likely nickel plated since we had an in house nickel tank for that purpose back in the old days. Other small parts could be chromed.

From me: What is the advantage (if any) of it being a Hillsdale gun?

Frames and slides on early Hillsdale guns were made to standard spec. Easier to add aftermarket parts such as mainspring housings, triggers, etc. Front strap radius is also less flat and thick than guns from 2001/2002 on

...the hillsdale guns involved more hand worksmanship. Le Claire has newer/better machinery that didn’t require as much attention.

interesting to read the differences. I have both and will have too look at the differences closer now.
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