1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Thoughts on Para Ord 1911s?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by DelayedReaction, Jun 27, 2004.

  1. DelayedReaction

    DelayedReaction Well-Known Member

    I wanted to get the forums' opinion on Para Ordnance's lines of 1911's. I'm specifically interested in the P14-45; the double-stack single action 5" 1911 in stainless. www.1911forum.com seemed to be somewhat optimistic, but I wanted see what you guys thought of them.

    The reason for my questions is grip size; I'm 6'9" and my hands are absolutely massive (9.5" span). I was told that a doublestack 1911 with hogue grips would be ideal for my needs, but I'm worried about reliability.

    So what do you guys think?
  2. moorerwc

    moorerwc Well-Known Member

    I've heard negatives

    Most of the hardcore pistolsmiths I've seen posts from (Hilton Yam and Larry Vickers esp.) don't seem to like the doublestacks as far as long term durability--there apparently is a reason that FBI HRT changed guns.

    Personally, I don't think that the para's are worth the money given that pretty much every part is investment cast. Why pay top dollar for Charles Daly manufacturing?

    Have you tried a 5" single stack gun with a beavertail, good dehorn, arched MSH, and long trigger?
  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    While considering the double-stack guns, which are not as popular as they once were because of various problems, I'd also look into a regular Government Model with extra thick grips. Stag grips in particular look good but are often thicker then most people like. For you they might be the perfect answer.
  4. DelayedReaction

    DelayedReaction Well-Known Member

    I tried a single-stack 1911 that felt pretty good, although it did seem a bit narrow in my hands. Hogue wraparounds might do the trick, but I'm just looking at as many options as possible before I make my purchase.
  5. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    Double-stack 1911's dominate IPSC competition, and Paras are in the minority compared to SV and STI guns. That should tell you something.

  6. DelayedReaction

    DelayedReaction Well-Known Member

    I can't help but notice that the STI and SVI guns would require me to either stop eating, or sell a limb to purchase.
  7. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    Try used. It's always cheaper to buy the right thing the first time around -- you'll end up buying it eventually anyway.

  8. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Double Stack/Single Stack

    As fate would have it, I looked at a Para double stack Friday
    afternoon. A neighbor had it, and wanted me to give it a quick once-over
    before he plunked down the cash to buy it. I noticed that, with the factory stocks that the grip circumference was very close to a single stack pistol
    with thick stocks on it. I have a pair of rubber grips made by Uncle Mike's
    that I don't use, but have layin' around in case anybody wants'em.

    I might also suggest working within the parameters of the design by
    using a long or extra long trigger for those of us who have the hands
    that require it. A trigger swap is pretty simple, even if it requires fitting,
    and especially so on a pistol that doesn't have any additional frame parts
    such as the Series 80 Colt.

    DelayedReaction...If you decide to go with a single stack, the grips are yours for the asking. PM me with an address and they'll be in the mail.
    Then' it's a matter of trying a different trigger or mainspring housing to
    maximize the grip circumference and tailor it to better suit your hand size.
    If you don't mind an arched housing, that will help a little over the standard flat housing. If you prefer the flat housing, you might look at
    the wedge design. If you need instruction for swapping out the trigger,
    and mainspring housing, we stand ready and willin' to walk ya through it.

    Standin' by...

  9. Smoke

    Smoke Well-Known Member

    I love my Para's. The double stack with a Hogue Grip as you mentioned is just right for me. It fills the hand better than single stacks. (I'm 6'5")

    I don't have a problem with single stacks; doubles just feel better.

    I have 4 Para's at present. Have had others. Here's my take.

    The full size guns have never hiccuped....not once. (P14 and P16) I had a small problem with a P13 that changing springs fixed. LDA is nice but not for me. The plastic mag catch is junk. Replace it as soon as you buyu one. Para (and others) sell a steel one, why they don't use one in the first place is beyond me.

    I've read lots of negative things about Para Ordnance on this and other forums. Doesn't fit with my expereince.

  10. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

    Problem with double stack 45s is finding good mags.

    What Para is shipping from their "Pro Shop" on the web is $70 crap! Kimber is no better :-(

    Promags generally don't work but I've got two of two good P10 Promags which was a pleasent surprise since they were only $12 each.

    10 round mags are generally OK but there are lots of 10 round mags for single stack guns if you can have it hang a bit below the grip.

    SV and STI are out of my price range. Do their mags work in Para guns?

  11. SouthpawShootr

    SouthpawShootr Well-Known Member

    I've found the factory pre-bans work ok in my P13 and LDA 13 as long as I replaced the springs. Apparently Para factory mags are undersprung. Seems to be a problem with their recoil springs as well. Many people with Para reliability problems on the 1911 board have cleared them with new, more powerful springs. If I remember correctly, the factory recoil spring for my Paras (sample slide/barrel length) is a 14lb spring while the standard (Colt and others) is 16lb. I changed out both of mine and plan to change out the springs on my Para CCW next chance I get.
  12. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Well-Known Member

    Having owned a P14-45, my thoughts are that nobody deserves to spend that much money to get a gun that crappy. :barf:
  13. Drakejake

    Drakejake Well-Known Member

    I am happy with my stainless 14-45. I bought it new but it was made in the mid-1990's. It is accurate, has a good trigger, has been reliable, and appears to have been well-made. Three hi-cap mags came with it. They don't look great but have worked fine. I have medium-sized hands and find the 14 grip to be comfortable since I shoot two-handed. I also have a 12-45 which has had a jamming problem, but I put stronger springs in the mags and started using cleaner ammo and all seems to be well. The trigger and accuracy are very good. Both stainless pistols are very attracitive. I tried after-market grips but they made the the grip even fatter. I decided that the original grip panels were best.

  14. critter

    critter Well-Known Member

    I have both a p-14 and a p-16 single action. Both are absolutely 100% reliable, very accurate, easy in the recoil department and I like them very much. With your big hands, I think you would too.
  15. Ardent

    Ardent Well-Known Member

    I only have good things to say about them, they are very prevelant in Canada as they are made here so I've run into lots and have had considerable experience with them. The P14 looked and shot well beside my Kimber.

  16. Bob R

    Bob R Well-Known Member

    Once again you get the range of opinions about Para's. I have used a P14-45 as my primary carry since '93 or '94. It has never failed to function. I have replaced the mag springs with aftermarket, and replaced the recoil spring. This is something many people do with other makes also.

    It often comes down to personal preference. How does the gun feel in your hand, etc. If anyone within 2-3 hours of Glacier Nat Park wants to try my P14 out, feel free to drop me a line. I am always looking for an excuse to make new shooting buddies.

    I will stop carrying mine in several months though. I have a Delta Elite off at Ted Yost's place getting a makeover. As soon as that gets back it will be my constant companion.

  17. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

    Mine from that era have been great too. They had a great reputation back then and could make new hicap mags as needed to fix ones that weren't right.

    Then they got away from their roots with the P12, P10, & LDA models. These appear to have lowered their reputation. Now they've got the PXT, will their reputation rise or continue sinking? I suspect if the AWB expires PO guns will get better functioning with fresh, correctly made mags.

    My P10 has been fine once I adjusted the extractor tension. The original 10 round mag works great as do a pair of new 10 rnd Promags, but then they can make all the new 10 rnd mags they want for the US market.

    In general, Para seems more ammo sensitive than most 1911 style guns because of short and tight chambers.

    I've a Springfield P12 clone that uses P12 mags. The SA OEM mags appear to be Promag and what came with the gun were crap. I knew the gun was OK because it never hand a problem if I loaded 6 or less rounds into the mag -- but this defeats the purpose of a double stack 45 now don't it. With a lot of work on the mags I've about got it reliable enough to carry for three 12-round mags.

    Kimber BP Ten II was same feed problems with full mags, fine if 6 or less. Got these reliable enough to carry quickly from my experience with the Springer wide body. This one is light and thin enough that I do carry it sometimes, in fact shot my CHL renewal with it yesterday -- flawless function.

  18. stans

    stans Well-Known Member

    I have seen good Para's and I have seen bad Para's. Most of the bad seem to be magazine problems. I did see one that had all sorts of extraction problems, the solution was a new extractor. I expect Para is using all the MIM parts they can to keep costs down, so the internal extractor, unless it is one of them new fangled spring loaded types, sort of like the AFTEC, will likely need replacement. I really don't think MIM was ever intended to be used as spring material and the extractor as John Moses Browning designed it is little more than a flat spring.
  19. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Well-Known Member

    There are some recent reports of those breaking, too. Oops.
  20. HSMITH

    HSMITH Well-Known Member

    I've owned several Para's, more than I'd like to talk about LOL. I started with them when it was a frame kit only, and you had to build a gun from the kit. I bought the first factory P14 I found, and still have it. I have bought and sold many more, and miss some of them terribly. To a gun they have been well made, and the factory guns have been VERY VERY good guns. Accurate, reliable and well made, not a lot more that you can ask for.

Share This Page