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PARA G.I Expert mixed reviews ,Help.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by marine 97-03, Dec 17, 2012.

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  1. marine 97-03

    marine 97-03 Member

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    In my net searching I've gotten interested in a GI Expert, but have run in to some disturbing articles, I always looked at Para as one of the better 1911 manufacturers out there, am I giving them to much credit? Anyone own a GI Expert the stainless model is the one I'm looking at, or should I stay away from para altogether ?



    Thanks
     
  2. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    There are many manufacturers who offer guns which might serve you better
     
  3. marine 97-03

    marine 97-03 Member

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    Are they just not as good as I first thought?
     
  4. Jed Carter

    Jed Carter Member

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    I "owned" a Para Ordnance GI Expert, I too would recommend that for the price their are better choices. In the price range the Metro Arms American Classic II, and Taurus PT1911 come to mind.
     
  5. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    I don't own one, but have followed Para for several years on a couple of 1911 forums and here on THR.

    The GI Expert was one of the first designs to come from Para after their move from Canada to North Carolina. I don't know if the move had anything to do with it, but the forums have been pretty brutal to the GI Expert.

    When based in Canada, the SSP and LDA models, and even the double stacks had somewhat of a loyal (if not niche) following, in spite of the design departures from the traditional 1911. These pistols all had some "oddity" from ramped barrels, to the PXT extractor, to the LDA trigger, to the wide body frame. All took hits from the traditionalists, but the owners generally had good things to say about them. The more traditional GI Expert, not so much.
     
  6. marine 97-03

    marine 97-03 Member

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    I may need to change the way I view Para
     
  7. tarakian

    tarakian Member

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    Para had some quality and customer service issues after they made the move to North Carolina, so you will find horror stories all over the web. I can also find you horror stories about Glock, S&W, Taurus and pretty much every manufacturer. Para has worked very hard to resolve their quality problems and their customer service is second to no one. I would put the new guns up against anything in their price range. I have 2 hi caps, my friend has 3, my brother has a GI. I had one problem with a slide for mine that came from the custom shop and Para went above and beyond in making it right. My brother has had zero problems with his GI Expert in about six months of ownership. He loves the gun.
     
  8. eam3clm@att.net

    [email protected] Member

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    I had a problem right off the start with mine. The slide stop lever would not stay in. The mag follower would push the slide stop out enough that the slide would not hold open on the first round. I contacted para and they seemed less than willing to help out. They even suggested that I just buy a new one for my NEW pistol. This was in the late spring of 2011 so I dont know if they have gotten better since. I also didnt really like the thin plastic follower that the mags came with. Mine has the black finish and it seems like it is just painted on and is easly rubbed off.

    Now I through bashing it. My GI has ran flawless since I replaced the slide stop lever and it feeds my 200 grain Lee cast SWC perfectly. I dont know how well it will feed factory ammo since I never ran any in it.
     
  9. powder

    powder member

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    I had a used one that shot WWB all day long, never a problem with any aspect of it. Sold it to a friend who was new to 1911s-he's loving it too.
     
  10. Ehtereon11B

    Ehtereon11B internet infantryman

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    I have a GI Expert and it is one of the most accurate pistols I own. Very good tack driver out to 50 meters. Since the one I have is a commemorative pistol, I plan on buying another as a range/CCW pistol to keep the other one as mint as possible.
     
  11. marine 97-03

    marine 97-03 Member

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    Are they not made to traditional specs?
     
  12. birddog

    birddog Member

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    I have the Para GI Expert ESP (not stainless, blued).

    I got it early last spring. It's a well-made, highly accurate 1911. The only problems I experienced were with the two included Para magazines. Many, many failures to return to battery. With two Kimber mags, no such problems in a thousand or so rounds.

    It's not truly a "GI" as many reviews will tell you. No lanyard loop, a skeletonized trigger, fiber optic sights, a lowered ejection port and beveled magwell are all improvements over a true GI. I think it's GI in name only, but that it's a pretty good gun nonetheless.

    I know from experience that the next comments on a thread like this will be "someone who doesn't know better might think it's okay". I have a Kimber Ultra CDP II and a Springfield Armory GI Mil-Spec. The Para is as reliable as both of those, not as pretty as the Kimber, and not as ugly as the Springer (which I love).

    Good luck with the Para. I enjoy mine.
     
  13. marine 97-03

    marine 97-03 Member

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    They have the stainless at the local academy for 625.99$...I think there a fine looking gun I've heard the customer service is lacking ....not as good as ruger,or S&W.
     
  14. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Para Ordnance is not nearly the quality they once were. Not even a shadow of it. For the price you'd pay for a Barely Ordnance, you can indeed get a much better pistol from at least a half dozen different manufacturers. Para markets on their past success. Their current production is quietly swept under the rug as long as the sales dollars keep coming in. The more people like you who research before they buy, the fewer of those dollars will be forthcoming.
     
  15. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    They will never be on my radar. Great that a few guys are trouble free but the horror stories are piling up faster than zombie themed merchandise at Gander Mountain. I've read no fewer than 4 separate accounts from service members who ordered commemorative unit editions (group buys) only to have multiple pistols that did not run and nightmarish service. Several of those pistols never did run after multiple return trips.

    Marine, see post #2, follow those links and put the odds squarely in your favor.
     
  16. smalls

    smalls Member

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    I asked about them while looking at options for my first 1911. I had employees tell me to turn around and run as fast as I could if I saw one.
     
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