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Why does Para get no respect?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by kentucky_smith, Apr 8, 2007.

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  1. kentucky_smith

    kentucky_smith Member

    Oct 6, 2005
    After looking over several Commander-sized pistols and going to a Para field day. I decided on an LTC Regal Para to replace my Colt 1991a1 Commander. Fit, finish, were superior to the Colt and it had a beavertail safety. Trigger is great, it fits the hand nice and the alloy frame is a joy to carry. The ParaKote finish (pretty sure it's Duracoat) is plenty rugged and will hold up to abuse.

    Shooting it is a joy. It's not the tackdriver my Series 1 Kimber or BHP are, but it outshoots the Colt and RIA I had by far. Everything is tight and crisp, and even during the 250 round break-in cycle, I've suffered no failures. The PXT extractor is a beast.

    The only thing I can't understand is why this little jewels are ignored or belittled on here. :confused:
  2. SuperNaut

    SuperNaut Member

    Jun 19, 2006
    SLC, Utah
    I haven't seen a disproportionate number of anti-Para posts on THR compared to other brands or other boards. It seems they experience about the same number of faults as any other manufacturer.

    Besides, nothing wrong with hearing about the bad right along with the good stuff. How else are you going to make an informed decision?
  3. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

    Jan 1, 2003
    SouthEast PA
    Para gives you a reasonably good quality gun at a reasonable price point, and throws in some worthwhile updates, bells and whistles to boot. Sure, they cut a corner here and there, but the corners they cut are in places that don't count.

    I never understood paying upwards of $1200 for a 1911 myself.
  4. skud_dusty

    skud_dusty Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    I've played around with a couple of the cheaper Paras, and I was really unimpressed with the fit an finish. If I'm going to spend $400+ on a 1911, I might as well plop down the $500 and get an SA....just IMO of course ;)
  5. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    I got turned off Paras back when they only had their double stack frames/mags. When the AWB hit & I was restricted to 10 round mags, the paras made no sense to me. I could get a standard Colt, have a nicer fitting frame in my hands & not be restricted to parts vendors for mods...then when the LDA came out, I still couldn't figure why I do w/ a 1911 & a DAO trigger.
  6. SWModel19

    SWModel19 Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    I have a P16-40 and a P14-45LDA, both of which I'm very pleased with. I have no idea what they cost, though (they were heirlooms). The LDA is quite an impressive achievement, IMHO. You can carry cocked and locked or cocked and unlocked without much more concern than if you were carrying a Glock, XD, M&P, etc. Do they really sell for that much? I guess I'll never know, as I'll never get rid of them. :D
  7. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Member

    Nov 11, 2003
    New Jersey Highlands
    There is a perception that they are of spotty quality . . . .

    Not sure if it is true or not.
  8. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    Johnson City, TN
    It was a long time ago (c. 1999) and only one gun, but a P12-45 I had was a dreadful lemon. Perhaps it's unfair of me, but I haven't desired any P-O handgun since.
  9. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

    Jan 21, 2004
    Norra Texas
    I had an LTC for a while, and it was OK. It never gave me any issues, but I was unimpressed enough with the cast bits to want to keep it rather than go thru it and replace half of the lockwork. Of course, that also proved true of my Kimbers and such, so it's not like I'm picking on Para when I say that.

    I seem to recall that Tamara was especially hard on Para due to CCA's poor luck in keeping them running, but I could be misrememberin'.

    MICHAEL T Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    outback Kentucky
    It was the best single shot pistol I ever owned. Loved the large ammo storage compartment. But that was only one I will ever own..
    I have all Colts now and they all can move a round from storage to shipping and delivery with out a lot of fuss. Para required to much hands on .
  11. wally

    wally Member

    Jan 2, 2004
    Houston, Tx
    I liked them better before they "improved" the extractor which seems to not really be any better, but is more trouble to replace since you can only get one from Para.

    To me the LDA trigger is a solution in search of a problem and destroys what really makes a 1911 special -- that wonderful small displacement SA trigger.

    Their double stacks frequently have problems with the magazines which are way overpriced considering how many need new springs to work at all.

    I've pre-PxT P14, P13 and P10 only the P13 has been problem free. P14 and P10 have been fine once I've resolved the mag issues, but since the guns are not bargin priced by any means, this makes me less than enthusiastic about recommending them.

  12. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    0 hrs east of TN
    I own a P14 and a P12 and they've never given me a bit of trouble.
  13. MikePGS

    MikePGS Member

    Aug 4, 2006
    Metro Detroit, Michigan
    I like their designs and appreciate the fact that they make a few models of 9mm 1911's... but i haven't ever owned one so i can't really comment on the quality of them either way.
  14. possum

    possum Member

    Oct 12, 2005
    Concord, N.C.
    the only experience i have had with para's was one handgun and it was a great one. my dad had a para c 7.45 compaion which they no longer make, he got rid of it, and i really didn't have the money but he was gonna give me a killer deal, i am pissed that i didn't take it off his hands. what i loved about it was that it was a dao lda trigger. which is sweetness all around, it was accurate, and it would feed empty brass all day long, we did this several times just to see if it would do it. it did all right. i also loved the astetics, thouhg it was an lda it still had the bobed hammer, beavertail grip safe, and it was commander size, the perfect 1911 i believe, man i wish i had that gun now!:banghead:
  15. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    I shot Paras for years and years, even to this day they feel better in my hand than anything else. Back when I started with them there were only frames, you had to build the gun on the frame and quality was equal to the quality of work done. Then in the early 90's they started making complete factory guns, and they were INCREDIBLE for the money. Insanely accurate, reliable and the price point was a no-brainer. I couldn't build one for what they were selling them for, so I went to factory guns and customized them for the most part. The cast hammer and sear wasn't ever very good, but it worked good for longer than most people will ever know. They had some other very minor issues, but they were a tremendous bargain. I still have one around here and a frame kit. Over 45K rounds and probably over 50K through the factory gun, in total it has jammed 3 times. Once was a magazine that had gotten stomped at a match and the other two were bad rounds that wouldn't chamber in a trash can. The sear went soft and it started full auto excursions, at that point I bought an STI for competition before fixing the Para and putting it in the safe. The kicker for me was that the Para never has been all that durable. 50-60K rounds or so before they started to get sloppy, and that was if you started with one that was dead tight. If it wasn't fitted well it wouldn't get that far. I have heard of them going well over 100K rounds, but have never met anyone in person that has taken one that far. Accu-rails or something like that might take them well over 100K rounds, but I am not a fan of the rails.

    I might have gotten another Para but the guns I have been seeing in stores are nowhere near what they used to be, not even a shadow of the guns from the first 5 or 6 years. Barrel fit is sloppy, slide to frame fit is sloppy, cast parts like the sear are still fairly soft. There might be some out there that are just awesome, but of the 20+ guns I have handled new in the last 3 or 4 years none were even close to being good. If the current production was like they were in the first few years I would have bought a pair and a spare for competition guns, worn them out and tossed them aside like in the old days. The problem is they need SO much work now that the price just isn't worth it.

    I am running STI now, have several of them, they are NOT without problems but all in all are a much better gun. I still watch the shows and ads for an early alloy P13 though, hard to find a much better carry gun.
  16. JonP

    JonP Member

    Sep 14, 2006
    San Antonio, TX
    I have a P14.45LTD and love it. It's my favorite gun - never had a problem.
  17. Sundles

    Sundles Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    I have 7 Paras. Three are built on the early frame kits, so they dont really count as Paras. Four (Two P12s, one P13 and two P14s) of my Paras are factory guns. They are very good 1911's for what you pay. All of my magazines now carry the Wolf 10%+ springs and they work flawlessly.

    I have not fooled around with Paras in many years, but the early guns were good quality for the cost. However, all my magazines needed new springs in order to get +P ammo to run reliably.
  18. DomMega

    DomMega Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    Las Vegas, NV
    I love my P14. Its upstairs in my room, cocked and locked carrying Xtreme shock anti-terrorist rounds for home protection right now. I hope that says that I trust that gun with my life and have never had it go click when cycling rounds through it. I love my Para and am dead accurate with it every time I shoot it. I have a lot of friends in the military as well that swear by them. Great weapon.
  19. LoadedDrum

    LoadedDrum Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    I have owned 3 Colts and one Para. The Para is the only one I still have because it was the best put together and like the add says you cannot argue with 14+1 rounds of 45acp.
  20. ..

    .. Member

    Jan 25, 2003
    The fact that notable gunsmiths won't work on them and nobody uses them in competetion aside from Tod Jarret, who is bankrolled by Para, says it all. I remember something about their frames being cast?
  21. DogBonz

    DogBonz Member

    Sep 23, 2006
    I had a P14

    It was a plain Jane, no frills model. The finish was as ugly as sin, but the fit was tight and it was just as accurate as the Gold Cup that I regrettably traded it (and too much cash) for, but it was far more reliable. The sights were not the best, but they were better then the “GI” type, and for the money, dollar for dollar, it was one of the best guns that I have ever owned. I wish that I never traded that Para.

    I feel that they do not deserve their spotty quality reputation. I have heard many stories, but the only one that I saw first hand was a P12 that had a lot of FTF’s (all stovepipes), but in the full size it was always “my brother’s, wife’s uncle’s, friend had a Para that imploded”…
  22. KMKeller

    KMKeller Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Never used one myself but...

    There are a few top shooters in our pistol league that shoot Para LDA's. When I asked them about them the take was as follows:
    - Good shooter, but had to go through ten to find one that was accurate.
    - Not a durable gun, metals are too soft and the gun wears out too quickly.
    - Slide and frame peen very easily.
    Of the three gents, two are High Master class and only one is still shooting his Para. The other gent is Master class and hasn't been able to get his to run at all. Last I heard, he sold it.

    They use the Para LDA's in the Duty Match, where the gun has to have a DA/SA or DA only trigger.
  23. hessy

    hessy Member

    Nov 25, 2005
    I had a P14-45 and sold it, because the quality of the gun was mediocre. All parts were MIM. The slide/frame fit became loose after 300 rds fired and the front sight started walking. I had to send the gun to their CS and they did not address any of the issues I asked for. I spent tons of cash customizing the gun and ended up selling it at a loss.
    The lesson learned: invest in a good gun from the start, do not get mediocre pistol.
  24. gandog56

    gandog56 Member

    Apr 5, 2006
    Mobile, AL.
    I don't know. Of course, I also don't know anybody that has one.
  25. cold dead hands

    cold dead hands member

    Mar 1, 2007
    As with all other brands of anything mass produced... some get a gem, some get the average, some get the not so hot and some get the lemons.

    With that I proclaim myself to be a Para lover. I have owned two P-12's and a Warthog. I traded one P-12 for a Bersa Thunder 40. I love my Bersa but it sure was nice to open that padded case and see a matching set of P-12's. However, that little Warthog made me true believer. Toss a 14 round mag with an A&G grip extender on into the mag well and you have one very light weight and easily concealed high-cap bad boy to chase gobblins away.

    Someday I plan on buying either a Bighawg or P-14 in stainless. I guess I'll just have to flip a coin at some point.
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