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I don't hear much gossip about Para's on this forum - I would very much like to hear the professionals' lowdown on these guns.

I have heard that the frames and slide are softer than other manufacturers, and I am interested in any other "flaws" in these weapons.

I own a couple P13-45 Ltd's that have treated me very well - except for the front sights doing the jitterbug in their dovetails, which loc-tite fixed.
 

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Same here, I don't think that their Frames can be too "Soft" as Les was using them for his (Hi-Cap) SRP 1911s and with a price tag of over $2,395.00, one would think that the parts that went into that pricey a 1911 would be first rate.

And this fellow over here in Texas, Reworks a good bit of them.
 
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FYI:
The Para framed Baer production guns ran horribly and the bureau ended up bringing in Steve Nastoff under contract to keep the HRTs guns up and running.

The problem the HRT had with the Para guns was not with the frames but with the magazines.

All of the followers were replaced with custom units and Wolff extra power springs were installed in all of the Para mags.
 

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There is a review/torture test of Para's LDA in the new issue of Combat Handguns, written by Walt Rauch. IIRC, the dust cover warped after he fired something on the order of 5000 rounds thru it. Interesting reading to say the least.

Anyway, check it out.
 

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I read that article also. The frame did warp but Walt did not even notice it until he was cleaning the gun I believe. He kept shooting it that way even after that day and it continued to run fine as I understand it. I don't care for the LDA myself, but still I believe the author's overall impression of the gun was very favorable even with the warped frame. I have considered this topic some myself. It is tempting to think you can have your cake (big bullets) and eat it too (lots of them in the mag). I am sure that someone can prove to me that they are prone to failure, I am equally sure that someone else can prove to me that theirs has never, ever failed them. Still, to me, it is an unknown in my equation. I try to eliminate as many of those as I can before the actual event, so I pass on high cap 45's with the exception of the glock 21 and USP 45. Even then, I prefer a single stack 1911.
Good shooting to you. Jake
 
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I also read Walt's article and the frame warpage is rather odd. Walt followed a basic endurance test methodology that was very good and has been done more than a few times by a great deal of us who were "curious".

I was very suprised as the gun should not have warped like that, I have witnessed SS guns that turned completely blue/purple that were so hot that the plastic/rubber grips began to melt and could not be handled without insulated gloves that still ran without warpage or damage.

Perhaps there is some truth to the frames rumour? I don't know, but I am curious?

_________________
Think, Plan, Train, Be Safe.
Thanks
David

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David DiFabio on 2001-07-25 12:52 ]</font>
 

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I have shot a few Para's and know folks who really dig them. I am in shock they are going to a single stack, since the "thing" to want about Para was they held so many darn rounds.

On a different note, as a USA Manufacturer, I won't buy outside this country if I don't have too. I believe in supporting the US economy because as a manufacturer it is difficult to compete against an economy that pays thier workers .50 cents for every dollar I pay them. There are plenty of equal (and I personally believe) better...

But Para makes a decent firearm. This guy will stick to as much "American Made" stuff he can get.
 

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I have a P12 with aluminum frame.

I experienced some problems in the first 200 rounds fired, and this gun does not like SWC bullet styles.

The gun now has about 2500 rounds fired, and runs flawlessly with handloads, ball, Hydra-Shocks, etc.

Modifications to this gun are 4# trigger and installation of an Ed Brown recoil spring conversion kit (to get rid of the recoil spring cap stamping).

I have experienced no quality control problems and no parts have failed.

All things considered, I consider this gun to be an excellent combination of light weight, rounds capacity, concealability and reliability.
 

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My first IPSC gun was built on a Para frame by Gary Kimball. It was a 45 for a season and about 20K rounds, than it went over to a 40 for another season and another 20K rounds. The frame and slide were chromed, but I never had any issues with hardness or QC. Still runs today. Another AF puke at the Academy has it. There is close to 50K rounds through it and its still running...

Another reason you don’t see more Para's is that they aren’t as cool looking as the STI's. Gotta look good out there after all. I only switched to STI because my gunsmith didn’t want to build me an open gun on a Para frame.

A stainless LDA in 9x19 should be showing up soon. I will put it through its paces as soon as it shows. Could be a good IDPA gun...

Tom
AF Shooting Team


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Tom Freeman on 2001-07-26 09:07 ]</font>
 

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The first PO I bought was a P12, a very reliable and accurate 1911, every one that tried it liked it, the second PO was a P13 again no problems, The third was a P14 that I use for USPSA Limited ( a few mods but nothing really radical). I then got this wild hair to swich to single stacks and sold all my paras, I recently purchaced a 7-45 single stack and although I like it very much ,the fit and finish definately leave something to be desired.

Pat
 

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I used to be a Para fanatic. Hell my email still is para-edge and I use the handle para-EDGe on alot of forums. The first one I bought was an alloy p-14 which I will never sell. But since then I've had a stainles p-14 which I sold because I needed the money. A Signature p-14(same as limited) I traded for some other guns. A Limited p-14 which I'm going to be selling to finance my 9x23 obsession. and a 14.45 LDA which will be sold soon also. I don't care for the LDA mechanism at all, looks real flimsy and breaks weird.
The limited model is nice but with the adjustable sights and fat grip it's more of a game gun and I'm not really into that at this point.

The reason I first bought a Para was because (as mentioned above) the high capacity. I shot good (and still do) with my alloy. the problem for me was lack of customizabilty and parts. The frontstraps come serrated so it's hard to get em checkered or anything else and only the factory grips are thin enough to be right so there's no options there. Also the mags are expensive and do sometimes fail if the springs are the least bit weak. Also the thick butt is harder to conceal. The blueing on my LDA was sorta odd so I tend to agree with the qc issues also.

I still think Para's are nifty pieces but I'm not sure I'd bet my life on one at this point and I'm obsessing over single stacks and 9x23.

If I get another high cap 1911 it'll be an STI like Desert Dogs.

Only Para I'll keep is my good ole Alloy. May get another in the future for some reason but not for a while.

sad but true.
 

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As indicated in my post above, I'm very pleased with my Para P12.

However, I just bought a SA Champion parkerized as a second gun, since the P12 has an alloy frame and I don't want to put a lot of rounds through a soft-frame alloy gun.

There were a number reasons I DIDN'T BUY ANOTHER PARA, but one of the major reasons is that the 'value added' features of loaded pistols offered by SA and Kimber just kill Para and other makers in terms of overall value.

The contest between SA and Kimber 'loaded' offerings would appear to be hurting not only other pistol makers but also it has to be impacting the income of custom pistolsmiths.

I think that's why you see less mention of Para in this and other forums.
 

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I say this all the time, but I'll say it again.

All this "bad mouthing" of Paras is not an indication of my Paras.

My P12, 13 and 16 have all been CHAMPS. My P16 and P12 have secondary barrels (10mm and 400 CB) and they have not shown any problems with the other rounds. The Bar Sto 400 CB barrel had TIGHT link and that required a break in period, but that's it.

I do believe that there is a bit of "snobbery" that goes into the mention of a Para. Old school hates the double column mags, new school compares the Paras to the STI/SV pistolas.

Every manufacture will have QC problems. Look at SA, look at Kimber, look at Colt. I personally know folks who have problems with their last purchase from each of them.

FWIW, my P13 shot nearly as tight as my buddy George's Gold Match Kimber, but my Para didn't cost over a grand.

A lot of times the 'smiths get to see the problematic children of any company.

Derek
 

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I am considering a Para P16 for the sole purpose of converting it to 10mm. I have owned two 10mm in the past and loved them. Was ready to buy a Witness 10mm, but came across these forums with Para's being reamed for 10mm. Hope the underlying positive feeling I'm getting for these Paras is true. Took alot to convince me about the Witness pistols. Now I'm jumping ship and going with the old familiar 1911 (hicap) for my 10mm. If anyone has an overriding negative concern with the Para's please speak now or forever hold your peace.
 

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My P16 was converted to 10mm with an Ed Brown barrel and I have been quite pleased with my duo-tone P16. The pistol has funcioned fine with about 750 rounds of 10mm through the pistol.

If I had to do it again, I'd do it! :grin:

Derek
 

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Derek,
I was kicking around the idea of doing this
same P16 .40 to 10mm conversion myself, so I'll fire a few questions at you. First of all, how long ago did you have it done, and are the 10mm barrels still available from Ed Brown?
Any problems with feeding of the 10mm in the ramped barrel?
What 10mm ammo are you shooting, are you using different weight springs between 10mm and .40 and what weight(s)?
Any noticeable difference in area of impact between the .40 and 10mm? (Does the gun need to be re-sighted when swapping barrels?)
Any other info/advice you could offer on this would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks in advance,
Mark Garrity
 
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