Owner's Review Of the Para Expert Carry 1911

I first saw the Para Expert Carry .45 ACP in the gun bar at the business where I work. I was looking at another gun, and saw the Para {on clearance} marked down almost $200. I calculated that price plus my associate discount and while I bought the gun I came in to look at, the Para Expert Carry didn't leave my mind.

I went back over to the gun bar a couple of days later and bought it. The combination of the attractive firearm and low retail price for the new .45 was too much to resist.

Downside to that is I didn't do any of the normal intensive research I do on any gun I buy. That's knowing I'll be reviewing it, and not really wanting to buy a bad gun. Each gun I currently purchase has to be one I or my wife or daughter will use in practical fashion for effective self defense.

Para Ordnance has a long and somewhat colorful history that is beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say Para has put out some innovative 1911s with features not offered by other companies. But their quality control is a mixed bag that ranges from excellent to sub par handguns.

But I like to shoot, and like most handgun shooters, no matter what I favor for carry, I like 1911s.

So, all things considered including the ridiculously low price for the clearance offering combined with my discount prompted me to take the plunge.

At a glance, the gun comes with a pretty standard package: Two mags, a gun lock, a manual, a case. It dismantles pretty much like a traditional 1911 except it does not require the removal of a barrel bushing with a wrench or damaged fingers to get one out.

After an initial take down and minor clean and re-lubricating, we took it off to the range.

[NOTE: This troubles me about any production gun: A recommended break in period. Para recommends a procedure for shooting their guns, cleaning, shooting, re-cleaning, ad nauseum until you reach 500 rounds. Then it's supposed to shoot right.

Bull.

Any tactical handgun should perform flawlessly right out of the box after a cursory cleaning and lube. That's with factory ammunition if quality control is not a recognized weakness of the manufacturer. 500 round "Break Ins" for production guns are absurd.]

That being out of the way, starting the gun was encouraging. Feel, sight alignment, target acquisition, and accuracy were all excellent.

The gun was a dream to shoot. One of those firearms that seems to aim itself. The target shown is one of several that were shot from 30-35 feet, quick-firing with the Para Expert Carry. While you expect a .45 ACP with a barrel this short to require some intense aiming, not this one.

The gun will fit most people's hands, regardless of whether for a man, woman, teen, or older child. It is a standard length, slim, 1911 grip.

Above is the gun in my two handed grip.

This is the gun in my daughter's hands. She is just under 5' 2".

Para Expert Carry 1911 Failures to Extract

But an unfortunate clue sprung up in the first box of factory ammo shot. A couple of failures to extract.

In a subsequent range session, every 2nd or 3rd round from either magazine failed to extract. The ones that did extract and eject hit me in the forehead. About 80 rounds proved the gun was not extracting.

It was undeniably faulty.

And even buying it from my employer, dealing with the warranty would be dealing with the firearms manufacturer.

Not hardly.

Not with a 1911.

No matter what I imagined initially, what I knew was that if a 1911 does not extract the spent cases, the problem is the extractor.

Not something else.

I looked for the solution and found it in this article that is now over 15 years old. But as far as basic structure, 1911s have not changed since their origins.

I then found this video that visually demonstrates how to correct a 1911 extractor that is dropping the case.

I did what it instructed a couple of times for multiple adjustments. Then I took it out and shot it.

The Para Expert Carry 1911 turned into the fully functioning tactical handgun it was meant to be. I fired off five 8 round magazines as fast as I could fire, drop a mag and start again.

All cases extracted, ejected, and all were spit out about 4 feet to the right.

Problem solved.

Carrying The Para Expert Carry With 3" Barrel

I'm not putting pictures of the gun in a holster here because any number of holsters will work for this gun.

That includes inside the waistband or belt holsters. What has to be understood is the barrel length is not what makes these guns easier to conceal. The grip is a standard grip for a 1911 eight round magazine.

A full size magazine. In a full size grip.

That means the gun will not carry easier than a commander size or full size 1911. It may just help you sit down with it in the holster a little more comfortably.

Important Para Expert Carry Stats:

.45 ACP
3” Match Grade Barrel
2-Dot Rear, Green Fiber Optic Front
Stainless Steel Slide & Aluminum Frame
Oversized, Flared Ejection Port
Beavertail Grip Safety
Skeletonized Match-Grade Trigger
Black Nitride/Anodize Finish
Polymer Grips
Two 8-Round Magazines

Bottom Line Summary: I like this gun, but bought it for nearly $300 under one of the lowest new gun retail prices in the nation. It has a great feel to it, but so does every other 1911 in existence.

It is a great shooter as far as sight alignment, target acquisition, aiming, accuracy. But the fact that I had to disassemble the slide and go through the extractor correction process negates that. Other guns are great without having to fix what the manufacturer failed to address.

This review is preliminary to really testing the gun for concealed carry or home defense.

If I had to recommend a good 1911 to carry, I would have a lot of choices to point someone to other than this one. Choices that would probably be more dependable than one put out by the colorful, but questionable Para firearms company.

NOTE: At this writing, the Para firearms company has been out of business for 3 years. It was purchased by Remington. The Para name is no longer being put out on guns, but many of the guns with the Para logos are still in retail stores around the country.

Remington will pick up the 1911 production of Para, but under Remington's brand.

Current owners of Para firearms may get service for the lifetime warranty from Remington.


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