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Thread: Discussion Thread for ParaUSA GI Expert Review

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  1. #1
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    Discussion Thread for ParaUSA GI Expert Review

    The review of the GI Expert is now available in the latest issue of the e-zine, here: http://ezine.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=13

    You may discuss our review, ask questions, and enter your comments in this thread.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside
    Last edited by Hawkmoon; 25th April 2009 at 00:58.


  2. #2
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    That's a great report Hawk, and congratulations on beating those young 'uns too!

    I have to agree, that hammer just looks out of place... I have to believe it was an inventory-clearing choice. The plastic 3-hole trigger is harder to explain though!

    Still, minor issues, easily remedied. Neither would stop me from owning it if I was in the market for a no-frills 1911.
    Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
    M. Setter


  3. #3
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    Hawk:

    Good job!

    rekladan:

    I'm SURE that Para had a ton of those hammers & triggers laying around. There's no good reason to use the "drilled out" plastic trigger at all, except stock, too, but from a marketing standpoint, I would expect it. (Para's Marketing people seem to have a good deal of influence....)

    Given the gun's street price, I doubt if anybody will care about any of this, but you know that I'd swap the grip safety and add an arched MSH .... Sights is sights, for a carry gun anyway, but I prefer the older Novak style, too.

    (Interestingly, I've got three Paras, with nominally the same Novak sights, but the CCO, which came with night sights, is ever so slightly better - the slot in the rear sight is a few thousandths wider, which seems to help me.)

    My vote would be to grab up an SSP of some kind. It's at least a hundred bucks more, but by the time you pay a smith to swap the parts I'd swap, you're there.... Nice gun for the price, though!

    Regards,
    Stu.
    (Why write a quick note when you can write a novel?)
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒE
    יזכר לא עד פעם

  4. #4
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    I actually like the high-profile sights, and the grip safety! I remember looking at pictures of their first wide-bodies that Hawk refers to, and thinking "I want that gun, only narrow!" and Hawk's picture with the changed-out commander hammer is pretty much it, provided you Photoshop-fill the holes in the trigger...

    EDITED to add:
    ParaUSA (formerly Para-Ordnance)...
    Just a minor point: as I understand it, Para USA, Inc is the name of the US 'branch' of the company. In the international side of their website, the company's name is still Para-Ordnance Mfg., Inc

    But then again, if this particular pistol is made in their new US factory, it's a Para USA pistol!
    Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
    M. Setter


  5. #5
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    Nice review.

    Accuracy appears to be very good for a "box" gun, let alone a $500 one.
    That's a big selling point at any price point, if the gun works well.

    Smart move on their part with the standard extractor and non-ramped barrel.
    I suspect there will be more models similiar to this.

  6. #6
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    My son bought one from the local Academy Sports Store and I have to say, this is one great pistol for the price. Even at his young age (26) he likes the retro looking 1911's and this one is very close. I agree about the hammer and trigger needing to be replaced to achieve the correct look, but this gun is flawless in operation as is and I doubt I will make any changes until something goes awry. He has now put over 400 rounds of both FMJ & Hollowpoints, all 230gr through it and it is both accurate and reliable with only one fail to feed and that was because he accidentally hit the mag release and the mag had dropped down a bit. I have had several of Para's guns and had good luck with them all. I am glad he is having the same.

    His only complaint is that when releasing the slide on a full mag, it takes two thumbs to release it. Slingshotting the slide eliminates this problem. When I insert my Wilson 47D mags this is not a problem. I am sure with use it will get easier for him.

    tex45acp


    Last edited by tex45acp; 25th April 2009 at 07:13.


  7. #7
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    Hawkmoon,

    As always, a very good review with excellent, sharply focused photographs.

    I am in agreement with you, and several of the previous posters in this thread, regarding the hammer and trigger. It is duly noted that these are easily changed.

    One question for you, sir.
    I read through the review three times to ascertain the surface finish of the G.I. Expert, and found no reference. So, I went to the Para web site and found "Covert Black". Several years ago, I did a review of the Para-Ordnance Carry 9, which also had the Covert Black surface treatment. At that time, I commented on the apparent durability of that finish.

    What are your thoughts on how the Covert Black finish held up during your tests, taking into consideration the fact that the pistol was left at Chris's Shooting Range, and several other persons were allowed to fire it?

    Thanks again for a most informative and well-written review.
    Steve
    ***********************

  8. #8
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    I enjoyed the review and I found that the first thing I noticed about the Para was the trigger and hammer. As you say, they're easily replaced.
    Thanks for a review well done.
    Lynnie, "Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal. "
    - Albert Camus

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rio Vista Slim
    What are your thoughts on how the Covert Black finish held up during your tests, taking into consideration the fact that the pistol was left at Chris's Shooting Range, and several other persons were allowed to fire it?
    The photos with the "alternate" hammers were taken after all the testing had been completed, including the night of competition. Being a busy, indoor range, Chris' doesn't allow drawing and firing from a holster, so most of the testing involved just laying the gun down on a bench and picking it up again. The only holster wear would have come from the competition night. As the photos show -- there was no wear visible.

    I read a lot of complaints about how quickly Para's coating wears. After carrying the test Slim Hawg (which I bought after the test) pretty much daily since the end of that test, I have seen only very minimal wear at the muzzle end of the slide, and almost any finish will eventually show some wear at that point. We've had the GI Expert for about a month and it has mostly been sitting in the box, so I don't think what I observed represents a long term test in any way, but I don't have any complaints about the finish.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekladan
    Just a minor point: as I understand it, Para USA, Inc is the name of the US 'branch' of the company. In the international side of their website, the company's name is still Para-Ordnance Mfg., Inc

    But then again, if this particular pistol is made in their new US factory, it's a Para USA pistol!
    You are correct. Para-Ordnance still exists in Canada and the company headquarters is still there. They now operate dual web sites, one for Para-Ordnance and one for ParaUSA. The instruction book with the test pistol says "ParaUSA," so that's what I went with. You can see it in the photo of the pistol and box.

    I don't know if the test pistol was manufactured entirely in the U.S.; parts manufactured in Canada and final assembled in the U.S.; or completely manufactured in Canada and then sent to the U.S. for distribution. I only went by the name on the box.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside

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