Narrowed the search, Your input needed-Para LDA Companion vs. S&W 457

Narrowed the search, Your input needed-Para LDA Companion vs. S&W 457

This is a discussion on Narrowed the search, Your input needed-Para LDA Companion vs. S&W 457 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Have another thread running about looking for a 45 with DA for my son as a Christmas present. Lots of good information, and I appreciate ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array DaveT's Avatar
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    Narrowed the search, Your input needed-Para LDA Companion vs. S&W 457

    Have another thread running about looking for a 45 with DA for my son as a Christmas present. Lots of good information, and I appreciate all the replies on that thread.

    Thanks to information provided by board members here, I have narrowed my selection between the Para LDA Companion and the S&W 457s.

    I found a gun store that has the S&W in stock, can get the Para overnight. Going there Wednesday. Since all I know about these two pistols is what I have read on the 'net, I would appreciate some 'personal experience' type information from y'all.......

    If YOU had the choice between these two, which would you choose, and why ?

    Thanks,
    Dave


  2. #2
    Member Array ispcapt's Avatar
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    Never had the Para LDA so can't comment on it.
    Carried a 457 for a couple of years as a back up to my 645 when I was running a couple of drug task forces. Then carried the 457 as my off duty for a few more years. Still have it and carry it some. It's a good shooting piece, feeds everything put in it, and carries very well given its narrow butt. I'd have to really like the LDA to get rid of my 457.

  3. #3
    Member Array Heckler's Avatar
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    I've owned a 4516-2 (early variation of 457) since about 1994. I'll be carrying it in Kansas come January. It's stone cold reliable and built like a tank. It's a little chunky and I'm not crazy about the safety/decocker. It's a little awkward to flip the safety off since you have to push up and forward. But since it has a long heavy double action pull I wouldnt be nervous about carrying with the safety off in a quality holster.

  4. #4
    Member Array 18DAI's Avatar
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    I had a Para 7.45 LDA, and still have my 4516-3. I'd go with the 457. Para reliability, and QC leave alot to be desired IMHO. Regards 18DAI.

  5. #5
    Member Array denverd0n's Avatar
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    Do you care about the action? Never owned or shot either, but my understanding is that the Smith is DA for the first round and SA after that, whereas the Para is DA for every shot. This makes them pretty different, in my view.

  6. #6
    Member Array PAPACHUCK's Avatar
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    I have neither, but have seriously looked at the Para's. Nice DA version of the 1911 platform. I haven't had the opportunity to shoot a LDA, but I have dry fired them and the trigger is sweet.

    The S&W 4500 series being SA/DA would probably get the nod, if for nothing else but the action. From what I've read and from those whom I know that own them, the S&W's are very good guns.

    There are a few S&W's I'd like to own; a 5906, a 3913, and a 457.
    There is one Para I'd like to have; a Nite-Tac LDA.

    Good luck with your choice, and be sure to post some pics after you get one.

    Good day.
    FREEDOM MATTERS!

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array artz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
    but my understanding is that the Smith is DA for the first round and SA after that, whereas the Para is DA for every shot. This makes them pretty different, in my view.
    Let me blind fold you and give you each one to shoot and then you tell me !
    I'll take my para LDA every time....
    " Refuse to be a victim, make sure there is a round chambered ! "

    Just call me a pessimistic optimist !

    U.S. Navy vet 1981-1992

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    of the two i would go with the s&w. but, i would look at the glock's before i took a gun home from the store.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array CLASS3NH's Avatar
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    I think I'd be choosing the 457 due to it being slightly smaller than the para... Also, the Smith may be slightly cheaper in price as well.
    You may want to take a look at the 4013 single stack guns.. NOT the 4013TSW guns. The 4013 was a LEO type handgun made by S&W.............they're a single stack mag, and are the very same size as the 3913 series..price is usually around 395.00......
    Why Waltz when you can Rock-N-Roll

  10. #10
    Member Array Swamp Rat's Avatar
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    no problem for me to choose. 457 anyday. mine has been trouble free and eats everything it's fed and is accurate.
    Deer huntin' is a hole in the swamp where i spend my wife's money....

  11. #11
    Member Array denverd0n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by artz
    Let me blind fold you and give you each one to shoot and then you tell me !
    I'm not sure what you're getting at. Personally, I prefer either DA for every shot, or SA for every shot. Maybe it's just me, but I've never liked the change from DA for the first shot to SA for subsequent shots.

    But that's just my opinion. I know some people like the DA/SA guns very much. More power to them, they're just not for me.

  12. #12
    Member Array wheelgunner88's Avatar
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    LDA

    I'm with DenverD on this one. I'll take a heavy DAO any day over a DA/SA platform. I don't own that particular Smith, but I do have a couple of 3rd gen S&W autos that I can't complain about. On the other hand, with these choices, I'd Pick the PARA. The safety is easier and more natural, the grip is better in my hand than any smith bottom feeder and I've never felt a smoother and lighter DA trigger than the LDA system. My PARA CCW has been dead reliable for as long as I've had it. My only complaint is that it's a little on the heavy side.
    "An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject."

    Sights? What are those?

  13. #13
    Member Array richardoldfield's Avatar
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    Your question requires a tough call. I have a Para P12 LDA and a S&W M457. Both of my Par 12 LDA and S&W M457 have been very good performers and are accurate enough for carry/home defense. I would probably opt in favor of the S&W M457 because it is less expensive and a lighter weapon for carry. The Model 457 is a real sleeper when it comes to 45acp pistols. Regards, Richard

    My M457 before its redo:



    After the beauty parlor:


  14. #14
    Member Array Harold Green's Avatar
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    Iíve had a 457 for about ten years. It was my primary carry gun for a year or two, before I switched over to a traditional 1911. Itís lived in my truck and served as an occasional carry gun since then.

    Here are some observations:

    Itís very reliable as far as functioning with just about any kind of ammo you care to feed it.

    Itís accurate and shoots where you point it, as long as you cover what youíre pointing it at with the white dot on the front sight.

    It has, however, been back to the factory to get a small, pop-riveted, trigger-rebound spring replaced. This popped in two one day while I was cleaning it.

    The guide rod has an internal spring and plunger thatís staked into the main body of the guide rod. Mine has worked loose and separated.

    It has a magazine safety that disables the gun when the magazine is removed. This isnít one of my favorite features.

    The first round is double-action, and subsequent rounds are single action. It takes a little more practice to master this than mastering a trigger with a single, consistent trigger pull.

    ---

    OK, hereís where Iíll give you my two-cents worth about picking a gun. Either of the guns you mention, along with many others, are pretty reliable, and will provide your son good service.

    Hereís the rub, not all of them will fit his hand well. Itís more important that the gun you choose fits his hand well than what kind it is.

    I know it might spoil the surprise, but hereís what you really need to do. Take him to the gun store with you (if you can, find one with a range). Have him hold the gun with a good shooting grip and see if it feels comfortable in his hand and if he can reach all the controls easily. If it doesnít pass this test, reject it.

    While holding the gun in a good two-handed shooting grip, have him pick an aiming point in a safe direction, close his eyes and point the gun at the aiming point. When he opens his eyes the sights should be pretty close to lined up on the aiming point. If they arenít the grip angle is wrong for him or the gun just doesnít fit his hand.

    When he gets to this point, have him pick a safe aiming point again, and dry fire the guns that pass the previous two tests. He should be able to keep the sights aligned with the aiming point through the trigger pull and have them still aligned after the hammer/striker falls.

    Have him rent guns like the ones he likes and shoot them on the range.

    Buy him the one that works best for him.

    If you buy him brand X or model Y just because it works well for someone other than your son, youíll be doing him a disservice.
    "A gentleman will seldom, if ever, need a pistol. However, if he does, he needs it very badly!" -- Sir Winston Churchill

    "He who goes unarmed in paradise had better be sure that is where he is." -- James Thurber

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array MNBurl's Avatar
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    I would get the Smith IMHO. Their 3rd gen guns are 100% reliable. Let us know which one you go for.
    MNBurl

    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking" - George S. Patton.

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