Dipped my toe in the 1911 waters.

Dipped my toe in the 1911 waters.

This is a discussion on Dipped my toe in the 1911 waters. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I went into my local toy store today just to say goodbye and thank you for all the gun handling and BS sessions at the ...

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Thread: Dipped my toe in the 1911 waters.

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array forester58's Avatar
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    Dipped my toe in the 1911 waters.

    I went into my local toy store today just to say goodbye and thank you for all the gun handling and BS sessions at the counter over the years here in Montana. We are moving Friday this week to Wyoming. He has done most of my transfers so he knows what I own and asked me how I was liking a couple and then we got to talking 1911's which I have always been interested in but, never took the plunge.

    I have always told him I was afraid to try one as it might become a bad habit since they feel so nice in hand. As he always does he starts handing me the stuff he got in since my last visit (these guys are worse than drug dealers). He hands me a used Para expert commander with all the stuff it came with in the box.
    I know all about the Para move to the US and complaints about QC and he looked up all that on his computer right in the shop so I had an idea what it was about and some history (great gun shop IMHO).
    Dipped my toe in the 1911 waters.-para-ec-1.jpg
    It is a commander length aluminum frame with some nice (at least I think they are nice) features and some obvious areas where they saved money on manufacture.

    The good: I like the weight and balance. Fitting of parts and machining seems very good but, not top of line of course, no rough parts internally and a tight slide to frame fit. positive safety engagement and seemingly a decent trigger but, I don't know from squat what a good 1911 trigger really is. BTW the trigger has an allen screw adjustment for take up I assume? I will learn about that later.
    Dipped my toe in the 1911 waters.-para-ec-2.jpg
    The not bad but, not great: Finish is presentable and looks like a parkerized type of flat black but, again at this price point its good enough. The obvious places they saved on cost: plastic grips, plastic main spring housing, no front strap checkering and sights which are 2 dot white paint rear and a green FO on the front. That can all be changed of course but, I am going to take it slow on any mods with this until I get to know it better. It is a "series 80" type trigger mechanism although I have just the very basic knowledge of what that means exactly. Traditional barrel without a built-in ramp and a crowned barrel at that which is nice. The grip safety is looser than I like because I can get it to rattle when I shake the gun so I may try and firm that up a bit if I can.
    I ran 295 rounds through it today including Blazer brass 230 ball, Remington UMC 230 ball, Underwood 255+P flat nosed hardcast and Hornady 200+P with the XTP bullet. I ran everything 8+1 as I always top off a "new" gun to see how it does with a full loadout.
    Dipped my toe in the 1911 waters.-para-ec-3.jpg
    It handled everything without fail...mostly. I had one stove pipe on the last round of the first mag which was Blazer ball. My first mag through the gun so not terribly concerned as yet and it is a used gun.
    I cleaned it beforehand using the owners manual as a guide for lubrication.
    The magazines seem well made and have polymer followers which seem to hold the rounds firmly at the correct angle. I took those apart and cleaned them before shooting as well which for me is cleaning and then running a silicone cloth on the inside/outside, over the spring and follower.
    Dipped my toe in the 1911 waters.-para-ec-4.jpg
    Carried it in a Galco summer comfort from the holster drawer (Sig P220) for the "range" today. Very comfortable and concealable with my standard summer open button up shirt over t shirt.
    Most important thing. Shooting it was just a blast. I went through all the 45 acp I had on hand and was bummed it ran out. It does shoot about 2 1/2 or 3 inches low at 25 yards so after some bench testing I think sights are first order or at least a shorter front sight from Dawson precision.
    I really don't know how good this particular gun will be but, so far for $400 I am not the least unhappy with it as a beginners foray into the 1911.
    I like it and probably too much for my own good. Seems fast and agile if I can use those words to describe a handgun. I knew there was a good reason I avoided these things. When my wife asked me "how did your shooting go today" I probably grinned like an idiot because she just rolled her eyes and said "looks like it might get expensive". "Naw" I says," its just another gun". I didn't take my camera with me today so will post target pics next time but, I was very pleased with the accuracy once I figured in the low shooting.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Frodebro's Avatar
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    I know exactly what you’re experiencing. I bought a Kimber Pro CDP about a month ago, and now 1911s are definitely on my radar.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
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    1911 sharks can swim in toe-deep waters, or so I'm told. Enjoy!
    Retired USAF E-8. Curmudgeon on the loose.
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  5. #4
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    When my wife asked me "how did your shooting go today" I probably grinned like an idiot because she just rolled her eyes and said "looks like it might get expensive". "Naw" I says," its just another gun".
    Welcome to the world of 1911s and they are quite addicting. Nice evaluation, I’ve not fondled many Para Ordnance 1911s but that one sounds like a great value. The screw you refer to in the trigger is for adjusting over travel or the distance the trigger may travel after releasing the sear.
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  6. #5
    VIP Member Array PhaedrusIV's Avatar
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    Your toes in the waters are giving me the vapors, @forester58

    Nuttin' wrong with that pistol, and especially the price !

    Congrats !
    - testing was halted after a brief kinetic episode -

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array forester58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frodebro View Post
    I know exactly what you’re experiencing. I bought a Kimber Pro CDP about a month ago, and now 1911s are definitely on my radar.
    I just looked that one up. That is a real beauty.
    Frodebro and gatorbait51 like this.

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    John Browning was a genius. Modern versions have made up what little room for improvement remained. Enjoy (and don't leave it lonely as your only 1911)!

    OBTW, careful with contrast with pics of black guns
    Still Clingin'

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Very nice forester! Enjoy!

    I had one very much like it some years back and it was a very reliable , good gun.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Array Frodebro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forester58 View Post
    I just looked that one up. That is a real beauty.
    I’m not ashamed to admit that it was totally an impulse buy based on aesthetics.

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    Oh no!

    Forester58's been lost!

    Lost, to the "1911 Triangle," never to be seen again!

    Browning design + .45 ACP cartridge + Handsome pistol = he's a goner!

    A good little review. Touched on some points that I found interesting. Gave props to the gun shop. Displays wisdom and restraint in getting to know the pistol before going hog wild with changing things up. How long that's gonna last is anyone's guess.
    Last edited by bmcgilvray; July 7th, 2019 at 08:47 PM.
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  12. #11
    VIP Member Array forester58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BentLink View Post
    John Browning was a genius. Modern versions have made up what little room for improvement remained. Enjoy (and don't leave it lonely as your only 1911)!

    OBTW, careful with contrast with pics of black guns
    Yes indeed. I should not take pics in the poorly lit garage on a dark background when the sky is also black with storm clouds. My wife the photographer would scold me for those. I wanted to include some pics even though your right about the quality.
    airslot, OD*, gatorbait51 and 1 others like this.

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    I think you got a good deal on the Para @forester58 . Enjoy shooting it and exploring the world of 1911 things. Good luck on your move to Wyoming.
    forester58, OD* and gatorbait51 like this.

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array forester58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Man View Post
    I think you got a good deal on the Para @forester58 . Enjoy shooting it and exploring the world of 1911 things. Good luck on your move to Wyoming.
    Thank you we are really looking forward to our last move...crossing fingers. We love Wyoming though and spend a lot of rec time there so I think it will be great. Working in the woods around Yellowstone can be a bit creepy with as many Grizzly as they have there but, its all an adventure.
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    VIP Member Array SatCong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forester58 View Post
    I went into my local toy store today just to say goodbye and thank you for all the gun handling and BS sessions at the counter over the years here in Montana. We are moving Friday this week to Wyoming. He has done most of my transfers so he knows what I own and asked me how I was liking a couple and then we got to talking 1911's which I have always been interested in but, never took the plunge.

    I have always told him I was afraid to try one as it might become a bad habit since they feel so nice in hand. As he always does he starts handing me the stuff he got in since my last visit (these guys are worse than drug dealers). He hands me a used Para expert commander with all the stuff it came with in the box.
    I know all about the Para move to the US and complaints about QC and he looked up all that on his computer right in the shop so I had an idea what it was about and some history (great gun shop IMHO).
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Para EC 1.jpg 
Views:	30 
Size:	123.2 KB 
ID:	298110
    It is a commander length aluminum frame with some nice (at least I think they are nice) features and some obvious areas where they saved money on manufacture.

    The good: I like the weight and balance. Fitting of parts and machining seems very good but, not top of line of course, no rough parts internally and a tight slide to frame fit. positive safety engagement and seemingly a decent trigger but, I don't know from squat what a good 1911 trigger really is. BTW the trigger has an allen screw adjustment for take up I assume? I will learn about that later.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Para EC 2.jpg 
Views:	41 
Size:	165.7 KB 
ID:	298112
    The not bad but, not great: Finish is presentable and looks like a parkerized type of flat black but, again at this price point its good enough. The obvious places they saved on cost: plastic grips, plastic main spring housing, no front strap checkering and sights which are 2 dot white paint rear and a green FO on the front. That can all be changed of course but, I am going to take it slow on any mods with this until I get to know it better. It is a "series 80" type trigger mechanism although I have just the very basic knowledge of what that means exactly. Traditional barrel without a built-in ramp and a crowned barrel at that which is nice. The grip safety is looser than I like because I can get it to rattle when I shake the gun so I may try and firm that up a bit if I can.
    I ran 295 rounds through it today including Blazer brass 230 ball, Remington UMC 230 ball, Underwood 255+P flat nosed hardcast and Hornady 200+P with the XTP bullet. I ran everything 8+1 as I always top off a "new" gun to see how it does with a full loadout.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Para EC  3.jpg 
Views:	32 
Size:	106.2 KB 
ID:	298114
    It handled everything without fail...mostly. I had one stove pipe on the last round of the first mag which was Blazer ball. My first mag through the gun so not terribly concerned as yet and it is a used gun.
    I cleaned it beforehand using the owners manual as a guide for lubrication.
    The magazines seem well made and have polymer followers which seem to hold the rounds firmly at the correct angle. I took those apart and cleaned them before shooting as well which for me is cleaning and then running a silicone cloth on the inside/outside, over the spring and follower.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Para EC 4.jpg 
Views:	39 
Size:	165.8 KB 
ID:	298116
    Carried it in a Galco summer comfort from the holster drawer (Sig P220) for the "range" today. Very comfortable and concealable with my standard summer open button up shirt over t shirt.
    Most important thing. Shooting it was just a blast. I went through all the 45 acp I had on hand and was bummed it ran out. It does shoot about 2 1/2 or 3 inches low at 25 yards so after some bench testing I think sights are first order or at least a shorter front sight from Dawson precision.
    I really don't know how good this particular gun will be but, so far for $400 I am not the least unhappy with it as a beginners foray into the 1911.
    I like it and probably too much for my own good. Seems fast and agile if I can use those words to describe a handgun. I knew there was a good reason I avoided these things. When my wife asked me "how did your shooting go today" I probably grinned like an idiot because she just rolled her eyes and said "looks like it might get expensive". "Naw" I says," its just another gun". I didn't take my camera with me today so will post target pics next time but, I was very pleased with the accuracy once I figured in the low shooting.
    Welcome to our world.
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  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array drmordo's Avatar
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    I have a Para Expert Commander and it has been an amazing gun. As I recall, I got it from CDNN for $479 plus shipping and transfer. It was my primary carry gun for a couple of years before I went back to carrying a revolver. Recently I have gotten into Hi Powers and am carrying that when I carry an auto, but the Expert Commander will go back on duty later this year when I send my Hi Powers in for a trigger job and reblue.

    If you find compatible sights, please post them here! I halfheartedly looked for replacements than settled.

    I'll add that the trigger on the Para is excellent for such a cheap gun, I recently picked up a Springfield Government, and was surprised that compared to the Para, the Springer's trigger is a lot heavier and grittier.

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