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My review of the Para-Ordinance Warthog


Warthog:
Para’s Tiny 1911


What can I say about Para-Ordinance that has not already been said? Writers’ frequently wax-poetic about the quality and reliability of Para’s pistols. It is hard to argue the success of Para, having won four consecutive Gunny awards from the venerated editors of Guns and Ammo. Now, with the introduction of the Warthog, Para is taking a serious stab at the CCW market, with which the esteemed readers of this magazine are most concerned.

The problem has been that to make a 1911 that was concealable you lost capacity. For example, Kimber’s fine Ultra Carry II is limited to 6+1 rounds which is the same as or less than some revolvers. In the not so distant past we had to sacrifice stopping power to have a pistol that could be concealed while having a capacity greater than a revolver. With this in mind I started my search. I was looking for a gun with stopping power, concealability, and capacity; this was no short order.

Most of us know the virtues of the .45ACP as a cartridge and the 1911 style pistol which is world renowned for its stopping power. The limitation when thinking about concealed carry has always been its size and weight. Most of us would prefer not to carry a full-sized 36 ounce 8.5 inch long GI .45. I will bet that we would all like to carry the stopping power afforded by such a pistol though.

Many of us have had to scale back our expectations when it came to our concealed carry weapon. If you live in a particularly hot environment this is even more likely. For this reason NAA and Kel-tec owe their success. While their guns are extremely concealable the cartridges that they fire leave a lot to be desired. The .32 and the .380 just do not pack enough punch to provide much comfort. The .25 is an even poorer choice. As Massad Ayoob has been known to say “The .25 is what you carry when you can’t carry a gun.”

After much searching and refusing to trust my life with anything less then a .40 S&W I found the Para-Ordinance Warthog. I was already familiar with Para as I am the proud owner of a P14-45. I was already in love with the 1911 style of pistol, and in my mind nothing provides a better first shot than the single action auto.

Keeping in mind the aforementioned criteria, it is obvious why I chose the Warthog. This pistol has it all. It has the single action trigger, the high capacity 10 round magazine, and the concealability I was seeking. The Warthog is chambered for .45ACP a round known for its stopping power. Para also installed a match grade trigger and a spurred competition hammer. This provided not only greater accuracy but aesthetic appeal.

The history behind the 1911 is often over looked and is the story of a great man, John Moses Browning. The US Army learning from experience in the Philippines decided their .38 revolvers were not sufficient to stop a man. They put out a request for an autoloading pistol in .45 caliber. Browning having developed an autoloading pistol in .38 caliber decided to adapt it to meet the Army request with a 230 grain FMJ of his own design. After a grueling 6000 round torture test the contract was awarded to Colt and John Moses Browning over the offering by Savage Arms. Thus began the obsession that we in the United States and really the world over, have had with this classic combat pistol.

Today, what we refer to as the 1911 is actually the 1911A1. After World War I some minor changes were made, the most obvious being the enlargement of the grip safety’s dovetail. This prevented the painful pinching of the thumb that was common. Other feature changes were an enlarging of the front sight, shorter trigger, arched spring housing, and longer hammer spur. These changes were made to add greater reliability and combat effectiveness.

What Para has done was improve upon an already grand design. The Warthog has an extended manual thumb safety and an internal firing pin safety. Para has also updated this pistol with their new Para Power Extractor for increased reliability. Para has coated the Warthog with Para’s Para-Kote black matte finish and added 3-dot sights. The Warthog is beautifully accented with stainless steel magazine release, slide release, hammer spur, and grip safety. There is no doubt the Warthog is a sexy pistol unlike its animal namesake. For those of you who have to have it all Para now offers the Stealth Warthog. The Stealth Warthog, commonly referred to as the NightHawg, is the same platform as the Warthog, but with the addition of tritium night sights and all parts are coated in the non-reflective Para-Kote. I chose the Warthog specifically because the stainless steel accents looked so much better to me.

The Warthog is a well balanced pistol that feels very natural in your hand. While the grip is shorter than a standard 1911, even my big paws can get a good grip on the gun. The Warthog has the feeling of a much larger gun yet is supremely concealable. In my testing I carried the Warthog in a Bianchi Model 82 for the Colt Officer 1911. I found that this setup provided the security of Bianchi’s Auto Retentiontm concept with the quick access of a standard open top holster. While wearing a loose T-Shirt or a light jacket the Warthog disappeared with nary a worry of printing. With an inside the waistband holster this pistol would disappear in all but the most skin tight of clothing.

The biggest question I hear is “How does it shoot?” I am happy to report that the Warthog shoots like a dream. I am a huge fan of 1911 style pistols, but even I had questions as to how a 24 ounce 1911 would handle. For my testing I used Winchester White Box 230 grain FMJ, PMC 230 grain FMJ, and Speer Gold Dot 200 grain +P GDHP. All the ammo cycled perfectly, without a hiccup. While 250 rounds is hardly a torture test it gave me a good idea of what to expect from this little beauty. At ten yards the Warthog was giving me groupings of 1.5” consistently. While that will not win you the IPSC National Championships, it will do a great job in a defensive situation, for which the Warthog is intended.

The sights on the Warthog are standard 3-dot low mount sights. These provide an excellent sight picture and allow for a quick aim when unholstered. The ejection port on the Warthog allowed spent casings to be extracted effectively and the shells shot about 6 feet to the right rear. This speaks to the power of the new extraction system that Para has dubbed the Para Power Extractor. I found that this diminutive pistol extracts better than my P-14 with the standard extractor.

Recoil was also a concern of mine when I purchased this gun. Would the diminutive size of this 1911 make the recoil of the .45ACP unbearable? Somehow the Para engineer’s have overcome this, to provide the Warthog with a recoil signature well below expectations, and only slightly greater than its bigger brother, the P-14. Muzzle flip was greater than a full sized .45, this is to be expected and it is controllable. Once fired it is quick to get back on target for a follow up shot.

The takedown of this pistol requires no tools and is accomplished with ease. The recoil spring is reminiscent of the captive spring design of my Springfield Armory XD 9 subcompact. There is no need to deal with a barrel bushing as with your average 1911 style pistol. The recoil spring plug snaps into the slide and can be removed with your thumb. The only tricky part in the takedown and the reassembly is that the slide must be held back with your hand while you remove or reinsert the slide stop. This requires some hand strength and a grip I refer to as the “Vulcan death grip”. Once you have done this a time or two though it really isn’t a problem. Disassembly takes about 15 seconds and reassembly takes about double that.

Overall the Para-Ordinance Warthog is a concealed carry 1911 with sex appeal. In the past, concealablity meant the sacrifice of stopping power, but with the Warthog that sacrifice is no longer required. Para has given the concealed carry community a no compromises pistol with the size of a Chihuahua with the bite of a Doberman Pincer, and in a concealed carry pistol what more can you really ask for?

So the next time you are in the market for a concealed carry weapon, I urge you to take a look at the Para Ordinance Warthog or Stealth Warthog. These two pistols provide options that were not available in until recently. One thing is for sure, this is not your grandfather’s 1911.
 

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dhomoney said:
For example, Kimber’s fine Ultra Carry II is limited to 6+1 rounds which is the same as or less than some revolvers.
Actually the Kimber Ultra Carry is 7+1.

While I have never had the opportunity to shoot a Warthog I would like to!!

Anyway, congrats on your new pistol. How about posting some pics of your new baby!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Para

Deke45 said:
Actually the Kimber Ultra Carry is 7+1.

While I have never had the opportunity to shoot a Warthog I would like to!!

Anyway, congrats on your new pistol. How about posting some pics of your new baby!
Yeah that is my bad there, typo.

I am going to the range tonight, when I get back and clean the gun I will take a few pictures and show off my beauty. I must say though I am in love with this pistol, it is a great shooter and the gun I am taking to LFI, though I will be taking my P-14 as a backup. :)

If I am ever out your way in Denver, I will let you know, as you can bet your arse I will have it with me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
George Hill said:
"Writers’ frequently wax-poetic about the quality and reliability of Para’s pistols."

They arn't the only ones...


;)

Very true.
 

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dhomoney said:
Yeah that is my bad there, typo.

I am going to the range tonight, when I get back and clean the gun I will take a few pictures and show off my beauty. I must say though I am in love with this pistol, it is a great shooter and the gun I am taking to LFI, though I will be taking my P-14 as a backup. :)

If I am ever out your way in Denver, I will let you know, as you can bet your arse I will have it with me.
Sounds like a plan...we'll go burn a few at the range!
 

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Great Write up makes me want to run out and buy one.. except it dont have ambi safety and im having a hard enough time getting one put on my smith 1911sc
 

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Well, I hate to play the "spoiler" here but I fear I must. I gather that the Warthog is the LDA version of the P-10. I had a P-10 and I HATED it! It felt like a 2x4 in my hand. It shot about a foot low at five yards. Got that corrected with a set of MMC night sights (ULTRA tall rear sight). Then there was the JAMMING. Mostly FTE's and double feeds. Tried Wolff springs all around, especially the mags. No go. I finally made one of the best deals of my life: Traded it + $100 for a Sig Sauer P245.

To be fair, IMHO, the 1911 design becomes "flawed" when the barrel lengths shrink shorter than 4 inches. That's the reason my Combat Commander runs like a top, but every 1911 with a 3.5 inch bbl I've ever fired has problems. I'm not alone, either. Most of the members of my IDPA club agree as so it seems does JEFF COOPER who made mention of it in the last Guns & Ammo column of his "Cooper's Corner." Item #1.

PO's are okay for carry but don't use them for competition especially the LDA as it seems the springs wear out within 200 rds and it's a pain replacing them. Such has been the experience at my idpa club.
 

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ExSoldier762 said:
Well, I hate to play the "spoiler" here but I fear I must. I gather that the Warthog is the LDA version of the P-10.
I don't think that's correct Ex...go to Para's website. I believe the Warthog is SA.

As far as the rest of your post concerning shorter than 4 in barrels, I believe that discussion has occured more than once in this forum. Not sure how many shorties you've owned or fired, but I have a 3" Kimber that has "never" had a failure of any kind.

While I agree with you that the general consensus out there among the "experts" is anything under 4" is unreliable, I beg to differ based soley on my personal experiences. With several thousand rounds plus and going, I am quite confident in this and the other 3 - 3.5 " guns I've owned over the years. I am meticulous about maintenance and you do have to change out the recoil springs a little more often, but I can live with that.

Now, ya want to talk sight radius, that's a different story...wouldn't mind having another inch or two for sure! :biggrin:

This is only based on my hands on experience and I shoot it at IDPA matches and certainly I'm no Jeff Cooper, but I'll bet there are a crap load of Kimber Ultra's, and my quess is possibly future Para Warthogs' out there that will function flawlessly...but we probably will never know cause ya never hear or read much about the good ones!
 

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Deke45 said:
Not sure how many shorties you've owned or fired, but I have a 3" Kimber that has "never" had a failure of any kind.

Actually I have owned four SHORTY 45's and had problems with them all.

...wouldn't mind having another inch or two for sure! :biggrin:
I am SO NOT going there!
 

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I once had a Para P10 Stainless 45. The gun ATE EVERYTHING I fed it. Amazing little gun it was. the one trouble I had, was that it shot low and to the right (about a foot at 15 feet. Unfortunatly I broght it back to the dealer who took it back and gave me a store credit, which I quickly used for a SA V10 Ultra Compact Stainless 45, which I originally had my eyes on. (the Para was 525.00.and the SA V10 was 550.00) Both had boxes, papers, and extra mags.
 

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CLASS3NH said:
I quickly used for a SA V10 Ultra Compact Stainless 45, which I originally had my eyes on. (the Para was 525.00.and the SA V10 was 550.00)
That's funny, because I used to have an SA V10 too! It was L-O-U-D and got gummed up with carbon fouling very quickly and it had FTF issues as well. I traded it for an SA "MICRO." That one was REALLY bad. POS.
 

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Just to add a quick twig of fuel to a PO discussion - I have a P12-45 which has NOT been stellar - I bought it used but - expected better. Relaibility was fickle - tho gotta say - trigger, accuracy etc - sweet!!

I have so far put uprated Wolff springs in mags - it has helped quite a bit - and I have an uprated recoil spring too yet to fit and try. I do hope this gain some further improvement - but I got it hoping for a useful carry - thus far it don't 'pass the test''. There are a few other ''mini-tweaks too to add - but Teddy Jacobson had ''quite a bit to say'' when we talked a ways back.!

I have unfortunately had no chance to get hands yet on a Warthog to try.


 

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ExSoldier762 said:
To be fair, IMHO, the 1911 design becomes "flawed" when the barrel lengths shrink shorter than 4 inches. That's the reason my Combat Commander runs like a top, but every 1911 with a 3.5 inch bbl I've ever fired has problems.
I have heard this countless times, myself and quite frankly it's enough to keep me from buying one. But I always file the success stories away to see what the trend is. Maybe Para got the problems designed out of them. From what I have heard, the Kimber (as Deke said) seems to have fewer problems as well. Ditto with the Detonics. I haven't bought a shorty because I like everything about the full size 1911, including concealability. But I wouldn't hesitate to carry one if it proved itself under my own reliability tests.

Anyway, the Warthog does sound interesting. Very good review, especially when you are a satisfied owner. :wink:
 

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Actually I've never understood why there are so many short barrel 1911s. I can understand there'd be a healthy market for such a thing in any event, but when I pick up a 1911 I understand why it's such a popular CCW choice:

It's so thin, relatively speaking.

Yeah it's long, but it's so thin and uniform in its profile. I know that length has to be considered and a 5" bbl is not always practical in any given format, but to me the big problem has always been thickness and the cross sectional profile of the gun, where the 1911 design excels from a concealment point of view. It's a very comfortable physical shape. What company was it that did all that analysis of the right grip angle and basically came up with Mr. Browning's original 1911 grip angle? :tongue:
 

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ExSoldier762 said:
That's funny, because I used to have an SA V10 too! It was L-O-U-D and got gummed up with carbon fouling very quickly and it had FTF issues as well. I traded it for an SA "MICRO." That one was REALLY bad. POS.
LOL..That's too funy Ex.........I was going to buy a SA Micro prior to buying that Colt Lightweight Commander several weeks ago..I opted for the Colt upon everybody's suggestions..(The Colt was customized) To date, I STILL see the SA Micro in the case..730.00 used.....Guess something's telling me it isn't the gun I thought it was (the SA micro) The Ultra Compact I have runs thru everything I put thru it. Yep.....HUGE flash in the dark, so that's why I opt to carry it only in the daytime LOL :biggrin:
 

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Deke 45, Would agree with your above post except the longer sight radius. For my CCW needs(7yds would be a L O N G shot) my Kimber Ultra CDP II is fine. I have kept records of all the different ammo that I have put through it to date. When I'm at the club range I make it a point of tradeing ammo with another shooter to "test" my little gun. I see here that I have fired 11 different loadings of ammo. Always a full mag,double taps only,without a FTF or fire and FTE. In previous posts I have stated that I keep my weapon very,very clean. Also I have "tinkered " with the mags(still using Kimber brand) and the chamber/ramp. They look like glass. My Kimber has approx. 875 rds. through it ATT. People should remember that during a compitition or range session,after the 200th round has been fired,if you experience a FTF/fire,or a FTE that is not, IMHO, a true test of the reliability of a CCW weapon. My CCW weapon when rideing on my belt is super clean and lubed just enough in just the right spots. My CCW weapon is fired at the range,immediately cleaned/lubed and put back on my belt. That is the only thing that i ever do with the little Kimber. I have a couple of other 5", 1911's that I "play" with. -------
 
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