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My lgs has started to carry Para and I have been trying to decide on my first 1911 and was wondering what the quality level of Para was. I have considered a RIA for an entry level purchase and was wondering how the two compare.
 

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Para's quality was down for a number of years and from the new offerings I have handled and the two Expert models I've had the chance to shoot it seems like things have greatly improved in both their quality control and customer service departments. Just visit the Para sub-forum...Travis Tomasie is one helluva guy and if there is an issue it is dealt with promptly. I do not own a Para, two or so years ago I would have told you that Para was in league with the Brady Campaign as their guns were rendered inert at the factory but there have been some drastic changes.
 

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My P13-45 Ltd. (which I put a non-Ltd. slide on) is one of my most reliable, accurate and issue-free pistols.

I did change out the fire-control pieces (hammer, sear, disconnector) to C&S parts, and got rid of the goofy series 80 bits. But i typically do this to all my 1911s, regardless.
 

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I had a para lda carry 6 I got used had to replace the extractor no jams no ftf it shot well for a 3 in gun.
I have a 9mm rock and its been a great gun but I put adj sights on it
I also have a tarus pt 1911 ar in stainless which functions great trigger very very accurate. It would be a great compromise between the two guns your considering as far as quality and features and the price should be less than 650
 

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Here is an excellent review and pictorial of the entry level Expert that should be very informative. I have the same pistol, with VZ Operator II grips and it has been 100% reliable through about 600 rounds, with a variety of FMJ and JHP. Think they had a few issues back when moving to the USA, but seem to have stepped up their game of late. Certainly worth checking out.

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=431583&highlight=Review

My Expert
 

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I believe the new Para's since they've changed ownership & are now all American, have improved the guns greatly (Sometime in 2012, I believe). Personally, I have 2 Paras & no issues. One's a 1994 P12 that's flawless & the other's a 2005 LTC (Commander). Both have lightweight frames. They're both 80 series, but the P12's trigger breaks right at 4 lbs & the LTC at a hair over 4.5 lbs (Crisper than the P12 & actually feels lighter).

While I have never owned a RIA 1911, I know some that have & have checked/shot some out. They're very good for the money.

If I were to go buy another 1911 & it was between those 2 companies, I'd probably get a Para that I can confirm is late 2012 or later. It's not that the RIA is bad (It isn't), it's just that I'd rather spend a little more & get some features on the gun vs putting them on afterward.
 

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What are the "features" you'd get on the Para that the RIA doesn't have?
I like the Para's one piece barrel/ramp, aluminum frame option (Not sure the new RIA's have the aluminum frame option), lowered & flared ejection ports, fiber optic front sight, their standard grips (Like them better than those smooth wood ones on the base RIAs), & I've found Para's triggers to feel better (To me) than RIAs. I'm not sure that the new RIAs offer a Commander size (4.25" barrel). I know Para does (All steel & LW versions).

I believe both companies offer an extended safety, models with VZ grips, & a FLGR, if that's what you like. I'm indifferent to FLGRs myself. My P12 doesn't have one, but my LTC does. Both work fine.
 

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Is there a current 1911 manufacturer that doesn't have a lowered and flared ejection port?

OK, I get what you're talking about now. I would just call those "differences" in gun build. When you said, "get some features on the gun vs putting them on afterward" I was thinking about things that could be added like ambi safeties and beaver tail grip safeties. Things like trigger feel are an individual thing and you'd have to handle the gun to truly know.

The integrated feed ramp would indeed be a major change that would have to be done by a smith. I didn't know the Para had that. In fact, that is a "feature" that is very uncommon in 1911 design. Why do you want it?
 

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I like their single stacks, got to shoot one the other day (expert stainless). My friend was still breaking it in but it was working flawlessly with crap ammo. I own a Black Ops 14.45 I bought back in July - for what it's worth I had some problems, but their service is top notch and we eventually got it working well enough.

I'll probably get one of those LS Hunter's next year.

Good luck with your choice.
 

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I have the 14-45 BO and an older SS 14-45 Limited that I still have and love. As far as the BO goes, it's one hell of a shooting pistol that's as accurate as all get-out. I have sent it back to Para to make it better, but it was worth it since it's now used as a concealed carry piece and fun range shooter.

Para's customer service is top notch all the way. If a firearm manufacturer like Para is on this forum and committed to customer service, that speaks volumes to me.

I hope this helps to answer your question.
 

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I've got the Elite Commander and have only had a few issues, honestly they were all ammo issues, not the pistol. Mine doesn't like Buffalo Bore 185gr +P lead free defense rounds and balks at Federal Champion ball ammo. Other than that, it's GTG!

Just got back from the range a bit ago. Another 100 rounds of ball, WWB 230gr, no issues at all. In total 1040 rounds since new 6 weeks ago.





Ric
 

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In my opinion the new Para 1911 pistols are of top notch quality. I chose mine over a Spartan and Remington r1. Plus they are made in the U.S.A.
 

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I was considering the RIA 1911 Tactical II. It has an orange FO front sight, which I didn't care for. I prefer green. It also has adjustable rear sights, which is nice. It comes with VZ Operator II grips as well and an extended magwell. All for about the same price as I ended up paying for the Para Expert SS I bought instead. I really chose the Expert based on the deal I got and the incentive program as well as the fact that I had been really looking for a stainless.

This past week I got a chance to fondle both in a LGS. Fit is pretty good on both. They both feel about the same racking the slide. Trigger is close, I'd give a slight edge to the RIA trigger. Have to admit I did like that the RIA has no markings on the side of the slide. They put the logo on the rear of the slide above the thumb safety.

Without being able to shoot both, I can't say much about that. I do know 3 people who use an RIA in competition and they perform really well and are as accurate as anything they shoot against. Having shot my Para, I'd say the same about it.

After I handed them back I think either one would have been a good buy. With the RIA I would have had to change the FO front sight color, I'd only have one mag and it wasn't stainless. With the Para I'll end up with 4 mags and a cleaning kit, I don't have to change the front sight color and it's stainless. I will have to buy some VZ grips though.

In the end I wish I could combine some of the features of both.
 

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I selected the Para nitride Expert this spring over the RIA Tactical because of the nitride finish and the lack of "aggresive" logos on the slide. It is a well made 1911. The factory Mec Gar 8 round magazines work flawlessly. I didn't think I would like the front sight, but was pleasantly surprised and it works great for me. The current promotion for 2 free magazines, bag, and cleaning kit are a huge bonus right now. The presence of Travis Tomasie has been invaluable and helps create an environment of TOP NOTCH customer care.
 

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I own 3 paras an lda carry 9, expert and a executive carry there customer service ia as good as any and better than most. the fit and finsh on the exspert is one of the best and they hand fit the pistols now most of the issues you hear about para are from the old 2 part exstractors and the double stack mags pistols the exspert has the best finish of all the lower priced pistols and the fiber optic front sight with a match grade barrell. These would add another 200 to any of the other pistols in that range and you get 2 mags with the pistol and send in the rebate get 2 more mags and a gun cleaning kit with the range bag. Right now there is nothing else even close to this deal

jhp
 
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