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  #1  
Old 04-30-2011, 05:30 AM
Kodadek Kodadek is offline
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Issues with Para GI Expert




I keep hearing about QC issues with Para, wondering what the actual owners have to say. A buddy of mine wants to buy the SS model of the Para GI Expert (he wants an SS 1911 and is on a budget). Rather than scream, "Boogedy, Boogedy Boo! Para's are the devil, they shall fail you and you will die!" I figured I'd ask y'all here on this subforum. How bad are the QC issues? Minor, Major, Overblown? Do issues primarily involve the Power Extractor they've been touting these past few years? How have the GI Experts stood up to wear and tear? Round counts'd be nice.
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  #2  
Old 04-30-2011, 09:09 AM
amd6547 amd6547 is offline
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The GI Expert I bought is blued. It has been a good pistol so far with about 250 rounds through it. The mags are kind of sucky, so plan on buying better ones...I went with checkmate hybrid lip mags, and they work great.
Overall, mine shows tight fit between slide, barrel and bushings, and has been pretty accurate. It has fed the one brand of jhp I have tried without issue.
Overall, though...I think I would have been happier with a Taurus 1911.
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  #3  
Old 04-30-2011, 01:47 PM
jay1975 jay1975 is offline
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I have the SS Expert, 250rds. through it from three different brands from 185 grain to 230 grain. Para mags give me FTF's about once every 25 rds or so while my Metal Form mag runs fine. I like it because it is fairly cheap and easily upgradeable(?). I added Hogue grips, Fusion Firearms extended safety, slide release and mag catch. Next up is a drop-in beavertail and LPA adjustable sight. I like it. After the initial investment, plus parts, I will have a total of just under $800 into it.
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Old 04-30-2011, 05:32 PM
Kodadek Kodadek is offline
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I've heard and told my buddy James that mags from Para are said to be iffy, which is fine, we have a dealer up here with a steady supply of CMC Power Mags and for the most part I think he wants to do some minor upgrades like a S&A Mainspring housing/magwell, extended safety, etc...He wants an SS gun primarily because drop in parts will blend well. He's not much of a gun guy per say and him wanting a 1911 instead of his Glock 17 is a fairly new development (I let him pop rounds off with an RIA Tactical and I'm picking up an SA RO or waiting on an SR 1911 so hard to decide) So it's best I think that he starts with a bare bones 1911 and figure out what he does or doesn't want. For whatever reason he really fell for that Para at the shop over the other guns under the counter which included 1911's in Sig, SA, Para, and Taurus format. He considered going and ordering a Rock or AC from an LGS until he found the Para and decided to cough up a few dollars more (perhaps).

Thanks for the input thus far on the initial firing. How are fit and finish? The one we looked at seemed well put together though I don't claim to be the patron saint or sage of the 1911.
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One man with courage makes a majority. Andrew Jackson

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  #5  
Old 04-30-2011, 07:19 PM
jay1975 jay1975 is offline
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The fit and finish are pretty good and the best part about the bead blasted finish is, if you scratch it, a green pad will rub the scratches right out.
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  #6  
Old 04-30-2011, 09:32 PM
gjjolley gjjolley is offline
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I bought a Para GI Expert (blued). It would not feed hollowpoints. The rounds would get stuck and not move up the feed ramp. Then the gun started doing this with FMJ ammo. I bought shootings star and Wilson Combat mags, but the problem still happened with the first round. I wasn't riding the slide or anything like that.

I bought it at Gander Mtn, so I took it back there. They shipped to Para. I had the gun back in 3 weeks. They told me they couldn't replicate the problem, but Gander Mtn and I both think maybe they polished the feedramp a little. Gun worked fine for a couple months and started again.

I've taken three people to the gun range and all three had the same problem with FTF when loading the first round. The last straw for me when I had two strangers ring my doorbell during the afternoon. My wife didn't answer and they left. That night around 9pm they returned. We get a lot of solicitors and other unsavory sales people (some with bad intentions) in our neighborhood. I only open the door if I'm armed in these situations. The Para was in the downstairs safe. I grabbed it, put in a full mag, racked the slide, and...BINGO...failure to feed. In fact, the round was stuck. It took me 3 minutes to get it out and the guys were already down the street bothering my neighbor. But what if they tried to break in and I'm messing around with a malfunctioning weapon. BTW, the gun had about 400 rounds through it, so it should have been broken in and that wasn't the problem.

The next day I traded it and some cash for a 1972 Colt Combat Commander. I also have a Dan Wesson CBOB as my normal "go to" 1911. I've gone cheap with three guns: Para, Taurus, and Jennings. Each has had problems and disappointed me.

Search this thread and you'll find others with similar FTF problems in the GI Expert. You'll also find some folks with great Para GI pistols too.
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Mistakes I used to own: Para GI Expert, Taurus Revolver, Jennings.
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  #7  
Old 05-07-2011, 10:52 AM
Kodadek Kodadek is offline
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Thought I'd update this. My friend bought the one he was looking at. After tax it was right below six hundred dollars after taxes, he also snagged some Kimber Pro-Tac mags while we were there and a Galco holster.

I didn't go to the range nor have I shot it yet but he did and happily for him the gun runs just fine. He put a hundred rounds of Magtech and a hundred rounds of Wal-Mart Remington with only one issue and he admitted that like the gal he is he limp-wristed the weapon. After that he went out a few days later and ran the Federal Hydro-Shock he bought through it and once again it feed right on through. So he got a good one I suppose, which makes me happy and now he's looking on Brownells and all over the internet for upgrades and extra goodies and talking about more 1911's...I was impressed enough that I might get one this summer.
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One man with courage makes a majority. Andrew Jackson

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  #8  
Old 05-07-2011, 05:13 PM
Long Shadow Long Shadow is offline
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I have a GI Expert esp w/ about 800 rounds through it. I had 2 FTF's with the stock mags on day 1, but since then, no problems whatsoever. I run Wilson and McCormick mags along with the stock Para mags. The gun eats FMJ, lead ball and hollow points without any noticeable difference. I did do a little home gunsmithing and did a light polish on the feed ramp, changed the sear spring and added Hogue grips. IMHO, this is an excellent gun for the money. I know there are people who have had issues with Para, but I'm not one of them. I shoot with guys who have Kimbers and Colts and they have had problems that required "tuning" to correct. I think it is the nature of
1911's. Baer's, Ed Browns etc. may run flawlessly out of the box, but most other "stock" 1911's will have issues from time to time.
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  #9  
Old 05-07-2011, 06:58 PM
jay1975 jay1975 is offline
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I will be polishing my feed ramp soon as I think that was the cause of my previous FTF's. She loves to run wet (like an old M60) and fire a consistantly tight group, but I do need to get some new sights as she runs a little low and needed to be drifted over to hit center mass.
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  #10  
Old 05-07-2011, 09:03 PM
papa1152 papa1152 is offline
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gi expert

I have a gi expert and have had great luck with it even tho it was purchased
during a time of a lot of negative feedback. I have fired almost 1000 rnds an
have had no ftf at all. Altho I did purchase 2 chip mc cormack standard 8 rd mags
because the para mags were not acceptable even tho they worked. Just didn't
feel right or something. So far a great gun and more accurate than me.
The ammo I shoot is 230 gr hardball fmj. win fed tula and some homerolled
swc cast that I won on gunbroker. I also won some korean era hardball
and all have functioned well. All in all the rounds I have really enjoyed was the swc cast. I would buy another if a good deal, but
I am gonna try to wear this one out first.
papa
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  #11  
Old 05-08-2011, 09:16 AM
JH1911 JH1911 is offline
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I've had my SS GI Expert for about two months now. It's had 300 rounds through it, been working to much or it would have had alot more than that thruogh it. I've had one FTF. I've shot 200, 230 grain Rem UMC, and 100 of my reloads, the FTF was a UMC. It's ate my loaded HP's ,and FMJ's , without a hitch, all 230 grain. Was hitting left consistantly, and so to see if it was me, my friend fired a couple mags through it and he was also consistanly left. Tapped the rear site a little to the right and was wearing the X out of the target
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  #12  
Old 05-08-2011, 09:56 AM
jay1975 jay1975 is offline
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JH1911, mine too was shooting left, verified by bore laser. I tapped mine but have yet to be able to verify it. I wonder, if they test fire them first, are they using a cross eyed dude or what.
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  #13  
Old 05-08-2011, 10:20 AM
Kodadek Kodadek is offline
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I get to go shoot old duders on Tuesday and I'll know if the GI Expert'll be my second 1911 this year....I'm already excited, how many times do you buy 2 1911s in one year on a college students budget? Sure, sure, Ramen noodles aren't nutritionally sound but y'all believe me when I say mama's cooking wasn't either.
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One man with courage makes a majority. Andrew Jackson

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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  #14  
Old 05-08-2011, 11:42 AM
abujosh abujosh is offline
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why buy any of that off-brand junk when the new Ruger is now available? and yes... i have owned and shot taurus, para, ria etc--better to put the $200 addl into a lifetime investment with pride of ownership!!!
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:11 PM
Kodadek Kodadek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abujosh View Post
why buy any of that off-brand junk when the new Ruger is now available? and yes... i have owned and shot taurus, para, ria etc--better to put the $200 addl into a lifetime investment with pride of ownership!!!
Quite frankly I don't want to buy a damn Ruger because everyone is going on about how everyone should buy the Ruger, even folks that ain't got em. I won't buy one until it's a known quantity. Respectfully I gotta ask why anyone would get perked up over a manufacturer putting a gun out in a platform they've never made before. Now odds are it'll be a fine and dandy gun and I can get one a year or so down the road, I might just go with an SA RO locally...still the number of people praising the Ruger astounds me. Do you sir own the SR 1911? I mean no offense but do you? And outside of videos by guys who got to test early guns like Hickock on youtube when have you seen one, held one, shot one, known anyone that had one? I almost don't want to buy one because everyone has been giving their (in)expert opinion on how great they are. It's one thing to get excited when a major manufacturer comes to the plate but when it comes down to firearms McCarthyism it irks me a bit.

So why not an SR 1911? Because I don't want one, maybe I still don't like Bill Ruger playing ball with the Clinton Admin over magazine capacity, maybe I don't want it because I think anything without an 80's series safety is dangerous (I don't but hey what if?) What if I plain old just don't want one? What if I know that everyone out there is going to have one and I don't care if I'm like the other cool kids? Or maybe I just can't figure out why everyone is all but demanding you go out and buy a gun that's so far backordered in some areas that the next election'll come before you see one just sitting on a shelf? Sorry man but it's near as annoying as when the Colt and Kimber owners go at it when a new guy comes in asking an honest question and they get into a massive pissing contest instead of helping the guy out. If I get one I get one if I don't I don't, life will go on either way.
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One man with courage makes a majority. Andrew Jackson

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  #16  
Old 05-22-2011, 11:23 AM
ParaGI ParaGI is offline
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CMC mags and you're good to go! be generous with the ball ammo at first... like one of the UMC megapacks should break it in nicely, plus if there are failures use them to teach him how to overcome them!
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  #17  
Old 05-24-2011, 01:46 AM
Kodadek Kodadek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParaGI View Post
CMC mags and you're good to go! be generous with the ball ammo at first... like one of the UMC megapacks should break it in nicely, plus if there are failures use them to teach him how to overcome them!
Old buddy has near a thousand rounds through his GI Expert, no issues whatsoever, he's fired hydroshocks and some 185 Grain XTP reloads I furnished without a hiccup. He's considering a Glaco IWB holster for carry. He wants to install an Ed Brown beavertail grip safety...what's the radius on the Paras?
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One man with courage makes a majority. Andrew Jackson

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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  #18  
Old 05-24-2011, 02:40 AM
AlabamaLEO AlabamaLEO is offline
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does the para have the built in lock like the tauri do?
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  #19  
Old 05-24-2011, 08:00 AM
jay1975 jay1975 is offline
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Alabama, there is no internal or external lock on the Para's.
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  #20  
Old 05-24-2011, 02:31 PM
Kodadek Kodadek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay1975 View Post
Alabama, there is no internal or external lock on the Para's.
Yep, none, it's an 80's series safety but it does not have the god freaking awful and pointless trigger lock. Another quick and stupid question (because I know it should work) do the S&A magwell backstrap combos fit easily? Old duder wants one and his birthday is around the corner.
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One man with courage makes a majority. Andrew Jackson

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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  #21  
Old 05-24-2011, 04:00 PM
Doc18d Doc18d is offline
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Love my GI Expert. 1500+ rounds and no FTF since the first 2 mags.
I use the two Para 8 round mags for spares, and 4 Colt 7 rounders with no problems at all. It is my daily carry.
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  #22  
Old 05-24-2011, 06:55 PM
MW surveyor MW surveyor is offline
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No problems with my Para GI Expert in stainless steel so far. Only 150 rounds of factory FMJ and 150 of my reloads through it though.
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  #23  
Old 05-24-2011, 11:49 PM
Kodadek Kodadek is offline
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James has loved his Expert so far, seems most owners of the GI Expert have been pretty happy and hell I've been impressed with how well the gun has worked for him. Thanks again for all the input, hopefully the 1911'll be a hobby we both share and tinker with until we're shriveled old men in rockers. Now of course he's all up in arms about USPSA and he's been eyeballing a Sig or SA 1911 at the local shop.
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One man with courage makes a majority. Andrew Jackson

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