I recently had the immense pleasure to attend Harley Davidson of Charlotte’s Project Livewire event. Special thanks to Steve and Ken there, and Harley Davidson Motorcycles for inviting me to learn more and test ride this new motorcycle.
I’ve never really been all that fond of Para Ordinance for various reasons. However Para Ordinance became PARA USA, moved from Canada to the US, and have been working hard to forge their spot in the American Gun Culture. Some years ago at a Media Range Day at SHOT Show, I browsed the offerings at PARA’s booth and was impressed with what I saw. The gun was a very basic 1911 for Wild Bunch competition. Nothing fancy, just very “GI” style. Simple. And good. It was very good. I shot several other 1911’s from other makers, but the one that stuck in my mind, even the one I liked the best, was the Para. During SHOT I went to the PARA booth and looked at the pistol again. It wasn’t a fluke… I really did like the gun. It was at that moment when I realized that PARA USA is a company to take seriously.
Now it’s about 4 years later and PARA USA has continued to improve their guns. They’ve made huge strides to the point that PARA USA is now one of my TOP 1911 Makers. They are making some 1911’s I want to buy. Not their whole product line… but close. They can do a few simple things to really hit it out of the Ballpark. Let’s take a look at PARA USA’s line up.
Let’s start at the top of their own roster and work down. The Executive Carry. The gun looks good, with a nice finish, nice grips, and that awesome bobtail. But it has a 3″ barrel. This is basically a full length grip, bobtailed, and an ultra compact barrel. If this was a revolver, this would be the equivalent of S&W Magnum Grips on a Snub-Nose. It makes no sense to me. The grip frame is the hard part to conceal, not the barrel. Bobtailing it is a nice touch, but if you are going to have an ultra compact barrel, give it an ultra compact grip frame as well. At least an Officer’s length grip frame. Bobtail that. This gun is just a bit off because of the short snout. Because of that, I wouldn’t buy this one. However, if it was sporting a Commander length slide and barrel – I would. A nice clean Lightweight Commander on a Bobtail frame is missing from PARA’s line up and it should fit right here in the EXECUTIVE category. That’s 1 missing gun.
The other missing gun from the EXECUTIVE Category is the CCO configuration. A Commander Length barrel and slide on an Officer’s frame. Basically just the opposite of the PARA Executive they have right now. Colt’s CCO was a breakthrough for concealed carry 1911’s. SIG followed that pattern and hit a home run with it in the C3 and RCS models. Smaller frame for easier concealment, and a nice length barrel that doesn’t give up much on ballistics and sight radius. It NAILS it. PARA doesn’t have a CCO type 1911, and they should.
Here’s one more gun to add to the Executive roster. The LDA Officer… But with a standard 1911 trigger mechanism. Not everyone likes an LDA Trigger in their 1911, but the Officer platform is a good one, and should be reflected in the Executive, Elite and Expert lines. One thing that the LDA has that I’d like in the Executive line is that front strap checkering. That Lightweight Commander Bobtail – I’d like some fine checkering on the front strap.
I’m not going to comment on the Competition guns, because I think PARA nailed those as offerings and every competitive shooter I know would change things anyway to their own liking and everyone has a difference of opinion so you’ll never make everyone happy there. But it’s a solid line as it is.
Now, for the Tactical side of things. The Black Ops line. Sharp. I could buy one of these. Wait a second here… How come the Black Ops 1911 Single Stack doesn’t have the Checkering like the Double Stack? If this is to be a full featured combat oriented line, let’s not skimp on it. Also, the Recon, your Commander length tactical gun. Where’s the Single Stack version of the Recon?
While we’re talking Tactical, not all Tactical ops are Black Ops. I’d like to see Tactical versions in OD Green and FDE (Flat Dark Earth). Same guns, just not blacked out. I know you’ve had them before, I sold them. FDE the slide and frame, and use the regular black parts and grips for a nice contrast. Would look very sharp.
Now on to the Elite Series. The PARA Elite is a wide range of 1911’s that we can probably say is PARA’s main line. Or at least it should be. My only hang up with the Elite Series is that they are using Fiber Optic Front Sight Posts on all but the Elite Pro. The Elite Pro is one of my very favorite guns from PARA’s line up. It hits all the right buttons. Now, where is the Elite Pro Commander? There’s another gun that’s missing from PARA’s line. Another one is an Elite Bobtail Commander. Again with Bobtail Commanders? I know. But still, my point is valid. Ask Dan Wesson.
The ELITE LS HUNTER. This gun is one that I’ve been waiting for… a 10mm Long Slide – I must have this. Thank you for making this one! Now, if you could just add 10mm options to a couple other Elite or Tactical guns, thank you. And to keep up with STI – mayhaps a double stack version as well?
Reverse Two Tone. I want to see more Two Toned guns, specifically in the “Reverse” scheme. Light on bottom, dark on top. Make a lightweight bobtail commander in 10mm, in reverse two tone – and you’ll have my order by the end of Oct. Seriously. I’ll order it through Blackstone Shooting Sports in Charlotte. I’m not kidding. I will.
The Expert line. I’m giving you some Golf Claps over here. Bravo… You have it nailed here. Simple lines, no frills, and “No Gills”. None of those forward slide serrations that ruin the lines of a handsome Government model. THIS is the 1911 that I want the OTHER companies to make! And PARA USA made it. This makes me quite happy that I am moving to the town that makes it! Can I get a black slide on that Stainless frame? In a Commander?
The Warthog is listed under the Expert category… and that’s fine. But remember what I said about the CCO? A CCO Warthog…. Call it the “A-10″ model, as in “A-10 Warthog“, the Infantryman’s favorite jet plane. It would be the Goldilocks for concealed carry double stacked 1911’s. The regular Warthog is just a bit too short in the snout for me. I know it’s been popular, but trust me… a 4″ version would be even more so. I could have sold twice as many, because that is what the most common remark about it was. Springfield found this out when they made 4″ versions of the XDS, as did SIG with the C3 and RCS. That’s the configuration that is IDEAL for concealed carry.
That’s about it for PARA USA. They are doing a really great job and I’m happy to see it. They’ve come a long way and are now a great 1911 company! Well done, PARA USA!!! *Standing Ovation Here*
The problem is what horror movie to watch?
I’ve not seen a really good new scary movie in a long time. Some start out good, or at least interesting, and then go straight to “Pants on the Head Retarded”.
I hate jump scares. If you are a Director, and you have to use them, you suck. You suck, your script writer sucks, your producers suck.
Found Footage and Documentary type horrors are the worst. They are as Cliche as the “It was all just a dream” dodge. It was unique at one time, with the Blair Witch Project and now it’s just a crutch for the unimaginative.
Hollywood is all about doing Remakes… Either remaking older films, or remaking foreign films. You know what? If you are going to do a Docu-Footage Horror, don’t. Do a Remake. Because with as little artistic credibility as you are going to have, might as well emulate something actually good.
And if you do a Remake… I’m still going to hate you. Hack.
So what movies are we going to watch this month? I suggest the old classics. Black and White. My top pick? The Omen.
My apologies for being a bit quiet lately. My family and I are getting ready to move to again… buying a house… and making big life changes here. But it’s all good. We’re excited and happy!
For those that don’t know… Krav Maga is the type of Martial Arts developed in Israel. I don’t practice it myself, my preference being Shotokan. Since I don’t practice it, I am no expert in it. However I do have an opinion. I think it’s an “All or Nothing” type of thing… You make a move and it either works, or you are totally screwed. Just my impression, this is probably what you need in Israel if you are the One Guy in the doorway protecting a room full of babies from the guy with a gun trying to get in. I may be wrong. Like I said, I’m no expert in Krav Maga. I think I would like to take a few classes in it and learn more.
HOWEVER… I’m not wrong in this: Krav Maga Shooting looks dangerous as hell and I don’t want anything to do with it, based on this video:
I’m critically low on my Gun Maintenance Products. I have 3 products that I use and really prefer over everything else. I need to order some of each.
First is LUBRICATION. There is nothing better on the planet – NOTHING – that can touch the lubrication of SLIPSTREAM STYX from Crusader Weaponry. This stuff is beyond slick. I use it in any mechanism that needs some lubricant. This is also what I use when I am reassembling things… such as firearm internals, revolvers to rifles, and any other mechanical device. It doesn’t gum up, doesn’t dry out, and it protects those internals better than anything else I’ve ever found. It was designed for this purpose… for marine conditions. Salt Water conditions. So it can handle humidity, keeps your weapon operating in the worst conditions. This stuff works on any mechanism and I used it all the time on my motorcycles, inside cables and levers for super slick controls.
Second is MPRO-7 Cleaner. This is a full synthetic cleaner unlike most others. It’s more of an astringent than a solvent. So you spray it on, and wipe it off, done. Work great on the inside of your bore, exterior wipe downs, and deep detailed cleaning. I also like that it doesn’t strip the metal completely bare… it leaves a thin film on the parts that is neither oily or sticky… just… smooth and clean. I don’t know how to describe it better than that. Let’s just say – you should use this stuff too. Get it in the pump-spray bottle, and you will love it. It also works well on cleaning motorcycles.
The Third product that I’ve come to really like, and need more of now, is FIREClean. Abe and Dave of DNA Guns turned me on to this stuff last year. It’s a CLP. It cleans and it lubes very well for a CLP. I usually don’t like CLP’s. But I like this stuff… You see, I’ve found that living in the Coastal Carolina area, the humidity here combined with the ocean’s salt spray that gets caught in the air and gives the air that nice coastal smell that I love – is actually quite harmful to firearms. And considering I really don’t care for stainless steel too much – I’m always wiping my guns down to make sure they remain protected. When I first came here, every month I was wiping off a thin layer of orange dust… the beginnings of rust. FIREclean stopped that. It leaves the guns with a nice protective coating… a nice oiled finish that doesn’t feel oily but protects the guns.
Some time ago I stripped the black coatings off my Becker Combat Bowie and my Becker Companion knives. This leaves a bare high carbon steel blade… that will corrode if you even look at it sideways. You see, I use my Tactical Knives when I cook and that Becker BK9 Combat Bowie is my main cooking knife now. I didn’t like it before because that black coating didn’t let it slice very well. It added a lot of drag. Stripping the coating has let it slice meats very cleanly. It’s fantastic. It’s also bare high carbon steel, so it needs protection. FIREclean is perfect for this. I’ll use the knife and as soon as I’m done, I’ll wash it off with hot soap and water, and then I’ll rub a drop of FIREclean on each side of the blade and spine to protect it until my next cook. So until Becker/KA-BAR makes a more stainless version of the BK9 – I’ll continue to use Fireclean on it and on all my guns.
Trade Ins. Guys, you really need to watch your trade-ins very closely. This is an area where a lot of shops can lose money for a few reasons, or you can do your customer a great disservice.
You’ve got to look at the firearms like how Hooter’s uses their lovely girls. The girls are what brings the guys in, they are not making any money from the girls themselves. Stay with me here. You have a store full of Merch. For most Gun Stores most everything else in that store is a higher Margin item than most every gun you have in inventory.
Great customer service is a perception that belongs to the Customer, not you the Retailer. For you, that is the Goal and not the accomplishment. Don’t every think you have it… because then you stop striving for it.
I was looking for something on the Old MadOgre.com site and stumbled on some of my old articles in PDF format.
There are a few more I used to have, but have lost or the file corrupted. Shame.
Here’s most of my articles for CCM.