It finally arrived! I think I actually might be the first person to get their hands on one of these after the SHOT Show. I'm definitely the first dealer to get one in stock. I've tried scouring the internet for anyone else that has one so I can get an idea of where the price is being set right now. But it looks like nobody has one yet.
So here goes my review. Keep in mind that I've never been a fan of the old Para Ordnance guns. I'm definitely not a fan boy. So I'll be honest when I say that it takes a lot to impress me and I can usually pick out the flaws in just about everything I see. So when I mention a flaw that I consider in this gun, but it does have a few, know that you should take the information with a grain of salt. That being said, let's dive into it! :rock:
Initial impressions out of the box were way above average for me. First thing I think when I open the box is "dang that's a sharp looking gun!" The reverse two-tone scheme is really something that I like. I wasted no time in immediately taking the gun to my workbench and doing a good strip, clean, and re-oiling before I start getting too involved in the critique.
First thing that strikes me as odd is that there is some kind of number stamped underneath the right grip pane on the frame. Never seen this before on a 1911 and it doesn't match the serial number of the gun. I have no idea what this is or what it means.
The next thing that really intrigues me is that this gun has a ramped barrel even though it's a .45. Pretty unusual.
So after cleaning all the factory oil off, I start inspecting each piece. I noticed that the barrel bushing is a very tight fit. I needed a bushing wrench to get it to move. The bushing and recoil plug are both nicely finish in IonBond as is the who lower half of the gun. Now this is the REAL IonBond, not some proprietary finish or generic coating. So that gives the gun major points in my book. The IonBond is very nicely done and gives the look of a high end pistol. The slide stop and thumb safety are also finished nicely in IonBond.
Now we get to the first little area of concern for me. The grip safety. It's fitted nicely and operates smoothly. However, it has some noticeable tool marks on the sides that catch my eye and it's only not finished out as nicely in IonBond as the other parts. The finish looks thin and isn't a nice, rich black like the rest. It's just a shade lighter. Now I'll admit that you have to look really closely to see it. I didn't catch it initially myself.
The next part I look at is the barrel. And let me tell you, it's one of the nicest looking barrels I've seen in a 1911. It's machined very nicely and polished like silk. There are no hints of machine marks anywhere. Not even around the lug where most companies will skip in order to cut corners. Just based on looks alone, the barrel is a highlight on this gun.
Then came the slide. The underside of the slide was also very nicely machined. The center channel under the firing pin was polished to a mirror shine. The only tool marks that I could see were along the bottom edges of the slide rails.