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Ran across a NIB Para 1911 GI Expert.45acp in stainless this morning and picked it up for $500. Still need to strip it down and do a cleaning on it. Overall I think I like the quality of my Taurus 1911 better, it has a better fit of parts such as the trigger and dovetail safety. But for an entry level .45 1911 it looks and feels to be an alright pistol. Of course the real test will be when I get the opportunity to load it up and see how it preforms.
And if it doesn't please me in the end, well about the only 1911 model pistol that won't bring at least $500 is the Chiappa .22 pistol.

Just click the pic to watch it grow!!
P1280002.jpg P1280004.jpg
 

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I've got a stainless GI Expert, and I love it. I've got some tweaks on it though - trigger job, sear spring, hammer and recoil springs, full length guide rod, mainspring housing, trigger, and a tritium front sight. They're great for a builder upper, but those plastic parts had to go. The nice thing about the Para's is that it's hard to beat their barrels, and the slide to frame fit is very good. Accuracy is excellent. Here's some of the 'after' pics of mine.







 

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Sweet acquisition! Great price also. I would think you could get your money back if you don't like it.

Dbeard, I'm really liking on your 1911 also.
 

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Of course the real test will be when I get the opportunity to load it up and see how it preforms.
Para says they need a 500 round break in, and they're not kidding. Para recommends firing fifty rounds, and if you encounter problems shoot fifty more of a different brand. Repeat the fifty round procedure until you hit 250 rounds and break it down and clean it. Repeat the fifty round break in until you hit 500 rounds. Mine will swallow anything I put in it, and it's been completely reliable after break in. It wasn't particularly picky during break in, but I did get a couple FTF's. That problem soon went away, but it took about 3-400 rounds before it quit throwing the odd flyer. A couple of them I actually saw the bullet holes open up in places that weren't even close to where the sights were pointing. I'm a good shot, I've been doing this a long time, and I know when it's the pistol and when it's me.

On average it would throw one flyer with each magazine, and then around 350 rounds it just quit doing it. I attribute the flyers to a barrel that needed a little deburring (as most brand new barrels do), as well as some 'self fitting' that normally happens around the lug recesses. When it got smoothed out it really got down to business, and it's been extremely accurate ever since. I just mention it so you don't get discouraged by initial accuracy as you might get some flyers too. Just keep putting the rounds through it, and jacketed rounds would be best. Lead won't deburr as fast as copper jacketed will, and copper plated bullets will be somewhere in between.

I didn't much care for the Para mags, and I prefer the Colt 8-round flush mount mags. The Para's work okay, but I just don't care for bumpers on the bottom of my mags. I also read an article the talked about Para mags potentially causing some peening on the slide in the notch for the slide catch, so I haven't used the Para mags much. I satisfied myself that they work and packed them away for SHTF. I might never have had a problem with the Para's, but I'm funny about that kind of stuff. I figure it's easier to tear a gun up than it is to fix it up, so I try to err on the side of safety. You can find the colt 8-rounds on sale from time to time for around $17 a mag, and the colts have been absolutely flawless.

Anyway, that's the best advice I've got for you. I'm sure you'll fall in love with your Para pretty quick. They're real sweet 1911's.
 

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I also own a Para Gi Expert, and just could not pass it up at 519.00 and then a sale of 50 bucks off, so wadked out the door for under 5 bills for a new stainless 1911.
Love mine, very accurate and honestly likely the best overall tooling inside and out of any 1911 that i have, this includes the Colt Government Combat Elite ( a 900-1000 dollar pistol).
I like the single side safety, and the no grooves on the front of the slide, I have went through several variations of grips for it, I ended up with a set of hogue finger groove rubbers on it!
and have replaced the mainspring housing and recoil spriong rod to a full length, put a Hi-Viz front sight on it, other than that its stock.
 

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Congrats on the new pistol! That seems like a great price. Let us know how it behaves at the range.
 

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That is a very nice 1911 there sir, has me tempted to buy the one I saw except the price tag I saw on it. $594 seems a bit much to me for a used one, but it was the gunsmith's gun and he had modified it a good bit. Did see a really nice blued RIA for $500 with an ambidextrous safety, which would give me the same 'feel' so to speak as carrying my 945 given how I wipe off that safety. We'll see what happens next week after I get paid, there's probably going to be a new friend following me home.
 
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Congratulations on your new firearm.
 

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That is a very nice 1911 there sir, has me tempted to buy the one I saw except the price tag I saw on it. $594 seems a bit much to me for a used one, but it was the gunsmith's gun and he had modified it a good bit. Did see a really nice blued RIA for $500 with an ambidextrous safety, which would give me the same 'feel' so to speak as carrying my 945 given how I wipe off that safety. We'll see what happens next week after I get paid, there's probably going to be a new friend following me home.
Here they are in the 599-629 area for the stainless , with the blue going in the 569-599 area.
I bought mine some time back and the place that i picked it up has a end of year clearance sale right after Christmas till Jan 1st every year, I always try to get in to see what they got, in this case they had the para and every gun they had over 300 bucks was 10% off.
 

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Here they are in the 599-629 area for the stainless , with the blue going in the 569-599 area.
I bought mine some time back and the place that i picked it up has a end of year clearance sale right after Christmas till Jan 1st every year, I always try to get in to see what they got, in this case they had the para and every gun they had over 300 bucks was 10% off.
The Para I saw had been Ceracoated matte gray with a stipled grip, trigger job, polished feed ramp and night sights.
 

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I like those Para's and 500 for a stainless gun is a nice buy plus their made in the US now and that's a plus for me. I kind of think they were ment like you said as an entry level gun people can modify to what they want as they go along, but I've thought of picking one up one day myself :)
 

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I like those Para's and 500 for a stainless gun is a nice buy plus their made in the US now and that's a plus for me. I kind of think they were ment like you said as an entry level gun people can modify to what they want as they go along, but I've thought of picking one up one day myself :)
Yes Para advertises and acknowledges that the GI Expert is thier "entry" level pistol, and a very nice entry level with three dot sights, polished feed ramp,flared ejection port, lightweight trigger,Combat (commander ring) hammer and excellent tooling.
the G. I. stands for government Improved according to Para.
 

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I've owned high dollar 1911's and $299 Norinco 1911's.

The all needed tweeking except, the $299 Norinco.

It had a lot of internal tool marks, a black, blue & plum exterior finish, and a stiff safety, but...was a tack driver that out shot all my Colts, Springfields, Sigs and Kimbers...go figure.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Surprising how sometimes the higher priced gun will be more of a headache than the Plain Jane simple entry level offering. Of course it is also amazing how many people will buy the entry level offering from a manufacture and then spend the extra money to tweek it to their liking rather than buy up in model price.
Guess the bottom line is everyone has a little different taste for what they appreciate, but that is what makes this sport so enjoyable.....that and a great site like T/A where the members support each other in a positive way.
 

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Yes Para advertises and acknowledges that the GI Expert is thier "entry" level pistol, and a very nice entry level with three dot sights, polished feed ramp,flared ejection port, lightweight trigger,Combat (commander ring) hammer and excellent tooling.
the G. I. stands for government Improved according to Para.
Yeap I like them if I had one I prolly wouldn't change very much at all on them I mean the taurus is a pretty loaded gun and I like that but I like the more basic look on a GI style 1911 to. I'd perhaps change the trigger on one and put a A1 style mainspring housing I dunno. Their polymer but I think Para did that cause they knew people would change them up anyhow but it's still an affordable gun so I don't mind a polymer trigger and housing ya know.

This one I dunno if they come like this from the factory or not but IMO there isn't much TO do to it if this is how they come from Para now, I mostly love a beavertail grip safety. IMO I'd put a stainless short or medium trigger in it and call it a day.
 

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IMO I'd put a stainless short or medium trigger in it and call it a day.
On a GI Expert you'd probably want to change the sear spring at the same time. The sear spring that comes with the Para is very light, and I believe it's matched to the lightweight polymer trigger. Even an aluminum shoe seems to be a bit too much for this spring, and it can give you a bad case of hammer follow - DAMHIK. I swapped mine out with an Ed Brown Hardcore Sear Spring, and it works dandy with that one.

There's nothing wrong with the plastic parts that come with the Para, but I just didn't like the look of plastic against an otherwise beautiful finish. My brother's old (and I mean OLD) 1911A1 still had the original arched mainspring housing, and I swapped that with the Para housing so it's still 'on duty.' I got rid of the Para trigger mostly because I prefer a short, smooth, solid trigger and I used a C&S short solid trigger in both my Para and my bros A1. The short trigger allows a bit more finger room inside the trigger guard, and it also brings the trigger back where I can pull it with the joint of my trigger finger. Not the part you should use according to the experts, but for some reason on a 1911 I can tickle the trigger the best that way. Anyway, just passing it along.
 

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On a GI Expert you'd probably want to change the sear spring at the same time. The trigger that comes with the Para is very light, and I believe it's matched to the lightweight polymer trigger. Even an aluminum shoe seems to be a bit too much for this spring, and it can give you a bad case of hammer follow - DAMHIK. I swapped mine out with an Ed Brown Hardcore Sear Spring, and it works dandy with that one.

There's nothing wrong with the plastic parts that come with the Para, but I just didn't like the look of plastic against an otherwise beautiful finish. My brother's old (and I mean OLD) 1911A1 still had the original arched mainspring housing, and I swapped that with the Para housing so it's still 'on duty.' I got rid of the Para trigger mostly because I prefer a short, smooth, solid trigger and I used a C&S short solid trigger in both my Para and my bros A1. The short trigger allows a bit more finger room inside the trigger guard, and it also brings the trigger back where I can pull it with the joint of my trigger finger. Not the part you should use according to the experts, but for some reason on a 1911 I can tickle the trigger the best that way. Anyway, just passing it along.
Yeah I recall you kinda saying something about hammer follow awhile back. I dunno if I'll ever get one of these I tend to like to think out loud but yeah I'll have to remember that if I ever do I like the looks of these Para GI's.
 
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