In January , it was announced that the U. The integration of modern sporting rifles, suppressors, and Remington pistols commenced immediately, and Para moved to Huntsville, Alabama in March of With the exception of factory testing, and until this review, the Para — USA Expert has not been fired. Now, you may ask who in their right mind would purchase a firearm and not shoot it until threes years after its purchase. It is definitely not a based that has any investment value.
You just have to start somewhere, I guess. The specifications today are pretty much the specifications of three years ago, the features are pretty much the same, and life has pretty much moved on as usual for Para-USA. The slide material is of forged stainless steel that has been Nitride treated.
PARA is roll marked on the left side of the slide and Expert is roll marked on the right side of the slide. The slide consist of two dovetail slots for sights and rear serrations of No front serrations appeals to most purists.
The ejection port has been lowered and flared to assist in expelling fired cases. In keeping with based design, an internal extractor provides the case grab while a standard ejector provides the push out of the chamber for the.
Full support to the cartridge case is provided. The Para Expert has a standard guide rod instead of the full-length guide rod that is popular these days. Nested around the guide rod is a strong recoil spring that is held into place by the Recoil Spring Plug at the front of the slide. A standard barrel bushing keeps the barrel in line and barrel lock-up is provide by the usual barrel lugs and corresponding locking slots in the slide.
The barrel is well finished and is actually better finished than I have seen on higher priced s. It seems that this method of verifying that a pistol is loaded is becoming popular. The frame of the Para-USA Expert appears to be cast steel rather than forged; separation lines pretty much indicate a cast frame that, like the slide, has been black Nitride treated. Now, before you get all in a huff about cast frames, consider that Ruger has been using investment casting for many, if not all, of its firearms.
Consider also that STI uses investment casting, and STI is no slouch when it comes to making high-quality pistols. What I find interesting is that the frame actually has two textures. The side of the frame is smooth as if it were bead blasted. The bottom side of the frame, to include the trigger guard and the front strap actually has a little more texture to it than does the side of the frame.
The difference in texture is actually quite nice and is visually appealing to me. Although there is no checking or serrations on the front strap, the hammer spring housing is of nicely-checkered polymer, which is common on all but select s these days, with the exception of Ruger, which has a checkered aluminum hammer spring housing as standard fare for a production-pistol.
Just above the Mainspring Housing sits a now-standard beaver-tail grip safety with memory bump that almost guarantees the hand will press the grip safety when gripping the pistol.
The beaver-tail safety is well-fitted to the frame of the pistol. The Main Spring is substantial. The left side thumb safety is just that — left side only. No ambidextrous safety used in this pistol.
The thumb safety operates in the usual fashion of thumb safeties where down is fire and up is safe. The thumb safety moves to these two positions in a positive manner, although the thumb safety feels gritty when new. Some use should remove the gritty feeling. As with most based pistols, the plunger tube is a staked unit.
The Slide Stop, on my particular pistol, was not treated adequately for it to match the slide and frame. While I do find this disconcerting, it is not uncommon to find and is attributed to the different treatment process to different parts at different times during a pistols creation. Slight cut-outs are provided in the rear of the trigger guard to better facilitate the trigger finger for short-fingered folks.
The trigger guard itself is nicely rounded and large enough to accommodate the trigger finger of a shooting glove — with a finger inserted — in the glove — and then inserted into the trigger guard. Oh, you know what I mean! The Para Expert comes with shudder plastic grip panels and these are, usually, the first things to be replaced, which I did, like immediately upon getting the pistol home. A set of Hogue laminated grip panels was installed and life was better.
However, if this pistol was to be shot in all seriousness, a Hogue Rubber Wraparound grip would be installed. I talk about that installation a tad later in the article. Speaking of magazines, the Para Expert came with two 8-rounds units that are excellent. Polymer, anti-tilt followers and a metal-reinforced slide lock point makes a good system.
In addition, the magazines incorporate a removable polymer base plate, which means that you can spend quality time in front of the television while disassembling, cleaning, lubricating, and assembling magazines to your hearts content, or at least, until your wife catches you. In fact, the feed ramp is treated in the same manner as the rest of the pistol — a black Nitride finish. Am I bothered about this? Should I be bothered by this? While I am used to seeing a somewhat finished feed ramp on most based pistol, was this unfinished feed ramp worthy of concern?
Overall, the fit and finish of the Para Expert is very nice with a minute amount of acceptable slide-to-frame play with the hammer cocked. When in battery, the slide-to-frame fit exhibits no play. The over-all look and feel of the Para Expert is all with modern upgrades to the original design.
My particular Para Expert came equipped with a plain-Jane, square notch, drift-adjustable for windage rear sight and a green, light-pipe fiber optic front sight that is also drift-adjustable for windage. Nothing like trying to fit a round peg in a square hole, but the sight setup seems to work well in daylight and nicely lit rooms. Personally, I am finding that a plain-Jane rear sight with a simple dot or painted front sight is more than adequate for most applications. The Para Expert has the usual safeties; grip safety, thumb safety, and disconnect safety.
There is no over-travel to speak of. Unfortunately, and when new, the trigger is quite gritty when pressing it to the rear to release the hammer.
In short, it makes a good trigger into a bad trigger and a bad trigger into a worse than bad trigger. There is very little take-up trigger slack until resistance is felt. The let-off release is crisp. However, the journey getting to the point of release is a rough one.
Using a digital trigger pull gauge, the final average was a gritty 5. It was not the weight that bothered me, because I consider a 5-pound trigger a good trigger for defensive use. The grittiness grated on my nerves. It was time to go to work with the simplest means available to me — dry firing. A Snap-Cap was loaded up and most of the grittiness disappeared after about thirty dry fires.
Perhaps, things were not so bad after all. However, there remained just the slightest hint of grit just before the trip point was reached. Only some range duty, and more trigger work, would tell the true story. However, before going to the range, there was still one thing to do — and it proved to be a challenge. My favorite and highly qualified gunsmith has always told me that the less I have to do to the grip panels on a , the better off I would be.
In this case, I had to agree with him. While the Hogue Exotic Laminated grip panels looked great on the pistol, and I experienced no issues when installing them, I still desired my favorite grip for a concealed carry and just general all-around shooting; the Hogue Rubber Wraparound Grip with Finger Grooves.
No, they are not pretty, but they are highly functional in my hand and the grip just works for me. I already had the grip, the desired stainless steel grip screws for some contrast on the pistol , and began removing the grip screws that secured the nice Hogue laminated grip panels.
The Hogue laminated grip panels came with small o-rings that prevent the grip screws from backing out while shooting the pistol and that became an issue. The bottom left Stock Screw Bushing decided to come out with the grip screw. That meant replacing one Stock Screw Bushing that, luckily, I had on hand. Once the grip panel was removed, the Stock Screw Bushing was replaced.
When installing the new grip screws, the upper-right Stock Screw Bushing just did not feel right; the screw was just too tight a fit. So, the upper-right Stock Screw Bushing was also replaced this is why it is good to keep some spare parts for the in stock. The pistol felt good in the hand due to my familiarity of the grip.
In fact, the pistol feels like every other pistol that has this grip installed; familiarity breed confidence. The front sight height on both pistol is nearly identical as close to 0. Point of aim was to the center of the bulls-eye as I could manage. Let the games begin! Impact on the target at seven yards was slightly low. Impacts at fifteen yards were almost point of aim.
Impacts on the target at twenty-five yards were slightly high from POA. To put it simply, if you do your part bullet impacts will be highly effective. While the trigger was a little contrary for bench work, it proved itself worthy of free-hand work, and as long as I followed through with my shots, the round impacted the target with no surprise strays. One of my previous mentions was the lack of a polished feed ramp and if I should be concerned about this.
Also, and after disassembling the pistol, to see if there were any others things that should concern me. It seems that not having a polished feed ramp was not worthy of concern. All ammunition, including Speer Gold Dot Hollow Point my carry ammunition fed with no complaint or issue.More...