Para GI Expert 1911

The GI Expert is a new entry level .45 1911 pistol from Para USA.

A 1911 for the 21st Century – it feels like an old friend, the one that the company armorer worked over for you to earn your Expert Marksman’s badge. Using new millennium technology Para has built you a production .45 that is silky smooth with a crisp, clean trigger that makes you the best shot you can be.

Picture 10-18

Caliber: .45 ACP
Barrel: 5 inches, stainless steel
Twist: 1 in 16 inches, left-hand
Action: Single-action, Semi-automatic
Sights: Dovetail Fixed, 3-White Dot
Receiver: Carbon Steel
Trigger: Medium length
Hammer: Skeletonized Spur
Magazine: 8-round with removable base pad
Weight: 39 ounces
Finish: Covert Black Para Kote™
Stocks: Checkered Polymer
Safeties: Slide Lock, Internal Firing Block, Grip
Additional Features: Lowered and flared ejection port, beveled magazine well, flat mainspring housing, grip safety contoured for spur hammer

The introductory MSRP is $599.

More info here.



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • tace

    This is a great gun, as far as features, accuracy and cost is considered. I was able to get one and scored dead center head shots from 25 yards, not using a benchrest.
    Much better than the comparable prices Taurus PT1911 in accuracy, fit and finish.
    The downside is that there seems to be bugs with the hammer for light primer strikes after about 100 rounds. Mine, along with several others who tried this gun are heading back to Para USA.

  • Booker

    I ran across one of these at a dealer that was ordered in for another customer. The feel and finish is great as expressed all over but this particular one was being sent back to Para. I confirmed that upon release of the slide the hammer dropped. OOO NO! I was told the guy took it home before figuring this out. Good thing he didn’t have a full mag in it when he found out about the defect. Either way I expect production guns like this to have defects from time to time so this wouldn’t keep me from getting one. However I will be keeping my eyes peeled for the same problem around the web.

  • tehmino

    I bought one for myself and I like it. Only thing that I didn’t like is the plastic follower in the mag. It would prevent the slide release from actuating and you would have to drop the mag in order to release the slide. However a 3 dollar colt style metal foller and it works wonderfully.

    Very upgradable gun.

  • Michael Finger

    Tehmino, I just purchased a Para GI Expert and noticed the same problem — you can’t release the slide on an empty magazine. When I contacted Para about this, they said that was “normal” for this particular gun, and that you were “always supposed to drop the magazine before releasing the slide.” Huh? They didn’t (or couldn’t) explain why it’s NOT normal for just about every other 1911-style pistol out there, not even the other Para 1911s I’ve look at. Oh well, except for THAT, it’s a great gun. – Michael

  • Bob Holt

    I have an Para LTC & just purchased the GI Expert. I also experienced the gun discharging when the slide was released. This occured after about 900 rounds. With dummy ammo (primer cavity filled with wax) the firing pin would strike the primer every time the slide was released. What really surprised me was the very poor quality of the MIM ignition parts. I replaced the hammer, sear & disconnector with quality parts. This resolved the problem. I wrote the quality problem off as a fluke. The GI expert killed that assumption as the quality of the MIM parts are just as bad. I,m not opposed to MIM parts, Kimber uses MIM parts and the quality is fine.

  • Bob Holt

    I test fired my Para GI expert today for the first time. At first everything was going fine for about fourty rounds, then failure to feed problems began. Some jammed bad enough that I had to press the front end of the slide against the bench to unload it. A couple of stove pipe jams also occured with live ammo. I also tried a couple of proven magizines w/o success. One hundred rounds of a mixture of fmjrn, lswc and fmjhp were fired. Type of ammo did not matter. Other than the jams, the gun worked ok.

  • Bob Holt

    I worked out the jamming problems with the Para GI Expert and & yesterday fired one hundred trouble free rounds with it. I’m very pleased with it now.

  • David D

    Bob H. What did you do to resolve the feeding issues?

    dd

  • Bob Holt

    To correct the feeding problem with the GI Expert I addressed three concerns. I don’t know if one or all three resolved the problem.
    1. Reduced the gap between the feed ramp & chamber throat. It was excessive. This is accomplished by emoving some metal from the feed reamp.
    2. Reamed the chamber with a .45 reamer (designed for this purpose). The chamber bore was tight & required excessive pressure to chamber a round thus slowing the slide action during ejection.
    3.The ejector was too long & began ejecting the empty case while it was still inside the chamber. Shortened the ejector to the point the case is ejected just as it began to exit.
    I want emphasize a qualified gun smith should do the work. The gun can be destroyed if not done proper.

  • Mark Tondee

    In reference to Para/Taurus I can tell you my Taurus 1911 has been through a 1000 rounds never one ftf. Has feed everything w/o hiccup form 6 different commercial and 3 different reloads types, Hardball, JHP and lead. I always steered away from Taurus but now am a fan.

  • JustinCase

    Any semi auto handgun won’t let the slide close with the mag in it.

  • D.L.

    I just had the pleasure of handling one of these new guns at my local shop and have to say the trigger and overall fit of the gun blows away the entry level Brazil made guns by Springer and Taurus, it was almost identical in quality to the higher end U.S.A. guns made by Kimber.
    Another plus is that they are supposedly assembled here in the new U.S.A. Para plant, (which I find hard to believe given the price).
    The things I disliked were the overly rough, sand paper like finish that is supposed to mimic a dull parkerized G.I. finish and the week looking ultralight skeletonized hammer.
    I agree with other posters that Para needs to work on the hammer and most people that have been around Paras awhile know that their extractors and ejectors are sometimes not up to the hype.
    Other than that I think this is a great gun and should seriously give Springer and Taurus some hard competition in the entry level market.

  • Bruce A

    I just bought one of these and love it. I am amazed at people who feel they can review a gun they do not even own and have never shot.
    I have run 500+ rounds through mine without ANY malfunctions of any kind. Tried to shoot as many brands as possible but it was all factory stuff, no reloads. I would not be afraid to shoot some reloads, if and when I do I will update this review.
    I am very happy with my purchase in every way. This gun is very accurate with some groups in the 1.5 to 2 in. at 15 yards.
    This is NOT a $2500 custom gun but I bought this to shoot not to look at and I think it is perfect for my intended purpose.
    In my opinion there is a reason these guns are hard to find, they are a good buy and you get a good quality pistol for a fair price.

  • does anyone know where i can get one of these mag base pads? just the thing that drops down a little for youre pinky finger to grip….. i really want to find a couple for my colt officer model. i dont see why these ones would not fit mine they are removable it says?

  • Bones

    New Para GI Expert has defective ejector, failed to feed first round of first mag. Experienced a dozen FTF in first 70 odd rounds with 2 brands of factory 230gr fmj ammo. Slide return 1/4″ to 3/4″ out of battery. Issues occurred anywhere first to last in either mag. Only one full mag emptied without failure. Cases everywhere, one rode my collarbone for the last 3 rounds of a mag. I suppose that speaks well for handling & recoil. When it shot, the pistol was “dead on” accurate. No “limp-wrist” here, I’ve small hands and have shot magnum caliber revolvers for years, so my tendency is to “choke it to death”. Properly “slingshot” the slide, as well. Shop / range manager listened, then disassembled the weapon on the spot. Defective ejector fell into his hand. He said, ” There’s your problem. This goes back, today. Found a Para thread in a 1911 forum stating Para is aware and has even suggested DIY repair with aftermarket parts. Retired USMC armouror indicated this issue was not uncommon with USG issue M1911A1s during his tenure. Symptoms he described match mine, exactly. Mine went back to Para. Anyone else with this issue? I’m wondering if Para’s customer service & repair center is overloaded with defective “GI Experts”. Caveat Emptor…

  • Ryan

    Bones….. I have the same problem, I was shooting and the slide would stay open with last round still in the mag. Took the gun home to clean and ejector was broken. It didn’t fall out like yours but one of the pins (out of the 2) was broken off into the receiver and flapped around like a fish tail. Sent it back on the 12th… Hope Para’s service is great???????

  • Scott

    I fired my brand new GI Expert for the first time today at the range. The gun functioned fine. As I taking the slide off to clean it, the ejector fell off. The rear pin has broken off and is in the rear hole in the frame. Needless to say, I’m very disappointed this could happen to a brand new gun.

  • Bones

    I phoned Para-Service, this AM, and spoke with Marissa(in Tn,). My GI Expert is at the NC service facility, currently disassembled. Ejector “parts” are being “machined off the frame”. I am told the pistol should be back to me within two weeks. That comes to a month, if they meet their own schedule. If the problems are solved, I suppose that is OK. FWIW:pistols go to Tn. to be forwarded to NC for evaluation & service, so the process is slow…

  • Ryan

    Sent my GI expert back on April 12 due to a broken extractor. It is now May 22, 2010 and still no word from Para. I was hoping Para’s service would outcast Para’s quality on these pistols, but I have mistaken Para’s service has overshadowed it. I just want my pistol back and I’ll fix the problem myself.

  • DM

    I was looking into buying one of the Para GI Experts but after reading these coments I am having second thoughts. I have owned a few different Colt Gov’t models from the 1911 to a 1987 Combat Elite. The only problem I had was the ejector pin broke on a brand new 1991A1. I thought these Para’s were supposed to be good quality. I have a Glock 21 but I am itching for a SA .45 to keep around. Maybe I should look into a Colt again. They are producing some series 70 models but they are a bit expensive. Besides I like the long trigger and flat mainspring housing. An easy fix but I hate to take apart a new gun to make these changes.

  • Bones

    The GI came back on May, 26. Work-order copy stated that Para “installed new ejector”, “adjusted & verified slide stop”, “adjusted & verified extractor”, “cleaned & verified chamber”, “bench checked for function & test fired”, “all functions OK”. There is visible evidence of some “adjustments” and of machining @ the slide stop / slide and within @ the ejector area. The slide is “looser” and much easier to operate. I couldn’t get to the range before June, 17 to check it out for myself. I put 112 rounds through it, three brands of ammo including 2 X 230grfmj and 24 rounds of 230grjhp by a third mfr. The pistol ran like the proverbial “raped ape”! Not one failure of any kind, accurate from 5 to 15 yards – at least as accurate as the “driver”, off-hand and a pleasure to shoot. I’ve another 250+/- rounds ready to send down range, but that and a bench-rest accuracy check must wait for a cooler day on the range. I don’t shoot so well with sweat streaming into my eyes. The ladies in Tn. “cowboyed up” with feedback, good or bad, during the lengthy process. No doubt, Para has some “issues”, though I am cautiously optimistic that resolution is near and that my GI’s issues are resolved.

  • DM

    Well Bones I’m glad to here you got your Para back. I am close to making a purchase of a .45 for my soon to be 47th birthday. It is now between one of the Para GI Experts and a Springfield GI OD green basic 1911A1 .45. And I do mean basic with low profile non 3 dot sights and a slide (because of the ejection port) will not eject an unfired round. None of my 1911 Colt army pistols would eject one until I changed the slide to a lowered ejection port style. Not a big deal either way. I may take a chance on the Para because I have a Glock 21 so if I need to send it to Para for work it won’t matter. The Para’s list of specs has everything to be desired in a 1911 style sidearm. I always take others comments with a grain of salt but many grains of the same type pop up on many sights. One good thing is that a 1911 is a fairly easy gun to work on and many quality parts are around. As far as machine work I doubt the Para will need any. As far as replacing the ejector, extractor, sear and a few other internals to make this thing reliable is easy and something to be aware of thanks to people taking the time to explain the problems they have experienced. When I see comments without words like junk or garbage I tend to listen to them. Good luck with your Para and keep us posted.

  • craig

    Ruger GP100. Cock hammer, shoot. Goes bang. Pull trigger through, goes bang. Hand will wear out before gun!

  • 02seta

    I own a GI Expert and feel I should say something. I fired 200 rounds the first day I took it out. 100 of these were factory and the second group of 100 rounds were reloads. Reloaded as marked with 4.2 grains of 231 powder and a 200 gram truncated wad-cutter lead round, date Jan. 20, 1985. Many of the rounds showed signs of condensation and water stains on the casings. A few of the rounds I could actually feel the full travels down the barrel. I had one jam actually on round 78 where the slide had frozen. After giving it a good look over and failed attempts to gently move the slide I gave it the hammer fist it ramped the next round and continued the next 22 rounds flawlessly. Now upon getting the GI Exp. I polished the ramp with 600 grit emery cloth and polished the internals with a fine tool sharping stone to allow free in frame movement.
    I am no gun smith nor an expert this is my first 1911 style gun. I am sold, I bought some diamond grinding bits and intend to cut a middle finger relief under the trigger guard.

  • Jay

    Got a para gi expert yesterday, and ran 100 rounds through it today. The first mag went fine, and I was very impressed with the accuracy. With the second mag, the problems began. The slide would not return to battery (about a quarter inch from it) with almost ever shot. This continued through the rest of the range session. Has anyone else had this problem?

  • c. phil

    has anyone ever heard of having a 1911 .45 double because it was bench rested with the barrell resting in the v of the rest?– c. phil

  • JoseyWales

    I also bought the stainless GI Expert recently. As many have mentioned above, I experienced a failure-to-feed on almost every single round… using the Para supplied magazines. The slide does not return to battery. However, with a Kimber magazine, it works perfectly every single time. Close examination shows that the Kimber follower is at a slightly higher angle (from the horizontal) than the Para, so I wonder if their follower should be redesigned? I guess I’ll buy a couple of Kimber mags.

    I have emailed Para and have received no response on this issue. I then called and was promised a response via email on how to return the magazines for replacement. It’s a week later and I have heard nothing. That poor customer service has killed the chances that I’ll ever buy another Para product again.

  • c. phil

    Would like to revise my question as to the 1911 .45 doubling as it is bench rested. as of now this high end 1911 will only double if i am shooting it! yes i know this is crazy but at least 10 people have shot this gun with no problems. the gun has been sent back to manufacture and changes were made. even after recieving the gun after changes it only doubles with me. it now doubles hand held so just figure it will do it bench rested. some of the best tell me they have no idea why with only me as the $2500.00 gun runs fine with all others. over 400 rds run by 10 people with no problems– anyone with a thought as to what i possible could be doing! — C. PHIL

    • IhaveEVERYgun

      It’s your stance. If you are less than 200 lbs and attempt to fire it in a “weaver” stance. Chances are you are going to have this problem. This can also cause other problems where it will not feed another round, because your wrist and arm is accepting too much of the recoil and you are moving your body and arms with the weapons recoiling, taking away the necessary force needed to rack another round, or in your case, firing twice very quickly.

      Try the good ole’ fashioned always proven triangle stance. Square your shoulders to target and extend both arms, and LOCK your elbows. With this stance, when the firearm recoils, your arms aren’t giving away the power and thus it will function correctly.

      I own, seriously, EVER gun you can possibly think of. From 22lr to .458 lott and everythign in between. I have 9 or 10 different 1911’s and i say 9 or 10, because I have so many firearms, that I simply lose track constantly.

      Shoot safe and let me know if that fixed it.

  • 02seta

    I have to admit I polished the feed ramp before taking it to the range. Using factory and semi truncated wad cutters in original magazines. I have since totally stripped it down and polished (stoned) all working surfaces.

  • Ron

    Sorry to see all you guys having trouble with the GI.Had mine for more that a year.It was made in Canada.It feeds and fires any FMJ or HP Ive put in it.Its never malfuctioned in more that 500 rds.I keep it loaded with Federal Hydra-Shock 230 HP.Its a tac driver with this load.Iam wondering if the problem gun are coming from Pineville?A new plant is going to have bugs in the mfg. process.The good out of it is Para stands behind their products and will fix it for you.

  • DM

    C. Phil try a higher power spring in your main spring housing. 1911’s can sometimes be known for double tapping especially under high stress situations. The usual scenario is the first round is dead on target and the next hits high and to the right. Even just trying to controll it better will help. A few instances have been documented about the scenario I described. Competition built 1911’s can acheive the diuble tap when not properly gripped because of the light trigger pull. In one instance a person was hit because the second round went high and to the right then went though a very small opening in the roof at a gun range hitting the person in another area. It was a one in a million shot and had taken much investigaing to discover how this person was hit. The next story is hard to believe but a man and his wife were sitting in their kitchen when they saw (what they thought was a ghost) the man went into a drawer and fierd to rounds into the door leading to the basement. When they showed the door on television the first round was dead center the next was hight and to the right. This was at almost point blank range.
    I hope this info was helpful.

  • Fetrow2011

    A few weeks ago me and a buddy of mine went out to buy 1911’s. We planned on buying taurus’s for cheap gutting them and building them up to what we wanted down to the boots on the bottom of the mags. The owner of the gunshop we just happen to walkin that day gave us an amazing deal on a pair of Para Experts. We went from the shop to the range. After a quick cleaning and a little oil we started burning ammo. Two hours later and 500 rounds a piece and they functioned absolutely Flawlessly. The crisp, clean trigger pull felt as if there had already been some custom work done. looking to dump a little money in them but a little at a time. For what we paid for them we can definately afford to burn some more ammo…

  • M.Ishee

    I bought the parausa G.I. expert. O MY LORD; I tryed to rack a round in the chamber and it locked up about half way in. I couldn’t get one to even load. I took it back to where I bought it and he swapped it for another one just like it. And I mean just like it. SAME PROBLEM. It appears that the ejector is not laying against the slide; it sticks out stopping feed. I live 50 miles from where I bought it from and it’s getting pricey on the gas there and back. I hope this can be fixed. I have a springfield that my wife bought me in 1990 has never failed. I wish I had not bought this gun.

  • M.Ishee

    Please comment if you have my problem with the feed.

  • brandon

    I bought an expert yesterday and I am haveing the same problem with the bullet getting hung up about half way in.

    • mike

      I only have that issue when using my colt magazines. My para mags have never caused any issues. I have to sell my colt mags now. A friend is buying them.

  • DM

    Para has a life time warranty. I emailed Para and they said they would take care of any issues with the GI. They did not seem to be aware of any particualr issues with this firearm.

  • M.Ishee

    I need to tell you that the para is doing fine. I polished the ramp, that is all I did. It feeds rather well. I was going to getrid of this one, but now I’m glad that I didn’t. Try that and blog back if you will.

  • DM

    Amazing a feed ramp polish would produce such a major solution. I would check out this sidearm carefully.

  • M.Ishee

    Well, DM the ramp was like coated with a blued finish on it; it was almost black. I polished it down just to the stainless and it feeds rather well. It suprised me how it made a diffrence.

  • DM

    I’m glad it worked for you. I was thinking about buying a GI Expert but I purchased the Auto-Ordnance just because I wanted the more traditional 1911A1 look. The features Para offers for the money on the GI Expert seems like a great buy. It looks like Para came out with a new GI this year with a different finish. I notice many sidearms are being maligned for many reasons. One thing about the 1911 is they are easy to work on and modify. I wipe my 1911’s off more than I shoot them so that is the main reason I purchased the much maligned Auto-Ordnance. I still might pick up a Para in the future. Good luck with your sidearm.

  • Pete

    I just purchased a GI Expert today,
    man I hopeni dont have any of these problems with it’
    Should have researched a little more I guess.

  • DM

    Pete baby,
    Take everyones comments with a grain of salt! Don’t lose any sleep over your purchase until you shoot enough rounds to break it in. Seems like some shoot great and others can’t feed a round. Only thing I can tell you is send it back to Para if it don’t function.

  • Pete

    10-4 buddy’
    Thanks..

  • I traded for a new para stainless a few weeks ago. Had 2 FTFs within the first 100 rds which only required a light tap on the back of the slide to close and fire. These 2 problems were with 2 different brand new metalform mags. Those mags did not give me any more problems after a couple more runs each. Have used 230 gr FMJ and HP from UMC, Fiocchi, and PMC. Other than the 2 early hiccups, no other problems in 300 rds. I’ll review in a couple weeks or so after I’ve shot it some more.

  • phil the machinist

    I bought my Para GI expert about a year ago and have put 500+ rounds thru it alternating the two mags that it comes with. I have had no problems with it jamming at all and have used many types and loads of ammo. The only thing I didn’t like was the trigger it did break fairly crisp But had allot of play and had a gritty feel just before you got to the pressure. So I fully disassembled it and found out why, all of the internal firing parts where ruff finished and all had their Para black finish (the same as the outside) someone should tell them to stop waisting their time and leave them plain steel. Even the sear was rough and painted. After honing some of the parts I put it back together and it was better but I’m going to buy all new Ed brown internal parts and it will probably be my favorite pistol. I also did allot of filing on my magazine lock when I had it apart, I found it still had sharp edges on it and I did have to push the mag in hard when new, but now it slides in nice and the relise is really nice for easy and fast mag change. For know it hangs out in its Blackhawk carbon fiber holster loaded with 200gr Hornady tap ammo on my head board. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a nice affordable starter 1911 that they can upgrade and do so amateur gun smithing to themselves.

  • scott

    Well I can’t say anything about the GI but i can sure say something about p-12’s and 13’s. Junk absolute junk!!! how a firearms company can continue to produce wepons that are unreliable is beyond me. I have owned 2 p-12’s (yea i know i didn’t learn my lesson the first time) and i can not get 50 rounds through either one without some sort of malfunction. My gunsmith and i replace springs mags etc. My gunsmith owned a p13 and he cut the slide in half after getting too frustrated. Just buy a Les baer or wilson combat and get over it. Glocks are always a safe bet and easier on the wallet but accuracy will never touch a 1911. That is the only thing i can say is both p12’s were accurate and for such a loose gun. Thanks for hearing me vent

  • Barry

    I just bought a Para GI-expert. It jammed twice when racking a round into the chamber. I knew then I was going to have problems. The gun jammed every 4th, 5th, or 6th round (failure to feed). I have three other 1911’s, “two Sprigfields and one Colt” and never have I had a failure to feed with these handguns. I called Para and they advised to ship the gun back for repair, but I was to pay for shipping it back. This is BS, why should I have to pay for shipping a new Para handgun back when it is not functioning properly. I have just purchased my first and last Para. When I get the Para back it will be traded on a Springfield milspec.

    • mike

      I had to send mine in for repairs too and had to pay for shipping. I will never own another firearm from Para. My wife sent your ruger in and they not only paid but gave her a free magazine. Para took forever to repair the firearm too.

  • ron

    Like my other post,Iam still happy with my GI.Its my every day carry and home defense gun.I would not do that if it were not 100% fuction.I see alot of people having problems with this and other Para’s so much so I would not buy another.As I stated in my other post mine was made in Canada befor the Pineville SC move.However Iam not do ANY business with Para for two reasons 1.They make you pay shipping to get your gun repaired.2.Several mos ago I went to the Para website and ordered an factory mag to match the two that came with the gun.I have lots of other 45 mags CM and Meg-gar ect so I reallydidnt need the mag just wanted one more for carry that matched.Well they took my money and three week later I still have no mag.I called and get the run around.I started to get pissed.I DO NOT PAY COS MONEY FOR ITEMS THEY DO NOT HAVE IN STOCK.If you do not have it tell me so and dont charge my card till it comes in and ships.Well it took another 10 days or so and what I got was a well used mag wrapped in news paper and it came from the custom shop in FL.I didnt pay for a used mag I PAYED FOR A NEW ONE!This was a test mag they were useing in FL and it was beat up.What a crock.I WILL NEVER SPEND ANOTHER DIME ON ANY PARA PRODUCT.I thought about calling them up but what would be the point.it would be a waste of time.And the kicker of the whole thing is Midway USA has the Para factory mags,the website will show if its in stock and if its not and you want to backorder your card will not be charged it it ships.I dont know whos running Para but they better get the co. stuff together from top to bottom and fast because thats whats happening to the customer base.ITS GOING AWAY FAST ME INCLUDED.

  • Jim

    My GI Expert also fails to lock back on the final round and it appears the slide stop pin (the part that fits in in the magazine well) is being pushed outward by the plastic magazine follower. With the pin pushed out (.030″) it causes a monster jam with the slide. Isn’t there supposed to be a dimple in the slide stop that the frame side spring pushes into to keep it in place? The gun is going back to Para for repairs.

    • Jim Edwards

      Para replaced the 2 mags that came with my GI Expect with 2 modified ones that had cut outs on the front end of the follower. Problem solved.

  • tc

    i have the para gi expert and love the gun.it is deadly accurate,solid and reliable.i have thrown evrything at it and it works fine.i also have a couple of kimbers and love my para just as much.i have mixed matched the ammo on purpose loading steel cases with brass and used several different companies ammo at the same time and this para eats it without a problem.i have nothing but good things to say about this 500.00 gun.
    its one of my favs .

    • donn sanders

      I just bought a Para GI Expert in Stainless. After I bought it I started to read the jamming comments. I put 100 rounds thru no problem. I then went back to the range and now it loads 2-3 rounds and then jams. A slight tap on the slide and it is okay but it is annoying. I will try tp put more rounds thru it and use a different ammo.

      If it continues it will go back for repairs.

  • Not Happy

    I received my Para LTC Tactical Friday night, read the manual, lubed it as instructed, and had it ready to go to the range yesterday. Got to the range, loaded all mags with MagTech .45 ACP ammo as required by the indoor range. I fully loaded all mags (8 rds). First mag inserted, tried to chamber a round and it nosed into the barrel ramp. No problem. I dropped the mag, ejected the round (not easy), inserted the ejected round back into the mag and tried again. This time the round partially chambered and was very difficult to remove. I tried the second mag. Same result. I tried the third mag. Same result. I tried the fourth mag. Same result. I could not get this gun to properly chamber a round. In case you’re wondering, I own a Springfield Armory Trophy Match 1911, so I’m very familiar with the operation of this gun. My SA 1911 has no problem with MagTech or any other ammo.

    I stepped out of the indoor range room to enlist the help of the range officer and firearms instructor who has owned no less than three 1911s (Kimber/Springfield) for over two decades with over 50,000 rounds fired. I explained to him what was happening, so he stepped into the range area to try to assist. Same story. He had the same problem I had no matter which mag was used. He even tried his own personal stash of PMC and Federal ammo, none of which worked. He was stumped. Said he’d never seen a brand new gun do this. He was finally able to chamber a round by fiddling with the slide, then inserted a mag with 1 round in it to see if it would shoot, and chamber the second round. He was able to fire the gun, but the second round would not properly load. Needless to say it was not a happy trip to the range.

    I’ll be sending this piece of trash back to Para on Monday in hopes of getting it in working order. I found out after I bought this gun, but before I received it that it was discontinued by Para after only one year. I asked if they did this because of problems with the gun and the customer service rep said no, it’s a great gun. I have my doubts now, to say the least.

    I’ll post more as the saga continues. At this point, I cannot recommend the purchase of this gun even at this discounted price. I now regret not buying another Springfield. The Trophy Match has performed absolutely flawlessly right out of the box. Not a single problem, ever!

  • C.R. 432

    Been fallowing up on the Para GI Expert for a while now. After all the problems with ejections, slide troubles, and mag issues I decided against it. But later went against my word and bought one, took it home and striped it down polished the internals, bought a couple of extra 1911 mags “not para brand”. Took it to the range ran a couple hundred rounds thought it!!! Absolute work horse, I believe I will be abusing the HELL out of this gun like a used rental car.

  • Carl

    I have the para 1911 and put it through hell from day one. I shoot around 1000 rounds through it with no problems at all normal rate and rapid fire. The only thing that would happen is that the slide would get a little stiff but I soak it in soapy hot water to clean it reoil it and I’m back in business

  • Jeff

    I recently bought a used a Para GI Expert which only had maybe 100 rounds through it (not even broken in). I now have shot an additonal 700 rounds, which I would say is enough to know what is and what is not working with my gun.

    I am shooting factory ball ammo – 230gr Federal, Remington and MagTech.

    What is not working:
    1) Way too many “fail to feeds” – especially on the first round when racking the slide.

    2) Every so often, there will be a “fail to feed” during shooting as well.

    3) The slide will not lock back after the last round is fired… so you never know you’ve emptied the magazine until you hear a “click”.

    What is working:
    1) This gun gun shoots very well and straight right out of the box.

    2) The trigger break and pull is smooth and crisp.

    3) Comfortable grip and beavertail safety (I added aftermarket wood grips to add some color to the firearm).

    I called Para-USA today and what I was surprised to learn is that their “lifetime warrenty” is just for those people that are their original purchaser and have their receipts. Even if I was the original purchaser, I still would have to pay for shipping via UPS or Fed-X. Since I am not the original purchaser, there is a cost of $70.00 for them to look at it plus my cost to ship it to them!!!

    After speaking to Para’s C/S person, they suggested I buy a new magazine (since I have the original stainless ones)… since new/improved black ones are now available. After speaking to them and asking for some “help” and spekaing nicely, they issued an RA# and will exchange the two I have for 2 new ones upon me sending them back to them (at least that only costs me $4.00 or so).

    Hopefully, new and improved magazines will improve both of my feeding issues and the slide not locking back after the last round being fired?

    I will say… I do appreciate the “exception to the rule” they made for me… and hopefully it works for me…. but this will be the last Para gun I ever buy due to their warrenty policy!!!

    I own several Springfield handguns and all I can say is that Springfield will issue an RA, issue a Fed-X call tag via email (they pay shipping) and re-work your gun for you at no-cost to the owner (whether you were the original purchaser or not)!!!! Now that is a warrenty policy!!!

    Again, I am happy with my Para GI Expert, but I sure hope that new & improved magazines correct the issues I am having?

  • Dusty

    I bought a GI expert and love this gun! I have had a colt 1911, AMT 1911, and this para usa. I had the most trouble with the colt. I have shot about 200 rounds throuh it alternating the mags and never had any trouble with jamming or the slide not locking. I agree that it is B.S. to have to pay them to fix their own gun. But all around i like this gun and carry all the time. With adding the XS big dot sights it also sits on my nightstand.

  • jdiste

    I just bought a Para GI I’m having problems with the feed ramp getting jammed and ammo not loading (ball ammo) any suggestions?

    • Mojorysn

      On an earlier model an owner said he removed the black finish on the feed ramp. I would start with the easy solutions and work my way to the hardest. Try different mags and brands of FMJ ammo. Send it back to Para if you need to. They warrant their firearms. If you modify the feed ramp it may void the warranty.

      • jdiste

        Hey,
        . I removed the black finish and put dry lube on the feed ramp and got a Kimber mag it works perfect now thanks for the advice.

  • I recently bought a new P18-9 Para HiCap from Pineville, NC. It had a match grade barrel, shot nice (when it shot). I had continual problems with it from the beginning; had a gunsmith work on it, sent it back to Para for a complete rebuild (they claim). I got less than 400 rounds through it and it went right back to jamming on every third shot. Ammo, mags, etc make no difference. It was a $1100 Jam-o-matic. Para will not even return my emails now even though I have an account on their website.
    DON’T BUY A PARA.

  • Chrisg

    I have a Para 1911 GI Expert, just found that i can pull the trigger without holding down the back stap safty. any clues about what might cause this? Kinda scary that this could happen.

  • I have a GI Expert bought in 2011. Had problems with FTF’s. Talked Para to take it back on their dime. They did their thing and I received it back. Jammed twice on last round with Para’s new OEM Mec-Gar mags. Switched to my Checkmates and the last 125 rounds went without any glitches. It just may be sorted out at this point!

    I wonder why, technically speaking, there have been many problems with these guns. Parts/tolerances out of spec? Could it be they accidentally made a bad batch and mixed them in with the good ones over a period of time? The move to N.C. has been blamed.

  • Scott

    I recently purchased the GI Expert and I really like the gun. It is VERY accurate right out of the box.

    Two issues though:

    1. The sights are 3-White Dot which are very easy to see and I like them. Oddly enough though on the first trip to the range the paint in the dots fell out of 2 of the three dots. I called Para about it, they offered to fix it but suggested that if I wanted to I fill the dots with some acrylic paint and it would have the same effect. I chose this route as I didn’t want to be with out the pistol I was having fun (mostly) with. The 3rd dot fell out on the next trip to the range. So, at this point all 3 dots have been repainted by me and I am no longer having an issue there. It was an odd issue, but I am currently happy with the current status of this problem.

    2. FTF issue from day one has existed. I bought this gun new so I was surprised to have this problem. But, every gun is different and some just need to be broken in. The FTF issue is the round is almost making it into the barrel but not fully feeding in. It will finish feeding if I jolt the hand holding the pistol, I don’t have to touch the pistol at all to get it to feed the rest of the way. I have put about 800 rounds through it now and it happens less than it used to but it is still happening.

    Now, I read quite a few of these comments today prior to calling Para about possible solutions to my problem and so I was expecting to have to pay for shipping and what not if it came to that.

    I called about 10 minutes ago now, and after describing the problem the CSR suggested I send it to them and then asked for my contact info so he could send me a fedex shipping label. He said they would pay for shipping and that the estimated turn around time right now is 2-3 weeks.

    It was a simple as that. No fuss no muss.

    Clearly I would prefer to not have these types of issues, but it seems that they have made some changes to their policy at least. At this point I am assuming that this will have a positive outcome, and right now I don’t have a reason to think it won’t.

    Hopefully this will resolve my FTF issues. I just wanted to make sure that since they have made a positive step forward that it got mentioned as well.

  • Ken

    I just bought the stainless steel Para GI Expert 3 months back and haven’t had any of the issues stated below. So far I’ve had 800 rounds through it and only had one FTF and that was with Brown Bear Ammo. I am a collector of 1911s and so far I’ve had more issues with my colts and Springfields than this gun. I bought this gun for a reasonably priced carry weapon, and I have to say I am really impressed! This is by far the best bang for your buck as far as 1911s go. I would even go as far as recommending this 1911 over much more expensive brands. I feel this is one of those guns that if it was your one and only, you would be very pleased.