PARA USA Exits Rifle Market

Back in 2008 (or 2007?) PARA USA purchased the rights to produce the ZM Weapons LR 300 rifle, a AR-15 like weapon that replaced the AR buffer with a forward recoil spring, allowing the use of a folding stock. PARA has announced that they are now dropping the product and exiting the rifle business.

I suspect the high price of the rifle, which I think was over $2,000, coupled with the old fashioned looking folding stock (when everyone wants the latest curvy Magpul design) was the reason it never became popular.

From the press release …

Pineville, NC – PARA USA announced today that it was exiting the rifle market to concentrate on its core competency in handguns. CEO Thanos Polyzos said, “PARA has some exciting new projects in development that will continue the innovation that we started with the high capacity P14-45 pistol. We want to bring these exciting new major caliber handguns to the firearms market and we need to focus our attention on them.”

The Tactical Target Rifle is the best battle rifle in the world. It has the remarkable Delayed Impingement Gas System (DIGS) that makes it the softest shooting, most reliable rifle of its type. While PARA USA will cease production of the Tactical Target Rifle, it will continue its tradition of providing unparalleled service in the firearms industry.

PARA USA will continue to service all of the Tactical Target Rifles it has sold. However, the production and marketing of new rifles using the DIGS operating system will be resumed by Al Zitta, the original developer of the rifle.

For information on new rifles contact: ZM Performance Systems, Inc., 1958 Wes White HL Rd., Richmond, VT 05477 or

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.


  • Nater

    Not to mention that an AR with a side folding stock looks…odd. It’s also not terribly useful for most people. Or, should I say, not useful enough to spend extra money on a proprietary operating system that doesn’t really offer any reliability enhancement to the direct gas impingement system (which is quite reliable, but not quite as much as a gas piston). Oh, and the 1 in 9″ barrels didn’t help either. If I’m going to pay that kind of money for an AR, I damn sure want to be able to shoot 77gr SMK and 70gr Barnes TAC-X.

    For the price of that thing, I could buy a KAC SR-15 E3, an LWRCi M6A2, or an FN SCAR-16S. Maybe a hundred bucks shy on the SCAR, but that’s not much at this price range.

  • 18D

    What PARA really lacked was a true AR15 guy to consult for them. Todd Jarrett is a great guy, and he’s the one that originally got me into shooting competition, but he’s not the best AR consultant out there. The PARA rifle lacked the wants and needs of the market. Everyone wants tactical this and tactical that. With this system you just couldn’t get that out of the box. It wasn’t compatible with anything either. It used a proprietary forend, bolt, gas tube, and stock, all things that people love to customize. It also lacked a lot of Mil-Spec components, including the aforementioned 1-7 twist. This rifle was the answer to a question that didn’t exist on the market.

  • armed_partisan

    I always wanted one, but could never afford it. I don’t think I saw one in the wild, so I don’t think there were too many sold by any of the three companies that made them. I hope one day to find one on the used market, as that is now my only option.

    • Pliskin

      Even though I never saw one in person, I actually kind of liked the rifle. I think they would have sold better if they had 1×7 twist barrels and replaceable yet still foldable stocks.

      In response to armed_partisan. You can still get these rifles brand new from ZM weapons. You can even get just the complete upper and stock for your lower. They’re just not called the PARA TTR now.

  • That’s actually an extremely comfortable and sturdy stock, and a side-folder makes the difference between having to break down a rifle to carry it in a low-profile case, and having it ready to go.

  • Lance

    I liked there pistols more anyway.

  • Raoul O’Shaughnessy

    I would imagine one of the reasons Para is getting out of the rifle business is because too many people look at this post and say “Waitasec….I didn’t know Para was making rifles!”

    • Nadnerbus

      No kidding, they weren’t exactly big on the marketing side. I knew of this rifle, but I don’t think I ever actually saw one in any gun stores.

    • Joseph

      For sure!

  • Jeff

    Isn’t it also getting competition from RRA? I remember they put out a cheaper version a year or so back

  • Texas_Dave

    my PARA 14-45 is a jammo-matic when using THEIR own mags…. customer service is pathetic too….like trying to reach a living person at the IRS…why would I want to buy a rifle that might get me killed in a home defense situation as well?

    Screw PARA….Canadian-made garbage

    • Vautikos

      You do realize that Para has been making all their guns in the states for years now, right? In fact, the only Para I’d be remotely interested in owning is one made in Canada, sadly those are hard to come by now, and owners seem unwilling to part with them.

  • charles222

    This is a pity, IMO, but yeah, lack of marketing definitely killed this rifle. I rarely ever saw ads for it, which is kind of strange when you consider the ZM-300 has been around for years.

    It’s a shame it’s being cancelled, too; this is the easiest workaround for the op-rod tilt issue that doesn’t involve making the rifle’s tolerances even tighter than they already are.

  • Joseph

    All it needed was a little more proofing (more publicity with the right folks), or perhaps a few minute little design changes that I bitterly think would have been rather easy to do to keep it in the running. . . especially with the price. Sorry Para. I wish it could have worked out. It just wasn’t executed the way it could have been.

    Keep up the wonderful work with the 1911s though, right people!!?

    • charles222

      I actually really liked the look of these: Part AR, part Galil, part SCAR.

  • counsel dew

    Well… I, personally, buy weapons that function, and I don’t care to “go tactical” with my rifles. Just me. To each their own, but if the weapon functioned well, the ability to pull the stock to the side, coupled with the short barrel, would make close-quarters movement and function quite easier than, say, a 16″ AR with no collapsable stock…

    BTW, I, personally, see no “looks” problem with the handle-though I do tend to find my own path rather than follow a crowd… 😉

  • dosei

    Well that just sucks. I had been hoping they would come out with a 7.62/.308 version of it…so much for that ever happening.

  • CRH

    I’ve actually used the ZM weapons rifle over 15 years now for personal protection and dignitary as well. Shot it extensively in very hostile weather, Central America. It has functioned perfectly, the folding stock is a major plus when getting out of a vehicle. As a matter of fact, it was good enough I got a second one. Never tried the Para version tough.