Tuesday, February 10, 2015


The press release doesn't actually read thusly:
"Cerb^h^h^h^h Freedom Group Remington Outdoors will no longer be using two separate rollmarks on the 1911-pattern pistols produced by the company."
But it could.

Para started out in the Eighties building wide-body 1911 frame kits that you could use to convert your existing 1911-pattern pistol into a 14-shooter, which was a great big deal at the time. They branched out into making complete guns and for a while in the '90s, their compact P-12.45 enjoyed brief popularity when Jan Libourel couldn't go three paragraphs without mentioning it in the gun rags.

Their reputation for lax quality control had them constantly turning over new leaves, one of which leaf-turnings I participated in, but they kept returning to their old ways like a dog returning to its sick. A former classmate of Gunsmith Bob's got a gig at their TN service center and tales of the Sisyphean tasks faced by the 'smiths there were legion.

Over the years, Para kept coming up with clever innovations, with their weird pseudo-double-action LDA trigger and the fat, multi-part "Power eXtractor" that rendered later Paras unable to have extractor woes fixed by dropping in a Wilson Bulletproof. Coming up with innovations is fantastic, but not when it's done at the seeming expense of core competencies like drilling the holes in the frame square and in the right place.

Remington swears up and down that they've got the QC issues ironed out, and you'll still be able to buy stubby little LDA 10-shooter Nite Hawgs (with Power eXtractor!) but the Para name had become too much of an albatross to keep.

And so it goes.