Sunday, September 06, 2009

Para Ordnance Warthog .45 ACP


Despite their lovable depiction as happy-go-luck sidekicks in Disney’s The Lion King, warthogs are rather ugly, brutish, and powerful animals.

That was obviously the connotation that Para Ordnance wanted to stir up when they named the subject of this review. This little pistol is certainly brutish and powerful but, although not the prettiest pistol I have ever seen, I would not call it ugly.

It reminds me of another brutish and powerful little pistol that is a favorite of mine, the .45 ACP Glock model 36. Neither the Para Ord Warthog nor the G 36 will win any beauty pageants, but their size, caliber, and lack of sex appeal end the list of similarities between the two handguns. The Glock is a polymer framed, striker fired, double action, single stacked pistol holding 6 rounds and the Para Warthog is an alloy framed, hammer fired, single action, double stacked pistol holding 10 rounds.

For the record, here are the stats as published on the Para Ordnance Website:

·

Caliber: .45 ACP
Capacity: 10 + 1
Barrel Length: 3 inches
Weight: 24 ounces
Length: 6.5 inches
Height: 4.5 inches
Hammer: Spurred
Sights: Fixed 3-dot
Frame: Alloy
Finish: Regal
MSRP: $959.00 (although you should be able to find it for $100 less--average joe)


Likes

Unlike the animal I find the Para Ordnance Warthog to actually be fairly attractive for a small pistol. There are a couple of different finish options. The one reviewed is finished in their regal black coating with stainless steel controls. This is an appealing combination. There is also a completely stainless steel version and there is the Night Hawg which has a rather unappealing dull black finish called “Covert Black” by Para Ord but this pistol includes night sights.

The sites on the pistol reviewed were not night sights, but were of the three dot variety and were large enough to bring you are target quickly.

Obviously the biggest advantage of this pistol is the capacity. 10 + 1 rounds of .45 ACP…sweet mother of Jesus, what a comfort this would be when the chips are down. When walking to your car in the just a little too dark parking lot and things are just a little too quiet…ye shall fear no evil. When you are with your family in the middle of some large mega-mall and the unmistakable sounds of continuous gunfire means that an active shooter scenario is unfolding around your family, you will know that you have a pistol with the power and capacity to fight your way to an exit (remember, the experts all say that you should always carry one extra reload; I don’t think there is anyone who has ever been in a gunfight who felt that they were carrying too much ammunition).

Dislikes

I do not like the short grip; my pinky finger is left dangling (despite the useless finger extension on the magazine); this may make no real difference on a 9mm, but on a .45 ACP I want to get my whole hand around the grip. I realize that a shorter grip frame makes it easy to conceal, but making it just a little longer would allow my whole hand to get a good grip and it would probably add another round or two to the magazine and that is never a bad thing. While we are on the subject of the grip, the 10 round double stack magazine means that this is not a slim pistol, however I did not find that the extra girth to be a hindrance to concealment and comfort. If anything the width of the pistol helps spread the recoil.

I was not overly impressed with the accuracy of the Warthog. It was not bad, but not as good as other small ultra, micro compact .45 I have shot from Kimber and Springfield. I think that if I were to be able to spend more time with the Warthog I could probably tighten my groups somewhat.

Target Time

Here are three targets from 21 feet. All three have similar groupings low and left. My normal fix of backing out my finger from the trigger did not bring the group to the center; low and left is where the bullets went.

Here is one from 40 feet. She is still putting them to the left but these would all have been solid, fight stopping hits.

Lastly, here is a target shot at 75 feet with 50 rounds of Magtech 230 grain FMJ ammo. I am disappointed that 12 rounds fell outside of the circular target but all in all not bad for such a small pistol at 25 yards.


Overall my feeling about the Warthog is much the same as my feeling about small J-framed revolvers. Their advantage is ease of concealment, but if you are going to carry one, you will need to spend money and time to practice in order to become more proficient. And, with the Warthog, you have 11 rounds of .45 ACP rather than five rounds of .38 Special. That’s an advantage that I want on my side.

13 comments:

Nate said...

I really tried to love my Warthog but I could not make it work. It was really just a hi-cap single shot most of the time. New springs in the gun and magazines couldn't resolve the problem so it finally had to go.

Anonymous said...

I purchased a Para P-10 the last week of september 09'.I put 2 magazines thru it { 1 mag hydra-shoks,1 mag hardball } with the same results as Nate. The gun was shipped by the dealer back to Para the first week of October.A call to Para in January revealed they were waiting for a new frame.This would be the last time I would get to talk to anybody.I called again in February and twice in March and left my name and number to find out what's going on with my gun. I feel 6 months is long enough to fix anything.They never called me. Fortunatly the dealer gave me my money back and now I'm the proud owner of a Springfield 1911 A-1. Buddy".

Spyder Dalton said...

This is an extremely accurate little handgun but Para is known for shipping out new guns with major problems. You would think they would be concerned about their reputation but they don't seem to address the problems until after the guns are sold.

I just bought a Night Hawg even after my bounty hunting partner warned me he had to ship his back after buying it new due to a problem of not being able to unload the weapon. I took mine to range after receiving it and it jammed 17 out of 40 times and was told after close examination by the range master that it had a faulty trigger mechanism as well as a bore problem.

I have read other forums all with people having to ship back the new gun they purchased for a wide range of problems and I have to assume that this is
a problem that remains unaddressed at Para.

True, after fixing the weapon, people seem to agree that it works well and is a great little weapon. I don't know why they can't ship them out right the first time.

What's worse, you end up having to pay 116.00 for insurance and over night shipping (required) that they will not reimburse. This is outrageous considering they are at fault for putting a faulty weapon out there in the first place. Would I buy another or recommend someone to buy one? NO!

Spyder Dalton said...

This is an extremely accurate little handgun but Para is known for shipping out new guns with major problems. You would think they would be concerned about their reputation but they don't seem to address the problems until after the guns are sold.

I just bought a Night Hawg even after my bounty hunting partner warned me he had to ship his back after buying it new due to a problem of not being able to unload the weapon. I took mine to range after receiving it and it jammed 17 out of 40 times and was told after close examination by the range master that it had a faulty trigger mechanism as well as a bore problem.

I have read other forums all with people having to ship back the new gun they purchased for a wide range of problems and I have to assume that this is
a problem that remains unaddressed at Para.

True, after fixing the weapon, people seem to agree that it works well and is a great little weapon. I don't know why they can't ship them out right the first time.

What's worse, you end up having to pay 116.00 for insurance and over night shipping (required) that they will not reimburse. This is outrageous considering they are at fault for putting a faulty weapon out there in the first place. Would I buy another or recommend someone to buy one? NO!

Anonymous said...

I purchased two Para Ordinance G I Experts at the same time 2 years ago. One pistol was a beast out of the box while the other was, well shall we say a P.O.S. I sent the gun back. During the two months I waited I put every kind of ammo I could find through the functioning gun with no problems untill the hammer and springs wore out. When I finally got the " fixed " pistol back I found it had the same problem that I sent it back for. A trip to a reputiable gun smith for a ramp job , bushing and springs and it was acceptable. Don't even bother calling Para Ordinance for help because they are a&@#holes.Do yourself a favor spend the money upfront and buy a Kimber or Springfield and enjoy shooting instead of wondering what other corners were cut on your weapon. Remember if it wont go bang when you pull the trigger the other guys probably will.

Average Joe said...

Anonymous,

I feel your pain. I currently have a .45 ACP Para PDA that seized up on about round 55. It has been back at the factory over a month.

Smokejumper said...

I bought a used Nitehawg 3 weeks ago. I was a bit taken aback about some negatives on many blogs. I am happy to report after 250 rounds of mixed fodder thru the Para that the accuracy is par with my Colt Gold Cup. I have experienced no feeding problems and no extraction problems either. I have large hands with sausage like fingers and it took some getting used to the grip. The recoil / flip is good so double taps work on this rig.. I give it an A++

James Tuttle said...

I purchased a used Warthog a month ago from a local gun shop here in Louisville. The gun was priced well ($500) for what I had been reading and figured I would be able to get my money back or close to it if I found that the gun did not perform well. I have put 300 + rounds of ammo through this little gun and have not had one problem with it, not one. I have only used FMJ ammo in it so far, and have not tried any hollow point or specialty ammo. The gun was used so it may have been sent back and repaired by the time I bought it. I love this little gun. Very satisfied!

Redleg said...

I bought one brand new and it has been a "malfunction machine". I would have better luck throwing it at someone after the first round or two. It has been back to the factory - TWICE. Junk.

Jxinx said...

I bought my warthog used at a range shop for $550 with 3 mags. Shooting solid and hollow points through it, I haven't had the jams I was expecting and was very surprised at the accuracy. I have two Springfield single stacks that I like very much but would always pick my Para first.

Spyder Dalton said...

Finally resolved the issues after sending it in three times with shipping one way at my expense . Still jams every once in a while and I plan to take it to my own gunsmith to tweak this thing.

Since I wrote this the company has been sold off. It is now Para-USA. Not surprised. Good luck trying to find 10 round magazines for these things.. The new owners say the ETA is not until DEC.

Spyder Dalton said...

Oh yea, and I can only shoot two different types of ammo through it all the others jam...

Tony Bamburg said...

I'VE put all of them through mine ,all manufacturers steel,brass..hp,jhp, ball no problems.