Sunday, September 17, 2006

Para Ordnance Colonel

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Several weeks ago I tested a Para Ordnance Tac-Four; a Stainless Steel Commander sized 1911 .45 ACP, with Para's LDA (Light Double-Action) trigger and a 13+1 capacity.

I liked this pistol a lot and after much thought, went in search of my own LDA carry-sized pistol. I settled on the Colonel and traded in two no longer needed handguns for the Colonel and 250 rounds of ammunition. The Colonel is another Commander sized pistol with a 4.25 inch barrel and a magazine capacity of 14+1. A fifteen round .45 ACP pistol can be a pretty handy tool to have when the chips are down. The Colonel also has snag-free, low-profile, 3 dot fixed sights, black composite grips, and an Olive Drab green finish called "Spec Ops" by Para Ordnance. While the grips are functional I may try to find a slimmer set. The double stack width is not too large but a slimmer set of grips might make it feel just a little bit better. The slide release, safety and beaver-tail grip safety all sport a black finish. I am not really sure why Para puts a beaver-tail grip safety on their larger sized LDA pistols. The role of the beaver tail is to protect the web of the shooter's hand from from what is commonly called "hammer-bite" however, since they bob off the hammer spur the possibility of hammer-bite is pretty remote.
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Shooting the Colonel is a downright pleasure. The LDA trigger pull is well..."light". It is also very smooth. More than one person I let fire the pistol mistook the LDA for single action. The sights shot a little low but the gunsmith at Impact Guns taught me a little trick. Taking a very fine-line Sharpie pen I lightly colored in the top half of the white dot. This causes me to automatically raise the front sight just far enough to compensate and bring the shots up to point of aim. This is much easier and much less expensive than trying to find a shorter replacement front sight.
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The Colonel has plenty of accuracy for a combat pistol. The head of the target was shot with 50 rounds of Remington UMC 230 grain hardball ammunition at 30 feet. The target was then rolled down to the 25 yard line and the torso was shot with another 50 rounds. Just over half of them landed in the green center-mass area of the silhouette. For those who live and die at the polymer alter of Glock and other false gods...there is another way...try an LDA.