So I wanted a 1911 to play with before committing to buying an Ed Brown, and a Para USA Black Ops just happened to fall into my hands. For a pistol that is just a plaything, the price was right, at only $400.

It looks like it was hardly ever fired. Wear is consistent with a pistol that had maybe a box of ammo put through it, then was put in a nightstand drawer and never fired again.

  • The match barrel has no wear on the bluing.
  • There is a 2mm scuff on the bluing near the top of the slide.
  • The bluing is warn around the top of the only factory magazine I have for it. The other magazine that shipped with the handgun is apparently missing.
  • The bluing is a bit warn on the outsides of both safety levers, and on the points at the front on both sides of the slide, as if the pistol spend a lot of time sitting in a drawer.
  • On the contact points of both sides of the grip safety, the bluing has rubbed off.
  • There is gunpowder residue on the feed ramp and the breech face. The bluing on the locking lugs is quite worn, but the lugs are in good shape.
  • Most of the bluing is still present on the face of the hammer.

The only thing that I can find wrong with it, is the tritium sights no longer glow, but that isn’t surprising since Para USA was absorbed by Remington in 2012, and the Para pistols were discontinued in 2015.

This thing is a boat anchor, I mean it is heavy, weighing in at 42.2 ounces with an empty magazine inserted. That makes it 10 percent heavier than a GI model. The guy wanted a good price, so I took it. I will get some new sights for it and then take it for a spin.

Categories: Guns


Miguel GFZ · January 10, 2023 at 6:32 am

Lucky bastard… enjoy!

Bigus Macus · January 10, 2023 at 6:36 am

Sounds like you’ll need a shoulder holster for that. Otherwise, you won’t be able to keep you pants up.

Bad Dancer · January 10, 2023 at 9:45 am

Wow you got a screaming deal on that congrats!

Eager to hear how it preforms for you.

Bruniton Anodizer · January 10, 2023 at 1:12 pm

A bud got the Sig and just loves it and he is all about Colt and Springfield Armory.
If FMJ is all you can use then nothing tops 1911 and they actually expand or warp a little bit.
We used to retrieve slugs from fence post and dirt mound when a farmer would let us shoot on his land.
Using Colt Commander and budget Llama with Sellier & Beloit FMJ.

dave in pa · January 10, 2023 at 1:16 pm

from what I remember about them, they where a well made 1911
and great shooter too. last time I handled one was back around 2001? I think. only fired a magazine thru it, but they did shoot very well. and like my gold cup, they are a lot to carry around.

TRX · January 10, 2023 at 2:10 pm

> $400

MSRP was $1,257.00 in Bush Bucks. $400 is a steal for any functioning 1911.

They made the Black Ops in both single and double stack versions.

You can replace the tritium vials every 10 years or so, depending on how dim you’re willing to put up with as they age, or consider going to one of the fiber-optic sight layouts. Downside: Para used every known sight dovetail known, and several apparently of their own design; you might get lucky, or you might have to mill new dovetails to take a sight that’s actually available.

Ordinary Mec-Gar magazines have worked flawlessly in my double stack Para. Most double stack magazines will fit the Para.

Para occasionally did some strange things; one of them was the “PXT” extractor, which used a hinged hook and a coil spring mounted in an oversized extractor hole. If your gun has it and it fails, no parts are available, last I looked. On the other hand, EGW makes an oversize one-piece extractor that drops in place of the PXT, and some places sell a sleeve to use a standard 1911 extractor.

It won’t be an issue unless you ever need to change the barrel, but many (most?) Paras used Clark style barrels. A big lug with a feed ramp hangs down under the barrel, and the frame is cut to accomodate it. So many Paras used it, replacement barrels are usually listed as “Clark/Para.” It’s a good setup; it eliminates some of the hinkey-jinkey monkey-motion a .45 ACP has to go to make it from the magazine to the chamber of a 1911.

Vlad · January 10, 2023 at 5:59 pm

When you mentioned the weight, I knew it had a rail before I even looked.
Nice find!!

AC47Spooky · January 10, 2023 at 6:03 pm

Nice one! The heavier the better 🙂

joe · January 10, 2023 at 6:17 pm

i wouldn’t even waste the money on the night sights until you know if you really want to keep it…don’t need night sights to shoot in the daylight at the range…buy some cheap bright nail polish and slap it on the front sight…

K9 Operator · January 10, 2023 at 8:11 pm

Congrats on a good deal, but attempting to compare a Para 1911 to an Ed Brown masterpiece is like comparing a Corvair to a Corvette, they both start with a “C” after all. I have owned many 1911s and still own and use several but other than basic visual similarities there is no comparison between a $400 piece and a custom built masterpiece. Buy your Ed Brown, you won’t regret it, but if for some reason it doesn’t fit your needs you can always sell it for little loss if it’s been well cared for.

Chris · January 10, 2023 at 11:08 pm

She got a sister😂

BraulerBob · January 11, 2023 at 3:21 am

You are a lucky man, and I am jealous.
I agree with many of the other commenters, see if you like how it shoots and want to keep it before getting new sights. A little Tru-Glo fluorescent paint is good enough for playing around with and is a lot cheaper than a new set of sights.
Try a variety of ammo. 1911’s usually have preferences like all guns, but some will not feed particular formats or profiles of hollow points without some fine tuning. If it comes to it, find a good 1911 gunsmith to do the work.
I like the Wilson Combat stainless magazines w/ base pads for my 1911’s and they have never failed me in competition or just shooting just for the fun on the range.
For $400, even if it only shoots ball ammo, you got a winner. Lucky Dog!

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