Small "Carry" pistol for an Oldfella - Pistolsmith

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Old 03-19-2006, 12:30 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 202
Small "Carry" pistol for an Oldfella

I am a late bloomer in the handgun arena - I started with semi autos a few years back, from Glocks to Khars and few other brands and sizes in between. As I got older it became increasingly difficult for me to rack the slide, so I quit the pistol and went into revolvers, the S&W variety - no problems there except when carrying. The light metals feel flimsy to me and the recoil is pushing, so after humteen revolvers I settled for a Model 640 Performance Center, a great revolver but heavy and not easy for me to carry in the Summer months. I'd like to find a semi auto in .45 and some one suggested the Para Ord "Carry" model, the tiny one, saying it is easy to rack and the trigger pull is "sweeeet". I would hate to spend the big bucks I don't have and end up not being able to work it. Can some one here set me straight, give me some good advice? I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

Pete (The Oldfella)
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Old 03-19-2006, 05:06 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 74
I think most 45's have a recoil spring between 16 and 22 pounds. That will pretty much determine the effort required to rack the slide.

Have you thought about a Beretta Tomcat. They come in .32 auto which is not very potent, but surely better than nothing, and you don't have to rack the slide at all. The barrel tips up to load the first round.

Old 03-19-2006, 05:33 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 202
Thanks WLambert - I did own two the Tomcats, both proved difficult to feed - maybe I'm just unlucky with those small finicky guns - I also owned the Khar MK9 Elite, a work of art but also difficult to rack. I want to stay away from small clibers... I may just end up staying with revolvers. Thanks again.

Old 03-21-2007, 04:54 AM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 66
I own a Para Carry Model and am not real happy with it. The LDA trigger is too light for my tastes. The slide isn't too hard to rack with the Para recoil spring "system". That's the good news, the bad news is that the recoil "system" must be replaced every 3000 rounds and costs $30.

My real problem is that the slide cracked at the front sight dovetail after 500 rounds of Federal 230gr ammo. Para replaced the slide, but it cost me $60 in shipping and $30 in phone bills. The tech who I spoke with on the phone wouldn't commit to repair/replacement under warranty until they had "examined" the gun. Perhaps I am spoiled by S&W's excellent "no questions asked" customer service. At any rate, I have never been a fan of cast slides and this experience has left me leery of the little pistol. How many times will Para replace the slide? I don't want to find out the hard way. I had intended to shoot this gun a lot because it was to become my main carry gun, but that doesn't seem like such a good idea now. S&W is coming out with a compact model of the .45 M&P; I intend to purchase one of those to replace the Para.
Old 03-21-2007, 06:08 AM   #5
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 951
You might try a Colt lite weight Commander or for that matter a Combat Commander. Get it set up with a lighter recoil spring, a buffer AND NO GUIDE ROD.........Without a guide rod You can push the front of the slide against a table, post or what ever is handy to rack the slide.
Richard Reel( TWO GUN REEL) an old pipe liner was unbeleiveable fast, One of His stunts was, without one in the chamber, drawin' a commander from His hip pocket, chamberin' one by hangin' the sight on His pocket or possibly His belt (Two Gun was so fast it was hard to tell). I saw Him do this many times, several of those times in Hunt and Whitacers' Gun and Pawn shop in front of several witnesses. The old man was scary fast! We didn't have timers in those days....I'd guess the draw and chamber was under .7/10 of a second.

Bill Caldwell
Old 05-02-2007, 09:57 PM   #6
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 373
Keep the 640 and spend the money on a quality carry belt one made specifically for carrying a gun and a quality holster. The small light 45's are hard to shoot not any easier to rack than the Kahr's and will recoil quite a bit. Something you mentioned you had problems with. There are "medium weight " revolvers out there. Check the major manufacturer websights and look at the specs on the different models. My favorite carry revolver is a 646. 3.75" .40 S&W with a stainless steel frame and titanium cylinder seems like it weighs about 26 oz which is a bit lighter than a Browning Hipower.
Old 05-03-2007, 04:01 AM   #7
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 571
I passed a Para LDA down to my son. It was the 3 1/2" bbl. carry model (if my memory serves me right it is called the Companion) and holds seven rounds. Great pistol. Mine felt like it had a 2 1/2 pound trigger, but checking with several gauges revealed it was a bit above 4 pounds. Very accurate, too. Mine was steel...I'm not sure if they make an alloy model.

Good gun that you can't go wrong buying.

Old 06-07-2007, 10:53 PM   #8
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 443
I used to carry a Colt Lightweight Officer's Model ACP , worked over by Heine, in a Sparks Summer Special IWB Holster. Now I carry aan S&W Gunsite Scandium Commander in a Comp tac Settable Cant Belt slide on a Liger 1.5" belt. The Officers Model fits this holster also. The Outside Waistband thin Kydex holsters are much faster, more comfortable and conceal with any covering or shirt tail just as well as IWB for me. I carried IWB for 20 years BTW.
Short format 1911 guns are hard to make reliable, generally. The Para has a fat butt - not the best for concealment. I run a P-14 on a war belt, but it has all new innards. I have a P-13 that seems to work as a back up when I have the P=14 war belt on. I never heard of any body who was stoked on their shorter Para yet.
I would reccomend an S&W 1911PD if price was not an object ($800-900 new) they have a great warranty. A friend recently bought a Colt Defender and he likes it ($900) . I also have been carrying a Colt Agent .38spl, for 30 years! I'm 61 and the revolver(which doesn't need charging) would be what I'll carry 20 years from now, God willing!
Old 04-03-2008, 04:50 AM   #9
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 5
easy to carry pistol

I am older and a retired cop. What I do is carry a full size .45 in my truck and a Keltec in my back pocket. You put it in an Uncle Mikes nylon holster and in your back pocket. You really do not know it's there. If someone asks for your wallet, Surprise. I'd rather have a Keltec in my pocket every day than a larger pistol I may or may not carry and have to cover up. Ruger is coming out with a pocket .380 also.

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