Tag Archives: double-action

New Life for the .32

Shooting Illustrated

As published in “Shooting Illustrated” January 2009

Freedom Arms Model 97 and Ruger SP101
The Freedom Arms Model 97 and Ruger SP101 illustrate the .327 Fed. Mag.’s versatility for both field and self-defense applications. Look for revolvers chambered in the new cartridge from Charter Arms and Taurus soon.

To be honest, it’s a bit of a surprise to me that the .32 H & R Mag. hasn’t been discontinued

Two of the big manufacturers have stopped producing revolvers chambered for this nifty little round, and to my knowledge, only Federal and Black Hills still turn out ammo. Although I refer to it as a “nifty little round,” I would be hard-pressed justifying continued production to any major gun or ammo manufacturer based on the feedback I’ve received over the last few years.

Suffice it to say I was stunned when Federal introduced the .327 Fed. Mag. and Ruger began chambering its SP101 for this hot new miniature magnum. But I recover quickly when there’s an opportunity to try a new handgun round.

I received two revolvers for testing the cartridge. The newest gun was Ruger’s all steel, six-shot, double-action SP101 with a 3 1/16-inch barrel. It’s Ruger’s small-frame gun, but it’s a beefy little guy weighing 28 ounces with a triple-locking system to hold the cylinder securely in place and in proper alignment. It also has a heavy under-barrel lug that tapers upward just before reaching the muzzle. Rubber grips with plastic panels featuring horizontal cuts improve the shooter’s ability to control the gun when firing Federal’s high-stepping .327 jacketed hollow points.

Contrary to most of the material I’ve read over the years, I’ve always rated the trigger pull on Ruger’s double-action revolvers as being quite good. Perhaps it’s a bit heavier than some other models, but the pull weight is consistent and smooth throughout the firing process. When firing a double-action revolver in a high-stress, self-defense situ­ation, consistently smooth and heavy is bet­ter than light and erratic.

The other gun was Freedom Arms’ single-action, stainless steel, small-frame Model 97. This downsized Freedom revolver was introduced in 1997, and when cham­bered in .32 caliber was available with two cylinders, each with a capacity of six rounds. One cylinder fired the .32 H&R Mag. and the other handled the vintage .32-20 Win. When the new .327 Fed. Mag. cartridge appeared, company president Bob Baker simply cham­bered an additional six-shot cylinder that can be swapped with the other two because all three cartridges shoot the same diameter bullet. (Don’t bother trying to fire the new round in one of the other Freedom Arms cyl­inders because it won’t chamber.)

When the .32 H&R Mag. was introduced a few years back, it was viewed as a minimum-recoil, self-defense round for small revolvers. Keep in mind small revolvers were, and still are, a favorite self-defense handgun for many Americans. It’s a simple rationale: For those of us who don’t consider ourselves “operators,” the small revolver is easy to carry in a pocket, simple to use and incred­ibly reliable.

In fact, at a recent lunch with a mix of retired and active-duty cops, and gunwrit-ers, a quick tally revealed every man present was carrying a .38 Spl. J-frame Smith & Wesson in his pocket. Everyone admitted this would not be his first choice of hard­ware if he knew a fight was coming, but on that warm, August day in southern California, it was the first choice of carry when leaving home in the morning. All of these guys had either been police trainers or been through extensive self-defense training, and yet they chose the .38 Spl. rather than the .357 Mag. The idea of the .32 H&R Mag. was to offer a credible self-defense cartridge in a small revolver to smaller statured. less experienced person­nel. The .327 Fed. Mag. takes that rationale to the next level, and in terms of perfor­mance, the next level is a huge step up.

The Ruger SP101 shot about an inch to the left at 15 yards. Looking at the white-outlined rear sight mounted in the revolver’s topstrap, it was indeed a bit left. Since the sight can be adjusted for windage, moving the point of impact slightly right was not a problem. Elevation with the 85-grain jacketed-hollow-point ammo was perfect. The rear sight notch is generously wide, leaving ample light on both sides of the black, ramped front-sight blade. A sight pic­ture is easily and quickly acquired as long as there is adequate light. Firing double action offhand at a reasonably slow pace, six-shot groups at 15 yards ranged from 2 to 3 inches without too much concentration on my part.

While the .32 H&R Mag. loads were much milder than the .327 Fed. Mag. ammo, recoil was quite manageable with both car­tridges, and I had no trouble switching from the shorter .32 H&R Mag. to the longer .327 Fed. Mag. There was no need to scrub out the cylinder after shooting the shorter cases. It might be different if one were using heavily lubricated lead bullets, but with the self-defense oriented jacketed hollow points, the two cartridges were totally interchangeable in the SP101.

Bullets

The power offered by the .327 Fed. Mag. (second from right) is comparable to that of the .32-20 Win. and .30 Carbine, (both on left) outclassing the .32 H&R Mag. (right).

I was astounded when I chronographed both cartridges. I had expected an increase in velocities, but not nearly the 50 percent I measured. The 3-inch Ruger went from 968 fps with the .32 H&R Mag. to 1,400 fps with the .327 Fed. Mag. That’s a 45-percent increase in velocity shooting an 85-grain bullet from a case that’s only 1/8 inch longer. In the longer-barreled Freedom Arms Model 97, the increase was 48 percent, from 1,000 fps to 1,480 fps. No matter how you calculate energy, we’re talking about a giant improvement in performance.

Admittedly, it’s terminal bullet perfor­mance that really determines the success or failure of a small-caliber self-defense round, and I did not conduct any tests of this nature. However, I know manufactur­ers have achieved excellent results in controlling bullet construction to produce a specific effect in various target media at specified velocities.

When I called Tim Brandt at Federal, he confirmed the company has done such tests with the .327 Fed. Mag., which uses an 85-grain jacketed hollow point that is different from the bullet loaded in the .32 H&R Mag. to accommodate the higher velocity of the new cartridge. Brandt cau­tioned handloaders against trying to achieve .327 Fed. Mag. performance using bullets designed for the .32 H&R Mag. Next year, Speer will have .32-caliber Gold Dot bullets designed specifically for the .327 Fed. Mag. available for handloaders.

Meanwhile, the bare gelatin penetration tests conducted by Federal with the .327 Fed. Mag. and 85-grain bullets fired from a 3-inch barrel yielded an average pen­etration of 12.75 inches and a final diameter of .520 inch. The velocities that produced these results were right around 1,300 fps, and the retained weight of recovered bullets ran from 84 to 84.6 grains. From the same barrel length, 100-grain soft points expanded to about .55 inch, and penetrated the gelatin an average of 16.75 inches. Velocities for the heavier 100-grain bullets actually averaged about 40 fps more than the 85-grain hollow points. This is impres­sive performance for a “small bore” in a short barrel.

There is a penalty associated with the enhanced velocity of a high-performance round in short barreled handguns, as we learned when .357 Magnums were first fired in small revolvers and when Ruger introduced the .30 Carbine in its Blackhawk. They’re noisy! Be absolutely sure you are wearing adequate ear protection when fir­ing this round. And as usual, firing any round inside an enclosed space makes things worse.

One thing you might consider, particu­larly if you’ve already suffered extensive hearing loss, is to put on a pair of good elec­tronic ear muffs if you’re awakened at night and think there may be an intruder in the house. I recognize there may not be time to do this, particularly if you don’t have hear­ing protection immediately available, but there are advantages. Keep in mind that electronic hearing protection functions like a hearing aid, in that it also amplifies small sounds (like an intruder might make), which you might not otherwise hear. And if you have to fire your gun, whatever the caliber, you may be overpowered by the resulting acoustic assault on your senses. If follow-up action is necessary, you’ll be much more capable of performing if you’re not trying to recover from the overwhelming shock of your first round. If you prefer in-the-ear protection, fine, but I find it’s much easier and quicker to slip on a pair of earmuffs and switch them on.

So far the two revolvers I tested are the only ones available in .327 Fed. Mag., but I’m told Taurus and Charter Arms will both have compact double-action revolvers chambered for the round in the near future, possibly by the time you read this. I don’t know whether anyone will be making a lighter-weight, alloy-frame .327 Fed. Mag. While such a gun would be preferable for carry, the steel guns are great candidates for home defense for anyone who’s recoil sensitive. Personally, I’d love an opportunity to take the Freedom Arms .327 Fed. Mag. on a small-game hunt, but then I say that about most handguns. Meanwhile, I’m not surrendering the .45 on my nightstand, but my daughter, who has kept an older .32 H&R Mag. revolver by her bedside for the last several years, probably will be looking for an upgrade. It’s nice to have choices.

 

 

 

 

 

Double Strike

Shooting Illustrated

As published in “Shooting Illustrated, January 2009Double Strike

 

It’s tough for an old dog to wax eloquent about a new polymer-frame handgun. I grew up with guns made of blued steel, later accepting stainless versions because I had become slothful and lazy about cleaning hardware after a day’s shooting or a few days in a hunting camp.  It look me longer to accept lighter-weight handguns made of aluminum and other exotic materials, but at least they were made of metal.

I still struggle with the polymer-gun concept simply because the gun doesn’t Feel the way a gun should Feel, and because it doesn’t seem intuitively right for a gun to

flex when fired. All that said, I became a “born again” believer in lightweight handguns when I obtained my CCW permit and began venturing out while trying to keep a handgun hidden some­where under my clothing or in a trouser pocket. And one of the more affordablc materials that can be used to achieve weight reduc­tion is polymer.

Magazine

The pistol comes with two, 12-round magazines and a handy loading tool, which makes prerange preparations more pleasant.

At first glance, Taurus’ new PT845 doesn’t look much different than other polymer-frame handguns on the market. It’s chambered in .45 ACP and has a double-stack magazine with a capacity of 12 rounds. For those of you who don’t enjoy loading wide-body magazines, be aware that the Taurus box contains a magazine-loading tool along with two magazines. The magazines have two witness holes with the numbers 6 and 12 in their right side to indicate how many rounds you have loaded. The magazines have extended bumpers that provide a finger rest to facilitate slapping loaded magazines into the gun and protect the magazine when it hits the ground during a speed reload. Other items delivered with the gun include two additional, different size backstraps that allow you to change the shape and feel of the grip, a nylon bore brush for those of you with a cleaning fetish and the Taurus key set for operating the internal safety lock.

Interchangeable backstraps allow PT845 users to find the best fit for their hand size. The pistol comes complete with three different sized options, making the pistol tailorable, right out of the box.

The frame is made of a hard polymer: there’s nothing soft or squishy about the feel of the 845 grips, unlike those on some of Taurus’ revolvers that are designed to absorb recoil. There are ridges running laterally around the grip that provide some surface roughness for grip control, plus there are vertical cuts in the ridges at the front and rear of the grip frame for additional roughness. Polymer-frame .45s do tend to jump around a bit. and these measures did help in controlling the gun during strings of rapid fire.

What really got my attention on the frame was the ambidextrous set of controls that accommodated righties and lefties equally well. The safety lever, decocking lever, slide-release lever and magazine-release buttons were in exactly the same position on each side of the gun and were mirror images of each other in terms of how they functioned. I could operate the slide release latch and the safety lever without changing my grip position. It required a slight rotation of either hand to hit the magazine-release button, but the movement was minimal. I wasn’t nearly as smooth running the controls with my left hand as with my right, but that’s to be expected.

Integral rail

A major advantage of the polymer framed pistol is the ease with which an integral rail can be molded into the gun's body. The Pt845 has such a rail, which makes mounting a laser or a light a snap, quite leterally.

There is a Picattiny accessory rail on the front of the frame for mounting your flashlight. Given the number of gunfights that take place in low-light conditions, this is an excellent feature on any defensive handgun. A disassembly latch protrudes from the frame on both sides, and both ends must be depressed to remove the slide from the frame. A bit of dexterity is required, but since I mastered it in less than 10 seconds, I consider the 845 an easy gun to take down.

steel slide

Serrations in the steel slide offer positive purchase when clearing malfunctions or performing a chamber check. The safety lever also functions a a decocking device.

The slide is steel and has serrations both front and rear to facilitate manual operation in the event of a malfunction or chamber check. In the upper edge of the external extractor is a thin piece of metal that functions as a loaded chamber indicator. Normally, this piece lies flush with the extractor and slide, but when a cartridge is in the chamber and the rim under the extractor, the indicator protrudes slightly out from the surface of the slide. In bright light, you may be able to see the strip of red that appears, and if you have the sensitive fingers of a safecracker, you might feel the slightly protruding indicator. In dim light. I could not see the red, nor did a tactile check assure me of the gun’s condition. The good news is that the slide serrations and overall ergonomics make a manual chamber check of the 845 a simple and quick task.

Sights

Novak sights provide a great benefit to shooters. They are easy to see and offer quick target acquisition, even in high-pressure situations. Both sights are dovetailed into the slide for windage adjustment and the rear offers elevation changes as well. They are the author's favorite feature on the PT845.

The 845’s sights are Novaks, and they are superb. In fact, they are my favorite feature on the 845. being easy to see and seemingly quicker to acquire than any other sights I’ve used lately.

The ratio of rear sight width to from sight width is such that lots of light shows on both sides of the blade. Both front and rear sights are mounted in large dovetail slots with setscrews that allow adjustment for windage. They were dialed in perfectly with Black Hills 230-grain jacketed hollow points when I received the gun. and when I switched to the lighter-weight frangible Remington and TTI ammunition, there was no noticeable change in point of impact between the 7 to 15 yard ranges at which I did my testing.

 Unlike the Taurus OSS, on which the Model 845 was modeled, the 845 has an external hammer. Unlike the 1911, the 845 can be fired double action with the hammer down in addition to allowing single-action firing with the hammer back. And while the 845 has an external, manually operated safety, it also has an internal firing pin block that won’t allow the gun to fire unless the trigger is in the rearmost position.

Trigger

The PT845's trigger had a single-action pull weight that averaged 3 3/4 pounds. In double-action mode, the pull weight was a few ounces shy of 10 pounds.

 At first this sounds like it might be a more complicated arrangement than you would want on a defensive pistol, but take a second look before decid­ing. With a round in the chamber, you can fire the gun with the hammer cocked or down as long as the safety lever is not in the up position. Push the safety down with the thumb of your shooting hand, just like a 1911, and a short pull of the trigger fires the weapon. Push the safety lever too far down and the hammer falls harm­lessly to the double-action firing posi­tion, which then requires a long pull on the trigger to fire the weapon. When the slide cycles after a shot, the hammer returns to the cocked posi­tion, which puts the gun back in sin­gle-action (short trigger pull) firing mode. If you have issues carrying cocked and locked, you can carry hammer down with the manual safety on or off.

Taurus 845

The Taurus 845 has the same "Strike Two" capa­bility as found on the company's 24/7 lineup. Should a primer fail to detonate, the trigger resets to the double-action mode and the shooter has a second chance to fire the round.

The Taurus 845 has the same “Strike Two” capability as found on the com­pany’s 24/7 lineup. Should a primer fail to detonate, the trigger resets to the double-action mode and the shooter has a second chance to fire.

 

One other feature I like is the ham­mer’s shape; I can thumb the hammer back with the shooting hand much more easily than I can perform the same function on a 1911. It’s not as natural as on a single-action revolver, but a much smoother maneuver than any other semi-auto pistol I can recall. This feature may mean more to me than it would to you because I had some difficulty in firing the 845 dou­ble-action from the hammer-down position—more on that later.

The initial range trip was more fun than expected simply because I had the Taurus magazine loading tool. It’s a small thing, perhaps, but it did start the day right. There was only one problem with the hardware, and I might have been the cause. One of the two furnished magazines failed to drop clear of the mag well when the release button was pushed. It dropped about half way and stopped, whereas the other magazine fell clear. It was easy to strip the stuck magazine clear of the pistol with the reloading hand, which is not a bad exercise to practice since Murphy’s Law says this will only ever happen at the worst possible time. Since the other magazine worked perfectly, it was obvious something was wrong with that specific maga­zine, an occurrence not uncommon to any semi-auto pistol and easily fixed by acquiring additional magazines. In fact, all trainers will tell you to sort magazines and only carry those known to work perfectly.

Once the shooting started, there was only one smoke-stack malfunc­tion where an empty case failed to clear the ejection port and was trapped between the closing slide and edge of the barrel hood. The shooter was a friend who was shooting left-handed, admitted to having hurt his wrist recently and suspected he had been less than aggressive in his shooting stance. Everything else went perfectly. We started with two boxes of Black Hills 230-grain jacketed hollow points before switching to frangible rounds.

PT845

Minimum group size at extended range is not the objective of a defensive handgun, so our shooting was done at ranges from 7 to 15 yards. Nevertheless, at 15 yards groups were easily held to 2 inches shooting relatively slowly and stayed around 4 to 6 inches when I hit the accelerator. Running the gun single action was easy, and that’s how the 845 is made to operate after the first shot-fired with the hammer back and a short trigger pull.

It’s difficult to design a gun with ergonomics that fit everyone. When the gun is required to operate in sev­eral different ways. i.e. single and dou­ble action, it’s impossible. Double-action pull will be noticeably heavier (and lon­ger) because more functions are being performed by the same action.

When executing the long double-action trigger pull of the PT845, my trigger finger tends to slide to the bottom of the trigger away from the trigger’s pivot point where I get more leverage, thus making the trigger easier to pull. Unfortunately the bottom of the trigger guard slopes up as it joins the grip frame so my trigger finger drags along the inside of the trigger guard. This added resistance makes the trigger pull incredibly heavy and rather uncomfortable.

I think the reason for that upward sweep of the trigger guard is to allow for a higher grip on the frame, which helps control recoil. This may not be a problem for you. but for me to operate the gun in all its intended running modes, a redesigned trigger guard shape (including eliminating the hook at the front) would be helpful.

Other than that. I was quite pleased with the 845’s ergonomics and operat­ing characteristics. It naturally pointed exactly where I looked, and even when firing the first shot double-action, all shots hit center mass or within a head-sized target at 15 yards. Even without the magazine in place, my hand fit comfortably on the grip frame, which meant I would have no problem shooting the pistol with the magazine removed. Still. I think the magazine extensions are a good idea for several reasons. First, they do facilitate a speed reload. Second, they help in rapidly removing a magazine that might fail to drop clear of the gun. And third, they are forgiving if your initial grab for the gun fails to achieve a perfect grip.

Overall. I think Taurus has done a good job on the new Model 845.1 can’t bring myself to say I think any polymer semi-auto is beautiful, but the top half of the 845 is cool, and the bottom half is functional. At the company’s suggested MSRP of $623. the gun has the makings of a winner.

 

 

 

Para Enters the GAP

Shooting IllustratedPublished in “Shooting Illustrated”, May 2007

It’s a simple formula: If you want to increase the number of rounds carried in a pistol, you must increase the size of the magazine. Unless you have a pistol like a Broomhandle Mauser, you’ll also have to increase the size of the grip frame that houses the magazine. Shrinking the size of the ammunition allows a reduction in grip size, but that normally requires a reduction in bullet diameter, and many of us adhere to the principle that big bullets stop hos­tile behavior faster than smaller ones. To be more specific, you can’t make .45-caliber pistols smaller than those in 9 mm or .40 caliber, given the same frame size and bar­rel length. If your hands are too small to control a high-capacity .45, you’ll have to settle for a handgun of lesser caliber.

Gun and Magazine

A .45-caliber hole in the muzzle of the Para-Ordnance CCO GAP belies its shortened grip frame. Chambered in .45 GAP, the pistol comfortably puts big-bore firepower into smaller hands.

Bullets

Though the .45 GAP case is about .1 inch shorter than that of the .45 ACP, the stubby cartridge gives up little in ballistic perfor­mance. The muzzle velocity of the Federal Low Recoil 185-grain Hydra-Shok .45 GAP load (left) is listed as 1,090 feet per second, while the cartridge pushes a Winchester WinClean 230-grain brass-enclosed-base bullet to 875 feet per second.

About four years ago, Glock bent the rules when it introduced a .45-caliber pistol with a smaller grip size. Glock simply shortened the .45 ACP case by about .1 inch, and the result was a cartridge that could still shoot standard .45-caliber bullets weighing from 185 to 230 grains but fit in grip frames originally designed for a 9 mm. The new cartridge was called the .45 GAP, which stands for Glock Automatic Pistol. Federal developed and produced the first ammuni­tion for the new cartridge, and Winchester started manufacturing loads the next year. For marketing purposes as much as any­thing else—and so no one could say the .45 GAP was inferior to the .45 ACP—both ammo companies worked hard to duplicate the old cartridge’s ballistics in the shorter case and pretty much succeeded. Since the laws of physics do not allow for any free lunches, there is an enhanced recoil impulse to get this performance from the smaller case, but it’s not enough to bother anyone accustomed to shooting the .45 ACP. The resulting Glock 37 did have a smaller grip, which in turn offered more control to shooters with smaller hands.

Para-Ordnance apparently believes the cartridge will sell, or at least that it has enough merit that a Para pistol chambered in .45 GAP will sell. The company’s initial model strikes me as being an excellent can­didate for the stumpy .45 for a couple of rea­sons. First, it is built on Para’s Light Double Action (LDA) platform. Without dwelling on all the LDA features, it is a double-action-only 1911 that requires just a slightly longer reach from the backstrap to the trigger than do standard-size 1911s. Because of that, folks with small- to medium-sized hands or short fingers should realize even greater benefits from the shortened grip frame of the .45 GAP pistol. The LDA trigger needs a lon­ger pull than a single-action 1911, but not nearly as long as a double-action revolver. Additionally, stock Para LDAs have a much smoother and lighter pull than out-of-the-box double-action revolvers, so with the shortened grip frame and proper trigger reset, follow-up shots should be greatly facilitated for shooters with tiny paws.
Para offers the .45 GAP in its Compan­ion Carry Option (CCO). It’s an all-steel gun with a single-stack magazine that holds seven rounds. With one in the pipe, that’s eight rounds of full-power, .45-caliber ammo in a downsized pistol.
The barrel is 3 1/2  inches long. A three-dot sight system consists of a semi-fixed rear and a blade front dovetailed into the slide. A screw in the top of the rear sight can be loosened to provide windage adjustment. The CCO GAP has the flush hammer typi­cal of Para LDA pistols, but it also features a bobbed beavertail safety, which is a big advantage in a gun that may be carried inside clothing. Two other very appropriate features are the grooves on the frontstrap and the bumper pads on the two magazines furnished with the pistol. The frontstrap grooves are like shallow half moons that help control the gun in rapid fire but, when held lightly, still permit the shooter to change his grip. Para calls these Grip-tor grasping grooves. The Griptor grooves, a checkered backstrap and the slight grip extension provided by the bumper pads combine to enhance the shooter’s grip of the gun and make recoil quite manageable.
Almost all testing with the CCO GAP was done with Winchester’s 230-grain full-metal-jacket loads. That’s partly because it was most of the .45 GAP ammo I had available, but also because I thought a 230-grain bullet would provide more of an apples-to-apples comparison with .45 ACP performance and controllability. I did fire a few rounds of Federal’s 185-grain jack­eted hollow points to check reliability of the gun. In truth, if I were carrying a .45 GAP for self-protection, it would be loaded with 185-grain jacketed hollow points for maximum performance. Reli­ability with both loads was 100 percent, but before saddling up with jacketed hol­low points for the streets, I would spend more time with this ammo for familiarity and total confidence.
I managed some range time with Barry Dueck, a former Marine and nationally ranked IPSC multi-gun shooter. Prior to our day on the range, he hadn’t spent much time with Para’s LDA pistols. A seri­ous competitor, his first test was to run the gun against the clock. Specifically, he checked split times of the CCO GAP versus a single-action 1911 he uses in competi­tion. The splits ran about .02 second slower for the LDA than for the standard 1911 during the first couple of runs. As he warmed up, split times on both guns came down, although the difference between the two guns still remained about the same.
None of Dueck’s shots wandered outside a 4-inch-diameter circle in the middle of his target. He concluded that with addi­tional range time, he could compete with an LDA, and he did not notice any adverse effects associated with the reduced grip size and slightly higher recoil impulse of the .45 GAP cartridge. More importantly, with absolutely no prompting on my part, he said that the smaller frame LDA gun in an honest .45 caliber would be outstanding for inside-the-waistband carry.
gun in hand

The CCO GAP is a double-action-only pistol, but the LDA mechanism keeps the distance from the backstrap to the trigger nearly as short as that of a single-action 1911. Shooters don't need big mitts to easily reach the trigger.

I also put the CCO GAP in the hands of for­mer Navy gunner Alena Gomez. This young lady is a fan of the 1911 and owns a couple ranging in size from a scandium-frame Smith & Wesson to a long-slide Springfield in .460 Rowland. She enjoys shooting them and has no trouble controlling the full-size 1911s, even in a rapid-fire string. Gomez stands a towering 5-foot-nothing and has extremely small hands. The idea was to see whether she could comfortably reach the LDA’s controls. She was completely taken with Para’s LDA trigger and felt very much in control of the pistol.

I should note that both Dueck and Gomez went through their drills starting with the Para already in hand. As a high-level competitor, I would expect Dueck to suffer a slight loss in speed learning to draw a gun with a different grip-to-trigger configuration, even though it’s still a 1911. I’d also expect him to overcome that dif­ference very quickly. I doubt Gomez, as a recreational shooter and someone who is in the process of obtaining a concealed carry permit, would have any more problems mastering a Para LDA carried concealed versus a standard 1911.
It’s still not clear whether the .45 GAP will survive in today’s competitive market. Its closest rival, the .45 ACP, is the most successful defensive cartridge in history, at least with regard to long-term survivability. Are there enough people with tiny hands concerned about self-defense to make the cartridge a commercial success? Would they prefer a small-frame LDA pistol to other can­didates? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but Para-Ordnance has created a dandy pistol to address these issues. Any­one who fails to try the CCO GAP may miss a potential favorite self-defense handgun.
Para-Ordnance
980 Tapscott Road
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada M1X1C3
                 (416) 297-7855   (416) 297-7855             (416) 297-7855   (416) 297-7855