The Paraordnance "GI Expert"
I'm going to assume their new plain Jane 1911, dubbed the GI Expert, is a reliable, accurate enough shooter. That should be expected from a new gun from a company of Paraordnance's stature. This post is about asthetics and marketing. I'll progress from there.
It appears that Paraordnance is trying to make a 1911 for the first time 1911 shooter. To keep costs down, they went with a somewhat mil-specky 1911, even calling it a "GI" gun. It isn't. You can not just take a pistol and toss some upright sights on it, finish it in flat black and call it a GI style gun.
The Paraordanace GI Expert no doubt has a cast slide and frame like other Para guns. 1911 style pistols from the Philippines are no different and are half the cost. The "upgraded" Armscor guns are just as ugly too.
No GI pistol ever had a skeletonized hammer or a drilled out plastic trigger. No GI pistol ever had a lowered and flared ejection port. GI front sights were staked. GI pistols do have lanyard loops, and their mags do not have plastic finger pads on the bottom.
Now the MEU/SOC 1911 arguably has some of these items, but it is not a GI pistol. It is a custom pistol. GI stands for General Issue. The general issue 1911 was first the M1911, then the M1911A1, and finally rearsenaled mixtures of the two. The Paraordnance "GI Expert" fails at mimicking a GI gun. It fails miserably. It fails in ways that you would expect if the company manufacturing it had no appreciation for what a GI pistol is. If a buyer desires a GI style pistol for between $500 and $600, the Springfield GI45 knocks the Paraordnance GI Expert out in the first round. If the buyer wants a fully appointed 1911 in that price range, the forged frame, beavertailed, Heinie sighted Taurus PT1911 is waiting to eat the Paraordnance GI Expert's lunch and take it's cookie too.
A GI gun is more than an ugly black gun. A GI gun conforms to very specific specifications set by the US Army. There will be some who purchase this pistol thinking they are getting a GI styled gun. They are ignorant. There will be gun writers gushing over the latest ordnance from
Here's the deal........ A high speed low drag "expert" would not purchase the Paraordnance GI Expert pistol. The pistol is not "GI" or even close to approximating a general issue military weapon. The entire concept is an attempt to capitalize on a certain segment of the gun market. If this is what Paraordnance wanted to do, they would have been better served taking one of their single action single stack guns and parkerizing it. Then lower the price to compete.
For those who may have forgotten, for those who apparently never knew, and for those who will write glowing articles about the new GI Expert from our neighbors from the North, this is what a real deal GI 1911 looks like. Take a good look, a close look.
It ain't pretty, and it ain't tacticool with a bunch of drilled out whiz bang Flash Gordon knick knacks on it. It's just a big, heavy, tough as nails war pistol with rattles included, that will reliably shoot when the trigger is pulled and put a big hole somewhere near the area in the sights. That's what a GI pistol is. Others claiming the GI designation are pretenders ......... And pretending is OK. If you are going to pretend though, know the thing you are pretending to be, and imitate it well. Don't try to convince your audience that Elvis had blonde hair, that Marilyn was flat chested, or that a Llama looking conglomeration of parts is a GI pistol.
edited to add: One of my loyal readers educated me that G.I. originally stood for galvanized iron! I was incredulous, but apparently, he is correct!