Para USA Companion

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posted on February 16, 2011
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Para USA’s compact, double-action-only LDA Para Companion is part of the manufacturer’s burgeoning line of pistols featuring its Light Double Action (LDA) trigger. It is tailored for concealed carry by law enforcement personnel and lawfully armed citizens. The Para Companion is more than merely a chopped-down version of the original LDA; it is a pistol into which the designers have put considerable thought in meeting the needs of those who carry discreetly.

The Para Companion is about as small as is practical for a .45 ACP defensive gun, meaning you can operate it easily and shoot it well, but it is small enough to avoid leaving a large profile or “print” under clothing when worn with a suitable holster of good quality.

There are several advantages to a pistol with lines based on the M1911. One is that there is a seemingly endless variety of quality leather already available. Also, ergonomics largely ceases to be an issue. Shooters are familiar with the feel of the M1911, and most of them like it very much.

The Companion LDA is fabricated from stainless steel with a black PK2 finish, because Para USA is obliged to use steel as the LDA trigger system takes up much of the space that would otherwise be occupied by the right frame rail. As a result, the frame rail on that side is quite abbreviated and must be made of steel for adequate strength. Another Para Companion enhancement is the low-profile, snag-resistant sight set-up. It presents a fiber-optic front sight with a white-dot rear sights.

We liked the inclusion of the beavertail and extended slimline thumb safety. They make the gun more comfortable to shoot and easier to operate, respectively. In addition to the utilitarian features of the Para Companion, we liked the numerous touches that suggest quality, such as the use of Allen-head screws to hold the grip panels; the grip panels themselves, which are black cocobolo and checkered in a double-diamond pattern with a Para emblem. The Companion is a handsome pistol.

When it comes to shooting manners, the ­pistol handled well and, though small, didn’t recoil excessively, thanks likely to the weight resulting from its steel construction. Accuracy was adequate for a carry gun. Para USA guns are known for being tight when they come from the factory, and we did experience some failures to go into battery, but no problems with Para's Power Extractor.

When we first handled the LDA trigger, it was a revelation compared to other double-action-only triggers we have tried. This one was suitably light in rapid fire, but was somewhat gritty in slow fire, though, admittedly, that’s not its intended role.

We found the Para Companion to be a neat little package with a lot going for it: size, power, LDA trigger, handling, rust resistance, snag resistance and good looks. While it is not without some faults, it merits consideration from anyone interested in a big-bore, double-action-only carry gun.

Manufacturer: Para USA Inc.; (704) 930-7600; para-usa.com
Caliber: .45 ACP
Action Type: double-action-only LDA, recoil-operated, semi-automatic pistol
Frame: stainless steel
Finish: covert black
Barrel: 3 1⁄2"
Rifling: six-groove; 1:16" LH twist
Magazine: seven-round,single-column, detachable
Sights: adjustable fiber optics
Trigger Pull: 6 lbs., 8 ozs.
Overall Length: 7.1"
Width: 11⁄8"
Height: 5"
Weight: 32 ozs.
Accessories: cable gun lock, bushing wrench
Suggested Retail Price: $999

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