Really, I stopped by Discount Gun Mart to pick up some targets. Sitting in the display case was a compact 9mm based on the 1911 frame - ParaUSA Para Carry 9. The compact pistol caught my eye as filling a niche that I was looking for. While I didn’t walk out with the semi-auto, I did place a down payment and filled out the necessary background check paperwork. After the 10-day California waiting period, I had the Para Carry 9 in my possession. First things first was a good cleaning. Then, it was finding the opportunity for some shooting time. That is where life became interesting.
The clip holds 8-rounds. Five shots into the first clip, the spent casing failed to eject. Shifted to the next clip. Three shots and spent casing failed to eject. Time for some research.
And the forums said.... While the forums were a source of great information, the helpful hints pointed to a variety of solutions that really did not solve the fail to eject problem. All solutions centered around cleanliness as the Para Carry is made to tight tolerances and needed a constant cleaning and 200-300 rounds fired for a “break-in” period. The Para Carry is shown as "field-stripped". Dis-assembly to this point only requires a punch.
The final straw came when I cleaned the pistol in my ultra-sonic cleaner with the recommended solution for cleaning gun parts. The next time shooting was a complete disaster - every other round was a fail to eject. While it was a frustrating experience, it did point to the potential solution to the problem.
While different from a full-size 1911-model, it does share the same philosophy for case ejection. A hook has to grab the casing rim. And, field stripping of a 1911 .45 recommends cleaning the ejector and channel.
Following the dis-assembly process, I removed the ejector. There was significant crud that plugged the channel and inhibited movement of the ejector. Another deep cleaning, including another bath in the ultra-sonic cleaner. A Dremel buffing wheel was used to polish the ejector rod to smooth the rough surface. The ejector is picture shown in picture.
After re-assembly, there is now some movement from the ejector hook. While I cannot confirm that has solved the fail to eject, I am confident it was a major contributor. My belief is the crud was excess “Para Coat” which the proprietary coating used by ParaUSA. The ultra-sonic cleaning contributed to the multiple FTE as the cleaning was done with the ejector still in place.
Pro: I like the fiber-optic front sight. In low-light conditions, there is a green dot for the front sight mark which is easy to see. Due to its compact size, it is easy to carry in camera bag, backpack, or as concealed-carry.
Con: Para-Coat. For a pistol in that price range, you would expect a more than a coating that flakes away. While new, my Para Carry looks well-worn. I could send it back for a re-coating.
Overall, when the Para Carry 9 does shoot, I find it accurate, fun to shoot and easy to carry.