View Full Version : H&K or Para

02-06-2004, 05:03 PM
I am going to ask for the expert opinions I have come to expect from this forum. After asking about the pros and cons of the 40 S&W I have decided to go for a .45 acp. As Springfield is doing the normal bull of never giving a straight answer about when there XD-45 is going to hit the market I have narrowed the field down to two pistols. The H&K USP-45 and the Para LDA high cap. What in the exalted opinion of the members of this forum is the prefered (notice I did not say "better") pistol. In other words, which would you buy, and if neither what would you buy? Thanks in advance!

fyi I have a screwed up thumb so single actions are out of the question.

02-06-2004, 11:49 PM
Is it for concealed carry or other purpose? I'm not up to date on the PO LDA. Are they operable without using the thumb/ I still prefer a single-stack in .45acp. Double-stack is just too bulky for me for concealed carry.

02-07-2004, 03:36 AM
Is it for concealed carry or other purpose?

I live in Illinois and as such am not permitted by law to carry a concealed weapon. I dislike this State's gun laws but am here fighting the good fight trying to get things changed. The "other" purpose is range,hiking, and camping. I do a great deal of all the above and it is still legal to carry a gun in the wide open spaces. Its main purpose however is defending my home and family, this above all is its most imortant role.

02-07-2004, 08:34 AM
I'll give you my 2 cents.
Go with H&K.
I've shot their 'long' guns extensively, & I've never used/seen better firearms.
The first time I tried an H&K pistol, - the 9mm P7M8, I shot slightly better than I did normally with my carry gun at that time, - a 1911 ( with which I practised regularly - it was reliable, but a bit loose.) I would say that it was the best pistol that I have ever handled/shot, although I never bought a P7M8, - expensive, & I prefer .45.
Everything H&K turn out is first rate, extremily well engineered, tested to the limit etc etc.
I'm not knocking PO, - I'm not qualified to comment. I actually prefer the 'basic' .45 1911 type pistol ( The LDA is little different,) but then I've had a 1911 since 1978, - which is not your case.
Out of curiosity, - Why have you ruled out a Glock .45 ?


02-07-2004, 08:52 AM
Chaos, tuff question, from your posting I'm quessing that your hands are large enough for a double stacked 45,as your talking about hikes and so forth, you want one that will stand up to the weather, both of you choices will do so very well, I like the LDA it is an intriging system, but have not been able to get any feed back as of yet on ho it stands up to PD abuse. .. THe H&K I find to large for my hands, but it shoots very well, and it can be had in DAO, which if you have a damaged thumb on the strong hand is the way to go.

My choices would be the following
SIG-220 DAO, either the Alum, or stainless one
Then maybe the Para- LDA

02-07-2004, 08:59 AM
I haven't fired a Para, but I read on gun boards that their double stack reliability is questionable. Take that for what it's worth. We would expect H&K reliability to be as good as it gets.

H&K is a little more mainstream, used by more governmental agencies, so it has a track record; holsters, mags, accessories might be easier to get. I am not personally aware of any large army or LE group that uses Para Ordnance.

02-07-2004, 09:20 AM
I am not personally aware of any large army or LE group that uses Para Ordnance.

The only agency that I am personally aware of that issues the PO LDA is the North Attleboro, MA police dept.

They issue the stainless, full size .45 with factory nite sites.

They have been very happy with them, according to a friend with that department.

They have only been using them for 2 years-ish, so longevity issues have not been addressed.

I have shot next to some of their cops armed with these guns, and they were VERY accurate. No problems were noted in the limited exposure I had to them.

As an aside, when this PD was changing over from DAO S&W 9mm's, the firearms instructors tried a number of different guns in .45. The instructors were sold on Sig P220 DAO's. But, in the interest of fair play, they got all their people together and let them shoot a variety of guns. The rank and file chose the Para by a wide margin.
It's good to have a plan.

02-07-2004, 09:24 AM
The only agency that I am personally aware of that issues the PO LDA is the North Attleboro, MA police dept.

They issue the stainless, full size .45 with factory nite sites.

Single stack or double?

02-07-2004, 11:05 AM
Single stack or double?

Double stack magazines. 13 round mags? I am not sure.

Also, I probably should mention they are using Hougue wrap around rubber grips, almost exclusively.
It's good to have a plan.

02-07-2004, 06:03 PM
Out of curiosity, - Why have you ruled out a Glock .45 ?

I have, like most Americans, cut my teeth on the 1911. Every time I try to point shoot a glock I shoot high; REAL high. I am told this is due to the difference in the angle of the grip.

My choices would be the following
SIG-220 DAO, either the Alum, or stainless one
Then maybe the Para- LDA

I have not looked into the sig-220 doa. I will have to do this...

John Silver
02-07-2004, 06:54 PM
Para's aren't bad, but they aren't in the world class reliable league like H&K (along with a few others.) For that reason alone, I would pick the USP.

For my $$, I'd buy a Glock 21, though a Sig P220 is a very good gun if you want to stick with DA.

It only takes a bit of training to overcome the different grip angle of the Glock vs. 1911. Burn a few hundred rounds in serious practice, and you will be fine. Of course, that is what the sights are for. ;)

02-07-2004, 07:22 PM
Only posting as a guy who has read too many websites. No firsthand experience with the para, have played with and enjoyed friends HK's. I cannot recall one favorable comment by gunsmiths in regaurd to the quality of Para's parts. Most lambast them very heavily. Para's double stacks really take a beating for reliabity---I know someone here will have a Para double stack that they put 20000 rounds without a failure, but I'm talking overall reputation. Single stacks seem to fair better, but for my $ I'd buy an HK or Sig, if you aren't going conventional 1911.

NM Eric

02-08-2004, 03:42 AM
Oh boy are you guys causing my wife fits! Now I am looking at the sig 220 stainless and loving it. Compared to the 1911 how is the recoil and barrel flip?

02-08-2004, 07:17 PM
At some point in time, the 220 may be offered in the best thing to hit Sig in some time, the "K trigger." Makes shooting the Sig a real joy.

02-08-2004, 09:01 PM
chaos,as far as muzzel flip with the SIG, you will notice a little more than a 1911, due to grip and bore axis, With the newer model in stainless recoil should be on par with the all steel 1911, the alum model will be a little more, If you like the 220 just have it ordered with the short trigger, and now that SIG has a custom shop just ask them to do the trigger/ action job and have fun.

02-09-2004, 10:31 AM
Oh man, you guys have got me wanting a Sig P220 again. I had one and got rid of it:mad:--how dumb was that? It was one of the sweetest pistols I've ever had. The recoil is very mild, and I found it one of the best shooting guns ever, and I had the alloy frame version. The stainless should be even less.

02-09-2004, 12:20 PM
Once again this forum comes to my rescue. I went and handled the sig p220 and loved it :D Any suggestions for extra gadget and mods for it?

02-09-2004, 05:02 PM
ok, now I'll try to throw a monkey wrench into the works. :o)

Having owned both a H&K USP compact 45 and a para ord 1445-LDA, I prefer the para. I have had the same amount of malfunctions with both guns...zero. I have seen para mags fail, but none that actually came from their factory... aka, ALL of the ones that I have seen fail were either :
1) Mec Gar mag
2) USA mags
3) put together by the owner.
All of my 5 factory mags have yet to misfeed or fail.

The reasoning behind the para preference - accruacy. I shoot a LOT better with the para than the HK. Sub 2" groups at 25 yards from rest. In fact, I piss off a lot of my friends that own kimbers by shooting circles around them with my para. A $600 gun that out shoots a $1200 annoys them.

Also, the HK trigger was a little lacking, I ended up selling it to a buddy who wanted one bad. The para has won the USPSA for the last few years (stock and production classes). If reliabilty were an issue then it probably wouldn't win as much as it does.

As far as the parts.... well they make Springfield Armories double stack mags and they interchange parts with SA, so if para's are bad, so are SA's. I'm guessing the majority of the problems lie in that springfield does use some different spring weights than standard 1911's on some of their parts, so the backyard gunsmiths that try to build race guns could run into problems.

I like sigs, they shoot well, but the DA to SA trigger makes multiple quick shots harder, requiring a lot more trigger time to get down.

02-09-2004, 09:11 PM
Chaos, get the night sights if you prefer, and the short trigger, call the custom shop at SIG and see if they will do a action/duyt use job on the pistol, other than that buy it, shoot the bejesus out of it. and then worry about things to hang on it or change.

The only other thing I change right off are the grips,don't like the rubber ones,I prefer wood

02-17-2004, 07:25 AM
For me it would be a toss up between the SIG or the H&K. I carried a SIG P-220 on duty for the last 4 years and have zero malfunctions. If you go with SIG and plan on using it for hiking and other outdoor activities go with the stainless model. There older finishes are NOT resiliant to weather. I am not sure about the newer finishes, my newly issued P-220 w/light rail has not seen any harsh weather conditions other then a freezing Maine winter. My SIG is DA/SA, which after some training/practice (I had always carried some form of Glock prior to the SIG) I do not have a problem with.

The Para LDA I have not shot but did see one in use at a police range I helped instruct. Nothing but malfunctions and I would not recommend it to anyone. The owner of the pistol was a seasoned cop and shooter and it was definately a problem with the pistol. He sent it back to the factory to fix and when it was returned it still was not reliable. In the end he got rid of it.

I have shot a few H&Ks and liked them all. The .45 is a little big but if your not using it for concealed carry it should not be a problem. If you think your state will someday allow CCW you may want to look at the H&K compact .45.

I owned a Glock 21, what a great gun but I had to trade mine for something with a smaller grip. The Glock 30 is a great little .45 and you may want to take a look at it. I have owned one since they hit the market and have had no problems what so ever. I have used it for concealed carry, hiking, hunting, ect. A great pistol IMHO.

Good luck and let us know which pistol you decide on.


pete f
02-21-2004, 11:48 PM
another wrench in the works
I have a p-13 LDA works all (ALL) the time feed it good stuff and it works all the time and yes pay for he factory magazines Para mags work best.

I am amazed at all the people who say H&K stome reliable. I buy from a local Gun shop that is heavy in hand guns. The owner there has stated that he tries to deter sales of the HK due to fair number of guns coming back in to get sentto a factory service center. In fact there are rumblings that all these police trade ins that CDNN and others have are because others are finding the same thing.

My prime directive to you would be do not just fondle the gun in a gun shop. find someone who has one or go to a range that has demos and or rentals.
Around here ( twin cities Minnesota area) there are several ranges with gunshops attached who will give you credit on rentals toward the purchase of one of the types of firearms you test/rent.

Buy what feels best in your hand while shooting and what you can manage.
It all depends what you hit the best with and what works in you hands (way cheaper to rent a pistol for a half hour and find it bites your hand than to buy one and then have to sell it).

Have fun and good luck.

02-23-2004, 08:51 PM
No question about it, get a Sig P220. This gun is very accurate and extremely reliable. The real weakness is the finish as with all Sigs.

02-24-2004, 03:41 PM
I bought a sig p220st and am amazed at how much I love this gun! :D THANKS GUYS!!!!!

03-20-2004, 06:57 AM
Glad to hear you bought a SIG, you will love that gun for many years to come. I think they are much better than Glocks for many reasons. While glocks are great service weapons, the SIGs are better.IMHO

Also check out this site: www.sigforum.com

they have lots of SIG nuts there that can answer any manner of question you may have.

03-27-2004, 08:33 PM
Thanks for the SIG forum tip. I checked there before I bought the pistol and collected as much info as possible before I committed to the buy. A great group of guys....