June 22, 2005
Para Ordnance HRT Special - Western Arms (SCW)
When John at Elite Airsoft got in touch to ask if there was anything I fancied testing, I suggested a Para Ordnance HRT Special and sure enough he let me know, a few weeks later, that one was on its way to me with some other guns.
I was a little surprised when I opened the package to note that he had sent a Parkerised version, but as this was the first gun I had seen with this (new, I believe) finish, I was keen to check it out.
In the Box
This is a Shibuya Custom Works model, so the box, as with all such recent models is dark grey with white SCW logos and just a sticker on the box to indicate the model within.
Inside, the gun is nestled in polystyrene, with a bag of BBs, an SCW Para Ordnance manual and some other paperwork, a bushing spanner and a hex key for the hop up.
If you have not seen a Para Ordnance before the first impression is off a neat, smart gun with lots of curves.
If you have seen one before, the Parkerised HRT strikes you because of its colour. It is grey. If you have seen a silver or Brushed Nickel WA model, imagine that in a mid grey and you have a fairly good impression of the Parkerised finish.
All the detailing on the Parkerised HRT is black or parkerised. It took me a while to come to terms with the look of this gun, but after a while it grew on me, so if your first impression from these photos is not too good, give it a chance.
As with any WA gun, build quality is exemplary and the, near 1 kilo, gun feels heavy and solid in the hand.
The HRT is based upon a full length Para Ordnance P14-45, similar to my silver gun, which I acquired within days of the HRT arriving for review.
The Parkerised HRT is, like all HRTs, a limited edition model, but do not be surprised to see a number of guns offered in this finish in the future.
The sights are a simple 3 dot system with an unlogoed Novak on the back and a single blade, fitted in a dovetail on the HRT, at the front.
The gun features the classic Para look of the swollen bellied (to accomodate the double stacker magazine) 1911.
Up at the front of the gun, the traditional 1911 bushing is present, in black, and the barrel is the traditional 1911 tube, rather than the bushless setup seen on Infinities. The barrel (including the chamber), sights, trigger (looking very like the KSC S&W 945 one) and hammer are all black on the Mil. Spec. HRT.
At the back, the grip safety, ambidextrous thumb safety and extended (and checkered) slide lock are finished in the Parkerised finish, but, being metal, look slightly different to the frame and slide. The grips are standard Para fare, in black and bearing the Para Ordnance logo.
The slide on the HRT is fairly plain, with just ".45 ACP" on the left hand side and nothing on the right. The frame is hardly abundant with markings either. On the left the Para Ordnance/WA license script (as seen on all WA Paras) is present just above the trigger, whilst the right just bears "PARA ORDNANCE INC., FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA CANADA". The slide is actually quite different to the standard P14-45 one, with, in addition to the dovetailed front sight, diagonal ridges on either side of the front and rear of the slide. These contrast with the vertical ones, at the rear only, of the standard P14-45.
The magazine base bears the Para Ordnance logo, as does the black chamber.
Having this new SCW system Para Ordnance and an older Magna R type Para Ordnance available together gave me a good chance to compare the two systems back to back. You can see in the photo, above, that the firing pin assembly is further back (more realistic WA claim) on the newer gun In the photo below, you can see small differences in the mechanism in the frame, notably those two small round holes in the frame on the HRT (left).
In the photo below you can see some more small differences in the actual blowback unit in the slide itself. Most notable is the the fact that the HRT's is not secured with Allen bolt as the older unit is.
Interestingly, the SCW HRT worked fine with the Magna R system 14-45 slide fitted, but the 14-45 refused to work at all with the SCW system HRT slide fitted.
The Para Ordnance HRT special was available with the Magna gas system, but this was the newer SCW version, although as I had recently acquired a Magna Para Ordnance P14-45, I was able to test the systems back to back.
Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, the HRT was, initially, able to place all 6 rounds in a 4 inch diameter (solid circles). Ignoring 2 outliers, the grouping came down to 2.25 inches.
However, I felt the gun was not performing well, probably due to being low on gas, so I regassed the magazine and tried again.
This time, the HRT placed all 6 rounds in a 2.25 inch (6.25 CM) radius. This is not absolutely top level accuracy, but all shots were central to the target and would be more than sufficient for either skirmishing or practical target shooting.
Interestingly, the Magna system P14-45 produced almost identical groupings.
Over 10 shots, the HRT special averaged a highly impressive 314 fps (using 134a gas) outdoors (around 20C).
All 10 shots were over 300 fps and, although this was a sample of 1, the difference between the SCW system HRT and the Magna R system 14-45, tested alongside it, was in excess of 10% in favour of the newer system.
Take down of the standard Para Ordnances, as this and the 14-45 are, but the Para Ultimate Comp is not, is familiar to anyone who has field stripped a 1911, real or airsoft.
With the magazine out, the slide should be moved back until the slide lock can be pushed out of the frame. The slide and barrel can then be slid off of the front of the frame.
The barrel bushing should be rotated 45 degrees anti-clockwise, it can then be removed. The HRT has an unusual, more Infinity like, recoil spring guide, which needs to be pushed towards the rear of the slide to remove it, along with the spring.
The outer barrel and chamber can then be drawn out through the front of the slide.
Overall, I found the Para Ordnance HRT Special Parkerised version to be an excellent airsoft pistol.
Well made, distinctive, without being gimmicky or flash and perfectly usable as a skirmish sidearm, it offers most of what anyone could want in an airsoft sidearm.
If I really look for faults, I would have to say the semi-gloss black barrel looks a little out of place, whilst the accuracy is not as good as one might hope, but that is really only relative to some exceptional guns and it is quite acceptable for skirmishing or practical target shooting.
I would also be a little skeptical about the longevity of the 'parkerisation' paint job, but I cannot say it showed any sign of marking whilst I was testing it and WA's silver and nickel paint finishes are much more resilient than, for instance, Tanaka's midnight blue.
Anyone choosing this gun over the usual black and silver version would probably be happy to take the chance in return for the distinctive finish.
Weight : 990g
Realism : ****