Llama or the Para LDA?

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by ARB, May 15, 2009.

  1. ARB

    ARB New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,186
    Location:
    Mid Missouri
    I have been trying to decide between the Llama .40 ss $350 or the Para LDA 9mm $895 at the local gunshop. Obviously, the price of the Llama is enticing and the fact that it is stainless steel even more so. But the weight of the LDA blew me away! Don't know much about either pistol except for the fact that I see Para in the magazines a heck of a lot more. The purpose of this pistol is for carry. So, you got a stainless pistol or a light one. An expensive one or one not so much.
    Let me have it ladies and gents. I don't want either to get away.:)
  2. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,383
    just an opinion mind you but walk away from the llama , they have a spotty track record. remember the old saying you get what you pay for. and llama is also out of business, getting spare parts might become a hassle
  3. ARB

    ARB New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,186
    Location:
    Mid Missouri
    Interesting,interesting. What can you tell me about the Para? And have you ever owned a Llama or known someone who has? I'm only asking because I'd like to know about their record. And $895 seems like a lot of moola for a used pistol. Of course, I'm not one to gamble too much with my well being. :)
  4. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,383
    have not owned a para but have sold more than a few and everyone seemed well pleased. the lda model was a hot seller and have seen a few go out the store never one complaint. the fact that you do not see many used ones speaks highy of it. people buy them and keep them. 895 :eek: seems a tad to high i suspect the seller is trying to cash in on the shortages but if you were to get it you'd be pleased with it para... has been around a while and can be trusted.
  5. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,383
    one other note... you'll get people telling you get a springfield or a rock island and save the money. true those are good selling work horses but they aren't para's nor do they come in LDA and it's like the difference between a hyundi and an bmw....again just opinions.
  6. ARB

    ARB New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,186
    Location:
    Mid Missouri
    Really?! I initially was looking at the springfields but couldn't find one for the life of me. You stated that the LDA was a tad high and it seems apparent that you own a gun shop, what do you think I should offer. Keep in mind I am a terrible haggler (learned that in Mexico).
  7. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,383
    owned a shop once upon a time now work in the same shop part time as a sales person and a smith ( 1911's) mainly installations of mag wells and beaver tails hammers lightening up trigger pulls etc... in my mind if you were to offer 800 out the door it would be a fair price for both ???? but keep in mind these are hard to come by and as you've already discovered 45's / 1911's are hard to keep on the shelf.
  8. ARB

    ARB New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,186
    Location:
    Mid Missouri
    Thank you, for the wealth of information. I, by no means want to low ball anyone since this is a consignment sale. The price of $800.00 seems like something I can work with. Now, I just need to sell my Berreta Px4 Storm to get that one. :)
  9. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,383
    trade it in .... as long as you know you'll get hosed a bit. common practice = book value - 30 % example if the book states a retail value of 500.00 in 90% condition the shop owner will deduct 30% from this for a trade in value.and know this up-front the dealers almost all of them will look at a gun we would rate at 95% and tell you it's 85% :( a very seedy lot these dealer are :D
  10. ARB

    ARB New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,186
    Location:
    Mid Missouri
    So far these guys seem to be pretty cool. I actually just got off the phone with one of them to verify the price. It's not $895 it's $849. Brand new, they go for $999, at least on their website. I'll probably ask about $500.00 for the Berreta. It is in pristine condition, just not a good fit for me.
    As a side note. The first time I walked into this place, someone kept saying hello to me. I'd look in the general direction and say hello back. Well, after about five times I thought this a bit strange. That's of course when I noticed the stupid parrot behind the counter! Don't ask me why I can't decifer between a parrot and a human, but I'm sure the owners got a kick out of it.:D:eek:
  11. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Messages:
    4,720
    Location:
    Akron, Ohio
    I know no one who has owned a Llama but I agree with the others to avoid this. You can find other used pistols in the Llamas price range.

    Now I'd like to address something you didn't ask. How committed are you to a .40? If you have never fired a .40 I would suggest that you go to a range with gun rental and try one out. I won't bad rap the .40 except to say that had I had some range time with one I might have considered other calibers. When I made my purchase I chose the .40S&W based on what I'd heard and read. It's my opinion the round was overhyped as an "almost" 10mm with the accuracy of a 9mm. Wrong on both points.
  12. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,383
    good points running... the 40 was a solution to a problem that didn't exsist. though i know the 10 mm battered the 1911 frames to death downsizeing the 10 to a 40 was reinventing the wheel. yes i know you can hold more 40 s&w in the magazine than a 45 but so what......there are hi cap 45's that are manageable grip wise . never a fan of the 40
  13. ARB

    ARB New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,186
    Location:
    Mid Missouri
    The Berreta that I'm getting rid of is a .40. I, to have heard much hype about this caliber. Neither the pistol or the ammo it fires has really done much for me. The Para is a Carry 9, now, it has been awhile since I've handled a 9mm but the 1911 framing is ultimately what I'm after. I can't get used to all that polymer!
  14. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Messages:
    4,720
    Location:
    Akron, Ohio
    Oh, it's a 9mm in a 1911 frame? Then I'd say go for it and don't waste your money on the Llama. Para has a great reputation.


    P.S. Just reread your original post and realized I missed where you said it was a 9mm. I saw .40 cal and thought both the Llama and Para were .40's.
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  15. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    8,928
    Location:
    Northeast Georgia
    I have owned two Llama's in the past several years, both were .380's. The first one was a great little pistol, well built, had a good fit and finish, and relatively accurate for what it was. My First Sergeant wanted it so I sold it to him. A few years later, I decided I wanted another .380 and the first one I thought of was the Llama so I bought another one. In the span of about 15 years, the quality of Llama's was a drastic difference. The second one I bought was a true piece of junk. I kept it about a month and got rid of it, and I would never buy another Llama. Just my two cents worth. Go for the Para, I think I would like a 1911 in 9mm.
  16. AR1911

    AR1911 New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Messages:
    125
    I own about 9 Llamas currently. Half of them were made in the 1940s and are fine firearms, my favorites in an extensive collection.
    There was a period from about 1970-1990 when the quality was, well, built to a price. Later pistols were fine. they were the RIAs of the time. As a rule, if it has a slide rib, I stay away from it (though some were good). Anything with "Max" in the name is a late model and they work fine.
    That's the short version. Plenty of good Llamas at good prices for people that aren't afraid of them.
    And BTW, there were no Stainless steel Llamas. Those are hard-chromed.
  17. larryh1108

    larryh1108 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    I also own many Llamas and I also work on them. I happen to own the Llama in the .40S&W and love the gun. I also question the desire for the .40S&W caliber. Is it because that is what the shop has to sell used or do you truly want that round? To me, the .40S&W has a much "harder" recoil than the .45. Both models you mention come in the .45 and can be found on the online auctions at probably a better price. If the .40S&W is what you want then they are harder to find than the .45 and can be a joy to shoot and own.

    The Llamas do have a worse reputation than the Paras but the Para lineup seems to have the next, worst, reputation than the Llama for whatever reason. Para has done a lot to overcome this bad rap so when was the one you were looking at made? The latest models are the best.

    Both lines have nice guns as well as lemons as do most lines of guns. The Llamas seem to have more bad guns per 100 than any other similar type gun but if they have a 15% bad rate versus 5% of the others then that means there are still 85% good ones out there. It seems that the worst Llamas were made in the 70s to mid 80s. Most of my large frames are late 80s and all work wonderfully. As with most 1911s a good throat job and barrel ramp job will do wonders but should be left to someone who knows what they are doing or you could ruin the gun forever.

    If you were prepared to spend (originally) $900 for the Para, I'd offer $1000 for both and have 2 nice guns that share the same ammo. Since Llamas cost so much less they are usually used for truck guns or boat guns or range guns. If one is all you want then offer $300 for the Llama or $750 for the Para and ask for a box of ammo or a holster thrown in either purchase. The Llama takes the standard 1911 mags and parts are out there (I sell them) but in 10 years that could change. The Llama does take most standard 1911 parts but a few parts are unique to Llama like the plunger tube, extractor and grips. The lighter Para will definitely be so much easier to carry that the weight alone may justify the extra cost but you could get 3 different Llama for the price of 1 Para. :rolleyes: hmmmm
    [​IMG]
  18. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,097
    Llama is long out of business. Like 9 years or more. Llama made some pretty guns. most were pretty junk! Their steel tends to be soft (likely out of alloy spec, and/or heat treat spec).

    I made the mistake of buying a used Llama copy or a Para Warthog (Mini-Max) for $120.00. Two years earlier I tested this Llama extensively and opined that it was a reliable, accurate, great value compared to the Para pistol. I ended up with it 5000 hard ball shots later in an "as is/ where is" deal with the gun shop that owned it 2 years earlier, because they could not get it to cycle reliably. I have not been able to either. It is worn out and parts are hard to find.

    About 5500 total 45 ACP shots put this Llama beyond any economical repair.

    Buyers beware!
  19. AR1911

    AR1911 New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Messages:
    125
    Most shooters never reach anywhere near that round count. And for those few current manufacturers that admit to a service life expectation, it is often in the 5000 round vicinity. You can find posts like this online where owners profess to more rounds than that and still going, usually in the Max-1 pistols.
    Again, these were built for the low end of the price spectrum, just as RIA does today, with frames and slides that are cast instead of forged or machined from billet. If you want a pistol to shoot IDPA for the next 10 years, you won't be looking at this level anyway.
    A carry pistol needs several 100 rounds to prove reliability, then a 100 rounds per month for proficiency. That gets you out 8 or 10 years.
  20. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,097
    AR1911 makes valid points in his 07:53 AM post. Most people never shoot a personal defense handgun anything like 5000 shots. Some INDIVIDUAL economical handguns can be an excellent buy for ones money. {Especially, for a person who needs a gun, and has little money.}

    Firearms performance and durability is a complicated subject. There few (if any) simple answers relative to complex matters. Many inexpensive handguns are close copies of of time proven, major designer and/or maker, high quality products.

    Some inexpensive handguns are of innovative and and excellent mechanical engineering designs. The Ruger Mark I (and its Mark II & III successors) is a prime example. {Famous firearms designer Uziel "Uzi" Gal was so impressed with George Jennings' "Raven", that he acquired one to study!}

    {Unfortunately, Mr Jennings often made poor quality products, of good mechanical design. This may have caused the California jury to find that his Bryco safety design was defective because "it locked the slide closed when in the "safe" position". They found that his defective design caused the babysitter to shoot her client in the head as she tried to unload a Bryco 380.}

    From my vocational firearms experiences spanning more than 50 years, consistent quality control is often a problem with the "Low End Brands" (and occasionally a newer "High End" brand). When you acquire a "Questionable Maker Gun" you are buying "puppy in a bag". Occasionally, you get one that performs as well as and almost equals the overall quality of a similar product that costs almost twice as much. More often there are problems. Sometimes the problems are a minor matter for a competent technician. Sometimes there is no practical way to solve them.

    You usually pay for what you get.
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The 1911 Forum Llama 1911 Dec 24, 2013
The 1911 Forum Llama's little .380 1911 Aug 12, 2013
The 1911 Forum need info on llama 1911 Mar 19, 2012
The 1911 Forum llama 1911 Nov 12, 2007
The 1911 Forum 13 round mags for LLama Max-II-L/F???? Apr 13, 2006