The Western Arms Para-Ordnance HRT Special is an airsoft replica of a customized Para-Ordnance P14-45 that, until a few years ago, had been in use by the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team. Now I was unable to find photos of the real HRT pistol, so I’m not sure how accurate the WA replica is. I’ve seen the current pistol (Springfield model) the Hostage Rescue Team uses and it shares many features from the WA HRT model.
Notable differences between the WA HRT and P14-45 pistols are that the HRT has: Novak-style rear sight; removable front sight; 3-hole skeletonized trigger; skeletonized hammer; front serration on slide; angled serration on rear of slide; upswept beavertail safety grip; flat checkered mainspring housing; extended ambidextrous safety; checkering on front of grip; checkering on slide release; red dot (fire) on safety; lack of trademarks on slide. That’s all I noticed. I don’t have the standard P14 so I did the comparison from photos only, so don’t burn me if I missed anything.
WA made two versions of the HRT. The first arrived in 2003 and was a variation of the P14-45 with the aforementioned customizations. The second version — a refinement of the first — came about a year later and was fully equipped with WA’s SCW improvements. SCW stands for Shibuya Custom Works, which is a division of Western Arms that makes custom limited production pistols. The first version has been discontinued since the release of the new SCW model. The new design has five features that are standard for the SCW line-up. They are:
All of the newly released SCW 1911-style pistols seem to have these new features. However, with these new features it appears that not all of the SCW releases are custom or limited production. Certainly some models are limited, such as the Para-Ordnance Doberman and the Wilson Combat Tactical Super Grade Compact. Other SCW models such as the M1911 Series 70 Government and Military models are neither custom nor limited.
The Details As of this writing there are three different models of the SCW HRT: black, Parkerized and silver. The frame and slide of these three models are made of heavyweight ABS/metal composite. The gun comes in a plain dark gray box with “SCW” on the cover. On the side is a sticker bearing the name of the model.
Along with the gun are the manual (with target and other papers), loading tools, BBs, two hex wrenches and bushing wrench. Inside the cover is a yellow sticker that reads:
“WARNING. Please use only 134A GAS for this product. Use of gases other than 134A will damage the item. Use at your own risk.”
Heed the warning or die. OK, you won’t die but your gun will. I bought the gun from DEN Trinity, so I believe they put the sticker there, not WA.
Looking at the gun the first thing that strikes you is the EXTREMELY realistic silver coating. It’s a dead ringer for matte stainless steel. I’ve seen many silver-finished guns from different airsoft manufacturers before and this has to be the most convincing. Touching the surface gives a nice cool sensation that feels like metal due to the heavyweight material. It feels very dense and solid, and also the weight is nice and hefty (at 990g). The silver coating is uniform on the whole gun, with parts such as the hammer, safety, etc. matching the entire body. The pistol grip is bulky yet manageable thanks to the front and back serrations. The lines and curves of the whole gun are clean without any molding seams.
The details are superb, displaying classic WA quality. The black plastic grips, magazine and sights give a pleasing contrast to the matte silver. Now there are no trademarks on the slide, being this is a customized handgun specially made for the U.S. government. The only thing inscribed on the slide is “45 ACP.” On the left side of the frame is the usual WA blurb informing they have the rights to copy the trademarks so they can’t be sued. If you’ve never owned a WA gun, this is what it reads: “This product is made in Japan by Western Arms Co., Ltd and Para-Ordnance trademarks are affixed under license of PARA-ORDNANCE MFG. INC.” WA has this only on their Beretta and Para-Ordnance models.
The magazine is made of good sturdy metal and is a direct descendant from the high-capacity SV Infinity models. The re-design is of the gun, not the magazine, so hi-cap SVI magazines and also magazines from the old HRT/P14 work perfectly in this gun.
On the bottom is the usual gas valve and next to it is a Para-Ordnance logo. Pressing the magazine release drops the magazine freely; pushing it back into the gun locks it securely in place without any “rattle.” It holds 25 rounds and can be loaded by pulling down the tab and dropping in the BBs. The loading tools are not really necessary.
The sights have the white 3-dot system and are easy to bring up and acquire your target. The rear is a fixed Novak-style with double dots while the front is a single-dotted blade that’s detachable. External metal parts are the hammer, trigger, front/rear sights, safety, slide release, grip safety, mainspring housing, outer barrel, magazine release, bushing and guide rod.
I set up my F1 Chrony and fired off the first round. The numbers displayed were surely impressive: 298 FPS. I had warmed up the magazine a little so the first shot is usually high. I fired off the entire magazine and calculated an average of 285 FPS. I was able to get about 50 shots with one charge. WA definitely made improvements over the previous design of their hi-cap 1911-style .45s. My (old model) SVI 6” Standard averaged only 267 FPS, so this is a welcomed improvement! WA recently released SCW SVI models so I would certainly like to see how those models turn out.
I re-gassed the magazine and set up my paper target and stepped back 16 feet. The blowback from this gun is purely awesome. The kick is quick, sharp and powerful. A true refinement, I’d say. I would figure the blowback stands toe-to-toe with my Marui Desert Eagle Hard Kick (though the sound isn’t quite as loud). The accuracy is good too, averaging 2-inch groupings. If you look at the target photo you’ll notice two shots missed the black inner ring. This was due to the strong blowback, which had affected my aim.
Scratchy Scratchy It seems that the silver paint isn’t as durable as it appears. After firing about 100 rounds I noticed the paint around the slide retainer notch wore off just a little bit (see photo). The scratch is minute and is nothing to lose sleep over. The underlying surface is the standard black heavyweight material, and the paint is simply coated over it. Now I didn’t toss or bang the gun around to see how fragile the paint is, but I’m sure simple actions such as holstering would not wear down the paint. Like I said it’s no big deal; I don’t anticipate it getting any worse.
Disassembly First remove the magazine. There’s a small notch on the slide right next to the slide retainer notch; push the slide back so the small notch lines up with the tip of the slide release lever and hold it in place. Now from the right side of the frame push the slide release lever (the small button above the trigger) through to the left and lift the lever off the frame. The slide should run forward under spring pressure. Push the inner guide rod away from the barrel assembly and the rod and spring can be removed. At this point this is all that’s necessary for cleaning/lubrication.
If you want to remove the barrel assembly then use the bushing wrench and turn the bushing anticlockwise until it stops. Now lift the bushing off the slide. The whole barrel assembly then can be pulled out through the front of the slide. If however, the bushing is too stiff and cannot be lifted off the slide, then you would have to unscrew the outer barrel from the chamber.
Conclusion With the revamp of their old designs WA certainly made a hit with the SCW models. The SCW Para-Ordnance HRT is more powerful, offering higher velocity, strong blowback and some improvements over its predecessor. These new improvements offer more of the “classic” Western Arms quality I’ve come to expect, and then some.
Disadvantages: Silver coating is not made to last. Get the black model if you plan to abuse the gun.
Written by RedHawk