Armsan Paragon Grande
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- Last updated: 23/07/2019
I tested an Armsan A612 earlier this month and now it’s the turn of the Magnum version, the Paragon Grande semiautomatic. This has instant appeal to wildfowlers, due to its larger chamber size obviously but Armsan’s reliability record and build quality also makes it a very good value big bore 12g semi.
The action features a heavyduty gas piston system and the overall finish is designed to be subdued and hunter friendly. It is available in Real Tree Advantage camo for £804.99 or a Black synthetic stock for £729.99. It’s also available as a nonmagnum version with bronzed action and walnut stock; so, all bases covered. I had the black synthetic stocked version on test.
You have a different stock from the A612 range. There is no soft touch; instead, you have an over-moulded black plastic stock and forend. It has a hard but semi stippled finish that is accented with softer rubber inserts that aids the effective grip of the Paragon. These inserts are grey and the raised diamond chequering is quite tactile.
The butt stock has another grey, soft rubber but smooth insert to the top of the comb and it helps with heavier loads, softening recoil. The length of pull is 14.5-inches and has quite a slim pistol grip and short grip area but the Paragon comes with inserts to adjustable length of pull and drop of the stock. The recoil pad is partially integral to the rear of the stock and has a hard plastic top to aid in shouldering and then the soft rubber texture of the main section keeps it in the shoulder.
You also have a set of fixed sling swivel loops fitted to the forend’s removal and locking nut and the rear of the butt stock.
The action is slightly beefier than the A612 semi and it also has a redesigned trigger guard shape with more space in front of the trigger blade. The safety catch is also changed and is a triangulated type that pushes to the left to FIRE and right to is SAFE and blocks the action of the trigger blade. The trigger unit is easily removed for safety in travel or to clean but I have to say that after the tests I was pleasantly surprised how clean the Paragon was, free from unburnt powder and carbon residue. You also have a magazine cut off lever to the left side, to allow a round to be removed from the chamber safely.
The loading ramp access is slightly ramped and the orange anodised magazine plunger is actually quite easy to load. The bolt holds open on the last round and the bolt is blacked like the action and, although the cocking lever is a bit small, the serrated finish and curved profile makes it easy to operate. A single polished blue extractor claw dealt with all the ammo tested and ejection from the static spur flung the spent cases with gusto.
There is a long, nearly full-length scope rail for mounting a sight.
The Paragon Grande comes only with a 28-inch barrel and multi choke system. There are 3 chokes included, cyl, ½ and full. These are blacked steel tubes of 70mm length, well finished and inner surfaces polished with a universal choke tube key supplied in a plastic case.
The barrel has an overall matt blued finish, which is practical and has that 3½-inch or 89mm chamber length. It is a gas operated system, so the bore is ported to allow the expanding gasses to vent into the piston chamber beneath the barrel. This Paragon model sports a heavy-duty piston system, for the magnum loads and has a red anodised piston collar that pushes back a twin action barred piston cup. All the inner workings have Arman’s quality feel about them.
The rib is vented, with nine vents that are even in length but decreasing in height towards the muzzle. The rib is 7mm width with a matt serrated finish and a single red Day-Glo element.
First up, it’s a magnum gun and, as such, likes heavier shot charges. Anything above 30-grams was fine, but below this, cycling was intermittent. I fitted a ½ choke and shot the pattern boards at 30-yards.
First up and a true magnum round was the Remington 3½-inch Premier High Velocity Magnum load. This is a large round in Remington’s typical green livery and high bras rim. It shoots a full 2 oz of No. 5 shot, at a velocity of 1300fps and is a buffered, coppered-plated lead shot load. Originally intended for Turkey shooting, this also makes a great wildfowl load too.
As expected, it functions flawlessly, although the recoil was noticeable! The Paragon felt very comfortable to shoot, so long as the cheek was rested on the stock. I had a total of 285 No. 5 pellet strikes on the board, with a good, even distribution to inner and outer sectors. There were 135 inner strikes and 150 other hits. Some clumping but overall the 30-inch board was very well peppered!
Next up was the Hull Steel Game load. This has a 70mm case with plastic wad and 32-grams of FE4 shot size and high velocity. Again, functionality through the action was good and recoil very manageable for a quick second shot. A total of 171 FE4 pellets struck the board and, as always, this steel load shot good patterns with 74 inner strikes and 97 outer hits and all well spread.
The Eley Alphamax is another powerful round and this time I had the BB loaded 2¾-inch case with a payload of 36-grams of shot. I had a couple of non-ejects but after 75 rounds the whole action had loosened up a bit, like all semi-automatic shotguns.
I had a total of only 75 BBs on the board with only 22 in the inner 15-inches and 53 in the outer regions, no doubt a full choke would be better.
Finally, I wanted to try a typical pigeon load, just in case. The Hull Special Pigeon offers long range performance and shoots a 32-gram load of No. 6 shot in its 70mm case. This fibre wadded load shot lovely, with 225 total pellet hits with a good, dense 88 inner hits and 137 outer strikes. Again, a few not quite ejected but this improved after the run-in period; just remember that.
The Paragon Grande is a full power 12g semi, built to Armsan’s usual good quality. Choose your ammo wisely, as this is a heavy-duty magnum action designed for magnum loads and longevity. The patterns prove that the barrel and choke system is concentric and the overall action remained clean, even after good use. It patterned well and is a good price at £729.99.