Sunday, November 22, 2009

A pair of Para 45s; subcompact P12 and P14 CST-1 Custom

My new-to-me Para Ordnance P12-45, top right, has a big brother Para P14-45 that we got at the gun shop where I work from the same former owner, a retired U.S. Navy Chief Corpsman who was downsizing his collection of handguns.

I just got the Para 12 paid off and since the Para 14-45 was still unsold, I just had to add it to the layaway safe so I could start paying on it.

The Para 12 may well have some custom features, I don't know because it's no longer in production and I can't compare it to a stock Para. It does have ambi thumb safeties and an adjustable 3-hole skeletonized trigger, which I'm about 100% positive is not stock Para. And I also strongly suspect it's had a trigger job as the trigger is very light and crisp.

And the custom work, I also strongly suspect, was done by the famed custom shop of Cylinder & Slide, which as the name says, specializes in cylinder guns (revolvers) and slide guns (semi-auto pistols).

The reason I suspect C&S is because I know that the other Para the retired chief sold us, the P12-45, has been heavily customized by C&S with their CST-1 package. It says so right on the right side of the slide along with the famous C&S mustache logo.

The C&S website says that package includes the following features:
Cylinder & Slide CST-I Custom Features:
# C&S Tactical Match trigger pull set 5 piece
# C&S Long Aluminum Trigger with Overtravel Stop
# Deburr breech face, radius & polish center rail
# throat barrel and frame for reliable feeding
# Hand lapped slide to frame
# Round all external corners and edges
# Bullet nose relief on front ejection port
# Trigger Job 4.5 lbs.
# Radius and Tension Extractor
# C&S Tactical High Grip Ambidextrous Thumb Safety
# Brown High Grip Beavertail Grip Safe with Memory Groove
# C&S One Piece Recoil Spring Guide Rod
# Wolff Extra Power Recoil Spring
# C&S front sight
# Matte Reblue Pistol.

As you can see from the photos, the retired chief also had C&S install a huge magwell on the grip, which I've heard called a "flowerpot magwell."

It's certainly big enough to plant daisies in and more than big enough to facilitate fast mag changes with the handful of 15-rd. mags with big slam pads that the former owner supplied along with the pistol.

And how, you might ask, does it shoot? I got my first chance to try it out yesterday at the indoor range where my concealed-carry class shot. My only complaint is it shoots up those 15-rd. mags way too fast. Just when you're starting to really get in a rhythm punching .45 holes in a small group, the slide locks back. Was that 15 already? This pistol is gonna blow my ammo-hoarding plans right out the window. It's probably gonna take at least 100 rds. a week just to keep it fed and happy.

Its C&S Custom trigger feels and looks virtually identical to the P12 and with either of these great 1911 .45s the trigger is so good it overcomes my tendency as a lefty to pull my shots down and to the right a bit. With either, I punch holes right where I'm looking, dead on the money.

And the P14 has one other feature not on the CST-1 list, a BoMar adjustable rear sight, so I could adjust the sights to zero it with something other than 230-grain loads if I wanted to. But with the P12 and P14 both shooting dead-on with 230-grain loads, why mess with perfection?

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