Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Para Ordnance P14-45 finally comes home to stay from the gun shop

I know this sounds like blasphemy from a gun lover like me, but I may just have enough compact carry pistols and revolvers to do me for a while. So yesterday, I finally paid off the layaway balance on an honest-to-God full-size 1911-A1 .45 ACP pistol at the gun shop where I work.

It's a Para Ordnance P14-45, one of a pair of Para .45s sold to the gun shop by a retired U.S. Navy Chief Corpsman. (Most of the below is a repost from when I first shot the P14-45, but it's my blog and I can repost if I want to.)

I've been carrying and shooting the P12-45 compact .45 ACP the chief sold us for some time and it's a great piece, customized by the famous Cylinder & Slide Custom Shop with ambi safeties, a great trigger job and a host of other features.

But the chief went all out with the P14-45 full-size pistol and had Cylinder & Slide do one of their custom packages, plus a few extras not even listed in the package.

Cylinder & Slide, as the name says, specializes in cylinder guns (revolvers) and slide guns (semi-auto pistols).

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've "borrowed" it several times from the layaway safe already to test-fire it. I believe as President Reagan said in "trust, but verify." When I buy a used pistol, I want to shoot it first to verify it works good.

And in the case of the P14-45, I had to verify that fact several times.

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?

Now I gotta get me a left-handed holster for my new 1911 so I can carry it on "Big Gun Day."

And the one feature the chief didn't have C&S change is the grips. I bought a set of Hogue fancy hardwood checkered grips for it, but I gotta find me a gunsmith who can customize wood grips. With the ambi safeties and the magwell, the Hogue stock P12 grips need trimming on both ends.

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