Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Para P12-45 gets PXT upgrade at Para-USA, plus a little extra service

My Para-Ordnance P12-45 finally came back from Para-USA in Pineville, NC, today, where I sent it back in early July for installation of the PXT power extractor upgrade. The PXT will hopefully solve its nasty habit of jamming occasionally. I was happy as a clam at the beginning when I bought the P12-45 which the previous owner had customized by Cylinder & Slide with ambi safeties, a new trigger and grip safety and perhaps some less-obvious changes.

But after the first 200+ rds. or more of flawless performance with FMJs and JHPs, I ran a magazine of hollow-points through for a test and she jammed. Twice! In one magazine! I cannot abide a carry pistol that is not 100% reliable, so off to Para she went for the upgrade. The PXT is internal, so there is no external difference. But hopefully the internal change will make her reliable. As President Reagan used to say, trust but verify. I'll be verifying her reliability this Saturday.

But the PXT upgrade is not the best part of what Para did while my pistol was in their shop. I sent a note along with it asking for some directions and/or advice on how to field-strip the P12 as it was a monumental pain in the posterior. With the help of a Kimber buddy, I finally got it apart by inserting a bent paper-clip in the hole in the guide rod, like a Kimber, then removing the barrel bushing with a wrench, then finally getting the recoil-spring and guide-rod assembly out so I could remove the barrel.

With the two of us working on it together and cussing frequently, it took half an hour to get it apart and another half an hour to get it back together after I cleaned it. Until then I had contented myself by cleaning the barrel while still in the slide. Getting the slide off was a snap, but getting the recoil-spring and barrel out was impossible until my Kimber buddy assisted me.

But God bless Para, the tech whose name is Jamie Woodard sent me a note explaining that in addition to the PXT, he installed an "updated recoil system... that will increase efficiency." Now all I have to do, he wrote, it take the slide stop out, remove the slide, pull up on the recoil spring and remove it and the spring plug. Then use the bushing wrench which he so thoughtfully provided to remove the barrel bushing. In 30 seconds, I was done with disassembly and happily cleaning the barrel from the breech end, as it should be done.
Then after all parts were clean and lubed, I applied some Slide Glide to the slide rails and in another 30 seconds it was all back together. I'm a mechanical klutz but even a klutz like me can take apart a more-or-less standard 1911 and put it back together. I learned how to do that in Uncle Sam's Navy back in boot camp in 1967 and thank God that got drilled in my head then. It's still there now.

Now for the acid test, does she still jam or will the PXT put an end to that problem? Time will tell.


Chris said...

Hay i have the same para and i absolutely love it. But i am having some of the same problems as you are and was wondering if i could get a price quote for how much para charged you for the upgrades? And now that it has been awhile since you have posted this have you seen a significant improvement?

netfotoj said...

The PXT upgrade is $99 and it made a dramatic improvement on my P12-45. Para also replaced the recoil-spring/guide rod assembly so I'm not sure which one or both gets the credit, but not a single jam since the upgrade. I reported on the results in a range report following the upgrade. Go ahead and send yours to Para USA, it's more than worth the $99.

Stacey McCallister said...

Thanks for the info. I just picked up a P-12. It's my first pistol. I'm learning as I go.