Author Topic: One of These Things (Is Not Like the Others)  (Read 782 times)

Big Frank

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One of These Things (Is Not Like the Others)
« on: August 16, 2023, 10:25:30 PM »
It occurred to me one day that I didn't have a picture of all 3 of my Para-Ordnance .45 ACP pistols, so I gathered them together for a family photo about 6 weeks ago. The oldest and largest one is a 13+1 alloy frame with a hard chrome plated Colt Mark IV Series 80 slide. I took it to Williams and had a set of their Fire Sights installed, green dots on the rear and red on the front. The little magazine extension gives it 15 rounds capacity instead of 13. These are from before they made 14 round magazines that stick out past the bottom of the frame and have plastic base plates instead of steel, like 8 round mags in a single stack 1911.

The next oldest is a stainless steel P10.45 I've had Mag-na-ported. When magazine capacity was limited to 10 rounds by The Crime William of 1994, they made this sawed off little runt with a 3" barrel. I had the slide milled and a Novak rear sight installed, along with a white dot on the front sight only.

The third one I bought was a stainless steel 12.45 LDA. The tritum sights have long since quit glowing. If I ever get them replaced, it will be with Night Fision sights. They use 30% more tritium than anyone else, so your sights glow brighter and last years longer. It has a 3 1/2" barrel and the original recoil system was replaced with the same type the P10.45 has, but longer. It has a small captive spring in the middle and another spring around the guide rod. But it has a large barrel bushing and a reverse plug with a tab that goes in a notch on the bottom of the slide. The P10.45 has a bull barrel without a bushing, and small plug that fits inside with triangular tabs to fill the 2 spaces below the barrel. The original recoil system on the 12.45 LDA had a single spring and was more like a traditional 1911 recoil system.

I was thinking this one was a Para USA but I got it before they changed the name. It's marked PARA-ORDNANCE, INC.  FT. LAUDERDALE FL.  MADE IN CANADA, just like the P10.45. The 35 year old gun is marked FT. LAUDERDALE FL.  CANADA, but not MADE IN, and PAT. PEND. All 3 pistols have Smith & Alexander Drop-In Mag Guides. That along with the double-stack mags makes them easier to reload fast than my Colt Government Model was.

I decided to put my LCP in the picture too so everyone can see how it looks with the Viridian Reactor R5 Gen 2 Green Laser Sight, and HOGUE HandALL Hybrid Grip Sleeve on it. The HandALL Hybrid Grip Sleeve bulks up the grip a little bit so you can get a better hold on it, but it's not too bulky. I just bought 3 of the 7-round mags and haven't had a chance to shoot the gun since then, but it feels a lot more secure in my hand now. I had finger extensions on all my 6-round mags and they weren't too bad either with the Houge grip.

The Viridian Reactor Laser Sight takes 2 1/3 N batteries, which is kind of an oddball size, but Walmart and Kroger sell Duracell 1/3Ns, so they aren't that rare. The lithium batteries are 3v instead of 1.5v. They're between the diameter of a AA and AAA, and only 1/5 as long as a AA battery. They fit in sideways right next to each other and last for 3 hours set to constant on or 5 hours when it's set to strobe. When you turn the laser on, it turns off when you holster the gun, and automatically turns back on as you draw your pistol. No fumbling for switches to turn it on when you need it. It came with a soft pocket holster with a magnet sewn in to activate the switch, but I recently bought a DeSantis SOF-TUCK that has the magnet sewn in between 2 layers of leather. I haven't found a good CCW holster specifically for the 12.45 LDA, but may start carrying the LCP whenever I get around to taking CCW classes again. When I'm done riding my ATV for the year I'll have more time for things like that since I won't be packing and unpacking all the time.
""It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at a Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency." - George Washington. Letter to Alexander Hamilton, Friday, May 02, 1783

THE RIGHT TO BUY WEAPONS IS THE RIGHT TO BE FREE - A. E. van Vogt, The Weapon Shops of Isher

Big Frank

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Re: One of These Things (Is Not Like the Others)
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2023, 10:37:01 PM »
The Micarta Slim Grips on the old gun look a lot better after soaking for a few weeks in my Cylinder & Slide Dunk-Kit. Before that they had a dull, ugly look that no amount of gun oil or cleaning would fix. They looked kind of brown and dirty. I have a titanium nitrided trigger pull improvement kit in the P-10.45. I can't remember what's in the full-size gun, mostly stock Colt parts I think, but after being polished and chromed it's pretty smooth. The old-timer has a solid N.M. barrel bushing instead of a collet.  I'll answer any questions I can about these guns, but it may take me awhile to get back to the forum.
""It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at a Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency." - George Washington. Letter to Alexander Hamilton, Friday, May 02, 1783

THE RIGHT TO BUY WEAPONS IS THE RIGHT TO BE FREE - A. E. van Vogt, The Weapon Shops of Isher

Big Frank

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Re: One of These Things (Is Not Like the Others)
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2023, 03:54:11 PM »
The original recoil system on the LDA 12.45 used a slotted recoil spring plug you could press in and turn with a screwdriver to lock it in place. Then you could turn the large, but thin, bushing with the wrench that was supplied with the gun, then use a screwdriver to unlock the plug and withdraw it from the slide. That made disassembly and reassembly very easy. I found a video of a P12 being disassembled this way, and reassembled the wrong way.

Also, a video of a P12 being disassembled and reassembled the wrong way, then an LDA 12 with a bushingless barrel like my P10 being disassembled and reassembled. The plug on my LDA doesn't have the 2 ears to fill the space between the barrel and slide face, since it has a barrel bushing. Apart from the lug, it's so thin it looks like stamped out sheet metal. The larger inside diameter, and small hole for the end of the guide rod, are what make it such a PITA to reassemble. The guide rod hits on the lip inside and hardly ever goes through the hole without hanging up. I almost always have to use a letter opener or screwdriver blade to pry it up into place while I push it in. I finally figured out it's a lot easier to push the recoil assembly in by pushing it against the edge of desk or doorjamb, instead of just using my hands. Some other pistols have thicker metal in the recoil spring plug, and a thick shoulder that requires that part of the slide to be milled shorter to accommodate the thick flange on it. I believe that's how the Colt Officers Model was made, but there seem to have been some variations on that as well. Enclosed are some pics I took today of the recoil spring plug.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nthc5084OZ4


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8RJAicbXc4
""It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at a Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency." - George Washington. Letter to Alexander Hamilton, Friday, May 02, 1783

THE RIGHT TO BUY WEAPONS IS THE RIGHT TO BE FREE - A. E. van Vogt, The Weapon Shops of Isher

Big Frank

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Re: One of These Things (Is Not Like the Others)
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2023, 04:14:35 PM »
The LDA-12.45 came with a wrench for the large diameter barrel bushing, but not a screwdriver for the recoil spring plug. So I made a double ended screwdriver blade out of a thick piece of sheet metal and riveted it onto the wrench. The metal was from a scrap VCR chassis or something like that. I made the blade about as wide as I could, and it worked really well, before the upgrade. It originally had a single 22-pound recoil spring, before it was replaced by a dual spring recoil system much like the P10 has. The screwdriver blade is snug enough not to move unless I want to turn it. I thought that if one end bent or anything else happened to it, I could just spin it around 180 degrees and use the other end.

I've been gone camping and riding my ATV a lot since the beginning of July. I've actually been gone more than I've been home, so I haven't had time to be on here. I took the LDA-12.45 with me last weekend for the first time ever, that I can recall. I thought my friends and I would put some rounds through it, but that never happened. Maybe we'll shoot it next weekend when I go back up to my friend's cabin. I put some snap caps in it and let some of the guys squeeze the trigger a few times. Everyone was impressed with how light the trigger feels, and how little it actually moves once you take up all the slack. You can squeeze the trigger until the hammer is all the way back and hold it there with barely any pressure at all, before giving the final little squeeze to let it go.
""It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at a Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency." - George Washington. Letter to Alexander Hamilton, Friday, May 02, 1783

THE RIGHT TO BUY WEAPONS IS THE RIGHT TO BE FREE - A. E. van Vogt, The Weapon Shops of Isher

 

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