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The Para-Ordnance P14-45
Dimensions Barrel Length Weight Caliber Action Type Magazine Capacity
8 ½ Inches 5 Inches 40oz. .45 A.C.P. S.A. Semi Auto 14+1
    One of my very favorite pistols, and my first choice for carry and defense. This is a semi automatic based on the classic Colt Government model designed by John M. Browning, but with a number of improvements. The most obvious advance is in the magazine capacity of 14 rounds, as opposed to the original gun's 7 round mag. Almost as important is the integral feed ramp, and fully supported chamber. The integral feed ramp makes feed failures much less likely. The fully supported chamber eliminates one of the great weaknesses of the gun. In the initial design, a cut out was left in the bottom of the chamber. This was to smooth the feeding and extraction of the cartridge, but it proved to be an Achilles heel. The cut out left a portion of the cartridge unsupported so that pressures could not exceed 19,900 cpu. What this means in the real world is that a standard 230 grain bullet can not be accelerated much past 800 or 900 feet per second. This was not seen as a problem back in 1911 when the gun was first adopted. The bench mark for stopping power in those days was the old .45 long colt of cowboy fame. The new .45 A.C.P. duplicated the old cartridge in power, but in a much smaller package. On top of this it held seven rounds instead of the six (or in some cases five if the common practice of leaving an empty chamber under the hammer was followed) that the old revolver held, and could be reloaded in a fraction of the time by inserting a magazine. The gun served in the armed forces for over seventy years, and is still in limited issue.
    The new Para-Ordnance is no thicker than the standard Government Model, and the design is so similar that the entire top portion of the gun can be interchanged with that of the Colt model. There have been a number of experiments with full chambered guns (like the P14-45), in which loads approaching and even exceeding .44 magnum power have been used. These experiments led to the production of the .45 super cartridge. Unlike other magnum cartridges, these can be chambered in the a standard caliber arm and so care must be taken not to mix them with standard .45 loads. Ammunition and components are available, or you can make your own by cutting down a .308 rifle cartridge. I have made a number of rounds like this, and they do work. I have also read of people trimming Detonics .451 magnum shells down, but as rare and expensive as this now defunct ammo is, it seems like a bit of a waste. The addition of a shock buffer, and a beefed up recoil spring gives what is essentially a 15 shot semi automatic, firing a cartridge which can edge out the standard loadings of the .44 magnum in power. As if this were not enough, the gun is a great shooter. It is accurate and has a excellent sights (even if they are of the three dot variety). It also has a hard black finish which protects the piece much better than traditional bluing.
    The Para Ordnance made it's first appearance as a lower frame conversion kit. The idea was that you would by use your old slide, barrel, etc. to make a new gun with increased firepower. The kits went over very well, but many people did not like the idea of discarding a perfectly good Colt Auto frame, so there came to be a demand for a complete gun. These 14 round pistols are produced in Canada, where it is not legal for a civilian to posses a pistol, and then sold in the U.S. where, for years, it was not legal for a mere civilian to buy a new magazine which holds over ten rounds. During the ban, the guns came with a 10 round magazine, but included a certificate for the purchase of a pair of 14 round magazines for $100. Happily, the ban has ended in most of America, though there are a few backward areas which have not yet come into the 21st century.

The Para-Ordnace takes down in essentially the same manner as the standard M1911 pistol. The process is begujn, by pressing in on the recoil spring plug, under the muzzle of the gun. This will allow the barrel bushing to be turned ninety degrees to the left.

The spring tension should be released, and the spring left in place.

The slide shoudl now be pulled back, until the disassembly notch is lined up with the end of the slide stop.

The slide stop may be removed by pulling quickly out of the left side of the frame.This can sometimes be a matter of some difficulty, as there is a spring loaded catch in place.

The slide can now be pulled forward off of the frame.

The barrel busing can now be turned to the left, and removed, allowing disassembly of the slide section.

The recoil spring, and guide, may be removed by pulling up and back.

The barrel may now be pulled forward, out of the slide.

The Para-Ordnance P-14, stripped for cleaning, and looking much like a pre 70 Colt Government model, with a solid barrel bushing.

For more details, please click here to go to my Para Ordnance page.