Para-Ordnance P14-45: An improved derivative of legendary M1911

Author: Eric Sof

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The Para-Ordnance P14-45 is an improved derivative of a United State Army Forces M1911 pistol. Produced in Canada, this semi-automatic pistol has become the first M1911 derivative to feature a high-capacity double-stack magazine.

Introduction

Para-Ordnance was a Toronto-based company founded in 1985. The company has been known for its high-capacity conversion kits for M1911A1-type pistols since 1988. With the initial success of the kits, the Para Ordnance soon introduced their line of M1911A1-type pistols with high-capacity magazines.

These pistols found buyers among law enforcement and civilian shooters and were adopted by the Canadian Armed Forces. In 2009 the company moved from Canada to the USA and changed its name to Para USA.

The P14-45 is essentially a clone of the famous M1911A1. It has double the ammo capacity of the original M1911A1. This pistol is also well known as a 14-shot M1911. Early Para Ordnance pistols were almost exact copies of the M1911A1. However, over time design of these pistols evolved and several new features were added.

This pistol is chambered in .45 ACP. Also, there are versions of this weapon, chambered in .40 S&W and 9×19 mm Parabellum.

Development

Para-Ordnance P14-45 was designed during the 1980s under the supervision of the head designer Ted Szabo. The production started in 1990 and it is still in motion. P14-45 is a standard model where the first number denotes magazine capacity (14 rounds), while the second number denotes caliber (.45 ACP). Other versions include P16-40 (16.40) chambered .40 S&W which features a 16-round magazine and P18-9 (18.9) which is chambered in 9×19mm Parabellum and features an 18-round magazine.

Para-Ordnance P14-45 semi-auto pistol
Para-Ordnance P14-45 semi-auto pistol (Photo: XY)

Para-ordnance has become popular with their conversion kits that allowed regular M1911 to accommodate double-stack magazines with higher ammunition capacity. This feature doubled the available rounds for the shooter.

Design

The Para Ordnance P14-45 is a short-recoil-operated weapon. It uses a classical Browning locking system and fires with a locked breech. Most Para Ordnance pistols have steel frames, however, there are also versions with aluminum alloy frames. This pistol has a “single-action” type trigger mechanism.

This weapon has a manual safety lever, located at the side of the frame. “Limited” series pistols come with ambidextrous levers. There is also an M1911-style automatic grip safety. Furthermore, there is a disconnect, which does not allow the gun to fire if the slide is not fully closed and the barrel is locked.

Para-Ordnance P14-45
Para-Ordnance P14-45 (Photo: Black Box)

This pistol has a double-stack magazine. That is an improvement over a single-stack M1911A1. The P14-45 holds twice more ammo, however, the downside is that it is not that comfortable to hold and shoot.

This pistol can be fitted with either fixed or adjustable sights. The rear sight is dovetailed into the slide. A number of variants of this Canadian pistol were created, including compact and subcompact models, chambered in various calibers.

Variants

Para-Ordnance P13-45

It is a compact version of the P14-45 chambered in .45 ACP. The magazine holds 14 rounds.

Para-Ordnance P12-45

It is a compact version, chambered in .45 ACP. Its magazine holds 12 rounds.

Para-Ordnance P10-45

It is a subcompact version, chambered in .45 ACP. Its magazine holds 10 rounds.

Para-Ordnance P16-40

It is a full-size version, chambered in .40 S&W ammunition. Its magazine holds 16 rounds.

Para-Ordnance P10-40

It is a compact version, chambered in .40 S&W ammunition. Its magazine holds 10 rounds.

Para-Ordnance P18-9

It is a 9×19 mm version. As the designation denotes, the magazine of this pistol holds 18 rounds.

Para-Ordnance P14-45 LDA

It is a “Lightweight” series pistol. This line of pistols was introduced in 1999. These pistols received several new features, such as a “double-action-only” type trigger mechanism. So this gun can be safely carried with a round in the chamber and a hammer down. The LDA series pistols are available with single- or double-stack magazines and a variety of finishes.

Para-Ordnance P14-45 Expert

The Expert is the basic model of 14.45, it features a 5″ match-grade barrel, beavertail grip safety, and polymer grips and is available in black nitride or stainless finish.

Para-Ordnance P14-45 Black Ops

The Black Ops is the tactical model, differing from the Expert by having a ramped barrel, integral accessory rail, Trijicon Tritium night sights, ambidextrous thumb safety, VZ Operator Machined G10 grips, and is coated in IonBond PVD. The Black Ops model is also available in the “Recon” variant with a 4.25″ barrel, and the Combat variant with high-profile sights and a 5.5″ barrel.

Para-Ordnance P14-45 Pro Custom

Pro Custom is the competition model. It features a match-grade ramped barrel, adjustable sights, and ambidextrous thumb safety, and like Black Ops, has G10 grips and is coated in IonBond PVD.

Technical specifications

Country of origin:Canada
Manufacturer:Para-Ordnance (later Para USA), closure of brand in 2015
Designer:Ted Szabo
Designed:1980s
Action:short recoil operation
Caliber:.45 ACP
Weight (empty):1 100 g
Length:216 mm
Barrel length:127 mm
Muzzle velocity:250 – 350 m/s
Magazine capacity:14-round detachable box magazine
Sighting range:~ 50 m
Range of effective fire:~ 50 m
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1 thought on “Para-Ordnance P14-45: An improved derivative of legendary M1911”

  1. As a Canadian pistolsmith waaay back in day I used some of the first Para kits to build some pistols for competition use. The first kits had aluminum frames, which did NOT last long with a compensator. The downward stress and leverage on the slide caused the frames to crack at the rear of the wider trigger bow cutout. The steel frames did not have this problem.
    I campaigned in IPSC one season with a full house steel Para in .45. It provided me with a tremendous advantage over single stack .45 pistols. Later on, I also shot a .45 BUL double stack pistol, which fit my hand a bit better than the blocky Para.

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