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This Para-Ordnance P12-45 Limited series pistol was manufactured on August 17, of 2000 according to the company records. It is a self-loading, recoil operated, semi-automatic pistol that is chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. The pistol has been designed to operate as a single action firearm that utilizes an external hammer. This stainless steel pistol has a satin and matte finish. The Patridge type dovetail sighting system includes a blade front sight and a square notch rear sight that is drift adjustable for windage only. This P12-45 is fed by a staggered column 12 round detachable box magazine. The original staggered column factory magazines came in two sizes and could hold either 10 or 12 rounds. On the left side of the pistol there is a push button magazine release located at the rear base of the trigger guard. The pistol also features an ambidextrous thumb safety located above each grip. The pistol came from the factory with a 3 1/2 inch barrel and has a total length of about 7 1/2 inches and an unloaded weight of 34 ounces.This firearm incorporates a slide hold open mechanism to inform the operator that the last round has been fired. The black soft rubber wrap around grip and the magazine grip extension seen on this pistol are not original and were manufactured by Pearce.

The Para-Ordnance P12-45 Limited series of pistols left the factory fully loaded with numerous custom features. These high performance features include a full-length guide rod system, tuned trigger with serrated finger grip and adjustable over-travel stop, ambidextrous manual safety, an upswept beavertail which makes hammer bite a virtual impossibility, raised grip safety, competition hammer, lowered ejection port, ramped match grade barrel, dovetail front and rear sights, checkered backstrap, compact size with and a 12 round magazine capacity of .45 ACP ammunition. The Para-Ordnance firm even backs their pistols with a Gold Medallion Lifetime Service warranty that is quite impressive and states the following, 

"At Para, we believe that providing you with the best pistol means that we will stand behind that pistol 100% for as long as you own it. We will provide the original retail purchaser of any one of our pistols with all necessary service, free of charge, for the lifetime of the pistol, where adjustment or repair is required due to some defect in materials or workmanship. This lifetime service policy is available for all Para pistols purchased after the start of the new millennium on January 1, 2001."

The operation of the P12-45 pistol is based on a tilting barrel design that locks the barrel and slide together at the moment of firing. After firing, the barrel and slide will recoil to the rear for a short distance while still locked together. Following this initial movement, the barrel then tilts downward from its locked position, permitting the full recoil of the slide and the extraction and ejection of the spent cartridge case all the while compressing the recoil spring. Toward the end of the rearward travel of the slide, the hammer becomes cocked. Now the fully compressed recoil spring drives the slide forward causing a new round to be stripped from the magazine and driving it into the breech. During this process as the slide moves forward, the barrel is re-engaged and just a short distance later the return travel of the slide has ended. With the slide fully forward, there is now a fresh round in the chamber, the hammer is cocked and the pistol is ready to repeat the process the next time it is fired. 

  

  

  

  

The photographs on the left are of the front and back of the Para-Ordnance P12 45 Limited, while the pictures on the right show the top and bottom of the pistol. In these pictures the pistol is shown with an after-market wrap around Pearce grip with finger grooves. The magazine floorplate that is shown with the pistol is not original and was manufactured by Pearce as well.

The serial number is found on the right side of the receiver and directly above the trigger.  

The photograph on the left shows the markings that are found on the right side of this P12 - 45 pistol. The right side of the slide has been inscribed as follows, "P12 - 45 Limited". This slide marking indicates the model of the pistol. The right side of the frame has two separate inscriptions on it as follows, "PARA-ORDNANCE INC." and then underneath that is "FT. LAUDERDALE FL.". This first inscription indicates that the firearm was manufactured and also imported in to the U.S. by Para-Ordnance Incorporated, and that they have an office located in the city of Fort Lauderdale in the state of Florida which is located in the United States of America. The second inscription indicates where the firearm was manufactured and reads as follows, "MADE IN CANADA".

The photograph on the right is of the markings that are found on the left side of the pistol. The slide has been stamped with the manufacturers name and reads as follows, "Para-Ordnance".

  

  

  

The photograph on the left is of the top of the barrel as viewed through the ejection port. The barrel has been stamped with the Para-Ordnance logo and the caliber that it has been chambered for which is .45 ACP(Automatic Colt Pistol)..

The picture on the right is of the bottom of the after-market floorplate of the magazine. This magazine floorplate grip extension was manufactured by Pearce and is their part number PG-P10E. This addition to the magazine adds a touch extra length to the grip and thus making the firearm more comfortable and natural feeling in the hand.

  

Lets talk safeties.

The Para-Ordnance P12-45 Limited series pistol incorporates a number of safety features. The pistol has two manual safeties and four passive safeties. The manual safeties include a Slide Lock Safety which can only be activated when the hammer is fully cocked with the slide fully forward. When the slide lock safety is activated, the slide is prevented from moving rearward and an internal cam engages the sear to prevent the hammer from moving forward if the trigger is pressed. The second manual safety is the Grip Safety which prevents the rearward travel of the trigger unless the pistol is firmly held in the hand and pressing in on the grip safety.

The passive safeties include a Disconnector that protects against the firing of a round prior to it being properly seated in the chamber of the barrel. This safety will also not allow the pistol to fire unless the slide and barrel are properly locked together and in their forward battery position. The pistol also employs an Inertia Firing Pin safety which is designed to hold the firing pin to the rear of the pistol and away from the primer by spring pressure and will only allow the firing pin to strike the primer if the spring force and inertia of the firing pin is overcome by a blow from the hammer. A third passive safety is the Hammer Safety Stop device in which the hammer has been designed with a flat surface which is there to prevent it from falling forward and onto the firing pin unintentionally should there occur a primary sear notch failure. The last passive safety is a Firing Pin Lock safety device that prevents the movement of the firing pin until the trigger is intentionally pulled.

  

Resource:

Para-Ordnance P12-45 instruction manual

Para-Ordnance website located at: para-usa.com  

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