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.