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Para-Ordnance P15-45

Western Arms Para-Ordnance P14-45 full-length slide
Hogue Wraparound grips

 

I didn't mean to buy this gun... The short-slide Combat Carry model had been on my shopping list for a while, but I was really intending to buy an all-metal replica as my second handgun and had already narrowly missed one at auction. However, when this slightly-customised long-slide appeared for sale at UKAN, the after-market Hogue grips really caught my eye - I'd been intending a tactical rather than competition look for the next pistol, but I'm not fond of the extended catches and huge beavertails of the current Western Arms combat models and the less exotic lines of the standard gun rather appealed.

Some background reading in UKAN showed that the previous owner had laboured long and hard to fit the real-steel grips properly, and on discovering that this was a common experience I decided to spare myself the fuss. His work wasn't perfect, as somewhere along the line he stripped the thread of one of the grip screws and although the replacement fits well, it's not a good cosmetic match and unfortunately at this stage it would be very difficult to revert to an original screw. I'll paint it gunmetal to match the others, though, and after that I don't think it will be readily noticeable.

The rest of the gun is in excellent condition, and it has obviously been well looked-after. The action is smooth, all the catches engage and disengage with pleasing clicks, and the magazine drops into the palm of the hand at a touch of the release... Those awkward grips were worth the effort, too - the gun settles into the hand well, points quickly, and balances fairly well for a replica. In use, even with HFC134a the kick is slightly harder than the Beretta, and with AE Winter gas it almost has a genuine recoil. The poor man's chronometer puts this one at around 300 - 320fps, which is probably about as much as is sensible for shooting indoors. My early impression is that it doesn't have quite the accuracy of the Beretta, but I've yet to convince myself of that.

The Para-Ord snuggles into my webbing tactical holster rather better than the Beretta did, and that fat black handgrip hanging out certainly looks very businesslike. I'm rather fond of this gun already, and it may well be a good candidate for a full set of upgrades (metal frame and slide, high-power valves and springs) if I ever feel brave enough.

 

Western Arms' page on the replica

Para-Ordnance, manufacturers of the real thing

Hogue Grips

Review at Red Wolf