ParaUSA was kind enough to provide me with a firearm for the duration of the event, a 9mm customized version of their LTC platform. Hit the link to check out the standard version of the gun. The pistols that we had in 9mm were slightly different from the standard version, as you can see. (Note: Click all pictures for the fullsize version.) The flash wiped out the coyote brown finish a little bit in this picture, but the rest of the details of the pistol should be readily apparent. It had a single action trigger, a fiber-optic front sight, adjustable sights on the rear, an ambi-safety, skeletonized hammer and trigger, and of course the cherry on the Sundae of Awesome, a pair of Crimson Trace laser grips.
When I first saw it, I thought to myself “this is a pretty cool heater”, and then I flipped it over and looked at the right side of the gun, which pretty much cemented my decision to purchase right then and there. I mean come on, who wouldn’t want a gun that said “Gun Blog 9” on the side, right? As to the actual shooting, I had not previously spent a lot of time with the 1911 platform, having maybe put 500 rounds downrange out of 1911s in my entire life, which really isn’t a whole lot. I didn’t have anything against the platform, I thought that it was a fine gun for stuff, it just didn’t fit my needs.
Putting north of 1500 rounds through this gun changed my opinion of 1911s, not because I now think it’s the ultimate weapons platform, but I understand the gun a lot better. I still don’t like grip safeties very much, but I will say that the 1911 grip angle pointed more naturally than any other handgun I’ve ever run; the fact that when I listed to Todd Jarrett and did my part that the Para LTC would come right back on target didn’t hurt either.
I shot more than 1500 rounds of ammo through this gun, and I had exactly 1, count it 1, failure to feed, fire, or eject. The gun was on it’s 700th-ish round, and hadn’t been cleaned and failed to fully chamber a round, a malfunction that was easily fixed by a sharp “whack” to the rear of the slide to seat the bullet. In terms of accuracy, the ParaUSA LTC is far more accurate than I can hold. In fact, once I figured out the Kentucky windage, I was able to easily knock down 8 inch steel plates at 35-40ish yards with the pistol, which was a fun sort of “bang-wait-clang” exercise.
Now, the LTC is designed as a carry gun – as soon as I get my mitts on mine, that’s exactly what’s going to happen to it, is it’s going to end up riding around in a holster with me whenever I put my pants on. I’ll get the adjustable sights lined up for 147 grain hollow points and then we’ll be off to the races with my new gun. It’s light, and even with a full mag will be much, much easier to conceal than my much beloved 92D.
Here’s the part that hurts a bit. I liked the ParaUSA LTC so much that it turned me on to 1911s, and after spending 12 hours in a car with Tamara, I’m now equipped to make a smart decision on what kind of pistol to buy as a starting point to my .45 ACP 1911…which will end up getting used in Custom Defensive Pistol in IDPA and Single Stack Classic in USPSA.
If you were wondering how I felt about the Para LTC – Gun Blog edition, I loved mine. I’m (of course), going to buy it, and can’t wait to get the FFL and all that other stuff squared away so I can get it in my hot little hands. If you’re looking for a Commander sized 1911 but don’t want the whack and roll of a .45, think Para LTC. Seriously, this was a fantastic gun. If you don’t believe me, check out the video Sebastian posted. I’m the only one with an LTC in the video, and you can see it in action at around 2:37 mark. That’s six steel plates, and we had to shoot them in the order 1,6,2,3,4,5. The gun was so fast back on target that I nailed them in about 4 seconds with no misses. My LTC is going to be used as carry gun, and an IDPA and steel gun, and I can’t wait for my first match.
This article cross-posted at the Gun Nuts Radio blog under ParaUSA LTC.
Great pistol, it seems to have been made for the 9mm. Did you get to compare it with a Browning High Power?
My recommendation for ammo would NOT be the 147gr subsonic, it would be the 124gr NATO-headstamped military round.
Penetration IS your friend, in more cases than not, in these smaller calibers. I suspect that you learned about shooting into cover at Blackwater, so evaluate: which round would you rather have if you had to shoot a goblin inside a car, the 147gr or the hardball 124gr? The only thing going for the 147gr is the old and tired “the cops use it, don’t they”, to which I say that the object is to stop your assailant the BEST way you know how, and that’s to make sure the bullets actually PENETRATE him. The cops can NEVER have a case of over-penetration which wounds or kills someone other than their quarry, because they get sued for bazillions if they do. Lawsuit avoidance is THE primary motivator in police work nowadays.
In a choice between a 1911 in .45 or 9mm, I would take the .45 (or .40 S&W), but if you ARE going to carry a 9mm (I do), carry the 124gr NATO round in it.
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