Para Ordnance 16-40

This entry crossposted at Gun Nuts Radio Blog under ParaOrdnance 16 40 Limited.

After spending a weekend shooting my ParaUSA LTC 9mm, one of the things I decided that I wanted was a single action 1911 platform pistol in .40 S&W for shooting Enhanced Service Pistol division in IDPA and Limited in USPSA.

Saturday, after trying out my Storm Lake Glock 24 barrel, I made the mistake(?) of stopping by Gander Mountain on my way home, and low and behold what did I see other than a ParaOrdnance 16-40 Limited, a 16 round .40 S&W on the 1911 platform. After hemming and hawing for a bit, I decided that since the gun was in great condition to go for it. That next day I went out to Eagle Creek with Tam, Roberta X, and Brigid to try out my new toy. For comparison, I took along my Glock 24, also chambered in .40 S&W.

Upon seeing the pistol, Tam declared on the spot “That is a serious Limited gun, right there”, to which I agree wholeheartedly. The pistol itself has forward and rearward serrations on the slide, adjustable sights, a full length guide rod and all the other accoutrement that you’d expect on a purpose built Limited pistol.

After loading up the magazines, which was no mean feat, by the way; I tried running a few double taps from low ready – recoil was easily managed, especially if I remembered to grip the gun 20% tighter and bend my “shock absorbers”. Doing fast double taps at speed, I was able to handily keep all the shots within the “Down Zero” zone of an IDPA target at 7 yards.

This gun, in addition to being pretty, can flat out shoot. This and my LTC (when I get my little mitts on it) are going to be my Steel and IDPA guns – which creates the ability for me to transition from platform to platform quite easily because they’re both 1911s.

Compared to my Glock 24, recoil on the 1911 was a bit easier to manage – although felt recoil wasn’t that bad, the Glock 24 had more apparent muzzle flip to me – the all steel construction of the Para 16 40 Limited seemed to cause the gun to settle quite nicely back on target after each shot.

The only thing I don’t absolutely love about this gun is the magazines, which are absolutely murder on my thumbs. I’m actually keeping them loaded at all times in the hopes of breaking the springs down a little bit so that I can load them in the field without the aid of “Ahab’s Reloading Kit”, which consists of a toothbrush that I use to hold the spring down while I shove bullets into the mag.

This weekend is the IDPA match at Atlanta Conservation Club which is where I’ll be in the morning, running my new Para 16 40 Limited. That match is part of the prep for the IDPA State Championships in October, which I’ll probably run with this gun as well.

You know, I blame Todd Jarrett for all of this. Before going to Blackwater, I was content to live in a world without 1911s, I figured between my Glocks and Berettas I had everything covered. But I have to say, the 1911 is the most shootable gun I’ve ever played with. By “shootable” I mean that the pistol has a very low learning curve; plus the grip angle seems to make the gun want to point at what it to point it at.


  1. Para magazines are murder on everyones thumbs. Buy a magazine loader if you are going to shoot it, they are cheap, fast and simple.

  2. That’s what I keep hearing, the LULU is pretty awesome. I’ll take a picture of the Ahab’s Universal Mag Loader, from the WECSOG catalog.

  3. I had been looking at Para 1911s among others, and last Monday after all the blogger noise bought a .45 LTC and a Blackhawk Serpa holster. Both are awesome, I loved shooting that gun last week and the holster (pancake) is rock solid, intuitive to draw from, and quick.

    The blogger noise pushed me to buy the Para sooner, but I never would have bought the Blackhawk Serpa (looked gimmicky). Both are awesome.

  4. “The pistol itself has forward and rearward serrations on the slide, adjustable sights, a full length guide rod and all the other accoutrement that you’d expect on a purpose built Limited pistol.”

    You had me ’til FLGR, Caleb. 😉

  5. “all the other accoutrement that you’d expect on a purpose built Limited pistol.”

    A gun for all occasions? As in a separate one for each occasion? Specialization is robbing you of practice time and ammo moola for your Carry gun……..

  6. You know, if I could get rid of one thing on this pistol it would be that damnable full length guide rod.

    And jimbob, I do more than just shoot limited with this gun, I’ll also carry it and carry my Para LTC as well – same basic platform and same method of operation. Damn these 1911s for being so diverse!

  7. PS: Actually, I can see the use of a FLGR on a run’n’gun race pistol, ‘specially if it was made of tungsten. (Wilson, via Brownell’s, pg. 15, $94.95) It would go well with the EGW fiber front sight. (pg. 36, $30.00)

  8. Yeah, I can technically see how the weight of a tungston FLGR might help a race gun marginally, by putting extra weight out there on the muzzle. Hell, for that matter, why not make the bushing out the stuff?

    But it ain’t fittin’ for a fighting pistol, and my fighting 1911s function damned well without ’em.

  9. Magazines have always been the weak point of the Para-Ordnance double stackers. New ones aren’t cheap, either, at $32.99 from CDNN Sports.
    Stay far away from Mec-Gar Para-Ord mags, they suck.
    I have a P-14 myself, and shot it for a long time, but after acquiring a Kimber, I am no longer willing to put up with the poor build quality, sharp edges, and the extra weight.

  10. I can’t say I share your fascination with Berettas, but I can Identify with your interest in Para-Os! After the Glock 19/22/23, it’s my favorite platform.

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