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Posted: 1/5/2006 10:30:00 AM EDT
I really wanted to start shooting some competitions last year, but my wife went back to nursing school and that kind of put a limit on what I could do. Now that there is a light at the end of the school tunnel and I have some money stashed I'm want to get a few things done to my Para 14-45.

I like a fiber front sight for fast shooting and decided I would go with a Dawson .90 front sight and a Bomar adjustable rear.
I have a guy that will do a trigger job replacing all of the Para parts from the trigger to the hammer. After that I'm not to sure.
I know I will need some kind of magwell. I have an idea of what kind I want to use, but would like to hear what you other guy's like and use.
I would like an ambi safety as a selling point to a lefty should I decide to sell it later, but have no idea what kind to use. I'm sure I would like something a little wider and maybe extended. I do like to rest my thumb on top of the safety while shooting if that helps any.
The jury is out on an extended slide stop. I know a lot of people say to never empty the pistol so you don't have to worry about it. I'm also concerned about bumping it at the wrong time. I've never had a problem on a 1911, but I did have problems locking the slide back on a Glock while shooting with an extended slide stop. So once again I defer to the shooters.
The last thing I'm not sure on is an extended or bigger mag release. I do thank something bigger or extended will work better for my hand, I'm just not sure where to start looking.

This pistol won't be used for carry or defense, just competition and plinking. I'm not worried about barrels or accuracy yet as it shoots way better than I can already. I figure the things I've mentioned will be a good start and I can fine tune as I go. Any help will be appreciated.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 2:35:17 PM EDT
I like the .090 F/O front sight on my Dawson built STI and Bomar rear. Some guys don't like it so if you find you don't want the F/O, just use sight black on it.

You might want to get the Dawson ICE magwell for it too.

If you have small hands and/or short thumbs, an oversize mag button is good. I use the Dawson Lo-Pro button and the Brazos Cyclone button looks good too. You need to have the mag release replaced if Para is still using plastic ones to a steel one that is drilled for the button.

Ambi safety is good for those stages where you need to draw and transfer to weak hand.

Forget about the extended slide stop, it'll just get in the way and normally you would reload before slide lock. Depends if you will be shooting in USPSA Limited 10 division, then a working slide stop would be better.

These are just my opinions and what works for me. Have fun.

Barry
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 4:04:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By HI5-0:
I like the .090 F/O front sight on my Dawson built STI and Bomar rear. Some guys don't like it so if you find you don't want the F/O, just use sight black on it.

You might want to get the Dawson ICE magwell for it too.

If you have small hands and/or short thumbs, an oversize mag button is good. I use the Dawson Lo-Pro button and the Brazos Cyclone button looks good too. You need to have the mag release replaced if Para is still using plastic ones to a steel one that is drilled for the button.

Ambi safety is good for those stages where you need to draw and transfer to weak hand.

Forget about the extended slide stop, it'll just get in the way and normally you would reload before slide lock. Depends if you will be shooting in USPSA Limited 10 division, then a working slide stop would be better.

These are just my opinions and what works for me. Have fun.

Barry


I've looked at some of the dawson stuff you mentioned.
What kind of ambi safety are you using?

What kind of ambi safety are you using?
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 4:06:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/6/2006 2:27:15 AM EDT by mtchristman]
Oops double post.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 4:25:13 PM EDT
Gotta agree with the above, great choice on the sights. I've got the same setup on a Delta Elite and have shot a couple of my best matches with those sights (versus Hienies, various Glock sights and Novaks).

On the magwell, I would say hold off until you shoot a few matches. For me a magwell does help on single stack 1911's, but I never noticed much of a difference on the wide body guns, and I've used a Glock 20, STI 2011 and a Para in USPSA. My reasoning is that the double stack mags are tapered at the top and you've already got a large opening in the frame. I don't see an urgent need for them on double stack guns, YMMV.

I'm not an ambi safety fan as a couple of the guns I used to shoot in competition double as carry guns from time to time. From what I've seen and heard, EGW has a nice ambi (as do most of the reputable parts people) or look at Dawson for that too.

Extended mag releases don't work for me on wide 1911's. My STI had one and I constantly dumped the mag when I didn't want to. I know it was my grip, but I didn't want to change my girp so I ditched the mag release. I do like them on the Glock 20/21 because my hands are positioned a bit differently. I don't dump the mag unless I want to, and then I don't have to shift my strong hand.

Extended slide stops: NO WAY!!!

All my opinions, so do what you think will work for you and then change it if needed. Hope you have fun shooting competition.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:48:58 PM EDT
I would urge that you don't do any mods until you have a few matches under your belt.

At this point, the money is better spent on ammo, holster, mag pouches, etc.

IMHO



Link Posted: 1/6/2006 2:23:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By a38337:
I would urge that you don't do any mods until you have a few matches under your belt.

At this point, the money is better spent on ammo, holster, mag pouches, etc.

IMHO






I'm no expert shooter by any means, but I do have a steel target range in the back yard and try to shoot as much as I can afford to. I only use a double mag pouch right now. Do I need more? The only other thing I need right now is a good gun belt.

Sounds like I should stay away from the extended slide stop.

I haven't looked at any EGW stuff. Link? Anybody try the Kings ambi safety? So far from shooting I convinced that an extended mag release would help. How about the wilson extended mag release? Plus I can get the catch and spring through them.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 5:49:33 AM EDT
Sell the 14-45, and pick up a SX 16-40 limited. By the time you end up smithing on the old 45, your going to have paid more money than if you just swapped. Plus, there are three more rounds in the 40 mag than the 45 with 140mm extenders (19 in 40)

As for the fiber sight, yes they’re faster, but not more accurate (just pulled the one off of my limited, since all it was doing was opening up the groups).

You don't need a mag well on a Para double wide since the grip well is beyond huge anyway, But if you go with a tungsten guide rod for forward weight, the SA one piece well help to balance out the pistol.


www.dawsonprecision.com/
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 7:25:17 AM EDT
Para 14.45 LTD Is my Limited gun
I have the Dawson mag well, not the Ice and also use the Dawson base pads+2
Swenson ambi safety works great. Gunsmiths hate them but only because they are a pain to install, they have a lot more material to remove in order to fit them. Most people I know use them.
I replaced the plastic mag release with a SS Ed Brown, standard not extended
Nowlin trigger parts with an ISMI 17 mainspring
.090 Fiber optic with the stock rear sight works great
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 4:46:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dano523:
Sell the 14-45, and pick up a SX 16-40 limited. By the time you end up smithing on the old 45, your going to have paid more money than if you just swapped. Plus, there are three more rounds in the 40 mag than the 45 with 140mm extenders (19 in 40)

As for the fiber sight, yes they’re faster, but not more accurate (just pulled the one off of my limited, since all it was doing was opening up the groups).

You don't need a mag well on a Para double wide since the grip well is beyond huge anyway, But if you go with a tungsten guide rod for forward weight, the SA one piece well help to balance out the pistol.


www.dawsonprecision.com/



Well I have a S14-45 Limited I picked up early last year. I know .40 is the hot ticket, but I'm sticking with the .45.

Are you talking about the smith and alexander magwell? That's the one I was looking at. Do the guide rods have to be fitted? What weight spring for a .45?
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 5:57:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/6/2006 5:59:09 PM EDT by watertower]
Spring weight depends on what ammo you're shooting in IPSC. Do you load your own? If so, you can load REALLY lite 230gr loads and go with a REALLY lite spring. If you don't reload and you're using factory ammo, I'd stick with 16# to start and maybe play with a 14# or 15# spring to see how the gun reacts and feels while shooting.

In my carry 1911's I run 18.5# springs and use the same weight if using one of those for competition. I use to shoot a lot more than I do now and I would use a 16# spring with a shok-buff when I was shooting a lot (I know the pros & cons of buffs). I also reloaded to a 175 power factor. Truth is, I like feel of these combinations and haven't tried much else.

In my 10mm race gun I used 12-16# springs. I really like the 16# in that gun, but several people thought I should drop to a 10 or 12# spring.

I've not tried it, but one test I've heard of people using is to shoot double taps at close to 7 yards. If the second shot is outside of the A zone (high) then you should reduce your spring weight. Again I never tried this!
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 7:28:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/6/2006 7:29:27 PM EDT by velvetant]

Originally Posted By watertower:
Spring weight depends on what ammo you're shooting in IPSC. Do you load your own? If so, you can load REALLY lite 230gr loads and go with a REALLY lite spring. If you don't reload and you're using factory ammo, I'd stick with 16# to start and maybe play with a 14# or 15# spring to see how the gun reacts and feels while shooting.

In my carry 1911's I run 18.5# springs and use the same weight if using one of those for competition. I use to shoot a lot more than I do now and I would use a 16# spring with a shok-buff when I was shooting a lot (I know the pros & cons of buffs). I also reloaded to a 175 power factor. Truth is, I like feel of these combinations and haven't tried much else.

In my 10mm race gun I used 12-16# springs. I really like the 16# in that gun, but several people thought I should drop to a 10 or 12# spring.

I've not tried it, but one test I've heard of people using is to shoot double taps at close to 7 yards. If the second shot is outside of the A zone (high) then you should reduce your spring weight. Again I never tried this!


the spring rate I quoted was a mainspring for his trigger job
Recoil spings will depend on your load and how your gun feels to you. I run a 16# ISMI recoil spring with my 230 grain loads
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 7:53:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By velvetant:
the spring rate I quoted was a mainspring for his trigger job
Recoil spings will depend on your load and how your gun feels to you. I run a 16# ISMI recoil spring with my 230 grain loads



I realise that. I ment recoil springs, sorry I didn't clarify. How do you like the 17# main? I've been running 19's in everything.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 7:59:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By watertower:

Originally Posted By velvetant:
the spring rate I quoted was a mainspring for his trigger job
Recoil spings will depend on your load and how your gun feels to you. I run a 16# ISMI recoil spring with my 230 grain loads



I realise that. I ment recoil springs, sorry I didn't clarify. How do you like the 17# main? I've been running 19's in everything.


I knew what you meant, I just wanted to clarify for the new guy. If I came off sounding like an ass I truly apologize.
I like it a lot. My trigger pull is at 2.5# and after tens of thousands of rounds I have had no misfires. I replaced it after 5 years of use just be safe.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 9:22:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/6/2006 9:24:34 PM EDT by Dano523]

Are you talking about the smith and alexander magwell? That's the one I was looking at. Do the guide rods have to be fitted? What weight spring for a .45?


I only run a 45's in L-10 (single stack), but on that pistol, I run a 13 lb spring using 200's or 185's grain (what ever is cheaper at the time of buy) over clays power loaded to 166 MPF. In limited, I run 40's with 180’s for the greater mag count (+P edge pressures due to using fast burning N320 to cut down on recoil/tighter groups, with a 22lb recoil spring).
Note: Since you only have to make 165 MPF, running the 230's is not ideal. With that much weight, and slower speeds, the bullet is dropping fast. You will find that the lighter, faster the bullet to make major power factor, the flatter the round is going to shoot.

Yes, smith and alexander magwell. You will either need to cut the bottom of the frame, or you do have the option of milling the inside of the well out to allow the bottom of the frame to slip into it. The latter does leave a slight step inside the mag well to frame, but if the plan is to strip the pistol back down to sell at a latter date (drop the old parts onto a new replacement Para), then this works well. On my practice rig's (the Para 16's), I end up selling the pistol off long before they wears out, and have found that I can do so with the frames uncut/ in stock condition.

In regards to the tungsten guide rods, no they are direct replacement for the steel one used in the pistol. But as stated from the start, sounds like you are pushing too much bullet weight, and way over the only needed 165 MPF in the 45. You get the loads down to just above MPF with a lighter bullet, and you will not need more forward weight, nor anything to balance the pistol out.

And yes the 40 “is the shit” for limited class. The 45 needs to be loaded way down, where as the 40 is just right for the new 165 MPF. Truth be known, with the new lower MPF now even more safely reachable with a 9mm, and if the rules weren’t changed to 40 being the min, I would still be running a 9 for a major since you get 23 rounds in a 140mm mag . With the new GAP frames/slides, you wouldn’t need to scallop as much inner steel out of the slide to get the moving mass down.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 4:20:29 AM EDT
I guess I was under the impression that you couldn't shoot 185 grain bullets and make mpf. I've only reloaded 200's and 230's and I shoot the 200's much better than the 230's. I guess I better get some 185's and try them out. Thanks again.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 6:01:06 AM EDT
It is fairly easy to make major with 185's. Dano is correct in his description of the 230's compared to 185's or 200's. I stick with 230 for a couple of reasons. First, the clubs I typically shoot at are all short yardage when it comes to targets, 20 yards max, and rarely. Now that was in Michigan, Virginia seems to be full of accuracy/long distance nazi's.

The other reason I like 230gr bullets, they're easy! I've found it doesn't take much to get them to work in my guns. I started with 185 LSWC and had a lot of trouble getting them to work. Eventually I got it right, but the needed tolerances were too small for my liking.

Velvetant,
Good to hear on the 17# springs. Next I buy some parts I'll pick one up.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 7:48:36 AM EDT
I have the Ed Brown ambi safety on my guns. If they are too wide for you, you can trim them down.

On the mag button, the low profile ones work better for me than the extended ones. If you have/want an extended mag button, you could run into problems of ejecting the mag in "gun on table start" stages. Once I put the Dawson ICE magwell on, it lifted the grip off the table high enough to prevent ejecting the mag with "gun on table starts".

The mag well also serve as an "aiming point" when doing reloads. With the Dawson one, you can change the insert to white which contrasts nicely with the black grip. My mag changes with a mag well is faster than no mag well even on a widebody frame.

Keep your .45 unless you really feel the need for higher capacity. The .40 runs at a higher pressure than the .45. My Para P-16 kept on breaking barrel links until I found out the ramp cut in the frame was out of spec. There are shooters who shoot the .45 and are just as competitive, if not better, as the higher capacity .40's.

Try other shooters guns if you see something you like on them. The more you shoot, the more you learn. Always keep learning.

ba
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