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I'm looking at an old Para frame with a Colt Combat Commander slide. It is my understanding that Para originally only made frames, and that Colt slides were used. I have a few questions about this:

1) Did Para just sell the frame, and the buyer bought a slide separately, or did Para supply the slide with the frame as a complete gun?

2) What model names were used back then? The set-up I'm looking at has a Commander length dust-cover (currently with a Colt Commander slide attached) and has a full-length grip with a flush-fitting 14 round magazine ... basically a Commander set-up.

Any other info you could offer would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
 

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What your probably looking at is a gunsmith kit. It was a Para widebody with all of the pieces to fit up to a 1911 slide. I am not aware of any "complete" Paras that were sold with Colt slides by Para. I am not the expert on this.

jess
 

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If I remember correctly ParaOrdnance used to sell a frame kit (P14) made of aluminum that worked with your 1911 top end. They later came out with a steel frame version and that is what the FBI spec'd for use in their HRT pistol.

I remember seeing the adds in Guns&Ammo for their P14 frame kits in the 80's (price was less than $150 usd). Para started marketing complete pistols about the time the HRT contract was awarded to LesBaer using their P14 steel frames.

Both the Aluminum and Steel frames were cast.
 

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Para Gunsmith Kits

The Para gunsmith frame kits were out for several years before Para started making complete guns. IIRC several years before the FBI sent out the info for bid request. I have a 45 ACP Para gun built from an Alloy frame kit. (The slide is from another Para Steel P14 gun that I replaced with Colt SS slide with LM Millet Adj. Sights.) This is the 2nd frame for the gun. The first frame had a crack on the plunger tube. Para replace the frame, even though I was not the original buyer of the kit. I had to send it to an authorized repair shop and waited for several months for them to get some frames. When I talked with Para rep, he said they had a bunch of early frame that were made with thin metal in the plunger tubes and were replacing them at not cost. After the gun was built and before it was shipped I asked about upgrading to a steel frame and could of for about $50 or so. Should have called earlier… There were many complaints from people with small hands/fingers concerning boxy feel of the early frames. I have seen several of the older style frame guns sell for a lot less that the newer framed Para’s.

Joe40
 

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I have one of the older stlyle frames. They are boxier than the new style. Smaler hands wouldn' find them very comfortable.
I found I preferred a long trigger even with the boxy frame. I haven't had a problem with it. A used colt slide fit just fine.
 
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