Para-Ordanance P18.9 Limited

  • Condition:
  • Make:Para - Ordanance
  • Model:P18 - 9 Limited
  • Ammo Type:Centrefire
  • Action Type:Semi Automatic
  • Bore Diameter:0.355
  • Calibre:9mm
  • Serial Number:P127164

Private User

Seller Type: Private User
Licence # 280655F
Location: BROADVIEW, SA, 5083
Phone #: *** click to reveal ***
Transferring Dealer: Ignition Custom Engineering, SA, 5096
Licence # 333089B
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S/H Para Ordnance P18 Semi Auto 9mm
Very Good Condition, Includes 4 Magazines, original case, and manual.
Low use, approximately 700 rounds fired only.

Para Ordnance P Series
by Ric Tester
Australian & New Zealand Handgun 2

The Para Ordnance P-18
The trigger, magazine base and grips are made from a black polymer composition

When the hammer is fully cocked, it is possible to use the thumb to engage the slide lock safety

The gun comes with a comprehensive manual, lubricant and a small set of specialist tools to facilitate disassembly of the gun

The Para Ordnance sports a five-inch barrel and a ten-shot magazine

The gun was tested using factory-loaded PMC ammunition The Para Ordnance, or ‘Para’ as it is more commonly known, company of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has been manufacturing high quality 1911-style pistols for several years, and one of its current offerings - the Canadian-manufactured ‘P-18 Limited’, available in both 9mm Luger and .38 Super - well and truly lives up to the established reputation

The pistol that was presented for review was an all-stainless P-18 in .38 Super - at present the most powerful of the currently legal calibres (see more about the cartridge specifications below). Sporting a five-inch barrel and a ten-shot magazine - again the largest legal capacity - the handgun felt and looked solid, robust and well-balanced.

As supplied, the gun comes in a two-tone hinged plastic box along with a comprehensive manual, lubricant and a small set of specialist tools to facilitate disassembly of the gun. The gun itself is of the typical 1911 single-action self-loading design, sporting an all-satin finish with the exception of the side walls of the slide, which have been buffed to a high sheen. The trigger, magazine base and grips are made from a black polymer composition that offsets the stainless finish quite well. The unit is fitted with a fixed front-sight and a fully adjustable rear-sight - both finished in a standard matte black.

Loading the gun is achieved by removing the magazine and inserting one cartridge at a time through its top end by forcing each successive cartridge down over the next. The magazine is then inserted all the way into the stock, after which an audible ‘click’ can be heard when it locks into place. The gun is cocked by moving the slide against spring pressure fully rearward and then releasing it - the forward motion of the slide will cause it to catch the first cartridge in the magazine and carry it up the feed ramp and into the chamber. The motion of the slide will leave the external hammer in the cocked position.

The gun has a number of inbuilt features that facilitate safe handling and shooting. When the hammer is fully cocked, it is possible to use the thumb to engage the slide lock safety - which can be accessed from either side of the gun via the two identical but mirror image levers at the top of the stock on either side of the frame. Moving the lever to the ‘up’ position will prevent the trigger from releasing the hammer.

The grip safety is another feature that can prevent accidental discharge. By gripping the stock in the normal way, the shooter will deactivate this safety mechanism by keeping the grip safety lever in the forward position. There also exist a number of design features that prevent a round from being fired before it is correctly seated in the chamber. A small spring also holds the firing pin to the rear, which will prevent it from moving forward unless it is struck with the full force of the hammer. The risk of an accidental discharge if the gun is dropped is minimised by a firing pin lock - a device that will prevent the firing pin from moving forward unless the trigger is deliberately pressed.

Accuracy of the gun is increased by a tilting barrel design that permits the barrel and the slide to become locked together at the moment that the round is fired. During recoil, the barrel and the slide will move rearward as one for a short distance. The barrel will then tilt slightly downward and disengage from the slide - permitting it to move fully rearward and complete the ejection and loading cycle.

Disassembly of the gun for the purpose of cleaning is a relatively simple process. The barrel bushing wrench (supplied with the kit) is used to release the slide/barrel assembly, which can then be completely dismantled. The barrel can then be completely withdrawn from the slide in order to permit cleaning and inspection. This is a standard field-stripping operation which will allow for thorough cleaning and lubrication of the pistol.

Testing the gun
The gun was tested using factory-loaded PMC ammunition, supplied with 115-grain jacketed hollow point bullets. It was tested for both accuracy and performance under competition conditions. The accuracy testing was done by setting a target at 25 metres and firing from a sandbag rest using only the open sights that are supplied with the pistol.

A number of five-shot groups revealed the gun to be consistently accurate with group sizes measuring two inches or less. During testing, it was noted that the gun has a relatively mild recoil for its calibre, and that the action cycle functioned with a silky smoothness and without any evidence of jamming or misfeeds. The gun also performed flawlessly during rapid fire and once again the mild recoil greatly facilitated swift target acquisition. The trigger release was crisp and decisive, and as set by the factory, let go at about eight pounds force. The degree of over-travel of the trigger is adjustable on this gun, but for the purpose of the test was left at the factory setting, which was quite acceptable. The machining of the parts is very accurate and the mating surfaces allow for smoothness and freedom of movement without slop or rattle.

The cartridges - .38 Super and 9mm Luger
Like so many other cartridges, the .38 Super began life as an improved version of another cartridge - in this case the Colt .38 ACP - first introduced in 1900. The Super cartridge - developed in the late 1920s - was dimensionally identical to the earlier .38 ACP, but could be loaded to much higher pressures. For many years the reputation of this fine cartridge was dogged by reports of relatively poor accuracy - a situation believed to be caused by head spacing problems that were brought about by the rather small rim. Modern firearms chambered for this calibre will headspace on the mouth - removing any previous issues to do with poor accuracy.

The .38 Super is a potent cartridge with the ability to launch a 115-grain bullet at velocities up to 1400fps, which is superior to its nearest neighbour, the 9mm Luger. The Luger round has been in existence for more than a hundred years and has become the most popular military pistol cartridge in the world. Most firearm manufacturers offer their semi-automatic pistols in this calibre, which is an excellent compromise between power and ease of handling. Like the .38 Super, the 9mm Luger headspaces on the mouth of the cartridge and for this reason ammunition needs to be either factory loaded or hand loaded to exacting specifications - case length is especially important. Bullet weights for the 9mm range from about 90 grains to 150 grains and a typical muzzle velocity of an average weight bullet would be about 1200fps.

The Para Ordnance P-18 is a high-end, superior-quality handgun that would be eminently suitable for the competition shooter. It is reliable, accurate and with a recoil characteristic that causes the gun to push rather than jolt or jar. The finish is professional and far superior to some of the lesser-priced 1911 types on the market. The gun has an excellent durable finish, which unless horribly abused would remain good for many years.

Both the 9mm Luger and .38 Super are excellent centrefire calibres - the 9mm being the most frequently encountered, but the .38 winning in terms of power. Investment-wise, this gun would represent excellent value, as it is well documented that a higher-end product will hold and may even increase its value over time. All up, the Para Ordnance is an excellent pistol with fine shooting characteristics.

Date Listed: 16/08/2019


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