6 Parts to Upgrade, Replace on, or Add to Your Para Ordnance Pistol

6 Parts to Upgrade, Replace on, or Add to Your Para Ordnance Pistol

Oct 4th 2022

Para Ordnance, which produced a wide range of 1911-inspired handguns, including some unique double-stack models, was (and remains) very popular.

It’s been almost ten years since Para Ordnance officially folded and shuttered, so, unfortunately, you can no longer buy a new one.

That gives you two options: the used market, or to find a Para Ordnance frame for sale and assemble one from a build kit.

Both are serviceable options and can result in you getting your hands on a reliable, ergonomic pistol that is a joy to shoot.

But while you’re at it, if you’re going to commit to finding (or building) a Para Ordnance 1911-style pistol, you might as well also commit to making it better.

Which you can do with the following 6 upgrades and customizations.

Para Ordnance Firing Pin Springs

Nothing exciting about this upgrade, but, as with the purchase of any used gun, the first thing you should investigate is the springs.

In the shop, even snapping caps, you won’t really be able to tell if the firing pin spring is in shape. All you’ll hear is a click.

But sometimes that click isn’t “strong” enough to ignite a primer, which you’ll notice at the range. If it happens more than once, don’t blame the ammo; it’s probably the gun.

It’s disappointing when that happens but cut your losses, get back to the bench, disassemble the gun and take a look at the firing pin and spring.

If the pin itself is not broken, the spring is likely fatigued. Replace the firing pin spring and take it back to the range; that fix likely will solve the problem.

                                Para Ordnance frame for sale

Recoil Springs

Another not-so-exciting upgrade but one you’ll be glad you made. There are numerous manifestations of weak or fatigued recoil springs - all of which you’ll want to rectify by replacing the affected part.

If the recoil springs in your Para Ordnance pistol are going EOL, you’ll start noticing problems with pistol cycling. Recoil rates will be slow and occasionally the gun might not reset.

You can actually check the strength of recoil springs when you’re not at the range. Open the slide over an empty mag and let it lock. Disengage the slide release; the action should close with enough force that it actually makes your wrist want to slide back in reaction. It shouldn’t close sluggishly.

Another big sign of failing recoil springs has to do with cycling. If your gun will fire, extract and eject cleanly, but the slide won’t close fully or feed another round off the mag and into the chamber, chances are near certain the problem is the recoil spring.

Fortunately, this is a very easy fix to make. Just remove your slide, remove the spring and rod, slide off the spring and replace it with a stronger, newer version.

Recoil Spring Guide and Guide Rod

While you’re replacing the recoil spring, you might as well also replace the recoil spring guide and guide rod. You can sometimes get these parts all together as an assembly.

It makes sense, too. The recoil spring guide and guide rod help prevent kinking in the recoil spring during cycling, which is a major contributor to spring fatigue. A stronger recoil guide and rod can not only extend the life of the spring itself but will also help ensure more fluid cycling.

A New Barrel

We’ll be honest here, this is not an upgrade everyone needs to make. Frankly, it takes tens of thousands of rounds (if not more) to wear down a pistol’s rifling to the point that it loses accuracy.

Then, of course, you have the fact that pistol shooting (in competition and self-defense) typically takes place at such close ranges that minor vacillations in accuracy are almost unnoticeable. Plus, handgun cartridges just don’t generate the types of pressures associated with barrel burnout.

Anyway, a barrel doesn’t need to get “shot out” from shooting. It can happen from a lack of care. For instance, if the previous owner just never cleaned their gun and left the fouling sitting in the bore for months or years on end - that could certainly be a problem.

So anyway, if you buy an old Para Ordnance and it has a barrel that’s seen better days, getting a new one might be worth it.

A Red Dot Sight

Not technically a Para Ordnance part, but a shooting accessory, a red dot sight can still be a practical, impactful upgrade.

You might need to remove your rear iron sight to mount one, but the benefits (for some shooters) outweigh the loss of the iron sights.

Red dot sights are parallax-free and can enable some shooters to substantially improve accuracy while decreasing the time between shots. With a red dot sight, you don’t need to line up iron sights and can shoot effectively in the dark as well.

For reflexive shooting, it’s just plain hard to beat a good red dot sight. Consider putting one on your Para Ordnance - it’ll give it a cleaner, more modern look as well.

A Compensator

Finally, if you can find a compensator that is compatible with your Para Ordnance barrel, consider dropping it on the end of the muzzle.

To be completely honest, there’s just no good reason not to do so.

Compensators do for pistols what muzzle brakes do for rifles. They change the manner in which gases are ported at the muzzle (or the direction in which they are ported), cutting back on felt recoil and muzzle flip.

In fact, some compensators can cut felt recoil by as much as 50% without compromising shot power. This results in lower shooter fatigue, makes it easier to wrangle recoil, and keeps muzzle flip under control.

This, in turn, keeps your sights on target, enabling faster, more accurate follow-up shots. Now pair a compensator with a red dot sight and you have quite a capable platform.

            Para Ordnance frames for sale

Looking for a Para Ordnance Frame for Sale?

Looking for Para Ordnance parts including recoil springs, firing pin springs, and a whole bunch of other parts? We carry these in addition to Para Ordnance frames for sale, so you can build and customize a pistol to your tastes.

We also carry a wide range of shooting accessories, including pistol magazines, iron sights, optics, ammo, and more - so you can get your 45 ACP here too, while you’re at it.

Either come into our showroom in Easton, PA, or get in touch with us at 610-250-3960 if you need any help.