Limited Long Slide
In the 1950s, the US military disposed of several thousand surplus 1911 slides by cutting them in two and selling them as scrap metal. Jim Clark, pistolsmith and bull’s-eye competitor bought them for 10 cents apiece. He used the slide parts to make long slide pistols for bull’s-eye competitors. In the 1970s and 1980s, as practical pistol competition grew in popularity, pistolsmith Jim Hoag made custom longslides in various lengths.
Perceived advantages are longer sight radius, muzzle-forward balance, and reduced recoil/muzzle rise resulting from increased pistol weight. Longslides had a mild vogue in both bull’s-eye and practical pistol competition. Developments such as optical sights and expansion chamber compensators proved more popular solutions. While longslides never became dominant in either sport, they maintain a following.
It wasn’t just competitors who liked the concept. Higher velocity from longer barrels isn’t a big factor in shooting targets. Shooters who carry 1911s in the field for hunting or for defense against predators do appreciate higher velocities. Not everyone wants an optical sight; some like the longer sight radius, along with the balance, feel, and appearance.
Para-Ordnance currently offers the Model 14.45 LS Limited in its PXT Single Action Limited series. It’s built on the high-cap, double-stack stainless steel frame in .45 ACP. Magazine capacity is 14 cartridges (10-round magazines also offered). The pistol is well equipped with features of the modern 1911: beavertail grip safety, long trigger and an extended ambi-safety. The ramped barrel fully supports the case head. The rear sight is fully adjustable and nicely buried in the slide, while the dovetail mounted front sight is a fiber-optic model.
There’s a full-length guide rod and forward cocking serrations, features some love and others love to hate. The frontstrap is checkered for a secure grip. It’s a handsome pistol, and compared to standard and shorter barrel/slide lengths it feels a bit muzzle-heavy, obviously. Whether you like the feel will depend on the individual.
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