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P16-40 Project is starting

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Saturday I picked up a used stainless P16/40.

 

origLeft.jpg

 

Over the weekend I removed the magwell and polished out some of the nastier nicks and dings on the frame. Detail stripped and inspected the internals. Also slugged the bore (.400) since I will be shooting lead bullets. Function tested the magazines.

 

noMagWellLeft.jpg

 

Tomorrow I am dropping it off to have the chamber reamed. Same day service from a local builder.

 

I have a new trigger, magazine catch, mainspring housing pin and an EGW flat bottom firing pin stop on the way. Hope to have them by Wednesday. If everything gets here on time, then I will be able to function test 200 rounds through it Thursday and promote it to my carry piece before I head out of town on Friday. If not, I will continue with my current carry gun.

 

Longer term, I am going to have it blasted with 220 AO and then gun-kote it in black, or have it Ion Bond finished if I can find a good deal. Also figure I will get rid of the ambi safety, but I will try it for a while. I kinda want a spur hammer too, but that is purely cosmetic, and if the commander works and I get the creep out of the current trigger, I likely won't change it for a while.

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Awesome gun, and you have some great plans for it!

 

I absolutely love my Para. Cerakoting, or any strong finish, on this gun is a good idea- the only negative I've found so far is the frame scratches too easy (my frame was just cerakoted a few weeks ago).

 

Here's a pic of my CCW:

 

 

ega04w.jpg

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Getting the barrel reamed ended up being more of a challenge. The gunsmith pulled out his reamer and found some damage. He wasn't willing to buy another as he almost never has call for one, and was only charging me $35. I really liked the gunsmith though, as well as some of the other work he showed me.

 

After some phone calls which revealed no one else in town was going to touch the job for under $70, I ordered a reamer from Brownells. When it arrived, I took it and the gun back to the first gunsmith, and he completed the work for $35.

 

I have replaced the firing pin stop with a EGW flat bottom, polished the sear legs and disconnector, fit an aluminum match trigger, and replaced the plastic magazine catch.

 

The gun went on it's maiden voyage on Saturday. With the factory mag, feeding was just fine. The Mec Gar magazine jammed lots. Always the same, nose in the chamber, but the head still down. Sometimes a gently bump would get it to finish, sometimes a rack was needed. After the range outing, I found the feed lips on the MecGar to be about .25" longer than the factory magazine. My theory is the increased angle becuase of the longer feed lips caused the issue. I have ground them back to the same length as the factory ones.

 

I also have a tripleK 16 round magazine on the way, as well as 24 lb recoil spring, 25 lb mainspring and a +10% mag spring from Wolff. The mag spring is just in case the feed lip change doesn't help. Still debating on the mainspring housing. It is currently arched, and ideally I like the look of flat better. But I am not sure I want to spend money just to change it.

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Got out to the range again today. It was raining and snowing, and the glasses were foggy, so not my best shooting ever. Range 30', 15 shots:

 

paraTarget1.jpg

 

The shot above the 7 is from a mosin nagant a friend was shooting.

 

Best news is this: No malfunctions that were not user related. Shooting partner had one failure to feed, but thinks he limp-wristed that shot. I put about 150 rounds through the gun with no stoppages.

 

I did find some deformed brass though:

 

brassDef2.jpg

 

Looks like occasionally one just doesn't quite get clear of the action before it starts closing. But, they didn't cause a stoppage. These were found on the ground. I can live with that.

 

Another 100 rounds without a stop, and it will be promoted to 'carry'.

 

All that is really left on the project is the Ceracoat in black.

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Does your P16-40 have the power extractor or is it an older model without? I was doing some reading on a conversion of one of these pistols and kept seeing people state that the power extractor was crap and to do the conversion on previous models. I couldn't find anywhere why the power extractor was not preferred though. Seeing your mangled brass I was wondering if maybe this could be the problem.

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I am not super familiar with the differences to say for sure, but it does look to my like a bigger claw, so I would guess it is a power extractor.

 

However, I will live with the brass happily. It is not causing a stoppage, and compared to my two Witnesses in 10mm, the brass is easy to find. I expect to lose 25-35% with the Witnesses, but only lose about 10% with this gun. Only about 3% is mangled. That is still half the loss rate of my other 10mm guns.

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increased the tension on the extractor. That did the trick. No more mangled brass. Also, no malfunctions today. Anyone considering a para conversion, this was really easy.

 

The TripleK magazine works really well. Holds 17 round, feeds fine, and was only $18.

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Would this conversion be applicable to other para models like the p14-40?

Edited by rippleAdder

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Yes, with qualification.

 

The 10mm is a high momentum cartridge. In order to get reliable cycling you have to offset that momentum. There are really three components that have an impact. Slide mass, mainspring interaction and recoil spring interaction.

 

In my conversion I altered the mainspring interaction by swapping the firing pin stop (increases the force needed to compress the mainspring), swapping the mainspring to 25 lbs, and increasing the recoil spring to 25 lbs. The gun is has good reliability at this point.

 

With the shorter slide, you may need to increase those spring rates event more to get reliability with high momentum loads. Looks like 27 lbs is the limit in recoil springs, and even that may batter the link and slide stop pin badly. Looks like 25 lbs is already the max in the officers length mainspring.

 

Point is you may not be able to get enough spring in the gun to compensate for the lost mass on the slide.

 

I would bet you can get it to work with some fiddling, but only way to know is to try.

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What about using those springco recoil buffers or some other duplex setup to gain the correct spring rate? The thought of a smaller 1911 with 14 rounds is very appealing but if it's not a good idea I'll probably go the route of the p16.

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I wouldn't want to speak to those set-up's, as I have no experience with them. Perhaps someone else here does.

 

The concern I would see is stored energy and slide velocity going forward. Too much, and it starts to abuse the link, slide stop and slide stop hole in the frame.

 

You may want to ping some of the custom gunsmiths like Dustin Bonar at LST. In his role as a gunsmith who works regularly with 10mm guns, he may have some knowledge to impart.

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Thanks for the advice my only 10mm experience is with my witness elite and I love the thing. 10mm has caused me to be more involved in shooting now and I'm so glad I went to this amazing caliber. I shoot regularly durring the week and reload now which had opened my eyes to another world that I'm thankful for. I really want a good steel 10mm for carry I know the glock 29 is great just not a fan of glock right now and looking for a good alternative and the p-14/16 seems to fit the bill. I'll do some more research on the p-14 and 10mm and let you guys know which way I go. I wish I could find a good deal on a used para though it would make the decision a lot easier.

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Sounds like you have a great build going there.

 

I've been looking for a 16-40 for awhile. Haven't been able to find a SA 16-40 yet.

Great to hear it worked so well for you. Maybe I'll have to have another poke around some gun stores and see if there are any good used 16-40s for sale.

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:thumb: Love this gun! If I were to go to a 191 I think is the route I would take. Considering the next step up doublestacks are Fusion and STi which are well over a grand Makes the Para look even better.

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Finally got the final kink worked out. The gun fed RFN and JHP fine but would not ring my 175gr SWC I had loaded. They were loaded to a COL of 1.260+.

 

I seated the bullets. 015" deeper to 1.250" and it fed them fine. And produced about a 6" group at 50 yds in gushing wind with minimal rest.

 

While I still want to get the gun Ceracoated, that will have to wait a while. At this point the primary goal for phase one was an accurate and reliable conversion and i have that.

 

Phase one officially complete.

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