Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Monday, April 11, 2011

.50 GI conversion on Para-Ordnance P-14 frame?

Readers may or may not know that I have a thing for odd (usually large) calibers of near-wildcat status. Additionally, my all-time favorite handgun platform is John Moses Browning's masterpiece (and Utah's state gun, to much anguished bleating from the gun-haters), the M1911.

That, of course, means that I very much like the idea of the Guncrafter Industries Model 1, chambered for their own .50 GI caliber. In fact, if not for the high price ($3k+ by now, I think), I would certainly have one. I am not, by the way, arguing with that price--everything I've read about it seems to indicate the quality is such that that kind of money isn't out of line.

It's still more than I'm hoping to spend.

Now converting a standard 1911 to fire .50 GI might sound like a good idea (and it can actually be done with Glocks (but Glocks aren't for me)--but it won't work on a standard 1911, for two main reasons. First, the wider cartridge necessitates a wider magazine than a standard 1911 frame can accommodate. Second, the feedramp built into the frame isn't wide enough for the bigger cartridge.

A Para-Ordnance P-14, though, takes a double-stack magazine--plenty wide. Para-Ord also diverges from standard 1911 design in having the feedramp as part of the barrel, instead of the frame. This means that if one could find a custom barrel maker willing to build a .50 GI barrel with a Para-Ordnance-style feedramp, you would start to be in business.

You wouldn't be done, though. The slide itself would either have to have some material milled out of it, to accommodate the larger outside diameter of the barrel, or maybe (if you could somehow get one), you could use a Guncrafter Industries Model 1 slide. You would also probably need to modify the magazines, tweaking the feed-lip geometry, and possibly modify the magazine follower, or fabricate a new one. Hopefully, a magazine that holds 14 rounds of .45 ACP could be modified to hold at least 11 rounds of .50 GI, just to make Sarah Brady cry.

So, my question, gentle readers: does anyone know of any 1911 gunsmith who might be willing to take such a nutty project on, for less than the price of a new kidney?

Part II

You knew I wasn't done. The .50 GI cartridge, as impressive as it is, isn't really a "magnum class" cartridge--its power is actually pretty moderate. Well, that's not my style.

The brass of the .50 GI cartridge cases is reportedly quite thick and strong. That got me thinking that it might be possible to safely load it up to .460 Rowland pressures. I'd love to be able to drive a Speer 325 grain jacketed hollowpoint at about 950 feet-per-second.

Does that sound doable?


ordnancecorner said...

Try Bar-Sto

Though I have a hunch that by the time you're done you could have just bought one.

Kurt "45superman" Hofmann said...


As for your hunch, I think it's quite likely you're correct--although it's not what I was hoping to hear.

cranky_yankee said...

Reg is free, nice sight for comparing rounds.

45 Super


460 Rowland