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Para-Ordnance M1911 in .40 S&W

Gun Room: What is it and what's it worth?

Gun Room: Para-Ordnance M1911 in .40 S&W

Para USA 40SS, .40 S&W, 95%: $900

Question: Several years ago, when Para was still in business, I had purchased and registered several pistols. In fact, I had a relationship with the manufacturer and bought several of their products from private offers to me. One of those was a single-­stack Model 1911 in .40 S&W. The Para Model number is SX940SK and the serial number is P222XXX with the “P” being smaller and shallower than the rest of the number. The name “PARA 40SS” is rolled onto the slide and the letters are silver. When the pistol arrived it was filthy. When I called them, they apologized and said it was a prototype that was sold from their excess inventory. (I later found out they were going out of business.) I am curious as to what this pistol actually is and its value.

-R.J. of Sarasota, Florida

Answer: I was always a fan of Para-­Ordnance and Para USA pistols. I knew the founders, Thanos Polyzos and Ted Szabo quite well. The company launched a dizzying array of different models, many designed by Szabo. I must admit that I am not totally familiar with the Para 40SS, as you describe it. By the Para coding, the name would mean “.40 S&W Single Stack.” The firm advertised in 2012 that it was coming out with such a pistol, but I am not aware of how many were produced. The retail price was listed as “$999.” As the company identified your piece as a “prototype,” I suppose we have to take them at their word. Para 1911s seem to bring decent money, though mostly as working guns. I am not aware of a trend towards collecting them, but I can’t imagine there are not some enthusiasts out there. Valuing such a piece is difficult, because I cannot find sales of comparative pistols. As a shooter, I would guess its worth in the $850 to $950 range. From your photos, it appears to be in excellent condition. If any of my readers have further thoughts on this gun, I’d be glad to hear from them.

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