Most people will recognize a Colt 1911 almost instantly thanks to its popularity both inside and outside of the United States. What most people do not know, however, is that the Colt 1911 inspired several different “spin-off” lines of pistols that took the venerable old weapon’s design and changed it around a bit. The Para-Ordnance P12 is one of those pistols. Essentially a miniaturized version of the Colt 1911, the P12 still packs the heavy punch of its larger cousin thanks to the .45 ACP round it is chambered for. Disassembling a P12 for cleaning or parts replacement is a relatively simple process–though unlike its cousin, the P12 does require a tool to help break it down.
1. Eject the magazine, if applicable, from the handle of the P12 and rack the slide action back several times to ensure that there are no bullets in the firing chamber. Unloading your weapon needs to always be the first step you take whenever you are working on any type of firearm.
2. Insert the hex wrench into the hex nut on the front of the pistol just below the barrel and turn it counter-clockwise to loosen it. Continue unscrewing it until you are able to remove the front section of the recoil-spring guide.
3. Pull the hammer back to the “cocked” position.
4. Pull the slide back until the notch on the left-hand side of the slide is lined up with the slide stop lever. Push the slide stop lever up into the notch.
5. Push the slide stop pin on the right-hand side of the pistol all the way through so that the slide stop lever pops out.
6. Push the slide all the way forward to remove it from the frame of the P12.
7. Lift the rear end of the recoil spring up and out of the slide, then push the recoil spring plug backward and lift it out of the slide.
8. Turn the barrel bushing counter-clockwise until it stops, then pull it forward and off of the barrel.
9. Rotate the barrel link toward the front of the pistol, then push the barrel through the front and out of the slide.