First, the report on the Para LTC 9: In a word, boring. It shot just like it did at Blackwater, no malfs, no breakage, no drama. Of course, although it was cold and the pistol was just out of the box, the round count was probably only 40 or 50 rounds, so that was no big deal; not exactly a torture test. I haven't cleaned or lubed it, and I'm going to try to head out to Eagle Creek in a couple of hours and put another hundred rounds or so downrange.
I ordered a stubby GI-style Commander-length guide rod and the proper plug from Brownell's this morning, because the full-length guide rod that is in the pistol is an abomination unto the eyes of God and John Moses Browning (pbuh) and Jeff Cooper who is their Prophet. Lo, it doth complicate disassembly and raise a vile smell unto the nostrils of the Lord, much like the designated hitter, or Jeff Gordon fans.
I liked the sight picture. My Pro has Novaks on it, and between the white dot, the Black T coating, and an uneven layer of propellant residue, the front sight can get a little mottled halfway through a match and easy to lose in the strong black notch of the clean rear sight. The fiber optic on the LTC was just as easy to pick up on my last table as it was on my first, however.
I didn't use the CTC LaserGrips, of course. I'll see how well their zero has survived at the range today.
My shooting? I cleared my first two tables in workmanlike, if unspectacular, fashion. The 115gr ball was not a good combination with the frozen pins, tending to spall off chunks without imparting much momentum to the pin unless it absolutely centered it. As my markspersonship declined in direct proportion to the sensation in my toes, I was more often rewarded with gutterballs and even when I did hit, it often as not left a half pin laying on the table towards which I sprayed bullets in impotent frustration.
Lessons learned: 1) Make use of glove warmers between rounds; it doesn't matter how loud the little Todd Jarrett in your head is yelling "Grip the gun 20% tighter!" if you can't feel your fingers. 2) Front sight. Watch the front sight, not the bowling pins, nor the other shooter's table. Just the front sight. 3) If I use the 9mm again, which I probably will, 147gr JHPs are what I want to be shooting at pins, especially in cold weather; not lightweight, fast-moving, low-momentum roundnosed bullets that glance off the pins in a spray of plastic and wood chips, leaving a wounded pin on its side on the table.