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StevenCline
20-12-2011, 03:09 AM
On a whim last year I purchased a used Kimber .22LR conversion kit from a local gun store. I paid about $275 US.

These converstion kits are a complete upper which is placed onto your existing 1911's frame and comes with one magazine. The strongest selling point of these kits in my opinion are that they afford you trigger time on your favorite 1911- you shoot the same trigger, but with less recoil and for a whole lot less money.

I quickly discovered why the kit was being resold used- many malfunctions. But, unlike the previous owner I was unafraid to diagnose and fix the problem. There was a lot of friction of the slide moving over the barrel hood during recoil. So much so that it did not cycle fully and often did not pick up the next cartridge from the magazine. I noted that by using a different slide stop the friction was reduced. The "pin" portion of the slide stop was slightly smaller than that which came with the kit. That did not completed reduce the malfucntions so out came the sand-paper. After some time the slide was moving smoothly across the hood and the malfunctions ceased.

The kit is pretty much a standard 1911 configuration. It has a slide which is milled from alluminum to make it lighter. A barrell which is .45 caliber in circumference with a .22 caliber diameter hole. A barrel bushing, recoild spring and guide rod complete the configuration. The ejector on your 1911 .45 will not work on the .22. Affixed to the barrel in an arm which extends rearward with a small extention on the end towards the center of the gun. As the slide works rearward extracting in realtively normal fashion eventually the case strikes that small extention which acts as the ejector.

I have fired probably 10,000 rnds through the conversion kit since it's purchase. When it becomes very dirty or dry the malfunctions start. It is also very finicky to ammo and limp-wristing. My kit perfers Federal ammo but not Winchester, and like most 1911s- the wetter the better.

Recently I fired it for accuracy at 15 yards. These shots were fired at 15 yards, standing, two-handed but otherwise unsupported at the “little blue man” on a B27 Law Enforcement target. The target with 15 shots measures about 1.75” by 2.25”. The second group of 11 shots measures 1.5” by 2.5”. I hit the "little blue dude" with 13 out of 15 and 10 out of 11 respectively.

The Kimber .22LR conversion kit was mounted on a Citadel M1911 frame. The ammo was Federal Target Grade .22LR, 36 grn. It was 65 degrees and relatively still, and partially cloudy.

IF available, I recommend the .22 conversion kits. They provide a lot more shooting for the same ammo cost. You benefit from shooting the same trigger. Also, .22 competions are fun. Children and adults both can learn to shoot on a low recoil, low report, low blast firearm allowing them to focus on fundamentals when full powder firearms may distract the shooter with the louder booms, more violent recoil and larger flash of gunpowder.

American Lockpicker
20-12-2011, 11:01 AM
Interesting. I nearly bought a Kimber 22 1911 in 2007 but went with a Glock 19C instead, looks like I made a good choice.

StevenCline
21-12-2011, 02:55 AM
I sold a G19 and used part of the funds for the kit. I feel pretty good about my decision as well.