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.22LR conversion kits for 1911 practice

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Pancho Peacemaker:
There are several "kits" out there to convert your 1911 to shoot .22LR.  Lots of folks use these for inexpensive practice.

If you hunt around on the 1911 forums, you'll find lots of opinions on these kits.

Which one do you use and which have you found reliable or unreliable?


St. George:
I've taught a few thousand folks how to shoot, and in order to get them used to Service Pistol and Service Rifle, I've had a lot of use for conversion units in general.

I can requisition thousands of rounds of .22 - but hundreds of service Ball - and getting the shooter used to the feel and sight picture efficiently is of paramount importance, so the light report and non-existent recoil helps new shooters immeasurably.

I use the 'Colt Conversion Kit' from the late '50's - early '60's.

All you need to do to one is use good-quality .22LR and keep the 'floating chamber' greased.

I use ProShot's 'Pro-Gold' and Remington's 'Golden Bullets' and they work perfectly in the Colt, as well as in a Ciener M9 kit and an M16 Conversion Unit.

Now - keep in mind, we're shooting for proficiency and not for speed, so I can't offer an opinion as to what may happen when someone's trying to win a match.

All I can say is that in normal shooting situations - be it 'target accuracy' a'la the National Match Course of Fire - or the 'Killing House' at Bragg - these units have performed quite well.

Remington's 'Golden Bullets' seem to have a little harder coating and faster-burning propellant - important, because the thing that binds up a conversion unit is powder fouling and shaved lead.

An old AMU trick - the Colt 'floating chamber' can be slicked up if needed, by merely breaking the sharp edge of the chamber by chamfering slightly.


Scouts Out!

Pancho Peacemaker:

--- Quote from: St. George on October 18, 2010, 09:36:27 AM ---
All you need to do to one is use good-quality .22LR and keep the 'floating chamber' greased

--- End quote ---

St. George,

At my local range (civilian range mind you), many of the 1911 guys have vintage Colt conversion kits and they belly-ache about the floating chamber.  I've heard many a gripe about lead fouling causing problems after extending shooting sessions. 

Any truth to that rumor in your experience?

I've had a Kimber kit for a couple of years.  It is not anything to rant about.  It needs high velocity loads to cycle reliably.  Standard velocity target loads (i.e. CCI Green Tags) will often not cycle the slide completely.

I am intrigued by the new Tactical Solutions kit.  I have very good experiences with their other products in the past.  They had a favorable write up on this conversion kit in the last Guns & Ammo issue.

Pecos Clyde:
I have had a colt ACE kit for about 3 years.  A friend gave it to me.....nice friend huh?  I have shot about 4000 rounds thru it.  I clean it about every 100 rounds or so, and even then it still shoots fine....I just get to feeling guilty about how dirty i is.

I have shot almost every brand of U.S. made 22 ammo in it.  High velocity, standard, old, new, and it all works.

I have never used any other 1911 22 conversion, so my only experience is with the colt ACE....but I sure do like it alot. 

St. George:
As offered above - have them do what we did, and chamfer the very edge of the barrel's chamber - the barrel and not the floating chamber. - and use a light grease on said floating chamber.

Then - give Remington's 'Golden Bullet' a try.

Using those - I've never had any problems with any of the Conversion Units I've used.

Some can give a problem when 'Target Velocity' rounds are used - you want a more robust cartridge - so see what that particular .22 likes.

Unlike Service shooters - many civilians simply don't clean their weapons properly after extended shooting sessions, and any of the .22s will need some cleaning.

Good Luck!


Scouts Out!



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