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Kimber 22 LR 1911 Conversion Kit - Product Review

13018 Views 12 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  El Chorizo
Kimber 22 LR 1911 Conversion Kit Review.

I all of a sudden had the desire to dust off the old 22 LR once again, and it also got me to thinking about, “boy I sure wish I had a 22 pistol…”. I began to do some research about the 22 LR conversion kits available for my Colt Gunsite 1911 .45 ACP.

After doing a lot of research about conversions and hearing that people either loved them or they had trouble with them, I decided to go ahead and get one. I chose the Kimber unit, since there were many reviews of people who had them – positive and negative. I also didn’t want to spend a ton of money on something like a conversion kit from Marvel. They are defiantly top of the line and people even shoot match competitions with them.

I have a Colt Gunsite 1911, stainless steel .45 ACP. Once I received the product, I immediately installed it on the frame to check the fit, the fit seemed close to my normal .45 slide. It was very good, but not as smooth. It needed some break in as I fully expected. To remedy this, I took some polish and polished a lot of the internal parts using some cotton rags and also some on the slide and worked it back and forth several times in 5 minute intervals. (The aluminum will mold to the steel frame since it's softer metal. Don't worry about inducing extra "slop" into your normal frame.)

Once I had spent sometime polishing some things up, the action and fit felt much smoother and more “free”! I think this is the "key" to making your conversion unit work well with your gun.

I shot two types of ammo and didn't have any problem with either type. I was shooting Remington "bulk" (the 525 brick) 36 grain brass plated and some standard HV Aquila 40 grain. The Remington was several years old, and I only had one misfire. I didn't have a single failure to feed with either type of ammo.

One thing that concerned me was that the firing pin strike seemed to be a little light (when compared to my Marlin 25N). This wasn't a problem, as I didn't have a single misfire on old or new ammo except one (I struck it two more times and it still didn't fire, so I'm assuming this round was a total dud). I'm thinking I will experiment with the firing pin anyway... and see if I can get a little stronger strike. I think the firing pin is aluminum as well, I don't see why it couldn't be steel, and this would create a strong strike – deeper dent on the case rim. The location of the strike was perfect; it wasn’t on the very edge, just slightly inside the outer diameter of the rim by a millimeter or so.

The magazines are Kimber polymer magazines and they are very good. I had no problems with them whatsoever! They hold 10 rounds from the factory.

If you buy one of these, and spend a bit of time polishing and doing a bit of "manual" break in, you will not be disappointed. I shot nearly a 100 rounds and it was still running strong, even though it was getting quite fouled.

I found the accuracy to be very good, since most engagements for a pistol occur at about a maximum of 10 yards or so. From standing, I was able to group these into a 2 inch circle or less. I would expect from a rest, it would be even better. I'm not concerned with accuracy at 50 yards with a pistol... it's meant to be a good way for me to practice my trigger control on my .45 ACP at "normal" distances. It's not match quality, but I didn't expect it to be.

The sites are very nice, and the rear site is fully adjustable for windage and elevation.

Overall, I would give this conversion unit 5 out of 5 stars! It’s great for getting in some cheap trigger time.

If you want more pics let me know! I will update this once I shoot it some more.
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1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Nice. When/if I get a 1911A1 type pistol in 9mm, a .22LR conversion kit will be with it as well. Would allow me sum really cheap and fun trigger time. Thanks for the write up mate.
Yeah, I've been happy with it. Gonna shoot it again this weekend! Too much fun!! :D
do you know if this kit will work with a rock island mid size 1911, also could you give price info , thanks for sharing , this is a great site keep it up
It might. When you say "mid size" what does that mean? I think it requires a frame that supports a full 5" barrel and the standard length slide. Although if your frame is the standard size, I think it would work because I know they make long slides for standard 45's that I think fit any standard frame. I'm just not sure, maybe post a pic or something... or someone else may know.

Also, read the reviews on the Cabelas site, maybe somebody there will have mentioned a mid size frame.

Here's the link to the Cabelas site:

The price was $299, and still is. I've been very happy with it and it works very well! It doesn't seem to be too picky about ammo either!
Great write up. I had a Colt Ace for a number of years and then sold it when another project came up. I still have my Remington Rand and really should pick up one of those Kimber units for it.
Jerr, you should for sure! It's really been a lot of fun and it truly does help practice trigger control! I've noticed I've been shooting much better with my other pistols after having used it.

Like I said above, make sure when you get it to spend a little time with it and kind "break it in" manually. It will work much smoother and you won't have any trouble with it. I've been more than happy, and it's a little easier to get one of these than to have to go through all the paper work for a new pistol! :D
If only they had a conversion for the Ultra Carry Kimber. I have one but never checked because I thought the barrel coversion might be too short. Now its another thing ill have to look into.
I'm beginning to think if your frame is a full size standard GI frame, it would probably fit. You could turn it into a fullsize 45! err uhmmm... a 22! :lol:
I've got a question. I know this kit cycles on a straight blow back where as a 45 has what's called a locked breech.

I'm wondering if the slide doesn't begin to move (cycle) until the bullet has left the barrel like it does with a locked breech type weapon?

I did some looking on the internet, but I didn't find a whole lot - wondering if someone might now the answer!
SemperFi said:
I'm beginning to think if your frame is a full size standard GI frame, it would probably fit. You could turn it into a fullsize 45! err uhmmm... a 22!
Its not a full size. The frame is about .75 inches shorter then a full size.
In that case it may not work. Have you been able to find out more info about them? If the length is just cut off on the front part, the rails and such might still be full length. I'm just not sure. It would be nice if you could find one somewhere and just try it.
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