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  #1  
Old 11-07-2009, 08:31 PM
maximus83 maximus83 is offline
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Best upper-end .22 conversions for 1911's




I just had a failed experience getting a Tactical Solutions .22 conversion kit for my 1911. I am not bad-mouthing Tacsol; they are a great company, and everything I researched leads me to believe their kits are great and perhaps I just got a rare lemon. But, that one is being returned.

Rather than just try them again, I decided to try something else. The top units that I found in my research were:

* Tacsol and Marvel at the high end
* Adv. Arms and Kimber in mid-range
* Ciener at the low end


I'm interested in the Marvel and Adv Arms kits. Are these any good? The Adv Arms kit looks interesting to me. I'd consider the Marvel, but I don't know that I necessarily need to spend so much. This is not going to be a competition gun, so I don't need target-like accuracy. I just want reasonable accuracy for range shooting and hunting, and most of all, I want something that will be RELIABLE. My Tacsol unit was FTF on about 20% of all the ammo I fired, regardless of which of my 1911's I used, or trying different mags, ammo, etc.
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  #2  
Old 11-07-2009, 08:40 PM
skipsan skipsan is offline
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Nothing specific except to say that several of my fellow gun club members use the Marvel kit and swear by it, saying that it is equivalent to a higher end dedicated .22 target pistol.

I personally use a Colt Ace Service model which shoots "patterns" and not groups. Still a nice looking piece, though, and a good purchase. Colt Ace conversions seem to go on the auctions for $4-->$500. I assume they would be equivalent in performance to the dedicated .22 Colt Ace.
  #3  
Old 11-07-2009, 08:46 PM
ClarkEMyers ClarkEMyers is online now
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I suspect but do not know that they each and all work with some particualar load.

In my own experience, I have a pair of Service Ace conversions which I find the best match to other 1911's for practice and fun - same size weight and slide lock as well as fit the same holsters to wear off the gorgeous old Colt blue, most ammunition simply will not work. Mine run perfectly with CCI Velocitor and not very well at all with everything else I've tried to date.

In my observation the Marvel does much better but any target .22 used for targets will respond better to some loads. Marvel has a range from about $350 street for the base model to hundred or so more $450 for match units.

I'd be inclined to trust Wilson's customer service over the other companies mentioned for .22 conversions.

I have an EGW o/s slide stop and a Briley two piece barrel bushing on the Service Ace (some say the Briley is a bad idea with the abrupt step on many Service Ace barrels I'm following the advice of Wild Bill Caldwell) and find that not so bad to tighten groups some. EGW matched my original #2 slidestop for the slide lock as a special at a very fair price -

Last edited by ClarkEMyers; 11-07-2009 at 08:51 PM. Reason: add reference to O/S slide stop and bushing on Service Ace
  #4  
Old 11-07-2009, 08:49 PM
maximus83 maximus83 is offline
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Ah, I found the Wilson conversion .22 unit. Hadn't even heard of this, is it any good?

http://www.wilsoncombat.com/a_22_conversion.asp
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Last edited by maximus83; 11-07-2009 at 08:52 PM.
  #5  
Old 11-07-2009, 08:59 PM
ClarkEMyers ClarkEMyers is online now
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AFAIK the current unit is their own make - in the past it's been a label.

AFAIK the current unit is their own make - in the past it's been a label. Reports here are it's a Marvel relabeled. At one time Wilson offered a nice full house .22 on their own receiver with the option of a center fire conversion simultaneously or later and the .22 was a good deal cheaper than the center fires.

http://www.wilsoncombat.com/a_22_conversion.asp

Quote:
22 Conversion Unit
(picture omitted see the site)
You'd expect to pay about $16.50 for a 50 rd box (33˘ ea.) of hard ball .45 ACP ammo at your local gun shop. But why not shoot inexpensive .22's that sell for $1.50 for a 50 rd box (03˘ ea.) instead? .... This is great savings, but your .45 doesn't shoot .22's. That's why you need a Wilson Combat® .22 Conversion Unit.

Installation is simple, just remove the slide stop, slide the upper unit off your .45, then install the .22 Conversion Unit. Once you re-install your slide stop and substitute the ten round .22 magazine that come with the unit, you're ready to shoot .22's. It's that fast and easy!

While shooting .22's, you'll appreciate the crisp sight picture of the fully adjustable rear and improved ramp front sights. When you change out the slide, the sights go with it so you'll be right back on target with each caliber change.

We all like to save money, but your objective is to become a better shot. It's quite common for shooting instructors to train with .22's. Since the .22 has less recoil and muzzle blast, students tend to learn faster with less tendency to develop bad habits, like jerking the trigger in anticipation of the recoil.

To get the most from your training, our conversion unit lets you practice with the same grip, trigger pull, safeties and action of your .45 auto. Once converted, your .22 has the same overall dimension as your .45 so you can use your existing holster. Oh, we've been so busy telling you how we're going to improve your shooting and save you money that we forgot to tell you about the scalloped slide top, checkered slide stop and superb accuracy.

NOTE: Due to tolerance variation of most Gold Cups* and some custom 1911's, minor fitting may be required on the .22 unit for proper operation.

Last edited by ClarkEMyers; 11-08-2009 at 11:47 AM. Reason: folks say the Wilson is a Marvel relabeled
  #6  
Old 11-07-2009, 09:11 PM
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10ring 10ring is offline
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I had a Marvell Unit 1 for a while. It worked great! Sold it to RetiredRod during a weak moment. I miss it.
  #7  
Old 11-07-2009, 09:29 PM
340six 340six is offline
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I have nothing to go on other than the fact that I bought my 1911 seriers 70 as a service model ace new way back when it has the 2 part barrel
I did brake it when new. The piece that grabs the 22 rim broke in 2
Was told by the dealer that sold it to me that colt said use 22 target standard vol rnds. So I have ever since but now see others say use High V 22
Here is a thread I started asking about it.
http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=248469
Here are some pics with the 45 top half on it
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/e...rvice%20Model/
And the slide in the pics is the ace slide that got some damage to the bluing but will get fixed.
Anyone have any idea what date it was made in?
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  #8  
Old 11-07-2009, 09:45 PM
dcmdon dcmdon is offline
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A question for the OP. How important is it that the slide lock back on an empty mag?

As you know, the TacSol does that. Its got a steel slide so the slide stop can engage a notch in the slide.

The Marvel uses an aluminum slide and is intentionally set up not to lock the slide back on an empty mag.

I believe the Kimber is the same.

I do not own any of these yet. So I am repeating second hand information, but it seems that for the money, the marvel is an excellent target choice. Less so for tactical practice because it doesn't lock the slide back.

Don
  #9  
Old 11-07-2009, 10:12 PM
rbert0005 rbert0005 is online now
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Lest we miss the Kart Conversion Unit. Could be better than them all.

Bob
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  #10  
Old 11-07-2009, 10:28 PM
AlanD AlanD is offline
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The Wilson Combat conversion is the exact same thing as Marvel Unit 2 -- it even comes with a Marvel owners manual. The slide says Wilson Combat, but I guarantee it's made by Marvel.

The Wilson package comes with a steel magazine, which I had trouble with from the beginning. The Marvel plastic magazine works much better for me -- I just put 150 Mini Mags through the conversion today, without a single failure to feed or jam.

In the nine months I've had the Wilson-labeled conversion, I've probably put 2,000 rounds through it. As long as I keep the ramp and the chamber clean, and keep the rails wet with FP-10, it runs great.
  #11  
Old 11-08-2009, 12:52 AM
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It's the Standard kit. I also had to wait a couple of months for it, as the company is always backordered. Fortunately their customer service is much better than some companies (notably Ceiner). When I first received my kit the barrel had a ding right on the crown, but they promptly sent me a new barrel.
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  #12  
Old 11-08-2009, 02:18 AM
Greyson Greyson is offline
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Wow. DSK, I am liking that steel insert idea. Thinking...

Personally I have one of the old Kimber (Ceiner) kits. I love that thing. Runs CCI Stingers like crap through a goose. I know Ceiner has a rep as being a jack-ass, but his kits are so simple, I could fix replace anything on it I believe.

Regards,
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  #13  
Old 11-08-2009, 07:54 AM
Doug 29 Doug 29 is offline
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I have a Ceiner Platinum (adjustable sights) and it's been flawless for years! According to a test in The American Rifleman, it's accurate enough for Bullseye competition. I've shot a 299 slow fire with mine. And it is NOT ammunition sensitive! Shoots anything reliably.
  #14  
Old 11-08-2009, 11:42 AM
Tigercat200 Tigercat200 is offline
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This is a very interesting thread and I've learned quite a bit thanks to all of you. I do have a question and let me preface it by saying I've not done any research yet.

I have a Delta Gold Cup built in the early 90's. I have been told that the ejector is different for the 10mm than for the 45 and would have to be changed to use a 22 conversion unit. Not sure it it's for all of them or just for Ciener. Does anyone have experience with putting a 22 top end on the Delta platform?
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  #15  
Old 11-08-2009, 12:11 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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The ejector is wider on a 10mm, but that shouldn't affect anything with a conversion unit. Most conversion slides should be cut to allow the wider 9mm/10mm ejector to clear. They also use their own proprietary ejector for the .22 rounds.
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Try not to fall into the common trap of wanting to replace everything on your new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out, and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot it for at least 500 rounds, then decide what you don't like and want improved. Vintage 1911's should NEVER be refinished or modified because it ruins any value they had as a collectible firearm.
  #16  
Old 11-08-2009, 03:09 PM
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RetiredRod RetiredRod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10ring View Post
I had a Marvell Unit 1 for a while. It worked great! Sold it to RetiredRod during a weak moment. I miss it.

Thanks again, 10ring. I still shoot it regularly. It's the most accurate pistol I own, mounted on my Carter Custom (Caspian) frame.
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  #17  
Old 11-09-2009, 09:08 PM
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10ring 10ring is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetiredRod View Post
Thanks again, 10ring. I still shoot it regularly. It's the most accurate pistol I own, mounted on my Carter Custom (Caspian) frame.
Glad to hear it is well liked in its new home!
  #18  
Old 11-09-2009, 10:48 PM
wilkersk wilkersk is offline
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I recently bought a Kimber Rimfire Conversion (.22LR). It has worked flawlessly on my Kimber Stainless II frame.

I've used the CCI Mini Mag 36gr HP and the Federal American Eagle 38 gr HV HP. The ONLY FTEs I've had were the 1st 2 rounds I put through it. Nary a one since.

At 7 yds, I have put 10 rounds inside a 6"dia. target as fast as I can pull the trigger. At 25 yds, I am at least as accurate with it as I am with my highly prized and much more valuable model 104 Highstandard Trophymatic (or any other handgun for that matter).

The fit and finnish are typical of a mass-produced kit. Definitely not hand fitted and not a "show" finnish. But, it is serviceable and, installed on my Stainless, has a kind of utilitarian eye appeal.
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Last edited by wilkersk; 11-09-2009 at 10:50 PM. Reason: misspelling
  #19  
Old 11-09-2009, 11:27 PM
ambluemax ambluemax is offline
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This is the only one I have expirence with:



This is not a conversion kit, this is a complete stand alone Kimber rimfire target. I absolutly love it. I'm not really into most 22's, but I LOVE this one. I only wish it locked back, but its so fun to shoot and so simular to my center fire 1911's I can easily look the other way on that.

When you start talking about reliablity, you have to remember ITS A 22. Most 22 autos, especially conversion kit (not just 1911's, you hear this about sig and other kits too), but dedicated 22 autos aswell, is that they are picky about ammo and they will jam up on you from time to time. Demanding the slide of something like a 1911 be cycled using the small amount of energy available from a 22lr is asking a lot. Then add in the dirt cheap, inconsisently made ammo we try to feed these things and its just not reasonable to expect it to cycle as reliably as a center fire (which has waaaay more energy to work with). Most will cycle pretty well with CCI mini mags. If you want to shoot the cheaper bulk stuff, do some testing and see if you find something your gun likes. Mine doesn't really like hollowpoints and I get decent results with Blazer. You mileage my vary.
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  #20  
Old 11-10-2009, 12:24 AM
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Buy only CCI Mini-Mags regardless of what .22 you have. In my experience almost every other brand is junk. It's really pathetic, and I can't understand why Federal and Winchester can make such good centerfire ammo, yet their rimfire is garbage that either misfires or won't feed.
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Try not to fall into the common trap of wanting to replace everything on your new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out, and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot it for at least 500 rounds, then decide what you don't like and want improved. Vintage 1911's should NEVER be refinished or modified because it ruins any value they had as a collectible firearm.
  #21  
Old 11-10-2009, 03:53 PM
wildfire45 wildfire45 is offline
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i tend to use cci mini mags in my 4" ciener platinum, i have also used winchester super-x hollowpoints they worked well, the tightest groups i can shoot with it 3-4" at 20', frustrating to me as im used to shooting one-hole groups with a .22, (target rifles).

i had hoped it might be squirrel capable, but the accuracy issue has kept me from taking it out as a primary rat blaster, instead it backs up a winchester 52c which is scary accurate, i did shoot one with it the other day though from a treestand on a slow bowhunting day.
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  #22  
Old 11-10-2009, 05:15 PM
Alvin Alvin is offline
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Are you sure about Wilson's conversion being Marvel? I have a Wilson conversion that I bought back in the 90's...in fact I got it the first year that Wilson offered them. I was sure that it was a Ceiner unit, with a better finish(plus the Wilson name on the slide)...grooves up front and back....plus Wilson Sights. Excellent unit...I have had some trouble with getting the mainspring just right......but I bought extra magazines from Brownells that fit a Ceiner(because I thought that's who the conversion was really built by) and they looked just like the ones that came with the Wilson conversion. A flat sided magazine.....I did check out the Wilson conversions that they sell now and noticed the magazines are completely different from mine. SO.....were the first several years Ceiner units or have I been incorrect all these years??

Thanks!!
  #23  
Old 11-10-2009, 10:05 PM
AlanD AlanD is offline
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Alvin: I'm absolutely sure the current Wilson Combat conversion is made by Marvel. As I said, it comes with a Marvel manual, and I've ordered recoil springs, a recoil rod, a slide stop and magazines directly from Marvel.
  #24  
Old 11-10-2009, 11:00 PM
Andy Andy is offline
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The Wilson unit made in the 90's was a Ceiner unit. I had one that worked fine. but sold it in a weak moment. I'm going to get a Wilson/Marvel unit.
Regards,
Andy
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  #25  
Old 11-10-2009, 11:51 PM
riflesmith1 riflesmith1 is offline
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.22 conversion ammo

I am having outstanding results with Remington Viper and Yellow Jacket ammo in both of my conversions (a Kimber and a Ceiner 4") The high velocity and TC bullet nose feeds every time. My rural west Texas property is over run with rattlesnakes, and The Yellow Jackets have become my favorite snake load. Accuracy is good for minute of snake head @ten feet
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