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Practically Shooting

.22lr conversion kits?


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How do people feel about .22lr conversion kits? After doing some math, I should be able to come out ahead in terms of $$ in ~6 months or so..

Does anyone have first hand experience with kits like this? I like the idea of a conversion kit instead of a 2nd pistol because I would be practicing on the same pistol (grip).

Pistol: Glock 17 - 9mm

100 count 9mm = $22

500 count .22lr = $22

conversion kit = $260.


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The only thing I've had in that ballpark was a Kimber .22. I had thought about getting one of their conversion units, but came across a complete pistol used for not much more than a new conversion and got it.

It was OK. It worked fine (which is unusual if you listen to others), and was accurate.

I honestly didn't use it as much as I expected. I'm not sure why. I know I kept wishing I had more magazines to get more mag changing practice, but every time I thought about getting more, I thought about what I could get instead. For the cost of a magazine, I could get a pound of powder, or a couple thousand primers, or enough lead to cast a bunch of bullets. Three or four mags equalled a lot of reloading components that I could quickly turn into ammo that gave me full benefit.

I traded it off, but do sometimes wish I still had it.

I did like the idea of having a complete gun instead of a conversion unit. If shooting the .45 and I detected a shooting error creeping in, I'd just stow the .45, pick up the .22, shoot a couple of magazines until it was gone, then switch back. Pretty simple and quick. If I would have needed to stop, sit in the dirt, and swap slide assemblies, I doubt I would have swapped off as much.

And, I always knew where the gun was, but a conversion unit is the type of thing I would store in a different place every time and never recall where.

I do use a .22 conversion unit with an AR, and I like that better than the dedicated .22 ARs I looked at because they each had some function that differed from the real thing. Even a little change or two can spoil the whole idea. I don't know how close or far the .22 copy of the Glocks are (ISSI or something like that?) but if they differ much, I'd get a conversion.

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Can't say for a Glock but I bought a Kimber conversion for my Grand Raptor. With match ammo it will shoot with a match rifle at 25 yds with a barely ragged hole common. At 50 yds it spreads out to about 1 1/2" group. It's a hoot to shoot and if you want to learn the trigger on that Glock, the conversion makes for a cheap lesson learned.

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Just buy a Ruger 22/45 Mark III Bull Barrel(or other Mark III variant) or a Browning Buckmark or even one of the 22 made 1911's (although I have not shot one, the Colt (Walther made) .22 looks nice. You will forget all about the silly conversion kits grin .

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Pablo, I have a 10" Ruger match target and I shoot the conversion more than it. The Kimber conversion I have is more accurate. Not saying the Ruger won't shoot match quality groups, just the Kimber is that good. I also get to practice with the 45 trigger for competition shoots where knowing the break of the trigger is everything. Don't count the conversions out.

FWIW, my brother has an ACE and he also has a conversion of a different brand that I don't remember the name. The Kimber out shoots all of his. Maybe it's the target trigger on the Grand Raptor or maybe the Raptor fits our hands better, I don't know. But it's nice to shoot with little to no recoil and then slip on the 45ACP slide and nothing but recoil changes. It's certainly improved my 50 yd pistol marksmanship.

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Something must be wrong with your Ruger!

Seriously - I'm not saying there is anything wrong with any one conversion kit. I'm just thinking to convert a 9mm Glock for economy sake, I would just as well buy a another whole gun. But that's just me.

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I'm just thinking to convert a 9mm Glock for economy sake, I would just as well buy a another whole gun. But that's just me.

With me, that decision comes down to what I'm buying it for. If I want one to practice with a defensive gun using ammo I can shoot cheaper without reloading, I want it to be as close to identical to the original as possible. That is usually best done with a conversion unit. Some are neat in their own right, and then a complete gun is better.

Example of the first would be the .22 AR-15s. I wanted one to use as a trainer/practice piece for my home defense AR. I can shoot a .22 AR in the woods behind the house for quick, close range practice without causing every dog in three miles to bark for hours, or spend every spare moment reloading for the high volume of ammo required in close, fast drills.

I was going to get a Colt or S&W .22 AR, but they had little details about them that varied from the 5.56 guns. I saw little point to getting a training rifle that felt or operated differently.

I went in to buy one, looked at both, and bought a .22 conversion unit. It isn't 100% true to original in that it doesn't engage the bolt hold-open, but is closer than the complete rifles.

For the second example, are the .22 pistols that are scaled down versions of the originals. They are so different in size that cross-training value might be questionable. Some don't even use the same type of action. But I would like one anyway, not as a trainer but as a handy sized .22 pistol. I always wanted a .22 pistol in what I thought was the appropriate size. Target .22s are too big to be very handy. Pocket guns go too far the other way. I like the Beretta 87 Cheetah because it fell in the middle, and now some others have been showing up since the Walther P22.

I briefly owned a P22, but traded it off. When I thought about replacing it, I'd hear of another new model coming out (like the Sig Mosquito) and held off. Now I want to see one of the 85% size Browning .22 1911s.

So I can see some of both ways- complete gun or conversion unit.

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  • 2 weeks later...

+1 on the Kimber .22 convesion kit. Turns my S&W 1911 into a real match type .22, even with CCI 40gr minimags that Kimber recommends.

It's not in the same league as my S&W 41, but for $269 it's really good bargain IMHO.

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