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Now is the time
Anyone who is not brand new to gun culture, and does not live under a rock, knows that it has been almost impossible to get .22 rimfire ammunition the last few years. Thankfully, we seem to be experiencing the end of that drought. With ammunition becoming available on a regular basis, and at a fair price, practice with a sub-caliber conversion is possible again. And kimber is offering a conversion kit for 1911 fans that fits the bill.
Many great reasons
There are plenty of reasons to practice shooting with a sub-caliber gun. Shooting is a perishable skill; if you aren’t using it, you are losing it. Another factor to consider is price. Although the cost of centerfire ammunition has fallen some, it is not back to pre-shortage prices, and the choices are more limited than they were before. The cost of 100 rounds of .22 rimfire is still around a quarter of what you’ll pay for the same 100 rounds of ammo in 9mm. Finally, recoil reduction can be a consideration for some shooters. I have found that training a new shooter can often be aided by the use of a conversion kit.
Kimber’s compact conversion kit
I have owned a Kimber Ultra CDP since the early 2000’s, and I’ve always thought that I was the only one who wanted a conversion kit for my compact 1911. Unfortunately, the little Kimber has always been too small for most conversion kits. Luckily for me, It seems that there is finally enough demand for a conversion kit to fit Kimber Ultra, Compact and Pro models; as well as other Mil-Spec 1911 brands with similarly-sized frames (I guess you Springfield EMP owners are still out of luck). Installation is quick and easy, as the kit does not require any tools or gunsmithing to install. The slide is machined from aluminum, with a 4” barrel, and it’s cut to match grade dimensions. The sights are fixed, low-profile and dovetail-mounted. All of these features can be had for just $333.00 MSRP.
- Barrel Length (inches): 4
- Material: Steel, match grade
- Stainless steel match grade bushing
- Twist rate (left hand): 16
- Slide Material: Aluminum
- Finish: Matte black
- Caliber: .22 LR
- Weight with empty magazine: 13oz
- Length (inches): 7.7
- Magazine capacity: 10
- Full-length guide rod
- Kimber adjustable
- Radius (inches): 6.8
The conversion kit is only worth having if it fulfills its potential. So what boxes should this conversion kit tick? It has to look as good as the gun it’s mounted on. It should be easy to use, meaning that the shooter can load the magazine, fire the gun, and repeat frequently! The converted gun must also be able to place a shot accurately with the same degree of potential as the base gun.
The good news is this conversion looks great and is at least as accurate as I am. My Kimber CDP with the conversion kit runs through most .22 ammunition with ease. This conversion kit in particular either runs or does not; there is no middle ground. I’ve found that if the gun does not like the ammunition, it simply functions as a single-shot pistol.
|Round||CALIBER||BULLET WEIGHT (GR)||BULLET TYPE||Velocity, ft/sec MUZZLE|
|Velocitor # 0047||22 Long Rifle||40||CPHP||1435|
|Stinger # 0050||22 Long Rifle||32||CPHP||1640|
|Federal AM22 Auto Match||22 Long Rifle||40||Solid||1200|
|Blazer||22 Long Rifle||40||LRN||1235|
|Refused to run|
|Winchester Xpert HV||22 Long Rifle||36||LHP||1200|
|Gold Medal® 719 HV Match||22 Long Rifle||40||Solid||1200|
I like this conversion! I am surprised by how well it runs once the ammunition choices are out of the way. The bushing design is intriguing, and gives me the opportunity to practice with a carry gun that most other conversion kits have forgotten. I think I have to have one.