Kimber Rimfire Compact .22 Conversion Kit

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The magazines and the upper come with the kit. You supply the lower.

The magazines and the upper come with the kit. You supply the lower. And the case Kimber supplies with it is a great way to keep the original slide and mag organized.

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.

The rimfire barrel from the front end.

The rimfire barrel from the front end. Note the removable barrel bushing.

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.

Specifications

  • 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
  • Sights
  • Kimber adjustable
  • Radius (inches): 6.8
With the right ammo, I was able to put mag after mag on target.

With the right ammo, I was able to put mag after mag on target.

Performance

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.

These all ran fine. No issues.

These all ran fine. No issues.

These two didn't run as well. Finding the right ammo is key.

These two didn’t run as well. Finding the right ammo is key.

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.

RoundCALIBERBULLET WEIGHT (GR)BULLET TYPEVelocity, ft/sec MUZZLE
Velocitor # 004722 Long Rifle40CPHP1435
Stinger # 005022 Long Rifle32CPHP1640
Federal AM22 Auto Match22 Long Rifle40Solid1200
Blazer22 Long Rifle40LRN1235
Refused to run
Winchester Xpert HV22 Long Rifle36LHP1200
Gold Medal® 719 HV Match22 Long Rifle40Solid1200
The Kimber barrel delivered really rewarding accuracy, which makes this more than just a practice tool.

The Kimber barrel delivered really rewarding accuracy, which makes this more than just a practice tool.

Ejection was clean and consistent.

Ejection was clean and consistent.

Final thoughts

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.

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • J Miller February 11, 2016, 5:06 am

    I put the Kimber conversation kit on my Kimber Custom II 45acp which has a 5″ barrel. Got frequent jams with all 22LR ammo. Kimber recommended using CCI maxi mag 40 grain it jammed like all the rest of 22LR ammo. Kit is now drawing dust in closet. Can’t believe this author did not experience frequent jam. I assume that the smaller receiver is reason his pistol functioned well with kit.

  • BILL February 8, 2016, 8:13 pm

    22 LR IS EVERYWEAR IN TEXAS, JUST NOT THE MAGNUM, CANT FIND MAG IN ANY STORES, POSSIBLE ON LINE at a premium

  • Al Zermeno February 8, 2016, 2:36 pm

    “With ammunition becoming available on a regular basis, and at a fair price, practice with a sub-caliber conversion is possible again.”
    I don’t see 22 lr, mag, short, or cv for less than $50 a brick anywhere in MONTANA where do you find all this “fair priced” 22 ammo?

    • Papa Smurf February 8, 2016, 6:09 pm

      I am in the deep south, where “wally world” is on every corner. All ammo is up in price, and .22 is scarce still.
      Wonder how much ammo is on shelves at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers.

    • Clinton Greywolf February 8, 2016, 6:57 pm

      Online! Lots of dealers listed @ ammoseek.com . My quick look shows .22 lr starting at 2.99 a box of 50.
      You can find anything!

  • Chuck 32571 February 8, 2016, 11:57 am

    Have the full size version and it does not perform well. Very finicky about what ammo you feed it. Works best with CCI standard velocity round nose but has feeding problems with any hollow points. Brought new extra magazines and tried it on five different frames and still get the same problem.

    • J Miller February 11, 2016, 5:03 am

      I put the Kimber conversation kit on my Kimber Custom II 45acp 5″. Got frequent jams with all 22LR ammo. Kimber recommended using CCI maxi mag 40 grain it jammed like all the rest of 22LR ammo. Kit is now drawing dust in closet. Can’t believe this author did not experience frequent jam. I assume that the smaller receiver is reason his pistol functioned well with kit.

  • George Marks February 8, 2016, 10:24 am

    I have a Reminton-Rand, 1911, year 1944 , Will this conversion work?
    Also a Rock Island 1911. Can this conversion work on this pistol?

  • merlin February 8, 2016, 9:31 am

    Nice that you can find .22 LR easily again. But here in Utah it is still impossible. Yes, we strongly suspect GoodOldBoyism where the stores call their favorite hoarders when they get a shipment, and it’s gone in minutes. I don’t dare shoot the little bit of .22 ammo that I have now, as my firearms for the stuff are rendered almost useless. I’d love to know whether the Kimber 4″ conversion will work on my Sig C3.

    • Brian February 10, 2016, 1:54 pm

      Merlin,

      I put a full size 5″ Kimber conversion kit on my Sig C3 CTC and it worked fine, except for not liking certain brands of ammo. Had a few feed jams, but other than that it worked fine.
      Hope this helps.

  • Tom February 8, 2016, 8:27 am

    Put one on my Kimber 1911 full length did not work out of the box 🙁 Took a fair amount of Gunsmithing to get to work.
    Would not clear or reload, for the price it should have worked.

  • Lony D Villanueva February 8, 2016, 4:31 am

    I would like to know if Kimber can make this Conversion .22/.22Mag or if not can you
    make a .22Mag Conversion ?

    Sincerely,

    Apolonio D V

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