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J.B. Hohlfeld

Get a group of shooting instructors together, and invariably the subject will turn to "Close Quarter Battle" (CQB), and/or "Close Quarter Combat" (CQC) drills. Once in this area, the subject of .22 rimfire firearms, and/or conversion kits, will also enter in the discussion, with the following two schools of thought on the subject: (1) The concept is a joke because it does not really duplicate a large bore firearm, ergo, not worthy of any serious discussion. (2) Even with it's limitations, the concept works, and is a valuable tool in field training police/security personnel.

At R.O.C., our thinking falls into catagory #2. For ten years, we have experimented with various types of .22 firearms and conversion kits in our CQB/CQC courses, and our entry level Precision Rifle course. It has been our experience that students respond quicker to training, when they are not intimidated by large bore noise levels, or large bore recoil. This is especially true of our foreign students, who have limited background in firearms training due to departmental/corporate policies regarding firearms training on live fire ranges (due to the expense), and/or firearms carry while they are on duty.

In our opinion, any .22 rimfire firearm, or conversion kit, which is being considered for tactical training purposes, must meet the following minimum criteria:

    (1) It must be mechanically reliable.

    (2) It must closely duplicate the mechanical function of it's fullsized "parent weapon".

    (3) It must closely duplicate the "feel" of the parent weapon.

    (4) If it is a conversion kit, it must be "user friendly" during mounting/dismounting in/on the full size parent firearm.

    (5) It must be capable of fuctioning with various types of ammunition.

    (6) It should be affordable for the average police officer/security operator, so they will continue their practice drills on their own time and money. (NOTE: Few police/security agencies provide adequate funding for individual training, ergo, the money has to come out of the individual's pocket.)

Until October 1997, we had always used the Colt-Ace .22 conversion kits on our 1911's. Though it had never been a perfect solution to the problem, the Colt-Ace kit had been a "workable" solution, when compared to other options. In October 1997, we decided to order in one Jarvis conversion kit, and one Ciener conversion kit. It was obvious right out of the box that the Jarvis kit did not meet several of our minimum criteria, so we concentrated our efforts on the Ciener kit.

The Ciener kit consisted of a complete replacement top-slide assembly, and one magazine of your choice. We had opted for the full size 1911A1 slide assembly, coupled with a 10-shot single column magazine for a "thin body" 1911 frame.

Is the Ciener kit "user friendly"? If you can dismount your existing 1911 slide assembly from your frame, then slip-on the Ciener slide assembly, you are ready for the range. That's it.

Since the Ciener slide assembly is made of aircraft aluminum, it is lighter than normal steel slide assembly. Is this difference really noticeable? Not in our opinion.

The sights are of the standard "black-on-black" type, with the rear sight being drift adjustable for windage. The overall finish seems to be the "shake & bake" type for aluminum, and is a fairly dull black.

How did the Ciener kit perform on the range? I wish I could say flawlessly, but that wouldn't be true. After passing the pistol around the firing group, we began to encounter failures to fully seat the round in the chamber. Then we looked around at all of the spent cases, and determined that we had fired well over 500-rounds without a glich, or cleaning! In our book, that's reliable. To date we have fired approximately 11,000 rounds through this same Ciener conversion kit, with no parts failures or repairs of any type. By the way, the ammunition used during all testing has been a mixed bag, ie; USA, Mexico, and even Russian.

Early in the testing, we were getting impressed, so we ordered in another Ciener kit, wich consisted of their "Commander/Officer" top-slide assembly and a 10-shot double column magazine, which duplicates a ParaOrdnance type "wide body" system. To date, this conversion kit only has about 7,000 rounds through it, but it too looks quite promising.

Bottom line, can we recommend the Ciener .22 conversion kit for the 1911 pistol? Absolutely...


Instructor, Ranger Outreach Center

Box 1164
Pecos, NM 87552-1164

Ranger Outreach Center is an international school for Police/Security or individuals that require real world firearms training. For information on classes offered at R*O*C you may write to the above address, fax 505.757.8456 or e-mail

Jonathan Arthur Ciener, Inc. have a web page for their Gun Conversion Kits at .

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