.22 CONVERSION KIT FOR THE 1911 PISTOL
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
(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
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
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
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
Instructor, Ranger Outreach Center
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathan Arthur Ciener, Inc. have a web page for their Gun Conversion Kits athttp://www.22lrconversions.com/
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