September 24, 2010
By Reid Coffield
By Reid Coffield
Getting in a lot of shooting practice takes a lot of ammo, and that's expensive--especially now. Even with reloading, supplies and equipment are costly. For many of us, money's tight so we don't have extra dollars to spend, and that can cut into our shooting.
But it really doesn't have to.
One way to cut expenses is to use a rimfire conversion kit with your favorite 1911. These have been available since the late 1930s when Colt introduced the Ace conversion unit. It utilized a unique floating chamber along with a steel slide. While it worked, it was never completely reliable because of fouling problems with the.22 rimfire cartridge. Fortunately, there are now more reliable and accurate outfits.
The best known are produced by Ciener and Marvel. The basic Ciener unit starts at about $199 while the Marvel sells for around $325 and up depending upon the options you select. The Marvel unit has a reputation for outstanding accuracy with typical groups of 0.5 to one inch at 25 yards. The Ciener unit is also quite accurate and is a favorite among plinkers and recreational shooter.
Both of these units have aluminum alloy frames (so the slide will cycle with the tiny .22 cartridge) and can be installed in minutes on almost any 1911 frame. The major difference between the two is in how the barrel is locked into the frame. The Marvel unit has a more rigid system, which is why it's so accurate.
As for savings; just think how much 500 rounds of .45 ACP would cost compared to 500 rounds of .22 rimfire. Yes, you definitely can shoot a lot more for less.
The Ciener 1911 conversion unit, which includes one magazine, is packaged in a handy compartmentalized storage box.