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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for a 1911 and a .22. What would you do? I was looking at a Kimber today at about $900 with a $300 conversion to .22. Is the conversion kit worth it or should I consider two guns? $300 appears to be the price of an average .22

I have never broken down a gun and changed out a barrel (and, thanks to the libs, it will be about 8 more weeks before I do). Is it a pain in the but? Would I be better served shooting a converted really good gun or a purposeful .22?
 

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The answer to your question really depends on the conversion kit involved. I do not know about the Kimber but the fact that the kit and the gun come from the same manufacturer is a plus - and Kimber makes nice guns.
I do have a Ciener conversion for a 1911. It works very nicely - accurate, reliable - on a Springfield .45 that I own. It won't fit on a gun that has been accurized (rails swaged, etc.).
Many target shooters have used the well-known Kart Conversions for their .45's in Bullseye competition. There seems to be a love it or hate it relationship there.
Personally, I'd give it a try. The switch from .45 to .22 is something that you can do in a few seconds - at least with the Ciener kit (I imagine that the Kimber kit is as efficient). Taking down a .45 is something that you can learn to do with your eyes closed.
There is a strong argument for having a "purposeful .22" but for casual shooting, and maybe some competition, the conversion should be fine. If it functions as advertised. The lure of the conversion is, especially in places where permits are needed and hard to get - like NYC - that you don't have the hassle of applying for a second gun.
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yup, that what I was hoping to hear. If it's easy to do and accurate then that's the best route for me. Thanks.
 

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Changing from 45 ACP to 22LR is no more difficult than taking the gun down and putting back together for cleaning. I still believe you should look at the Springfield guns as they are very comparable to Kimber but a couple hundred dollars less. The majority of conversion units fit any model of 1911 but there are some that are fit to very close tolerances and are not as versatile. These units are rather expensive, as you can imagine, and one is unlikely to buy them by accident.
The biggest knocks against conversion units that I have heard are the cost of extra magazines and the lack of a slide lock. The latter can eventually cause firing pin damage if one loses track of the number of shots fired and snaps the trigger on an empty chamber. I like my conversion kit for practice reasons though grab a dedicated 22 pistol for most carry use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. I haven't rulled out the Springfields, but I've heard a lot of good things about the Kimber. I don't mind spending a couple hundred more for something that may be a little better, even if only in my own mind. I can be shallow like that, I know this about myself.

I have far from made up my mind. If I start hearing that the Springfields have the edge or if I get if a good deal, then I'll turn back in that direction. Of course if I can get a chance to try or rent them all I'll do that. In any case I have 8 weeks to go till I can buy one and I'll chage my mind about a thousand times before then. Thanks for the info.

I didn't realize the conversions didn't have a slide lock. Is that a real problem? I don't want to be distracted by counting bullets.
 

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The lack of a slide lock is only a problem when the firing pin eventually breaks. I count my shots which does not seem to affect my shooting in either static target shooting or combat type situations. I guess it is something that is dependent on one's habits and it doesn't seem to have affected me.
The quality of Kimber and Springfield are pretty close to the same among equivalent models. The only "edge" Kimber has is a reputation from years ago when they produced near competition level handguns at a managable price. As they have increased production, they have become more of a standard production gun for many of their lines. They are not poor quality guns but I just can't bring myself to pay a couple hundred dollars for a reputation that was earned on water that has passed the mill. I have owned a couple of Springfields of which I still have a G.I. model, plus own a Kimber Match. The makers both produce dependable and quality firearms but in my eyes, one is a much better value. For a couple hundred dollars, I can take a decent weekend shooting course to sharpen my skills.
 

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Or...that couple of hundred dollars will buy you a Ciener conversion to fit on the Springfield. And, yes, extra mags are expensive.
Pete
 

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Conversion kit or an excuse to buy a second gun . . . . . hmmmmmm . . . . let me think about that for a second . . . . Second gun! Sorry, gun shopping is just too much fun to spend the cash on a conversion kit . . . IMO
 

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I went with a conversion kit because I compete with my Kimber 1911 and wanted more, and less expensive practice with the same firearm. Whether you compete or not, there's something to be said for handling the same pistol whether loaded for practice with the conversion kit or loaded with "social" loads for home or personal defense. Same safety, mag release etc.

My kit is the Ceiner that I got through Brownells. The extra money for the Kimber kit didn't seem to make sense, I got Ceiner's deluxe kit (Bowmar-type sights) for less money and used the savings to buy and extra mag.
 
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