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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I finally received my Ciener 22LR conversion kit for my Browning Hi Power. I plumped for the Hi-Power Plus version with an adjustable Millett rear sight. Since I mailed in a money order (Ciener won't take credit cards and won't answer the phone) I was getting worried as the weeks turned into months. But after 90 days it arrived in good shape.

The 22LR conversion kit consists of an aluminum alloy slide, steel barrel, recoil spring, recoil buffer, an one 14rd 22LR mag (you should order at least one spare) and it slid onto my 1990's forged BHP Mark III without modification. The slide to frame fit was not as tight as I would have liked, but this was intended to be a plinker/trainer and not a match target 22 pistol. The flat black finish and profile look exactly like the BHP 9mm slide. The slide is not designed to lock back after the last round. This means you must count rounds and press check often, although limited dry fire is probably Okay. The adjustable sight is very good, but in order to shot point of aim, I had to lower the rear sight to the point that the hammer was making contact with the bottom rear of the sight. I was able to remove the rear sight, file a hammer notch at the bottom of the sight, reblue the notch, and now it is not a problem and it looks like it was meant to be that way.

I had to tune the extractor, as it did not have enough tension on the case to eject an unfired round by racking. I performed this modification by removing the extractor (held in place with a roll pin), and filing a small amount of metal from the extractor so that it can move a little closer to the round. Getting the roll pin back in place was the tricky part as the extractor is spring loaded. This fixed the ejection problem and now fired cases and racked full rounds are flung well clear, but then the slide would not go into battery 25% of the time (click but no bang). I had to lightly file the extractor notch on the breech face of the barrel as it seemed like the extractor was hanging up on this notch slightly. Now, if I take the unloaded gun and pull the slide back 2 to 3 mm and release, it will return to battery every time (before it would sometimes hand up). That fixed that problem.

With my C&S wide trigger (and magazine safety removal) the trigger pull is excellent and the conversion will shoot one hole groups at 10 yards at exact point of aim with very little effort on my part, almost with boring regularity. It is really good at punching out an orange 1" dot at 10 yards. After the tuning, I just went through 200 rounds of CCI Mini Mag 22LR with 100% ejection and extraction and no failures to fire.

I really like 22 conversions and enjoy gunsmithing, so for me the Ciener kit was worth the long wait and reasonable expense.
 

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One of the reasons I attended the latest gun show in Houston, was to look for one of the conversion kits for one of my BHP's, and as I was told, there was a booth that had about a dozen on hand, none were for the BHP though. The guy told me he brought 5 and sold all of them within the first four hours on Saturday and I went on Sunday. He had the for a great price as well. Oh well mabey next time.:bawling:
 

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I picked up an 'as-new' Ciener HP kit for my FEG on ebay before they cut out gun parts. It dropped in fine and shoots great. I then went back to ebay and got a good used recoil spring guide rod to keep with the .22 spring so I didn't have to take the one out of the FEG slide when changing slides. I like Remington 'Yellow Jacket' for my .22 work but I'm stuck with a brick of Aguila 60 grain sub-sonic I had planned to shoot in the pistol. It shoots fine, but is slow. I guess it's really made for suppressor work.
 

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Since I mailed in a money order (Ciener won't take credit cards and won't answer the phone)
Ah, you noticed that as well, eh? He doesn't answer the phone, the answers aren't all on the website as the message claims, and he never returns calls.

Absolutely the worst customer service I have ever experienced relating to firearms. Nothing else even comes close. I suspect he doesn't care, however.

The adjustable sight is very good, but in order to shot point of aim, I had to lower the rear sight to the point that the hammer was making contact with the bottom rear of the sight. I was able to remove the rear sight, file a hammer notch at the bottom of the sight, reblue the notch, and now it is not a problem and it looks like it was meant to be that way.

I had to tune the extractor, as it did not have enough tension on the case to eject an unfired round by racking.
I bought two; one for myself, one for a friend. My friend's kit would not fire in his HP, although it would fire in mine. My kit fired in his just fine. He didn't want to risk dealing with Ciener after our earlier attempts at customer service and so simply paid a smith to tinker with his Ciener kit until it operated properly.

My kit won't eject fired cases unless you lightly lubricate every 3d or so round as you load them into the magazine. I thought it might wear in with a thousand or so .22 rounds, but apparently not. As it is the winter and toasty cold outside right now in Montana, I've written to Ciener to see what he suggests. My last customer service call on this slide, on another issue, involved ME paying the shipping. I'll try and be open minded about this... depending on what he says.

I really enjoy the kit, even with the hassles, but the fact many people who buy one of these kits find they need work and the customer service makes me really wish there was another alternative out there.

Oh well, I guess you only need one kit for a lifetime...
 

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Rick,

I had that same problem in my 1911 kit. I used an M-16 chamber brush and some J-B bore paste and lightly polished the chamber. No more problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have two 1911 22LR conversion kits as well as the BHP conversion. I think the BHP conversion might be more finicky because of the stiff stock mainspring on the BHP. This creates a lot of resistance to slide travel when shooting 22LR, due to the pressure of the hammer on the slide. Which means a BHP 22LR kit must have a weak recoil spring. If the recoil spring is a little too soft or too strong, the slide won't cycle well or go into battery reliably. It has to be just right. With a 1911, it is easy to tune or replace the mainspring.

I also received (in the same shipment) a Ciener 1911 Commander length 22LR conversion kit that works reliably and accurately right out of the box, partially because it has a stronger recoil spring. The Ciener BHP kit needed some tuning, as did my Kimber 1911 22LR conversion kit (extractor filing and thumb safety fitting to the slide).

It may seem like a head ache tuning these thing up, but when you get things adjusted right, shooting a 22LR conversion is excellent training for gun handling, trigger control, and learning accuracy. I especially like to take one when I am shooting a 45 or 357 mag at the range. If I get fatigued and lose form with the big gun, I can fall back to the 22 and regain my form. Plus, I save lots of money on ammo.

I bought a box of 12 A Zoom 22LR dummy rounds which are a much safer way to test feeding and extraction than live rounds at home. I can load all 12 dummies in a mag and they manually eject into a tidy pile (after tuning). By the way, A Zoom rimfire dummies are not intended for dry fire.
 

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I had that same problem in my 1911 kit.
What becomes noticeable is that it seems at least half the people who have purchased a Ciener kit report having problems getting them to function properly. Yet Ciener's advertising says this:

FUNCTIONING: The unit functions FLAWLESSLY (guaranteed) on good quality High Velocity, Hyper Velocity and most all Standard Velocity quality .22 LR ammunition.​
And under the warranty bit:
All .22LR Conversions AND all spare magazines are test fired on/in our OEM Firearms using Remington 40 grain, round nose/solid point, Hi-Velocity ammunition. These firearms are maintained in the finest condition and replaced regularly to maintain OEM manufacturing specifications. By doing this we have a certainty that they will work on properly manufactured / maintained customer's firearms.​
So they work "flawlessly", and are tested in firearms in the finest condtion, and therefore will work with certainty on properly manufactured/maintained customer's firearms? Shouldn't hear much regarding issues relating to their functioning, should you then?

Oddly enough, of the two I bought, neither will work properly on the new manufacture Browning High Powers they were purchased for. The one for my buddy wouldn't fire in his new-out-of-the box 9mm Browning; mine won't reliably extract. Apparently, these two Brownings were improperly manufactured - they hadn't been fired enough yet for maintenance to be an issue.

Where things get really sticky is here:
Customers who may be experiencing a problem with one of our conversions are advised to refer to the included instruction booklet to assure they are following the very specific information. If this does not alleviate the functioning problem they are MOST strongly advised to forward the receiver of their firearm (only) with the conversion unit AND all spare magazines so we may verify why the unit tested perfect on our firearm but is experiencing a problem on theirs... BE ADVISED if the problem being experienced is due to the customer not following instructions in the included instruction booklet or an anomaly of the customer's firearm, there will be charges for our verification of customer error or adjustment of our conversion to overcome the firearm's anomaly.​
Given past service issues with Mr. Ciener, I don't really want to send him the receiver of my carry handgun to keep for an indeterminant period of time - particularly when he absolutely refuses to answer the phone, return calls, or provide an email address. Asking a customer to render their firearm useless for its primary purpose so the maker of a conversion kit can have a look at it is a bit much. I'm also not inclined to send everything in so that Mr. Ciener can decide a factory new handgun that has passed inspection has an anomoly - rather than it being his kit that has the "anomoly"... Particularly when so many users of his kits apparently have firearms with "anomolys".

My buddy with the 9mm High Power simply decided that the most trouble free way to deal with it was to simply write off Mr. Ciener as far as a source of warranty work, consider he got his money's worth in the kit itself, and pay his local pistolsmith to make the kit work the way it should have from the factory. His smith was an old Brit armourer and a few hours work got his conversion kit working flawlessly - work done on the "anomolies" in the conversion kit, not his nice new pistol that was presumably to OEM specs.

I haven't heard back yet from Mr. Ciener, but I suspect in the end I'll try and sort it myself; if that doesn't work my gunsmith buddy can sort it out for me and I'll happily pay the price for it. The kit is worth it in my mind, even with the aggravation of having to wrench on the thing to make it function the way it should have when it left Ciener's shop.

I used an M-16 chamber brush and some J-B bore paste and lightly polished the chamber. No more problems.
My thinking was more along the lines of making a lead lap slightly shorter than the length of a fired case, and lapping that portion of the chamber with some really fine Clover compound. I've always scratched my head at whether or not JB actually cuts barrel metal - put some on a cloth and start rubbing away at some small inconspicious piece of blued gun barrel and see how long it takes to rub away the bluing... I KNOW Clover compound is uniformly sized and does cut well.

On the other hand, if a bit of JP on a patch wrapped around a chamber brush will fix it up, I'm not determined to do it the hard way...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I ordered two Ciener conversion kits and 4 extra 22 mags, with the total being over $600, mailed to Ciener as a cashiers check. He won't take credit cards. He will take personal checks, but that will delay shipping by 2 weeks until the check clears. When the weeks turned to months and I could not talk to or email the company, I was thinking I had been ripped off. I was ready to accept a big loss, when everything was delivered on day 90. It actually restored my faith in human beings when I opened the package and all off the items were there as ordered.

The main caveat with 22LR conversions of ANY brand, is that they may need tuning and 'smithing. I was able to fix my Ciener BHP conversion and am happy with the product. My Ciener 1911 conversion did not require any tuning. My Kimber 22 conversion kit needed slide and extractor tuning. My CZ75 conversion kit needed slide stop replacement/tuning. They all work like champs now. If you are not comfortable with gunsmithing, it would probably be best to find a good local gunsmith. I did not even consider sending my frame and kit to Ciener as the turn around time could be months and there is no way to check progress.

Gunsmithing is my hobby, so I am in no way put out by tweaking my pistols. I would not want to ship one away for any length of time.
 

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The main caveat with 22LR conversions of ANY brand, is that they may need tuning and 'smithing... Gunsmithing is my hobby, so I am in no way put out by tweaking my pistols. I would not want to ship one away for any length of time.
That isn't the issue. And you certainly shouldn't have to find a local gunsmith before most of these conversion kits will work as advertised.

The issue is the sales website is rife with statements that this product works "flawlessly". Well, from what I have seen and heard, quite the opposite is true. "Some adjustment to our product will probably be required" would be a little closer to truth in advertising, one would think.

Furthermore, while some people enjoy pistolsmithing, others don't. I used to enjoy gunsmithing on my rifles, but these days I'd rather shoot or do something else, thanks. For those who don't want to do some experimental gunsmithing on the manufacturer's product, doing some home gunsmithing to make it work when it is advertised as "flawless" is a bit problematic.

I guarantee my product as well. If my clients had to screw around with my product to make it do what they bought it to do, I would be out of business before summer arrived. Of course, in my line of work I have lots of competitors who also guarantee their work and also deliver exactly what they advertise and sold.

So perhaps competition - or the lack thereof - has something to do with it. However, at the very least one would hope that good business ethics would be all the motivation one would need.
 

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In an age when everyone uses credit cards, next day air delivery, and regards customer satisfaction as a badge of honor....Ciener's business practices seems to be stuck in a time warp....like about 1950. Too bad for him, probably lost more business than he's gotten....but that's his choice.

Been very pleased with my BHP conversion....accurate, no mal-functions, and the price was right.

 

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In an age when everyone uses credit cards, next day air delivery, and regards customer satisfaction as a badge of honor....Ciener's business practices seems to be stuck in a time warp....like about 1950. Too bad for him, probably lost more business than he's gotten....but that's his choice.
I don't think anyone is - or should be - wrapped around the axle because he refuses to accept business cards. That's not unusual. In the world of firearms, long waiting periods for specialty items isn't exactly a unique situation either.

Totally ignoring repeated customer contact attempts from people who have already handed over their money for your merchandise is another thing altogether. As is providing a product advertised as "flawless" when in fact customer feedback indicates that most require some amount of gunsmithing before they do indeed work "flawlessly".

To cut to the chase, those aren't 1950's values. The great customer service we're increasingly seeing in the firearms business these days isn't a new development - it's a return to those very 1950/1960 values we once had. Values that Ciener Mfg. certainly does not have or live up to. The "Old World craftsman" argument doesn't apply here - at least not as far as I'm concerned.
 

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I'm not talking about 1950's values.....I'm just saying today's businesses are more focused on "CSI", (customer service index) than businesses of years ago. They have found that a high percentage of business is repeat business. The best way to get that is keeping the customers you already have. Most businesses monitor their CSI numbers religiously. By all appearances it looks like Cieners could care less about a "CSI" report.

Very few businesses today deal in cash, the trend for the last twenty years has been credit/debit cards. Even McDonalds & other fast food chains have seen the light and now accept plastic payment. I'm not sure I could name one business that has an on-line web site who doesn't take plastic. Someone at Cieners certainly isn't in touch todays business practices, that's too bad.

LastRites....it's a Ciener.
 
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