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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've written down a few observations after shooting my Kimber Rimfire Conversion Kit and thought I would share them. I am in no way affiliated with Kimber and receive no compensation for sharing my view.


With factory manufactured ammunition continuing its relentless assault on the pocketbooks of gun owners everywhere and reloading components scarce, wouldn't it be nice to practice with a handgun that shot inexpensive and abundant ammunition? The only problem is that most rimfire handguns on the market do not directly translate to operating a 1911. Shouldn't your practice gun operate exactly the same way, right down to the feel of the trigger? The Kimber Rimfire Target Conversion Kit does because it uses the frame of your primary 1911!

The Kimber Rimfire Target Conversion Kit comes in a foam lined box made of polymer, similar to the case you receive when you buy a Kimber 1911. The foam is neatly cut, giving the magazine and slide a secure fitting slot. As the box states, the kit can be installed on any full size 1911 frame machined to standard dimensions. The kit will NOT fit the Taurus PT1911 or Kimber Ultra models. The slide quickly installs by removing the slide stop, pulling your standard slide off the frame rails, inserting the conversion slide into place, and reinserting the slide stop. Be careful when installing the conversion slide. To keep the standard 1911 slide profile the conversion slide needed to be machined out of aluminum so that the energy of the .22LR could reliably cycle the action. Since aluminum is much softer than steel, your 1911 frame and slide stop will mar the slide very easily during a careless slip during installation. Installing the kit revealed a good slide to frame fit, and the rear of the slide blended with the frame just as well as a factory Kimber. This gives some insight into the accurate and repeatable maching standards Kimber is able to attain. While the magazine is nothing to write home about, it fits well and drops when the magazine release is depressed. The Kimber magazine holds the standard ten rounds. Unlike many .22LR magazines, the supplied magazine does not have a tab that allows the user to lower the follower for loading. That said, the minimal spring tension still allows the magazine to be easily loaded. Only one magazine is supplied with the kit. Additional magazines can be purchased for the same price as a Kimber stainless 45 Automatic magazine. The sights are black and adjustable. The back of the rear sight is textured with ridges and set flush with the back of the slide. The sights present a clear and repeatable picture and use the same dovetail as the other Kimber offerings.

Enough about form, let's talk about function. I first tried a few inexpensive bulk packages of .22LR. I experienced several failures to feed until I switched to a high velocity ammunition such as CCI Mini-Mag 40 grain bullets loaded to 1,235 feet per second. Despite the lightened slide, this kit needs the extra energy of high velocity ammunition for completely reliable functioning. After switching to the Mini-Mags the kit was as reliable as my Kimber with the centerfire slide. That is to say, completely and utterly unfailingly reliable (aside from one dud round). I should note that the slide does not lock back on an empty magazine. This is because the steel slide stop would wear down the soft aluminum slide in no time; however, the slide stop notch is still machined into the slide. Don't worry about dry firing the conversion kit when the magazine is empty. Because of the off centered firing pin design, the rimfire slide can be dry fired just like the centerfire slide. The manual supplied with the rimfire kit clearly states this. I found the conversion to be just as accurate as the slide that came with my Kimber. I get sub two inch groups at 25 yards with either one on a rest. I am so pleased with the reliability and accuracy that I plan to use the conversion kit for local steel challenge matches on occasion.

Pros:

  • Very reliable with high velocity ammunition.
  • Very good fit and finish.
  • Extremely good accuracy (< 2" @ 25 yards).
  • Inexpensive and abundant .22LR ammunition.
  • Slide texture and color perfectly matches my black oxide frame, aside from my frame being much more worn.

Cons:

  • The conversion kit is as expensive as buying a dedicated 22 pistol (Retail $330 as of posting).
  • Only one magazine is supplied with the conversion kit.
  • High velocity ammunition is required for reliable function.
  • Be careful with the aluminum slide.


Nate
 

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Good write up! I just picked one up too!

Was having some issues and I figured them out. The area of the slide where the disconnector rides, the disconnector ramp I guess you might call it? Anyway I put some oil there and cycled mine about 2,000 times while watching Sons of Anarchy and now the action is as soon as silk. Once it wore threw the finish there and polished itself smooth it was pretty much good to go.

Now I'm finding the conversion to be almost 100% reliable!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Mine runs fine with junk ammo, as long as it says "high velocity" on the box mine is good to go.
That is consistent with my experience.

P.S.My goodness, I'm beginning to talk like the professional witnesses in trial. I need to finish this jury duty up!! :eek:


Nate
 

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That's good to hear. I just got a kimber conversion and have a lot of rem golden bullets and federal high velocity stuff to shot. Of course I have some CCI minimags, but would rather not use them since they are more expensive. Either way, still beats the price of 45acp.
 

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I've got a couple additional inputs to add

Pro

The front sight is dove tailed and Dawson makes a fiber optic front sight just for this conversion unit.... so I added one to mine and now have the same sight picture I do on my 5" steel slide that I use in competition.

Con

The mags will not work if your frame has a magwell installed... So I have to take off my grips and get take off the Wilson mag well anytime I want to use the conversion. That's a PITA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've got a couple additional inputs to add

Con

The mags will not work if your frame has a magwell installed... So I have to take off my grips and get take off the Wilson mag well anytime I want to use the conversion. That's a PITA.
Ahh yes, I totally forgot about that one.


Nate
 
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