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22 Caliber Conversion Kits...

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Michael A Ferber, May 27, 2019.

  1. Michael A Ferber

    Michael A Ferber Member

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    I'm down to three of my favorite handguns, all in 9mm. A Sig P229, Beretta 92FS compact, and a CZ 75D PCR compact. Sig Sauer offers a 22 conversion kit for $300, CZ also has what they call the Kadet for $400 bucks. Both include slides barrels and a magazine. Or, my other option is just buying a 22 pistol for about $250 bucks. Looking for some opinions. Thanks...
     
  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Id just get a 22. Any idea on the 22 you would get.
     
  3. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    Beretta makes a 22 m9 version. It's around 300 bucks if your wanting a duplicate type gun. I have no experience with one though. I have plenty of beretta 22s but not one of those.
    I dont use a 22 conversion on anything. They are just too expensive. I can usually get a similar gun for cheaper and not wear out, or dirty up, my duty gun.
    Of course if you just want a 22 just to shoot with no ties to the full size guns, the Ruger mk series/ buckmark/victory/neos/ etc are all great guns and known for their quality and durability for around the same price as that conversion.
     
  4. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    I've had a lot of conversions over the years. Kadet for a CZ75B, a Ceiner (I think) for a Beretta 92, a Sig conversion for a P220 SS, Kimber on a 1911 mil spec.
    The Kadet is one robust piece of machinery. All steel, including the mags. May require some minor fitting. Mine was very reliable and I wasn't afraid to shoot hot ammo like Stingers in it. Wasn't as accurate as my Mark II though. Part of the trouble was the poor trigger on my base gun. Full function including slide lock back on empty.

    The Sig conversion for the P220 was nice. Very accurate, but it needed hot ammo to cycle reliably. A lesser mainspring might allow for target ammo to cycle. No lock back.

    I owned the Beretta conversion so long ago I don't remember much other than it was fun and reliable.

    The Kimber 1911 is OK, very accurate, but required a reduced mainspring in the base pistol to function. Swapping mainsprings is a PITA. Plastic mags, no lock back.

    In the long run a good target 22 like a Buckmark or Ruger Mark ? will be more reliable and accurate with a wide variety of ammo. Or something like the Walther PPQ 22. That looks like a good one if you're looking for more of a combat style pistol.
     
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  5. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    An excuse to get something new is always a good excuse! :)

    I, too go the separate .22 gun route rather than opt for conversions.

    For range practice/plinking just about any good .22 will do...but maybe a nice bull-barrel Mk IV with a set of target grips...:thumbup:

    Stay safe!
     
  6. Michael A Ferber

    Michael A Ferber Member

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    I'm thinking about the S&W M&P 22 Compact. Decent size and easy to shoot. Cheaper than conversion Kits. unnamed (57).jpg
     
  7. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I have a CZ Kadet conversion for my P01. Wasn't really planning on getting one but the sales clerk who was handling my P01 purchase made me such a deal on it that I just had to get it!

    f96nQvc.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
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  8. Doublehelix
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    Doublehelix Contributing Member

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    I bought a .22 conversion kit for my SIG P226 Legion SAO, and it is a blast to shoot! I can pop off the standard 9mm slide, and pop on on the .22 slide, and voila! Go shoot!

    I also have a dedicated .22 pistol which is also great, but I love my P226, so I can get some practice in for much less money... Plus, it is a hoot to shoot!
     
  9. Boarhunter

    Boarhunter Member

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    I own a bucket-load of 22 semi-autos and revolvers and never hesitate to encourage others to follow in my footsteps!

    BOARHUNTER
     
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  10. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    The reason I believe the great rimfire guns hold up forever and show such great reliability and usually accuracy is that
    1. They are made of some steel.
    2. Only a portion of the gun reciprocates rather than the entire slide. Usually either a small portion of the rear of the slide or just a bolt. The list of great rimfire pistols is dominated by such designs. Woodsman, trailside, high standard, smith 41, mk series, buckmark, beretta 87 target or neos, victory, hammerli.......if I wasnt worried about the feel or the controls mimicking my duty gun, I'd stick with those tested designs. Obviously if you want a gun that looks and feels like something else then you have to look at that. They won't likely be as accurate, reliable, nor durable as those others. It's up to you to decide what order your priorities are. Also parts and mags for some of those have been made for many many years so availability wont be an issue

    Very very few people need to ever worry about "wearing out" a centerfire handgun. Quite a few more of us will, and have done so , wear out rimfires. I have 22s of many designs and they all have their purpose. Just giving you some things to research.
     
  11. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    My dad just got the walther p22, it's a good shooter. The s&w is good to.
     
  12. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Kookla, czhen, PO2Hammer and 2 others like this.
  13. cougar1717

    cougar1717 Member

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    If the decision is between purchasing a conversion kit vs a dedicated 22LR handgun, then here are some thoughts:

    1. What is the purpose? Just fun? Training? The conversion kits are fun and are great for training - same grip, same/similar operation, similar sights - just with cheaper, albeit marginally less reliable rimfire ammo. Dedicated 22LR's are split with either having a target style grip angle or a more vertical grip angle. It's broadbrushing, but at least there are choices! You just have to choose whether you want a target style grip or want similarity to centerfire handguns.

    2. Since it's 22LR, would your significant other or children shoot it? If they were, most dedicated 22LR's have smaller grips (or options). Most conversion kits are full size or compact handguns. I suppose you could get thinner grips for a Sig, CZ, or Beretta.

    3. What kind of accuracy do you desire? You're not going to win any accuracy competitions with a conversion kit. There aren't any upgrade parts for a conversion kit. With some dedicated 22LR pistols, there is significant aftermarket support for upgrading.

    4. Which brings me to the trigger. Broadbrushing here, but most dedicated 22LR handguns have better triggers than centerfire handguns. There are exceptions, but there is typically more slop in a centerfire combat trigger than in a dedicated 22LR handgun trigger.

    5. Fitment. With the conversion kits, it is a slide that was made "to spec" but wasn't tested with your frame. There can be some fitment issues.

    Here's my experience:

    I had the "old" Beretta conversion kit. I will say that it functioned and would even shoot CCI Stingers. However....
    It was a pain to take on and off. The light spring and recoil rod would get caught up before the rod fully seated. Changing slides wasn't something that I wanted to do at the range. The guide rod barely sits in the barrel extension where they integrated the Beretta locking block. It did not take much movement for the guide rod to slip and that recoil spring would go flying! I would just change it before or after I went to the range in the event of a flying recoil spring.

    My conversion kit was finicky on ammo. It needed ammo with enough energy to cycle the aluminum slide, otherwise the slide would catch the empty brass. All HV ammo cycled, even the softer CCI SV. Most subsonic ammo did not cycle well - I'm talking like barely clearing the port by 2". Get an underpowered subsonic cartridge and it was a FTE.

    Then, the bullet profile mattered. The feed ramp was at such an angle that any "truncated cone" shaped bullets would FTF about 50% of the time. It tried several times to get Winchester Xpert or Federal 745 bulk to work. It's about the only time where I preferred Remington Thunderbolts! Hey, at least they ran until I hit a dud.

    To sum it up, as long as I used 40gr HV, round nose ammo, the conversion kit ran well. It helped me to put in more trigger time and it was no big deal to learn both the single and double action pulls. The weight and balance wasn't exactly like a 92FS (aluminum slide instead of steel), but it was fun. While the Beretta frame is bigger than most people prefer, if you wanted to teach new shooters how to deal with FTF/FTE, all you had to do give them a mag of truncated cone 22LR!
     
  14. Kookla

    Kookla Member

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    The more I shoot my dad's standard, the more I think the slim tapered barrel and fixed sights are my favorite.
     
  15. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    "The more I shoot my dad's standard, the more I think the slim tapered barrel and fixed sights are my favorite."

    And that wasn't what I expected. I just wanted a decent 22lr semiauto that was inexpensive and had a barrel 4" or shorter. Wow, was I surprised. My 5.5' Buck Mark with usually outshoot it, but just barely. The Standard is an extremely nice handgun. The safety doubling as the slide release is mildly annoying, but otherwise it's as nice a little 22 auto as I could wish for, and I've owned quite a few others.
     
  16. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    The idea to train with a .22 LR conversion kit in hopes to get better with the center-fire gun is like to ride a bicycle to train riding a motorcycle... Useless*. Get a decent .22 LR pistol, get some boxes of ammo, proceed to have fun shooting at stuff. Don't expect it to be a worthy substitute for a center-fire handgun practice.

    If you just want a plinker - get some nice dedicated rimfire pistol. Those conversion kits are (most of the times) a real PIA to care for and expensive - just not worth it (beyond the "Me-got-one-let me-show!" forum bragging).

    * For a more or less experienced shooter, that knows at least how to squeeze that bloody trigger and hit the damn target...
     
  17. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    An interesting disclaimer as learning trigger management is one of the specific strengths of using a .22LR conversion on your centerfire pistol...since live fire is used to verify correct technique of your dry fire practice

    I've found it to be an extremely worthy substitute for clients/student trying to learn to reset their trigger in parallel as opposed to in series. The only thing it can't replicate as well is the technique of recoil management
     
  18. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

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    I like conversion kits, not every model offers them but the ones that do seem to be well made. Ciener and Peter Stahls both made nice units for the Browning High Power.

    I looked into a factory conversion kit for a Beretta 92FS, as it turned out it was more economical to get the complete gun in .22. Photo below shows the 92FS (top) and the .22 version (lower). Outward appearances they appear indistinguishable.

    BHP-1.jpg 001.JPG
     
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  19. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    Yes, this is a valid reason, but beyond basic training I find it with little value. And I think that trigger management can be learned with a "real" .22 LR pistol/revolver without a problem also. Of course, when one chooses the right trigger mechanism according to his/hers needs.
     
  20. johnmcl

    johnmcl Member

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    9mm, I agree with your assessment of 22 conversion kit benefits.

    In my own case, a 229 kit allows me a world of practice on that SA/DA thing, mag changes, and other operational aspects of running the gun at a very attractive price. I think it a great addition to the training regime.
     
  21. Thomas Mayberry

    Thomas Mayberry Member

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    I've considered a conversion kit but at the prices they go for, I prefer to buy a dedicated pistol. Where I do see a definite benefit is in those states where you have the hassle of getting a permit for each purchase or like California where the selection is limited due to the requirement of the gun being on an approved roster.
     
  22. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have a few of them I use the AA Glock one the most. The Colt ACE (old steel slide version) is the nicest.

    A good .22 is a good .22 though.
     
  23. bbqreloader
    • Contributing Member

    bbqreloader Contributing Member

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    Got it, love it, the kids wont put it down when I get them to the range. Now caveat, I did have to send it back for rear sight work as the sight worked itself loose some how and the adjustable screw would not feed into the slot. However S&W took care of it for free. So far just CCI standard velocity, CCI Polymer and Rem Golden feed just fine, but ammo varies with any 22.
     
  24. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    jmorris

    I had an old Colt Ace .22 conversion kit years ago. Overall quality was first rate, especially the magazines, and I had it mounted on a Colt Government. It was alright for mostly casual plinking but accuracy was nothing to write home about and it was pretty picky as to what ammo it liked. Also the floating chamber needed to be kept fairly clean or else it would start to have problems.

    A few years back I was looking for another .22 conversion assembly to go with an Essex frame I had put together. Looked at getting a Marvel or an Advantage Arms kit but they always were out of stock with the one I wanted. Finally found a TacSol 2211 conversion kit and got it. Fit perfectly on my Essex frame and didn't require any additional fitting or adjustments. A well thought out design and is built with to very close tolerances.

    eqPVfL0.jpg
     
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