Range Review: Tactical Solutions 2211 (1911) .22 Conversion

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Jan 14, 2005
So, for a couple of years, I’ve been pining for a .22 conversion for a 1911 for a few different reasons. First and foremost, as a low-cost training alternative to .45 ACP hand loads, second as something I could carry around during grouse season, and finally as something my lady-friend wouldn’t mind practicing with as well, since it would have the same manual of arms as the house gun. I also wanted something with a fixed barrel, to eek out the best available accuracy on small game, as well as a threaded muzzle for the day that Washington State finally changes its ridiculous suppressor legislation.

Although I thought long and hard about a Marvel Unit 1 due to their recent price bump, and inability to find a stocking dealer that carries the threaded barrel option, I ended up ordering a Tactical Solutions 2211.


Similar to the Marvel Unit 1, and the infamous S&W model 41, only a portion of the slide moves (see attached pic). The 2211 conversion utilizes the existing slide stop to lock the conversion to the frame of the donor pistol, with the barrel and recoil spring / guide rod assembly fixed in place at the slide stop hole in the frame. The slide stop also retains its normal functionality, locking the slide back after the last shot. The moving part of the slide has both front and rear cocking serrations, which does help in installing the conversion (since the recoil assembly is captive). The 2211 is available in several configurations, as well as for single and double-stack 1911’s. The conversion I opted for has a combination rail on top of the barrel with an STI (looks like a Bomar) windage / elevation adjustable rear sight, a red fiber optic front sight insert and a section of picatinny rail in between the sights to mount an optic. The conversion is also available with either just adjustable sights, or a picatinny rail without sites, but I wanted the option of adding an optic later, so I went with the combination rail that has both. The barrel is threaded ½” x 28 TPI for use with a suppressor or compensator, and comes with a thread protector installed. The magazine is aluminum with a plastic base plate, and includes a mechanism that trips the slide lock, locking the slide back after the last shot.

On The Range:

I had two government models available to test the conversion with, a Springfield G.I., and a Colt Series 80, both unmodified government models. For the purposes of the range test I brought three types of ammunition:

Federal Bulk Pack from Wally-World (copper washed HP, 36 gr, supposedly around 1250 fps)
CCI Standard Velocity (lead round nose, 40 gr, 1070 fps)
CCI Subsonic (lead HP, 40 gr, 1050 fps)

I’d like to test another type of high velocity ammo, but the Federal bulk is all I have – I may have opportunity to shoot some Remington yellow-jackets later this week, and will give an update if I do.

I shot 30 rounds of Federal bulk pack and 20 rounds each of CCI standard velocity and subsonic through the conversion unit with it mounted on each donor gun (for a total of 140 rounds). I should note at this point that Tactical Solutions recommends a break-in of 500 rounds for these conversion kits. I don’t know if they recommend a specific type of ammo, because the copy of the instructions that were included with my conversion was missing the second and fourth pages (and I’m pretty sure that tid-bit was on page two). I did not clean the conversion in between ammunition swaps, and did not add any lubricant other than the CLP I initially worked into the rails when I first received the conversion.


Overall, the conversion appeared to function better from both a reliability and accuracy standpoint with my Colt Series 80. With the Federal bulk pack, I had multiple FTF’s regardless of position in the magazine. My Springfield seemed to really hate the combination of the bulk pack ammo and the conversion magazine, often taking multiple tries to pick up a new round. I have to admit that NONE of my .22’s like this particular box of Federal bulk pack (an otherwise tack-driving Marlin Model 60, a custom built 10-22, and a Smith 17-2). I figure if it jams the Model 60, then it must be junk. The bullets on some of these rounds roll around freely at the case mouth.

Tests with the CCI ammunition were much better. I had zero malfunctions with the standard velocity ammunition with both donor guns, and my groups shrank considerably. Although I had 1 FTF with each donor gun using the CCI Subsonic, it also shot the best groups of the day with my last group from the Series 80 being downright impressive (to me anyway). For the sake of brevity, I’ve included pictures of targets shot with the Series 80 using each type of ammunition. All targets were shot at seven yards (21 feet), two hands, no rest, six o’clock hold.

Flyers are all mine. I make no claim of being a crack pistolero (unless you happen to have a Model 41 I can borrow).


This thing is well built and serviceable (firing pin, springs, etc. available through Tactical Solutions).

The combination rail is a good idea for those who want both irons and the option to install an optic. Having never shot with a fiber optic front sight, I was pleasantly surprised by how much easier it was to get things lined up.

It seems to perform pretty darn well with both standard velocity and subsonic ammunition, and I would think that performance would only improve for those of you able to utilize a suppressor. I’m hoping that once the conversion is broken in, I can regularly use CCI subsonics which I prefer for most of my target shooting / hunting.


Sight rail doesn’t allow conversion equipped guns to fit in a standard holster.

Thread protector loosens easily (this seems to be more of a mark of good machining, but I hate to loc-tite it on).

Magazine does not seat flush (perhaps it is designed to work with magwell equipped guns), and did not seem to work as well with one of my donor guns.

Several failures to lock bolt open on last shot, and some FTF due to the slide running over the top of the next round, or not having enough momentum to completely go into battery. The latter may have been due to not cleaning the conversion, or keeping it well lubed enough during my test.

Magazine cost. As with all conversions, extra magazines are pricy ($60 through Tactical Solutions).


All in all, I’m pretty pleased with this conversion, but I’d like to reserve my final opinion until it’s broken in.

My apologies for the lousy pictures. Too lazy to drag out the light box.




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Just a couple of questions.

Have you shot any other .22 conversion units to compare it against the 2011?

Is the fiber optic front sight the only option?

Even with the price increase I am leaning toward Marvel since they are the proven conversion. I see lots of people commenting on several different types, and they are all over the place on what works and does not work.
I have not shot any other conversions - I'm fairly isolated, and don't shoot with anyone else that has one. The 2211 seem to be constructed like a Marvel Unit 1, in that only a portion of the slide moves - I believe the difference is that you can actually "tighten" the Marvel using their supplied slide stop - with the 2211, you use the stop on your donor frame. Maybe someone who has a unit one can chime in. There does appear to be a small amount of barrel movement with the 2211.

The fiber optic front is an option - it can also be had with a plain black ramp, or a railed top without sights - 2211 options here.
I just tested out my Kimber conversion yesterday.

To be honest, yours looks a lot cooler, hahah. :D

Mine ran great with the Federal Bulk pack though (only 1 failure to cycle out of about 100)
I have the Wilson Combat 1911 .22 conversion (ie Marvel unit 2). It is wonderfully accurate but initially had trouble feeding most ammo. After a little work, it feeds Federal bulk pack with no loss of the amazing accuracy. It's almost as good as my Ruger MKII 22/45 6 7/8" Government Target Model, almost. The donor frame is a stock STI Spartan.

Just to clarify, the barrel to frame fit is adjusted every time you field strip the Marvel unit 2. That's right, barrel to frame, not barrel to slide.

The kit comes with a tool that is basically hex wrench. The end of the FLGR is a hex bolt and as it is tightened, it pulls the barrel towards the slide stop until it is captive. This fixes the barrel relative to the frame (or more specifically the slide stop pin). The barrel floats from the slide, which accounts for the rattle you hear when you shake the gun.

This is also why the takedown "pin" of the slide stop rotates freely from the slide stop lever: the barrel-to-pin fit should be so tight that you would not be able to operate a 1 piece slide stop.
Any updates to this thread re: Tactical Solutions Conversion?

I'm thinking about getting one of these as well. The all steel slide is a big plus to me.

I'm also looking at the Advantage Arms/Bob Marvel units, but the back order on these is forever and a day....
Can anyone add any new info on the conversion.
Hope to get something in the next few weeks.
Hey all,

I finally got around to shooting my Tactical Solutions .22 LR caliber conversion kit for the 1911. One word just about sums it up - AWESOME!!! [See pics below].

I ordered the conversion with the combo rail and fiber optic front sight, with an STI adjustable rear sight from Rimfiresports.com. They seem to have the best price on the internet and shipped in less than a week. The spare mags are pricey, but I got lucky at the time and found them on sale at midwayusa.com for much less.

Fit and finish on this piece is excellent. It's basically a fixed bull type barrel with the moving part being the slide. The whole unit slides onto your existing frame, and you use your original slide stop to hold everything in place. One caveat though: This conversion will not fit on frames that have an extended ejector. That was kind of a bummer for me, because I wanted to use the conversion on my Norinco 1911 frame. It was a no go since the extended ejector prevented the conversion from sliding completely onto the frame. I ended up using the conversion on my Colt NM which has a standard ejector. It was a blessing in disguise because the NM trigger made this conversion one sweet shooter. My Norinco has a stock trigger which is a bit on the heavy side.

The magazines are also of high quality metal with a piece below the follower to hold open the slide on the last shot. The only thing I don't like about the mags is that the mag release needs to be depressed in order for the mag to lock into the well. I'm not too sure why, but I suspect it has something to do with the mag follower's last shot hold open piece which sticks out a bit.

As for function, I used only CCI Mini Mags for the 1st 100 shots. I had only one malfunction towards the end, with the slide not closing all the way on the 1st round of a full magazine. Please keep in mind, I did not remove all the gunk from my frame rails from the previous range session. I simply lubed the rails, and the conversion, and put the conversion on a somewhat dirty rail before shooting it for the 1st time. I wish I had more time to try different .22 LR ammo, but no dice this time. The literature that comes with the conversion kit recommends 500 rounds are shot through it "to ensure that the rail surfaces are properly mated to one another for reliability and to insure [sic] a proper break in."

Accuracy at 25 feet at the indoor range using off hand semi-rapid fire, double taps, and failure to stop drills was excellent. I have the Colt NM trigger to thank for some of that. And the red FO front sight picks up light in dark indoor range conditions quite nicely.

Overall, I love this conversion kit, and can't wait to break it in some more with different .22 LR ammo. I also like the option of being able to add some sort of optic (red dot micro sight comes to mind) in the future.

I've read that the Bob Marvel Custom unit is manufactured by Advantage Arms and has custom tweaks by Bob Marvel.


But if you check out the Advantage Arms website, they are not selling their unit currently due to backorders.


So it looks like, the Tactical Solutions is the way to go, unless you're willing to wait forever and a day...

Hope this info. helps!

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Thanks for the up-date and photos!
Looks like I'll order one when Rimfiresports.com gets more in stock.
Last time I checked Rimfiresports still had the combo rail version, but without the threaded barrel.
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