View Full Version : SIG 1911 - 22 conversion kit - short review

January 18, 2015, 22:46
Hey guys,

I don't know if any of you have toyed with the idea of getting a conversion kit for the 1911 to shoot .22LR with it.

Ok, let's start at the beginning. I've ordered mine from SIG Sauer in NH on the 8th. After a Fedex hiccup I got it on my doorstep on Saturday (01-17-15).

It went on my SIG 1911 Carry Nitron (Commander-size 1911). The fit is very good to excellent. It was a snug fit, as if it was made for that gun / frame.

The slide is made of anodized aluminum. With the kit come several exchangable front sights, to adjust it to different kinds of .22s. I left the stock sights on.

Testing was done with a box of Aguila HV Super Extra 40gr. RN and some Winchester Varmint HE 37gr.

The conversion kit functioned flawlessly with both kinds of ammo. After determining the POA / POI, I got several good groups at 10yds.

Sure, it ain't a .22 target pistol, but it'll do its job.

So far I'm pretty pleased with it, I just need to get more testing done with different kinds of ammo.

One difference I've noticed is.....as my conversion kit went on to a regular 1911 frame, I didn't need to worry about the magazine disconnect like on a regular SIG 1911-22 or a GSG. I hate those things anyways.

I fired 80rds. (70 Aguila / 10 Win.), and I figured that the kit needs a little more break-in.

If anybody has got some recommendations for ammo, feel free to share.

January 18, 2015, 23:43
The kit for the 1911 comes with the following items:

SIG lockable plastic hardcase

conversion kit readily assembled w. slide stop

1 magazine 1911-22

small plastic bag with 1 orange col. dummy round, chamber brush, 2 chamber flags, 4 extra front sights, hex key for front sights, wrench for barrel thread cover sleeve.

The hardcase can carry 2 mags in the cutout, if you put them in side by side.

On top of that I got a free SIG logo 1-pistol softcase, a SIG sticker and a SIG brochure.

February 11, 2015, 18:14
Ok, after taking it to the range two times, it still had malfunctions.

It definitely likes hotter loaded ammo, such as CCI Stingers and such.

I still had a box of Winchester M22 sitting around, so I tried those too. Don't use those ! More jams (FTE / FTF) than I could count.

It definitely likes the stuff that has got a MV of 1300fps or above.

A box of Aguila Super Extra 40gr HV ran just fine.

So far I've polished the feed ramp a little, and reg. the FTF, I changed out the followers and magazine springs.

Next test to follow before the end of this month.

February 17, 2015, 00:14
Ok, today I was able to run a test with two magazines with new followers and heavier mag springs.

Let me put it this way....the magazines functioned flawlessly. The new magazine springs did it. Mags hold now 14 instead of 10 rounds.

Ammo tested: CCI Blazer, Aguila HV, Federal AE, Win. 333 bulk, Win. Super X 40gr.

The SIG conversion kit functioned flawlessly with the first three mentioned, and with the Win. Super X. The 333 had FTF / FTE sometimes, especially the more residue was building up.

The conversion kit definitely likes the hotter stuff. I bet shooting it with CCI Stingers or similar would make it run fine.

So far I have not tried any target / match or subsonic, as I guess it will change the pistol to a single shot.

It needs ammo with a bullet of at least 36gr. or heavier, and a listed MV of at least 1350fps.

My next plan is testing the conv. kit with Remington bulk, Federal bulk and maybe a few CCI Minimags, if I can scrounge up some.

L Haney
February 17, 2015, 07:21
..a regular SIG 1911-22... I hate those things anyways.

How come?

Reason I ask is I got one just to set up with a suppressor. Outback II-D.

Ditched the mag safety along with the firing pin block in the slide. Left the parts for that in the lower as they are just waving in air and no longer affect the trigger pull.

I replaced the main spring housing with a 1911 flat one just cause those feel better.

Not a single FTF or FTE with anything other than some Colibri 20 something grain subsonics. But I expected those to not operate the slide.

CCI Green Tag at 1050 fps runs like a sewing machine. And the big hoot, with the suppressor on it's as quiet as a hollywood pistol.

February 17, 2015, 09:26

you took it out of context. I was referring to the magazine disconnects here, which I hate on any pistol, be it a Browning HiPower, a Buckmark or a SIG 1911-22.

L Haney
February 17, 2015, 09:52
You're right, I didn't read closely enough.

But mag disconnects are almost always easy to ditch.

February 17, 2015, 19:46
I guess that your suppressor generates enough back pressure for the pistol to function with reduced loads / subsonics.

L Haney
February 17, 2015, 20:05
It does the same without the suppressor. I don't see how back pressure is really helping in that case. And, party bonus, the POI doesn't shift from bare muzzle to suppressed. Didn't expect that and was actually surprised.

I was concerned initially with the slide and frame being aluminum. Not exactly the slickest stuff with a sliding interface.

So I tore it down, chemically stripped the lube that was there, and did the Militec treatment. Odd stuff that.

About every twenty mags I add about a drop with an 18 gauge syringe spread over both rails. Most of it gets wiped off with a rag.

I have read other folks experience with these pistols and some aren't having very much luck. But I'm pleased with mine, it just sorta' seems to work and that's all I ask.

It will hold 2" at 25 yards off a rest, and chuggs along with that Green Tag CCI.

My Buckmark will chew one ragged hole at 25, so, there is a difference.

ETA: I have a quart of that Militec lube. Which seems to be about a 10 lifetime supply. Be happy to send you some and let you try it on your .22 kit. Might help. It also seems to reduce the schmertz buildup that .22's leave behind.

February 17, 2015, 21:20
Mine is an aluminum conversion kit sitting on the steel frame of my SIG 1911 Carry.

I think sometimes this could be an issue, especially when the gun gets hot.

What kind of modifications did you do to yours, if any ? On mine so far I polished the slide rails on the frame, changed the followers and the magazine springs.

Currently as lubrication I use M-Pro 7, which I buy at a local Academy's.

L Haney
February 18, 2015, 10:41
What kind of modifications did you do to yours, if any ?

Flat main spring housing, tossed the mag safety and pulled the firing pin block parts from the slide.

Trigger was 'iffy' before but getting rid of the FP block made it quite acceptable.

Other than that, it's stock.

February 18, 2015, 13:38
Last night I looked at the recoil spring guide rod. After seeing that thing, I ordered me a new one from cwaccessories.

I'm not planning on upgrading the whole pistol, but the factory set-up is just
so-so at best.

LH, do you know where I can get a few mags without overpaying ? SIG sells them currently for $26.00, from what I recall.

L Haney
February 18, 2015, 17:33
I've been looking too. No luck so far.

February 18, 2015, 18:15
Well, today I was out and about on an unrelated matter and about 2 miles away from a Cabelas.

Hopped in there really quick (in my terms that means less than 15 min. in store) and found 2 boxes of Rem. Viper .22LR. Yaaaaaaaaay !

I will test them on next weekend if I get around to it. 1 box for testing, one box to be stored.

I hope I'll get the guide rod in time. That stock one just looks pathetic. I wonder why it has got some grooves.

February 22, 2015, 13:22
I shoot the Vipers in my Kimber all the time work just fine, not so much since they are so hard to get. Acuracy is good. Pretty much just the Federal and whatever else can get hands on locally now. They hang up once in a while in my girlfriends Taurus PT-22 and that's a bummer because they are the best for penetration you can get.

March 02, 2015, 22:28
Today I had another opportunity to test the 1911-22 conv. kit again.

After a thorough going over (polishing the slide rails and all "rubbing" surfaces) and installing a CW accessories guide rod and spring, I thought I'd give it another test.

Ammo used was quite a variety: CCI Blazer, Winchester 333 and M-22, Remington Viper, Aguila HV + SV, CCI Minimags.

Generally, I was impressed that the pistol had fewer hiccups, lots. I had a few malfunctions because of misfires (no ignition) .

After going through approx. 10 -12 mags, I noticed that the slide was out of battery. Further inspection revealed that the pot-metal (zinc alloy) bushing broke.

It broke right at these "lips that hold the guide rod plug in. Lucky me, it did not go flying. So, another order placed for two barrel bushings.

Seriously, I think that the conversion kit needs to be refined. There are a number of parts that I already replaced to make it function better.

#1 issue is magazines. The std. magazine spring is too weak. Followers could go too.

#2 Guide rod. The std guide rod has got those grooves or cutouts lengthwise. It would have been easier to go with a rod that is not just rounded on the first or last third of it.

#3 feed ramp. Mine was coated with the same matte black paint or bluing that is on the barrel. Polishing it off eliminated some feeding issues.

#4 barrel bushing. Zinc alloy part prone to breaking. A steel part would be better, right from the get-go.

I hope it won't take too long for the barrel bushings to get here.

March 02, 2015, 22:40
I still got the strong feeling that the problems are solvable. It is just that some companies want to make a profit by including parts that are not up to long-time serious use.

Sure, I realize it is a .22 and not a .45 or a 9mm.

As soon as I get the new barrel bushings, I will run another test.

Honestly, I do not expect it to run at 100% reliability, but I like to get it close, within feasible limits.

March 02, 2015, 22:53
I guess that your suppressor generates enough back pressure for the pistol to function with reduced loads / subsonics.

I have a S&W MP15-22 as does a friend. Neither will cycle reliably with the lighter load 22s but are flawless with 1,200 FPS+. He got a suppressor for his and with the suppressor it cycles with sub-sonic anything. Certainly not a broad range of experience or analysis but at least in this case, the back-pressure from the can makes a significant difference.

L Haney
March 03, 2015, 05:35
He got a suppressor for his and with the suppressor it cycles with sub-sonic anything.

Those Colibri 25 grain, 710 fps shells won't even budge the slide on my SIG with the can attached.

I'm jellis!

March 03, 2015, 16:32
A word about upgrades :

I usually do not buy parts from the same company that made the gun (this applies to most of the off-the-shelf guns).

Not that I'm biased, but there are a lot of other companies out there that sell gun parts (Brownells etc.) that got a vast inventory of gun parts, so I can get exactly what I need.

I guess that by now for the money I invested in this kit I probably could have bought a complete SIG or GSG 1911-22 pistol. Well, life is imperfect...

The upside is, the gun is a SIG 1911 Carry Nitron in .45 Auto. With the .22 conversion kit I still retained the same feel, trigger pull and the lack of a magazine disconnect, which almost all 1911's in .22cal. have.

My only other .22cal. pistol is a Browning Buckmark, and so far I've never had the urge of taking the magazine disconnect out.

L Haney
March 03, 2015, 18:25
Thank you moonbat for taking the time to document what you've found and what you've done.

This is a fine example of the quality of people we have on this board who share their often hard won knowledge. :bow:

March 03, 2015, 18:48
Thanks, Lowell ! I appreciate it. Now send me some of your Militec, so I can test it too.

L Haney
March 04, 2015, 10:46
It's in transit.

March 09, 2015, 19:33
OK, here is the next part.

This morning I received two barrel bushings for 1911-22's in the mail, and went to install one. These were steel, not cast bushings like the original.

The ammo test selection did not change any.

I shot several mags with different ammo, testing for function first and accuracy second. The Winchester 333 fared worst, in 12 to 14rds. about 5 -6 FTF and FTE. It seemed like it was very inconsistent and unpredictable. FTE mostly stovepipes.

I was particular impressed with CCI Blazer and a box of Aguila pistol match. The Aguila sometimes had FTF, but far fewer than the Win. 333. about 50% less.

CCI Blazer and a few Rem. Vipers functioned flawlessly, as well as the CCI Minimags. No hiccups at all.

Accuracywise I got the tightest groups with the Aguila pistol match SV, and the 2nd best the CCI Minimags, followed by the CCI Blazer on 3rd.

Aguila HV gave me 100% function, but not so tight groups. Rem. Vipers also had 100% function, but groups were worst.

All testing was done at 10 yds on A4 size silhouette targets.

In the future I will conduct more testing with other kinds of ammo, as they become available. I scored some boxes of Armscor .22LR HV 36gr. tonight, so this will be included in future tests.

It seems like the conversion kit needed a few changes to make it function better, but right now it seems to be in the "right condition".

On mine so far I've changed the following parts:

#1 magazine springs and followers (both made / sold by CW Accessories LLC)

#2 guide rod and recoil spring (CW Accessories)

#3 steel barrel bushing (ZR Tactical Solutions)

I wanted to keep the number of parts to be replaced to a minimum.

Currently I've got three SIG 1911-22 mags in use with this pistol, which I think is totally sufficient. After installing the new followers, each magazine holds 14rds. max, but I usually load them 1 or 2 rds. short.

Like they say at the end of some shows or movies:

to be continued...................

March 11, 2015, 17:17
The Winchester 333 fared worst, in 12 to 14rds. about 5 -6 FTF and FTE. It seemed like it was very inconsistent and unpredictable. FTE mostly stovepipes.

I have used some of the Winchester ammunition in a 617 and found it more reluctant than other brands to extract. It could be resulting in FTEs. If its slowing down your slide, that could also be contributing to the failures to feed.

On mine so far I've changed the following parts:

#1 magazine springs and followers (both made / sold by CW Accessories LLC)

#2 guide rod and recoil spring (CW Accessories)

#3 steel barrel bushing (ZR Tactical Solutions)

I wanted to keep the number of parts to be replaced to a minimum.

If your pistol continues to have tepid ejection, one part that might be worth investigating is the pistol's mainspring. I have a conversion kit that seemed to perk up when I resprung the original pistol.

March 12, 2015, 03:20
Thanks for the advice, Wildcat. I will look into that.

March 15, 2015, 01:08
The other day I was able to score a couple 100rd. boxes of Rem. Vipers. I'll see how they will perform, along with some Armscor SV that my FFL had laying around.

Btw, LH, thanks for the gun oil. It arrived on last Thursday, IIRC. I will give it a try too, as some of the .22 might run a little dirty.

March 16, 2015, 20:55
This time out I took a few more choices of ammo along:

#1 Armscor .22LR HV 36gr. plated HP

#2 Aguila .22LR Subsonic 40gr. LRN

#3 Aguila .22LR Target 40gr. LRN

Targets were set at 10yds like last time.

First off, I started with the Aguila Subsonics, and to my amazement, with a clean gun they functioned flawlessly. I shot about 20rds. of the subsonics without a single hiccup, and no FTF or FTE.

I then changed to the Armscor HV, which at first functioned flawlessly, but the dirtier the gun got, it had hiccups, mostly FTF.

The Aguila Target was clearly low power, and functioning was spotty, but accuracywise it was the 2nd best of the three tested.

The subsonics got me some tight clusters, after I determined the POA / POI.

Overall, I would like to state the following:

It seems like low power ammo (subsonics, target , match) as long as the gun is clean and well lubed. As soon as powder residue builds up, the power is just not enough.

Another thing that I've noticed (and it might be a misperception), the conversion kit seems to run better with heavier bullets, such as the 38gr. or 40gr. at MV of 1300fps or better.

Ok, mine functions flawlessly with CCI Minimags 40gr. RN at 1235fps, and the Rem. Vipers 36gr. TC at 1410fps. Both seem to have enough oomph to function even in a dirty pistol.

If I would need about 100% function with the conversion kit, round after round, I would go with the Minimags or the Vipers or Aguila 40gr. HV, giving accuracy 2nd place.

If I go for accuracy, with occasional FTF and FTE (the more to occur the dirtier the pistol gets), I could go with any match, target or subsonic ammo.

The next time I will try to use some CCI Quiets with 40gr. LRN at 710fps. I suspect that the Quiets might run with a clean gun, probably at a very low noise level too.

As I don't have any suppressor, I will use my electronic hearing protection.

To be continued..........