1911 Pistol   (in .22 Rimfire)

This handgun gets my Best Buy of the Year award.

      I recently purchased this German made Model 1911 chambered for the .22 rimfire.   It is a high quality handgun made by German Sport Guns (GSG), and it's imported by American Tactical Imports (ATI) in Rochester, New York.   After working on handguns for 30 years, I know that it's a challenge converting the 1911 into a reliable .22 rimfire.   The biggest problem is making it function with such a weak cartridge.   It's difficult to make the slide lightweight enough to function reliably - even with a straight blowback design.

      The manufacturer went all out to reduce the weight of the slide.   This includes using slotted (Novac style) fixed sights made from Delron.   I wasn't impressed with this material being used on the sights, but the sight picture is excellent.   It comes with front sight inserts in 3 different heights for setting the elevation.   Install the right insert, and you're good to go.   As I mentioned, it is critical to shave weight from the slide to make this a reliable functioning handgun.

      I purchased this "brand new" handgun at a local gun show for $300.   That makes this handgun cost just a few bucks more than the price of most 1911 rimfire adapter kits.   As you can see, it's loaded with great features.   This particular model has only been available in the U.S. for about 6 months.   The machine work and finish is also impressive, and this is a great looking handgun.


      Before I had a chance to try my latest handgun, I found this picture in an Internet article.   Some shooter had the exact same pistol I just purchased, and he explained that his barrel bushing bent during firing.   It sent the recoil spring flying down range.   That's something you'll never experience with a Model 1911 in .45ACP.

      Like most parts on this pistol, the barrel bushing is also made from aluminum!   ATI is familiar with this problem, and they sent me replacement parts with no questions asked.   When I spoke with their customer service rep (Jeremy), I found that he was very knowledgeable about their products.


      Well . . . . it's easy to replace the aluminum part with a steel barrel bushing (I had a pile of them in stock).   However, I know the manufacturer used aluminum to cut every little bit of weight to make this pistol function.   After replacing the bushing I also wanted to cushion the slide-to-frame impact.

      Before I fired my new handgun, I wanted to turn down the rod guide to accept an "extra" rubber recoil buffer.   After all, the same slide force was still there after replacing the aluminum barrel bushing, and I didn't want to let the new "steel" bushing damage the aluminum slide.


      This shows the rod guide BEFORE and AFTER my modification.   The end with the large diameter was reduced by .080" to accept an extra rubber recoil bushing.

      This modification dampens the slide impact without limiting the original slide travel.   I don't recommend replacing any of the springs.

      I made a few other improvements that include a crisp 3 pound trigger job.   This handgun is not designed to be a carry gun, so I removed the firing pin block from the slide.   I also removed the wierd magazine safety on the mainspring housing, and I reduced the sear spring pressure on the grip safety.   The rearward tip of the sear leaf spring needed to be rounded and polished.   This is an important step, because it prevents the leaf spring from digging into the soft aluminum grip safety.

      This is a great pistol for practicing IPSC shooting.   My first field test involved firing 250 rounds of CCI Mini-Mag ammo without any cleaning.   That's a pretty fair test for most .22 rimfire semi autos.   There were only two "fail to chamber" symptoms that occurred long after it needed cleaning.   This handgun comes with an extremely well designed steel magazine - not a polymer magazine like some of the adapter kits.   It is important to ONLY shoot Hi-Speed ammo in this handgun.   I confirmed that the slide always locked to the rear with Hi-Speed ammo, but with Standard-Vel ammo (as expected) it would not.

      This handgun will consistently put 5 shots in a one-inch group at 25 yards.   I like the idea that you don't need to make a mountain of handloads before going shooting.   This is by far the most reliable Model 1911 ( .22 rimfire) that I've ever seen.   I strongly recommend this handgun to anyone that enjoys shooting the 1911.

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