Sunday, June 7, 2009

Kimber 22LR Conversion Range Test

OK, boys and girls, here's the results from my trip to the range with my Kimber 22LR conversion kit for my Kimber Custom TLE-II.
All targets at 10 yards, as measured with my Bushnell laser rangefinder.
This is NOT a very scientific test, so YMMV!
First up is some Winchester "White Box" 230gr JHP ammo I bought at the range the last time they had it in quantity to sell. I bought a box of 500 rounds for $250 out-the-door. All it says on the box is "Personal Protection" and the stock number is "USA45JHP". It seems hotter than the 230gr FMJ WWB that I usually shoot, and leaves more little grains of powder on the bench at the stall. No idea what the MV is, as I don't own a chrono....YET! It does seem to kick a bit harder, and make a bigger BOOM, but that's all subjective. I haven't fired the two back-to-back, but maybe I'll take some of each next time.
Next is some Fiocchi 22LR "Biathlon SM 340 Super Match" made in Italy that I bought from Midway. No particular part number on the box.
Lastly is some Wolf 22LR "Match Extra", made in Germany, that I also bought from Midway. One thing that struck me about the Wolf is how greasy/oily it is. I had to wipe my fingers off after I loaded the magazine! The bullets are almost black, compared to the Fiocchi, which has bullets that look like good old cast lead. The one 'flyer' happened when the guy in the next lane let off a 44Mag right when I was squeezing the trigger. Yep, I flinched and mashed the trigger.
Installing the conversion kit is a snap. Just take out the barrel bushing and plug so you can move the slide back to get the stop out, remove the barrel/slide assembly, and then install the new barrel and slide for the 22 conversion kit. The magazines are made of what looks to be glass-reinforced plastic, and hold 10 rounds. The spring is light, and it's very easy to put the rounds in the mag.
The new slide comes with "Target Sights", and I didn't adjust them. It seems to shoot a little low at 10 yards, so I just adjusted my point-of-aim to compensate for it. It also chews up my left index finger when I rack the slide, so I'll have to be a little more careful next time. As far as recoil goes, it almost feels like my Airsoft pistol, which is to say about all I felt was the slide coming back. And after firing the 45ACP, hearing the little "POP" from the 22 almost made me think "squib round".
The Fiocchi worked 100%, but I had a couple of misfires with the Wolf. One round wouldn't fire after three tries, so I waited about 30 seconds and ran the slide to eject it. It looked like it had a good hit from the firing pin, so I'll wait until I fire more of it before I pass judgment on it. The last class I had was a Tactical Shotgun class, and we had a bunch of "bad" ammo that wouldn't fire.
These days it almost seems that we're lucky to get *any* ammo to practice with.


  1. Looks good and glad it worked. I'd stay away from Wolf, I've NEVER had any luck with any of their ammo, especially the .22 stuff.

  2. That's interesting. The Box 'O Truth tested some a while back, and he liked it. I can't argue with the seems a bit better than the Fiocchi I was shooting.
    I'll reserve judgment until I've shot a bunch more. I've got 2000 rounds!

  3. Good report. Been thinking about getting a conversion kit for either the Glock or the Kimber Custom II, seeing the price of ammo recently.

  4. Thanks. I'm slightly concerned that practicing with 22 is different enough, especially for a follow-up shot, that it might throw me off if I ever had to defensively use the pistol with full-bore 45ACP rounds.
    Guess I'll use the 45 rounds for training, and the 22 for plinking.
    it *is* a lot cheaper!

  5. On the one hand, I'd like to have a .22 conversion for my Kimber, but on the other, I have a 22A that works pretty well that's paid for.


  6. Oh, yeah! "Paid For" is always good!

  7. Most Match or Target ammo has a heavy wax coating. Most semi auto makers specify FMJ ammo.
    It feeds better and makes MUCH less of a mess.
    CCI Mini Mag 40 GR FMJ works great in my semis, has outstanding accuracy & it's cheap.

    Good review

  8. Thanks for the compliment!
    All the 22 I've fired it with has fed OK. Just that some of the Wolf didn't go bang.
    And it's more like oil on it than rubs off onto a towel very noticeably, and 'spreads' out on the towel like oil would.


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