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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a huge interest in target guns. I shoot in an inter-club bullseye league and I've always longed for an accurate .22 Conversion Unit for my Series 70 Government Model .45ACP. Last week while trolling through the pages of a local auction companies catalogue I spied this. There was only 1 crummy pic and just showed the Conversion Unit and 2 magazines. It was listed as a "Colt 1911 Conversion Kit". I recognized it immediately as an early Kart 1911 .22 Conversion Unit with a barrel address of United States Arms Corp Riverhead. N.Y. The left edge of the slide is marked KART and the rear of the slide marked .22 L.R. Surprisingly there were only a couple of bidders and I basically stole it. I picked it up yesterday and it came in a home made purple felt lined box. It appears to be well kept, lightly used and in very nice condition. Only the one slight scratch above the left edge of the barrel address. The top of the slide is stamped 0091. It came with (2) 5 round magazines, one marked Kart on the floor plate and the other marked US Arms Corp.
As I understand it Fred Kart began production of these Conversion Units using US Arms Corp machinery in the early 70's and once established in the market place he went out on his own. Can anyone add to the history of these? There is very little on-line on the origins of these Conversion Units. I haven't shot it yet but will follow up with a range report. Sorry for the crappy pic's but it's the best I can do at the moment.

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I have owned a couple of the long version of the Kart conversion unit. They were made in 5.5 inch and 7.5 inch, if I remember correctly. The two that I had were very accurate and functioned well. I know that Fred Kart is still making barrels for 1911 style pistols, but I don't know if he still has any parts available for these conversions. The last time I contacted him about parts was probably close to 20 years ago. They were quite popular back in the 1980's when I was shooting bullseye competition.

- - Buckspen
 

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From the book, "Colt's "O" Model .22 Caliber Automatic Pistols by Lowell Pauli

"The Kart conversion unit was a concept of Fred Kart in the early to mid 1960's. He began by cutting apart a Colt conversion unit to convert a military .45 into a .22 L.R. The barrel is fixed and the small slide of steel is light enough to function without a floating chamber. It is similar in function to the Model 41 Smith and Wesson. Kart later machined their own conversion units from raw steel. The units were designed and intended for use in competitive shooting. Kart provided their own magazines for the units. The magazines are quality built and appear superior to any other firearms magazines I have seen. The USMC used the Kart units for .22 caliber competition purposes."

Below are photos that include an instruction sheet, an original converted Colt conversion unit and a Kart conversion unit.
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I hope it's acceptable to point out that I have a KART unit in the Want To Sell section of our forum.
Fine with me...I've been eyeballing that. When I started shooting 2700s that was the .22 of choice, along with an M41 heavy barrel with the extended front sight.
Bob
 

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Fredrick Kart is still alive and supervising the manufacture of Kart 1911 barrels in his shop in Shallote, NC. He no longer makes the .22 conversions, and hasn't in several years. The last time I talked to him about two years ago, there was not a source for additional magazines for these units, and the used mags were pretty expensive when you can find them. You might want to Google his phone number, and give him a call. He was quite a friendly, interesting, and talkative fella.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
UPDATE: Range Report

Took my Kart 1911 Conversion to the range this morning. Mounted on the pictured Series 70 GM. I ran 150 trouble free CCI SV rounds through it. Tweaked the sights and this target was the result. I'm pretty impressed with it!

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As I understand it Fred Kart began production of these Conversion Units using US Arms Corp machinery in the early 70's and once established in the market place he went out on his own. Can anyone add to the history of these? There is very little on-line on the origins of these Conversion Units.
824tsv,

Was doing some research,---and ran into this KART. Most likely, this is the box they shipped in during the late 70's (Parts list is dated 1 Aug.1978. .22 mags,---$22.00!)

Best Regards,
 

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