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Discussion Starter #1
This question was posted on another Forum that I visit and I figured I would post the information here as well.
As some know, I'm a 1911 .22LR Conversion Unit enthusiast. I own several including a vintage Day Arms, Kart, Marvel Precision, Nelson Custom, and of course Colt. With all of these .22 Conversion Unit's you receive proprietary magazines that work with each individual Unit. With the going price of OEM Colt .22 Conversion Unit magazines, what other options are out there that won't hurt your wallet, and provide you with a cheaper magazine that is easily obtainable and will work reliably. I found the answer to that question is that there really aren't many, if at all, any options.
I tried all the magazines that I had on hand in my (2) Colt .22 Conversion Units of different era's. I didn't bother with the Day Arms .45ACP magazine-.22LR inserts that come with this .22 Conversion Unit as they wouldn't work anyways and are basically never seen in the wild. I did use a Kart magazine but finding one would be as expensive or more than a OEM Colt magazine if the owner knows what he is selling. The magazines used in the test are (from L to R in the pic):
A poly (plastic) magazine from a Marvel Precision 1911 .22 Conversion Unit. It's marked FCW (Frerking Custom Works-the current owner of Marvel Precision) I don't know who makes these. Next is a poly (plastic) magazine made by Jagemann Sporting Group and this came with my Nelson Custom .22 Conversion Unit. Next is another poly (plastic) magazine that I purchased from Brownells. These are virtually identical to the Jagemann magazines and I assume that Jagemann makes these for Brownells. Next is a GSG metal magazine which are easily obtained and fairly inexpensive. Last is a Kart magazine-good luck finding one.
My test mules are a early postwar Colt .22 Conversion Unit that is mounted on top of a 1964 vintage Colt Government Model .45ACP frame and a 70's era Colt .22 Conversion Unit mounted on top of a 1975 vintage Colt Series 70 Government Model .45ACP frame.
My results were not surprising to me. All the poly (plastic) magazines tested will NOT work at all. In fact they will not even seat in the frame. They immediately hit the stamped Colt ejector and even if you remove the ejector the magazines hit the bottom of the slide at the right rear corner under the extractor. So with these 3 out, we only have 2 left. No surprise, the Kart magazine works perfectly. This leaves the GSG magazine. I've read on other Forums that folks use these without issue, some say they have tried them and they don't work at all. In my test the GSG magazine worked perfectly. I have 4 of them and all 4 worked, all but 1 holding the slide open on a empty magazine. To prove the fact, I made a youtube video that can be seen here:
I'm not going to recommend a GSG magazine, but if you are looking for a extra magazine to compliment your OEM Colt magazine try a GSG magazine, it may (or may not) work. While we are on the topic of Colt .22 Conversion Unit magazines, if you have one and it no longer holds the slide back on a empty magazine there is a solution. Marvel Precision sells plastic magazine followers with a steel insert to replace the OEM Colt magazine follower that has a worn out shelf that contacts the slide stop. Visit their website for more information. Look on the "Order" page at the very bottom. These followers work perfectly and are identical in design (other than the steel inset) to the OEM Colt magazine followers of all era's.
Click on pic's for a larger view:

IMG_2238.jpg IMG_1747.jpg IMG_2016.jpg IMG_2060.jpg IMG_2061.jpg
 

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Excellent report, thank you for your research. I have a late 1940's Conversion Kit and also have one of the GSG .22 pistols that I bought when they were the new fad but don't shoot it much. I will try one of the GSG mags in my Colt. They can be bought for around $35 and at least they are pretty well made of steel other than the floorplate.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the compliment. Please report back to let us know if your GSG magazine works.
The only other magazine I wanted to try but don't have is the Triple K reproduction of the Colt magazine. At $54.00 its certainly not cheap and I'm always leery about their products after having a bad experiance with a magazine purchase a few years ago.
 

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You might try a Kimber conversion unit mag. I have a Kimber conversion on a 1911A1 Colt frame and about 8 or 10 Kimber mags for it. They all work fine in this configuration but I don't have a Colt Conversion Unit to try. They are plastic.

- -Buckspen
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You might try a Kimber conversion unit mag. I have a Kimber conversion on a 1911A1 Colt frame and about 8 or 10 Kimber mags for it. They all work fine in this configuration but I don't have a Colt Conversion Unit to try. They are plastic.

- -Buckspen
It would certainly be worth a try. Unfortunately I don't have one to try. Priced at $25.95, they are certainly reasonably priced.
 

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I had a GSG 1911-22, my nephew has it now.
Although the GSG magazine worked with my Conversion Unit I felt that the magazine spring needed a bit more tension to lock the slide after the last shot. Conversion Unit/SM Ace slides seem to get peened at the slide stop notch if the slide stop is not engaged completely.
I'll give GSG credit their magazine is well thought out and an excellent design imo.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I was just looking at pic's of a Kimber Rimfire Target magazine. I don't see a shelf on the follower. Do these magazines lock the slide back on a empty magazine?
 

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I was just looking at pic's of a Kimber Rimfire Target magazine. I don't see a shelf on the follower. Do these magazines lock the slide back on a empty magazine?
As for Kimber I don't know. But the ones from Arthur Ciener don't. That I know. I also wonder if they would work on your conversion kit.
 

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How did you change the follower on the 1970’s magazine? Do you have to drive out the two pins on the bottom of the magazine?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
How did you change the follower on the 1970’s magazine? Do you have to drive out the two pins on the bottom of the magazine?
Yes, once you drive out the pins, you can lift out the floorplate and the magazine spring will come out. You can then remove the follower that is retained in the magazine body by the thumb button. If you are doing this, I suggest you drive the pins out with the magazine in a bag so the pins don't disappear and remember the floorplate is under spring pressure, so it will come off pretty quick once the last pin is out.
 

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How did you change the follower on the 1970’s magazine? Do you have to drive out the two pins on the bottom of the magazine?
jimc00,

IIRC, late(r) 1970s COLT Conversion Unit magazines should have a base like/similar to picture 1. You push in on the button until it clears the stamped metal base and slide the base off the mag. This mag has a plastic follower.

And, IIRC, the mag in picture 2 came with some of the 1st reintroduced Service Model ACE Pistols starting at Serial Number S.M. 14001 in 1978.? It should have pins and it (IIRC) was started in 1946 with the COLT Conversion Units.? (It also has a Pot Metal Base and Follower.)

Pictures 3 and 4 show the removable pin(s) in a early two-tone S.M. ACE mag.

Best Regards,



 

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My ACE conversion unit dates to 1978 according to the paperwork I got with it. Wish I had bought a new one back in the day. Below it is on a GCNM bottom.



I was also into conversion units. I bought a couple of Cieners back in the early 2000s when Brownells was selling them. They are both the "Platinum Cup" versions and one is a 5 inch and the other a 4.25 inch "Commander" model. Then I bought a Kimber unit from Kimber back about 2003 or so to go with a Kimber Target Elite II purchased in 2002. Sold the Target Elite II but the new owner did not want the conversion unit so still have it and now with two mags. The second Kimber mag was purchased through Brownells. Then in the summer of 2004 I bought a Marvel unit from Marvel. Now it has an all metal mag with the removable base plate with one pin in the bottom. Now except for the Colt none of the above conversion units is supposed to hold the slide back when empty. And then a couple years ago I bought an Advantage Arms 22 conversion unit which is supposed to hold the slide back.

And of course I bought aftermarket mags. Having read old posts on other forums I bought a GSG-1911 mag from Brownells and I bought a Brownells 22 mag which is supposed to work in various conversion units although they do not say Colt or ACE in their list.

So I found three things happen when I try the 22 mags I have in the ACE unit I have.
1. It feeds rounds fine and locks the slide back after the last round is fired.
2. It feeds rounds fine but will not lock the slide back after the last round.
3. It will not even lock into the pistol, or if one locks the slide back the mag will lock in but the slide will not go all the way forward into battery.

So the results are.
1. The Colt mag that came with the ACE unit and another used one I picked up at a gun show work fine.
2. The GSG-1911 mag and the Marvel mag work fine but will not lock the slide back after the last round. The Marvel mag has Colt 22LR on the bottom by the way.
3. The Cieners, The Kimbers, The aftermarket Brownells, and the Advantage Arms mags will not go in or if one locks the slide back they may go in but then the slide will not be able to close fully.

But, as with the Colt ACE, I know the details of various conversion units changed over time, so somebody else may have different results. I bought the Brownells units as they said they would work with Ciener and it is on the list of units they work with on the package. They did not work with my Cieners and maybe within the last year I noted Brownells mentions they WILL NOT WORK WITH CIENER and I think it was in caps on their web page when I looked at it.
 

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Apparently Wilson Combat as well as Marvel used the Colt later style magazine. I remember back a few years ago when I got my Colt Conversion Unit the magazines were still available. Well the one I bought was a Colt (probably Metalform) and I could not get it to work. Reading all the reviews of suppliers and or users of these magazines, lots of complaints. The biggest complaint was the price.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks dakota,
You saved me from buying a Kimber magazine to try.
So there you go. Every major 1911 .22 Conversion Unit manufacturers magazine has been tried and it looks like only OEM Colt magazines are the "Best" option with GSG magazines as a "Maybe".
 

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These All "work great and last a long time" (for pre and post war COLT Service Model ACE Pistols and Conversion Units [Not the ACE II]).;)

Top and left circa 1935/1938. Bottom and right to mid/late 1970s. (Bottom two have Pot Metal bases and followers.)

(How many different versions of the COLT Stamped Steel removal bases Magazines are there [1970s up to 1995 COLT C.U. and maybe the 1998 ACE II C.U.])?


 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Great pic's Stan as always!

My research shows 4 removable baseplate magazines. (We really need "that" book to be published!!)
-Removable base plate magazine with "COLT .22 L.R." (No Rampant Colt logo) used from late 1979 to late 1981
-Removable base plate magazine with "COLT" (over) .22 L.R. with the Rampant Colt logo on the left side and a solid take down button
-Removable base plate magazine with "COLT" (over) .22 L.R. with the Rampant Colt logo on the left side and a solid take down button with a "P" stamped to the left of the Rampant Colt logo (Forum member flintsghost had some information on these in a thread but I cant find it)
-Removable base plate magazine with "COLT" (over) .22 L.R. with the Rampant Colt logo on the left side and a open (hollow) take down button. These were used on the Colt ACE II (No floating chamber) Conversion Units, 1998
Click on pic's for a larger view:

IMG_2248.jpg Colt conv. & 1911-22 mag differences 025.JPG Colt Ace II Conversion Unit barrel:magazine.jpg
 

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Here's the mag in the Rare (about 235-250 units) 1995 (all steel) COLT Series 80 .22 C.U. It has the shelf on the plastic follower to hold the slide open when the mag is empty. (The left side Roll Stamp is different on the 1995 Series 80 .22 C.U. from the 1984/5 Series 80 .22 C.U.)


 

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Thanks dakota,
You saved me from buying a Kimber magazine to try.
So there you go. Every major 1911 .22 Conversion Unit manufacturers magazine has been tried and it looks like only OEM Colt magazines are the "Best" option with GSG magazines as a "Maybe".
I bought 1 (and after some use) bought 4 more GSG magazines. After a little help from the guys on the Forum I realized that my Conversion slide was hanging up on the back of the mag and not allowing the slide to completed go into battery. After a little filing down of the back edges of the sides all magazines work perfectly and lock back every time. The mags have gone through 1500 rounds of Aguilla plated lr with only three misfires which were due to the ammo not the gun.

Thanks again to all who helped me find a less expensive fix to my magazine issues.
rmc
 
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