The .22 conversion kit for the Glock has arrived. Most .22 conversions usually have you replace the slide of your pistol. The slide that is used as a replacement is often of a lighter alloy than the original slide…the .22 usually doesnt generate enough recoil normally to move a massive steel slide like a centerfire cartridge will. However, with a little ingenuity and engineering you can not only get a slide of ‘normal’ mass to operate, you can even do a fairly accurate simulation of recoil as well. (The Colt .22 conversions utilized a ‘floating chamber’ to achieve this effect.) The conversion kit we picked up is made by Tactical Solutions. We picked up their kit designed for use on full-size 9/40 frames. Also picked up two spare mags for a total of three 15-shot mags. As an aside, TS also offers a threaded barrel for the conversion which might be kinda handy if you have a suppressor.
First thing you notice is that if you didnt know better youd swear the TS slide was a genuine OEM Glock slide…heft, shape, color and everything else are identical to the Glock slide. It even has Glock factory sights on it. Obviously theres some internal differences but outwardly you wouldnt be able to tell the difference between the two except by the markings. Unlike many conversion, the slide is steel rather than aluminum, zinc or other lightweight alloy.
The conversion has no locking mechanism…operation is pretty much straight blowback, unlock the centerfire versions which lock up on the hood of the ejection port.
Assembly to the frame of your Glock is about what you expect…just like fieldstripping your gun normally. I havent weighed the conversion slide to see if theres a weight discrepency but if there is it isnt terribly noticeable. EDIT: Its about 4 ounces lighter.
So how’s it shoot? Not bad. The instructions call for MiniMags, Blazer, and Federal Automatch ammo. Having none of that on hand I went with Remington and Federal bulk. Personally, I have been disappointed with the performance of Remington .22 in the past and this was no different. Remington, to me, has become the bottom of the barrel for ammo…their cartridge cases are usually the worst for inconsistency and their rimfire ammo gives my semiautos more headaches than any other brand. It’s okay for revolvers and bolt guns butI’ll continue to stockpile Fed bulk and you should too. (Although I do keep a small stash of CCI Stingers around because they work best in my Beretta 21A.)
Loading up a few mags with the Remingtons produced a few failures to fire (typical in a rimfire since the distribution of priming compound isn’t exactly a science) and more than a few failures to extract. Im attributing the FTE to it being a new ‘gun’ and the extractor might need to break in a bit. Switching over to Fed bulk gave much more reliable ignition and only a couple FTE. The conversion itself performed great…slide locked back on last shot, slide lock released the slide the way it was supposed to, and groups were quite nice. Recoil was, as expected, not the same as with the centerfire ammo but to me that isnt a big deal. I see this kit as being used mostly for gun handling drills rather than accuracy drills. What I mean by that is that I see its major use as practicing one-hand/weak hand draw/shoot drills, practicing draw-and-snap-sight-picture drills, practicing transition drills from longarm to pistol and vice versa, and that sort of thing…for which this kit excels.
Is it cheap? Holy Crom, no. If you dont shop around you’ll pay almost as much as you would for a used police trade-in Glock. Is it worth the money? It depends on how seriously you take your shooting and how much you shoot. The .22 ammo recommended is around four cents per round. Thats $40/1000. Whats cheap factory reloads costing these days? $12/50? Thats about 24 cents each. Or a 6:1 ratio. Meaning that you can shoot six mags of .22 for the price of one mag of .40. Or, to put it in better terms, you can practice one day per week with .40 or you can practice six days a week with .22. We got the kit for our own use, but we’ll be doing a demo for the local police department since theyre budget is tight and they could use an alternative for cheap practice drills.
What I really love, love, love is that I can now slap the .22 conversion into my PTR-91 or AR-15, put the Glock .22 conversion in my holster, head to the range and do longgun/pistol transition drills, from behind cover, weak hand, etc, etc, all day long for about $20.
Conclusion? Yeah, its a great kit. Seems to do everything it’s supposed to. Is it the best? Beats me, I;ve only tried this one but having tried it I think if anyone bought one theyd be quite pleased.