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GUNS Magazine January 2010 - Page 48
N o matter how many handguns are offered, be they revolvers, semi-automatics, or single-shots, and no matter what cartridge they are chambered in, none of them are more fun nor more practical than the basic .22 semi-automatic. At least one good example belongs in every shooter’s battery. So what if you don’t have a .22 but do have a centerfire semi-auto you really like but because of the expense of ammo don’t shoot it as often as you would like to? the above shooting such cartridges as .45 ACP, .38 Super, and 9mm can easily convert to the .22 Long Rifle. Even though a brick of .22s costs about twice as much, or more, as it did a year ago, they are still relatively inexpensive. This past weekend I found bricks from four different manufacturers ranging in price John Taffin Today we have at least seven companies offering .22 Long Rifle Conversion Units with models provided for such pistols as the 1911 and Commander, Browning Hi-Power, Beretta 92/96, Glock 19/23 and 17/22, Taurus PT92/99 SIG SAUER and EAA. Anyone with a semi-automatic such as Variations on the same theme are these .22 Conversion Units from top left clockwise, Tactical Solutions on a Colt Gold Cup, Kimber on a Kimber, Kimber on an Auto Ordnance, Ciener on a Series 70, and Ciener on a Colt Gold Cup. John will cover these in Part II in February’s issue. 48 from $19 to $22. Even at those prices, I can shoot a lot of ammunition for a small expenditure. Economics aside, quite often folks buy a centerfire semi-automatic because they can—without ever actually learning how to shoot it well. Bad habits develop, not the least of which is flinching. Going back to basics with a .22 can help cure these problems as well as teach all the basics of shooting and safety. Conversion Units are easily installed, usually taking less than a minute, and the centerfire unit can also be returned to its proper place in the same amount of time. I am no gunsmith, not even close, however even I can do all of this (although I must confess it would be good to have three hands when swapping out top ends on a Browning Hi-Power). I have now been shooting for over 60 years starting on my uncle’s farm in the late 1940s with a .22 Harrington & Richardson revolver. My first very own firearms were both .22s, a Marlin Mountie and a Ruger Single-Six in 1956. Over the ensuing years I have shot literally everything including all the really big-bore sixguns, some of which make the .44 Magnum almost seem like shooting a .22. Not only did I start all of my kids and grandkids with a .22, I find myself more and more going back to my roots and shooting .22s again. There are very few things in this life more relaxing than shooting good .22s with friends and family, or for that matter, just being out alone. Regular readers know of my devotion to big-bore sixguns, but I must admit the lowly .22 semi-automatic gives me just as much, if not more pure shooting pleasure. Let’s take a look at the .22 Long Rifle Conversion Units being offered today. Before we look at them individually we can point out some common attributes. We already mentioned they are easy to install and this is true across the board. They are designed to be drop-in WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • JANUARY 2010