Using a pistol in .22LR offers a shooter a lot of fun and an affordable way to practice your pistol skills. However it is a bit difficult to get a .22LR pistol to match your normal pistol of choice. One such example is a .22LR trainer that matches my STI Steel Master. That is until the Tactical Solutions made the 2211 conversion kit. At last SHOT Show Tactical Solutions showed off their updated 2211 conversion kit. The TacSol 2211 has been around for a while but this newer version features a threaded barrel and integrated top rail. It is a .22LR conversion kit for 1911 and 2011 frames. We got one in for review so let’s take a look.
Installing the TacSol 2211
As I mentioned above, my STI Steel Master is one of my favorite handguns. While shooting 9mm is not that expensive, it doesn’t hold a candle to shooting .22LR ammo. By using a conversion kit, I can still use my favorite pistol which I am familiar with the grip and controls. Plus it is kind of cool at the same time to shoot my 2011 suppressed.
TacSol included their muzzle brake with the 2211 conversion kit. Installing the slide conversion is a simple task of taking the optic mount off and removing the Steelmaster slide. Then install the TacSol 2211 slide like a normal slide.
The Steelmaster below is my friend’s as mine was not available at the time of this review.
As you can see below, the Steelmaster slide is actually a little bit shorter than the 2211 conversion kit slide.
I was curious to see if the factory C-More sight mount would fit over the 2211 slide. It sort of works. I had to shift the mount forward one hole.
The back of the C-More sight kisses the rear sight. If you remove the rear sight, this is not an issue.
However I prefer a lower height over bore for my optics and went with my Hilux red dot.
One issue I had right off the bat was the 2211 magazines would not drop free from the Steelmaster grip. Another more important issue was the ejector would interfere with the magazines from seating properly.
I had to file the feed lip a bit to get proper clearance. Slamming the magazines into the Steelmaster still causes indentations to form in the aluminum feed lips.
I returned my friend’s black gripped Steelmaster and borrowed another friend’s blue gripped Steelmaster. This one had a slightly modified polymer grip and the magazines drop free. So if you are running a polymer 2211 frame, you may need to sand the insides of the grip to get the magazines to drop free.
How did it shoot?
When I was using the black frame Steelmaster, I had nothing but malfunctions.
I called TacSol and they said the issues could be due to the main spring in the Steelmaster. They recommended a 19-20lb spring. The Steelmaster has a 15lb spring. So I ordered a replacement mainspring housing and parts to swap into the Steelmaster.
The new spring helped to eliminate the light primer strikes but I still had problems with fail to feed.
I am too impatient to shoot tight groups. Here is a lazy group I shot off hand at 15 yards.
At some point the rear sight had fallen off. I was unable to figure out how to re-secure the rear sight so I left it off since I am using a red dot anyway.
I had a significant amount of malfunctions while shooting the TacSol 2211. I almost gave up on this kit.I was using a mix of Winchester M-22, Remington Golden Bullets, CCI Standard Velocity and Federal Semi Auto .22LR ammo.
Here is a representation of the malfunctions. They would be fail to eject, fail to feed and in some cases light primer strikes.
As I said earlier I was ready to give up on this conversion kit but then I went back and read the instruction manual. TacSol recommends a 500 rd break in period. So I grabbed a brick of Federal Target .22LR and got to work. It seemed like it helped a bit but the TacSol 2211 conversion kit is ammo sensitive. I ran CCI Mini Mags after the brick of Federal Target ammo and the TacSol 2211 ran great. When I tried using CCI standard velocity, it went back to malfunctioning. See the video below of my friend Corey trying the 2211 converted Steelmaster.
Suppressing the TacSol 2211
The 2211 kit works great with a dedicated rimfire suppressor. But I had issues when using my other pistol suppressors. The problem is weight. It would pull the barrel down enough to create more friction for the slide and cause malfunctions.
Gunsmithing May Be Required
As the instructions indicate, not all 1911 and 2011 are the same. I tried to install the 2211 kit onto my Armscor TAC Ultra FS HC, which is a Para Ordnance style frame. It did not work. The 2211 is only for Novak style frames.
Although you can send the 2211 kit to be professionally installed. My friend Tom had his pistol built using a 2211 conversion kit. Johnny Lim of Limcat built it for him. This race gun runs on Remington Golden Bullets.
The 2211 Conversion kit is finicky and a bit pricey especially if you are running it in a 2011. The kit costs around $510 with the combo rail and threaded barrel. It is ammo specific and temperamental with muzzle devices. The 2011 compatible .22LR magazines are also a bit pricey at $110 per magazine. I wish they actually held more than 10 rounds. As it stands they are basically the same single stack mags with a wider body so they work in the 2011 grip. The whole benefit to the 2011 platform is high capacity but the 2211 does not take advantage of this. You can find 1911 handguns chambered in .22LR but no wide body .22LR 2011s out there. If you want to convert a 2011 then the TacSol 2211 conversion kit is your only option. For more information, check out Tactical Solutions.