Produced in Germany, the 1911-22 from Sig Sauer is a classically styled .22 LR 1911-pattern pistol with an attractive matte Teflon-coated finish. Low-key in appearance, the pistol weighs in at 34 ounces and features subtle but significant enhancements such as an ambidextrous safety and extended beavertail grip safety for enhanced ergonomics. A skeletonized aluminum trigger, attractive grips and high-visibility, three-dot sights round out the package. (<a target=blank href=http://www.sigsauer.com/CatalogProductDetails/1911-22.aspx>http://www.sigsauer.com</a>; 866-345-6744)
Manfactured in Germany by Walther under license from Colt, the rimfire Colt Government 1911 A1 in .22 LR recreates the classic configuration of the U.S. military 1911. Featuring authentic “Colt’s” rollmarkings on the slide, the single-action pistol employs a functional half-cock mechanism, fully functioning thumb and grip safeties, black rubber grips and all-steel lockwork for durability. For a perfect plinking companion to a true military 1911, the Colt Government 1911 A1 from Walther is an ideal choice. (479-242-8500; <a target=blank href=http://www.waltherarms.com/products/tactical-rimfire-replicas/government-1911-a1/>http://www.waltherarms.com</a>)
Imported by American Tactical, the German Sport Guns (GSG) M1911 .22 LR is a modern rimfire take on the classic 1911 design. In fact, it sports features on par with many custom or top-tier factory 1911 pistols on the market today. These include enhancements such as an ambidextrous thumb safety, extended beavertail grip safety, low-profile/high-visibility sights, double-diamond pattern Walnut grips and a three-hole, skeletonized aluminum trigger. The frame and slide are manufactured from zinc alloy and feature a black anodized finish. Capacity of the pistol is 10+1, and the weight is on par with a standard all-steel 1911 at 34.4 ounces. (<a target=blank href=http://www.americantactical.us/76/detail.html>http://www.americantactical.us</a>; 800-290-0065)
Produced in Italy and available here in the United States through Chiappa Firearms, the 1911-22 Target pistol in .22 LR delivers a modern-style 1911 ready for precision target shooting. Combining classic styling cues such as a standard safety with enhanced upgrades like a fully adjustable rear sight unit, the 1911-22 Target features an attractive matte black finish with polished sides on the slide. The pistol itself is constructed from a combination of what the company terms “Chiappalloy” and steel, resulting in a weight of 33.5 ounces that is comparable to a true centerfire 1911. (<a target=blank href=http://www.chiappafirearms.com>http://www.chiappafirearms.com</a>)
The Rimfire Super from Kimber delivers a high-end, 1911-pattern pistol with just about every feature the discerning shooter would want. From its flat-topped slide with flutes and fully adjustable sights to its 30-lpi checkering on the frontstrap to its match-grade premium aluminum trigger, the Rimfire Super exudes elegance and refinement. The pistol, of which the slide and frame are manufactured from lightweight aluminum, weighs in at 23 ounces unloaded and is guaranteed to shoot a five-shot group of 1.5 inches or smaller at 25 yards. (<a target=blank href=http://www.kimberamerica.com/1911/rimfire/rimfire-super>http://www.kimberamerica.com</a>; 888-243-4522)
When it comes to a distinctly American autoloader, it is hard to top the classic 1911. Born from the genius of John Moses Browning and adopted by the U.S. military more than a century ago, this classic single-action defensive pistol soldiers on today in the hands of not only select military and law enforcement units, but also everyday citizens. But, feeding these .45 ACP pistols a steady diet of practice ammunition can quicklybecome an expensive endeavor.
For those looking for a cheaper way to keep up their shooting skills with the 1911 platform, there are several rimfire variants of this classic design available on the market today. While the internal mechanical operations of these .22 LR pistols differ from the original (namely straight blowback replacing the locked breech/delayed blowback operation of centerfire variants), with similar handling characteristics and control placements they can do an excellent job of replicating the centerfire 1911 experience at a fraction of the cost. Click through the gallery above to see what options are available on the market for shooters today.
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