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I have a Kimber Pro Carry II. It's the 4" two tone 1911 with the night sights. A few years ago I got the .22 lr conversion kit for it.

When it was new, it was too tight. I had to shoot/clean-shoot/clean a lot to get her to break in. About the time she was done with that process, she sort of stopped jamming and started again, if that makes sense. I attributed it to everything in the book. Lubrication. Magazines. Ammo. It looks good, has great sights, and is probably the most accurate handgun I own with this kit. It just wasn't reliable at all. Until now.....

I recently figured out why my Kimber was jamming. I thought it was a lubrication issue (too much, too little, wrong type). No dice. I thought it was the magazine, but that wasn't it either. Not exactly, more on that later. I thought it was ammo. I tried about everything I could get my hands on. I finally resolved myself to the fact it would only shoot Remington ammo. Until I was shooting it the other day, and the light came on.

The Kimber magazines have no hold open. On the last round, the magazine does NOT lock back. Other .22's I own lock back on an empty magazine, but not Kimber. I personally didn't like this, but lived with it. If you look on youtube, you will see folks shooting these, and they usually pull the trigger 11 times on the 10 round magazine. Without the hold open, that 11th trigger pull is the problem.

If you dry fire any rimfire, the chamber will dimple, or 'peen' to use a more correct term, where the firing pin hits. On the Kimber, it's top dead center. Most .22's I've fired have it on the right side of the chamber, looking forward from behind the gun. Because of where the chamber peening was happening, I couldn't see it very easy.

Most 'good' .22 manufacturers will cut a very small notch where the firing pin hits, so the chamber doesn't peen. Most 'cheap' .22 manufacturers will skip this step, and shake their finger at you and tell you not to dry fire it. Most people I hand this gun to with a full 10 round magazine absolutely -will- pull the trigger 11 times. Period.

That peened place in the barrel provides just enough tension on the fired, expanded case, that it won't let the gun eject very well, even with a clean gun, good lube, and good ammo. Even the much vaunted CCI Stingers and Mini Mags couldn't do it.

IF the Kimber mags had a hold open (most manufacturers do) or IF they Kimber chamber had a firing pin notch (many good manufacturers do) then this tricky to find problem could have been avoided. One quick machining step. Or just a different follower in the magazine.

If you are still reading, maybe I haven't bored you to tears, and there are two ways to fix the problem. I call em the country boy way, and the correct way. The country boy way, (and more than a few gunsmiths do exactly this) is to get the barrel out of the mag, clamp it firmly but gently in a vise, and grab a tapered center punch. Lie the punch down on the peen (inside the chamber) and gently tap it with a small to medium sized hammer. 2-4 times. This doesn't take much power, it is a very small dimple. Do not overdo it. Further, *and I can't recommend you try this yourself* I also took a small jewelers file and notched the firing pin area just a small amount to prevent it happening again. You can ruin the gun if you do this wrong, use at your own risk.

The other way is to buy a $20 tool from Midway or Brownells called a chamber ironing tool. It slides in, rotates, and swages out the blemish. About as quickly as you just read it.

So now you know why your Kimber .22 lr 1911 Conversion kit jams, and how to fix it. If we only knew why Kimber didn't prevent the problem in the first place!! :mad:
(For $300, I'd have thought they would have had this problem worked out on the drawing board long before production. I don't say things like this often, but given the high price of the kit, and Kimber's reputation for high quality, -SHAME ON YOU KIMBER!!-. This is what we expect from cheap gun companies, not from you).
 

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Another cure for this problem is to shorten the firing pin just enough to where it won't reach the chamber face. There are lots of regular 22 pistols (and rifles, for that matter) that have the same issue, and the cure is to measure the firing pin and the distance it can travel, then grind off just enough of the tip mto keep it from hitting the chamber edge.

My Browning Buckmark came from the factory with just enough length, but not too much. It fires EVERY time, but won't damage the chamber if you dry-fire it. 8)
 

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papajohn said:
Another cure for this problem is to shorten the firing pin just enough to where it won't reach the chamber face. There are lots of regular 22 pistols (and rifles, for that matter) that have the same issue, and the cure is to measure the firing pin and the distance it can travel, then grind off just enough of the tip mto keep it from hitting the chamber edge.
I may well go back and do that too, as soon as I have time to figure out how to remove the offending firing pin. Good suggestion.

papajohn said:
My Browning Buckmark came from the factory with just enough length, but not too much. It fires EVERY time, but won't damage the chamber if you dry-fire it. Cool
Nice to know some companies try to provide what you pay for. I didn't really get that vibe from my Kimber conversion and one brief brush with customer service.
 

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Fine investigative reporting Mommicked, but I believe you have a bit of an anomoly there...a unit with a firing pin that is slightly too long. I don't believe this to be a common occurence with the Kimber units and have heard of very few problems with these .22 conversions.

I've had a Kimber conversion unit for many years...since Kimber first began offering them...that has seen plenty of rounds and countless dry-fires, both intentionally and unintentionally, and shows no signs of firing pin contact with the rear of the chamber, let alone any peening. The unit remains very accurate as well as extremely reliable with high velocity ammo, slightly less so with standard velocity fodder.

Mistakes do happen, manufacturing tolerances can add up, but as PJ mentioned, carefully removing a few thousandths from the face of the firing pin should prevent the problem from reoccuring.

Just for the record...some Buckmarks do allow the firing pin to contact the rear of the barrel. Like PJ's, my old Silhoutte does not, a recent purchase for a gift just kissed the chamber when dry-fired, but others can make enough contact to cause damage.


Roe
 

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Great call on the Kimber 22 conversion problem

After only 100 rounds thru this new Kimber 22 conversion, I have 30% jams & see the little peen you mentioned from the firing pin.

Damn---seems like the "shorten the firing pin" may do the trick... Thanks from Hawaii
 

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My conversion kit is probably 8 years old, I don't know if that makes a difference or not. Shooting on a Kimber Custom II frame.
Biggest issue I related to poor extraction (at least I thought) was the ammo I was shooting, started with bargain priced Remington Cyclones/Golden Bullets I believe. These are slowly being used up in my Remington bolt rifle, man are they dirty, and poorly primed.
Switched to CCI Minimags, no problems, now shooting bulk pack Federal and Winchester Dynapoints, older Blazer ammo, even older Remington .22 Subsonic HP (from when they were first available), all work well. I was not aware of the issue related above, thought it was my ammo choice.
 
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