Dumb question, will a 1911-22 magazine fit in a 1911-380 frame?

Discussion in 'Browning 1911-22 Handgun' started by KD6EVH, Aug 23, 2020.

  1. KD6EVH

    KD6EVH .22LR

    That pretty much says it. I want to check something that I will explain at a later date. I would just order a magazine and check myself, but they are out of stock in many places.
  2. KD6EVH

    KD6EVH .22LR

    I am answering my own question in case someone else looks for this answer. Yes, it fits fine.

    I expected so because there is only one part number for the frame. At this point, I have a slide assembly, ejector, and slide release lever on order.

    I have a 1911-380 compact, and I want to use the same pistol for practice. I considered ordering a matching .22, and eventually, I may. However, I decided to try something different. I am ordering the parts to "Convert" my 1911-380 to a 1911-22.

    The inspiration is the 22 conversion kits for 1911s'. It isn't a true "drop-in" as it looks like the ejector needs to be replaced. However, the ejector assembly screws in place from the top. and is accessible once the slide is removed. The slide release also has a unique part number, so I ordered another one of those. I am a bit concerned that as a pure blowback, there is a lot of pressure on the slide release, and through it, the frame.

    So, all of the parts have not arrived yet. I will post if it works.

    If it doesn't then it is no great loss, I then order a 1911-22 in the full-size barrel length and at that point, I will have both the 380 and the 22 along whith both the compact and full-size barrel for both.
    ShooterGranny likes this.
  3. KD6EVH

    KD6EVH .22LR

    To follow up, the parts are here. I really don't see why the slide release and the ejector have different part numbers, as far as I can see, they are the same as the 380 parts. As such, I used the two from the 380 when I put the 22 slide on and it went on just fine. It is going to have to wait until this weekend before I make any final statement, but I remain optimistic.

    So, at this point, I have three slides for this pistol, the full length 380, the compact 380, and now a 22 compact slide.
    ShooterGranny likes this.
  4. KD6EVH

    KD6EVH .22LR

    To continue this monologue, I have an answer! Yes, it works!

    I was curious, so I started by only replacing the slide assembly. It worked fine. Out of several magazines fired I had a single failure of the slide to lock back, so there might be something to the 22 slide release having a different part number. However, with only a single failure to lock back, it wasn't something that I could test in any meaningful way.

    One thing I found interesting was that the felt recoil seemed to be similar with both. This could be explained by the 22 being a straight blowback, with a much lighter slide, while the 380 used a locking breech.

    In all, I am pleased that it worked.
    Rudolph31, ShooterGranny and cupton like this.
  5. That is great news. I don't suppose it would work in reverse? To convert my 1911-22 to a .380? not planning on doing it with the price of .380 being what it is now in late 2020, but I am curious.

    I'm enjoying my 1911-22 tremendously since it came back from Browning when it was shooting WAY HIGH and they "recalibrated the barrel" whatever that means.

    BTW, my 1911-22 sometimes won't lock back when the magazine is empty. No pattern and no relationship to any brand of ammo, or to any of the 6 magazines I have for it. Just sometimes it doesn't lock back. Since this is no way a SD gun and I don't shoot competition anymore, I'm not fussed.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
    Rudolph31 likes this.
  6. KD6EVH

    KD6EVH .22LR

    Having looked over the exploded diagram, and the parts lists, I see no reason that 22 to 380 wouldn't work.
  7. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 .30-06

    I’m curious if you saved any money. For most things, if you were to build it from parts, you would spend 10 times as much as buying it outright.
  8. KD6EVH

    KD6EVH .22LR

    I already had the 1911-380. So all I needed was the 22 slide assembly. That is part number 38 in this diagram. It is currently listed at $314.80. I feel positive that it was less when I ordered it but I can't find the documentation.

    No matter, $314 is still less than a 1911-22. To be clear, the slide assembly is all of the parts in the slide.
  9. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 .30-06

    I’m guessing you also needed a .22 barrel at $130, and at least one $37 magazine. Do the barrel bushings interchange?

    I see the whole pistol retails for over $600, so it looks like you did realize some savings.
  10. KD6EVH

    KD6EVH .22LR

    The barrel and bushing are part of the slide assembly. But yes, I also needed a magazine.
    Rudolph31 likes this.
  11. JimCunn

    JimCunn Copper BB

    The .380 ejector works fine with the .22 slide.
    The .22 magazines are barely compatible with the .380 frame and slide stop.
    The .22 magazine follower jumps the .380 slide stop after the last round and locks the slide up. You can clear it by shoving the follower down with your hand, or by dropping the mag.
  12. JimCunn

    JimCunn Copper BB

    Follow-up
    The 22 slide assembly works great with the 380 frame IF you also use the 22 slide stop. It is quite different from the 380 slide stop.

    I really like this 22 conversion.
  13. Col. Tigh

    Col. Tigh Copper BB

    I already had a 1911-380 (late 2020 build date), but wanted a gun with an all-metal frame (the 1911-22 is aluminum throughout, while the 1911-380 is polymer-based with a metal insert). So, inspired by this thread, I bought an older 1911-22 (build date 2014). My intention was to swap the slide and barrel from the 1911-380 onto the 1911-22’s frame.

    Unfortunately for that plan, my 1911-380’s slide will not fit onto the older 1911-22’s frame. There is something that blocks it from sliding all the way on.

    Does anyone have any hints or insight? Is it the difference in build dates perhaps?
  14. JimCunn

    JimCunn Copper BB

    No, it's just the standard difference between the two frames.
    You need to chamfer the rails and file down the step to match rhe .380.
    There are photos and instructions online.
    Col. Tigh likes this.

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