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Pro's and Con's of dedicated '22 pistols compared to 1911 conversions for Bullseye Shooting

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Post by mikemyers on 3/7/2019, 6:31 pm

First topic message reminder :

The title says it all.  I couldn't find an existing thread earlier today when I was searching, so here goes.

For bullseye, what are the reasons for and against building a 1911 conversion, compared to just buying a dedicated '22 pistol.

For that matter, what are the current sources for a bullseye-quality conversion kit, and will they just "drop in" on an existing bullseye 1911?

For those who need/want optics, what choices are there?

Do they come with a Bullseye quality barrel, or does that become a special order part?

Does the 1911 need to be modified to work at its best with a conversion?
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Post by messenger on 3/8/2019, 8:26 am

Vociferous wrote:First couple of years I shot the Mark III.  Very reliable, decent accuracy, decent trigger.

Five years shot the Marvel(dedicated lower).  Very accurate, very good trigger, medium reliability.  I have a love/hate relationship with this gun.  When I don't have reliability issues, I love it.

Last year, bought the Pardini SP.  Excellent reliability, excellent accuracy, outstanding trigger.  It did take some customization with the grip, which I'm still working on.  Did I mention the trigger?  it is adjustable seven ways from Sunday.  My only, very slight wish, is that it were little less front heavy, and I have the shorter version.  Overall, I'm very happy with this gun.  Yes, it is very expensive, but arguably, the best 22 pistol in world.

YMMV

Yeah, What he said.

Bill
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Post by SW-52 on 3/8/2019, 8:57 am

dronning wrote:
mikemyers wrote:Nope, the only match I have access to now is 22.   We're trying to allow the Bullseye group to alternate between 22, 38, and 45, but that isn't approved yet.   

Looking at a few web pages, and videos, the less expensive versions don't seem all that good.  The one that seems to stand out now, is the Marvel Unit 1.  Here's the page if someone wants to buy one:

https://www.marvelprecision.com/unit-1-form

As usual, one question brings up more.  
Choices include:
steel or aluminum (with mount for scope)
Lock back, yes or no
metal vs. poly magazines
compensator?
Group Fee ????

The other manufacturers, YouTube videos, etc., seem to be much simpler, but so far I get the feeling that Marvel is a good choice.
You need to include the Nelson which has all of Bob Marvel's latest upgrades.  The Nelson's machining (done by McMillan) is exquisite.  I also prefer the weight of the Nelson over my Marvel Unit 1.  Both of mine are X ring guns.  Also I prefer the Nelson plastic mags (some don't).  I had converted to Pro Mag's (plastic) on my Marvel after struggling to get the metal mags to be consistent.  You really can't go wrong either way but I prefer the Nelson.
http://www.nelsoncustomguns.com/22lr-conversion/  

- Dave
i dont have Nelson,but +1 for Nelson,the wait time is a little long,but the customer service is first class and the final product will be great!!!


Last edited by SW-52 on 3/8/2019, 1:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by dronning on 3/8/2019, 10:53 am

SW-52 wrote:i dont have Nelson,but +1 for Nelson,the wait time is a little long,but the cutomer service is first class and the final product will be great!!!
Yes success has impacted wait times, several years ago when I ordered mine I got it in less than 2 weeks.  Those days appear to be long gone but still worth waiting for!
- Dave
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Post by kidneyboy on 3/8/2019, 12:54 pm

dronning wrote:
SW-52 wrote:i dont have Nelson,but +1 for Nelson,the wait time is a little long,but the cutomer service is first class and the final product will be great!!!
Yes success has impacted wait times, several years ago when I ordered mine I got it in less than 2 weeks.  Those days appear to be long gone but still worth waiting for!
- Dave
 I waited 14 weeks for mine. Now that I have it I'm pretty sure I'll be ordering a second one.

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Post by Aprilian on 3/8/2019, 12:57 pm

kidneyboy wrote:

 I waited 14 weeks for mine. Now that I have it I'm pretty sure I'll be ordering a second one.
Weren't the long delays due to a one-off health issue of the owner?
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Post by TonyH on 3/8/2019, 1:28 pm

+1 on the Nelson Custom. I have two, one with metallic sights and one with a rail.
Plus Larry's customer service is top notch. He goes above and beyond to help resolve any issues one may have, including help troubleshoot issues with the various lowers (outside of his control) that one may put the conversion on.
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Post by james r chapman on 3/8/2019, 1:36 pm

That and a change in manufacturing as I recall
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Post by JKR on 3/8/2019, 5:28 pm

I just got my third Nelson. I ordered it at the end of October and Larry delivered it to me personally at the Desert Mid Winter match in Phoenix. I ordered this one with the combo rail. The other two went to my Sons. This one is for me. Like Dave, I've had both Nelson and Marvel conversions. I much prefer the Nelson. 

Jim

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Post by mikemyers on 3/8/2019, 6:13 pm

Thanks for all the information.  

I had a long talk with Larry Nelson late this afternoon. 
My name is now at the end of their long waiting list.

http://www.nelsoncustomguns.com/store/
Conversion Unit - Threaded Barrel / Scope Rail

(I don't think I need the threaded barrel, but it does offer the ability to add weights if I ever want to.....)

Again, thanks to all of you for your advice.

The long wait is because each one is built one at a time, just as would be done for a custom gun, with everything fitted perfectly, including the ability to dry-fire.)
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Post by james r chapman on 3/8/2019, 6:57 pm

If your serious about it, get the Advantage Arms Target model.

Mount it on your 1911 and learn what it's like.

When your Nelson becomes available, sell the AA to another new shooter.

If you feel the need too.

Many are completely happy using the AA conversion and it's easily available.
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Post by mikemyers on 3/8/2019, 7:12 pm

Thanks, Jim, but unless I'm missing something, they only make them with steel sights.
My eyes are much happier with optics.
http://www.advantagearms.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=AASOS&Category_Code=1911
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Post by james r chapman on 3/8/2019, 7:28 pm

Your missing something.......

AA 1911 target with scope rail

under conversion options
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Post by mikemyers on 3/8/2019, 7:37 pm

OK, found the text, but no photo.    That's OK, I'll just wait for the Nelson, but thanks.
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Post by james r chapman on 3/8/2019, 7:59 pm

You do know that Bob Marvel was instrumental in the design of both the AA and Nelson conversions, correct?
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Post by DA/SA on 3/8/2019, 8:12 pm

First line in the Nelson description.


  • Designed by Bob Marvel


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Post by dronning on 3/8/2019, 8:18 pm

DA/SA wrote:First line in the Nelson description.


  • Designed by Bob Marvel


Yep and the Nelson has all of his latest mods.  Also check out the Nelson website if you want to take a class from Bob Marvel himself and build your own 1911 under his watch full eye.
http://www.nelsoncustomguns.com/bobclass/
- Dave
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Post by mikemyers on 3/8/2019, 9:07 pm

My original intent was to decide if there was a good reason to buy a conversion, rather than shooting a standard 22.
That was followed by which conversions might be better than the others.
The first ones I looked at didn't impress me very much.
I finished last night with the Marvel, which seemed a lot more serious, and less of a "toy".

Then you guys posted what you did about Nelson, so I went to the website - some of it I found confusing, which is why I called them to try to understand what I would need.  By the time I got off the phone with Larry, I had made up my mind, and ordered one.

I really ought to look into all the other ones I hadn't taken the time to go through.  Maybe tomorrow.

What I did tonight, was to search out lots of articles and videos on the Nelson.  I found lots of them, and watched everything, but I wanted to find a "neutral" review, someplace that wouldn't be biased one way or another.  I finally found something like that:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIpPMFm5ubM
After watching this video, I now think I have a good understanding of how it works, how to install it, how to uninstall it, and how to clean it.  I think it's an older review, and one part they said might need to be changed when installing the Nelson is no longer an issue.

By the way, I like the fact that Larry is retired, and doing this because he enjoys it, and can do so with his son Kevin.  He sounds thoroughly enthusiastic about the product, and is constantly looking for ways to improve it.  

It won't be anytime soon, but I would like to take both the Nelson and my Model 41 to the range and do a side-by-side comparison, for how I shoot, and see how much of a difference it will make.  I suspect it won't make that much of a difference, but as you guys pointed out, it will help me get better with my 1911 guns.
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Post by WesG on 3/8/2019, 10:43 pm

You guys sure know how to get a sucker to spend his money.

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Post by mikemyers on 3/9/2019, 7:16 am

YouTube coverage of these things sure has improved over the years - this is from 2010....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI1ntFZHcck

More history:  https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2011/10/18/1911-22-conversion-kits/
Apparently, ten years ago or so, this was one way to practice with your 1911 for much less than the cost of using 45 ammo.

Anyone know who was "first" ?
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Post by TonyH on 3/9/2019, 7:19 am

Apparently, ten years ago or so, this was one way to practice with your 1911 for much less than the cost of using 45 ammo.
It still is....some things never change. Very Happy
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Post by Merick on 3/9/2019, 8:21 pm

The big negative to me is all of the tolerance stacking of having in effect a multi-manufacture gun.  In my case I had an advantage arms target upper, which was accurate, but was never reliable, so I'd tinker with the lower, then tinker with the upper, to find there were different versions of it made over time, and by the bitter end I had tried 3 different kinds of magazines, 5 different spring combinations, every ammo I could lay my hands on, and it never worked more than occasionally.

Also by the time you buy an upper and a receiver, you have spent 2 guns worth of money on 1.5 guns.

So having been all the way down that road I'd rather have everything from one manufacturer, designed and made to work as a unit.

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Post by james r chapman on 3/9/2019, 8:26 pm

Wow, I consider myself lucky.
Nelson on 4 different lowers, 
Negligible issues.
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Post by zanemoseley on 3/9/2019, 8:50 pm

All 22's seem to screw up from time to time. I had issues with an old 41 so got a Nelson and now have a Marvel.

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Post by dronning on 3/10/2019, 7:00 am

Marvel Unit 1 (non lock back) I had on and off mag issues until I tried a ProMag plastic mag and never had any issues again.  Nelson never any issues.  Both were moved between 3 different lowers.
- Dave
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Post by mikemyers on 3/10/2019, 7:19 am

Magazines - Larry told me that the Nelson "plastic" magazines are not only made to tighter tolerances than the metal magazines, if you drop one, unlike the metal mags, it will maintain its shape as the lips don't get bent.  The top of the magazine which guides the bullet into the gun can easily be damaged on metal magazines.

Before he said that, I thought the metal magazines were the best, but after he explained how Nelson has them made, that's apparently not the case.  I shouldn't really say "plastic"; Larry told me the correct name, but I can't recall it right now.


For those of you who already have them, for loading only 5 rounds, is the "Magazine Reloading Tool" essential, or just convenient?
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