Nelson Conversion Kit

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Post by mikemyers on 7/13/2019, 8:35 pm

First topic message reminder :

Nelson Conversion Kit - Page 3 Img_8610
(Photo updated July 23, 2019 with Baer lower)


After a lot of thought and browsing, I ordered a Nelson Conversion Kit several months ago, not expecting it to arrive until September, but it showed up several weeks ago.  I left it sitting in the box until I had some free time.

I installed it this afternoon on my Salyer Caspian, after watching a few videos of how these kits work.  Everything went so smoothly, I was amazed.  It's now on the gun, but I will wait until Monday to call the people at Nelson, and ask a few questions.

Anyone here have any advice or suggestions to get the most out of these kits?

One of the videos showed a fellow installing a Marvel conversion, and then he squeezed out what looks like Wilson grease all over the kit - it reminded me of dispensing ketchup onto a hamburger.  I'm sure that is wrong, but that leads to a question - is there a guide I haven't found yet that recommends what to do regarding lubrication?

Next, since it's a 22, I assume dry-firing is out unless I find some dummy rounds so the gun won't be damaged.  Is this correct?

Is CCI Standard Velocity ammo best for it?

I bought it with a rail, and I think a light-weight sight would be best for me, but my Aimpoint Micro has a Kodiak mount that won't fit onto the rail.  I think I'll buy the standard Aimpoint mount, which should work fine.  In the meantime, I mounted my Matchdot II (which I bought through this forum). Any recommendations for which sights work best?  I found a discussion about using it with an Aimpoint 9000sc.  I could put that on as well.  Is that overkill?

Not sure what I was expecting, but the Nelson Conversion Kit is just plain beautiful.  It looks well made, it seems to be easy to use, and it was effortless to install.  It's everything I expected, and a lot more.  I was on the phone for well over an hour discussing the kit with the people at Nelson before I bought it, and it seems to me it was worth the long wait.  I had looked at the other sources of conversion kits, and I kept coming back to the Nelson.  I guess my "test" of it, will be how it shoots for me compared to my Model 41.  One nice thing is it "feels" the same as the 45 Springfield I'm now using.  My hands go to the same positions, and the weight feels very similar, maybe a little heavier probably due to the sight (the 45 has an Ultradot L/T which feels like it weighs nothing...)

My next match is in two weeks.  I was planning on using my Model 41, but it had so many "issues" I was thinking of using a revolver.  I think I solved the issues, but if I get used to the Nelson, that's another option.


Last edited by mikemyers on 7/23/2019, 3:54 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Post by mikemyers on 7/17/2019, 7:14 pm

chiz1180 wrote:Mike,

To me the issues that you have mentioned are magazine related. If the magazine sits too high it lifts the ejector.

A few questions:

Do you slam the magazines in? If so each time you do this you slam the magazine into the ejector and likely cause it to bend up. When I load mine, I do not put the magazine in with the slide locked back. Probably not necessary but it limits how far you can push the magazine upwards.   

Did you number your magazines? Doing so helps isolate problems related to feeding. I do this for all my guns.

A few other minor things I would double check would be making sure the slide stop and slide stop pin are tight against the frame and that you have the recoil rod tight. 

Try not to be too discouraged, you could be trying to make a kart conversion run. FWIW I currently have two Nelson units one with a dot and one with a combo rail that I am shooting with irons. Both group well and I initially had similar issues to what you are describing, a different mag catch fixed my problems. I do run a dedicated 22 lower though. 

Christopher
Christopher.....

1 - The only way the magazine goes in is to "slam" it.   How does one avoid slamming when putting the magazine in when the slide is locked back, during reloading?

2 - Good idea - will number the magazines.  For today, I switched back and forth, and the gun worked the same.

3 - Slide stop and pin - yes, I verify they are fully "in", and recoil is "tight".

4 - I don't think "discouraged" is the right word, but I expected to put on the conversion and go shoot.  I wish I knew all this before I ordered the kit.

5 - A dedicated lower sounds like an excellent idea, but I don't have one.  Anyone here want to sell one?

6 - I could try this on my Baer, but I expect I will have the same problem with the trigger.

7 - Will my Caspian have the same problem hitting the ejector?


I suppose I can take all the time I want, and work on the Caspian instead of the Springfield......
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Post by mikemyers on 7/17/2019, 7:20 pm

bob7398 wrote:........After reading Jon’s comment above, I realized that I had the gun resting on the mag base when I had problems......
Gee, that's good to know.  If I try out my gun on my rest, it will be resting on the mag base too.  Did you fix that?
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Post by bob7398 on 7/17/2019, 7:38 pm

Mike, I ended up switching the grips to these...
http://www.herrettstocks.com/national.htm
They come down a lot lower. Found a used set on eBay for $80.
Bob

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Post by bob7398 on 7/17/2019, 7:44 pm

Although I left the 45 slide on,
Here’s how my ejector looks with the Nelson mag installed. It doesn’t touch the mag.
Nelson Conversion Kit - Page 3 2b009110

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Post by james r chapman on 7/17/2019, 8:07 pm

bob7398 wrote:Mike, I ended up switching the grips to these...
http://www.herrettstocks.com/national.htm
They come down a lot lower. Found a used set on eBay for $80.
Bob
Generally on the older Nelson mags you will have to relieve the bottom inside of the grips for the mags to seat. Otherwise, they stick and don’t go all the way up.
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Post by mikemyers on 7/17/2019, 8:30 pm

bob7398 wrote:Although I left the 45 slide on,
Here’s how my ejector looks with the Nelson mag installed. It doesn’t touch the mag.
Bob, here's a similar photo with the Nelson attached, without and with the magazine.

As I see it, when I'm pushing the magazine up, they definitely touch, as I can see the ejector move up, but when I release my hand, the ejector goes back to where it was.

I also noticed that the reason I have to "slam" the magazine in, is because of the magazine release.  With the release pushed in, the mags go in easily and smoothly.  Is this something we should do?

Nelson Conversion Kit - Page 3 Img_2610
Nelson Conversion Kit - Page 3 Img_3411
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Post by DanQ on 7/17/2019, 9:05 pm

I had similar issues trying to figure out what my Nelson wanted to be "happy".  I tried several times to get it to work well in my service pistol frame, but it had trouble cycling.  I didn't want to start playing with springs in my service pistol mid season, so I tried it in my wadcutter and cycling became completely reliable.

Through both frames I had magazine issues.  I've since resolved it by doing what you describe above.  The GSG magazines run flawless for me in my wadcutter by doing what you describe.  The magazines that came with the kit don't want to seat.  I've kept KC appraised, and I'll have him take a look off season.  Maybe I'll have him set me up a dedicated lower for it and be done swapping.  In the mean time, I keep it running well how you describe, and I'm ok with it.

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Post by mikemyers on 7/17/2019, 9:14 pm

DanQ wrote:........The GSG magazines run flawless for me in my wadcutter by doing what you describe.........
Who sells these GSG magazines for the Nelson?  Sounds like something worth trying.
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Post by DA/SA on 7/17/2019, 9:27 pm

My Marvel came with one plastic magazine. I bought a second plastic one and it would't work at all, so I bought some GSG's on eBay and they run perfectly.

I just searched for "GSG 1911 .22 magazine".

They slide in with just a light push with a finger and "click" into place.

They are also die cast metal, so they add a bit of weight, which was good.

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Post by DanQ on 7/17/2019, 9:32 pm

mikemyers wrote:
DanQ wrote:........The GSG magazines run flawless for me in my wadcutter by doing what you describe.........
Who sells these GSG magazines for the Nelson?  Sounds like something worth trying.
I believe I ordered mine from here:  https://gunmagwarehouse.com/ati-german-sport-guns-gsg-m-1911-22-lr-10-round-magazine.html

I like them so far.

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Post by mikemyers on 7/17/2019, 9:37 pm

Is this what I want?
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1006134152/gsg-magazine-m-1911-22-long-rifle-10-round-steel-black

or...
https://www.brownells.com/magazines/handgun-magazines/magazines/1911-22-10rd-22lr-magazine-prod55184.aspx
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Post by DA/SA on 7/17/2019, 9:46 pm

That's why I went to ebay, much cheaper and free shipping.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/TWO-ATI-GSG-1911-922-22LR-10-Round-Magazines-GERMM1911-FAST-SHIP/223581497640?epid=20030652213&hash=item340e7ee928:g:S9wAAOSw7N5dJXJL🇸🇨USPSFirstClass!34956!US!-1

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Post by Dcforman on 7/18/2019, 4:54 am

Just a note... The stock Nelson mags are not designed to work with a high magazine catch. If you have one installed, definitely will cause issues. They require a normal height catch.

Dave

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Post by heli_av8tor on 7/18/2019, 8:20 am

I ordered my Nelson by phone.

I too had function problems at first. I worked by phone with Larry and learned that some frames held the mag too high. Springfields tended to be one of them but it was random. I could either cut down the mag catch or modify the mags. I chose the latter and had no more problems with function.

I tried at Camp Perry to talk to Larry afterwards but as I stated he acted like he didn't know who I was or what I was talking about. Perhaps one of you would have better luck now that time has passed. I'm not pursuing it with him. Frankly I doubt they did anything further with it. Looked like they made a business decision to sweep this one under the rug and concentrate on filling orders. It was costly to rent time at Lapua and be away from production. Still amazes me that they've risen to this point without range facilities for testing.

I assumed from the website that with this being Bob Marvel's latest design that they were still working with him but maybe not. I asked several times through this process what Bob's take was on my guns problems and never really got an answer. I come to believe there wasn't any consultation taking place. 

It would be great to know what was wrong.  The problem existed with the original and the replacement barrel. Almost had to be in the barrel though: chamber and throat, rifling, or crown. (What else is there?)

I don't want this to come across as a personal attack on Larry and his son (wish I remembered his name). They both seemed like good people, but at the end of their expertise and resources. I hope whatever problems they've had with quality control are solved and the Nelson Conversion becomes a viable option for B.E. shooters.

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Post by mikemyers on 7/18/2019, 8:21 am

Dave, this is turning out to be very educational.  Until just now, I never knew there was any such thing as a "high magazine catch".  I assume that one I get the mag release out of the Caspian, I'll be able to figure out what it is, and presumably replace it with the correct part?

At 11pm last night I decided to take the frame of the Caspian apart, following what seemed to be a very good YouTube video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMBuCJxCuB8
Surprisingly to me, everything started to come apart just like in the video.  The safety and everything else came off just like he showed.  He warned about not losing the spring loaded part that was "going to go flying" when the safety came out - no worries, the spring was kinked so much that my problem was to slowly push/pull it out.  Maybe I should replace it?

Everything came apart just as in the video, except the mag release.  Everything worked just as it was supposed to, but the part wouldn't come out completely.  I left that in, until I could figure it out.

This photo shows how far it came out:
Nelson Conversion Kit - Page 3 Img_2210

This photo is the other side - never paid any attention to it before:
Nelson Conversion Kit - Page 3 Img_1416

Finally, this image allowed me to figure out how the mag release works:
Nelson Conversion Kit - Page 3 Screen61


So, I need to re-lock the mag release, remove the screw from the other side, and then remove the "oversized mag release button".  If these parts are standard, and a replacement standard mag release will drop in without fitting, I'll replace it.

Dave, is THIS part what you're referring to as a "high magazine catch"?  Since I don't know anything about it, if that is the part you're referring to, I'll buy a replacement.


(By the way, while I'm not "rich", I figure the best way to get parts is to purchase from Midway, Brownells, or for more $$, Caspian.   I hardly ever buy from Ebay.  If I knew what I was doing, and knew the parts, maybe I would try to save some $$ on magazines.  I will first buy one magazine from Brownells or Midway, and when/if everything works, try the white magazines from Ebay.  Maybe I'm being silly, or overly cautious, but while Ebay is half price, I'll get the gun going with "standard" parts from sources I know and trust... for now.)
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Post by mikemyers on 7/18/2019, 8:30 am

Regarding the small hole on the back of the Springfield the turned out to be for a mainspring safety, the Caspian part has the same hole.  So does my Baer.  Not sure why, yet.  Unlike my other guns, the mainspring housing on the Caspian is curved, not flat.  If I'm replacing parts, is this a "drop-in" part, or does it need to be fitted?  I would prefer to make it the same as my other 1911's.

Hmm, I just found out I can reduce the size of images I'm posting here.   Much better.

This is the part I removed from the Caspian:
Nelson Conversion Kit - Page 3 Img_2811
Nelson Conversion Kit - Page 3 Img_1518
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Post by mikemyers on 7/18/2019, 8:50 am

heli_av8tor wrote:I ordered my Nelson by phone.........I tried at Camp Perry to talk to Larry afterwards but as I stated he acted like he didn't know who I was or what I was talking about. ...........Frankly I doubt they did anything further with it. Looked like they made a business decision to sweep this one under the rug and concentrate on filling orders...........
I assumed from the website that with this being Bob Marvel's latest design that they were still working with him but maybe not. ...............
It would be great to know what was wrong.  The problem existed with the original and the replacement barrel. Almost had to be in the barrel though: chamber and throat, rifling, or crown. (What else is there?)................. I hope whatever problems they've had with quality control are solved and the Nelson Conversion becomes a viable option for B.E. shooters.
A few quick thoughts.

First, Larry did/does work with Bob Marvel, and they have made changes to the design based on what has been found in the past.

Next, I'll gladly ask Larry what they found out (only after they have caught up on things since Perry, so maybe in three weeks time), but you need to send me a PM with your real name.

You wrote "what else is there"?  You're leaving out a very big item that might have caused the problems - your gun.  Did you test the kit on a different gun?

Another possibility - I noticed that the complete Nelson assembly wobbles all over, if the front locking screw isn't tight.  Maybe this had something to do with it?  I don't yet know how that screw works, but if it wasn't tight enough, that could have caused the problem.  Unlikely, but just something to check out.  Maybe that wasn't locking the kit on your gun. 

Finally, what if they eventually took your old kit and shot with it at a range?  What if it worked perfectly there?  (But then again, what frame would they have mounted it on, and for the matter, what frame were you mountaing it on?  Before you returned it, had you posted your problem here, maybe the experts here could have helped you sort it out, as they're doing with me.....


I'm finding out so many new things in this thread that I never considered several months ago when I placed the order.  At that point, I assumed I would switch the standard slide for the Nelson, and go out and shoot.  If you're following this thread, there are a LOT of things to be aware of.  I did spend a lot of time making a list of all the possible 22 drop-in conversions, and Nelson consistently came out on top.
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Post by james r chapman on 7/18/2019, 8:57 am

Sometimes the slide stop and pin are not correctly seated. When the rod is tightened against the slide stop it’s going to shoot all over if it shoots at all.
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Post by james r chapman on 7/18/2019, 9:06 am

mikemyers wrote:Regarding the small hole on the back of the Springfield the turned out to be for a mainspring safety, the Caspian part has the same hole.  So does my Baer.  Not sure why, yet.  Unlike my other guns, the mainspring housing on the Caspian is curved, not flat.  If I'm replacing parts, is this a "drop-in" part, or does it need to be fitted?  I would prefer to make it the same as my other 1911's.

Hmm, I just found out I can reduce the size of images I'm posting here.   Much better.

This is the part I removed from the Caspian:
Nelson Conversion Kit - Page 3 Img_2811
Nelson Conversion Kit - Page 3 Img_1518
The small hole contains the locking pin for the mainspring cap. Removing this allows your mainspring cap, and mainspring to fly out at substantial velocity to parts unknown. Learn to remove it carefully and correctly.
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Post by bob7398 on 7/18/2019, 11:32 am

Mike,
I tried mine again with the Nelson on it and mine just touches as it clicks in. Nice and easy.
I think your on something with the mag catch! I tried one that raises the mag...but the slide would not close.
Maybe try a different catch. I’m able to push the mag in with one finger to get it to click.

Bob

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Post by mikemyers on 7/18/2019, 11:45 am

Thanks - my Springfield has the same hole.  From a previous post, I thought it was for the "lock".  In that case, my Springfield does not have the lock.

I had a discussion with a new friend of mine about the trigger, and how the slide has to push against the hammer to push it back.  On my Caspian, if I lock the hammer back, then slowly move the Nelson slide to the rear, I can feel it bumping into the top of the hammer, and scraping across it going each way.  

My friend told me that is perfectly normal, and all hammers act that way.  I think he is right.  This being the case, there is nothing to be gained by filing material from the trigger.

I have no idea as to what, if anything, I should do about the trigger.  ....and if I replace it with a different trigger, I think this should be done by a gunsmith, who in effect will be doing a "trigger job".



Bob, I will call Larry at Nelson, and order the modified magazine catch.  On my Springfield, the magazine catch makes it difficult to push in the magazine, so I need to slam it.  On the Caspian, while the magazine doesn't go "smoothly" into the gun, it is much easier to push it into place.  Are you using composite or metal magazines?
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Post by jglenn21 on 7/18/2019, 11:52 am

Wolff  makes a lighter mag catch spring.. that will ease the placement of you mag.

https://www.brownells.com/handgun-parts/frame-parts/magazine-release-parts/magazine-release-springs/1911-auto-reduced-power-mag-catch-spring-prod16540.aspx

I use them all the time..
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Post by Dcforman on 7/18/2019, 12:23 pm

Mike, if you haven't, read through the thread I posted on page 1. Might not be the hammer, might be the radius (or lack thereof) on the bottom of the slide rear.

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Post by mikemyers on 7/18/2019, 12:56 pm

Dcforman wrote:Mike, if you haven't, read through the thread I posted on page 1. Might not be the hammer, might be the radius (or lack thereof) on the bottom of the slide rear.

Dcforman, I might not have understood what you meant.  I'll go back and re-read.  But my friend told me what I was worried about is perfectly normal, and the slide has to hit the hammer on its way back, and the hammer actually goes a little bit too far, so when you release the slide, the hammer is back where it belongs.  I think I was wrong about this.

I was also wrong to think I needed the other magazine catch Nelson suggests.  I watched the following video, and six minutes in, they show that if the magazine is hitting the extractor, so the slide won't close.  I don't have that problem, the slide closes with no problem.  My magazine does slightly push the extractor upwards, but as soon as I remove my hand from the bottom of the new magazine, everything seems to go back into place.
( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIpPMFm5ubM ), starting around 6 minutes in.


I haven't yet disassembled the Nelson.  I'm using it "out of the box".  I guess I need to learn how to take the Nelson apart (without losing parts), and do a cleaning and lube.

My biggest problem with the Nelson right now is "failure to eject".  I also have issues with the guns I have tried to mount the Nelson on.  This will probably be my Caspian.  



Jon, if you haven't given up on this thread, and are still reading, since I can't install a Commander trigger without rebuilding much of the gun, is there a hammer you can suggest that might work with my Caspian?     .......I assume it needs to go to my gunsmith for a trigger job, if change the hammer.

Nelson Conversion Kit - Page 3 Img_9910
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Post by mikemyers on 7/18/2019, 1:11 pm

Dcforman wrote:Hey Mike. Classic spur hammers can sometimes cause issues with feeding with the Nelson's. If you rack the slide slowly, you'll see the slide drags on the hammer after it's fully cocked. Solution is to fire off 1000-1500 rounds to break it in, file down the hammer, or switch to a commander style hammer. I had some of the same issues with my Nelson at first. I filed down the top of the hammer, and played with the hammer spring a bit. Perfect now. .........

Dave, that's what is happening to me.  As the slide moves to the rear, with the hammer already fully cocked, the bottom of the slide drags across it, going each way.  That's why I was going to file the hammer.  Now I'm confusabobbled, as maybe this is normal?   I dunno.  

As to the hammer spring, I think I need to work with one thing at a time.  I was about to buy a 19# hammer spring, but that was for the Springfield.  The Caspian already seems to have a light spring.  With the amount of work that's needed for the Springfield, I've given up on using it with the Nelson.  I'll put it back together with the 45 slide, and use it that way.

From now on, I think I'll stick to worrying about the Caspian.  When/if I get it to work correctly, I'll start using it.  Right now it's all apart, so I'm open to advice on what to do to update it.


  • It's getting a new Caspian trigger, because the original was too short, and now I've found it was binding as it went in and out of the frame.  
  • It will get a new mag release to replace the customized one, if that turns out to be necessary.
  • Depending on Jon's advice, it might get a new hammer.
  • I'm not going to all the expense of a new beavertail and all the fitting - I'd rather put that money towards a new lower if I need to.
  • It already has a light main spring, making it easy to cock the hammer.  


That still leaves me with my biggest problem, rounds getting "stuck" in the chamber.  I need to test it with my "dummy rounds", and then I need to learn how to take it apart and do a good clean and lube.  


I've probably got 1,000 rounds of SV CCI.
I've got 100 or so of high speed CCI and another brand.
I was thinking of getting some of the ammo being sold by the CMP.
I'd like to make sure it's not my ammo that is causing the problem...

I'm more "lost" than "frustrated", and I can't call Larry/Kevin until next week when they return.

(.....and I'm impressed as to how well, for me, I shot with the Nelson.  It's easier to shoot well than with my Model 41.  I can see the "gold" at the end of the rainbow.....)
mikemyers
mikemyers

Posts : 2308
Join date : 2016-07-26
Age : 75
Location : South Florida, and India

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Nelson Conversion Kit - Page 3 Empty Re: Nelson Conversion Kit

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