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  1. #1
    Fleeing Idaho to get IKEA Bailey Guns's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Clearwater River Valley, ID
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    Default Rock Island Armory XT-22m .22Mag - 1911 Style

    I'm a sucker for just about any .22 Mag. And in semi-auto handguns they're pretty few and far between these days.

    When I saw RIA was making a 1911-style pistol in .22WMR I had to have one. Picked it up at Sportsman's Warehouse at an average price...about $545 after tax.

    Obviously, it's not a true copy of a 1911. The open slide design looks more like something from Beretta. Aside from that, it feels just about like any other 1911. Trigger is OK, about what you'd expect from a production import, sights are decent with a pretty standard notched rear sight that's plain black and a front sight with a red fiber optic insert. The trigger, slide lock (aka thumb safety), slide stop lever and grip safety are pretty standard. The thumb safety on mine is very stiff. The grips are just standard 1911 rubber grips.

    The slide does NOT lock open on an empty mag. Not sure why it's that way, it just is. There's probably some engineering reason for it that I'm not aware of. Also, a fully loaded magazine really takes a little extra effort to fully seat into the mag well. Downloaded by just one round and that issue goes away. The pistol also has a partial floating chamber. There's an extractor groove cut into the chamber and the extractor rests in it when the slide is closed. This was a problem area on my gun that I'll get into. It also has a non-captive dual recoil spring on a skinny, full-length guide rod. Takedown and reassembly is a little tricky and the manual isn't too clear on the procedure. I had to watch a YT video on the .22LR version to figure it out. There's no barrel bushing like you'd find on a standard 1911.

    The finish is pretty unremarkable...just a matte black similar to parkerizing in feel and texture.

    The manual calls for a 500 round break in period and all but states to expect problems with function during that time.

    The gun comes with one 15-round stainless magazine. They're a little difficult for me to load to capacity because the rounds are so small. But, unlike the Kel-Tec PMR-30 there are no special instructions/procedures for loading the mags. Extra mags are hard to find and least right now. I ordered two from RIA at $40 each. OUCH! But, shipping was fast and I had them in a couple of days. The mags really seem to be well made and solid. Thanks to forum member SAnd I was able to order a magazine loader assist from a company right in Co Springs...RAE Industries. It really helps to speed things up loading the mags. Their service was fast and first rate.

    So, I finally fired it earlier this week. Feeding and ejection were actually quite good. However, I had lots of failures to fire. I'd fire one round, the gun would cycle and feed the next round, pull the trigger, nothing but click. No light primer strikes and no apparent reason for the failures. I noticed if I got a "click" I could just cock the hammer and try again and the gun would fire. Then the process would repeat. I finally noticed that after the next round was fed into the chamber is was stopping just a tiny fraction of an inch from going completely into battery. However, when the hammer fell it would push the slide completely into battery and the gun would fire again. The disconnector was obviously working as intended.

    I fired about 30 rounds thru the gun and it didn't really seem to be getting any better. I had some CCI Maxi-Mags and some Armscor ammo. Side note...the manual says Armscor ammo is recommended (probably because they're owned by the same company). Besides the above issue the Armscor failed to feed a few times, too. No feeding issues with the CCI.

    It seemed to be the problem with the slide failing to go completely into battery was being caused by the extractor contacting the extractor groove in the floating chamber portion of the barrel. I field-stripped the gun and did a little polishing work on the extractor and the extractor groove. I then hand-cycled the thing about 200 times, cleaned it and lubed it good.

    Today I was able to get down to the indoor range in town and fired another 100 rounds thru the pistol. I used CCI 40gr ammo. Function was greatly improved...night and day difference. I only had one failure to go into battery and that was early in the shooting session. I also had one ejection failure/double feed. And I'm not sure that wasn't my fault. I noticed I was letting my left thumb ride on the slide a bit. And this gun doesn't have near the mass or recoil impulse as a centerfire 1911 so I'm guessing it might be a little more sensitive to a wayward thumb dragging on it. I was having some issues even getting the gun up to get a good, steady sight picture because my right shoulder is still a little lame from a recent surgery. Anyway, that was causing me some issues with manipulating the gun so it could've been my fault.

    I then decided to really try to see what the gun would do...with my physical limitations at the moment. I was pretty pleased with the results and I'm guessing it'll do much better with a healed shoulder behind it.

    All in all, I'm pleased with the gun. I love my PMR-30 but this one has a much more comfortable feel than the odd-shaped Kel-Tec grip. Being a 1911 fan and a .22WMR fan, this one's a keeper.

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  2. #2
    If I had a son he would look like....Ben SideShow Bob's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    SE Aurora


    Thank you, good review.
    I too think that the Kel-Tec PMR-30 And CMR-30 have a weird feeling/shaped grip.
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  3. #3
    Grand Master Know It All CavSct1983's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Tulsa, OK


    Excellent review, sir!

    Something like this seems like it could be in my future.
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  4. #4
    The "Godfather" of COAR Great-Kazoo's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    Washboard Alley, AZ.


    Nice review. Having been the owner of the original KT , the Grendel P-30 then an AMT Auto-Mag II in 22 mag. I've been soured on any 22 wmr semi auto for a while. Looked at the KelTec 22 wmr and talked with a few owners, who gave mixed reviews. Reading your range trips, i might pick one up. Let us know which 22 wmr ammo it works best with. The two mentioned were very finicky when it came to ammo.
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