Click pictures for a larger version.
1911-22 comes with a zippered, padded pistol rug...
...detailed instruction manual and certificate of authenticity...
...and cable lock.
Checkered brown plastic grips.
Top to bottom: magazine release, thumb safety, spur hammer, grip safety,
Ten-shot steel magazine.
Accuracy was very good with all ammo tested.
The 1911-22 even fed cartridges with the bullets modified using
Paco Kelly's AccuRZR bullet tool.
The only failure of any kind was this dud cartridge that would not fire after repeated strikes upon its rim.
Browning got it right. There are other
1911-style pistols on the market that are made to shoot the 22
Long Rifle cartridge, but Browning has done something different;
they scaled the little 1911-22 to fit the cartridge. Smaller in
every dimension than a full-sized centerfire 1911, the little
Browning is a delightful little pistol.
Browning also did the design right. Instead
of just making a blowback pistol that mimicked the exterior
aesthetics of a 1911, Browning built this little jewel to
operate, handle, and disassemble just like a true 1911. Built to
accommodate the 22 LR cartridge, it does not use the Browning
Short Recoil lockup, being a blowback operation, but the barrel
is not attached to the frame. The 1911-22 uses the slide lock to
hold the barrel in place, just like on a true 1911 centerfire
pistol. There is also a removable barrel bushing, and recoil
spring plug. The muzzle is slightly flared to fit the bushing
consistently, shot after shot. The mainspring housing is arched,
and the 1911-22 uses a curved trigger with a trigger bow that
surrounds the magazine inside the mag well, just as it should.
The grip safety is also true 1911 style, as is the magazine
release and thumb safety. The aluminum frame and slide are
finished in a matte black, and the grips are checked brown
plastic. This pistol looks for all the world like a shrunken
1911. Browning got it right.
Inside, there is a steel insert in the slide
to house the firing pin and extractor. The ejector is also 1911
style, pinned to the frame right where it should be. The
extractor is not external, but is fully contained within the
steel slide insert. This is good, as an external extractor on a
rimfire pistol could cause an accidental discharge if the pistol
was dropped onto a hard surface against the extractor. The
sights are true GI style, scaled down to fit, with the front
staked in and the rear set into a dovetail.
The pistol has an overall matte black
exterior, with the barrel hood being left in its natural
stainless steel finish. The ten-shot magazine is made of blued
steel, and the 1911-22 does include a magazine safety, to
prevent the trigger from being pulled with the magazine removed.
The 1911-22 pistol came packed in a really good-looking and
functional padded cloth pistol rug, adorned with leather accents
that are embossed with a replica of John Browning’s signature,
and a commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the
legendary 1911 pistol. Also included is a certificate of
authenticity, instruction manual, and other literature.
Critical specifications for the Browning
1911-22 A1 are listed in the chart below. The weight is listed
in ounces, and linear measurements in inches. Weight includes an
empty magazine. The grip and frame widths were measured at their
widest parts. The maximum width is measured across the grips.
The height includes the sights and magazine base. The trigger
pull on the 1911-22 is single action, with a crisp release. The
trigger pull is listed as pounds of resistance, as measured on
my Lyman digital trigger scale.
|Maximum Grip Width
I tested the little Browning
1911-22 A1 pistol with several brands of 22 Long Rifle
ammunition for velocity and function. The velocity results with
each brand and type of ammunition are listed in the chart below.
HP is a lead hollowpoint bullet. Solid is a lead roundnose
bullet. Velocity readings were taken at an elevation of 541 feet
above sea level, with an air temperature of 66 degrees
Fahrenheit, with humidity in the fifty-nine percent range.
Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (FPS), and were
recorded ten feet from the muzzle of the 1911-22 pistol. Bullet
weights are listed in grains.
|Federal Bulk HP
|Winchester DynaPoint HP
|PMC Match Solid
|Wolf Match Solid
|CCI Mini-Mag HP
|CCI Mini-Mag Solid
|CCI Velocitor HP
|Remington Yellow Jacket
|American Eagle HP
|PMC Zapper HP
|Winchester XPert HP
|Remington Bulk Solid
|CCI Blazer Solid
|CCI Stinger HP
Accuracy was very good, with all ammo tested
grouping between one and one-quarter and two and three-quarters
(1.25 to 2.75) inches at twenty-five yards, with the pistol
secured into my Ransom Master Series
machine rest. Ransom has no insert for the little Browning
yet, but I modified another insert to fit the 1911-22, to better
ascertain the pistol’s accuracy than I could do hand-held,
given the pistol’s small sights. The trigger pull was pretty
much typical 1911, breaking consistently at just over five
pounds. I have read complaints of a heavy trigger and crude
castings in the American Rifleman review from about nine
months ago, but this production pistol is well-finished with a
decent trigger pull. There are no visible casting marks at all,
and the black anodized finish looks great.
The little Browning feels very good in my
hand. I love the size and feel of this little pistol. It is just
right for a 22 pistol. Being left-handed, I would love to have
an ambidextrous safety, but for a right-handed shooter, that is
not a concern. The slide locks open on an empty magazine, and
the magazine ejects briskly upon pushing the release. Perfect.
Functioning of the Browning 1911-22 A1 pistol
was flawless. During firing hundreds of rounds of various 22 LR
ammunition, the only malfunction was one dud cartridge, which
apparently had no priming mixture in the rim. It was certainly
no fault of the pistol, as it did its part by putting a solid
hit upon the rim with its firing pin, repeatedly. Every other
round fed, fired, and ejected perfectly. The magazine was easy
to load, using the buttons on the side of the follower. The
magazine holds ten rounds, for a loaded capacity of eleven
total. The slide lock performs exactly like that on a full-sized
1911, locking the slide open on an empty magazine, and releasing
the slide to go forward after a loaded magazine is inserted into
the magazine well.
The American Rifleman review was also
critical of the Browning’s price. The suggested retail price
as of this writing is $599 US, which is more than some 22
caliber pistols, but is not very much more than the Buckmark
line of Browning rimfire pistols. Also keep in mind that this is
pistol is a Browning, and is as close to a true miniature 1911
as has ever been built. Browning certainly could have cut some
corners and produced a cheaper pistol, but then it would not be
the pistol that it is. Looking at the price of anything these
days that is purchased with the dollar, I don’t think that
this little Browning is overpriced at all. If someone wants a
cheaper pistol, they are certainly available, but for a reliable
little rimfire 1911 that is made in the USA, this Browning is a
dandy little pistol, and I highly recommend it. The only problem
that I have concerning this Browning 1911-22 A1 pistol is that
everyone who has seen it, wants it, and they are trying to take
it from me. At I stated at the beginning of this review,
Browning got it right.
Check out the entire line of Browning
firearms and other products online at www.browning.com.
For the location of a Browning dealer near
you, click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order a Browning firearm online, click on
the Gun Genie at www.galleryofguns.com.
To order quality rimfire ammunition at a good
price, go to www.luckygunner.com.
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Click pictures for a larger version.
Browning 1911-22 compared to full-sized 1911 to show scale.
Sights are original 1911 style.
Disassembly procedure is pretty much identical to a full-sized centerfire 1911.