The 1911 auto pistol is more popular today
than at any time in its one hundred year history, and for good
reason. The 1911 design is solid, reliable, ergonomic, and easy
for most people to learn to shoot very well, very quickly. For
at least half of its lifetime, 22 Long Rifle conversion units
have been available for the 1911, to allow shooters the look,
heft, and feel of a centerfire 1911, but using the much less
expensive 22 Long Rifle ammunition. Another advantage to
shooting the 22 LR cartridge from a 1911 is that it makes for an
excellent trainer, to get to know the operation and feel of the
1911, with hardly any felt recoil at all. Besides the 22
conversion units that are now available for the 1911, there
are also a few dedicated 22 LR
pistols on the market of 1911 design, and one of the best is
this Colt-branded Government Model from Umarex featured here.
The Colt Government Model 22 is built by Carl
Walther in Germany, and imported into the US by Umarex USA of
Fort Smith, Arkansas. Umarex imports quite a few different 22
caliber replicas, including several
variants of the AR-15, along with a line of air guns.
The Government Model 22 is blowback operated,
having the barrel rigidly attached to the frame. Like the
centerfire 1911, the Colt Government Model 22 has a thumb
safety, grip safety, magazine release, and slide lock that
operate just like the centerfire 1911. This makes this Colt 22
particularly a great trainer or understudy to the centerfire
1911, as it has the same solid feel of its big brother, with a
crisp trigger pull, identical trigger reach, and the same
manual-of-arms as the centerfire 1911.
The Umarex Colt is finished in an overall
matte black, and has a long 1911 style trigger, but with some
1911-A1 features as well. The front and rear sights are
dovetailed into the frame, to allow for windage adjustment, and
many aftermarket sights are available, should a different style
than the plain black sights be desired. Like the centerfire
1911, the slide locks open on an empty magazine. The Colt 1911
22 magazine holds twelve rounds of 22 LR ammunition. The thumb
safety is on the left side for right-handed use, and the grip
safety works just like on a standard 1911. The slide lock is
also identical in operation to the centerfire 1911, as is the
magazine release, so operating this 22 LR Colt will be familiar
to anyone who knows how to run a centerfire 1911. Only the
disassembly procedure is different, due to the fixed-position
barrel of the blowback design.
Critical specifications for the Umarex Colt
22 are listed in the chart below. The weights are listed in
ounces, and linear measurements in inches. The weight includes
an empty magazine. The grip and frame widths were measured at
their widest points. The maximum width is measured across the
grip panels. The height includes the sights and magazine base.
The single action pull is very crisp but on the heavy side, with
a smooth release and no overtravel. The trigger pull is listed
as pounds of resistance.
|Maximum Grip Width
I tested the Colt 22 with several brands of
ammunition for velocity and function. The 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 35 degrees Fahrenheit,
with humidity in the 76 percent range. Velocities are listed in
feet-per-second (FPS), and were recorded ten feet from the
muzzle of the Colt. 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
Functioning of the Colt 22 was very good,
with all high-velocity ammunition tested running perfectly. Only
with low-velocity target ammo did the Colt bobble. That ammo
just does not have enough power to reliably cycle the slide.
However, with most ammo, even the cheap bulk Federal ammo from
Wal-Mart, as well as everything from CCI and Remington that I
tried, worked perfectly. The PMC Match ammo worked perfectly
Accuracy was excellent with most loads
tested, with five-shot groups running between one and
one-quarter to two and one-half inches at twenty-five yards,
fired from my Ransom Master Series
machine rest. With the PMC Match ammo, accuracy was
outstanding, with the Colt 22 grouping five shots into less than
one-half inch, every time. The CCI Mini-Mag HP and the
Winchester Dynapoints did very well also, and would be a better
choice for hunting than would the PMC load.
The Colt 22 proved to be accurate, reliable,
and a lot of fun to shoot, replicating the feel and function of
a centerfire 1911, without the recoil. It also cost a lot less
to buy, and a lot less to shoot.
Check out the Colt 22 online at www.umarexusa.com.
For the location of a Umarex dealer near you,
click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order the Colt Government Model 22 online,
go to www.galleryofguns.com.
To order quality 22 ammo at good prices, go