Preview – Glock Plinker Tactical Solutions .22LR Conversion Kit
Photography by John Teator
Could the Tactical Solutions .22 LR Conversion Kit Be the Training Answer to Your Ammo-Shortage Woes?
With every shooter and his mother hunting down ammo as if the Zombie Apocalypse is already upon us, popular calibers like 5.56mm, .45 ACP, and 9mm have in recent months become endangered species. And when they are seen in the wild on store shelves or online, they’re painfully expensive to acquire.
For some shooters, those weekly trips to the range have become monthly events. For others who’ve run low on both cash and ammunition, there probably won’t be any live-fire training for the foreseeable future. Suddenly, the Great Firearms Famine of 2013 has made .22-caliber conversion kits look quite appealing. Grab a handgun from your arsenal, remove the slide, slap on the kit, and — bang — you’ve just transformed one of your favorite handguns into a training tool that not only lets you continue honing your skillset and have fun, but does so while eating a relatively affordable round.
In the current ammo drought, could such a kit be your oasis? Could it be a training tool that lets you shoot live fire without having to put a second mortgage on the house? These types of kits are nothing new, but we had to see for ourselves. There have been conversion kits for 1911s for ages, but because of the ubiquity of Glocks, we decided to take a closer look at two Tactical Solutions kits. Three years ago, the company successfully launched the TSG-22 17/22 for Glock models 17, 22, 34, 35, and 37. Earlier this year, Tactical Solutions followed that up with the TSG-22 19/23, which fits all generations of the Glock 19, 23, 32, and 38.
The Boise, Idaho-based company sent us one of each kit to abuse, er, we mean, to test — which worked out fortuitously for us when our staff obtained a new G17 and a G19 from Warrior Guns and Ammo in Riverside, California. We paired up the guns on a double date and put these rimfire kits to work.
Familiar Frame: From a training perspective, what’s the biggest advantage to buying a .22 LR conversion kit over getting a dedicated .22-caliber pistol? Familiarity. Rather than having to get accustomed to an entirely new firearm with different weight and ergonomics, a kit lets you fire .22 LR rounds using your favorite handgun’s frame.
The TSG-22 maintains a similar weight to our stock Glocks. The 19/23 slide weighs about 4 ounces less than the 1.01-pound G19 slide, while the 17/22 slide weighs about 3 ounces shy of the 1.08-pound G17 slide. Both Tactical Solutions’ slides mimic the Glock’s rear cocking serrations and come with Glock sights.
Skill Building: After loading the TSG-22’s single magazine with 40-grain CCI Mini-Mag High-Velocity rounds (one of three types of ammo Tactical Solutions recommends) and letting it rip, the training benefits of shooting a conversion kit were pretty obvious. With the grip, weight, and feel being basically the same as our Glocks, shooting with the kit meant that we were getting repetitions and building our muscle memory on the Glock platform — draw stroke, sight picture, trigger press, and so on.
Moreover, shooting rimfire rounds means substantially less recoil than shooting centerfire ammo of 9mm or higher caliber, and that means we were able to shoot more over a longer period of time. We were able to focus on our fundamentals, in particular trigger control, without fear of flinching. Our muscles didn’t fatigue as quickly, having less recoil to deal with, and that equated to a significantly higher number of rounds fired per practice session. We shot accurately with tight 3-inch groupings, as did the other shooters in our group who also tested the TSG-22. Essentially, we got more chances to hone effective shooting techniques.
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