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Old July 10, 2013, 09:28 PM   #1
saskuach
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Colt Model 1908 Vest Pocket, .22lr conversion?

Hello All,

Today I got started on the paperwork to buy a handgun here in MD, and I put a deposit down on a fairly nice Colt Model 1908 Vest Pocket in .25 ACP. As the title says, and this is pure speculation, have any of you ever seen or heard of a .25 pistol being converted (permanently or temporarily) to .22lr? I do not intend to carry this pistol, mostly because MD does not formally recognize our right to self defense, so the historical value of the gun is the only consideration. For that reason I'd like something temporary like an cartridge conversion, 3rd party barrel and magazine combination, or similar.

I have a small lathe and milling adapter, so I'm half tempted to try making a new barrel out of a scrap Green Mountain blank in .22lr. Any advice at all for me? I tried searching Google and this forum and found absolutely nothing.

Rob
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Old July 11, 2013, 12:45 PM   #2
RickB
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If you could make a barrel with an offset bore, so that the firing pin hits the rim rather than the center of the chambered cartridge, it might work. Which direction to offset is another issue. You have to be concerned with extractor location and tension, and feeding .22 from a .25 magazine. Very unlikely that a barrel change alone would do it.
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Old July 11, 2013, 12:57 PM   #3
Walt Sherrill
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Even if you could adapt a barrel solution (perhaps with a barrel liner), you'd have to find some sort of magazine. While a .22 short round could probably work in the .25 acp mag, I don't know if the OAL of the .22 Long or Long Rifle would work in that mag (and I can't find dimensions on line.) And, as noted above, the extractor function would be hard to address.

More importantly, the ability of a .22 round to cycle the gun would be in question. You would probably need a different recoil spring, if the weight of the slide isn't too much for the round.

For what you'd have to do and spend to address these issues, I suspect you could buy a nice used TARGET .22 pistol.

Just save your pennies and shoot .25.

Last edited by Walt Sherrill; July 11, 2013 at 01:09 PM.
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Old July 11, 2013, 01:05 PM   #4
Fishbed77
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If you want a .22 pistol, just buy a quality .22 like the Ruger Mark II/Mark III or Browning Buck Mark.
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Old July 11, 2013, 01:10 PM   #5
Bill DeShivs
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The .22LR overall length is too long for the action.
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Old July 11, 2013, 02:21 PM   #6
James K
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The .22 LR is too long for the Vest Pocket magazine. And I didn't get the info on-line, I tried it.

Jim
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Old July 13, 2013, 03:08 PM   #7
saskuach
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Thanks for the replies, everybody.

I had looked at size comparisons between .22lr and .25acp and initially thought the two were very close, but upon looking again I do see that .22lr is longer overall.

What I was thinking about was a replacement barrel in the correct size, a replacement firing pin that strikes at an offset, and replacement extractor that's reshaped to fit the .22lr rim.

The more I think about it, the more it sounds like it would be a pretty hairy conversion. I'll probably just enjoy it in the original .25 elephant caliber
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Old July 13, 2013, 03:30 PM   #8
Winchester_73
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Definitely not worth the trouble. The gun is made as a centerfire, the magazine made for semi rim/rimless ammo, whereas 22lr is rimmed. The extractor is for the same cartridge aka not a rimmed cartridge. I would have to think getting it to work reliably could be an effort. Depending on the 22lr ammo, the recoil spring could need tweaked or replaced. There are a lot of issues with such a project.

Even if it was easier to convert, what would you have when you are done? Nothing really. As a pocket pistol, the 25 auto offers many benefits over a 22lr. In addition, this conversion would devalue the gun, meaning you would never see a dollar for all the effort that the conversion would take. There are better expenditures of your time, gun wise.
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Old July 13, 2013, 06:09 PM   #9
Bill DeShivs
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Impossible with the LR. See my post above.
Possible with .22 short or long, but entirely impractical.
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Old July 13, 2013, 11:28 PM   #10
James K
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This is a type of query that crops up from time to time and the best answer is, "How much do you want to spend?"

I am sure some custom shop would be willing to tackle the job of cutting the frame in half and welding in an extender to lengthen the magazine well, making a new magazine from scratch, making or extending the sear bar, extending the slide as well as converting it to rimfire, etc. And the job would cost at least $2500. So it is not always easy to say something will be impossible if enough money is involved. But it is sure as heck not feasible or reasonable.

Jim
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Old July 15, 2013, 11:02 PM   #11
johnwilliamson062
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I'm currently in a machining class so I can convert the question from "how much money do you want to spend" to "how much time." For money the answer just rockets to out of sight far too quickly.
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Old July 17, 2013, 10:27 AM   #12
James K
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Astra made a small pistol in .22 Short, and the same gun was marketed by Colt under their name. Beretta also made their tip barrel pistol in .22 Short. They are all fairly common and available for a whole lot less than trying to convert a .25 auto. The smallest .22 LR I can think of right now is in the pocket pistol category, the reason being that .22 LR needs quite a bit more slide mass than .22 Short so the gun has to be bigger.

Jim
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Old July 17, 2013, 02:27 PM   #13
Bill DeShivs
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The Beretta 21 is the smallest .22lr auto available right now.
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