Springfield .22 Rimfire 1911 Conversions at James D Julia

Unnumbered Slide
Slide #24

Almost immediately after adopting the Colt/Browning Model 1911 pistol, the US military requested a .22LR conversion for training purposes. In 1913 Springfield Arsenal developed a conversion, but it was woefully inadequate. A better solution was submitted by a man named J.H. Carl, whose system matched the weigh and balance of the .45 caliber 1911 and also duplicated its functions, including locking open on empty magazines. Carl submitted his design to Springfield, which began to make a small batch for testing in 1915.

World War One interrupted the process, and it was put on hold until late 1918, at which point a series of trials found ongoing nagging reliability issues. Ultimately the project was put on indefinite hold in 1924 when Colt’s plan to market a commercial .22 conversion of the 1911 were discovered, as that was deemed a more cost-effective solution than having the Arsenal perfect Carl’s system.

Only a few dozen of these .22 Gallery Practice Pistols were made and only a small handful remain today, as they were officially scrapped in 1938.