A Browning Born To Greatness

posted on January 26, 2011

Some guns are born to greatness—and the new Browning 1911-22 is one of them. Two years ago at SHOT Show the industry was dazzled with Ruger’s announcement of its .380 LCP pistol. The Insider was among the first to get word in Ruger’s booth that sales of the little compact pistol had exceeded 40,000 units on the first day, blowing Ruger’s most optimistic sales projection out of the water. The show ended with over 70,000 orders in hand.

I’ll wager those numbers are in the ballpark of what Browning Arms just saw at the recently concluded 2011 SHOT Show with the announcement of its miniature M1911 Government Model in .22 LR. The pistol was introduced to coincide with the centennial celebration of John Browning’s M1911 .45 ACP, but instead of jumping into the “me too” line with so many other M1911 clone makers, Browning pulled off this brilliant stroke of duplicating Ole Slab Sides at 85 percent of the size in the ever-popular .22 LR chambering.

The Insider asked Browning’s Denny Wilcox how many units had been ordered at the show. “I can’t say,” Denny replied with an impish smile. I cajoled, I wheedled, I pleaded, but Denny wasn’t budging on numbers. He finally conceded that: “We’ve booked orders for about 70 percent of our annual production. We’ll be able to supply the public with what they want—eventually.”

I’ll go on record right here that Browning’s neat little pistol is the Ruger LCP plus the Hornady .17 HMR plus the Taurus Judge all rolled into one—a triple grand slam.

The new pistol is almost an exact replica of the original 1911, just smaller. The new Browning 1911-22 is proudly made in the USA. Guns shipped in 2011 will include a special first year of production collector’s certificate plus a free limited edition commemorative canvas and leather zippered pistol case.

And get this—the MSRP is $599, so the street price will be about $525 to $550! Put me down for a pair!

The frame and slide of the Browning 1911-22 are machined from aluminum alloy with a matte-blue finish. Unlike its .45 ACP daddy, the Browning .22 is a straight blow-back operated pistol using a barrel with a stainless-steel barrel block. The “slide stop” lever is actually just a retaining pin to hold the barrel firmly in place.

Every part is virtually identical to the full-size M1911. It has a little mainspring housing, an itty-bitty barrel bushing and a miniature grip safety. It’s configured like a classic M1911, sans beavertail or other modern improvements.

It takes a detachable 10-round magazine with extras listed at $29.99. Mec-Gar will need all of 15 minutes to come up with aftermarket mags for less than $15.

The “Government Model” version of the 1911-22 is offered with a 4 1/4-inch barrel and 5 1/2-inch sight radius that weighs 15 1/2 ounces The “Commander” version sports a 3 5/8-inch barrel with a 4 7/8-inch sight radius weighing only 15 ounces

Congratulations to Browning for giving birth to another pistol destined for greatness. JMB must be smiling from above.

Latest

TangoDown Light Portal Front Sight
TangoDown Light Portal Front Sight

Preview: TangoDown Light Portal Front Sight

Due to their location on the gun, most front iron sights preclude the placement of a tactical light forward on a defensive carbine’s 12-o’clock rail, as they typically obstruct the light’s beam.

Holiday Gift Guide: Specialty Knives, Hand Axes & Multi-Tools

While smaller blades can be plenty helpful for everyday carry, sometimes bigger blades and tools are necessary. Here are a few larger specialty knives, hand axes, and multi-tools worth keeping in mind as the holiday season approaches.

NRA Gun Of The Week: KelTec P15

Watch American Rifleman staff on the range this week with the KelTec P15, the company’s first striker-fired handgun and also one of the thinnest 9 mm Luger concealed-carry pistols to ever hit the market.

The Armed Citizen® Nov. 25, 2022

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

Hodgdon Powder Celebrates 75 Years

This year, Hodgdon Powder celebrates its 75th year in business, having grown from humble origins in 1947.

Handloads: Hunting With The .375 Winchester

Although it is often difficult to find components for reloading the .375 Winchester cartridge, this lever-action round is deserving of customization for hunting in today's game fields.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.