The GSG 1911

American Tactical Import’s GSG 1911 is designed to be a 1911 .22 trainer: it’s chambered in .22 LR with a 10 round magazine and weighing in at around 34 oz. is of comparable weight to most steel frame 1911s.  The one I have had experience with, while no M&P, is reliable for a .22 as long as it is kept clean.  I decided to take it for a spin the other day and shoot my dot torture drill, 50 rounds isn’t a lot but it gave me an idea of what the firearm is about.

The GSG is absolutely perfect for someone who is looking for a trainer 1911, but not the best option for anyone who is just shopping for a .22 to plink with or looking for a target gun.  I was not as accurate with this gun as with my 622 or the rental counter’s 22A.  The mechanics feel pretty gritty: the slide is difficult to rack, the safety needs a very positive push and when it comes down to it everything you do on the firearm needs to be done assertively.  This is not something I consider a bad thing for a training pistol, when you are practicing basics you should be very aware of everything you are doing and all movements should be made with some level of assertion so when things speed up the movements you have practiced are still very positive.

The gun really does shoot like a 1911 chambered in .22 LR, which is just what some people are looking for.  It has a positive break and reset, it feels like a 1911 when you’re holding it and the trigger is just heavy enough that I would consider it akin to a very basic, stock 1911 trigger.  Overall I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the GSG 1911 to anyone who is looking for a way to train with their 1911 without breaking the bank (or their wrists) by shooting thousands of rounds of .45.


  1. Speaking of the M&P .22 pistol, have you heard when it will be available?

  2. I would agree on all points except about the slide being hard to rack. On my GSG, the slide comes back extremely easily, much more so than with my Buckmark. In fact, I’ve started using the GSG over the Buckmark for teaching new shooters for this reason. Maybe our guns have different springs?

  3. Mine can be picky about ammo, though. It does not like bulk Winchester hollow point or copper plate. Teflon lubricant on the feed ramp helps a lot.

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