I grew up with a gun in my hands and spent many an hour roaming the Colorado River in Central Texas. My brother and I spent much of the time on the river with a pistol in our hands shooting various varmints and small game. When in my mid-teens my father gave me a very special pistol. It was a Colt 1911 MKIV that had been coated with a protective treatment called Armaloy by a friend of my fathers. This pistol rode in a holster on my hip for many years. I traded it for another gun in the 90s and wish I had kept it, but that is the way with many firearms I let get away through the years.
My brother also was given a 1911 colt and together we scrounged gun shows and classifieds to get surplus military hardball ammo at a decent price. Many a rattlesnake, jackrabbit, armadillo, squirrel, turtle, nutria, hog and other varmints wish we had not been able to procure that ammo. I still carry a .45 ACP often but the cost of ammo has gotten to be too unbearable to go out and plink like we did in the old days. I recently ran across and item that has become one of my favorites and has really helped the shooting budget. It is a .22 Long Rifle conversion unit to fit any Mil-spec 1911 with a full size non-ramped barrel.
The one I bought is a Kimber conversion unit in Silver to match my Kimber Pro Carry. This unit replaces the entire slide and magazine on the 1911 and takes about 30 seconds to change out. I can go out and spend the whole day shooting for about the cost of one box of .45 ACP ammo. The unit allows me to stay familiar with the trigger and pointing ability of my pistol.
There are many brands and versions of the 1911 .22LR conversion units but I have only shot two. I had a Colt unit with floating chamber for a while and it worked fine but the floating chamber was difficult to keep clean. I have been very impressed with not only the functioning of the Kimber unit but also how easy it is to keep clean.
There are units made by Ciener, Marvel, Jarvis, Advantage Arms and others. The units start at about $250.00 and go up from there depending on the use you wish. Most of them will pay for themselves in short order just in the ammo cost savings over .45 ACP. Whether you want to work on your combat, self defense shooting or just have fun for less money, these conversions units are well worth looking into if you like to shoot.
Stay focused on the target. Wild Ed