Doesn’t it strike you odd that a big name operation like Ciener would have staff unfamiliar with their own products? Years ago, I had called and asked if their Commander/Officer 22LR conversion would fit a Kimber Ultra Carry. The man on the other end of the phone had to scramble for answers and never did provide any. I decided I knew enough and bought a unit.
The slide is made from 7075-T6 aluminum. The barrel is steel with a welded lug. The muzzle is free floating, supported only by incidental contact with the slide. The rear sight is drift adjustable for windage and the front sight staked or machined in place.
The unit out of the box did not fully seat in the Kimber. I had to draw file the Kimber ejector down a few strokes. Once done, installation was truly a snap and as advertised, the unit could be installed in 10 seconds with much practice and crisp movement.
After assembly, I racked and released the slide a few times. The slide was “sticky”. The slide lacked oomph to snap back in place and the slide visibly decelerated as it neared the battery position, always falling a minimum of 1/8 in. or so from going into full battery. Not a good omen.
With Remington Golden Bullet high velocity 22LR, the slide too often failed to go into full battery. It took many rounds and many sessions for me to discover that the slide would not go back into battery if I kept the trigger in the depressed position after firing. This trigger position was almost the equivalent of engaging the slide stop.
I tried some Federal high velocity hollowpoints. The hollowpoints had noticeably more recoil than the Remingtons. The higher velocity resulted in the slide snapping back and forward with more authority. Using the Federals, reliability was better. Although Ciener doesn’t recommend hypervelocity rounds, it might be the path to go.
After 800 plus rounds, the slide was operating more reliably and appeared to be “breaking in.” It was functioning smoother and wear on the anodization showed. I can’t say for certain that tight tolerances on either the Ciener or the Kimber was the the reason although that may have been a contributor to the problemes. It is supposed to be a drop-in unit.
How does it compare to other conversion units? I’ve had experiences with a Colt and Marvel conversions. Both worked fine out of the box. Colt conversions are no longer made and in limited availability. The Marvel is expensive.
If you are using the gun strictly as a means to practice for heavier loads and if you can stand the breaking in period, then the Ciener is something you may want to use. The malfunctions may help you with malfunction drills. If your purpose is to use the conversion as a self defense gun and you wish to use it immediately without a break-in period, continuing looking for something else.
Based upon my experience, I can’t recommend the Ciener conversion and I got rid of mine.