The Wait Is Over

It’s been decades since anyone has offered a readily available semi-auto .22 Magnum pistol, but the drought is finally over. The number one producer, quantity wise, of 1911 pistols is not found in the United States but in the Philippines. Rock Island Armory (RIA) offers 1911 quality pistols, at very reasonable prices, made in the Philippines. Their regular 1911’s are available in .45 ACP, 9mm, 10mm and thankfully in .38 Super, including blue and nickel versions.

Their latest offering on the 1911 pattern is the XT 22 Magnum. Looking at the exterior, this smallbore powerhouse looks just like a 1911 complete with a beavertail grip safety with a memory bump, and 1911 controls on the left side anyone would be familiar with. The grip frame is identical to a .45 ACP Government Model to the point I was able to swap out the factory supplied checkered rubber grips with a pair of Herrett’s fully checkered Cocobolo panels, setting off the Parkerized finish quite well.

Capacity of the XT 22 is 15 rounds when carried fully loaded cocked and locked, with one in the chamber and 14 rounds in the magazine. Mine was ordered through my local shop, Buckhorn Gun, and since it comes with only one magazine I ordered two extra giving me a packin’ capacity of 43 rounds. The 5" barrel is pinned in place and operation is delayed blowback. The skeletonized trigger, adjustable for overtravel, matches up with a skeletonized hammer, with the trigger pull advertised at 4 to 6 lbs. Mine came in a little heavier at 7 lbs. and deserves a trigger job.

Sights are excellent, consisting of a red fiber-optic front sight mounted in a dovetail and a dovetail mounted rear sight with no sharp edges. At an unloaded weight of just over 35 oz. this .22 has the look of a .45 ACP 1911 as well as the heft and feel. Not only do 1911 grip panels fit, 1911 holsters also work just fine.