Previous Post
Next Post

If you read  my review of the GSG 1911 .22, you may be thinking about investing in one. While the GSG a great gun and a lot of fun, like almost any pistol, there ways to make it run even better. Because of its design, there are thousands of standard 1911 parts available to you, but I’ve found a couple of great sources for GSG-specific accessories that will significantly improve pistol’s performance and fun factor . . .

CW Accessories LLC
Chet Whistle is a competitive pistol shooter and the owner of CW Accessories, LLC. Based in Lancaster, Ohio, he and his wife Joni market aftermarket accessories and upgrades for the GSG 1911. 22.  Chet does all of the product design, testing, and evaluation, and Joni handles the orders and shipping. He does not machine his own parts. Rather, he partnered up with a local machinist who does all of the machine work for CWA.

A couple of years ago, Chet replaced his aging Browning Buckmark with a GSG 1911 .22.  He appreciated the overall design and workmanship of the GSG 1911 .22 but also recognized that the guide rod could be improved, and accessories for the gun were lacking.

Most of Chet’s design ideas come from his many years of competition shooting.  His first project was to design a compensator that could give him an edge in open-class pistol matches. Once he settled on a workable design, he had his machinist work up a few prototypes. Once he settled on the best design, his friends started asking him to make them one. On that basis, he knew he had something that was marketable and CW Accessories was born.

Chet next set out to manufacture a base pad extension for the magazine, similar to what is used in competition race guns.  He also designed a heavy duty replacement for the factory guide rod.  Finally, he developed a load assist button.  I’ve had a chance to test all of these products and, as discussed below, I highly recommend them.

More than any other of Chet’s products, the compensators caught my attention for their sheer cool looks. Ever since I saw my first “Pin Master” at Clark’s Gun Shop in Keithville, Louisiana back in 1977, I’ve been a big fan of compensators on pistols.  Aside from their obvious benefit (reduced muzzle flip), there is just something about them that just looks cool. The CWA design is no exception.

CWA’s comps are machined from a single rod of 17-4 stainless steel. Fit and finish are first class. They are available either “in the white” or powder-coated in what I would call “HK black” (those of you with experience with HK MP5s, 91’s, 93’s will understand the reference).  It is not an exact match to the finish on the GSG’s slide. Not that I really care about that, but some folks might.

CWA’s two-port compensator is an impressive hunk of stainless steel, weighing in at 2.5 ounces.  My initial thought that a compensator is not really necessary on a lowly .22 pistol.  However, I was really surprised to find out what a big difference it makes.  It does a very good job of reducing muzzle flip, thereby keeping the GSG’s barrel on target during rapid fire / double taps.

The smaller one-port compensator, shown above, is about 1/3 the size of its big brother. It weighs in at only 1.3 oz.   In my admittedly non-scientific estimation, it probably accomplishes 60-70% of what the larger compensator delivers in terms of reduced muzzle flip.  Although I like the bigger version better, I really can’t put my finger on exactly why.  Fortunately, they are not huge investments so I would recommend running both for a while and seeing which one you like better.

Chet’s made a YouTube video that provides some additional views of the two compensators in action. If for no other reason, watch this video to see Chet bustin’ caps on some bowling pins. After seeing that, I’m pretty sure I would not want to be the guy who gets in a gunfight with Chet.

Whichever version you end up with, you’ll need to use blue Locktite to keep the compensator pointed skyward, as the threads will not necessarily tighten with the vent facing the upward position. For those of you Locktite neophytes, I can tell you from recent bad experience that a little goes a long way, and I would err on the side of using too little if you ever want to get the compensator off again. I used too much and had a devil of a time getting the damn thing off.

Magazine Base Plates.  As I mentioned earlier, the plastic factory base plate is somewhat of an Achilles heel for what’s otherwise a fairly bomb-proof magazine design. CW makes some really nice aluminum replacement base plates. They are precisely machined and hand fitted so they are a real snap to install. I was able to change out four magazines in less than five minutes.

I prefer the larger version of the two as the extra length makes it really easy to load, especially if you are running one of those mainspring housings with the enlarged mag well attached.  At 18 bucks a pop, they may seem a bit pricey at first. But, when you actually hold one in your hand and see the amount of work that went into it, you wonder how Chet can make them for so cheap. The bottom line: these base plates are “must have” items if you are going to any rapid reload drills or other training that involves dropping the empty magazine on the ground. All of my GSG 1911 .22 mags now sport them.

Guide rod, washer, and spring. CWA also manufactures a heavy-duty full-length guide rod replacement for the factory part.  The CWA guide rod is made out of 17-4 stainless steel and 6061 Aluminum. It’s also .010 inch larger in diameter and 5/8 inch longer than factory rod and comes with new washer. In the photo above, you can see the difference between the CWA unit and the factory version. The CWA guide rod is confidence inspiring and seems to be a no-brainer for any GSG 1911 .22 owner. I’ve fired over 1000 rounds with the CWA guide rod in place without any issues.

Loader Assist Button (“LAB”). As I mentioned earlier, the GSG 1911 .22 magazines are a breeze to load as compared to some of the other brands such as Ruger, Browning, or Beretta.  Having said that, after loading a few hundred rounds a day, having a loader assist button like the one can be pretty handy.

It consists of a round aluminum disk that’s about the diameter of a nickel with a small metal roll pin running through its center. To use the LAB, you will need to drill a small (1/8 inch diameter) hole through the plastic follower in each magazine. Insert the LAB in the hole, pull down the follower and drop the bullets in one by one.  It’s that simple. With a few minutes of practice, this device will speed up your re-loads and save the tips of your fingers and/or fingernails from the discomfort of loading mags.

TROS MD-22 Rimfire Suppressor & Gemtech 1911-22 Adapter (1/2 to 28)

Probably the best thing about a .22LR is that you can shoot it on a relatively small property without driving your neighbor nuts, especially if you have a suppressor. In fact, suppressors and .22LR go together like a hot model and a Wicked Weasel bikini.

Suppressors for .22LR do a wonderful job of dissipating virtually all of the audible report when the gun is fired. In fact, depending on conditions and type of weapon used, the sound of the bullet striking the target will sometimes be the loudest sound you will hear.  And .22LR suppressors are generally more economical than centerfire pistol and rifle cans: a high-quality unit can be had for as little as $300 (+ $200 ATF Tax).

Those of you living in the Portland Oregon metro region have an excellent local source for your suppressor needs: Mark McWillis and Mat Brady run a small manufacturing firm named “The Riddle of Steel,” or “TROS” for short. Mark spent his formative years working at the Benchmade Knife factory in Oregon City, Oregon and discovered he had a talent for machining. TROS now manufactures a variety of innovative products, including a full line of suppressors.

I’ve used a MD-22 TROS suppressor extensively with the GSG 1911 .22 and the two worked well together. Sound suppression was satisfying and POI shift was negligible. The particular MD-22 I used had been in service for about 6-7 years and has had over 10,000 rounds fired through it without any issues of any kind.

Earlier I said the GSG 1911 .22 was “almost” suppressor ready. What I meant by “almost” was this:  you are going to have to buy a thread adapter if you plan on shooting the GSG 1911 .22 with a suppressor.  This small device screws onto the end of the barrel and allows you to use a standard screw-on suppressor. Although there are some cheaper alternatives out there including one made by GSG, I went with the Gemtech adapter because I trust their workmanship, quality, and fine customer service.

They did not disappoint. Workmanship, fit and finish were first class. The Gemtech adapter is blued in a color that closely matches the GSG barrel. Gemtech includes a nicely knurled thread protector which you’ll want to use store the pistol and when you fire the pistol without the suppressor in place.

Again, the GSG 1911 gives you the ability to take advantage of most of the universe of standard 1911 parts on the market. These accessories are designed specifically for this gun, though, and really add to its function and fun.

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. Well, that WickedWeasel link was definately not work safe… now why do I have the urge to go home and build a jacuzzi?

    • hi guys
      just got to rub this in,i happen to do the security for wicked weasel byron bay, australia. omg some days dont get any work done. check out their calendar.

  2. Joe, is there really a big benefit to having a compensator on a .22, which has little recoil to begin with? BTW, I’ve shot rifles with compensators, and while I appreciated the reduction in muzzle rise, I found the increased noise unacceptible.

    • Hi Ralph: Obviously, the effect is more subtle with a compensated .22 than it is say, on a .45 ACP. However, it is definitely noticeable and effective. With the larger of the two compensators on, I could fire the GSG pistol as fast as I could pull the trigger with all shots hitting their mark. As you point out, however, you do get an increase in noise.

    • Big benefit to a comped .22lr? No. Some benefit? Yes. To get the most out of a compensator you want to use high pressure rounds. The higher the pressure, the more combustion gases that can be vented to compensate for muzzle flip. .22lr is a pretty low pressure round; there just isn’t enough gas to see a major impact from porting. I toyed around with a volquartsen comp on my 22/45 hunter. Honestly, I didn’t really notice a difference. The weight of the stainless steel receiver already negated most of the muzzle flip and perceived recoil.

  3. Personally looking at .22 dedicated uppers for the new AR I just built but definitely partial to the 453 microminimus / 312 tri top mini mesh bikini. Will have to reread the article for the gun stuff although if the models had a GSG 1911-22 it would have made things much easier for my short attention span.

  4. Joe,

    Excellent write up! I own a GSG-1911 and I use it for falling plates competition we have a local gun club. Its the 3rd sunday of each month and for the final competition this past December the final 4 in the year long match all had GSGs!

    Also, there is another company called that will shortly have more accessories for the GSG. You should give them a call to see if you can get an advanced peek!

    Finally, have you tried any 3rd party Front or Rear sites? Truely, this is the only flaw and wish they would have adjustable rear sites for this gun, other than that its a great practice piece!


    • I sent my slide to Dawson Precision. They make a fully adjustable rear and fiber optic front. HUGE difference !!

  5. The replacement guide rod is a no-brainer for any GSG owner. The cheap aluminum one that GSG ships with the gun has a serious flaw – with use, the recoil spring starts to cut into it and eventually the gun locks up. It happened to me on my local range and fortunately the gunsmith on duty had seen that problem before. He told me it was the third GSG that it had happened to to. A call to the U.S. GSG importer revealed that they knew about the problem and were happy to dispatch a replacement guide rod and spring. They told me that they had notified GSG of the flaw and were working with them to resolve it. If you own a GSG, it is likely a question when not if it will happen to you, so getting the beefier guide rod is great idea.

  6. First, thank you for the bikini link, most appreciated. Second, thanks for the review on the accessories for the GSS 1911

  7. Do this article apply to the Sig Sauer 1911-22? I understand GSG is actually the manufacturer for the Sig Model.

  8. Thanks for the info. Just ordered the beefed up guide rod and spring, along with the stainless bushing and plug from CW. Plan to order the mag bases next. Love this pistol!!!

  9. no the comps at CW will not fit your colt/umarex but ZR Tactical soulutions makes one for the colt/umarex. They also sell accessories for the GSG/Sig also

  10. Hi there. I just bought my gsg 1911-22 and really want the upgrade parts, do you send owerseas?

    • and none of this is available to the poor bastards in australia.because of the stupid export laws in america.why the hell would anybody vote for the have a welfare government determined to destroy small business. anyway we have other means of obtaining these parts from friends in america.and having them posted which is not illegal,just a pain in the arse.received my new wicked weasel calendar for 2013.

  11. Does anybody know where I can purchase a new slide for my GSG .22? I was told it can not be re-blued/refinished? Thanks for your help.

  12. Hello,
    I’m addressing Mike O’Brien in his need to refinish his GSG .22lr slide. I have been a gunsmith for several years after retiring from the Navy. I think I can help you here. If your slide is not damaged why not “Duracoat it? All the “experts” told you it can not be refinished as the slide metal is ….Ur… a high grade of alloy. It’s a type of zinc alloy similar to the gas blow back Airsoft metal guns but a much higher grade than Airsoft. Refinishing any zinc is a pain if you approach it by old fashion techniques. Also take a look at the Sig Mosquito as it’s the same thing with the “alloy” parts & slide.

    I use “Duracoat” for most of my refinish jobs for our local deputy sheriff’s G17’s and G22’s with steel slides. I then had their kids coming to me with their Airsoft gas guns with the finish all bet gone! I bead blasted the “alloy” parts & slides. Then using my airbrush and “Duracoat” I refinished the parts. They looked better than new. If this process will work for lower grade zinc alloy Airsoft slides and real steel Glocks it will work on your GSG .22lr. I own a Sig Mosquito and did a “Duracoat” desert finish on it. I also got a GSG .22lr in a trade. Since “Duracoat” comes in a lot of colors they had the WWII gray/green finish. I built my GSG .22 to look like a 1943 1911A1. After getting all the upgrade parts I lightly bead blasted the slide & frame and the upgrade parts. I used the gray/green “Duracoat” and added a set of Kimber wood 1911 U.S. Navy anchor grips and it looks very cool. It doesn’t have the G.I. hammer, grip safety and a few small parts but for the most part it looks like the one I carried in Vietnam with the “Brown Water Navy” (River Division 594). If I put a set of USGI brown plastic grips on it you have to look twice.

    Bottom line you can refinish it just fine. “Duracoat” has two types of finishes. One you bake on (which is the best) and one you let it setup. “Duracoat” is not just paint it’s an epoxy. The finish is more durable than most factory weapons. That is why I do a lot of slide refinish jobs due to holster wear for our deputies. You can buy home kits at this link: . Make it look better than new, it’s easy. I just have all the air brush gear as I do this for extra loot. Good Luck!

  13. Hi Everyone-

    I have gotten a lot out every article and I want to thank you for that. I was able to successfully take advantage of the Sig Sauer promotion from this past winter, the “Buy a 1911 .45ACP and get a 1911 .22LR for FREE.” I have not received any of them because of California’s stupid laws, but I will soon enough. I like the idea of the compensator but I don’t think the California Approved version would be able to accept one. Does anyone have any experience or insight for me??? Thanks for your time.

    • Craig the best advice i can offer you, like dumb arses who run Australia is leave.AS for the threaded end you will need an adaptor to screw youre muzzle brake on wink wink.And another softer main spring for the lower velocity.we make them here in banana land.

      • Hi John-

        Have you had any problems with the guide rod? Should I replace it with a Stainless full length guide rod? I don’t mind spending the money for parts if it is a necessary upgrade, but I don’t want to waste it because someone thinks it’s cool. Sometimes cool is good but I like functional rather than cool.

        Thanks for your time.

        • Craig i would definately be looking at an after market recoil spring as the standard is a little crappy the new guide rod suits the spring.its realy cheap.get some extra springs as you may wish to shoot low velocity as well.get rid of the mag.disconect and replace with a custom trigger spring.the americans will not send the spring and guide rod to Australia as we might pass it on to the terriosts.

  14. Joe: I just purchased a GSG 1911 for pinking and target shooting. Questions for you- on your reply March 28, 2012 you said that the GSG is the same as the SIG. Is this correct and what model SIG? What would be the best way to make the gun more accurate other than sights? I like the Durocoat for the slide idea, is there anyway that I can give the slide a stainless steel, nickel or aluminum finish.

    Thank you


  15. I purchased a Sig 1911 .22 from a friend in AZ after staying out there for a winter and shooting it almost daily. It has since been upgraded with CW performance enhancement kit, I love this gun. Absolutely reliable with HV ammo, though I did remove the paint overspray on the slide where it meets the lower and polished them both. The finish is wore bad from the holster, the AZ sand and dust seems to help that along. Other then that, which I really don’t mind it is very fun plinker and very effective on rattle snakes.

  16. I blew $72 for the CW Accessories performance kit that this article mentions. It creates tension on the slide about twice as much and the bushing is hard to put back on. The only problem is that the slide stop only has a 50/50 chance of working and not jamming. The magazine has to be pulled out for the slide to snap forward. I tried about 10 times to reassemble and had to give up and eat the $72.

    Meanwhile, I’m back with the stock parts that still function. My suggestion is to not buy an enhancement kit of any kind until you start having a lot of problems with the pistol. It’s not worth the money or risk to go 3rd party on the GSG. It was suppose to help it not be so ammo sensitive. BUT, the 1st thing you read on the instructions is to use only high quality ammo like the CCI min mag.. so then why did I buy the kit? (rip off)

  17. Hello,

    I am looking to purchase a small and practical red dot for my GSG 1911, Any referrals are appreciated.

    Also the pull on the GSG is about 5 lb, any comments as to if it can be lowered?

    Thank you kindly,


  18. The recoil guide and spring on my new GSG .22 comes with a buffer and a washer that fits in front of the buffer. I lost the washer during a cleaning session and can’t find reference to one other than in the gun schematic that came with the pistol. Is the washer a necessary additive. I notice owners of GSGs can buy replacement recoil spring, rod and buffer assemblies but no mention of the washer. I’m reluctant to use my GSG without the washer only because I’m afraid of firing any gun with a missing part. Q: where can I get a washer or can I fire the gun without it and without harm to the pistol and me?

    [email protected]

  19. Wicked Weasel link…..LMAO – I’m buying this gun because of that comment and link – good one. 🙂

Comments are closed.