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Bama-Shooter
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Posted: 8/10/2010 4:39:32 AM EST
New 22 Rimfire Rifle On AR-Style Platform fun to shoot
by Fred Bonner
7 days ago |

Apex, NC


Recreational shooter has fun with the new Smith & Wesson M&P 15 22 on an approved shooting range. At first glance this appears to be a 5.62 mm NATO “black rifle” but upon closer examination, it’s a small frame .22 caliber, semi-automatic rifle.


slideshow It’s not unusual to walk into a gun store and see a great selection of AR-style rifles for sale. Based on Eugene Stoner’s popular military battle rifle that began to see widespread use during the Viet Nam era, the M-16 and its variants has become not only a personal defense weapon but a popular sporting rifle as well. Thousands are in use by outdoorsmen these days as deer rifles, varmint rifles and competition rifles.

The facts are that the AR-15 version of the fully selective fire M-16 is simply fun to shoot. Military surplus ammunition for the rifles was super-abundant and cheap. You could load magazines with .223 cartridges (or the very similar 5.56 mm NATO military ammo) and go out to the local shooting range and shoot at targets for a fun afternoon’s activities.

The Stoner designed rifles were so popular that about every manufacturer out there began to alter the basic rifles to shoot more “sporting” cartridges that were better suited to shooting deer, bear and even moose. There were hundreds of attachments designed to be added to these adaptable rifle actions that brought about their being compared to the home stereo systems that allowed one component to be changed thereby improving the entire system. A truly “tricked-out” AR-style rifle somewhat resembled one of those ray guns from the Star Wars movies.

As the price (and availability) of ammunition became a big problem, some manufacturers of parts and attachments for the basic AR-15 platform began to make a kit that allowed the owners of these rifles to convert them to shoot .22 rimfire ammunition. Where it used to cost 50 cents (or more) every time you pulled the trigger on an AR-15, you could convert the AR-style rifles to shoot the very economical .22 Long Rifle ammo for as little as a nickel a shot. With the economy being as bad as it is, gun enthusiasts started to take a long look at converting their existing rifles to the .22 platform. Practicing with the AR-style rifles suddenly became a lot more economical.

I have handled AR-style rifles that had been converted to shoot .22 ammunition. Maybe I had my hands on an improperly installed conversion kit or maybe it simply was not well designed but I had problems with the rifle’s not cycling the ammo correctly. The weight of the converted rifles was about the same as the original rifle and it used the same attachments. Moreover, the conversion kits were a bit on the “pricey” side.

On a recent trip to my Izaak Walton League’s shooting range I was having fun with my tricked out Ruger 10-22 Competition rifle and happened to notice the fellow on the shooting bench beside me. He was shooting what appeared to be an AR-style rifle but it wasn’t quite up to the same size of any other AR-style rifle that I’d seen. It sounded like a .22 when he shot.

When I asked him what his rifle was he replied that it was one of the new Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22s. “Want to try it out?” he kindly replied. I didn’t hesitate to accept his offer.

The rifle’s adjustable stock fit me well and I began to set about shooting a full magazine of .22 long rifle ammo at the 50-foot targets. The rifle had factory installed pop-up front and real sights much the same as the larger S&W M&P 15 rifle so I held the front sight much the same as I would on a larger AR-style rifle and took the first three shots to see where the gun was shooting.

Through a pair of binoculars it looked to have shot into one ragged hole but it was an inch or so high and to the left. Correcting for error but not changing the sights at all, I finished the remainder of the magazine of ammo off in the rapid fire mode and took another look at the target.

All 22 of this string of shots went into a pattern of maybe an inch on the bullseye. With open sights and shooting rapid fire with a borrowed rifle that I’d never shot before, I couldn’t complain.

Recoil was, as expected, nearly non-existent in this 5.5 pound rifle. The gun as built with a polymer upper and lower to give it this reduced weight. The M&P 15-22 is built rugged and sleek with its four-sided Picatinny rail that’s ideal for mounting accessories, a six-position, tight fitting, adjustable butt stock and dual-aperture, pop-up front and rear sights. It had many of the features of a tricked-out AR tactical rifle.

After having seen just how accurate this rifle was on my first attempt, I can say that it would make a very good small game-hunting rifle. If I were to use it for such I would definitely attach a good scope to the factory installed rail system to give it a little better accuracy potential (for me anyway). Another viable option for sights on this rifle would be a good red dot reflex sight. S&W has designed this little AR with factory-installed rails on board and there must be hundreds of AR adaptable gizmos out there that would be nice to trick-out this rifle if you so desire.

A few days after having tried the M&P 15-22 out I visited a local gun store to price the gun. The on-the-shelf price was $499.00 with all the attachments on it. However there were several other .22 rifles on the racks that resembled the AR-styled “big” rifles.

The well-known Colt .22 rimfire rifles were similar to the Smith and Wesson rifle I’d been so impressed with but appeared to weigh more than the M&P 15-22. I found out by talking with the gun dealer that these Colts were built on essentially the same frame as a full AR-style rifle but just used scaled down internal parts (you could do that with a conversion kit). Other shooters in the store that had had experience with the Colts told me that the Colts were very “finicky” with what ammo they used whereas the M&P 15-22 seemed to digest about every kind of .22 long rifle ammo you fed it.

Ruger had a what appeared to be one of their world famous, utterly reliable, 10-22 rifles on the rack that had been factory altered as a “Tactical” rifle. I received no reports on how this rifle shot but if it’s up to the usual Ruger 10-22 standards; it should be a darned good gun.

Another nearby .22 rifle was built by Walther as what I’d call a tactical carbine. From what I could see it appeared to be built on a pistol frame with a longer barrel and a black synthetic stock that resembled a tactical carbine carbine. Nobody in the store had any report for this gun.

I’d have to conduct a lot more research on all these AR-style factory built .22 rifles before I’d personally buy one but I must say that I’ve been impressed with the one time I shot and handled the Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22. I have a feeling that one will wind up in my gun safe sooner or later.

Manufacturer: Smith & Wesson; (800) 331-0852; Smith-Wesson.com

Model: M&P 15-22


Caliber: .22 LR


Magazine: 25 round 


Action: Blow back semi-auto


Overall Length: 33.75" extended, 30.5" collapsed


Stock: Six position CAR


Sight Radius: 15.5"


Barrel Length: 16"


Barrel Material: 4140 steel


Barrel Twist: 1:16"


Weight: 5.5 lbs. (without magazine)


Trigger Pull: 7 lbs.


Upper and Lower Material: Polymer


Finish: Matte black


Front Sight: Adjustable A2 post


Rear Sight: Adjustable Dual aperture


Suggested Retail Price: $499



Read more: Apex Herald - New 22 Rimfire Rifle On AR Style Platform fun to shoot
http://www.theapexherald.com/view/full_story/8979855/article-New-22-Rimfire-Rifle-On-AR-Style-Platform-fun-to-shoot?instance=secondary_sports_left_column
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Any opinions expressed are my own and do not reflect upon any agency or orginization which I may be employed or affiliated.
gonzo_beyondo
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Posted: 8/10/2010 4:58:16 AM EST
Wow, that actually looks like an airsoft toy.


When airsoft looks more realistic than your 22LR firearm, you might wanna rethink a bit.

I dunno, just sayin' I guess.
$500 is a lot for what that looks like.
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40xb-shooter
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Posted: 8/10/2010 4:59:40 AM EST
whats a 5.62 nato round?
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gonzo_beyondo
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Posted: 8/10/2010 5:00:17 AM EST

Originally Posted By 40xb-shooter:
whats a 5.62 nato round?

Baby seeking cop tracer talon fang bullets.
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Posted: 8/10/2010 5:01:38 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/10/2010 5:01:59 AM EST by gonzo_beyondo]


Weight: 5.5 lbs. (without magazine)=

Trigger Pull: 7 lbs.


"If you get the impression that I just don't like anyone and will complain about anything, you'd win a prize, if there was one. " L_JE
tstanfield12
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Posted: 8/10/2010 5:04:02 AM EST
My TacSol dedicated 22lr on a CavArms lower is probably my most used gun right now.

The plus side is that I can actually afford to shoot it on a regular basis and it let's me train with the AR platform.

Total build price was only $650 so not much more than the S&W but feels better made.
Count123
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Posted: 8/10/2010 5:06:30 AM EST
The M&P 15-22
 is a blast to shoot and very light on the wallet. I love mine.
mike_556
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Posted: 8/10/2010 5:12:12 AM EST
Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:

Originally Posted By 40xb-shooter:
whats a 5.62 nato round?

Baby seeking cop tracer talon fang bullets.


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TheEngineer
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Posted: 8/10/2010 5:19:20 AM EST
I put a magazine through a friend's the other day. 100% reliable, and very accurate. He's got about 2,000 rounds through it and has had no problems.

Shooting stuff is fun.
Crowkiller
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Posted: 8/10/2010 5:32:25 AM EST
I have one, and it is eating up the federal value packs. I've had a 10/22 for years and this one is approaching the 10/22 in round count.

The magazines are a bit of a pain to load, and the rifle is a bit light. It is not the most accurate .22 out there. But it is FUN, and a good approximation of an AR for muscle memory training.

I REALLY wish they had brought this out as a true upper, but the receiver is sized differently and it will not go on a AR lower.
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Posted: 8/10/2010 5:34:38 AM EST
I have never really understood the attraction of the .22 AR look-a-likes when reliable, dedicated rimfire uppers are available and predate the 'toys'.

Real lower and upper >>>>>> airsoft toy that shoots .22LR


RFutch
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Posted: 8/10/2010 5:38:37 AM EST
Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:
Wow, that actually looks like an airsoft toy.


When airsoft looks more realistic than your 22LR firearm, you might wanna rethink a bit.

I dunno, just sayin' I guess.
$500 is a lot for what that looks like.


Form follows function. If you shoot one of those you'll be pulin out your wallet. You can use all normal AR furniture, swap out the trigger with any AR aftermarket trigger, all controls work just like a real AR. IMO its the best .22 on the market...
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crowdlg
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Posted: 8/10/2010 5:40:20 AM EST
Originally Posted By RFutch:
Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:
Wow, that actually looks like an airsoft toy.


When airsoft looks more realistic than your 22LR firearm, you might wanna rethink a bit.

I dunno, just sayin' I guess.
$500 is a lot for what that looks like.


Form follows function. If you shoot one of those you'll be pulin out your wallet. You can use all normal AR furniture, swap out the trigger with any AR aftermarket trigger, all controls work just like a real AR. IMO its the best .22 on the market...


No a Spikes decicated upper is the best .22 AR on the market.
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theskuh
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Posted: 8/10/2010 5:41:14 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/10/2010 6:07:15 AM EST by theskuh]
Same as you can with a real .22 upper. This just gives people something else to buy which is not a bad thing.

I like this better though.



or my tier 7 spikes barreled and bolt ar.


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Posted: 8/10/2010 5:47:24 AM EST
Another nearby .22 rifle was built by Walther as what I’d call a tactical carbine. From what I could see it appeared to be built on a pistol frame with a longer barrel and a black synthetic stock that resembled a tactical carbine carbine. Nobody in the store had any report for this gun.

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Posted: 8/10/2010 5:58:56 AM EST
Originally Posted By crowdlg:
Originally Posted By RFutch:
Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:
Wow, that actually looks like an airsoft toy.


When airsoft looks more realistic than your 22LR firearm, you might wanna rethink a bit.

I dunno, just sayin' I guess.
$500 is a lot for what that looks like.


Form follows function. If you shoot one of those you'll be pulin out your wallet. You can use all normal AR furniture, swap out the trigger with any AR aftermarket trigger, all controls work just like a real AR. IMO its the best .22 on the market...


No a Spikes decicated upper is the best .22 AR on the market.


My Tac Sol .22 upper is awesome. My Spikes .22LR MRP conversion, not so much. YMMV
Dog1
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Posted: 8/10/2010 5:59:47 AM EST
Originally Posted By crowdlg:
Originally Posted By RFutch:
Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:
Wow, that actually looks like an airsoft toy.


When airsoft looks more realistic than your 22LR firearm, you might wanna rethink a bit.

I dunno, just sayin' I guess.
$500 is a lot for what that looks like.


Form follows function. If you shoot one of those you'll be pulin out your wallet. You can use all normal AR furniture, swap out the trigger with any AR aftermarket trigger, all controls work just like a real AR. IMO its the best .22 on the market...


No a Spikes decicated upper is the best .22 AR on the market.


Or the Tac-Sol...the S&W does not impress me at all.

Hansan: "This is a .30 caliber, gas operated, clip fed, semi-automatic rifle....."
Soldier: "Look, you ain't sellin it to me, you're only showing me how it works."

Dog1
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Posted: 8/10/2010 6:00:00 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/10/2010 6:01:15 AM EST by Dog1]
Originally Posted By tstanfield12:
My TacSol dedicated 22lr on a CavArms lower is probably my most used gun right now.

The plus side is that I can actually afford to shoot it on a regular basis and it let's me train with the AR platform.

Total build price was only $650 so not much more than the S&W but feels better made.


Same here, except mine sits on a Spikes lower-


Hansan: "This is a .30 caliber, gas operated, clip fed, semi-automatic rifle....."
Soldier: "Look, you ain't sellin it to me, you're only showing me how it works."

tabraha
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Posted: 8/10/2010 6:03:09 AM EST
My next AR will be a 22lr to have fun around the house with. No doubt about it. Only thing in front of it is a .45 pistol. Don't have anything chambered in that right now.
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Posted: 8/10/2010 7:41:53 AM EST
I've had one for around a year. Great little gun, same size as an AR but lighter. My wife is who we actually got it for, but I like to shoot it every chance I get. As was already said, a fun little gun. Mine is accurate as hell too.
It is what it is....