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12/6/2019 7:27:02 PM
Posted: 9/28/2011 2:51:10 AM EST
I'm looking for some advice. I'm going to start shooting in a rifle competition at my range. The course is quite simple, but they only allow 22 LR or smaller. I've got a Savage bolt action 22LR that would probably work, but with the varying distances between target’s, I would prefer to use a AR style rifle with a red dot sight and leave the bolt action set up for longer distance blinking and varmints.

I've got 2 AR's and I'm on the fence about buying a stag 22 LR conversion kit to use in one of them. I don't have experience with the conversions, but was advised by my local shop, that they generally suck. The conversions going to cost about $200. However, in the spirit of filling my safe to max capacity, I'm wondering if I would be better off buying a new Smith and Wesson MP15-22 and leaving my current AR's set up with .223/5.56? Spending a few hundred more it's a problem.

Anyone have any advice, experience, or suggestions?
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 3:45:38 AM EST
The conversions are not what they once were. The CMMG Evolution stainless conversion with forward assist isn't the old conversion. You want the best, the India has a brass locking lug that actually locks the conversion to the barrel.
Another route is a dedicated upper. Better accuracy and no worries about changing your sights.
Dave N
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 3:54:57 AM EST
I once owned a 22 conversion that worked great but in the end I got a M&P15-22 as it was just easier to deal with overall. If you plan on doing alot of 22 shotting you might as well get a dedicated rifle.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 4:01:41 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/28/2011 4:02:33 AM EST by DarkStar]

First things first... your dealer/local shop is full of it and would rather apparently sell you a 15-22, the .22 conversions do not 'suck'... I own 4 CMMG .22 conversions and each is flawless over literally 10's of thousands of rounds. I did briefly own a Smith 15-22, it felt cheap and like a toy, it's quite overpriced for a plastic gun and the quality was at best iffy, the extractor ended up flying out of the bolt and heading downrange within the first 50 rounds so I can't recommend a 15-22, perhaps others have had better success with one...

I prefer the .22 conversions as they allow me to train and shoot on the cheap my 'real' AR's, not a toy. Each of my conversions required about 100 rounds to break-in and smooth out and once broken in have been ultra reliable. This past weekend I ran another 550 rounds of Federal bulk pack though one of my 20" A2's with zero malfunctions practicing left handed firing. I always shoot off a few XM193's at the end of a range session to blow any debris out of the gas tube...

If you want another gun in the safe look at a 15-22, perhaps they're better than they used to be. I'd rather train and shoot the real deal so I'm a big fan of the conversion units...


edited for spelln...
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 4:15:40 AM EST
I have been wondering the same thing. Was hoping the 15-22 was better quality. I held and broke down the s&w and it felt ok. Would like a.22 for plinking also.
All my few ar's are 1/7 and have heard of poor accuracy with these.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 4:22:15 AM EST
I would either get a conversion or use an dedicated upper
http://palmettostatearmory.com/22-lr-upper.php
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 4:27:00 AM EST
I don't own either so take this with a grain of salt but... If I had a choice, I'd get a dedicated upper or a complete rifle. I don't like the idea of shooting .22 through my 5.56 barrel. Why? Extra/possibly excessive fouling, possibility of clogging the gas tube, my 5.56 barrels have 1:7 twists which I've heard aren't so good for .22, etc.

Up to you whichever way you go however.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 4:28:05 AM EST
If you want a dedicated .22 and don't mind the plastic receivers, the 15/22 will serve it's purpose.
If you already own an AR lower, you owe it to yourself to get a dedicated .22 upper.
I also believe anyone that owns an AR should have a conversion kit.
I get so much more trigger time for cheap compared to 5.56.
I can shoot 500 rounds in an afternoon for $20 compared to $180 for 5.56
My CMMG M4 LE will shoot under 1" at 50 yards so it's plenty accurate for training or plinking.
Dave N
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 5:41:35 AM EST
Hi, welcome to the best AR site on the internet. Lots and lots of opinions. Here there is usually lots of experience to back those opinions up too.

Now don't get too concerned about making wrong choices here. Afterall we are talking about guns. Money spent on guns and accessories isn't ever wasted. Future trades, future family hand me downs etc.

But if money is a concern now- go with the conversion. Get the best like the above poster said. You can always justify spending more money later for a dedicated .22 or even some like the M&P 15-22.

I have all three types-A Spikes dedicated .22 upper on my first lower build. A Stag (CMMG) left handed conversion (my wife and other family members are lefties) and the M&P .22 as well as the Colt .22- All put to use in my family shooting get to gethers without problems not related to ammo -(bend rounds, FTF FTE) -which could be minimized by using higher quailty ammo for competition.

link to ammo test S&W forum CCI tactical .22s

I've used all types ammo. Some didn't function in most of the .22 AR's eg-remmington thunderbolt.

The one thing I would do for competition is a dedicated gun just to have it all set up and ready to run. no worries about having had to remember to pack everything for the match.
no worries about changing optics and sights that may need re-zeroing.

If you plan on competing with your AR later then definatly using the conversion to have experience with it in a .22 match will gear you up for later.


Like I said make your choice based on your situation now. Unlimited funds-get the dedicated rifle , limited funds -need to keep cost down- go conversion/
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 5:52:42 AM EST
Since you already have the AR don't waste your money on the 15-22. I have one and it is fun, but I've had numerous issues with it. It's on it's way back again for doubling and other malfunctions.

So my advice would be to get a cmmg dedicated upper for 350$.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 6:22:45 AM EST
I have the CMMG old style bolt conversion and it took a lot of tuning to get it to run right. This is the pre-evolution ceiner type. I did get it to run reliably though.
I have a 15-22 that has run perfectly since new, but since I waited for the threaded barrel one, I got to skip all the low serial ones with the bad extractor.
I then bought a CMMG dedicated upper (evo) which made all of the above obsolete. It has been perfect from the start. I put it on a spikes lower and couldn't be happier.

So my advice? Get a CMMG dedicated upper with the stainless bolt assy and collar. You will not be disappointed. It is accurate and reliable.

I need to sell my conversion now, but I will hang onto the 15-22 for my kids. They love it, and it is perfect for them. I actually love it too because it is light.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 6:23:17 AM EST
My MP 15-22 is one of the best investments I ever made. This gun has allowed me to increase my trigger time tenfold. The gun functions great and works with any ammo, which makes it extremely cheap to shoot.

Link Posted: 9/28/2011 6:38:12 AM EST
I vote for a dedicated .22lr upper. I had a Tactical Solutions M4 upper and it was well worth the price... Back in 2008. I wouldn't pay $530 for it now though.

Your best bet is the CMMG dedicated uppers. You can get them for around $350 online.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 6:45:24 AM EST
Originally Posted By CMDeFo:
I'm looking for some advice. I'm going to start shooting in a rifle competition at my range. The course is quite simple, but they only allow 22 LR or smaller....
Anyone have any advice, experience, or suggestions?


And why not just build a custom 10/22 with a RDS? I have a Boyd's Tacticool stock on mine and have flirted with the idea of building a lighter weight 10/22 with that stock for a little run-n-gun rig. The stock is very comfortable and almost has a vertical pistolgrip to accomidate shooting offhand.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 7:13:44 AM EST
^^^i was contemplating the same thing and i came to the conclusion that for the price of a conversion kit, i could have just gotten a 10/22. for me 2 whole guns is better than 1 1/2 guns (but thats only because i dont have lots of guns)
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 7:17:15 AM EST
If I had to do it again I'd save up and buy an M&P or a complete upper. My conversion has given me nothing but trouble since day 1.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 7:32:10 AM EST
What conversion do you have? I would be happy to help with it.
Dave N
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 7:52:55 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/28/2011 7:53:34 AM EST by HK-USP]
+1 On what Dave said. He knows his stuff. I bought a CMMG Evolution Upper and have not looked back.
Later order a stripped CMMG lower and now have dedicated 22 rifle. I own a Sig 522 and a custom
Ruger 10-22 too and like the CMMG 22LR AR better.

Originally Posted By shadowcop:
If you want a dedicated .22 and don't mind the plastic receivers, the 15/22 will serve it's purpose.
If you already own an AR lower, you owe it to yourself to get a dedicated .22 upper.
I also believe anyone that owns an AR should have a conversion kit.
I get so much more trigger time for cheap compared to 5.56.
I can shoot 500 rounds in an afternoon for $20 compared to $180 for 5.56
My CMMG M4 LE will shoot under 1" at 50 yards so it's plenty accurate for training or plinking.
Dave N


Link Posted: 9/28/2011 8:00:04 AM EST

I'm also going to agree, Dave knows his stuff and has it right on this topic. My personal choice of using a conversion unit instead of a dedicated upper is simply based on the fact I prefer the 20" A2, otherwise I'd indeed be running a CMMG upper... I'd like to obtain a 20" barrel from CMMG and build a dedicated A2 upper but until then, the conversion units work great for my needs...

Link Posted: 9/28/2011 8:24:39 AM EST
Some things I've noticed about my .22 conversion (stainless CMMG):

They do not suck.
They do not run well with lead round nose ammo. Quality copper plated .22LR ammo in the 36gr range runs at 99.5%. 40+gr lead round nose will cause feed jams to the tune of 4-5 per mag.
Are FILTHY. The gas tube funnels all that unburnt 22LR powder right back into the upper.
No leading problems, but I only run the copper plated stuff.
Mags are a pain in the butt to load (at least the Black Dog mags)
They are not Anschutz .22 accurate, but that's not what they're really for. They will hit cans, targets and steel with reasonable accuracy out to 40-50 yards, but they're really for getting trigger time in on a budget, not boring single ragged holes at 300 yards.

I took an el-cheapo upper (one of the $235 specials from JSE) that I didn't really have a need for and made it a dedicated 22 upper. I leave the conversion in, leave the sights set up on it, and removed the gas tube. Runs 100% with CP ammo as fast as I can pull the trigger, and it's not near as messy with the gas tube off. Best thing is I can always put the tube back on, remove the conversion, put a BCG back in and I have a 5.56 upper again.

If you want to approximate the weight of a "real" carbine for training, just get the conversion. If you come across a cheap upper, make it a dedicated one for the 22.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 8:58:45 AM EST
I have considered this also.
I have seen conversions work well.
The conclusion is that for me. I would get a dedicated 22lr upper. Set it up much like my 556 upper.
Reasons trivial as they may be work in my head.
1. 556 9-7 twist barrels lead more when shooting 22lr.
2. need readjust the sights when using the conversion.
3. lead and unburned powder in the gas system / upper.

This route will be double or tripple the cost.

And yes i have 22 rifles. not AR style. That I enjoy also.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 9:38:58 AM EST
My 3 yr old CMMG conversion works very well
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 11:04:55 AM EST
I love my M&P 15-22. Just sent in the form 1 to SBR it. .22 Can paperwork already in the works.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 11:48:12 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/28/2011 11:49:07 AM EST by ArmedNAlabama]
I have 2 Ruger 10/22's, they are great guns, a lot of fun, and infinitely customizable. That being said, they will NOT give the same trigger feel and ergonomics of an AR, no matter what stock, grips, etc. you put on it.

I also have a CMMG conversion (the "old" style I guess, although I bought it recently). I have had problems with it. It worked well for the 1st 50 or so rounds, then I started having problems. I got a bad mag and had even more problems. The last time I went out it seemed to work better, so I'm hoping it just needed a "break-in" period. If I had to do it over, I would put that $130 toward a dedicated .22lr upper. Think about it this way - how many .22lr rounds will you have to shoot before the kit or upper pays for itself? How many trips to the range will it take to shoot that many? For me, the conversion and 500 rounds of bulk .22lr was about $150 vs about the same price for 500 rounds of the cheapest 5.56 ammo (AE XM193) that I shoot. So, I shoot 500 rounds of .22lr through it and the kit paid for itself, right? That's what I tell myself at least. A dedicated .22lr upper is about 3x the cost of the conversion kit, so figure 1500-2000 rounds of .22lr and the upper has paid for itself.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 12:02:54 PM EST
I put 1600-1700 rounds through an M&P 15-22 Saturday. 2 malfunctions, both from it being dry.
One other blew the extractor apart at about 1700 rounds. Apparently, it's not uncommon. But how many people shoot thousands of rounds a day?
One other was flawless.

2 conversion kits present, one went down due to unknown reasons, but it wouldn't cycle. Another went down when it turned the round up and the impact of the bolt set the round off.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 12:08:05 PM EST
Originally Posted By dcs12345:
I would either get a conversion or use an dedicated upper
http://palmettostatearmory.com/22-lr-upper.php[/quote

Dedicated CMMG .22lr upper. Getting it from PSA is a bonus. I have one (mated to a Plum Crazy lower) and it is AWESOME.

WARNING a .22lr AR is additively fun. Get lots of mag and a thumb saver.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 12:28:44 PM EST
CMMG Conversion
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 12:37:06 PM EST
I own a .22 conversion. It's ok. I now own 3 M&P15-22's. The conversion never gets used.

IMO, I'd buy a 15-22.
Link Posted: 9/29/2011 3:12:57 PM EST
Personally, I think the Spikes Tactical makes the best 22 dedicated rifle. If you have an AR 15, then get their upper. You won't go wrong.
Link Posted: 9/29/2011 3:16:13 PM EST
Originally Posted By karabin:
Personally, I think the Spikes Tactical makes made the best 22 dedicated rifle. If you have an AR 15, then get their upper. You won't go wrong.


Are they back in production yet?
Link Posted: 9/29/2011 4:51:53 PM EST
I picked up an M261 Airforce conversion unit with mag insert for $125. It seems to prefer the 40gr lead round nose bullets over the 36gr copper washed hollow points. It's a blast to shoot. I need to get some BDM 25rd mags for it though. Having to keep loading after every 10 rounds is getting old.
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