The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: General

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 24, 2009, 09:20 AM   #1
EAJ702
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Posts: 446
Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Review

My interest in purchasing an AR plinker spiked (no pun intended) during the 2009 SHOT show held in Orlando last January. It was exciting to see new offering by SIG and other manufacturers.

I was ready to place my SIG order early on, but after several months and no clear release date, I decided to simply add my name to a waiting list. During the interim I’d become less patient and begun looking at alternative AR rimfire rifles that were currently available in the marketplace.

Tactical Solution’s and Spike’s build excellent dedicated AR rimfire rifles and uppers, but I didn’t want to invest that much money into a plinker, nor did the conversion kits interest me. The GSG5 and GSG AK-47 are pretty neat, but for some reason they don’t appeal to me enough to purchase one.

A process of elimination narrowed down my remaining choices to the Colt line (I like the OPS) and S&W M&P. I’ve read enthusiastic reviews about both and they seem to be an immediate hit with shooters who have purchased them. I had the opportunity to handle both manufacturers models at a local gun shop however they’re quiet pricey in our area. Based upon my inspection, reviews and owner feedback in several online forums, I decided the M&P was the most suitable for my plinking needs, and well under my budget, even after accessorizing. My Colt and S&W comparison information (PDF file) can be viewed here.

My price comparisons suggest that it’s a good deal less expensive ($150-$175) than the Colt, weighs less, has more functional AR-like controls, the trigger group can be changed if desired, has a removable bolt assembly (for easy cleaning), and is manufactured in the USA by a company that stands behind its product.

So, about two weeks ago I contacted my dealer, Donna at DB Flanagan’s Gun Shop, and requested that she give my spot on the SIG 522 waiting list to a deserving soul. I placed an order for the M&P15-22, which she located very quickly for me. If you’re a SIG fan you may know Donna (MississippiGal) from over at the SIG forum. She’s terrific to work with and very competitive with pricing on many brands.

The M&P arrived last week. When you pick it up it feels solid, but it’s also relatively light given the polymer upper and lower receiver, and quad rail. As with all new arms, I prefer to fieldstrip and clean them prior to shooting. If you own an AR you’re already familiar with the simple breakdown procedure. The only difference in the process with the M&P occurs at the very end of the sequence. With a standard AR you slip the bolt and charging handle out of the receiver. With the M&P15-22, you slip the bolt ASSEMBLY and charging handle out of the receiver.

It’s very easy to clean the bolt assembly once it’s removed from the upper receiver. And with the assembly removed, like a standard AR, the barrel is much easier to access and clean from the chamber end. I use an Otis Cleaning System with flexible cable on almost all of my pistols and rifles. If you prefer to use something like a boresnake or traditional cleaning equipment, they should work fine too.

Bolt Assembly & Charging Handle



Accessories

I decided to install a few parts I had on hand from an old AR build and add a few new accessories I ordered while waiting on the rifle to arrive.

Boone Packer Tactical Quick Adjust Sling
ERGO Sure Pistol Grip
ERGO Low-Profile Rail Covers
Ergo Rail Mount Sling Swivel
Primary Arms Red Dot Optic (M4)
ProMag VFG
ProMag AR15/M4 buttpad


Aftermarket Grip & Fit Information

If you plan to replace the OE grip you’ll need a long-reach 3/16” Allen wrench to remove the mounting bolt inside the grip. I utilized a ball-end 3/16” long-reach Allen wrench that came with my Knoxx Spec Op Stock for my Remington 870 which worked quite well.

I decided to replace the OE pistol grip with an Ergo Sure Grip I had on hand as shown in the photos. Once installed, I discovered that the upper portion of the grip (at web of hand when holding grip) does not snug up tightly to the lower receiver like it normally would on a standard AR15. Instead, there’s a small gap between the receiver and grip. It’s not too noticeable unless you know it’s there, nor is it a hindrance when handling or shooting the rifle. The gap does not affect the installation in any other way; the grip is held firmly in place once installed.

It is my understanding that the gap is also an issue with the Magpul MOE grip. This suggests there may be some slight differences in the M&P15-22 and standard M&P15 design.


I wish the quality of the photos were better, but unfortunately I don’t have the best camera and it rained and or was mostly overcast and cloudy all weekend.








Range Session

My primary goal on this first outing was to test the reliability of the rifle with different types of ammunition and to sight-in the irons and red dot. Given the limited time I had to shoot this weekend, determining accuracy was only a secondary concern.

There were no compatibility issues with the quad rails and accessories (red dot, grip bi-pod, rail covers and VFG) I mounted. Although the rails are polymer they appear to be sturdy.

The backstop is approximately 60’ on this range. Even at that distance, with my older eyes, precision shooting can be challenging with open sights or a red dot. Of course, this isn’t a target rifle, but we all strive to shoot the best we can.

During this session I shot approximately 75-100 rounds of each of the following:

CCI Mini-Mag 40 grain CPRN HV (0030)
CCI Standard Velocity 40 grain LRN (0032)
Federal 36 grain CPHP (550 VP)
Federal Champion 40 grain SP (510)
Federal Auto-Match 40 grain SP (AM22)
Winchester Super-X 40 grain HV (X22LR)
Remington Gold Box 36 grain HP

When I pulled the trigger on the M&P15-22 the first few times it was an odd feeling. I felt somewhat bewildered and disappointed. If you own or have ever shot an AR15 you’ll understand what I mean. With the real deal you have the expectation and satisfaction of some healthy pushback and recoil. That’s not the case with the M&P15-22; there is minimal pushback, recoil and report.

The good news is that you won’t feel bad for very long. As you continue shooting your disappointment will turn into glee when you realize how much fun you’re having and how little money you’re spending on ammo. You’ll still be standing at the firing line long after the shooter next to you runs out of centerfire ammunition and heads home.

After sight-in, I shot offhand for a little while with open sights. Later in the session I mounted the red dot and grip bi-pod (shown in photo) and shot off of a bench, standing up. Although the magazine is long it did not present a problem shooting off the bench in this manner.

Rapid fire is not allowed at this range so I fired one round approximately each second or two until I emptied the magazine. Interestingly, during the session I inadvertently bump-fired the rifle two or three times with 2-3 round bursts. That was kind of cool and no one seemed to notice or at least no one said anything.


Range Session Results

M&P15-22

Cumulatively, I expended approximately six hundred rounds and experienced zero issues with the rifle.

Magazine

The polymer magazine appears durable and of good quality. It functioned perfectly as long as you followed the loading (one round at a time) instructions outlined in the manual.

Once you’ve loaded it a few times the process goes quickly, but I must admit, after reloading this many times during one session my thumb and index finger became a little sore while holding down the load assist button exposed on each side of the magazine follower.

The magazine bolt hold back feature worked fine. Each time the magazine expended the last round the bolt held in the open position.

Spare magazines were not available when I purchased my M&P, but my dealer backordered two for me for $46, including shipping. At about $20 each they’re very reasonably priced.


Ammunition Reliability

With the exception of Remington Gold Box all of the ammunition functioned without issue. I had at least one round of Remington GB in each of 4 magazine reloads that failed to fire and had to be manually ejected. I wasn’t surprised given my past experience with it and its mediocre performance.

The target below has five 7.5” outer rings. Each outer ring has a number eight (black) 3” inner ring. The lower rings were used to sight in the red dot and open sights. This is one of two targets that I used during the range session.

I did not clean the rifle during the range session however when I did get to it later in the day not surprisingly it was very dirty. I also decided to disassemble and clean the magazine which was quite simple with the instructions outlined in the manual.




Summary

It’s a terrific little rifle for the price, reliable and plenty of fun to shoot. I think it would be a very good investment for any parent who wanted to introduce a child to shooting sports. The tactical look has that cool factor that most kids enjoy and there isn’t much more fun then shooting with your kids or family. Or, you can just purchase one for yourself like I did and invite your dad along.

Last edited by EAJ702; August 27, 2009 at 07:46 AM.
EAJ702 is offline  
Old August 28, 2009, 05:02 PM   #2
TimT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 6, 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 147
Very nice review - good job.

Are the groups shot offhand or off bags, or the bipod?

I really want to get a carbine next, but you have now made me want a tacticool .22 pretty bad. Good job - it really looks like a really fun rifle.
TimT is offline  
Old August 29, 2009, 07:04 AM   #3
EAJ702
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Posts: 446
Quote:
Are the groups shot offhand or off bags, or the bipod?
Thanks, I don't think you would be disappointed with one.

With the exception of the lower rings, which I used to sight in, I used the grip bi-pod and red dot primarily with this target. The grip-pod is a little wobbly, but I needed a little height to clear the magazine on the bench. As mentioned, I shot standing up.
EAJ702 is offline  
Old August 29, 2009, 08:12 AM   #4
TimT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 6, 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 147
Quote:
and shot off of a bench, standing up.
So it is mentioned. Thanks!
TimT is offline  
Old August 31, 2009, 03:52 PM   #5
Mags
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 20, 2007
Location: NH
Posts: 149
Great review. I just bought mine and shot this past weekend. I'm looking for some accessories like you have. That grip bipod is really cool. Where can I find one of those?
Mags is offline  
Old August 31, 2009, 06:37 PM   #6
EAJ702
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Posts: 446
Thanks Mag's, PM sent on the grip-pod.

You can cowitness with the irons on when using the Primary Arms Red Dot, which does come with an AR mount, however the sight picture can get a little busy. You’ll notice in my photos that the rear sight is removed and forward iron sight is still on while using the red dot. That setup provides for a clear sight picture while still having a quick point of reference using the front sight.
EAJ702 is offline  
Old September 2, 2009, 03:56 PM   #7
Jimdo
Member
 
Join Date: May 21, 2009
Posts: 24
Thanks for the Review, I have been looking at one of these for a while and had yet to decide to pull the trigger so-to-speak (no pun intended... well, yea maybe it was intended.)
Jimdo is offline  
Old September 3, 2009, 08:19 AM   #8
EAJ702
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Posts: 446
Jimdo, my pleasure. If you were “straddling the fence” I hope it helped to persuade you to jump one way or the other.
EAJ702 is offline  
Old September 3, 2009, 10:40 AM   #9
Dino.
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2006
Posts: 908
Excellent review!
Dino. is offline  
Old September 3, 2009, 11:02 AM   #10
JWT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 16, 2007
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 3,059
Very good and very well written review. It helped convince me to order a M&P 15-22 and it should arrive at the gun shop any day. Also ordered a Primary Arms Red Dot Optic (M4). It arrived yesterday and looks to be very well built.
JWT is offline  
Old September 3, 2009, 12:39 PM   #11
EAJ702
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Posts: 446
Thanks guys, JWT congrat's on the M&P and red dot purchase. I hope you enjoy them. The dot will co-witness with the irons, but the sight picture can look a little busy. I found it helpful to remove the rear iron and maintain the front A2 sight on the rail to help pickup a target a little quicker.
EAJ702 is offline  
Old September 11, 2009, 07:01 PM   #12
JWT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 16, 2007
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 3,059
Picked up the new 15-22 this morning. Stripped it and gave it and initial cleaning and hope to get it out on the range tomorrow. Will do the initial shooting with open sights and then put on the red dot. Kinda surprised there was not a manual that was specific for the 15-22 - just a M&P rifle manual that doesn't go into specific on how to strip the bolt assembly. That's a minor problem - overall my initial impression is that it's a well built little gun.

Can't wait to try it.
JWT is offline  
Old September 12, 2009, 12:28 PM   #13
EAJ702
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Posts: 446
Congrat's on the purchase. Call the customer service line 800-331-0852. There is a manual specific to the 22 rimfire rifle. Make sure you’re clear with customer service about which one you need. Prior to purchasing mine I called for a manual and they kept referring me to the downloadable PDF M&P owner manual on the website, which of course is the 5.56 version. Eventually I found someone there who was familiar with their new rimfire version and he mailed me the correct manual. Hopefully, they will post it on their website for download at some point.

That being said, although bolt disassembly does not appear difficult, the manual does not provide instruction for disassembly beyond normal field stripping.
EAJ702 is offline  
Old September 13, 2009, 06:15 PM   #14
Onapar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2004
Location: Arizona
Posts: 117
Just Got My 15-22

I Picked up my 15-22 on friday and after reading your review I ordered 2 new mags from S&W, ordered the M4 scope and the gripbipod from LA police gear.I will call tomorrow for the specific manual. Thanks for the great review and I will post my results after I take it out.
Onapar is offline  
Old September 13, 2009, 11:40 PM   #15
pvt.Long
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 7, 2009
Posts: 433
SW weapons are top notch reliabilaty and quality.
pvt.Long is offline  
Old September 14, 2009, 09:44 AM   #16
EAJ702
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Posts: 446
Onapar, congrat's on the purchase. I'm sure you'll be pleased the the M&P. Enjoy your first outing!
EAJ702 is offline  
Old September 14, 2009, 02:16 PM   #17
JWT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 16, 2007
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 3,059
Called S&W this morning and they're sending me a manual for the new 15-22.

Took the gun to the range for the first time this morning. I ran 200 rds. of Federal and CCI Blazer bulk pack plus a few rounds of Winchester Super X through it. It functioned flawlessly with no problems of any kind.

I ran out of adjustment trying to shoot at close range (15 yds). The gun shot low and I couldn't zero it in at that range. Ran the targets out to 50 and 75 yds and it zeroed in fine. I was shooting offhand and was impressed with the accuracy. I'm sure it will be even better from a bench.

I used the open sights for the initial trip and will put on the red dot for the next outing.

Overall I was extremely happy with how the little gun shot. I'm sure it will get lots of use, especially with the low cost ammo it eats. Smith & Wesson has a real winner IMO.
JWT is offline  
Old January 10, 2010, 06:43 PM   #18
Dbunye
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 10, 2010
Posts: 3
Poor performance

I bought an MP15-22 .22cal rifle yesterday as a first gun purchase. I was happy to take it to the range today with a variety of .22 ammo from different companies. TO my COMPLETE disappointment, the gun jammed every other shot on most occasions, once in a great while I was actually able to shoot two consecutive bullets before it failed to load.

Each time it failed, the bullet did not get chambered and it was bent or the spent casing would get stuck and not ejected properly thus jamming the next bullet. I would have to put it on safety and eject the bent bullet or spent casing manually. This happened almost every other shot!

The ammo I shot:

1) Winchester Wildcat 22 High Velocity
2) CCI Mini-Mag 22LR 40 grain, Target/Plinking ammo
3) Winchester Super X 22LR plated round nose, 40 grain high velocity
4) Peter's 22LR, High velocity, Solid point
5) Remington 22 Thunderbolt, Round nose

Again, I am thoroughly and utterly disappointed in this rifle. I understand a certain type of ammo may or may not work well with a specific gun, which is why I went to the range with 5 varities of ammo to see what worked best. To my displeasure, NONE worked so I have to assume the gun or magainze is simply poorly built.

On the other side, when it fire it is pretty accurate. In fact, my first shot was a bullseye at 20 yards! Of course that elation was immediately replaced with utter aggravation with the loading problem, shell ejection issue.
Dbunye is offline  
Old January 10, 2010, 08:10 PM   #19
Mags
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 20, 2007
Location: NH
Posts: 149
I know there have been a few issues with these rifles. I use CCI MINI Mags FMJs only and have great luck. I had a horrible time just like you with hollow points, one jamb after another. I havnt used any other ammo yet but I probably wont since the Mini mag FMJ seems to work just fine. I may get a few jambs every 100 rounds with these. Give S&W a call and seee what they say.
Mags is offline  
Old January 10, 2010, 08:30 PM   #20
sserdlihc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2008
Location: S.C.
Posts: 1,434
Quote:
TO my COMPLETE disappointment, the gun jammed every other shot on most occasions, once in a great while I was actually able to shoot two consecutive bullets before it failed to load.
Clean it, oil it, try it again. I always field strip every new firearm I get before I fire it. Just me though...
__________________
Familiarity breeds contempt, while rarity wins admiration. Aupleius
If someone doesn't like you, that's their problem! Milton Childress
sserdlihc is offline  
Old January 10, 2010, 09:33 PM   #21
tINY
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 26, 2005
Location: Orygun
Posts: 2,589

Be careful how you load the magazine - sounds like you weren't doing it right.

When you look through the back, the rims should be staggered left and right.



-tINY

tINY is offline  
Old January 11, 2010, 12:22 AM   #22
Stevie-Ray
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2007
Location: The shores of Lake Huron
Posts: 4,494
Meh, wonderful. This just makes me want one sooner.
__________________
Stevie-Ray
Join the NRA/ILA
I am the weapon; my gun is a tool. It's regrettable that with some people those descriptors are reversed.
Stevie-Ray is offline  
Old January 11, 2010, 01:30 AM   #23
UtahHunting
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 26, 2009
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 424
Quote:
TO my COMPLETE disappointment, the gun jammed every other shot on most occasions, once in a great while I was actually able to shoot two consecutive bullets before it failed to load.
I have a youtube video I made on how to fix this very problem. It is quite common on these guns. You can send the gun back to S&W and they will fix it for free or you can spend about 2 minutes and do it yourself.

The reason the gun is jamming is the ejector is misaligned and needs to be "adjusted". Here is a link to my video on how to fix it. I have put well over 1000 rounds through mine after I fixed it with no problems. Before I was FTE every other round.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wO76HC9tD4g

Quote:
Clean it, oil it, try it again. I always field strip every new firearm I get before I fire it. Just me though...
It doesn't matter how much you clean and oil it, if you get one of the 15-22's that have the jamming problem the ejector is going to need to be fixed. S&W claimed they fixed the issue on the newer serial numbered guns, but since I have a recent SN and still had the problem I don't buy it. Luckily it is a very simple fix.
UtahHunting is offline  
Old January 11, 2010, 10:36 AM   #24
Richy Fiberglass
Member
 
Join Date: December 3, 2008
Location: Meriden, Ct.
Posts: 33
S&W M&P15-22

I had just picked up the M&P15-22 to shoot steel plate matches at our .22 club. I have several "tricked" out Rugers and already have the GSG-5. They all are great guns and fun to shoot, but I am really hung up on the S&W M&P15-22. I have already put a set of Troy Industries flip up battle sights, a forward handguard, Aimpoint, Ergo grip and a laser/flashlight combo. It looks real "tuff" and I get a lot of members that want tto try it.

I have not had any problems with mine, and have already put about 1,500 rounds of CCI Mini-Mags and Federal #750 through it.
Richy Fiberglass is offline  
Old January 12, 2010, 10:15 AM   #25
Dbunye
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 10, 2010
Posts: 3
Utah,

You are correct. I checked your video and compared my ejector to it. My ejector was just about flat against the chamber wall. I bent it out towards the center of the chamber, leaving about a centimeter or so cleareance from the bolt. I will try it out in the next day or so, but I can say there definately is/was an issue with the ejector since it was so obviously out of place in mine. When I say flat against the chamber wall, I mean FLAT against the chamber wall. It must have barely been making contact with the casing.



Hope for the best, maybe tomorrow I will get to the range... maybe tonight if I am really lucky on time.
Dbunye is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:09 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.15433 seconds with 7 queries