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Old February 22, 2000, 09:46 PM   #1
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Join Date: January 7, 2000
Location: Atlanta, GA USA
Posts: 11
Well, I've been using my AR15 with a GAT trigger for a while, and I've decided that I want to take the full auto plunge. After having saved up my extra pennies for a few months, i'm now in the market for my first class 3 weapon. One of the criterion I have for a FA weapon would be that there is a .22 conversion kit available, since I'd like to be able to afford to shoot it on my weekly trips to the range (It took a good while to come up with the $$ for a FA, and I know I probably can't afford to feed one of these things as much as I go to the range - at least not in a centerfire caliber). So far, this seems to leave the following:

AR15RR or DIAS = ~$4500 - maybe, but really a bit more than I want to spend

M-16 = ~$6000 - certainly more than I want to spend

G3 = Big $$$. Again, way more than I can afford, especially since the .22 conversion kit costs ~$700

Uzi = ~$3000. The price is right, but the .22 conversion kit doesn't seem to be available...

Mac 10 = ~$1000. Definately affordable, but a .22 conversion kit seems to be more of a myth than a fact. Although for this price, I could prolly afford to shoot some 9mm.... but what about longer term reliability?

Norrell Ruger 10/22 conversion = ~$4500. No way I'm going to pay $4500 for a 10/22.

Ruger AC556 = ~$2500. This seems to be my best bet. Reasonably affordable, with a .22 conversion kit by John Ciener for less than $200 bucks.

Does anybody have any opinions either way? Has anybody ever used an AC556? What about reliability? Will it take most Mini-14 aftermarket addons?

Thanks for any comments!

Bob_L is offline  
Old February 23, 2000, 10:44 AM   #2
Staff Alumnus
Join Date: October 12, 1998
Location: Missouri
Posts: 1,986
Have you looked at the American 180? A horizontal drum-fed (like a Lewis gun) full-auto .22lr.
There are a couple of photos of them in the firearms photos link at the top of the page.
fal308 is offline  
Old February 23, 2000, 08:54 PM   #3
Join Date: September 12, 1999
Posts: 28
I think that the M16/AR15 would be the best choice because you could switch caliber and barel lengths by simply changing out the upper reciever. I think that you can have full auto with all of the uppers and just register the reciever. You can get almost any caliber for an ar15.

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Old February 25, 2000, 12:13 PM   #4
Quiet Professional
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Join Date: February 10, 2000
Posts: 1

All of the AC-556's that I have used have been very reliable. The only glitch seems to be that on 3 round burst they will sometimes fire 4 rounds ... I think it depends on the "operator". All aftermarket Mini-14 goodies will work.

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Old February 26, 2000, 07:56 PM   #5
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,338
Between an AC556 or an AR/M16 type firearm, I'll take the AR/M16 first.

Why? Don't forget that one of the easiest and quickest ways to wear out a barrel is sustained full auto fire. That's fine if you're in the military and you've got someone else who will pay for the ammo and to replace the worn barrel. But when it comes out of your own pocket, ouch!

Here's my concern about the AC556. There's only one outfit which will replace it a barrel: Ruger. Sure, gunsmiths can do it, but Ruger will take the liability as it is their gun. Problem is the down time while it's sitting in customer service waiting for an employee who will screw on the new barrel.

With an AR/M16, if you've got a good vise and the proper wrench, you can replace the barrel yourself. It's easy and the barrel wrench is only about $40. You don't even need a barrel block to clamp the barrel in and you can make it out of oak. So, if you want the ease of maintenance, the AR is the way to go.

By the way, I've got armorer's tools for both the AR and the Ruger. My set of Ruger tools are sold by Ruger only to LE armorers and it cost over $450. You won't have to spend half that amount to have the tools to work on the AR. Just my two cents.

Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt
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Old February 27, 2000, 10:37 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: February 14, 1999
Location: Eastern, PA, USA
Posts: 147
A Class 3 weapon must either be transferred (tax free) to the gunsmith or you MUST wait there while it is being fixed. Either way the person whom it is registered to must be with it. Both the ruger and Ar are good weapons, both getting expensive. Cheapest way to go is the MAC. Will talk to my Class 2 buddy to see if he can make a .22 conversion for that.
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