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View Poll Results: AR .22 Rimfire Conversion, Dedicated Barreled Upper or S&W 15-22?
CMMG Rim-fire Conversion "BCG Only" Kit? 1 4.76%
CMMG Dedicated Rimfire Barrel & "BCG" Conversion Kit? 5 23.81%
S&W M&P 15-22 MOE rifle? 15 71.43%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 9, 2019, 06:04 PM   #1
BluRidgDav
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AR .22 Rimfire Conversion, Dedicated Barreled Upper or S&W 15-22?

I already have a 5.56mm upper with a 16" pencil profile barrel that I don't use anymore, so, I'm thinking about converting it to .22 rimfire. I'm not worried about clogging the gas port, since I have a replacement 5.56 upper that I like better. A CMMG conversion "BCG Only" kit with three 25-rd magazines is available for $175. But, I've heard that accuracy is only so-so due to free-bore inside the chamber insert and slightly larger bore diameter of the 5.56 barrel. Then again, I'll bet that 1-in-7" twist would stabilize those specialized Aguila 60gr bullets nicely.

OR

For $375 I could buy a CMMG dedicated .22 rimfire barrel & integral "BCG" along with three 25-round magazines. This would eliminate the free-bore & bore diameter issues, and I might recoup some of the extra $200 in cost, by selling my 5.56mm take-off barrel afterward. Some folks report excellent accuracy with these type conversions.

OR

For about $475 I could buy a S&W M&P 15-22 MOE along with a couple more 25-rd magazines. One of my kids has this rifle and it is a reliable tack-driver. Then I could just sell my whole 5.56mm upper.

Please vote in my poll and/or tell me what y'all think.
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Last edited by BluRidgDav; December 9, 2019 at 06:11 PM.
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Old December 9, 2019, 06:23 PM   #2
mikejonestkd
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I vote for the complete rifle- M&P 15-22
You should be able to get one with accessories and extra mags for less than $400 and they are a hoot to shoot
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Old December 9, 2019, 06:30 PM   #3
Sharkbite
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I have a M&P 22 that i SBR’d. Its a great shooter. My only complaint is that it is significantly lighter then a “real” AR.

Other then that it a perfect little plinker/training rifle.
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Old December 9, 2019, 07:01 PM   #4
zukiphile
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Your question is missing some important information: What do you plan to do with it and what are your goals?

If you want very good accuracy while slinging up, the polymer upper receiver of the 15-22 may frustrate you.

Not everyone gets good function with the conversion kit. If excellent function is the primary goal, a 15-22 might be hard to beat.

My dedicated CMMG uppers and lowers are my favorite rifle, but it isn't the cheapest option.

Last edited by zukiphile; December 9, 2019 at 10:13 PM.
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Old December 9, 2019, 07:46 PM   #5
krunchnik
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I had the CMMG Sierra complete upper in 22lr and accuracy was very good-the twist on a 22lr barrel is 1/16 to stabilize the bullet better-most .223 or .556 barrels are 1/7,1/8 or 1/9 the twist is too fast for the 22lr.
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Old December 10, 2019, 02:20 AM   #6
BluRidgDav
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I understand that too slow of a rifling twist rate can fail to stabilize a bullet.
But, is there such a thing as over-stabilizing a bullet with too fast of a twist?
(not asking about what is the "optimum" twist rate, only if it will still stabilize)

Note that many 5.56mm AR's are twisted 1-in-7" and yet there are some
manufacturers that load 35-40 grain "varmint" bullets in .223/5.56 ammo.
(the standard weight bullet in most .22 rimfire ammo is 40gr)

And since .22 rimfire bullets are traveling at only about a third of the velocity of
5.56mm centerfire bullets, would a 1-in-7" twist make that big of a difference?
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Old December 10, 2019, 08:35 AM   #7
Areoflyer09
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Your use will determine what to do.

For General plinking/trainer? Dedicated upper or the S&W. Personally I wouldn’t bother with the conversation kit on a fast twist barrel, unless you only intend to run the Aguila 60grs, but they or may not cycle it. While some Varmint 223 rounds may run 35-40gr bullets, compare them velocity difference to a 22LR.

For Accuracy? I really wanted a 22lr upper, but I have the expectation that my 22s are sub-MOA. What I found was the Nordic upper gets good (but limited) reviews. Beyer builds a quality barrel. There were two others that got good reviews as well. But the one thing in common was nobody could confirm any of these would hold MOA, let alone sub-MOA groups. The most common answer I found was if you want an accurate semi-auto, build a 10/22.

If you shop around you can find the Nordic upper for around $450.
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Old December 10, 2019, 04:38 PM   #8
GarandTd
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If participation in an Appleseed event is a consideration, last I heard they weren't allowing the S&W M&P 15-22. Just food for thought. Otherwise, I have heard the same reports of so-so accuracy from the "bcg only" option. I would opt for a dedicated 22lr upper assembly to have the accuracy, sturdyness, and comparable weight to a traditional 5.56/223 AR-15.
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Old December 11, 2019, 11:54 AM   #9
Fishbed77
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A dedicated CMMG .22LR upper AR-15 build is the way to go IMHO.

Of course I'm biased, since that was the route I took. No regrets after about 7 years of ownership.
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Old December 12, 2019, 03:52 PM   #10
Crunchy Frog
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I bought a 15-22 on sale a while back. It is acceptably accurate and the stock trigger is a lot better than I expected. The polymer construction makes it a good bit lighter than an AR-15.

A local store recently had a good sale on AR uppers, including the .22 lr uppers with the bolt and recoil spring assembly that is about the size of an AR’s BCG. I came very close to buying one, but since I already own the 15-22, it seemed redundant.
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Old December 12, 2019, 05:20 PM   #11
dyl
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I think selling the barrel wouldn't bring in a whole lot by itself unless it was pretty fancy to begin with.

If it was just you in the picture, selling the old upper and replacing it with an already put together upper in 22LR would be optimal. You'd get trigger time with your same exact lower which is a low-wear component. So familiarity with your setup in your centerfire upper would increase even when using the 22 upper. Heck you could set up the upper to have the same sights, foregrip, etc.

But then I saw you have multiple kids. They might want to have or at least shoot the same thing the other one has. I guess it depends on how old your other children are. If they're older, promoting a little friendly father-child competition with evenly matched 22 rifles might be fun. (Do it for the children! jk) And I've always had good experiences the few times I called upon S&W customer service, I have less experience with CMMG.
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Old January 9, 2020, 07:59 PM   #12
GLK
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I have a TS dedicated 22LR AR15 16 inch mil profile with cut barreled upper on an self built Anvil Arms AR15 lower. I have a very nice 3 pound trigger and even with good quality reliable ammo it is at best a two inch circular hole @ 50 yards using a 2X 2MOA Aimpoint 9000SC RDS. It needs a bore snake about every 300-400 rds to ensure no FTF or FTE. I bought this to practice with back in the bad old Berry days. I paid $400.00 for the complete upper and 20 each for mags. It has an optics ready flat top 1913 rail with a tapered pinned mounted F marked front sight & actual gas block<not connected, nor does the barrel have a gas port drilled. I don't know much about the conversion kits but I do know that one that uses Black Dog mags if an option would be preferably imo.
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Old January 13, 2020, 11:37 PM   #13
riffraff
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I love my 15-22 even though at first I was unhappy they deviated so far from the platform and considered something else.. Would've been cool if they just based it on a mil spec polymer lower and then built it via all their proprietary parts, but whatever it's a great gun. Very light, very fun, maybe not as well built as a 10-22 but a lot more fun to shoot and no less accurate, as reliable as any .22.

On my mind for awhile has been picking up the performance center version, more $$ but sounds sweet on paper anyway...

A big part of what I love about them is the weight. A dedicated upper would take 80% of the lure of these rifles away for me.
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Old January 14, 2020, 11:39 AM   #14
zukiphile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riffraff
I love my 15-22 even though at first I was unhappy they deviated so far from the platform and considered something else.. Would've been cool if they just based it on a mil spec polymer lower and then built it via all their proprietary parts, but whatever it's a great gun. Very light, very fun, maybe not as well built as a 10-22 but a lot more fun to shoot and no less accurate, as reliable as any .22.
I dislike the polymer upper of the 15-22, but see the 15-22 as only a step away from greatness.

If S&W had designed it with a mind toward greater interoperability of barrel nuts and upper receivers, its bolt could be the basis of a superior dedicated upper. Two things 15-22 owners rarely report are function problems and excellent accuracy. An aluminium upper receiver should clean up accuracy, and a slightly re-proportioned BCG that would fit in a normal upper should retain excellent accuracy. 15-22s also don't seem to suffer broken firing pins with the frequency Ceiner/PSA/RTB/CMMG units do.

The other downside of those other units is the absence of a LRBHO. While several outfits have manufactured a work around, and they work well, a more direct solution is presented by S&W -- a bolt, lower and magazine made from the ground up to function together. A lower with that direct solution would add much value.
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Old January 14, 2020, 03:16 PM   #15
TrueBlue711
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Another option is keep an eye out for PSA .22 uppers on discounts and deals. I got a PSA .22 upper for $250 on one of their deals and love the thing. Only issues I have are magazine related. Through trial and error, found that the CMMG 25 round magazines work the best for my upper.
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Old January 16, 2020, 10:45 AM   #16
riffraff
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The other thing to mention on the 15-22 are the factory mags - very nice design as far as ease of loading and operation. I never once dread loading up a bunch of them.
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Old February 4, 2020, 07:06 AM   #17
batmann
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IMHO, the best solution is to buy a S&W. I have one and it is fun rifle to shoot.
The controls are the same as an AR, so familiarity is no problem. At one time I had an M&P 15 and the two made a great combo.
I no longer have M&P 15, I traded it for a POF piston, but I still have and shoot the M&P 22.
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Old February 4, 2020, 08:11 AM   #18
imashooter
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I have the 15-22 and really like it. Have a Venom, light, and laser on it. Primary use is for night time varmints. It has seen a lot of work. Excellent gun and light as a feather.
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