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Old June 6, 2019, 01:10 AM   #1
photographix
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Need advice: SR-22 AR style rifle

I was browsing the LGS today and noticed that they had a pre-owned Ruger SR-22 AR style rifle for $299. One of the employees told me it was a former range rental. I didn't ask how many rounds have been through it, besides, I doubt they would keep too close a count.

It looked like it was in really good shape from what I could see, as it was locked to the wall rack. I don't really care about cosmetics or branding as much as mechanical functioning. I generally like to shoot guns rather than care for safe queens.

I've been thinking about this rifle ever since I left the LGS this morning. I obviously have mild case of AR fever.

I don't know much about AR-style rifles right now, but am considering getting one at some point. I think I want a 5.56, but would this .22 AR be a good rifle to cut my teeth on?

Or would I just be wasting good money that would be better spent on a 5.56?
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Old June 6, 2019, 05:41 AM   #2
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As you likely know, that Ruger is a 10/22, with 10/22 controls, virtues and vices.

If you really have AR fever, a 10/22 isn't going to help you. The good news is that you can get an AR in 5.56 for less now than in a very long time. If costs are a concern, set out a budget before you begin.

I come at this from the other direction. I assembled 10/22 rifles and saw the AR format as a better format for 22lr; I prefer shooting ARs in 22lr to shooting ARs in 5.56, but it isn't the financial savings you might think.

Your most economical options for a 10/22 are going to be a regular 10/22, and your most economical options for an AR are going to be in 5.56.
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Old June 6, 2019, 06:34 AM   #3
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If it really was a "range rental" I think it's priced too high.
Although I have ONE AR 22lr, I have to say it's not as mechanically efficient as a 10-22. More places to wear or malfunction. More weight and bulk for similar performance. Quite possibly lower performance than a purpose designed 22 semi-auto.
I bought my 22lr AR upper as a "fun gun" for the Grandkids. KAK stock, 8.5" barrel, and suppressor makes a nice little kids' gun that looks like Granpa's 300AAC "Thumper"(so named by the kids due to the "THUMP" sound of the suppressor).
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Old June 6, 2019, 07:11 AM   #4
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Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22. Probably the best decently priced .22 AR.
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Old June 6, 2019, 07:32 AM   #5
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Another vote for the Smith M&P 15-22, mine has been flawless and accurate.

Other than the light weight it feels pretty much like a centerfire AR.
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Old June 6, 2019, 09:17 AM   #6
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And you can get a new S&W M&P 15-22 for around the same price as that rental gun. Maybe a little bit more. I love mine
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Old June 6, 2019, 10:59 AM   #7
photographix
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Thanks, gang. Glad I didn't give in to an impulse buy.

I'll be taking a good look at the M&P 15-22.
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Old June 6, 2019, 11:00 AM   #8
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The Ruger SR-22 offers the AR pattern feel and handling (will accept most all AR pattern furniture), but with the 10/22 action and controls. Of course it will accept most barrels, bolts, and triggers as the regular 10/22.

The S&W M&P 15-22 is a closer copy of the AR15 pattern rifles, in that it uses (mostly) the same controls (triggers, hammers), but it will not readily accept AR fore ends or rifle stocks, and many grips do not fit quite right. The receiver is all synthetic, so it is lighter than most ARs, but that isn't always a negative.

Good luck
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Old June 6, 2019, 02:53 PM   #9
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I love 10-22's but the Ruger SR22 rifle is a gimmick, heavy, bulky - laden with crap to make it look AR15ish..

A 10-22 is something about every gun enthusiast should probably own though, but the standard carbine models are the real design and beauty if you ask me..

15-22s are really sweet, light and fun, an outstanding magazine design, not a "real" AR15 either but they are great guns and not a gimmick since they designed a .22lr rifle that makes sense for what it is.

I will also 2nd that owning a real AR15 1st isnt a bad choice, they are lots more capable - but for kids, or if you are shooting without ears, small game, close range targets, cheapest ammo - a .22lr makes sense.

I guess I would add argueably a 10-22 is built better being an all metal reciever (and often stainless) versus the plastic 15-22, but in practical terms you probably never wear out either and 15-22 mags are a dream to load compared to the 10-22 design.
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Old June 6, 2019, 02:58 PM   #10
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I'd never tell anyone NOT to get a .22. They are fun and you can learn an awful lot shooting one. But if you want an AR and have a place to shoot it then I say go for the AR. Here's a Ruger for about $550.

https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/...carb+16in+30rd

(And then go get a .22 too just because everybody should have one. )
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Old June 7, 2019, 01:36 PM   #11
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I'd say the rental is a bit overpriced. Just get a new SR22 or a 10/22.

I tend to shy away from dedicated & non-dedicated AR22 uppers...because of the many problems associated with the design of the bolt.

Appleseed events have banned the use of the M&P 22...due to injuries caused by OOB's.

I have two dedicated AR 22's, and have given up shooting them because of OOB's, broken firing pins, bolts, non-mil spec hammers and worn out plastic feed lip magazines.

The non-dedicated AR 22's are dangerous to use --- IMO --- and I feel that you'd be better off getting a Ruger semi automatic 22; though an OOB can pretty much happen in any gun.
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Old June 7, 2019, 02:07 PM   #12
zukiphile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erno86
... though an OOB can pretty much happen in any gun.
I think that is true. I've had OOBs with 10/22, but I think the 10/22 has the bolt weight and spring worked out better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erno86
Appleseed events have banned the use of the M&P 22...due to injuries caused by OOB's.
I don't own a 15-22, but I think Appleseed hasn't treated the issue of injuries on the firing line correctly.

At least in my part of the country, Appleseed doesn't seem to space shooters safely, so shooters are essentially elbow to elbow. Of course, when there is an OOB and people are packed onto a line, the chance of injury increases, but that isn't solely the result of the rifle used.

My misgiving about the 15-22 is the polymer upper. This means that the barrel and sights or optic are attached to one another by a piece of flexible polymer. I'm not a stickler for metal in everything, but the idea of a flexible upper bugs me.

All that said, if I wanted to do something AR-ish in 22lr and keep the budget small, I wouldn't let the Appleseed people dissuade me.
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Old June 8, 2019, 09:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Appleseed events have banned the use of the M&P 22...due to injuries caused by OOB's.
S&W issued a safety alert for the M&P 15-22- some bolt faces were not properly machined and it contributed to OOB discharges. I am confident that the issue is resolved in new ones.

Quote:
My misgiving about the 15-22 is the polymer upper.
I was pleasantly surprised that my 15-22 shoots as well as any of my other semi auto 22s- typically I can group 5 in an inch at 50yards. I do not believe the poly upper is an issue in a firearm with such low recoil.
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Old June 9, 2019, 04:02 PM   #14
zukiphile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejones
I do not believe the poly upper is an issue in a firearm with such low recoil.
I don't believe it is the recoil that could make it an issue, but flex between the barrel and optic that could. I typically sling up with a fair amount of force. As the front sling swivel is pulled down and left, I would expect some bowing of the upper receiver. Since that is where the optics sits, I would expect inconsistent bowing from position to position to make consistent optic alignment more difficult.

An inch at 50 is solid accuracy, and as I noted I don't have one. I'd be happy to be all wet on this, but that's my worry about polymer in that specific part.
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Old June 9, 2019, 08:28 PM   #15
riffraff
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This business of polymer flexing being a percieved issue on a 15-22 just isnt backed by fact. Look at various tests and you will find they basically perform like a 10-22.

Aluminum, steel, barrel steel, it all deflects too - argueably less maybe but if you aren't physically putting pressure on it this is a non issue at 22lr range anyway. Its not a shotgun you gotta pull into your shoulder, no reason to ever be doing more than steadying it on the guard.
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Old June 9, 2019, 09:06 PM   #16
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Brand new S&W M&P 15-22. Great deal on a really fun .22 plinker. I have fired thousands of rounds through mine over the years without issue.
https://palmettostatearmory.com/smit...ifle-22lr.html
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Old June 9, 2019, 09:20 PM   #17
zukiphile
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$300 shipped with back up sights is a lot of value.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rr
Aluminum, steel, barrel steel, it all deflects too - argueably less maybe but if you aren't physically putting pressure on it this is a non issue at 22lr range anyway. Its not a shotgun you gotta pull into your shoulder, no reason to ever be doing more than steadying it on the guard.
So it is an issue if you are putting pressure on it?

A rifle encounters a lot of force from a sling, especially in prone. On a basic 10/22 you've a fairly robust wooden stock carrying most of that stress, whereas in an AR pattern those forces are borne by the upper and lower receiver. I'm a proponent of polymer use in lower receivers, but flex in a lower receiver is less likely to throw off the alignment of optic and barrel.

That doesn't make the 15-22 a bad rifle, but it may mean that if one is 6'2" and 100kg it won't be an ideal candidate for use with a sling.

Last edited by zukiphile; June 10, 2019 at 06:52 AM.
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Old June 11, 2019, 08:08 AM   #18
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Quote:
Although I have ONE AR 22lr, I have to say it's not as mechanically efficient as a 10-22. More places to wear or malfunction. More weight and bulk for similar performance. Quite possibly lower performance than a purpose designed 22 semi-auto.
I own a CMMG Sierra WASP .22LR upper (on a standard AR-15 lower), and can state for a fact that its performance is as good or better than any stock 10/22 I've owned.

Accuracy is certainly better than a stock 10/22, and reliability has been just as good (I've only used high-quality Black Dog Machine magazines). There are more parts than a 10/22, but operation is just as simple. It's a blowback rifle with a big chunky bolt (no separate bolt, carrier, and gas system like a 5.56x45mm AR), and the beefy AR-15 buffer and spring.

It is no doubt a heavier rifle, though.
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Old June 11, 2019, 09:01 AM   #19
zukiphile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishbed77
I own a CMMG Sierra WASP .22LR upper (on a standard AR-15 lower), and can state for a fact that its performance is as good or better than any stock 10/22 I've owned.
That's my experience too; your reported experience is what pushed me to start building 22lr ARs. I've cobbled together some pretty accurate 10/22s, but out of the box I've never gotten one that had a trigger that weighed less than the rifle or would shoot less than two inches at 50 yards.

My last couple of years have shown the following differences in what I've had.

Triggers
10/22s have some very impressive triggers available. The best two stage I've used is a Kidd. It's too expensive, imo. There are less expensive single stage options some of which are very inexpensive and work well enough.

I can put together a two stage trigger for an AR for not much more than $100.

Reliability
I've never had a 10/22 that didn't at one time or another choke on spent brass that wouldn't clear the receiver. On the other hand, I've also never had a broken firing pin in a 10/22, and I've dry fired them quite a bit.

My CMMG pattern ARs are wonders of reliability. Except for Remington Golden Bullet duds, everything fires, and everything that fires ejects from the chamber (with the single exception of a piece of empty brass that fed itself into the gas tube hole of the receiver). I attribute this reliability to the bolt being somewhat underweight compared to a 10/22. Unlike Fishbed, I use 15-22 magazines which permit a functioning last round bolt hold open.

In my first 7,000 rounds, I broke three firing pins with a Larue two stage trigger. I switched mostly to a reduced power hammer spring in early 2018 and 8,000 rounds later just broke another firing pin. You'll know when this happens because the rounds can't feed all the way into the chamber.

Accuracy
Making an accurate 10/22 involves a lot of variables within the rifle itself. Does the receiver require an interference fit? Does the barrel like a pressure point? Is the receiver shifting like a teetertotter in the stock? Who made your barrel and what chamber does it have? How many inch pounds applied to the action screw provides the best accuracy? There is a reason people discuss these variables so much.

My CMMG barrels have hilariously sloppy chambers, and my Lothar Walther barrel is pretty loose too; both will feed defective 45gr Winchester subsonic that won't even fit into the chamber of most of my Green Mountain 10/22 barrels. Getting accuracy from the AR pattern involves screwing the barrel nut on to the correct torque and installing the free float tube. That's it.

One thing AR receivers commonly have is an integral picatinny surface. Some aftermarket 10/22 receivers have this, but none of them are as inexpensive as a cheap AR upper receiver.

Last edited by zukiphile; June 11, 2019 at 10:03 AM.
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