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Old April 26, 2019, 04:25 PM   #1
pricelessppp
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First semi auto?

I'm new to hear also bear with me & new to guns. What would be a good first semi auto for range plinking? I've looked at the MP 15/22 as will as the Basic 10/22. I've been reading about both guns & liked both. But I've decided I'll just grab a complete AR15 Lower in the future & grab a complete upper in the future. Any recommendations.

Last edited by pricelessppp; April 26, 2019 at 05:11 PM.
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Old April 26, 2019, 05:24 PM   #2
Evan Thomas
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Welcome to TFL!

You can't do better than a 10/22 as a range plinker and "starter" gun. You're smart to be looking at .22 rifles -- the combination of low recoil and low ammo cost means that you can do a lot more shooting in a given amount of time, and a person does need to put a *lot* of rounds downrange in order to become a proficient shooter.

And if you want to learn to shoot well in the shortest possible amount of time, once you have that semi-auto .22 rifle, consider signing up for an Appleseed shoot. For the money, it's the best training around, and they make it fun, too.
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Old April 26, 2019, 10:07 PM   #3
pricelessppp
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@Evan Thomas Agreed that rifles been on my list! Though Would a AR-15 with a 22 upper be a good starter also? I seen palmetto state sell a 22 dedicated upper would that be another good option? Also been thinking about just going for a 556/223 upper. I've heard of Appleseed project not sure if they have any events at any gun ranges in town.
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Old April 26, 2019, 11:57 PM   #4
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I've never been to an Appleseed event but I've heard good things about them. Here's a guide to where their programs will be held.
https://appleseedinfo.org/schedulemap/

I just checked my state (Minnesota) and they have the following info:
Quote:
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY THE USE OF SMITH AND WESSON M&P 15/22’S AT AN APPLESEED ARE HEREBY TEMPORARILY PROHIBITED DUE TO RECENT SAFETY ISSUES.
I feel sure this will be sorted out sometime soon but it may influence your choice if you plan on going to an event in the near future.

They teach/stress the use of the sling so make sure you bring one or buy one from them. Some of the Ruger 10/22's have one inch sling swivels which is fine but folk I know have replaced the one inch with one and a quarter inch (1.25 inch) sling swivels to be compatible with the slings Appleseed sells.

https://store.rwvaappleseed.com/page13.html
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Old April 27, 2019, 12:10 AM   #5
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From the direction this discussion has been going, can we assume you [pricelessppp] are looking for a rifle rather than a handgun? Your original post didn't specify.

Assuming that you are looking for a rifle, so far we have suggestions for a Ruger 10/22, and various suggestions for ways to get into the AR-15 platform. Both will get you shooting, but they have some differences.

The Ruger 10/22 is a .22 LR firearm. You can, if you choose, spend a LOT of money after the initial purchase gussying it up with bells and whistles and "tactical" looking stocks but, after you've spent all that money, you still have a .22 LR Ruger rifle. But, for a first rifle as a "plinker," the Ruger 10/22 is arguably THE most popular choice in the United States.

Switching to the AR-15, now you've really opened a can of worms. First off, do you want .22 LR or should you go .223/5.56? You mentioned plinking. "Plinking" is fun shooting, and the more you shoot the more fun you have. Look at ammo prices. .22 LR runs from around 3 cents per round in bulk to maybe 12 or 15 cents per round if you buy the "good stuff" in 50-round boxes.

.223/5.56 is centerfire rifle ammo. It's in a different universe from .22 LR. Looking at one site, I found .223/5.56 in 1000-round lots for $341 (plus shipping). That's 34 cents a round -- compared to 3 cents per round for .22 LR. Don't want to spend over $300 for you first batch of ammo? .223/5.56 at that same web site is $7.50 to $8.00 per box of 20. Call it $7.75, and that works out to almost 39 cents per round.

Next: You can buy some dedicated .22 LR firearms that look like AR-15s, but they can't be switched over to fire another caliber/cartridge. Or you can buy a true AR-15 with a .223/5.56 upper on it, or with a .22 LR upper on it, and then when you want to change you can just buy another upper.

You can do that. However, I think I'm on solid ground in saying that probably most shooters with AR-15s don't switch uppers -- they just buy (or build) another rifle. There's just something about a lonely upper sitting there that cries out, "I feel so abandoned. Please make me complete again!" And, unless you have more willpower than most of us, you'll succumb to that siren song.

If you're just starting, as the Red King said to Alice in Through the Looking Glass, "It is best to begin at the beginning." Open/iron sights, no optics, a simple rifle that's easy to shoot and easy to clean and maintain. And that's affordable to shoot. .223/5.56 ammo is not plinking ammo. It's "I want to shoot something a ways off" ammo -- like at 100 yards, 200 yards, 500 yards. That's not typical plinking distance, that's serious shooting.

So I'll don my certified olde curmudgeon hat and suggest that you skip .223/5.56 until you have developed as a shooter. Another point is that most Appleseed shoots are at 25 meters. You CAN shoot .223/5.56 at an Appleseed, but you're probably going to go through at least 100 rounds (maybe more -- I don't remember). If it's 100 rounds, that's $15 for .22 LR compared to $40 or so for .223/5.56.

I did an Appleseed shoot last year. By far, the most popular rifle there was the Ruger 10/22. I don't think anyone had an AR-15, not even in .22 LR.

Begin at the beginning. Get a traditional rifle like a 10/22, with open sights, learn to shoot well with that, and you'll be able to transfer those skills to anything. And you'll be able to shoot more -- a lot more -- for the same money compared to .223/5.56.

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; April 29, 2019 at 07:32 PM. Reason: typo
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Old April 27, 2019, 12:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleA
I just checked my state (Minnesota) and they have the following info:

Quote:
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY THE USE OF SMITH AND WESSON M&P 15/22’S AT AN APPLESEED ARE HEREBY TEMPORARILY PROHIBITED DUE TO RECENT SAFETY ISSUES.
I feel sure this will be sorted out sometime soon but it may influence your choice if you plan on going to an event in the near future.
That restriction was in place last year, and I think for a year or two or three before last year. I did once look up the reason, but I can't recall now what it is. But ... don't expect it to be resolved "soon."
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Old April 27, 2019, 12:52 AM   #7
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But ... don't expect it to be resolved "soon." (the S&W restriction).
Wow. Good to know information. I stand corrected.

Last edited by DaleA; April 27, 2019 at 01:00 AM.
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Old April 27, 2019, 02:28 AM   #8
Aguila Blanca
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I just did a search for "Smith and Wesson M&P 15/22 problems" and came up with this:

https://www.fool.com/investing/2016/...g-problem.aspx

Quote:
The 15-22 was just banned from use at rifle marksmanship programs offered by Project Appleseed, one of the premier training programs in the country and a peer to the National Rifle Association's safety program.
...
The problem is twofold: Shooters have experienced both out-of-battery discharges, a situation in which a gun fires even though it has not returned to the firing position, and "runaway discharges," when the gun won't stop firing. Both situations are very rare, but the fact that several Project Appleseed classes have experienced them suggests there may be a manufacturing problem that needs correction.
Note that this article dates to September of 2016, which is why I don't expect it to be fixed soon. It has been a known issue for roughly three years, and apparently hasn't been corrected yet. Either S&W doesn't agree that it's a problem, so they're ignoring it ... or S&W does think it's a problem, and they don't know how to fix it.

More:

https://bearingarms.com/bob-o/2016/0...ay-discharges/

https://www.ammoland.com/2019/03/smi...#axzz5mHM0lg5M
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Old April 28, 2019, 07:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pricelessppp View Post
I'm new to hear also bear with me & new to guns. What would be a good first semi auto for range plinking? I've looked at the MP 15/22 as will as the Basic 10/22. I've been reading about both guns & liked both. But I've decided I'll just grab a complete AR15 Lower in the future & grab a complete upper in the future. Any recommendations.
Welcome to TFL, pricelessppp! I think that Aguila Blanca has identified the issues pretty well, so I'll skip going back over them. Personally, farm plinking is my absolute favorite kind of shooting. Of the two rifles you've listed, my suggestion would be to grab the "Basic 10/22." It may not be as sexy as the MP 15/22, but the safety issues that were identified above will keep you from being able to use the MP 15/22 in an Appleseed shoot. The 10/22 is exceptionally popular for a variety of reasons. It's relatively inexpensive, reasonably accurate and reliable. That has led to a HUGE amount of aftermarket support, so you can trick them out as much as your heart desires. But like AB, I'll suggest that you avoid that until you've got the fundamentals worked out. A basic 10/22 with iron sights is a great tool to use for that.

In the interest of full disclosure, my opinion may or may not be biased, and may or may not be based on complete information. I've never shot a 15/22. OTOH, I got my 10/22 about 40 years ago as my "standard issue .22" and it's one of my absolute favorite guns. The only mods I've ever done were: (1) a trigger job; and (2) a threaded barrel. I didn't do either of those until I'd had it about 30 years.

Let us know what you decide and, again, welcome!
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Old April 28, 2019, 09:31 AM   #10
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Welcome to the forum, lots of great information and advice can be found here. The 10/22 is be hard to beat and I love mine, but I also love my Marlin model 60's. I picked most of those up at pawn shops and never gave over $100 for one. You may be able to find a 10/22 at a pawn shop. The guns will be marked up with a large profit margin so it does not hurt to go in and low ball them a bit. I would take Aqulia Blanca's advice on .223. It can be cost prohibitive for a new shooter. You can buy 1000 rounds of 22 for $38 or 1000 rounds of .223/5.56 for $340. Best of luck to you and enjoy the world of shooting sports.
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Old April 28, 2019, 01:21 PM   #11
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"...Lower in the future &..." Cost you more in the long run.
You cannot beat a .22 LR for fun shooting. You still need to decide on a budget though. Like kenny53 says, a 10/22 doesn't have to be BNIB. Lotta aftermarket stuff around for 'em too. Keep in mind that you will have to try a box of as many brands of ammo as you can to find the ammo that particular rifle shoots best. The price of that ammo means nothing. .22's are just like that. Yes, you will have a bunch of part boxes. That's a reason to buy a bolt action .22 target rifle.
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Old April 28, 2019, 02:36 PM   #12
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May I suggest the Ruger SR22 Tactical Rifle with an extended magazine.

Mostly because I've ran into a lot a trouble (some years ago) with my two dedicated AR 22 uppers (broken firing pin bolt housings, broken non-mill spec hammers, worn out plastic feed lips on the magazines and OOB's - out of battery discharges with --- fortunately --- no injuries having occurred during my 3 OOB kaboom mishaps), so much that I've given up on shooting them; because I have deemed them too dangerous to shoot --- And they weren't M&P 15-22's.

I'm sticking with my Ruger SR22 rifle...and I don't recommend AR22 conversion kits either, because --- imho --- they are more dangerous to shoot than the 22 dedicated uppers.
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Old April 28, 2019, 06:36 PM   #13
riffraff
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Outside of the applseed competition considerations...

The 15-22 is a great design, particularly the magazines - very easy to load. And they make a precision version (via performance center)..

The 10-22 is also a great design and similarly you can go up level out of the box via other versions or via aftermarket upgrades to get to a precision version..

Both are about as reliable and accurate, very reliable not so accurate (but .22lr is not a very accurate round anyway)..

A 10-22 is cheaper and arguably better made (ie metal not plastic reciever).. however a 15-22 is lighter and more comfortable to shoot Id say.

Both Ruger and Smith and Wesson guarantee for life but Ruger does their repairs ALOT faster..

I would not recommend an SR22 rifle, its just a stupid heavy/awkward and expensive 10-22 (15-22 is far superior if you ask me).

Pick your poison, hard to go wrong with either. I own both. And i I would buy whatever you buy new - for a 1st rifle its good not to inherit odd problems, to have a user manual and all the parts etc etc. Before you shoot your new rifle for the 1st time, disassemble and clean it by the book - its a basic piece of knowledge that comes with owning a gun, and that assures you start things off right with any new firearm. Lots of how to videos and guides available to learn from.
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Old April 29, 2019, 01:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
(but .22lr is not a very accurate round anyway)
I feel I must disagree. Some (Eley) is VERY accurate. The Olympics, both summer and winter have .22LR matches among others.

P.S. And USA's own Federal got upset that everyone was using foreign made ammo and starting making some very accurate ammo too and our shooters used it to win a couple medals.
https://www.outdoorlimited.com/rimfi...lrn-50-rounds/
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Old April 29, 2019, 08:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
I did once look up the reason, but I can't recall now what it is. But ... don't expect it to be resolved "soon."
Given the position of the parties, I don't expect it to be resolved at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spats McGhee
Personally, farm plinking is my absolute favorite kind of shooting.
My fondest memories are of that. Shooting at an indoor range is at the other end of the spectrum.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pricelessppp
I'm new to hear also bear with me & new to guns. What would be a good first semi auto for range plinking? I've looked at the MP 15/22 as will as the Basic 10/22. I've been reading about both guns & liked both. But I've decided I'll just grab a complete AR15 Lower in the future & grab a complete upper in the future. Any recommendations.
I assemble and modify AR15s in 22lr, and have been at it for a couple of years. I enjoy the process of modification that makes them really good range arms.

I DO NOT recommend getting an AR lower and PSA upper (these are CMMG format dedicated 22lr uppers at a very good price) as your first rifle. They are great, but they also frequently have eccentricities with which you will be wrestling while you learn to shoot.

Spats covered why you may be better served with a 10/22 if you really want a semi-automatic. I've nothing against the S&W 15-22, but I've never fired one. There are some facets of the 10/22 I dislike, but it is robust and reliable, and you'll always be able to find someone familiar with them if you need any advice.

If you don't need a semi-automatic for what you want to do, there are some nice bolt actions that will let you focus on accuracy and will likely come with a better trigger. People go to Appleseed with bolt actions too.

You've posed your question o people who've been doing this for decades. We all know what we like. Part of decoding the answers you get will be figuring out what you like.
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Old April 29, 2019, 07:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleA View Post
I feel I must disagree. Some (Eley) is VERY accurate. The Olympics, both summer and winter have .22LR matches among others.

P.S. And USA's own Federal got upset that everyone was using foreign made ammo and starting making some very accurate ammo too and our shooters used it to win a couple medals.
https://www.outdoorlimited.com/rimfi...lrn-50-rounds/
Its a subjective statement, but generally I ASSume for most of us, if we wanted to be as accurate as possible, especially at 100 yards or more, we would reach for some centerfire rifle.
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Old April 30, 2019, 01:17 AM   #17
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the RUGER PC rifle in 9mm would make a nice range gun / plinker

.22 gets boring fast at the range, feels like firing a bb gun
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Old April 30, 2019, 09:24 AM   #18
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Old April 30, 2019, 09:36 AM   #19
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First, I’m going to read the Original Post- then reply.

How long is the longest lane at your range?
Have you talked to people at the range to see if anyone has old gear for sale?

Advantages of a dedicated .22
-They are very inexpensive compared to centerfire parts
-Resale value on stock .22s is high. (Resale of modification parts is low)
-They run right out of the box and are not bits and parts to be assembled
-Trigger upgrades are easy
-There is so much information over at rimfire central your head will spin

Advantages of getting an ar lower-
-You can just get the ar you want
-You can just get the ar you want now
- There is so much information over at ar15 dot com your head will spin

Not knowing what your interest in the shooting sports are, I’m going to toss out what
I have done.

1. Get a 10/22. Get the cheapest one at Wally World, it should be just under $200. Get a cheap cleaning kit, a .22 cal Bore Snake and a can of Hornady One Shot. Buy quality ammunition until you know what you are doing: CCI Blazer, CCI Standard Velocity or MiniMag, Aguila Standard or High Velocity are all fine. Don’t buy a bucket full of garbage or the cheapest crud until you know why I am advising you not to. Get some targets.

Take your 10/22 home, take out the magazine and give it a squirt of One-Shot in to the receiver and a big shot down the barrel. Run your boresnake 3 times. You are ready to go to the range.

One advantage the 10/22 has over other serviceable .22s is that it’s THE platform for mucking about and adding bling of all sorts. Wait until you have 200 well aimed rounds downrange before buying any parts for your 10/22. I mean well aimed shots, seconds between shots, rapid fire teaches you nothing.

Next steps: best increase in your accuracy will be a scope. Get a fixed 4x scope for $35, some aluminum Weaver rings and a little bottle of loctite medium strength thread locker and some 220 grit wet/dry sandpaper. “Lap” your ruger scope rail to your receiver- it’s got some micro bumps underneath and you need rock solid scope mounting. Read up on scope mounting, the rest is generic.

The BX trigger is a nice upgrade ($55 on eBay) but you don’t need it. Extra Ruger magazines are nice. Since it’s NOT an AR, I think the BX high cap magazines make you look like a mall ninja, but whatever.

Don’t use your boresnake but every 1000 rounds. Your gun will become more accurate after 50 “seasoning rounds” and every time you clean, the accuracy will be washed out.

After a thousand rounds, you might take tour 10/22 apart and clean the receiver. One shot is your friend, as is the ruger disassembly video. Beware- getting it back together is freaking hard, the first time.

The nice Ruger demonstrator pops the bolt back in to the receiver like it’s LEGO blocks. It isn’t, he has just done it a thousand times. YouTube videos will help you out on how to give the right rattle and shake to get it together. After 3 times it will seem simple. If you have a pal that knows how, having someone show you will save you an hour of frustration, then you can come on chatboards and say “no, it’s easy, I do it all the time.”

Anyways, you wanted advice on AR lowers.

My advice: get any decent aluminum receiver (doesn’t matter), a Rock River 2 stage target trigger and lower assembly kit, buffer tube and stock of your choice. Go to Harbor Freight and pick up some punches and a little non-marring hammer.

Complete instructions on how to build up your lower is over at ar15.com

It’s just putting little parts together, in order. The extra money for the RRA 2 stage trigger will be well worth it over the life of the rifle. Now you know how every part of your rifle works. When it comes to build an upper, you get a barrel wrench tool, a go and no-go gauge and build your own. It sounds scary and some will think you are godlike when they found out you built your own rifle, but building your own ar is only a little harder than building your own salad.

Just want to buy something? Save money by not getting a cheap lower. Any quality cast aluminum lower is fine. I like Rock River... buy once, cry once.

Since you are jumping in the deep end, get quality gear that holds its value should you want to resell.

I found Winchester white box is okay ammunition but reloading for the at-15 really brings out the accuracy in a free floating varmint barrel.

There you go- order a Rock River 2 stage trigger lower. Done. I doubt anyone can name anything better until one is talking about billet receivers. There are some that are just as good, and lots are cheaper and not as good. Measure your savings in boxes of ammunition, resale value, and what your time is worth.
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Old April 30, 2019, 10:16 AM   #20
MarkCO
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Sell your house, buy a cot and a gun store and you will be the envy of all. Welcome to the board, and the shooting sports.

I will second the 10/22 "pattern" as a great first firearm. I say pattern, because there are a lot of versions out now. Ruger makes several flavors, but there are receivers, parts, barreled actions and at least a half dozen companies that make complete rifles that are 10/22 pattern. Thompson Center, Tactical Solutions, Armscor are some examples.

We have half a dozen, most I built from parts based on a Ruger or Tactical Solutions receiver. Some with fiber optic sights, some with red dots, one set up for .22 precision matches, some set up for shooting Rimfire Challenge/Steel Challenge.

I would avoid the S&W 1522, and generally most AR pattern 22s as a first firearm.
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