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Old December 5, 2012, 02:54 PM   #1
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What's the big deal with .22LR ARs....

am I missing something? Are they more accuate, more reliable, cheaper or more versatile than other semi-auto rimfires? Are there competitions where they stand out? Hey, I'm an old fart, maybe it's a young man's thing but I don't get it. I have AR-15s in 5.56 and 6.8 so I'm familiar with the platform but .22?? As a training platform for newbies not yet comfortable enough to buy the larger caliber? Hey, if there's an advantage I'll get one. I see them advertised alot in the mid $400s. Am I in left field or does anyone agree with me?

Now, my Ruger MKIII that's a different animal---I love mine.

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Old December 5, 2012, 05:19 PM   #2
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I'm with you on this one but a Marlin or Ruger 10-22 just isn't "tacticool". Now on the other hand if Ruger would make a real M-1 Carbine in .22 (rther than the after market kit which adds a lot of cost to an already higher priced carbine (approaching the price of a real M-1), I'm in!
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Old December 5, 2012, 05:21 PM   #3
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I own a CMMG AR 15 in .22. It is a dream to shoot. I own quite a few 5.56 AR's, but the .22 is just cheap fun. Icahn shoot for hours for a few dollars. I also train people with basic "black rifle" usage and often let them start with the .22. I will be honest, it is a novelty to most, but it is invaluable to me. I cringed at the thought of a .22 caliber AR until I got my first one (S&W M&P15-22). I only sold it to get the CMMG( same weight, profile and feel as the government M4). I own calibers from .22 to 50bmg, the .22 AR is by far the one that sees the most use.

AR's in .22 caliber are one of those things that isn't for everyone. I am one of those that love them. Mine is just as accurate as my Nylon 66 or other semi auto .22's. I didn't buy mine because it is "tacti-cool", I bought it because it is cheap and fun and helps me stay proficient shooting.
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Old December 5, 2012, 05:28 PM   #4
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There are definite advantages to a tactical .22 since you can afford to get more shots down range during training. The idea is to have all the controls as similar as possible to a real AR, and you're right it may be of more use to people new to the platform.

Sure they cost more than a Marlin 60 but you're likely to shoot one a lot and maybe your AR a little less which can quickly offset the initial rifle cost when you figure 3 cents per round vs. 30.
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Old December 5, 2012, 05:30 PM   #5
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It looks cool and is a blast to shoot, that's about it. I personally rather use the 10/22 platform. Lots more crap to spend money on to make it look cool like a 22LR AR. (yes, got one of 'em too).
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People . . . not a big fan . . .
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Old December 5, 2012, 05:48 PM   #6
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"Fun" seems to be a common term in these responses. I'll echo it. My 15-22 is an absolute blast to shoot. My 10 year old loves it and we enjoy finishing range trips with multiple mag dumps. Those same mag dumps with our ARs would cost me about $50. With the .22, it costs me about $4.

Accurate, accepts accessories that my ARs use and it's a familiar platform.

Now, I'm also love my early 1950's Remington 521t bolt action and single shot Savage with octagonal barrel. My dad doesn't want to touch a rifle without a wood stock. So I see both sides and also see a fit for everything out there.
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Old December 5, 2012, 07:13 PM   #7
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I've looked at the dedicated 22 uppers and would buy one if they were the same price as a 10-22. I figured the cost of the upper and several GOOD mags and changed my mind. What I'm saying is , I'm willing to give as much for just the upper and mags as I would for a new (or very good used) 10-22 but I'm not giving a premium for half a rifle.
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Old December 5, 2012, 07:40 PM   #8
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Its a mind thing. They are fun to shoot, and pretty accurate. As I said in another post, I used to go to the range a couple of times a year. Since I bought a MP15-22 and a STG44 I have been more times in the last month than I have been in the last 10 years. The old saying "shoot more and shoot more often" really applies. Who knows when a 66 year old may need to draw on his shooting skills? Not to mention that you can shoot all afternoon for a few bucks.
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Old December 5, 2012, 07:50 PM   #9
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They can provide cheap training for a primary defense 5.56mm AR. There are also competitions in which they shine. I like shooting mine in Steel Challenge matches. They have a rimfire rifle division.

I have a dedicated .22 LR AR. It's a blast to shoot and I built it very lightweight (3lbs, 5oz) as my gf complained that all my other guns were too heavy. She loves it and it gets her shooting a lot with me.

I suggest building or buying a dedicated .22 LR AR or at least an upper. The conversion kits are nice, but for .22 LR you want a 1:12-1:16" twist from what I understand. The 1:7" twist rates on many AR barrels is too fast to stabilize that little .22 LR bullet.
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Old December 5, 2012, 09:37 PM   #10
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am I missing something?
No you're not. You probably prefer wood to metal. Old school. Nothing wrong with that. Stay with what you feel comfortable with.
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Old December 6, 2012, 01:54 AM   #11
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I have a Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 for a few reasons. Cheap to shoot, I like the AR platform, not a fan of the .223/5.56, it does not weigh much and its just fun to shoot.

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Old December 6, 2012, 05:42 AM   #12
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A good .22 upper offers the shooter the same type of advantages as, let's say, a Marvel .22 conversion for a 1911. The .22 allows inexpensive practice with the same trigger, same weight, same configuration as is used in competition. Practice can be had at more limited ranges than are practical with the HP centerfire loads. This is especially valuable for offhand practice. I can take my rifle to an indoor range and shoot at 50 ft - reduced target - and have a useful practice.
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Old December 6, 2012, 08:25 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by mach1.3
What's the big deal with .22LR ARs....

am I missing something?
Your not missing much. A waste of good AR parts IMHO. I prefer my AR's to be 5.56 to 7.62. There's a couple of the .22lr AR uppers floating around between several local guys I shoot with. All of us have owned it at least one time and fired hundreds of rounds, but it always gets sold to nest guy. It's boring.

With the 10/22 kits you can built it as a AR, M1 Carbine, AK-74 and many other weird concoctions.

I burn enough bricks of .22lr with 10/22's and 22/45's.

As far as cheap training it's akin to practicing for the Daytona 500 with a Yugo.
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Old December 6, 2012, 08:36 AM   #14
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had a couple of drop in units and a dedicated upper (spikes). enjoyed them all. the dedicated was more accurate but 3x the cost. i wasn't concerned with moa accuracy--just popping metal plates etc.

with a move to a different state--decided to sell all my ar stuff. as i reload for 45acp, i bought a uzi 45 (grease gun lower) and just bought another lower for my new uzi 22 conversion. now, just waitin on a tax stamp from uncle sam.
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Old December 6, 2012, 09:01 AM   #15
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All the fun of a 5.56mm AR-15, with none of the ammo cost guilt!

No rifle I own is more fun to shoot than my .22LR CMMG WASP upper on a PSA AR-15 lower.

Though my Garand comes awful close!
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Old December 6, 2012, 11:37 AM   #16
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I would just go the 10-22 route. But I think the 22 AR is about looks and feel I guess.

I think that the AR15 is simple enough on its own. I can't justify the use of a 22 trainer.

Marksmanship skills cross over to all rifles regardless of caliber.
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Old December 6, 2012, 01:24 PM   #17
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I would just go the 10-22 route. But I think the 22 AR is about looks and feel I guess.
My CMMG .22LR dedicated AR-15 happens to be both more reliable and more accurate than my Ruger 10/22. I also happen to find it much more fun to shoot.

I think that the AR15 is simple enough on its own. I can't justify the use of a 22 trainer
Maybe you can't, but it's pretty easy for me to justify every time I look at the sales reciept for the purchase of .22LR ammo, versus the sales reciept for the purchase of 5.56mm ammo.
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Old December 6, 2012, 02:49 PM   #18
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It probably is pretty fun to shoot and the AR profile is very ergonomic. It's fun and cheap to shoot 22lr. But I find myself picking up my larger catridged rifles more often. I'm not knocking anyone for owning one, I just won't spend the money for one.

My favorite 22 that I own is a 50's era mossberg rifle.
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Old December 6, 2012, 05:20 PM   #19
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new school here born in the 80's and played video games at a young age. i personally prefer the black rifles over the traditional wood stocks.

i usually leave my centerfire at home and bring out all of my .22's. simply because i can shoot for hours.

still need to get a .22 conversion kit for my AR so i can lug that out

i sometimes hesitate/cringe to even buy .223 ammo when i can buy bulk 500+ .22 ammo for $20-30
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Old December 7, 2012, 12:42 AM   #20
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+1 on the (CMMG) .22 conversion kit for AR. Yes, it is fun and cheap to shoot. I spent almost two hours at the range today, blasting through my .22lr in the RRA pistol. The conversion kit worked well surprisingly.
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Old December 8, 2012, 01:53 AM   #21
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If you love the ergonomics/aesthetic of shooting your AR / M16, but only want to plink for cheap i my guess. There are lots of other highly accurate .22's out there for way less money. I think most guys who do it just love AR's.
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Old December 8, 2012, 07:12 AM   #22
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Why? You can get a dedicated upper and have fun!
Take a kid shooting.
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Old December 8, 2012, 11:38 PM   #23
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Training with sub caliber rifles and devices has been around a while and is nothing new. I have a CMMG dedicated .22 LR which is an AR15 in M4 configuration which uses all the same controls as its bigger version such as the charging handle, magazine button, trigger, sights ect. All mine doesn't have is a functioning forward assist. I have been shooting the M16/AR 15 since 1975 and have never had to use the forward assist except for practicing and demonstrating immediate action drills. However for a few dollars more I can get a working version of that on my CMMG dedicated .22LR AR15.

A Ruger 10-22 is good for practicing marksmanship fundamentals but doesn't let you practice with the same controls you have on an M4/AR15 setup. The end objective is to become proficient at operating the weapon without having to think about it.

I almost got in trouble at a course because the instructor told us if we had a stoppage to raise your hand. The pistols we were firing were furnished to us. I had a jam while firing and out of instinct had cleared and continued on firing it before the instructor could say anything. He told me to carry on and not worry about raising my hand. I was using a semi auto pistol that was like one I had trained with so the muscle memory was there. Which is the purpose of a .22LR dedicated AR15 in my opinion.
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Last edited by Eghad; December 8, 2012 at 11:46 PM.
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Old December 9, 2012, 08:52 AM   #24
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I think most guys who do it just love AR's.
Right on the button.
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Old December 9, 2012, 11:47 AM   #25
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I think shooting my AR-15's in 223/5.56 is kind of boring. I can't imagine shooting a .22LR AR-15. It would totally be a visit to Snoresville, USA.

I do have a Ruger 10/22 and one of Ruger's new 25 round magazines. It is "OK" to shoot once in a while, like once every five or ten years. An AR in .22LR is a complete waste of money, as far as I am concerned.

Learning to properly operate an AR in 223/5.56 is not so difficult that one needs a .22LR version of it to afford the "practice time". They don't exactly give these .22LR AR-15's away for free. You can buy a lot of 223 ammo for the cost of a .22LR AR-15. That's the silliest argument for a .22LR AR-15 that I've read anywhere.

I'll go one step further with this (one step further...than I probably should...)
I've got a Daisy BB rifle that is shaped like a Winchester model 94. I'd rather take that down to the basement and shoot that thing for a while than go to the range and shoot a .22 that I need to go home and take apart and clean.
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