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Old October 30, 2011, 11:32 PM   #1
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AR-15 .22lr Question

Im new to the forums and also fairly new to shooting in general. Im looking to buy an AR-15 as my first rifle. I've done a lot of research online and have bounced back and forth between different ideas for what I should buy. I have decided that because I'm new to the shooting world I want to get a AR that shoots 22lr mainly because the ammo is cheaper and I'll be able to spend more time actually shooting. I planned on building my own gun with the help of my neighbor who has a pretty extensive knowledge about guns and the AR platform, and then adding a 22 conversion kit. However now Im looking at the M4LE22-A because it has a barrel designed for the 22lr as well as the Quebec-A. Both the cmmg 22s are about 650-700 bucks which seems to be cheaper than if I built the gun on my own. My question is if I get more into shooting and decide I want to swap out the upper to a 5.56 can I do this? What parts would I need? Just a new upper or would i need anything else? Also what exactly is the difference between the Quebec and the M4LE22? I know that the Quebec doesn't have a forward assist but it is an option so I could get that but what else is different?

here is a link to the gun I'm talking about:

also there is this one again not really sure of the difference:

Also if this gun can be converted later with the 5.56 upper am I on the right track or should I be looking at something else? Another brand? Thanks in advance for your help/opinions!
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Old October 30, 2011, 11:44 PM   #2
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I would buy a used .556 AR-15 (there are thousands hitting the market). Build it the way you want and sight it in to shoot accurately at 400 yards. Then, buy a Ciener .22 conversion kit (they are the best in my opinion...I have one and it is flawless). They drop right in and since your weapon is already sighted for .556 at 400 yards it makes it a perfect plinker at 100 yards. The kit costs $149.00 right from the manufacturer. I have shot thousands of rounds of .223, .556, and .22 through mine and have loved every minute of it.

Here's a link:

conversion kit
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Old October 30, 2011, 11:52 PM   #3
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I don't know the truth in it.. but my gun smith told me shooting .22LRs down a 556 or .223 barrel will damage it over time. I am sure others more knowledgeable on it can debunk that.
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Old October 31, 2011, 12:31 AM   #4
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shooting .22lr in a .223/5.56 barrel won't damage it. it can cause leading. which means that extra care must be taken cleaning it (getting the lead out is more than just an expression).

Something to keep in mind is that .22lr bullets are shorter/lighter than 5.56x45 bullets, so the .22 does best with slower twist rates like 1:14 or 1:12.

If you want to build a dual use gun I'd suggest going with a 1:12 pencil barrel, cheap upper and BCG and a PCF lower. You'd end up with a very pleasant lightweight AR for under $500 that you could shoot cheap common 55 gr ammo though and once you spend the $200 or so for CIENER kit you can shoot .22 lr ammo through it too. If you look for used parts you can do it even cheaper.
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Old October 31, 2011, 12:39 AM   #5
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Like I said I wasn't really sure.... he told me it was not advisable because the .22LR's were a smaller diameter. Leading is obvious, rimfires are dirty no matter what. He told me the best route was to build a dedicated .22LR upper, or buy a S&W Mp-22.... another one of my co-workers has the SW and we have shot thousands and thousands and thousands of rounds through it.... fun little gun.

Keep in mind this is a gunsmith I work with... he was not trying to talk me into buying anything, because he knows I would just build it myself, or order it on a prostaff form.
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Old October 31, 2011, 12:56 AM   #6
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if you look at the link the guns I am looking at all have a barrel designed for the 22 thats one of the reasons I liked it over a conversion. I just want to knowif im making a good choice by buying one of these guns? or is there something I should buy instead and does anyone know the difference between the m4le22-a and the quebec-a?
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Old October 31, 2011, 06:26 AM   #7
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I built myself a 20" AR rifle with an FN 1:12 barrel and use it mostly for plinking with .22's. Cost me about $600 to build after a lot of searching for deals on high-end parts. I have the CMMG conversion kit and it has worked perfectly since I put it in (that was another $130). And it's a lot of fun. I shoot the CCI tactical bullets which, while they may have other benefits, are copper plated so it keeps the leading to a minimum. I would not go with a dedicated barrel, the conversion kit will get you the best of both worlds, especially if you go with a slow twist barrel.
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Old October 31, 2011, 08:18 AM   #8
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.22 AR options

You can get a Chiappa .22 dedicated for low $$$$. Just took mine out this weekend, but it would not fire on a Plum Crazy lower so I snapped my spikes lower and it worked great.


Look at the Smith MP .22 they are a blast.
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Old October 31, 2011, 11:48 AM   #9
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I would get a budget AR15 like a DPMS sportical or smith and wesson MP15(they average about $600) and get the 22 conversion. it's just a 150 bucks plus about 50 for mags so for about 800 dollars you end up with roughly 2 guns. you can change the bolt and mags in the field if you want. a 22LR bullet is a .223 bullet and a 223 is actually a .224 so there is a slight difference but since the 22lr is smaller than the designed barrel it will not mess it up. you will experience slightly diminished accuracy but if you are doing open sighted shooting at a 25 yard indoor range then you wont even notice a difference. trying to shoot a 223 out of a 22lr barrel would worry me a lot more than the other way around. all in all I think that $800 for a multicaliber rifle with mags included is a pretty good deal
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Old October 31, 2011, 11:50 AM   #10
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Dude, Just get a S&W M&P 15-22 -- trust me. Just get this and don't look back!

there is no comparison!
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Old October 31, 2011, 02:44 PM   #11
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I'd recommend the CMMG with fwd assist -

1) it is truly an AR (you could interchange the upper / lower with another AR)

2) might as well have and learn the true AR control system, fwd assist is part of the deal

3) even though I have yet to own a CMMG anything, I have a funny feeling that they make a great product, will stand behind it, and will steer you in the right direction if you give them the opportunity

4) go with the last shot hold open. That is how an AR really works - might as well do this right
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22lr , ar15 , cool , rifle

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