The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Semi-automatics

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 8, 2017, 08:41 AM   #1
Adizzle19
Member
 
Join Date: September 6, 2014
Posts: 72
Barreled Upper, ABSOLUTE Cheapest find

I want a .22 upper for my ar15 and I've decided that I'm actually going to get a cmmg conversion kit and a separate upper that it will live in all the time. To make it cost effective, I'm looking for the absolute cheapest barreled upper out there, available on the web, that can be shipped to my door. Unfortunately that means no Palmetto State Armory since I live in MA, and they refuse to ship AR stuff here despite its legality.

In sum I'm looking for something without a bcg/ch in the under 180$ shipped range. CHEAPER is better, doesn't have to be pretty or have any features really, just able to accept a cmmg kit.

Thanks for any leads!
Adizzle19 is offline  
Old August 8, 2017, 01:26 PM   #2
Fishbed77
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 23, 2010
Posts: 3,827
Save up a little more money (~$150?) and get a real dedicated .22LR upper (with a properly-sized barrel) rather than the kludge of sticking a conversion in an .223/5.56mm barrelled upper . Reliability and especially accuracy will be much better and you will be much happier in the end. Also be sure to use quality mags like those from Black Dog Machine.

I have a CMMG Sierra dedicated .22LR upper (on a PSA lower) and it is probably the most accurate and reliable bone-stock .22LR semi-auto I own. The entire .22LR upper (with proper barrel, bolt & charging handle) was about $360 a few years ago. I believe they run about $100 or so more than that today, but are well worth the price.
Fishbed77 is offline  
Old August 8, 2017, 01:49 PM   #3
MarkCO
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 21, 1998
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 2,160
Agree, get a dedicated .22 upper. There are several out that are good and you will be in it for a lot less than an upper and a conversion. Chiappas are just over $300, DPMS just under $400, CMMG just over $400 and Tactical Solutions are $500+.

MidwayUSA has the TS SBX upper on sale for $519...smokin deal, suppressor ready.
__________________
Good Shooting, MarkCO
www.CarbonArms.us
MarkCO is offline  
Old August 8, 2017, 02:56 PM   #4
rickyrick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 15, 2010
Posts: 6,211
If you're dead set on a conversion upper then go to Anderson, order the cheap barrel of your choice, go to AeroPrecision and get a blemished reciever,

Get whatever cheap furniture from anywhere.

Primary Arms probably had some pretty cheap assembled uppers
rickyrick is offline  
Old August 8, 2017, 06:07 PM   #5
wild cat mccane
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2011
Posts: 782
Someone will a very good reason as to why, but for me? A Walther/HK or a Walther/Colt costs less...but crud. You already have the conversion kit don't you?

No help here. Sorry.
wild cat mccane is offline  
Old August 9, 2017, 06:45 AM   #6
zukiphile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 2,539
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adizzle
I want a .22 upper for my ar15 and I've decided that I'm actually going to get a cmmg conversion kit and a separate upper that it will live in all the time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishbed
Save up a little more money (~$150?) and get a real dedicated .22LR upper (with a properly-sized barrel) rather than the kludge of sticking a conversion in an .223/5.56mm barrelled upper .
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkCO
Agree, get a dedicated .22 upper.
I dislike this sort of answer ("don't buy what you ask about, but what we are telling you about"), but here it has a lot of merit. I am only going to give you the same answer in a longer form because my research and project are so recent.

When I researched this, I looked for problems, not success stories and magazine dump videos. If you are researching this project, take some time to read the tales of woe associated with getting a .223 adapter and closed, non-button magazines to load and feed. Some of these are so prone to malfunction that people give up on making them work entirely.

Other than a S&W 15-22, I don't see any 22lr AR you will want to own coming in at less than a centerfire AR. Mine went as follows:

$160 + s/h CMMG BCG and collar from Right to bear
140 Heavy taper barrel from Optic Planet
50 Anderson lightweight upper
5.09 thread protector from ebay
40 free float tube and barrel nut
40 Anderson lower
40 RediMag Better mag adapter from Redi-mag
40 LPK
105 Larue two stage trigger at AR15.com
45 3 ten round short magazines - Midway sale
50 stock
15 cheap carbine receiver extension (no buffer or spring are needed if you are willing to just cut a dowel to length)
$730.09

Terrible, isn't it? I could have cut that total by $150 by using a New Frontier complete lower, but I wanted a heavier stock, stiffer lower and a two stage trigger), and you can do better on some of these depending on whatever sales are running. If I had wanted a very light but accurate 22lr AR, a mag adapter and New Frontier complete lower plus this upper,

http://www.carbonarms.us/AR-15-Upper...2lr-upper.html

would also have made an great rifle.

I can sling up with a lot of tension and not throw off the POI, the barrel is nitrided, it runs subsonic ammunition without error even when dirty and it will feed empty brass. I think it could function with a full match chamber.

It isn't as accurate as a Carbon Arms upper, but it will put a ten round group of Federal automatch bulk into the middle of the two inch printed circles I use at 50 yards. It does better with Aquila SV and even better with subsonic.

I'd like a heavier recoil spring just because I get hammer follow issues occasionally with Remington Gold Bullet and Thunderbolt.

Last edited by zukiphile; August 9, 2017 at 08:39 AM.
zukiphile is offline  
Old August 9, 2017, 05:15 PM   #7
marine6680
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 24, 2012
Location: Parker, CO
Posts: 4,046
DPMS has a dedicated 22 upper, designed to be a 22 and not a shoehorned in conversion.

I have one and it has been both accurate and reliable, with only a couple malfunctions using cheap ammo during the first mag or two... And that was with smaller statured inexperienced shooters who may not have held the rifle tightly to their shoulder.

They run about $350. I got mine on sale for a bit under $300.

Nordic Components also makes a dedicated 22 upper, in fact, they make the DPMS version... The Nordic version is a Gen 2 of the DPMS, as best I can tell. I don't know the cost though.


My dedicated 22 build cost right at $450 all said and done...

The same cost as a MP 22 AR at the time. That s a full build from scratch, complete rifle.

All while being accurate in weight and made with aluminum receivers rather than being made of polymer. Polymer can hold up to a 22lr no problem, but they are not very tough for rough handling. I know a guy who slipped in some mud and broke his MP22 AR.

Plus the reliability and accuracy is much better in a dedicated 22 upper. (The CMMG dedicated upper uses a modified version of their conversion bolt assembly... So it isn't as reliable as it could be... Not that it is bad... Between the better reliability, and the lower cost, is I went a different direction than CMMG)

Last edited by marine6680; August 9, 2017 at 05:35 PM.
marine6680 is offline  
Old August 9, 2017, 06:02 PM   #8
zukiphile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 2,539
If my memory serves, DPMS was marketing a design that was developed with CZ a couple of decades ago. The Nordic RB upper can be had for less than $450. I did a quick search for the chamber dimensions on it, but got nothing. I like the Nordic upper, but had misgivings about using a stainless barrel.

The S&W 15-22 seems to have reliability and low cost as its twin virtues. You can find them with a magazine and flip up sights for around $300. I am a proponent of polymer in the right place, but the problem with a polymer upper receiver is that flex makes the POI move considerably.

IMO, the big drawback of the CMMG is the sloppy sporter chamber; my guess is that it is used to allow reliable feeding from the Black Dog style magazines.
zukiphile is offline  
Old August 9, 2017, 08:27 PM   #9
TimW77
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 21, 2008
Posts: 422
"I've decided that I'm actually going to get a cmmg conversion kit and a separate upper that it will live in all the time."

This is exactly what I did...

I already had an old upper without a BGC so I added the CMMG "conversion" and a charging handle...

Regardless of what anyone else claims, mine has been 100% reliable, no magazine problems and is very accurate...

T.
TimW77 is offline  
Old August 10, 2017, 01:34 AM   #10
marine6680
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 24, 2012
Location: Parker, CO
Posts: 4,046
I don't know what the chamber dimension is for the DPMS upper... But it is pretty accurate for being a M4 clone style.

I get groups right at 1/2in at 25yds most of the time, with a couple that get down to 1/4in, and a few up to 3/4in at the same distance. All using cheap ammo.

More than good enough for plinking fun at typical 22lr ranges.

It feeds well from the black dog mags too.

They also have a free floated target style upper as well, which may be more accurate, if that is the direction you want to go.



I think a dedicated 22lr upper is the best way to go, for reliability and accuracy.

Not only that, but the DPMS is likely to be similar in cost to trying to build a cheap upper and get a conversion kit for it.

You are looking at spending $150 at least to get an upper receiver, parts kit and barrel, if you get the lowest cost ones you can.

A CMMG conversion kit costs about $200+ last I looked.

You are already at $350, and will not have as good of results as with an upper designed to use 22lr.


I hope the OP pops back in... Too often I see people post a new thread asking questions, only for them to never return, or at least, never chime in with any updates.
marine6680 is offline  
Old August 10, 2017, 05:08 AM   #11
zukiphile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 2,539
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timw77
I already had an old upper without a BGC so I added the CMMG "conversion" and a charging handle...
That could make sense economically. If you already have a spare upper, or even just one upper already. Someone recently had a conversion BCG and three CMMG magazines for $160-ish. But the OP is building a new dedicated upper.

A lot of the responses here are noting that the conversion bolt necessarily involves compromises* he might not prefer to make if he isn't utilizing old parts.

____________________
* Most often cited are bore dimensions, rate of twist and free bore.
zukiphile is offline  
Old August 10, 2017, 07:34 AM   #12
Mobuck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2010
Posts: 5,160
I saw an ad for a $170 upper but you're not going to like it as it had 1-7 twist.
Mobuck is offline  
Old August 11, 2017, 03:51 AM   #13
Ibmikey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 1, 2013
Location: North Eastern Washington State
Posts: 2,287
Forget cheap and go with the DPMS dedicated upper for a unit that is engineered for the .22 LR and has the same weight and feel as a standard M4. The only feature lacking is the bolt hold open device, the bolt remains back when captured by the mag follower. Takes a Black Dog mags, the best in the .22 arena.
Ibmikey is offline  
Old August 11, 2017, 09:41 AM   #14
zukiphile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 2,539
Please pardon the tangent.

All of the systems discussed in this thread use a small solid metal bolt and narrow spring that operate entirely within the footprint of a 5.56 AR bolt.

Why?

Everyone with an AR already has a big durable spring that fits his receiver extension. Couldn't a piece of delrin or aluminium rod about as long as a real AR bolt be machined to operate against a real AR spring and be given a steel face or insert for durability?

For what it's worth, I had a Feather AT-22 back in the 90s (sort of a 22lr sten in construction). It used quite a circumferent bolt and a large diameter spring; it was extremely reliable.

Notwithstanding the familiarity and ubiquity of the Ceiner layout, I imagine an aluminium or delrin BCG being cheaper to machine.
zukiphile is offline  
Old August 11, 2017, 10:46 AM   #15
Fishbed77
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 23, 2010
Posts: 3,827
Quote:
(The CMMG dedicated upper uses a modified version of their conversion bolt assembly... So it isn't as reliable as it could be... Not that it is bad... Between the better reliability, and the lower cost, is I went a different direction than CMMG)
It's the other way around. Their conversion bolt is derived from their dedicated .22LR bolt (which was always designed to work in a standard AR-15 upper receiver). CMMG dedicated .22LR uppers are extremely reliable (within the confines of a rimfire round).

My CMMG Sierra upper has been more reliable than two different Ruger 10/22s I own. That says a lot.
Fishbed77 is offline  
Old August 11, 2017, 10:52 AM   #16
Adizzle19
Member
 
Join Date: September 6, 2014
Posts: 72
I have made my gallant return. One of the reasons I was drawn to the conversion kit is that I have a polymer lower built and ready to rock already. I don't really want to subject it to center fire cartridges all the time and risk breaking it. Believe it or not I could probably sell it for $500 or so in MA with some of the legal bs that's gone down here in the last year.

On top of that, I found a cmmg kit for $180 shipped with 3 mags. Just seemed like a reasonable way to get a little bit more out of the equipment I already have at a reasonable price. It makes absolute sense that a dedicated .22 upper or rifle would do a better job, but realistically this is a plinker and as long as I can get "shoot garbage I throw out on the berm" type accuracy for a conversion, I'd be happy. As for stoppages, I would probably be satisfied if I had a failure or two every 50-100 rounds of meh ammo.

So if anyone has any experiences based on a kit they own or a lead on a cheapo upper, would be much appreciated.

As an aside, I have a 10/22 that is dead on reliable, with many thousands of rounds through it and only a handful of failures. If I really needed a .22 (for some reason) that's the one I would grab.
Adizzle19 is offline  
Old August 11, 2017, 11:02 AM   #17
zukiphile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 2,539
Quote:
I don't really want to subject it to center fire cartridges all the time and risk breaking it.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but a 22lr conversion, a blow-back design, can be rougher on parts than the DI system. One drawback to the conversion is the possibility that some two stage triggers won't survive too many cycles with the conversion.

My impression is that CMMG, Spike's and a number of other places, other than DPMS and S&W, are all using variations on the Ceiner design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishbed77
My CMMG Sierra upper has been more reliable than two different Ruger 10/22s I own. That says a lot.
Ditto. In some respects, mine gets its reliability from a spring and bolt that aren't entirely up to the challenge of high velocity 22lr, with which it cycles very hard. That's an AK-like path to reliability that I don't prefer. I am using an o-ring buffer as a stop-gap measure, but have ordered some Lakeside springs.
zukiphile is offline  
Old August 11, 2017, 11:17 AM   #18
zukiphile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 2,539
Quote:
...a lead on a cheapo upper...
https://www.joeboboutfitters.com/Ame...5ms556ml16.htm

http://www.jsesurplus.com/JJSE16M41X...CGNOCHNOH.aspx

This one is $160 and has a 1:9 twist:

http://www.hardenedarms.com/ecProduct_286_27-16" 5.56 M4 1/9 Tactical 10" HD Quad Rail Upper

Last edited by zukiphile; August 11, 2017 at 11:23 AM.
zukiphile is offline  
Old August 11, 2017, 01:35 PM   #19
Adizzle19
Member
 
Join Date: September 6, 2014
Posts: 72
That part about increased stress from a .22 because it's blowback....really?? I was told that was probably true of 9mm (which is why I didn't sub that in) but it's hard to believe when the bolt only reciprocates like 2" in the conversion kit.
Adizzle19 is offline  
Old August 11, 2017, 02:08 PM   #20
zukiphile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 2,539
Quote:
That part about increased stress from a .22 because it's blowback....really?? I was told that was probably true of 9mm (which is why I didn't sub that in) but it's hard to believe when the bolt only reciprocates like 2" in the conversion kit.
I agree. It is hard to believe. I never read anyone complain about a broken bolt stop, as the 9mm crowd does, but there are posts I read about broken Rock River two stage triggers.

If you look at the Rock River hammer, you'll see that the leg on which the hooks sit is thinner than on a Geissele or Larue. Apparently that slender leg can't take the beating of the faster bolt.

My point isn't that your polymer lower won't take the stress, only that the slower motion of the heavier and longer travel 5.56 system may be less stressful. Full disclosure, I have a Delton two stage (which I find very similar in appearance to the RR) in a New Fronter lower. I used this on my dedicated 22lr for several hundred rounds with no ill effect. However, I really like that Delton, so I built a new lower for the 22 using a Larue.
zukiphile is offline  
Old August 11, 2017, 09:54 PM   #21
ColoradoMinuteMan
Member
 
Join Date: December 2, 2015
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by zukiphile View Post
Please pardon the tangent.



All of the systems discussed in this thread use a small solid metal bolt and narrow spring that operate entirely within the footprint of a 5.56 AR bolt.



Why?



Everyone with an AR already has a big durable spring that fits his receiver extension. Couldn't a piece of delrin or aluminium rod about as long as a real AR bolt be machined to operate against a real AR spring and be given a steel face or insert for durability?


I'd suggest that it's a matter of physics. While a .22LR blowback may have enough energy to push the buffer weight and spring tension far enough for the short cycle of a .22LR through an action designed as you speak, it likely wouldn't be ideal. There are several spring and buffer combinations that would create unknown factors in both required energy to cycle as well as timing of the action. Not to mention the action needs to be tested against many different ammunition and magazine combinations to begin with. Additional factors of spring and buffer add exponentially many more combinations to test every time you make an iteration. A single vendor designing their own self contained action gives more control to that vendor, with simplified testing and a greater chance of success.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk (meaning my post is likely full of poor typing and autocorrects using wrong words)

Last edited by ColoradoMinuteMan; August 12, 2017 at 10:23 AM.
ColoradoMinuteMan is offline  
Old August 12, 2017, 10:49 AM   #22
zukiphile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 2,539
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoradoMinuteMan
I'd suggest that it's a matter of physics. While a .22LR blowback may have enough energy to push the buffer weight and spring tension far enough for the short cycle of a .22LR through an action designed as you speak, it likely wouldn't be ideal. There are several spring and buffer combinations that would create unknown factors in both required energy to cycle as well as timing of the action.
That seems like an opportunity for tuning, much as it is with the 5.56 system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoradoMinuteMan
Not to mention the action needs to be tested against many different ammunition and magazine combinations to begin with. Additional factors of spring and buffer add exponentially many more combinations to test every time you make an iteration.
I do that now with 5.56, and I believe that everyone who uses a variable aperture gas block needs to tune his rifle for the load he uses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoradoMinuteMan
A single vendor designing their own self contained action gives more control to that vendor, with simplified testing and a greater chance of success.
Could be, though the way people complain about some of their conversion units, they miss the mark with some frequency. Given the wide range of 22lr bullet weight and velocity, I can understand the problem in making an action function with everything. Looking at my 22lr, the only way to influence function is with the recoil spring and the hammer spring. I an leery about installing a more powerful hammer spring on a rimfire.

The downside I could foresee in the larger 5.56 sized bolt for a 22lr would be increased friction along the upper receiver walls. However, my old AT-22 never seemed to suffer any problems from that, or anything else.


Thanks for addressing my tangent. I acknowledge that it's barely more than a daydream.
zukiphile is offline  
Old August 18, 2017, 06:50 PM   #23
zukiphile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 2,539
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishbed77
I have a CMMG Sierra dedicated .22LR upper (on a PSA lower) and it is probably the most accurate and reliable bone-stock .22LR semi-auto I own. The entire .22LR upper (with proper barrel, bolt & charging handle) was about $360 a few years ago. I believe they run about $100 or so more than that today, but are well worth the price.
Fishbed, I just read your thread at THR from five or seven years ago about this rifle. You also seem to be getting respectable accuracy.

Yours is an M4 profile?

What sort of muzzle device are you using?

I'd like to use another heavy taper barrel, but those appear to be scarce. I don't like the M4 profile in principle, but several places have the M4 profile in stock.
zukiphile is offline  
Old August 20, 2017, 04:07 PM   #24
gshayd
Member
 
Join Date: May 14, 2017
Posts: 36
Do yourself a favor and get a dedicated .22LR upper. I had an original Colt .22LR Conversion and later a CMMG Conversion kit. Finally bought a CMMG upper that was a dedicated .22LR. Better than a conversion kit or one of these

http://www.opticsplanet.com/cmmg-inc...2LRKGP-22D7C6C

Last edited by gshayd; August 20, 2017 at 04:22 PM.
gshayd is offline  
Old August 20, 2017, 07:43 PM   #25
zukiphile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 2,539
Quote:
Originally Posted by gshayd
Finally bought a CMMG upper that was a dedicated .22LR. Better than a conversion kit or one of these

http://www.opticsplanet.com/cmmg-inc...2LRKGP-22D7C6C
I am not catching your point. Those are CMMG components for a dedicated upper. Do you mean that the complete uppers from CMMG are better than ones that use their barrels and BCGs?
zukiphile is offline  
Reply

Tags
.22lr conversion , ar15 , upper

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:34 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.15383 seconds with 9 queries