.22LR Conversion Units for the AR-15?

Discussion in 'AR Forum' started by WhoIsJohnGalt?, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. WhoIsJohnGalt?

    WhoIsJohnGalt? We Are! Supporting Addict

    Feb 20, 2018
    For those that use them, who do you like for a .22LR conversion unit for your AR?

    I had one once upon a time from a local maker (if not the maker, they were at least selling kits under their branding). That outfit changed hands - I can’t remember the name of either party at this point, anyway. The unit used Black Dog brand mags and ran extremely well in a Stag Arms AR that I had at the time.

    Got out of ARs for a bit and sold the conversion kit. Looking to get back in - haven’t ruled out just buying a S&W M&P 15-22 and calling it a day haha...

    Thanks for any input!
     
    1911 dawg likes this.
  2. Mike0251

    Mike0251 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    903
    Mar 25, 2016
    CMMG makes a nice one (conversion kit). I have 2 of their AR's in .556 and 7.62. Nice firearms!
     

  3. scottl

    scottl Well-Known Member

    794
    Jun 19, 2012
    I had a CMMG conversion. Worked nice I just wasn't happy with the accuracy out of the 1 in 8 twist barrel.For up close, blast the snot of of something, and blow thru bunch of ammo it was fun. Out past 60-70 yards it was like lobbing the bullets out there. I got a good deal on this Core-15 dedicated .22 LR upper on ARF.com Equipment Exchange. By doing some horse trading and swapping I am into the upper and Palmetto State Magpul lower for around $400.
    [​IMG]
     
    FWoo45, WhoIsJohnGalt? and Mike0251 like this.
  4. retrieverman

    retrieverman Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2013
    CMMG for a conversion or Tactical Solutions for a dedicated 22 upper.
     
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  5. awp101

    awp101 TANSTAAFL

    Jan 12, 2017
    I’ve got the CMMG. I haven’t yet run tests to see what it likes but accuracy with bulk ammo is meh. I need to get serious and start trying some of my “good” ammo.

    So far I wouldn’t recommend it for serious accuracy work but it’s a poop-ton of fun!
     
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  6. scottl

    scottl Well-Known Member

    794
    Jun 19, 2012
    Added the Catch-22 bolt latch and M&P 15-22 mags spacer to my lower. Money well spent.

    www.arcatch22.com

    Also took the A-2 birdcage off and replaced it with a Tac-Sol 10-22 comp.
     
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  7. Bender

    Bender Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 15, 2011
    I dabbled with .22 LR conversions for sometime. I eventually got frustrated with the lack of accuracy. I purchased a Spikes Tactical dedicated upper about eight years ago. I have since removed the barrel, placed it in another receiver and changed the handguard. I use BlackDog Machine mags and it’s been VERY reliable when using quality ammo. It groups extremely well with subsonic ammo. It often will not cycle with the subsonic ammo, maybe 10% of the time. With high velocity ammo it’s a well oiled Singer sewing machine.

    I generally saw 4-6” groups when running good ammo, a quality upper and a CMMG conversion kit. The one I had was reliable, ONLY after I polished the surfaces where the bolt rode on the guideways. I had quite a few issues until I used Flitz on the bolt and the guide. Ran well after that. Keep in mind the conversion kit I had was a parkerized steel unit. It was not the stainless or nickel boron models that are available today. These newer kits are said to run extremely well due to the polished surfaces and coatings that are done at the manufacturer.

    The Spikes upper, I must say I’m not a Spikes fan, but it runs extremely well. It has around 7-8k fires through it over the last eight years or so. I get much tighter groups, usually about 2” when shooting from a pack at 50 yards.

    The cost of a dedicated upper is generally twice or more than that of a conversion kit. If you run a conversion kit, be sure to run a few rounds of quality 5.56 through the upper after about every 300 round s of .22LR fired. The 5.56’s has pressure will ensure the gas block and tube does not get constricted of soot and residue.

    So both have their pros and cons. You really just need to sort out what limitations you are willing to accept.
     
    FWoo45 and WhoIsJohnGalt? like this.
  8. WhoIsJohnGalt?

    WhoIsJohnGalt? We Are! Supporting Addict

    Feb 20, 2018
    ^^ Good points on both the Flitz (I’m a big Flitz fan and used it on my last conversion unit) and on running some centerfire ammo through an AR following conversion unit use - I used to run at least 30 rounds through after a .22 session.
     
  9. Bender

    Bender Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 15, 2011
    I have ran 5-600 rounds through the dedicated upper before in one range trip.
    Only a few drops of oil every 200-300
     
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  10. scottl

    scottl Well-Known Member

    794
    Jun 19, 2012
    I've only had mine out twice. Just a handful of rounds first time just to makes sure everything jived together. Then again after I got a lower for it. That time I let the kid run 300 rounds thru it. 0 problems out of it even with 25 rounds of Thunderbolts.
     
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  11. JohnnyEgo

    JohnnyEgo Well-Known Member

    695
    May 17, 2017
    I got into the .22 conversion game in the late 90s, when Jonathon Ciener was the only game in town. My first conversion bolt ran ok in a 20" AR, and really poorly in everything else. When I broke the extractor and tried to get a replacement from Mr. Ciener, I was told to just buy a new unit. The guy was a jerk. I sat it on a shelf.

    About 10 years later, the patent expired, and the knock-offs started appearing. I grabbed one as soon as it became available, mostly as an expensive middle finger to Ciener. Got the Spikes kit. Then spent months trying dozens of things to try and get it to run well, just like everyone else. After polishing and trimming springs and all sorts of other things, I got it to run just reliable enough to really piss me off when it would either fire slightly out of battery or mangle a casing between the bolt and charging handle. I was an early adopter of Black Dog Machine's magazines, and that helped a little bit. But I still found it more frustrating than enjoyable. Back on the shelf it went.

    Couple years go by again, and I am working out of town and participating in a Bowling Pin league that decides to do a rim-fire night. Because company policy will not allow me to have a firearm in my hotel room, I need something that will fit in a small storage locker at the range. So I slap the conversion bolt in an SBR. And for three weeks in a row, I never make it beyond two or three rounds before a jam takes me out of the game. Only difference is that now there are a thousand different people selling parts they swear will make it run better. So I end up with some sort of buffer spacer that adds extra back-pressure to the bolt, a new springs and pins kit, new extractor, some sort of charging handle that is partially filled in to make it impossible for a casing to get stuck in there, new lighter hammer springs, etc. And after spending more cash than I had for the conversion unit itself, I got a gun that could make it through maybe two magazines before the problems started again.

    My line in the sand was going to be the M&P mag conversion kit. If that thing didn't work, I was going to give up on the concept forever. But curiously enough, the moment I changed mags, all the feeding and reliability problems cleared right up. I can now go through mags until I run out of ammo or patience for reloading. Although as great as that sounds and as happy as I am with it, I still don't know if it was the mags themselves, or simply the accretion of dozens of small changes that finally pushed it into the rhelm of reliability. In the end, I ended up spending a lot of money to have an expensive dedicated .22lr that runs on M&P magazines, for a good deal more money, time, and aggravation than I would have had if I had purchased an M&P in the first place.

    So that would be my recommendation. But my way over-priced dedicated conversion gun at least looks cool.
    [​IMG]

    This may be the first of many, many times you see this with a conversion bolt.
    [​IMG]

    Throwing parts at the problem!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. TwicePipe

    TwicePipe Member

    26
    Jul 2, 2015
    I"ve got a Nordic Components 16" 22 upper that has run suppressed without a single glitch of any kind on decent subsonic ammo for about 500 rds and is very accurate. Did some research over at ar15.com and while Tactical Solutions was more prevalent and popular, those that owned the TacSo and Nordic 22 uppers like the Nordic better.
     
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  13. TwicePipe

    TwicePipe Member

    26
    Jul 2, 2015
    I'm in the process of building a CMMG 7" barreled upper for suppressor use. CMMG barrel, bolt, collar, etc. Anderson upper, one of my lowers. Hopefully it will end up running ok. I'm going to kick myself if it doesn't with the all the already assembled 22 uppers out there.
     
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  14. Fatbob Frank

    Fatbob Frank Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Feb 5, 2014
    I have one and have used it a lot, until .22lr prices got to be as much as .223.
    I inherited a Ruger 10-22 in the meantime and now that .22lr has dropped I find I shoot the Ruger a lot.
     
    FWoo45 and WhoIsJohnGalt? like this.
  15. WhoIsJohnGalt?

    WhoIsJohnGalt? We Are! Supporting Addict

    Feb 20, 2018
    ^^ Indeed, one cannot go wrong with a 10/22!
     
  16. Screwball

    Screwball New Member

    26
    Jul 21, 2014
    I went the complete upper... Spikes, with their Lothar Walther barrel upgrade. It is a tack driver.

    Swapped the bolt for a CMMG Echo, as I liked the forward assist option for a .22. I also modified their BHOA so I could manually lock the bolt back with my BDM magazines... after the follower stops the bolt, lock back, remove, and reload is similar to a traditional AR.

    See those parts for the M&P magazines... might consider them when I move. Only issue is that I don’t currently have a dedicated .22 lower... so likely would have to get another for it.
     
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  17. Hvrnaut

    Hvrnaut Well-Known Member

    196
    Mar 13, 2016
    I have a CMMG complete upper. Bolt hold open, etc. Works really well, and is a ton of fun. I put a Nikon M-223XR scope on it, and it is a shooter.
     
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  18. Sapper

    Sapper Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    942
    Jan 25, 2014
    For the price that a S&W 22 rifle can be bought for I would just do that and be done with it.
     
  19. Excursion12

    Excursion12 Member

    34
    Jun 9, 2018
    I bought the PSA dedicated .22 upper. It works great with the redimag adapter and S&W mags. I have shot a friends M&P 22, no issues at all with it. It did feel kind of flimsy with the polymer receiver though.
     

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