.22 LR AR Upper


July 16, 2005, 05:47 PM

Who is currently making a dedicated AR upper in .22 LR, in the following specs:

1. standard fixed carry handle with A2 sights

2. standard profile (either M4 or 20", or something close to either)

3. doesn't require a conversion kit (or if it does, the price is low enough that it meets #4)

4. Is economical (read, under $700 out the door)

I've done a little looking, and come up with some stuff that meets a lot of the criteria, but not all of it.


If you enjoyed reading about ".22 LR AR Upper" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
July 16, 2005, 06:58 PM
I have a DPMS M4 A2 style that I picked up at Knob Creek quite a bit back. Only thing missing is the flash hider and bayonet lug since this is a pre-sunset gun.

The gun is extremely accurate, boringly reliable on any Bushmaster Lower that i have tried it on with any velocity ammo. I have never shot for groups with a scope but I was able to get very impressive groups with just the iron sights.

Best gun money I have ever spent bar none. I would attach pictures but Hunt101 seems to be down at this time but it looks identical to a pre-sunset M4gery. The magazines are plastic but very robust, 10 rounders only at this point. DPMS is said to be trying to release a 20 or 30 rounder but will not release until it is reliable.

I did have issues with mounting this on a Rock River lower due to where Rock River cuts there magazine release. On the RR lower the upper only liked high velocity "expensive" ammo. On all of my Bushmaster lowers she runs with absolutely anything.

Oh I paid in the neighborhood of $450-$500 don't remember exactly. Came with one magazine. Bought another for around $20.00.


July 16, 2005, 07:02 PM
I don't understand what you mean by doesn't require a conversion kit. All .22 uppers use a conversion kit AFAIK. The DPMS unit comes with, what I believe is basically the old Colt design.


July 16, 2005, 07:06 PM
Edit: Woops.

Edited Edit: derrrrrrrr.

OK, I had about three brain cramps in a row when looking at the DPMS site. Gotcha. I see that they offer a "DCM" style .22 LR upper in 20" configuration. Coolio! Thanks.

By "no conversion kit" I mean, I don't want to have to spend $600 on an upper and then go buy a Ceiner kit and fiddle with making it run OK. As long as those DPMS uppers are just "slap on and run" I'm okay with it.


July 16, 2005, 07:12 PM
DPMS upper do indeed come complete with .22 conversion bolt etc. They are slap them on and watch them run. I currently have a lower dedicated to my .22 upper but for a while I would travel to the range with a single lower and .223 and .22 upper and switch with ease.

Like I said mine runs great with Bushmaster lowers (3) but had issues with Rock River that a tech at DPMS told me had to do with where RR cuts there mag release.

I have never tried a DPMS lower but I would assume they would run fine as well.

The magazines have caused no issues in many many many many rounds.

I cannot recommend this upper enough. Course my sample size is 1 so I my have just gotten lucky but based on my experience I feel the price is right and the performance is more than there.

Mine is most certainly an M4 profile, A2 fixed carry handle no frills low speed high drag non-tacticool upper. :D


July 16, 2005, 07:16 PM

Hmm. I have a RRA lower. How much of a problem is the mag-release issue? And I don't see the M4-style .22 upper with the fixed handle. Do they still offer it? Maybe I'm just having brain cramp #4...

Mike ;)

July 16, 2005, 07:24 PM
I don't know if they still offer or not. Best bet is to call them. They have a great cust. service/tech department in my exp.

The way the Colt conversion bolt works is based on where the magazine is placed since part of the magazine has something to do with feeding and extraction.....I'm an idiot so I may be inserting a round peg into a square hole but I digress. Anyhoo RR cuts their magazine release/latch mechanism either too high or to low and it causes functioning problems with the .22 upper.

I wish I could tell you more but I is really not that edumacated on the subject. :D

I would be happy to email you pictures of mine and pictures of some of my initial playing with groups if you would like.


Quintin Likely
July 16, 2005, 08:13 PM
Compass Lake Engineering probably makes the best .22 LR upper there is on the market, but they're expensive, starting at around $900. Derrick Martin at Accuracy Speaks makes them too, and I think they're a little cheaper than the CLE upper.

Steve Smith
July 16, 2005, 09:17 PM
Cslinger and Coronach, if you get an upper that has a "complete" conversion kit, you will have the distance from a .223 case head to the rifling leade (over 2") of freebore before the .22LR engages anything but air. If you want something that is accurate, the maker of the upper must cut the .223 chamber adapter off of the .22 conversion kit and then chamber the barrel to accept a .22LR cartridge. That means your .22LR cartridge seats directly in the barrel (rather than the conversion kit's adapter) and the bullet engages the rifling immediately.

I have a CLE upper and they do start at $900 and I believe that only includes one magazine. I lucked out and found someone who couldn't afford it when it was finally built and got it plus 4 mags for $800 new, but you can usually find them used for around $750. It will shoot 5 shots into one hole at 50 meters with good ammo (read Wolf Match Extra, Jaeger, or several Eley types) and a good hold...with great regularity.

July 16, 2005, 09:22 PM
In reference to cslinger's DPMS upper - it functioned flawlessly on my lower which started out as a stripped CAI labelled receiver. I have been informed that the same people that make RRA's receiver's made this one. The rest of the lower was built out with DPMS parts. A DPMS upper like his is on my "one of these days" list.

July 16, 2005, 09:27 PM
And I don't see the M4-style .22 upper with the fixed handle. Do they still offer it? Maybe I'm just having brain cramp #4...

I believe this is as close as they come now. (http://www.dpmsinc.com/10Expand.asp?ProductCode=BA-22LAP4P)

.22LR AP4 Barrel Assembly (Post Ban)


It's an A3 upper but you can get it with a carry handle as the picture shows.

July 16, 2005, 09:43 PM
And just to keep responding to myself, it looks like Bushmaster makes a 20" A2 Upper:



And this 16" which isn't an A2 but does have the sights in the right location in addition to the rail:



Harry Tuttle
July 16, 2005, 11:02 PM
Leitner Wise is supposed to build a 22lr M4

i've been waiting since 1999

4v50 Gary
July 17, 2005, 12:34 AM
I have a Kuehl made AR upper which comes with a modified Ceiner adapter. It came with a short mag and you need only buy the 30 rounders from Ceiner. BTW, I bought my 30 rounders years ago before the Kaliban. :mad:

August 17, 2005, 09:42 AM
That 20" upper from bushmaster looks like it would be happy in my house. Anyone actually use this one, comparison to other makes/models?

August 17, 2005, 11:07 AM
I have the Bushie on order, but it's not here yet.

Watch this space, I'll let you know. :D


December 18, 2009, 03:37 PM
I have been shooting my CLE upper indoors for a couple of weeks now. One word...incredible!!!!!!!!!!! 50 ft 5 shot groups of a ragged hole prone. Wow Wow Wow

December 18, 2009, 04:01 PM
Model 1 Sales.

My A2 16" HB cost me $475 with a magazine and works like a champ. They make 16" heavy and light, M4, 20", and bull barrel, stainless, fluted, etc., A2 or flattop, accessorized per your order.

Here's the M4 page: http://www.model1sales.com/item-detail.cfm?ID=22LRUH16M4&storeid=1&image=22LRm4upper.gif&CFID=56927272&CFTOKEN=93334033

Just look through the upper list in the menu on the left side of the screen. The .22 uppers are listed along with the others (e.g., go to Upper Halves -> 20" Standard Upper Halves, and you will find the 20" .22LR upper half listed). You specify A2/flattop, handguards, and other options, just as you would with any other made-to-order AR upper half.

December 18, 2009, 04:41 PM
Holy thread necromancy.

December 18, 2009, 04:52 PM
DPMS upper do indeed come complete with .22 conversion bolt etc.

Unfortunately, DPMS dropped the .22 upper from their line-up. From the DPMS website:

DPMS no longer offers the .22LR upper receiver. We have also discontinued the .300 SAUM.

December 18, 2009, 09:01 PM
Some things have changed since the this thread was started. Spikes tactical now makes a dedicated .22 lr uppers as well as several other companies. CMMG, Model 1, Tactical Solutions to name a few. I have a spikes .22 upper with several thousand rounds through it. Functions great. 1 or 2 failures every 500 rounds on average.


Spikes is on the top.

December 19, 2009, 05:11 AM
It is indoor season! Time to bring this thread back to life and tell the PEOPLE about the Compass Lake Engineering upper. I have no interest in the company other than applauding perfection! :D

If you enjoyed reading about ".22 LR AR Upper" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!