Dedicated AR 22LR upper or M&P15-22?


March 3, 2012, 02:04 PM
Wanted: semi-auto tacticool 22LR that is operates reliably with a wide selection of ammo, has reasonable accuracy (1" @ 50yd) with ammo it likes, and is NOT a 10/22 with a body kit.

First I considered the CMMG 22LR conversion kit for my AR15, but accuracy is lacking and I would be concerned with suppressor baffle strikes on my 22LR can. Then I then started thinking about dedicated uppers. Been looking at CMMG, DPMS, TacSol and Nordic uppers, with Nordic & TacSol seeming to have the best reports of reliability & accuracy. Likely use it with my J-15 lower now and buy a polymer lower at some point down the road to have a dedicated 22LR AR.

Then I had a couple folks recommend the M&P15-22. A little Google searching seemed to indicate these are reliable, accurate and easy to work on, especially compared to the Colt/Umarex & Mossberg competition. Price is the same or less than Nordic & TacSol uppers. Currently looking at the A1 model but the MOE has caught my eye, thinking the MBUS might be better since I plan to use an optic. would you spend my money, High Roaders?

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March 3, 2012, 02:08 PM
If you want the best..You go with a Compass Lake dedicated upper and be done for a life time. I will get flamed on this but..the rest don't give you enough accuracy for PERFECT Practice. If you can't have Perfect Practice Feedback..why practice?

March 3, 2012, 02:19 PM
I have a CMMG dedicated .22 upper. I have put thousands of trouble free rounds through it without a hitch. I have a red dot mounted on it and use it practice shooting off hand at ranges from 25-75 yards.

March 3, 2012, 02:41 PM
Of all the complete .22 AR's the M&P 15 is the best ive seen. The Colts..not so much...Triggers like a rusty barn door hinge and if you try to smooth em out, they go full auto on ya..

March 3, 2012, 07:44 PM
2 CMMG uppers here 16" and 18" am glad I got them. The 16" has a Vortex Sparc and the 18" is sporting a Nikon 223 base and scope.

March 3, 2012, 07:54 PM
Get an upper. I have both upper and kit,both run good but upper
can shoot 10x's better at 100yds.

March 3, 2012, 09:04 PM
What about the spike's tactical upper?

March 3, 2012, 09:25 PM
What about the spike's tactical upper?

As best I can tell from the Spike's website, the ST-22 dedicated uppers they sell don't come with a bolt...requiring purchase of a bolt if not a full BCG???

March 3, 2012, 09:31 PM
I have the Tac Sol upper and it has been excellent. Accuray is very good and it lets me practice with my normal AR trigger and stock which has increased my ability with the AR itself.

March 3, 2012, 10:03 PM
Having both I find myself going back to the 15-22. It's more than enough accuracy for a 22 semi auto and has the bolt lock after last round fired, Light weight and takes all sorts of optics on the rails you can change out the trigger group and most important it is impressively reliable, at least the 2 we have are. All that being said you will get different opinions from different people depending on what they want out of their individual weapon but for us, son and I, we've been impressed with being able to shoot cheaper ammo than 5.56 and still being able to practice drills and such. On a plus side you can get the Slidefire to function, if you like that sort of stuff, on the little 15-22 unlike the others. Just my opinion and YMMV.

March 3, 2012, 10:07 PM
I LOVE my CMMG dedicated .22 upper. It's very reliable with Federal bulk pack. Not so much with Remington, but I've never had any .22 that shoots Remington worth a darn.

My daughter loves it too.

March 3, 2012, 10:09 PM
Both excellent options. Tough call.

I have a dedicated upper, and I like it a lot, but I have a friend who has the M&P 15-22, and it is a dandy weapon. Since I had an extra lower, I went with an upper. I know plenty of folks who went with a dedicated upper for their .223 lower though.

Zach S
March 4, 2012, 01:21 AM
Dedicated upper, on a dedicated lower. The off the rack AR22s feel like toys to me.

I originally went with a conversion kit, that eventually evolved into a complete rifle.

March 4, 2012, 02:13 AM
i love my 15-22.

March 4, 2012, 04:17 AM
SW 15-22 all the way. The resale alone should be enough of a consideration. Not many people buying used AR's care if you have multiple uppers but you can always move an AR and an AR 22 rifle.

March 4, 2012, 06:45 AM
I have a 15-22, and it's a nice rifle that I really like, but if I had it to do over again, I'd get a dedicated upper.

March 4, 2012, 12:09 PM
I guess nobody here has had the joy of shooting a CLE upper. Do a search on what the top HighPower shooters in the country use for rimfire practice. National Match Forums...All Masters, High-Masters, Distinguished Experts...
If you want a fun rifle for plinking..M&P-15 great..Colt made by Walther, OK. Most of the kits that run on your current upper..twist is not right for upmost accuracy. A CLE is going to cost you. Is it worth it? All depends on your goals...By the way I bought mine used a couple years ago. If you can find a used one, they are usually going to sell for 80-90% of new cost..great resale. Don't think I will ever sell mine but could within an hour for 90% of what I paid after 1000's of practice rounds...

March 4, 2012, 12:23 PM
I'm going the dedicated upper route. A plus is that you can stick in a good 2 stage trigger on your lower.

March 4, 2012, 12:42 PM
I greatly appreciate the diversity of opinions here...keep them coming!

I've primarily been a centerfire bolt-action shooter though I do have a preban 20" A2 style AR in the safe and have been thinking about adding a 16" carbine to the collection (my wife is an excellent shot with my father's CAR). I'm about 2 months into the wait for my 22LR suppressor stamp and am looking at additional hosts beyond my AA Glock 19 22LR kit and Savage FV-SR. I've thought about building a 10/22 to have a semi-auto host, but a rimfire AR just seems like it'd be more fun. Seems like a MP15-22 will cost me about $500 which is the price (give or take) of a TacSol or Nordic upper.

As for Compass Lake dedicated uppers...they look absolutely top notch in terms of accuracy but they're simply more than I want, need, can afford and am looking for.

March 4, 2012, 03:35 PM
I LOVE my CMMG dedicated .22 upper.
I humbly suggest you remove the pics of your short barrelled AR. I'm getting an itch that feels like at least $200. Maybe more. ;)

Actually, it makes me think about the fact that you need only one SBR'd lower to enjoy several short barrelled uppers.

March 6, 2012, 12:42 PM
I LOVE my CMMG dedicated .22 upper.
Did that start out as the CMMG pistol before being made an SBR?

If so is it true that the CMMG .22 pistol comes with a "real" AR lower unlike the Colt, S&W & others?

I've a Spike's Tactical dedicated upper and it runs great with Federal Bulk pack from Walmart, its what they said they test them with before shipping. I gave up on Remington .22 ammo a long time ago :(

Actually, it makes me think about the fact that you need only one SBR'd lower to enjoy several short barrelled uppers.
True enough, but if you do, you better not have any "spare" lowers as you could face "constructive possession" charges for an unregistered SBR should you somehow give the Feds probable cause to look at your gun collection. Details are in the NFA forum.

March 6, 2012, 07:52 PM
No, I bought the barrel and built it myself. But you are correct, the CMMG .22 AR pistol comes with a real lower. You could fill out a Form 1, pay the $200, and when you get your stamp stick a stock on it. I already had a registered SBR lower.

March 6, 2012, 07:57 PM
Still waffling...

For $350 I can get a CMMG Sierra upper to use on the AR I already have...but I know I'd want to change out the A2 buttstock for a collapsible stock.

For about $440 I can get a M&P15-22 with A1 compensator.

For the same money, I can throw a CMMG Sierra upper onto a complete New Frontier polymer lower.

For $500, I can get the M&P15-22 MOE with Magpul furniture.

And yesterday I found 5 bills will also get me a CMMG Quebec-A, basically the Sierra upper on a forged CMMG milspec lower.

March 7, 2012, 12:50 PM
I say go dedicated. For training, there's nothing like pulling the EXACT SAME TRIGGER that you use on your center fire. Plus there is a lot more variety with dedicated uppers, and you can get one that best matches your center fire AR's setup to make for even more realistic training. Plus I have seen a lot of issues with a lot of M&P 15/22s spitting out extractors. I know 2 people who have both had to send theirs back to the factory multiple times to get it running right... and I have seen at least one other besides those spit out the extractor at an Appleseed.

March 7, 2012, 12:59 PM
I have the Tac Sol upper and it has been excellent. Accuray is very good and it lets me practice with my normal AR trigger and stock which has increased my ability with the AR itself.

This is what I have and I can't be happier!! I've used the 22lr conversion kit from CMMG and wasn't too pleased. Accuracy was ok, but there were some functional issues as well.

March 7, 2012, 01:22 PM
I've got somewhere around 7k rounds through my S&W 15-22. It's been very reliable. Only times it has had any malfunctions is after about 1000 rounds without cleaning. A quick wipe down and relube brings it right back to running perfect. I haven't been blown away with accuracy, but I'm shooting the absolute cheapest ammo I can find. It shoots the junk ammo well enough. Is it a CLE upper? No, not close. But, I'm not practicing for Service Rifle shoots either. I use it to practice for a rimfire type 3-gun shoot. It's absolutely perfect for that use. I think it's the rifle that I have the most fun with every time I pick it up.

If you want to train for position shooting, get the CLE. If you aren't then you'll probably be happy with either dedicated upper or a S&W 15-22. I had a bad experience a while back on a conversion kit and since then I've been put off from buying a conversion and would rather spend the same money on a complete firearm. Others have had good experience with both the conversions and the dedicated uppers but I still hesitate at them.

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