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Help with .22LR AR Left Handed build please

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by B!ngo, May 5, 2012.

  1. B!ngo

    B!ngo Well-Known Member

    I would like to build a 'true' .22LR AR upper (and lower of course) for a hobby project. 'True' in that it is built from real AR parts (such that I could re-use the lower with another standard AR upper, and even re-purpose parts of the upper if possible in the future for other projects). That is, I do not want to buy a $500 AR .22LR-only carbine. However I am left-handed and, like my 3GL, I would like to use a Stag LH-design to create a real (or near) mirror image design of a RH deign. Finally, I live in CA and have to live with the standard restrictions (30", 16", BB, no flash hider) that is the law here.
    For the upper, I'd like to start with the Stag LH receiver, then choose a 1:16 barrel (either 16" or 18" - not sure the weight matters). I think that the basis of my confusion stems from two things:
    I understand that the feed ramps for a 'true' .22LR barrel are offset much differently than that of a .223/5.56 due to the cartridge length. So choosing a bolt/bcg and barrel combination has me stymied and I really need help here. This is a problem whether it is a RH or LH build;
    And I understand that there are modifications that are required on the barrel side for proper LH extraction. Again, I'm still lost on this one.
    So, if I could get help from the experts:
    1. Could you clarify the issues (if they are in fact issues) I cited above?
    2. Would you be willing to direct me to specific vendors/models that I should consider? (e.g. barrel/bolt/bcg/mag insert/mag spec);
    3. Obviously I'm open to any and all suggestion and guidance as well.
    I'd rather not deal with question regarding why left-handed people want left-handed guns. Some (like I) just do and am willing to deal with a bit more expense and complexity to use what works best for me.
    BTW, I'm presuming that the lower is easy - except perhaps for whatever insert might be necessary for the mag block.
    Finally, the typical use cases will be range and plinking. Nothing more dramatic. That said, I'd like a reasonably accurate and reliable machine, with quality parts.
    P.S. Apologies if this is a repeat of a thread/threads that have been posted previously but I am having trouble finding and condensing the necessary info into something actionable.
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  2. B!ngo

    B!ngo Well-Known Member

    help please?
  3. 45_auto

    45_auto Well-Known Member

    See if this guy still has his for sale:


    CMMG is the only ones I'm aware of making left-hand AR .22LR stuff, but since I'm not left handed I haven't been paying much attention!

    Edit - thought that was a whole upper, but I believe it was just the .22 kit.
  4. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Well-Known Member

    You should check out Spike's Tactical. If you buy a complete upper from them, they will also help you to trouble shoot it if you have problems. If you just have to build it yourself, they have all of the parts too.

    I'm not really wild about .22 uppers, so I'm not up on the latest and greatest on the subject, but I do know that Spike's stand behind their products. I've also never seen an AR-22 that needed any sort of mag insert. The mags that I've seen are made to accommodate the standard AR mag well.
  5. B!ngo

    B!ngo Well-Known Member

    Thanks both of you. In thinking back, I think you're right about the mag insert. I believe I was confusing that with some investigating I did on 9mm upper project which I later abandoned.
    I wonder if I'm heading down the wrong road here and should just sell off the odds and ends I've accumulated so far and perhaps, someday down the road, just find a nice/conventional .22LR rifle/carbine.
  6. happygeek

    happygeek Well-Known Member

    It looks like CMMG plans on offering a left handed dedicated 22LR upper soon (http://cmmginc.secure-mall.com/category/22-Revolution-Ambi-Upper-Groups-251). They already offer a left handed 22LR conversion (http://cmmginc.secure-mall.com/item/Left-Handed-SS-22-Kit--Mag-1607). Looking at their parts page I'm not seeing just the left handed bolt for sale, but maybe if you called them they'd sell you one.

    I have two of their dedicated 22LR uppers. The difference between their 22LR upper and a 'real' AR upper is the barrel, barrel collar, bolt, receiver plate, recoil spring, and 22LR magazine. The mags they use aren't proprietary, and can be had for as little as $12 each these days. The cool thing about their uppers is that the barrel sticks into the receiver (the barrel collar surrounds this part of the barrel) so that a 16 inch barrel looks like a 14.5 inch M4 barrel when the rifle is assembled. The other nice thing is they use a M4 profile barrel on their 22LRs; I've never got mine even hot to the touch. I'd probably have to buy a 50 round drum and rapid fire it to do that.

    You'd probably pay quite a bit extra if you buy their left handed conversion, their 22LR barrel, and a left handed AR upper receiver vs waiting for them to offer a dedicated 22LR left handed upper for sale, but you could buy those parts and put it together right now.

    http://cmmginc.secure-mall.com/item/16-M4-22-Barrel-w-Collar-1520 (comes with barrel collar)
    http://cmmginc.secure-mall.com/item/Left-Handed-SS-22-Kit--Mag-1607 (all you'd do to this is replace the chamber insert with the barrel collar that comes with the 22LR barrel)

    Edit to add:
    Every time I post about CMMG's 22LR uppers I end up sounding like I work for them or I'm a H&K fanboy, but I've had a very good experience over about 16,500 rounds between the two uppers I've bought from them. If you do choose to go the CMMG route I'd recommend paying the little extra to get the stainless bolt, receiver plate, and barrel collar.
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  7. B!ngo

    B!ngo Well-Known Member

    Thanks. Very helpful. I did contact them on the likelihood of selling a complete upper and, though non-committal, they seemed to indicate that they were going to go ahead. I do think that's the best move. I'll wait a few months and check back in with them.
  8. happygeek

    happygeek Well-Known Member

    No problem. I paid $350 for their dedicated 22LR upper, plus another $20 or 30 for the upgrade to a stainless bolt & barrel collar. I think their prices may have gone up slightly since then, inflation will get you when you least expect it.
  9. B!ngo

    B!ngo Well-Known Member

    Geez, anyone have any update on that new upper? Still says 'hold this space' or something on their site.
  10. B!ngo

    B!ngo Well-Known Member

    I'm still waiting on info re CMMG's LH'ed .22lr upper. Just sent them another email requesting an ETA.
    BTW happygeek, were you pleased with their .22lr upper?
  11. happygeek

    happygeek Well-Known Member

    Very. The first one I and the wife bought about 3 years ago at a gun store, so I have no idea when CMMG made it. The gunstore had paired it with a RRA lower. The bolt, receiver plate, and barrel collar in that one were parkerized, and it only really liked Federal and Winchester ammo. It was a jammomatic with Aguila.

    That upper still has iron sights, but I've replaced it's bolt, receiver plate, and barrel collar. The original receiver plate came apart and the feed ramp on the original barrel collar got all scratched up. CMMG has made quite a few updates to their bolt since I bought that thing 3 years ago, and it now runs with every type of 22LR ammo I've tried.

    I got a second 22LR upper from them about a year and 1/2 ago, that one I ordered with the stainless bolt, receiver plate, and barrel collar upgrade. That one now wears a Burris 2-7x scope so I can just switch between the two uppers if I want to shoot scoped or irons. The second upper came with their newer bolt and ran complaint free right away with all 22LR ammo I've tried.

    Both uppers now run nearly perfectly. They routinely go 1,000 rounds + between malfunctions, but I also clean & oil them between every range trip. Come to think of it I think the first malfunction my scoped upper had was right about 3,800 rounds after I bought it, when the firing pin broke in half. Luckily they sell all the individual parts on their website so I was back up and running for $15.

    Accuracy wise the best I've done at 50 yards was a 5 shot group the size of a quarter [as in 25 cents, not 1/4 inch]. I rarely shoot 22LR past 25m though, I've got a bunch of targets I print off that simulate range and are meant to be shot from standing, kneeling, sitting, & prone as the simulated range increases. For that type of shooting the upper is far more accurate than I am. I took the scoped upper to an Appleseed shortly after I got it and it managed a 214 score in spite of me.

    I've got right about 16,800 rounds through the two uppers now and my only complaint is with how much they charge to ship a dang firing pin.

    Eventually when I make more money than I do currently I'd love to have a 50 round drum or two and a suppressor for those uppers. They have the standard threaded barrels.

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