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Thread: .22LR trainer: conversion bolt vs dedicated upper vs 15-22

  1. #21
    I have built two .22LR trainers. One is a service rifle trainer on a dedicated lower and matches my White Oak service rifle pretty closely. CMMG barrel and bolt. I use it for practicing the 100 yard reduced courses. Works flawlessly for this purpose. It's a little heavy for general plinking, but is also used for that. Saves tons of money. I use Bulldog mags in this one.

    The other is a complete upper I bought on sale from PSA for grins and giggles. It is an 8 inch and wears a Warrior suppressor. Boonie Packer mag block and S&W mags for this one. It gets shot, a lot. I generally run the Remington Golden Bullet bulk pack in it, but also use Federal Auto-Match bulk packs in it. I'm not going to tell you it doesn't hiccup occasionally when a youngster is shooting it, but I rarely have any problems. The only problem is that even though I have never seen an ATF agent at our range, I have to swap off an SBR lower because I don't do the pistol brace workaround.

    For my uses, the dedicated uppers have proven to be the best choice. I can also see that pressing the easy button and buying an M&P makes sense for a lot of folks.

    If I was contemplating going to go to the expense of buying a commercial AR 22 and going to the expense of changing parts to match a rifle I already had, I'd definitely go the build your own dedicated .22 trainer route and end up with 7075-T6 receivers that will accept any mil-spec parts.
    Last edited by Dan Lehr; 09-07-2020 at 12:45 PM.

  2. #22
    Lots of good feedback so far. As expected the S&W 15-22 sounds like the easy and nost reliable way to go, but given my purpose I think the dedicated upper still makes the most sense.

    Any comments on the CMMG pattern VS Redi Mag and S&W? I am not going to be doing a dedicated lower anytime soon, so how long it takes to install/uninstall the Redi Mag is a big factor. I dont think I will miss not having LRBHO since I can just practice mag changes with 5.56.

    I see you have both @Dan Lehr

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by TicTacticalTimmy View Post
    Lots of good feedback so far. As expected the S&W 15-22 sounds like the easy and nost reliable way to go, but given my purpose I think the dedicated upper still makes the most sense.

    Any comments on the CMMG pattern VS Redi Mag and S&W? I am not going to be doing a dedicated lower anytime soon, so how long it takes to install/uninstall the Redi Mag is a big factor. I dont think I will miss not having LRBHO since I can just practice mag changes with 5.56.

    I see you have both @Dan Lehr
    First lets talk about mag differences. The S&W is left, the Black Dog right. (EDIT: Wow that S&W is tiny but you can see the tab on the follower sticking out at the top of the magazine) out



    The S&W magazine is slightly narrower than the mil-spec mag well (I assume to keep someone from putting a real AR mag into the well) and while it will lock into place, it wobbles without the Better Mag. The black Dog Magazine is the same size as the mil-spec magazines and will fit into the mag well with no slop.

    The follower on the Black Dog magazine sticks up far enough that it will stop the conversion bolt from coming forward, but it doesn't activate the bolt catch, so when you remove the mag the bolt goes forward.

    The S&W mag's follower doesn't stick up high enough to stop the conversion bolt. LRBHO on the S&W is accomplished by the rear tab of the follower contacting the Better Mag adapter's sliding bolt catch which moves up to capture the conversion bolt and activate the rifle's bolt catch. (see PDF below) If the sliding bolt catch is not present in the Better Mag, the magazine will function but when the last round is fired the bolt will go forward on an empty chamber. I mention this because currently my sliding bolt catch is AWOL.

    I prefer the S&W mags for plinking use, they are easy enough for anyone to load. At one time they were cheaper and easier to source than the Black Dogs, not really so sure at this point.

    As far as ease of installing the Better Mag, it is easy once you get the hang of it. It installs from the bottom of the mag well and is pretty close tolerance so you have to start it level. After it is started into the mag well you have to depress a detent pin to allow further insertion. This was actually what gave me the most problem. Looking at the shape of the detent pin and the bevel on the bottom of the mag well, you;d think just kind of hold the detent in a little to get it started on the bevel and press the adapter in. Doesn't work that way on my rifles, you have to hold the detent in all the way until it is in the mag well.

    Here's a link to the Better Mag. Look down the page and there is a link to a PDF for installation instructions.

    https://www.redi-mag.com/product/bet...azine-adaptor/

    Hope this helps.

  4. #24
    Throwing this out there as another option that I have seen mentioned elsewhere. Iím interested as I can replicate my service rifle setup pretty easily with this and itís substantially cheaper than Compass Lake. I havenít seen a ton of reviews but what I have seen is positive. Apparently a proprietary bolt but similar to the Nordic Comp system:
    https://www.rockriverarms.com/index....tegory_ID=1972
    They have complete rifles as well.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Xrslug View Post
    Throwing this out there as another option that I have seen mentioned elsewhere. Iím interested as I can replicate my service rifle setup pretty easily with this and itís substantially cheaper than Compass Lake. I havenít seen a ton of reviews but what I have seen is positive. Apparently a proprietary bolt but similar to the Nordic Comp system:
    https://www.rockriverarms.com/index....tegory_ID=1972
    They have complete rifles as well.
    It looks like I'm into mine for about $518.00 using current prices. I'll probably add a float tube soon so that will jack the price another $120.00 to $638.00.

  6. #26
    Site Supporter Suvorov's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Occupied Kalifornia - SF Bay Area.
    Palmetto has the Tipman for $500. https://palmettostatearmory.com/tipp...t=5%3a00+Email

  7. #27
    I use the CMMG conversion bolt. My reasoning is that it gives me reps with my actual rifle. Aside from the limited ďthrowĒ on the charging handle when using the CMMG, the feel and function is identical to going ...ahem...Ēfull boreĒ. Optic, sling, light, ambi safety, trigger etc. I put too much time, money, and effort into that rifle to put most of my reps into a completely different gun like the 15-22.

    Since I get fist-sized groups with it at 50 yards, really the main (only?) benefit is cheap trigger time behind the ďrealĒ gun. You arenít going to be shooting groups with it or hunting groundhogs.

    I had a 15-22 and a SIG 522 and found both supremely unsatisfying. Although, for teaching my kids, the 15-22 was the best of the three. Smaller and lighter weight. Less intimidating. But my CZ 455 is better yet for that purpose.

  8. #28
    Temporally Challenged EricM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Midwest
    Quote Originally Posted by Suvorov View Post
    The Elite version of the Tippmann with the longer aluminum rail is also available for $500 here (no experience with the seller).

    I nearly bought one today but ended up ordering a 15-22. The metal construction of the Tippmann appealed to me, but I could see the lighter weight of the 15-22 being an advantage when my daughter is ready to shoot it. Deciding factor though was mag availability.

  9. #29
    One should never start adding up what heís got in a rifle. I donít remember what I gave for the base M&P but I added decent sights, a Romeo 4H, a B5 SOPMOD stock, a Geissele SSP trigger and KNS pins and I was shocked. Then I thought about the dozen mags I have and flushed the whole thought out of my mind.

  10. #30

    CMMG Conversion Kit Experience

    I went ahead and ordered the CMMG Bravo conversion bolt from Primary Arms, along with their ACSS reticle Holosun red dot, and I also picked up a few of the Black Dog "Sonic X" mags which were on sale at Midway.

    I took it to the range today and am happy to report it exceeded my expectations! I fired a couple hundred rounds and had a single light strike with Federal Champion, which went off on the second try. I tried Aguila SV, Aguila HV, Federal bulk, Federal Champion, CCI Mini Mags, everything fed and ejected great and shot decently. CCI and Aguila SV seemed to be tied for most accurate with about 2" or so groups at 50yds, with the other loads all going into 3" 5 shot groups at 50yds.

    Given that I was shooting a red dot without the aid of a bench I am sure the kit is capable of slightly better accuracy than the above, and I might pick up a magnifier for it to see if I can do a little better. I also want to try it at 100yds and see if the rounds destabilize. As it is, the accuracy is great for shooting drills out to 50yds. I did some near to far transitions and transition drills, and felt I gained as much as I would have shooting 5.56. Overall I am extremely pleased with the reliability and accuracy of this conversion. If it maintains the same precision out to 100yds I don't think I will even bother to get a 22lr barrel as was my original plan.

    The only negative I can see is that I did accidentally dry fire a couple times, which I am sure this kit is not meant to sustain. The bolt stops on the follower when you run the mag dry, and when you remove the mag the bolt goes forward into battery. When seating a new mag my brain thought "AR mag seated, bolt is forward, must be round in chamber" and I proceeded to dry fire instead of racking the bolt. Luckily the firing pin is hitting the "chamber insert" instead of the actual chamber, so it isn't something that can damage the actual barrel.

    I do still plan on getting some of the Borebuddy upgrades such as the weight for the bolt and charging handle insert. I originally planned on getting their full upgrade kit which includes a "buffer pressure plug" that pushes the conversion kit into the chamber so it doesn't slop around. Unfortunately my lower (NFA integral folding lower) uses a unique buffer and wouldn't be compatible with that item. Fortunately, there doesn't appear to be any slop whatsoever between the conversion kit and buffer, probably a result of the unique buffer poking a bit farther into the upper receiver. I am guessing the fact the buffer in my lower eliminates this slop contributed to the excellent reliability I experienced.

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