This .22LR thing is really catching on. Quite a few of the guys around the office had conversion kits for their ARs before everyone and their gun manufacturing mom started making dedicated .22LR AR-style tactical rifles. And of course, with everything like this there are two sides of the fence:
Left side: “Just get a .223 and a conversion kit.”
Right side: “Conversion kits can be problematic. Get a .223 and a .22LR.”
Well. I sit on the right side. Of course. So here are five .22LR AR-style rifles.
CMMG M4 LEP 22 Evolution Rifle
CTD Ben built his .223 SBR AR-15 on a CMMG lower. And I know for a fact that CTD Ben doesn’t mess around. He’s not going to build his precious baby on a piece of junk. CMMG makes quality bits. The CMMG M4 LEP 22 uses a standard AR-15 lower receiver and has a patent pending forward assist adapter that functions like their 5.56 model. This CMMG rifle has all the AR-15 accessories that you want like a flash hider, six-position stock, and an M4 heat shield handguard. It also boasts a MIL-SPEC buffer tube, MIL-SPEC fire control group, and MIL-SPEC takedown pins. With a 16-inch barrel and 25 rounds of .22 Long Rifle, the solidly built CMMG M4 LEP is a super fun and super accurate rifle to shoot.
CMMG M4 LEP (Let Every Piece) be mine.
SIG Sauer SIG522 Classic
I remember when SIG released the 566; I was deeply curious. It looks unconventional, but it was a much-anticipated release and those who were looking forward to it and could afford it, bought it. Apparently, the SIG 556 drew a lot of attention at the range. I wasn’t the only one curious. I shot the 522 and I liked it. It just didn’t feel as good for me as the M&P 15-22 did. But my two shooting buddies I was with that day preferred the SIG to the S&W. So really, it is just a matter of fit and feel rather than function, because the SIG functioned just as well as the S&W. The SIG 522 features 556 parts with the same side-folding stock, polymer forearm, and metal receiver with Picatinny rail, but of course shoots the .22 Long Rifle, not the .223.
I’m not only curious, but convinced.
Smith & Wesson M&P15-22
Oh hey look! It’s CTD Mike’s AR-15-build’s little sister; or brother. I know I sing the praises of the S&W M&P 15-22 a lot, but it’s because it’s a seriously good rifle. This one is like mine, the MOE version with Magpul MOE stock, grip, and sights. But this one is a little bit more fashionable because it comes finished out in Flat Dark Earth. The S&W M&P 15-22 has the same standard operating parts as the .223/5.56 models, but is chambered for .22 Long Rifle–which means you get S&W reliability, but a lighter and cheaper gun to shoot. Plus, it has a threaded barrel so if you want to, you can add a suppressor. It has a 16-inch carbon steel, match-grade precision barrel with A1-style compensator and holds 25 rounds.
Okay, okay, I’ll get one just to make CTD Suzanne shut the hell up about this thing.
Umarex Colt M4 Semi Automatic Carbine
I’ve shot one of these, too, and I was quite pleasantly surprised. Only because Umarex makes air rifles and air soft, so I wasn’t sure about their firearms. However, did you know that the Umarex Colt .22 LR rifles are made by Walther? I know. Right?! Makes you take a double take, huh? These guys are accurate enough to knock down some steel plates for fun shooting and don’t cause you any more problems than any other tactical .22 I’ve shot. The Colt M4 .22 has a 16.2-inch barrel with a threaded muzzle, a removable carry handle with an A2 rear sight, and holds 30 rounds—which is five more rounds than the other .22 LR tactical rifles I mentioned above.
Colt, Umarex, Walther, Whatever… It’s mine.
German Sport Guns GSG-AK47
When we did our Team AR-15 vs. Team Shotgun debate, many of you asked us where Team AK-47 was. Yes, I know this post is about .22LR AR-style rifles, but I decided that I would throw in this GSG AK-47 .22LR rifle to keep all you Team AK peeps happy. I have not had the opportunity to shoot this one yet, but I have shot the GSG MP5 clone in .22LR and I liked it. By the way, when you buy this GSG AK .22LR from us, give me a call—let’s go shooting. So they say that the GSG AK-47 chambered for .22 Long Rifle looks, feels, and functions almost identically to a real AK. It even weighs seven pounds, which is about average for an unloaded 7.62×39 AK. It has a 16.5-inch barrel, a black synthetic stock, and handguard and holds 10 rounds.
Team AK-47. (but in .22LR.)