There are dozens of conversion kits that allow you to fire a .22 LR using your 5.56 AR-15 with a simple bolt change. The .22 conversion kit is an economical way to practice or a great introduction for those who have never shot before to get some trigger time.
This video shows you how easy it is to swap the bolts.
- Start with a clear and safe firearm
- Push out the rear takedown pin
- Pivot the upper forward
- Pull back on the charging handle far enough to remove the bolt
- Slide the conversion bolt into the place
- Close the two halves
- Push the takedown pin back into place
- Cycle the bolt a few times
Now you are ready for fun day at the range.
Looking into the dedicated chamber, notice how the barrel protrudes into the upper receiver, and a collar from the bolt locks onto the barrel. This barrel inset makes the overall length of the rifle about an inch shorter than a standard AR with the same 16-inch barrel. By running a dedicated .22 LR, you do not need a gas block or gas tube. The barrel will also have the appropriate 1-in-16 twist rate for .22 LR.
The conversion bolt has a chamber adapter allowing you to load .22 LR ammunition and fire it through your original 5.56 chamber. Our experience has been that the dedicated set-up is more accurate and stabilizes more brands of ammunition than the conversion kit. However, we have never had issues with either kit, except needing 400 to 500 rounds of break-in ammo and plenty of gun oil.