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.22 conversion kits for AR (new question)

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Hi , I was thinking of taking one of my uppers and dedicating it to .22lr . I know alot of people will tell me to just buy a dedicated upper for that caliber , but I dont really have the cash to buy a $600 upper when I already have one I could use for it .That and if I ever want to switch back I could rather easily. My question is ,how reliable are the conversion kits out there? And which one to recommend? Will the .22 screw up a chromlined barrel ? If I remove the gas tube will the round still function properly? How much will the accuracy be affected with a 1/9 twist compared to the proper 1/16 twist? Anybody out there think this is just a bad idea ?Sorry if there is already a thread on here about this I didnt look very far. Any info would be helpful. Thanks
 
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ScottS

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Hi , I was thinking of taking one of my uppers and dedicating it to .22lr . I know alot of people will tell me to just buy a dedicated upper for that caliber , but I dont really have the cash to buy a $600 upper when I already have one I could use for it .That and if I ever want to switch back I could rather easily. My question is ,1.how reliable are the conversion kits out there? 2. And which one to recommend? 3. Will the .22 screw up a chromlined barrel ? 4. If I remove the gas tube will the round still function properly? 5. How much will the accuracy be affected with a 1/9 twist compared to the proper 1/16 twist? 6. Anybody out there think this is just a bad idea ?Sorry if there is already a thread on here about this I didn't look very far. Any info would be helpful. Thanks
Wow, lots of stuff here.

Basically, there are two "mainstream" conversions out there right now. One is based on the Atchisson/Ciener design, and sold by Ciener (he's a dick), CMMG, Spike's Tactical, etc. It looks like this:

1264.jpg


The other is the USGI M261, which you can still find in it's USGI form, and is also marketed by Oly as their Rimfire Adapter (RFA). It looks like this:

m261-01-1.jpg


Both can be had with 10-27 round magazines, depending on your need/laws. Both work essentially the same: remove the BCG, and slide in your unit (so to speak). So, to your questions:

1. My experience is both can be extremely reliable, given proper ammo, lubrication, and magazines. These can be somewhat ammo finicky, and don't usually like heavily lubed lead bullets. Luckily, they devour the cheap stuff like Federal Value Pak ammo. On this ammo, my M261 will run all day long without a hiccup, as fast as I can pull the trigger.
2. Although I have an M261, and I like it, if I were to get a new one tomorrow, I'd get a Atchisson/Ciener model, simply because they seem to be more popular, and I think long term parts availability may be greater. Beta vs VHS, IMO.
3. I don't know how. It's a copper washed lead bullet, at a bunch slower velocity than M193. It certainly hasn't harmed my CL barrel.
4. Beats me. Sorry. EDIT after I gave it some more thought: I'm sure you'd be fine without a gas tube, although you may blow some crap into the handguards. The conversion is strictly blow-back, and does not use the impinging gas system at all. In fact, both Spike's and Model 1 Sales' dedicated .22LR uppers come without a gas system installed. Spike's even includes a plug for the gas system with their conversion, but it's a PITA to remove the gas block to put it in place. Bottom line: you'd be OK without a gas tube.
5. No as much as you think. I can break clay targets (trap? skeets? What's the right name for those little guys) all day at 50 yards with my red dot. I usually clean up the leftovers on our range after the shotgun guys finish. Out at 100, I'm guessing I'm more like a 6" group or so. Great for casual plinking and training. Not a Service Rifle.
6. How can cheap shooting be a bad idea? Three main advantages, IMO: 1) I can shoot much cheaper. 1100 rounds of .22 is 2x$13.47=$26.94. 1000 rounds of .223 is at least $400; 2) I maintain the same manual of arms as my primary long gun. It's all good training--sights, trigger, mags, feel, everything; and 3) I can shoot my AR at any indoor range. I don't have to go outside or look for a public range. I'm just another .22 at the range.

Brownell's has the CMMG unit at $169 with the C&R discount, and an unconditional lifetime warranty. What are you waiting for?
 
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ScottS

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The Colt can still be found occasionally as well.
Yeah, as soon as I narrowed down to the "mainstream," I knew someone would mention the Colt version (or the Air Force version)[grin], but finding a reliable source of mags or parts does make that version a challenge to find and a challenge to support.
 

Rob

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I got to use Rob's Spike's Tactical kit this weekend. So much fun it's scary. It's also VERY odd the first time you fire it after shooting .223

It's about as much fun you can have with your pants on. [smile]

My Spike's kit runs like a top with Federal Bulk Packs. It appears and feels very well made and uses Black Dog mags. $200 for the kit last time I checked. Installation time: about 30 seconds.

I'm not in the least bit worried about any 'damage' to my gun or barrel. I figure the worst that can happen is the bullet will tumble if the twist rate is incompatible, but the experts will have to chime in. All my barrels are sub 1x10 and have had very good accuracy @ 50.

The Spikes kit comes with a plug thing to put in the gas tube if you intend to use the kit on a more permanent basis. I have not even looked at it let alone install it, so I cannot comment on it's usefulness. I figure they wouldn't include it if it wasn't good for something.

I was told to shoot a round or two of .223 to clear the gas tube, clean the works as usual and enjoy.

Buy one and you'll get all the answers you need. [wink]
 

xstickfightx

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I owned a Colt conversion for a few months. It is definitely fun. Was reliable with Federal Bulk packs. It was fairly accurate, inch or two with my 1-9 twist .223 barrel at 50 yards. That was acceptable to me for a fun .22 gun.

One thing I'd be careful about is if you have your gas tube off and your gas block on, it may redirect gas back into your face. It should still cycle fine without the gas tube though.

Only thing you will have to do is clean that upper well before shooting .223 again.

I sold my conversion to a member here because I needed money, and I already had a savage .22 rifle.
 
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Yeah, as soon as I narrowed down to the "mainstream," I knew someone would mention the Colt version (or the Air Force version)[grin], but finding a reliable source of mags or parts does make that version a challenge to find and a challenge to support.

I know. I fired a Stinger out of battery and it blew the ejector clean out of the gun (miraculously, I found it).

I got to use Rob's Spike's Tactical kit this weekend. So much fun it's scary. It's also VERY odd the first time you fire it after shooting .223

The Spike's kit is a modified Ciener. I actually have a dedicated upper coming soon, should be fun.
 

ScottS

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Any mag recomendations ?

You're a MA-guy, right? Both the Ciener and the M261 come are available with factory 10 round mags (the M261 uses a 10-round mag insert that goes in a regular mag.

Fortunately, Black Dog Machine, maker of great .22 conversion mags, now offers their mag in a 10-round flavor. Looks like this:

For the Ciener

DSC01930.1.JPG


For the M261

DSC01054.JPG


The 10-round inserts also work jim-dandy fine, and can usually be had for about $10 if you look around.
 

Rob

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If you buy a Ciener, CMMG, or Spikes kit, use Black Dog mags. At this time I have no preferred vendor. All the prices appear to be around $30/mag.

No idea on the Colt or 'Rimfire Adapter' kits but I'd bet they are proprietary.
 
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ScottS

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If you buy a Ciener, CMMG, or Spikes kit, use Black Dog mags. At this time I have no preferred vendor. All the prices appear to be around $30/mag.

No idea on the Colt or 'Rimfire Adapter' kits but I'd bet they are proprietary.
The Colt ones are, but the Oly RFA is a clone of the M261, and uses the standard USGI M261 mag inserts. Like this:

002.jpg
 

doobie

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Both can be had with 10-27 round magazines, depending on your need/laws. Both work essentially the same: remove the BCG, and slide in your unit (so to speak). So, to your questions:

Are the mags really only 27 rnds? I thought when I bought my Spikes they said it was a 30 rnder, but I never thought I got 30 rds in there, and I always lost track loading mags... Why do they limit it? I mean you've gotta be able to fit more than 30 rnds of 22lr in the same form factor of a 223 30 rnd mag :) I'm guessing that it is a single stack....
 
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Hi guys have a chance to buy a colt , the only problem is the guy says he bought it used in the early 80s , he wants $150 for it and it comes with 1 10rd mag . my concern is the age and replacement parts , am i better off just ordering and waiting for one made in this century.
 

ScottS

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Hi guys have a chance to buy a colt , the only problem is the guy says he bought it used in the early 80s , he wants $150 for it and it comes with 1 10rd mag . my concern is the age and replacement parts , am i better off just ordering and waiting for one made in this century.
My concern would be magazines. The last ones I saw on GunBroker went for something like $75 each.
 
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Another option is a 22 upper like the CZ upper I have. I am 100% satisfied with mine, paid $300 for it, and it came with 2 10 rd mags. No changes to the rifle are needed at all, just take off the 223 upper and put on the 22 upper.
 
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Check this thread RE .22 uppers vs. conversions. This will address your questions RE the problems with using a conversion kit:

http://northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=23357&highlight=spike+tactical

And this thread RE Spike Tactical's .22 conversion:

http://northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=47496&highlight=.22+upper

In summary, I have a Spike Tactical .22 upper on one of my ARs, and I think it's the bomb. It's run flawlessly with everything I've put through it.

If you can't get a full upper, I've heard great things about Spikes stand alone conversion kits, which uses a finish that's supposedly superior to other kits. It runs more reliably and requires less lube. The same finish is used on the bolt in my upper, and it runs flawlessly.

Also, Black Dog mags are a must - they're hands down better than any other .22 conversion kit magazine out there.
 
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I sprung for a $580 Model 1 upper and don't regret it. You will save a bundle in ammo and barrel costs. The cheaper uppers (DPMS and V 22) don't seem to be available at this time.
 
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