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Old 02-22-2007, 15:15   #1
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Best 22LR conversion uppers for AR-15

Several leading companies offer .22 LR conversion options for existing AR's. Here are some of the uppers I know about, there are undoubtedly others:

* Bushmaster (under $400)

* Olympic arms (over $500, last time I checked)

* DPMS (don't know the price)

* Compass Lake engineering (very expensive--$900+)

Also, there's a "budget" option for $179, but I don't know how good this is. See this site:

http://www.22lrconversion.com/atch-pg.htm



I guess my question in a nutshell is, does anyone know anything about these 22LR conversion units? Are they accurate? Are they well made? Are any of them significantly BETTER than the others?

My reaction to them is, I'd LOVE to have one of these to do cheap practice while holding my AR, looking through the sights, etc. But $400 on up, for a .22LR upper (when you can buy a brand new stainless 10-22, and outfit it pretty well for that much) seems like a lot. I'm just trying to figure out if getting one of these would be worth it, and if so, if any of them are significantly better in quality than the others.
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Old 02-23-2007, 03:08   #2
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I see that CheaperThanDirt is carrying the 22LRConversion.com solution, for $129.99. This looks very interesting, and much more affordable than an upper: you just replace your bolt carrier group with a different one, and that's it. But, I have a hard time believing that can be very accurate at all, so the idea of using it for target practice for the AR seems a little ridiculous. Yet a lot of users seem to give it good ratings.

I will probably lean toward the Bushmaster upper. You can get it for under $400, and use it with an existing lower like my Rock River. I expect that since it has a real .22 LR barrel, it should be a lot more accurate. Although the Oly Arms and DPMS uppers are more, they are basically doing the same thing, and I suspect Bushmaster's work is just as good in quality as theirs.
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Old 02-28-2007, 21:33   #3
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The best one I have found and used is the Kuehl upper. http://www.kuehlprecisionfirearms.com/
I had one with my M16, it was flaw less even doing dumps. Kuehl Modifies a Ciener kit with a custom barrel, in any length, profile and configuration you want . Mine was a 16" stainless match barrel with a free float tube and a flat top upper. M60joe makes a mag loader for Ciener kits, and I think Ciener's are the only ones with 30 round mags.

Ciener is 22LRConversion.com and the regular kit works ok its just not accurate. The 3 main problems for me are.

1. The bullet travels down the smooth bore chamber adapter before it hit the rifling.
2. The bore on a 22 like the say Ruger 10/22 is .221 and the bore on a centerfire 22 like the 223 is .224. So the AR barrel is .003 over size.
3. Most 22's like a 1 in 14 or 1 in 12 twist where most new AR's are 1 in 7 or 1 in 9.

Kuehl solves these but it costs more to convert a AR than to buy a new Ruger 10/22.

Last edited by cne411; 02-28-2007 at 21:48.
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:28   #4
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Thanks for the info. Yes, I agree you have to REALLY want to shoot .22LR through your AR to get one of those uppers (versus say buying a .22 rifle), given how much they cost.

What I'm curious about is, if those who are serious target/competition shooters find the EXPERIENCE of being able to practice with the same AR they use for target shooting--while shooting cheap .22 LR ammo through it--actually improves their scores more than just practicing with a .22 LR rifle would.

BTW, found a price on the DPMS upper above: $445.

http://www.del-ton.com/DPMS_Barrel_p/cv1007.htm

And here's a review of the DPMS upper, which describes the experience of using one of these on an AR. This guy's information was interesting too:

http://groups.msn.com/TheMarylandAR1...ms22upper.msnw

Also noted that DPS seems to have a "drop-in" inexpensive conversion kit, just changes the bolt assy., much like the Ciener. Hadn't seen this one before:

http://www.del-ton.com/DPMS_Conversion_Kit_p/cv1014.htm

And finally, found that Olympic Arms also has one of these drop-ins. Guess almost everybody is imitating Ciener now:

http://www.olyarms.com/?rootView=bro...cat&ids=conv-s

Last edited by timlt; 03-01-2007 at 09:51.
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Old 03-01-2007, 20:56   #5
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Originally Posted by timlt View Post
Thanks for the info. Yes, I agree you have to REALLY want to shoot .22LR through your AR to get one of those uppers (versus say buying a .22 rifle), given how much they cost.

What I'm curious about is, if those who are serious target/competition shooters find the EXPERIENCE of being able to practice with the same AR they use for target shooting--while shooting cheap .22 LR ammo through it--actually improves their scores more than just practicing with a .22 LR rifle would.

So you want a serious target upper , you might want to look at CLE. http://www.compasslake.com/22uppers.htm As far as I know the army 261 and the Ciener are the same thing.

Last edited by cne411; 03-01-2007 at 20:57.
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:53   #6
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Originally Posted by cne411 View Post

Ciener is 22LRConversion.com and the regular kit works ok its just not accurate. The 3 main problems for me are.
How inaccurate is it? Say that you compare using a Ciener kit with your AR, and shooting a regular unmodified 10/22 at 50 yards? A lot of unmodified 10/22's using decent ammo can put 10 shots into 1 or 1.5" at that distance. Can you do that with the Ciener kit?
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Old 03-03-2007, 23:05   #7
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Originally Posted by timlt View Post
How inaccurate is it? Say that you compare using a Ciener kit with your AR, and shooting a regular unmodified 10/22 at 50 yards? A lot of unmodified 10/22's using decent ammo can put 10 shots into 1 or 1.5" at that distance. Can you do that with the Ciener kit?
Ciener Kit with a AR15 barrel will not do that well, at least mine didn't. When I got it back from Kuehl with the .22 chambered barrel then it would.

The beauty of the AR is that it is not a rifle but a weapons system that allows changes in length and caliber just by changing uppers. I recommend getting a 10/22 to shoot 22 (which you already have) and a 9mm conversion for the AR. I shot about 1500 rounds in the 22, a little over 3 cases of 5.56 and at least 6 cases of 9mm in 3 years I had the m16. Most of my shooting was at an indoor range that would not allow rifle caliber weapons.
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:00   #8
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CNE, thanks for the great info and tips. Sounds like you've worked through this all before I have, which is one reason this forum is so cool: it lets people share and benefit from the experience of others.

I'm really considering your advice of just sticking with my 10/22, on which I've set up some AR-clone sights, so that shooting with it is much like shooting with my AR. It's not exactly the experience (same trigger, stock, etc.) but probably good enough for practice. I emailed the guy who sold me my White Oak service match upper for my AR, and he said, for "serious" practice (he means tack-driving accuracy) the only .22 LR upper he could really recommend is the Compass Lake one I referred to above. And that's great, but those cost $900+!!!

Don't know if I'll purchase other caliber uppers to extend my AR, but if I do, I'll probably look at one or more of the following centerfire options:
  • 9mm (so I can share cheap ammo with my 9mm pistols)
  • 6.8 (to give more range and stopping power)
  • 6.5 Grendel (as a variation on the 6.8)
  • .204 (for long range varmint hunting)
  • .243 (for deer hunting).
Like you said, a nice thing about the AR is its flexibility!
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Old 03-07-2007, 21:53   #9
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If you do 9mm look here for ammo http://www.southernammo.com/products/products.htm The price is for 2000 round cases just do not use it in a pistol.
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Old 02-22-2009, 20:08   #10
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Does anyone know of any companies who are selling just .22LR barrels for the AR-15? I have an MGI upper and am trying to find just a barrel I can use with a Military .22 conversion kit. I've checked all of the major compaines and while some offer the upper receiver kits, no one sells just the barrel. Or, if they do, they don't advertise it. I don't really want to dump $500+ on an upper just to pull the barrel and don't want to really foul up a good 5.56 barrel with all the crap associated with .22 LR.
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:36   #11
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The problem with conversion kits is you end up dirtying the hell out of your gas tube and gas block with dirty rimfire ammo. Also, 22 lr bullet diameter is .222 inches, where as the 5.56/.223 barrels are .224 diameter. The 22 lr rounds will shoot, but accuracy will suffer. Also, the 1 in 9 and 1 in 7 twist rates don't work so well for 22 long rifle.

For the best performance, you'll want a dedicated 22 lr upper. At the moment, the only two I know of are Spike's Tactical and TacticalSolutions. Both are in the $600 range.
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Old 02-23-2009, 11:30   #12
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I must respectfully disagree with some of the statements in this post. CMMG makes a kit (copy of the ceiner) that functions perfect. And Black Dog Machine makes a kicka$$ 27 rd mag that is the same size as a 30 rd GI. The point is not to look for tack driving accuracy ( although my kit shoots about 1" at 50 yards from a 1/9 bushmaster 16" carbine), but to get more trigger time and skills drills for way less money. The CMMG kit is around 200 bucks and comes with one BDM 27 round mag. This is a great option for the money. just my 2 cents.
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Old 02-23-2009, 11:51   #13
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There's Spikes as well for a complete upper:


http://www.spikestactical.com/z/inde...gtft6haq171606
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Old 02-24-2009, 17:02   #14
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I just recently purchased a Velocity Arms dedicated .22LR upper for one of my lowers... http://velocityfirearms.com/... I haven't had time to get to the range, but the fit and finish on it are exceptional. It mated up to my RRA lower perfectly and came with one 27-round black dog mag. I bought a couple more for GP... if I can get to the range soon I'll post up a range report after I get it broken in and the scope sighted in (it's bore sighted, but that's all right now).
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Old 02-24-2009, 21:59   #15
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Originally Posted by Haukola View Post
I just recently purchased a Velocity Arms dedicated .22LR upper for one of my lowers... http://velocityfirearms.com/... I haven't had time to get to the range, but the fit and finish on it are exceptional. It mated up to my RRA lower perfectly and came with one 27-round black dog mag. I bought a couple more for GP... if I can get to the range soon I'll post up a range report after I get it broken in and the scope sighted in (it's bore sighted, but that's all right now).
I'd like to know where you bought this upper, since Velocity's website claims they are sold out of all their uppers.
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Old 02-25-2009, 15:07   #16
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I bought it from Velocity themselves... I guess you could say I'm the reason they are sold out... I think I got the last one of the non-carbon fiber uppers... but I know Cheaper Than Dirt also stocks them both (CF and non-CF uppers)... along with the black dog mags...
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Old 02-28-2009, 19:54   #17
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I went with the Model 1 Sales 22LR upper. I did not want the hassle and problems with the conversion kit. Love my Model 1, over 1000 rounds down it. Set it up just like my JP competition gun. Very few FTE or FTF.
I only use Federal Bulk Pack from Wal-Mart.
Just spent the extra and get the complete upper. I have also heard that the Spikes is good also.
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