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New toy.... .22LR AR15....

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Brian in Oregon, Oct 26, 2011.

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  1. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    Location:
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Been wanting a tactical .22 LR that emulates an AR15 or an upper. Looked long and hard at the various platforms out there. Finally settled on the CMMG Sierra upper. These are decently priced at $349 from Midway. That was CMMG's price up to two weeks ago, when they raised the price by $20.

    The basic design is based on the Atchisson. The CMMG conversion kits have a chamber insert for .223 rifles. But the dedicated uppers dispense with that. These have .22 LR chambers. The barrel has a 1:16" twist, and is an M4 pattern. The 16" barrel actually measures out closer to a 15" barrel, because the whole barrel is moved a bit further back into the receiver.

    The basic receiver has some sort of ceramic finish on it, instead of milspec anodizing. Feedback from users who have used these heavily for a year or more is that the finish resists wear well. But if this is an issue, ordered directly from CMMG and specify Milspec anodizing at $15 extra.

    The bore has some sort of WASP finish. It's CMMGs answer to chrome. How it compares, I don't know. No experience with it. All I know is chrome really isn't needed on a .22 LR.

    The barrel has an A2 flash hider (closed on the bottom). CMMG's website says it has an A1 flash hider. Because I want to use it with a suppressor (shown in the photo above with the red background) I needed to take the flash hider off. It was an absolute b#####. Finally resorted to heating the flash hider in boiling water to expand it, and used a long wrench and tapped it with an old ax handle to crack it loose.

    Because the threads are very tight, I screwed on my AAC interrupted thread adapter, which is designed to work with the AAC Aviator (shown).

    Cleaned out the barrel and gave it a test run with the can and CCI Subsonics. First round got between the bolt and breech, but it ran through a box of ammo without any further issues.

    It is NOT as quiet as a 10-22 with a good bolt buffer. The action is opening up a bit sooner than a 10-22. There is a small, dull orange flash in the ejection port, plus some glowing ejecta trails. Likely the bolt is on the light side to work with the stock AR15 hammer spring. The result is there is a slight bit more noise, but it is well within acceptable limits for a suppressor host. If this is an issue, get a 10-22 or an SR-22. Also, the ejecta explains why there is a 9mm AR15 case deflector on the ejection port.

    Compared with the 10-22T, it balances a lot better. My 10-22T has a 16.75" barrel, but it still feels heavier than this .22LR M-4orgery.

    Have no clue about accuracy at this point. Need to properly range test it. The CMMG uppers have a good reputation for accuracy (and reliability). Leaning towards using it as a tactical trainer and for varmint and small game hunting. Don't know if it is accurate enough to justify scoping it. Right now will test it with the EOTech, but I did set up a scope for testing, then removed it. Since I have an accurate 10-22T that's scoped, it might be best to leave the EOTech on this and install backup sights. To facilitate that I swapped the M4 pattern handguards for the older "obsolete" CAR version. I like the smaller diameter anyway. The M4 pattern is too slippery for me because of its girth. Anyway, the EOTech is nice for low light conditions, which the scoped 10-22T is not.

    While not a common problem, in doing online research I did find a handful of complaints of the plastic charging handle breaking. This charging handle is unique to the CMMG kit. It is filled in to prevent a .22 shell casing from getting stuck in it. Spares are available, which is not a bad idea to add to a field kit. I'm going to see if I can modify a metal charging handle. To be sure this appears to be a rare issue, but it has happened.

    The lower is a generic Del-Ton with commercial buffer tube and CAR stock. Picked some up on sale a year or two back. Had to swap out the hammer. It had a notched face, which CMMG and most if not all other makers advise not to use. Installed a notchless DPMS hammer. Also put on a Hogue rubber grip. I don't care for the A2 pattern grip.

    And... read the fine print that neither CMMG nor Midway supplies a magazine with this. Somehow I missed that when I ordered it, but added an 'extra' to the order. Glad I did. The CMMG will also work with Black Dog mags too. Will get some and see whose I like best. The CMMG mags are heavy. Apparently their intent was to simulate a loaded .223 mag. I don't know if the S&W mags will work. One of my son's friends has a S&W MP 15-22, so I'll test one of his mags.

    So, $349.95 for the upper, $18.99 for a hammer, $19.95 for a magazine, and the Del-Ton lower cost me $140 on sale. That's a total of $528.99. Note that CMMG sells the Sierra as a complete gun. The complete version is called the Quebec Evolution. Their price on it is $519 and it comes with one magazine. This is really a good deal verses the upper only, if you are building a dedicated gun. Since I already had a lower with no upper, it worked out for me.

    <A HREF="http://cmmginc.secure-mall.com/category/Dedicated-.22LR-Uppers-184" TARGET="_blank">http://cmmginc.secure-mall.com/category/Dedicated-.22LR-Uppers-184</A><br>
    CMMG has various .22 LR uppers from 16" M4 to 18" mid-length to 20" "A3". Also note that the Sierra has a low gas block. If you want to directly install a Magpul flip front sight, the M4LEP Evolution has a high gas block, but is otherwise the same thing. If I go with Magpul sights I'll have to get a YHM gas block riser for $42. Otherwise will have to use a metal folding front sight intended for a low profile gas block.

    <A HREF="http://cmmginc.secure-mall.com/item/Sierra-.22-LR-16-inch-Upper-wLow-Profile-Railed-GB-1514" TARGET="_blank">http://cmmginc.secure-mall.com/item/Sierra-.22-LR-16-inch-Upper-wLow-Profile-Railed-GB-1514</A><br>
    This is the link for the Sierra upper.

    Also, there are options for stainless bolt, bolt hold open (actually my CMMG mag was holding the bolt open, but the side release does not function), and a functional forward assist option. Plus the aforementioned receiver finish option plus different forends. Depends on how much you want to spend. I went with the basic setup.

    [​IMG]<br>
    <A HREF="http://cmmginc.secure-mall.com/item/QUEBEC-.22-Evolution-16-inch-Rifle-wLow-Profile-FSB-1641" TARGET="_blank">http://cmmginc.secure-mall.com/item/QUEBEC-.22-Evolution-16-inch-Rifle-wLow-Profile-FSB-1641</A><br>
    And here's the complete Quebec Evolution rifle for $519.

    And for those wondering if it is compatible with registered full auto lowers, no, not out of the box. But, there are websites showing modifications with a trip to allow it to work.

    I'm looking forward to accuracy testing this, and hopefully gunning ground squirrels with it next spring. It appears to be well made, and is substantially less money than the Tactical Solutions or Spikes versions (in fact Spikes no longer makes one because they could not compete with the price). The Chiappa .22LR upper is priced the same at $349, and is a similar setup, but, their upper is plastic, not aluminum. If I wanted plastic I would have gone with a S&W MP 15-22.
     
  2. ljuticsscentennialpro

    ljuticsscentennialpro Member

    Joined:
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    Brian, thanks for the cool thread. Bob
     
  3. BROWNST100

    BROWNST100 Member

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    Messages:
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    Location:
    LEWISBERRY, PA.
    Very nice, Brian...have fun !! you did a great report.

    Vern
     
  4. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    11,130
    Regardless of what you buy, these guns are fun. We opted to buy the entire gun. We've owned a Colt, SW, and Sig. Hands down the Sig is the most reliable. The Sig is the only gun that runs nearly any kind of ammo, and it's accuracy is super.
     
  5. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
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    17,176
    Location:
    IL(The gun friendly Southern Part)
    Good report Brian. Give us some feedback on accuracy and how the ammo feeds after you get a chance to do some longterm testing. I think that's a very reasonable price especially as you stated it is an aluminum upper as opposed to the cheap plastic uppers.
     
  6. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    Weather permitting I'll take it out this weekend for accuracy testing and reliability with various ammo.
     
  7. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    Shot it briefly tonight with the EOTech. Had no problem rolling a golf ball around with Mini-Mags at 75 yards and with CCCI subsonics with a suppressor. It definitely is not as quite as a 10-22 with a suppressor, but ear protection is not needed. Did not have time to set up a scope and bench shoot it.

    Also tested some third generation Black Dog 32-round magazines, with functioned flawlessly. CMMG has a real winner here. Unfortunately these are about the same length as a 40 round AR mag, so they're pretty unwieldy for hunting. I'll use them for plinking and tactical practice to simulate 30 rounders. Black Dog is updating their other magazines with stainless steel feed lips, and this will include the 10 and 15 rounders, which are about the same size as a 20 round 223 mag.

    Can't wait to try this on ground squirrels next spring.
     
  8. oz

    oz Active Member

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    I've had one for over a year. they are great BUT you can't shoot trap with them. go to ar15.com oz
     
  9. Uncle Sam

    Uncle Sam Member

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    Jan 6, 2006
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    887
    Brian..........NICE !!!!!.........Uncle Sam, Pa.
     
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