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Old 10-02-2012, 21:43   #9
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USMC03Grunt's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Somewhere in 13T EG
Posts: 1,330
Oops, forgot about rifles. When it comes to "tactical .22 rifles, I have 4 of them. A Ruger 10/22 with a Choate stock and Eagle sights (they've been discontinued these days but there are other options out there as well), a Sig 522, H&K MP-5 .22 and a quasi-dedicated retro AR-15 .22 conversion with a CMMG kit.
The 10/22 is one that I've had since I was a kid back in the 80's and like most any 10/22, accuracy is pretty good and reliability is beyond question. The BX25 magazines have been excellent and have been far more durable and reliable than the Eagle, Easton, Ramline and Mitchell mags and drums of my youth. The Promag Marauder kit (a G36 dress up kit) from what I have seen has had pretty positive reviews but I will always be leery of anything with the words "Promag" on it. Choate still makes some pretty good stocks for it both in the fixed stock like I have or the folder that they also sell.
The Sig 522 has been a mixed bag for me. Frankly, it will most likely be my son's .22 auto rifle when he's mastered the single shot and repeater .22 rifles first since it does have an adjustable length of pull for younger shooters. However, it has been ammo sensitive. I've had better luck with Federal bulk packs rather than the Remingtons here but one can still expect a light strike every other magazine or so. Right now she wears an EOTech 522 (at least until my AR-10 carbine is completed and then it will find a new home on top of that rifle) but that is mainly due to the lack of decent iron sights. I've seen the factory sights and they really just don't look right on this type of rifle. If it wasn't for my up and coming shooter that needs an auto to see if he will spray and pray or use the larger magazine as a convienant way to carry ammo for accurate well placed rounds, I might have sold it by now but I doubt I will. I used to have a Bingham AK22 when I was a kid I sold when I was a young stupid kid and I don't want to make that same mistake with this rifle as well.
Now the H&K MP-5 .22 is a SWEET shooter and looks great too. I know the usual complaints about being made by an airsoft company will come around but I can tell you, there are not many problems with this rifle! To date it has been 100% reliable with both the Remington and Federal bulk pack ammo and anything else I've stuffed into the magazine that even resembled a .22LR round! Accuracy is also pretty good even with the short sight radius. What I don't like about it is the collapsible stock is convient but has a bit of vertical wobble in it. One of these days when HKparts has the fixed stock in stock, I will probably order one. More comfortable to shoot and not as much wobble. Then again, the MP5 SMG's I've used at work had the same issues as the .22 version in this regard in that the collapsing stocks aren't as comfortable to shoot and wobble as well but do make for a very compact package. As far as cleaning goes, cleaning as per the manual (which does not include removing the bolt) is pretty easy and quick to clean, especially with a bore snake to clean the barrel. However, taking it apart to pull out the bolt is a LOT more complex relatively speaking and I do this only once in a great while, maybe every year or so. Not that it can't be done or is that hard to do but just harder than what H&K reccomends and really, not needed all that often.
My last .22 rifle of this type is a retro 604 series AR-15 that has been modifed to fire .22LR only through the use of a CMMG conversion kit. I went with the retro style because the .22LR handles the 1:12" twist barrel of the old rifles better than the 1:7" or 1:9" twist of the modern rifles. Besides, retro rifles are just plain cool! This rifle can be put back to fire 5.56mm NATO ammo but it needs a few parts such as the buffer, action spring, bolt carrrier group and gas tube (all which I have in my spare parts supply) that have to be replaced. The buffer and action spring aren't needed in a conversion and the bolt carrier group is also replaced as well so I left these parts out. The problem is the .22 gas and fouling coming back down the gas tube and fouling the bolt was cured by cutting down an old gas tube and installing the stub upside down. Now the front hnadguard flange is held in place and by being installed upside down, no gas leaves the barrel to spray out under the handguards. Reliablity has been pretty good with Remington bulk pack ammo until it gets totally filthy then it will start to have problems but that's somewhere around 1,000+ rounds and I generally make it a habit to clean it well before that. Accuracy has been alright in that it will shoot minute of gopher but not nearly as accurate as a true dedicated .22 rifle. The 1:12" twist is better than the tighter twists but still not as good as the reccomended 1:16" twist used in most .22LR barrels. Then there is also the issue of freebore where the bullet is traveling down the long smooth throat of the chamber insert before it engages the rifling. To say that would be excessive freebore would be an understatement but as long as you aren't expecting match grade accuracy and are fine with blaster grade accuracy, it's not too bad. Fun to shoot and great to use on those gophers trained by Uncle Ho himself!
Other honorable mentions go go the Bingham AK22. The accuracy wasn't bad as I remember but reliability wasn't 100% which is why I foolishly sold it. Pretty accurate reproduction of an AK but today they command collector prices and any spare magazines (when they can be found) are insanely priced as well. I wish I never sold mine and one of these days I may buy another but to be honest, with no customer support and the prices they want, it's best served as a safe queen.
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