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Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22

The Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 is probably the most popular AR-15 chambered in .22 LR that has ever been made. That popularity is very well deserved because of just how awesome the 15-22 is. The 15-22 is the perfect option for someone who wants to train using an AR but cannot afford to spend hundreds of dollars on .223/5.56 ammo (if you can even find it), which is exactly what I use it for.

Specifications

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MOE model
Capacity 25 round magazine (10 round mags available)
Length 33.75″ (stock extended)
Weight 5.5 lbs
Caliber .22 LR
MSRP MOE $600, Standard $500

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M&P 15-22One thing I must get clear right away is that this is NOT a standard AR-15 with a .22 LR bolt and barrel. The 15-22 is built from the ground up to be a .22 LR and because of that it is missing some typical AR-15 parts, such as the recoil buffer spring, which being a blowback operated gun it has no need for. It is not possible to convert the 15-22 upper to another caliber.

The 15-22 has the exact same fit and feel as any AR-15 chambered in .223 or 5.56. It is ergonomically pleasing and shares the same design that made the AR-15 one of the most popular rifles in the world.

Accessories and Construction

M&P 15-22A big selling point of the 15-22 is that it is compatible with most AR-15 accessories (except the hand guard which does not come off the gun) such as, the stock, grip, sights, muzzle devices, etc. So if you are using this rifle as a training tool, this allows you to set it up with the same or similar configuration as your centerfire rifle or carbine.

The 15-22 is an all polymer rifle (including the quad rail) except of course the inside working parts. This polymer frame allows the gun to weigh just 5.5 lbs which is extremely light for an AR type rifle.

The trigger pull is smooth but not great, weighing in at approximately 7 lbs.

Pick a Model

This rifle comes in several different models. There is the standard version that comes with a 6-position stock, NON-threaded barrel, and fixed sights. They also make a version called MOE that is outfitted with Magpul furniture such as an MOE stock, MOE grip, MBUS sights, and a threaded barrel with A2 flash hider.

Accuracy and Use

As you may expect, this rifle can be fairly accurate, I can easily punch 3-4 inch groups offhand at 50 yards.

However, I use this rifle mainly for training because it keeps my ammo costs low while practicing with the ergonomics and controls of an AR-15. Another feature that makes this rifle shine in the training department is all the controls are 100% functional. On some .22 ARs the bolt catch and release does not work and are just for show. On the 15-22 however, both the bolt catch and release are functional.

Reliability

I have well over 2,500 rounds through my 15-22, a mix of Federal, CCI Mini-Mags, and CCI quiet ammo. Over that time I have had maybe 5 stovepipes or failures to fire. The only time I saw consistent malfunction was when I was shooting CCI quiet ammo (which travels subsonic and much slower than most .22 LR) and did not have enough power to push the bolt back to eject. It would fire but not eject, but that is the only time I have seen this gun have consistent issues. It is extremely reliable for a .22 and it works great.

Wrapping Up

Overall this rifle is amazing. I love that I can practice with a gun very similar to an AR-15 without spending a lot of money. I highly recommend any model of the 15-22, my preference being the MOE version for the Magpul furniture and threaded barrel. This is a wonderful training rifle, and it will serve you well.

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9 Responses to Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22

  1. Ben April 3, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    I’d like to hear your thoughts on mags for this gun. Specifically Plinker Tactical vs ProMag.

    • Keith April 7, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

      I have been testing out the plinker mags, 1st things first, if you buy these mags make sure you buy the load assist or it sucks real fast thumbing it. Other than that i have had zero issues. My only complaint with the plinker mags is that they are so freaking big. I don’t really understand why either, i mean it’s almost twice as long as my 30 round pmag for my 5.56. Fit and finish it top notch however and if you want something reliable then that they are. And the load assist is under $10 if memory serves me correctly. I’ve have used them for about 3,000 rounds now. Hope this helps. And nice review on the 15/22. I have the FDE moe version myself and love it.

  2. Jason April 3, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    I love my MOE version, just can’t find any mags for it!!

    • Aaronymous June 8, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

      Not sure where you live, but I was in Scheels in Sandy, Utah last week and they had bucket loads of the 30rd S&W magazines. It doesn’t look like they sell anything firearm related online though

  3. Nate April 3, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    Ben,
    I only have experience with the standard 25 round magazines from S&W. they work great for me and highly recommend them.

  4. Ken Millard April 3, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    I bought the “Performance Center” version. It is a bit pickier on the ammo, The quiet, subsonic LR’s don’t cycle (never thought they would). This version comes with a list of ammo’s that are known unreliable and others that known reliable. My barrel is threaded and the stock is great. I’ve put a Nikon 3-12 scope and mounts on it. The rifle is much more accurate than I am.

  5. Bob September 23, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

    Got one a few years back slightly used ($425) and had some stovepipes. Sent it to S&W and it was returned “fixed”. Seems fine now.

    Even so, I “had” to get another one this week when I saw them on sale for $100 LESS than I paid for a used one a few years back! Investment people call this “dollar-cost-averaging”, so I figure its a great investment, averaging out my per-gun cost at about $360.

  6. tim butler February 14, 2015 at 8:14 pm #

    I recently purchased this s&w 22. H mags. Does anyone know of a web site that sells this stuff. Also are the ar15 grips and stocks interchangeable with the 22. Thanks
    having trouble finding different parts fort it like grips, stocks

    • tim butler February 14, 2015 at 8:17 pm #

      messed up the typing on original comment. looking for a web site that sells accessories
      for this 22

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