Range Report: M&P 15-22 Review (with Various Ammo)

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  • techres

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    Mar 14, 2008
    Range Report: M&P 15-22 Review (with Various Ammo)

    Mission: Test M&P 15-22 Rifle for use as AR Trainer and Appleseed LTR
    Ammo Tested: .22lr Federal Bulk, .22lr CCI MiniMag, .22lr CCI Standard, .22lr Remington Subsonic
    Range: 25 Yards (On reduced side 25 meter Targets)
    Testers: Me & The Boy
    Shooting Position: Prone with Loop Sling (zip tied on)
    Weather Conditions: Beautiful Sunny Day, Some Wind


    The LTR Standard to be Measured By:

    The basic idea of the Liberty Training Rifle is one that is able to be used for training to a 4 MOA standard and to do so cheaply with .22lr ammo. The rifle needs to be reliable and accurate to 4 Minutes of Angle (1" @ 25 yards). Sling mounts are a plus, but plastic ties can suffice. Any form of sighting system is fine, but peep iron sights are a great way to start. In this case I will be using a scope which is also common.

    10/22's, 597's, Plinksters, and many other rifles fit the bill and do very, very well at events. They are also great choices due to the fact that you can build 2 of them for the price of one of these M&P's. This is what my other LTR looks like:


    At the same time, the M&P useful as an AR training tool beyond the LTR standard.

    Initial Observations:

    The rifle is very light and well balanced. Since the caliber is .22lr there is no penalty in recoil and the weight will give a real advantage to youth shooters as will the collapsable stock (my 10/22 LTR is too long for The Boy). Actually, it has just enough recoil to make it "feel" more real than heavier .22lr's. The controls match an AR well and have well done detail. One example is the safety markings on the right side which aid Appleseed instructors see that the rifle is on safe when grounded:


    And there is an advantage to having round visibility:


    Each new ammo was used to re-zero the rifle and then a 5 square target was hit with 25 rounds (5 rounds per square) and results recorded. Results as follows...

    1. Federal Bulk .22lr:

    Federal is reliable and accurate. It is super cheap. It makes a great choice and one that I really hoped would work well.


    Result: The rifle zeroed easily and fired without a failure. The best grouping was 3 MOA and the average was sub 4. The feel of the shots and the firing was great. Very comfortable.

    2. CCI MiniMag .22lr


    Result: The minimag outperforms the federal by roughly 1 moa, with the best being 2MOA. The results are slight and given the cost difference, I would probably use the Federal over the CCI minimag.

    3. CCI Standard .22lr


    Result: Wow! These are my favorite CCI rounds for accuracy and reliability. Yet again they did me well. There were no failures and the performance over the Federal was enough to offset the costs. The ~1.25 MOA group was shot just as the others, from the ground with a sling. It made me happy even if it was off to the right.

    4. Remington Subsonic .22lr


    Results: I was unsure whether this ammo would run or not. It performed accurately, but it did jam more than once. I hoped that the ammo would run well because I wanted to use it with a suppressor, and perhaps it will run well with a suppressor due to greater blow back. In this configuration, I would not use the subsonics again.

    This ends the basic accuracy testing. I had promised the boy that he would get a chance to run the rifle and see if it would work well. It was his turn.

    They Boy's Testing:

    He worked on killing some Zombie peep targets that I worked out for him. His job was to get them from his ammo fort/bunker and get all 6 before they could lumber over and zombify him with their surgary evil. There were also killer tomatoes to stop:


    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLHiH2mKcbA]YouTube - The Boy Testing the M&P AR-22 Rifle[/ame]

    Of 50 rounds fired, he no problems firing the Federal. The controls were fine except that his thumb was too short for the safety.

    Mostly, he had fun. My .223 AR15 left him recoil shy from the only time he tried it, and he has a nasty fear blink that we will need to work on. With the M&P, he had a good time and that is what I was looking for.

    My Quick Fire Testing:

    I ran a couple of Mags through quickly and it fired just fine. Frankly this would make a great steel or pin shooting rifle:

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_HDI01LD9Y]YouTube - Testing the M&P AR-22 Rifle[/ame]

    Now if I could just make it to friday night steel some day. Speaking of which, there was a FNS sticker on one of the trucks at the range today. Poor guy had a ton of gear to unload and I was happy to wait while he blocked the road. I wanted to ask if he was an INGO member, speak up if it was you.

    In any event, the rifle again ran flawlessly.


    1. Reliability: The rifle was plenty reliable for the training it is needed for. The subsonics were problematic, and unless they improve with a suppressor, I would just leave them in the closet.

    2. Accuracy: The ammo was all 4MOA accurate (last group in graph is the average):


    The CCI standard is still the best I have, but the Federal bulk is also fine and will be bought in great volume now that I know it works well. I ran a quick AQT before leaving and the rifle passed the test.

    3. Overall Use: The rifle is a lot of fun and will make a great training rifle. Not only will this make a great Appleseed rifle, but it will make a great black rifle trainer for my children, and a great action rifle trainer for me.

    4. Needed Improvements: The main fix I need is a shorter magazine for getting lower in prone. There is promise of one coming out, but nothing is ready now. This thread has some great mods that people are doing to shorten them up:


    I need to do this ASAP. The rifle comes with 1 mag, I will need to get 3 more and mod two of them. AIMsurplus also had a sling mount that I ordered which will be in monday. They sold it with free shipping I might add.

    5. Concerns: This thing is plastic. My main concern is the weaver rail which is hard, but can shave off with harsh treatment. I had to slide the scope forward during the testing and this became an evident concern. Easily enough, I will just be careful with it.

    That about covers it except for one last thing: Spending the day at the range with your son is always fun!





    Geek in Paradise!
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    Mar 26, 2008
    Brown County
    That's a great range report...It even had a graph!!!:rockwoot:

    Very nice pictures and write-up. Glad to know I can sleep tonight without fearing attack by the mutant zombie tomatoes!

    (p.s. I just put a set of TechSights on a standard Ruger 10/22 to make a Liberty Training Rifle. It shoots pretty well!)
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    Mar 28, 2008
    Does the performance correlate with the order in which you shot them? Dunno what order you actually tried the different loads, but was curious if you merely documented that you warmed up and got more consistent. No offense of course.


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    Mar 14, 2008
    Does the performance correlate with the order in which you shot them? Dunno what order you actually tried the different loads, but was curious if you merely documented that you warmed up and got more consistent. No offense of course.

    Probably not. The method I used was to zero with two 5 round groups. Then load up 25 rounds and do the 5 squares straight through without a break. Then we would stop to let the boy shoot for a bit at his targets and then go check. So there was 10+ minutes in between each group and the pattern was pretty smooth.

    There may have been some variation in the first group when I had to get the boy to stop throwing gravel at me and poking me. But, that only would account for a bit.

    These results hold pretty close to other tests I have done with this same ammo in 10/22's, etc. A long one is here.
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