Dedicated .22LR AR

The War Wagon

Full Access Member
Here is MY approach to the topic at hand; my Tactical Solutions .22LR AR Project WARNING - PIC HEAVY!

I started this project in the fall of 2010 - it took until March of 2011 to finish. I'll fill you in on some of my mistakes :eek: , as well as my positive experiences with this project.

So I'd had this project in mind for a while. With 4 hungry 5.56 AR's, I knew there HAD to be a CHEAPER practice/range solution (particularly for CQB drills, working on my stance, hold, trigger control, etc.), than even BULK .223 can provide (and Homey DON'T do steel cased .223 - Homey don't play dat!).

So I've known about conversions like the Ciener for years, but reviews were always a mixed bag on them. Besides which, if I'm DOING CQB drills, I'd like a LITTLE accuracy for my efforts, rather than have the .22 round come bouncing out a 5.56 bbl!

So I priced a few of the factory .22LR AR's, like the S&W M&P15-22, and the Colt .22 AR. Both can be had for around $500 - $600 after sales tax, which ain't bad, BUT... I'm one of THOSE people, who always has an extra lower or two laying around anyways - why NOT check into a dedicated .22LR upper? With that in mind, I looked into the offerings that were out there, & at the Tactical Solutions M4-style upper in particular. After MUCH reading & research, I decided that summer of 2010, that they had the best DEDICATED .22 upper around.

Moreover, I wanted to build as realistic a trainer as possible, vis-a-vis my other AR's (all middys), and their platform seemed ideal. Of course, I was gonna need rails, an optic, AVG, light, sling, and other such goodies, to make it match. And it was about this same time, I decided to sell my POF-415, so I stripped a LOT of the gear off of it, to build this project. Made it a lot cheaper too.

So of my two spare lowers (Colt 6920 and an Aero-Precision), the A-P made the most sense, MAINLY because, it comes with a full hammer. TacSol's do NOT like notched hammers for some reason. Since the Colt has one, that pretty much settled it for me!



I'd bought this lower NEW, off another board some time ago, for only $200 - WITH the ARF-X stock, no less!!! A Magpul enhanced trigger guard and Ergo grip later, it was good to go!

Addax Tactical cut me a good deal on an upper, so I ordered it in October. Only problem was, it was backordered... 'til mid-December... ouch. I couldn't complain, because Chris got me a GREAT deal, so my patience was eventually rewarded.

Here's how TacSol's goodies look from the factory...




With Addax being in CA, I was afraid I was going to get stuck with a 10rnd CA-compliant mag. But since it was just passing THROUGH Chris' shop to me, I got a nice Black Dog Machine 26rnd. smoke-colored mag instead!

I had originally bought some MI Carbine 2-piece rails for it, but then I realized, I don't actually OWN another carbine-length AR! It was going to affect the placement of my AVG, light, and optic, which wouldn't be any help at ALL, compared to my other AR's. Shortly thereafter, I got some gently-used OmegaX 12.0 FSP rails, which would allow for my sight post to be retained, & give me a platform similar to my other ARs for gear mounting.

Naturally, this would necessitate removing the delta ring, spring pack, & the sight post/gas block, which is a SNAP, right? I mean, the post/block is for 'decoration' basically on a .22LR - there is NO gas tube, so you punch out the roll pins, and it falls right off, no?


Tactical Solutions, in its infinite wisdom, decided to Loc-Tite the whole assembly to the bbl. No problem- I don't like the A2/3/4 style sight post ANYWAYS. So I'll take a hammer and KNOCK it off (which is WHEN I discovered the Loc-Tite).

OK... BAD move on MY part, but there's nothing in the instructions, nor anything I've ever read on-line, about the FREEPIN' sight post/block, being LOC-TITED on the ^&%%$&%^$&%$ barrel!!! So I'm posting it HERE, for the WHOLE WORLD TO SEE - your sight post/block on a TacSol upper is LOC-TITED ON - HANDLE WITH CARE.

That's because, when you hammer it off (and the Delta ring is installed by a 900lb gorilla, too! Be SURE to have a vice and block, in order to loosen/remove it PROPERLY!!!), THIS is what happens to the barrel, inside its chamber sleeve...



It ROTATES... and the bolt WON'T close... ^&%&%^$%^#%$$^$&*#$!!!

Ok... do I send it back to Addax, or do I send it back to Tac-Sol? I actually call my buddy, Kevin Johnson, (formerly) of Johnson Tactical, LLC over in Monroeville (just east of da' 'BURGH), and ask him what HE thinks? He says, "Bring it by, and I'll see what I can do."

So I run it out to him just hours before Christmas, and over his Christmas/New Year's holiday no less, does that voodoo, that he do, so well upon it. I finally found time to go out and pick it up Monday morning (before the Blizzard of Aught-11 hit!), and not only has he UN-screwed it up for me, he does it for for less expense, than I probably could have shipped and insured it!!! He's test-fired it, smoothed out where I roughed it up, reassembled it with my "ARMS" front sight and DD rails installed!

Now speaking of my "ARMS" sight, here it is.


A VERY slick little piece of work, the B-41 Shilouette, no? Look closer...


Because confession is good for the soul, I must confess - it's NOT an ARMS B-41. It's... Airsoft. :eek:

Because I live near Amped Airsoft here in Pittsburgh, I have gotten Magpul ladders, and some other genuine Magpul gear there. They carry the REAL deal, in addition to Magpul's Airsoft line, and can order anything else I need. I'm not into Airsoft, but was impressed with the quality & likeness of some of the Airsoft replica stuff these days (I did Paintball in the late '80's - stuff's come a LONG way since then!). Out of curiosity, I asked how much that sight went for, when I saw it in the case. New, it was all of... $30!

Hmmm... $153.50 for the REAL deal, or $30 for an Airsoft replica, that's going on a .22LR anyways? NOT a tough choice there! And YES - I'm the FIRST to bi-otch about cheap, Airsoft knockoff stuff going on an AR, BUT... not only does this work, it's also the right weight, and what the heck do I need a GAS BLOCK on a .22LR anyways?!?! Here's the ONE TIME, you can legitimately cut a corner, I think, AND get away with it. Especially for realistic .22 Trainer.

... to be continued ...
Pt. 2

So here's my FUNCTIONAL upper, after Kevin finished with it.



Time to fold flap 'A', into slot 'B'!


Everything fits, test cycles, and dry fires just fine. Now time to install the goodies.


From left to right - TacticalLink 2pt. sling, Trijicon RX30-23, Magpul MBUS rear sight & DD rail mount QD sling swivel mount, Black Dog Machine 26 rnd. BLK mag (got three of these from - GREAT price, in-stock, and FAST shipping! First time I ever used them, and they were outstanding to deal with!), G&R Tactical closeout special - PentagonLight X2 Xenon (not a terribly bright light, but 1) it was cheap, and 2) the weight is 'correct.' This is a TRAINER, not a 'response rifle' anyways!) in a Vltor Scout mount, & Magpul rail ladders (Amped Airsoft, again). NOT pictured - my Magpul AVG.

SOME assembly later, and... VOILA!



NOT too shabby, huh?

I haven't WEIGHED it yet, but it seems comparable to my BCM middy, for reference. Can't wait to get out and shoot it a bit, and especially work on my trigger control with this.

This project turned out to be a MUCH bigger headache than I'd planned for. I've BUILT my own 5.56 AR's, but this .22 is a VERY different cat to work on. Plan accordingly, if you want to undertake one....

The War Wagon

Full Access Member
Pt. deux...

But THEN... because the idea was to mimic my other AR's as closely as possible, when I finally got new bifocals, and transitioned from Trijicon Reflex optics, to Aimpoints, I decided to go the same route with my trainer as well.

Mounted in an ADM absolute co-witness Mount, is an Aimpoint PRO. Has rubber lens caps and a flash kill - the dot & the controls are also identical to my Comp M2 and Pro optics on my other rifles. I've also switched over to a Troy folding rear BUIS as well.


Surefire E1B in a Gear Sector offset mount - TacticalLink 2-pt. sling (waaaaaay too expensive for a .22LR AR, but it was a leftover from my POF!), and it's good to go!

It's a breeze to wield, cycles Hornady 36gr. fodder with ease, and is a hoot to shoot! It also has a much more solid feel to it, than the polymer S&W M&P.22, for instance. I've run at least 2k of ammo through it, with nary a hiccup. Much less to clean than a standard 5.56 AR, too!

For MY money, the dedicated .22 AR is the way to go. Besides which, if a lower from one of my 5.56 AR's goes down, I pop the upper off this one, pop a 5.56 upper ONTO this lower, and - VOILA - you're back in the game with a BIG BOY AR! :favorites13:

The War Wagon

Full Access Member
Now if we could just get the 22 rounds back in the store like we used to.

I know they've been hard to find for folk of late, and maybe I'm just weird, but for at least a decade now, every time I went to a gun shop/sporting goods store, I'd just pick up at LEAST one brick per trip! EVEN if I was just killing time, and bought NOTHING else, I'd get a brick of 500, 333, or whatever they had, just to have some.

I've been plinking away about a thousand rounds a year now, since 5.56 got scarce after the first Der Kommissar Obamassar coronation, and am sitting on 18k of it still. So I'm probably JUST weird, but I've NEVER had a 'shortage' of .22LR... :hmm:

Concealed 27

Full Access Member
That's a beautiful 22 Long rifle AR you did excellent job on it my friend sure beats my 22 Long rifle takedown Ruger LOL anyways like I said you didn't awesome job looks great
Concealed 27

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