Where to start with this little polymer gem of a rifle. Originally released to the world in January 2009 the Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 gave serious AR platform rifles lovers an opportunity to rejoice and jump for joy. Finally no more .22 Long Rifle conversions for their AR rifles, finally a 22LR that is lightweight (5 lbs weight) and has the same ergonomics and controls of a traditional .223/5.56mm AR15 rifle, built by a reputable manufacturer that stands behind its product. My M&P15-22 sports a 16.5″ barrrel and a traditional M4 style collapsible stock along with detachable front and rear sites nicely mated to an M4 style quad rail system. Here is a link to the S&W page of Specs .
Now that we have the introductions all done lets get into the bulk of the hands on portion of the review. Range Time. First out of the box I loaded the magazines to their capacity of 25 rounds using American Eagle 40 grain solid lead 22LR ammo. This ammo generally tends to be problematic to alot of semi autos I have shot in the past. It tends to cause a good deal of debris and stickiness in the chamber. The Magazines are defiantly well built. Polymer but robust is the best way to describe them. No issues here 5 out of 5 stars for that part. My one minor complaint is that you only get 1 when you buy the rifle but more magazines can be had at a very reasonable 19.99 locally. On to the sights. They are basic A2 military style sights that are detachable with a large thumb screw. Pretty plain and simple but they are actually made of metal , a big plus there in terms of durability , 5 out of 5 rating again. To the left is a nice little view down the line of sight, where you can get a better idea of the grip screws and how it lines up with an Eotech style optic.
Now to the meat of the rifle the overall construction and build. Basics include 16.5″ steel barrel with a 1-15″ twist and polymer rail and built in brass deflector to continue with the basic feel and fit of its larger brother the Smith & Wesson M&P15 (.223/5.56mm). Top marks were given to the staff at Smith & Wesson for making the bolt catch , magazine release and charging handle all function exactly the same as the .223 variant. Time to put the rifle through it’s paces and see what it could do. As I mentioned about I loaded my 3 magazines with the American Eagle bulk pack ammo, hung my zombie Osama Bin Laden target on the wooden frame and prepared to start my evaluation. Magazine inserted …Firing line “HOT” …check , Magazine inserted ..CHECK , Safety on…CHECK, Pull and release charging handle ..CHECK , finally safety moved to “FIRE” ..Take Aim … Squeeze…My immediate thought once the first round went off was ” wow , trigger not as bad as i thought” . The creep in the trigger was easily detectable, and made follow up shots a breeze, This may not seem like a big deal to some, BUT all too often triggers on .22 rifles are gritty and have alot of slack. Not the case here, each of the 25 rounds fired found there mark, with no functional problems although a bit low. This would have been fixed if i remembered to raise the front sight post (my fault completely). The theme of this range session was load , fire 25 times , repeat as many times as a guy wanted. This test was rather short 250 rounds total with a staggering 2 stoppages due to bad ammunition not bad function of the rifle. My short review was done for the day leaving me with a feeling that I will need to get a 2nd AR15-22 for myself as this one actually belongs to my wife. Smith & Wesson really did their homework with this one and got it all right , my unscientific rating of 5 out of 5 on the frame and shooting sections of the review pretty much sums up my new found lust for this .22 caliber rifle. One final note I almost forgot the tube rail on the rifle is “Mil-Spec” diameter which means any AR15 stock that is the same diameter will fit on it. My test rifle was fitted with an Vltor Imod stock that i use on all my AR style rifles in my stock pile. Below is a few pictures of the S&W M&P15/22 (on the right ) with its big brother. It’s hard to tell them apart at first glance. I’ve also included a quick shot of close up of the profile of the rifle showing the ejection port and brass deflector. Thanks again. feel free to check the links below