Precision AR .22LR Upper?

BenY 2013

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Jan 23, 2012
1,246
10
42
23
SW Arkansas
#1
In the near future I am wanting to build a dedicated .22lr upper for my AR. Most likely going to have the barrel cut down to around 12" and SBR the lower just because I don't like long barrels. I don't know a whole lot about rimfire AR uppers so I'm open to ideas. I do have some criteria:

1. Accurate would like at least 1MOA and better with correct ammo. (I know alot of this has to do with barrel, ammo, trigger etc.) I am mostly asking about the barrel here.
2. Reliable, from some of the research I've done some of the bolts can be quite tricky to get to feed reliably.
3. Use Black Dog magazines if possible.

Right now I'm seriously considering the JP barrel and bolt. But wanted to see if there were any better options to look at. Found Beyer barrels today which looks kind of promising.

So what do I need to know? Thanks

Ben
 

Rolltide

Sergeant
Belligerents
Sep 14, 2003
424
68
34
44
East Tennessee
#2
I hear good things about Compass Lake, but have no first hand experience. FWIW, my 15-22PC will do 1MOA - 1.5 MOA with Center-X on a somewhat consistent basis.
 

kl3309

No Buddly left behind.
Belligerents
Oct 26, 2011
560
414
69
Too damn close to D.C.
#3
Keystone Accuracy will do an upper for you: https://www.keystoneaccuracy.com/match-grade-uppers.html
They machine the ramp and ejector cuts in the barrel shank so you use a CMMG .22 bolt without the collar.

Orrrrrrrrrr, you SBR an M&P15-22:
KL180547.JPG

Feeds and ejects perfectly but you will have to tune the firing pin spring if you want to use an aftermarket trigger. Key to consistent accuracy for these is to re-enforce the upper/handguard joint. I use a PRI .308-sized riser to tie the upper together.
 
Likes: Rolltide

adamjma

Cold fingers
Belligerents
Feb 13, 2017
160
72
34
Canada
#4
I picked up a CMMG 9" barrel + BCG kit as well as a 16" TacSol kit and the latter is more accurate. With yellow box Remington Eley Target the TacSol printed a pair of 1/2 MOA clusters that were within 1 MOA total for a 10 shot group at 50 m. Light barrel too. This was with a bipod, Geissele G2S trigger and at best a 1/2 MOA shooter behind the wheel. Next best was CCI std velocity with just over 1 MOA 10 shot group.

Surprisingly the CMMG was running just over 1-1/4 MOA with CCI Std velocity.

Edited to add that both functioned great with Black Dog Magazines.
 
Last edited:

BenY 2013

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Jan 23, 2012
1,246
10
42
23
SW Arkansas
#6
Keystone Accuracy will do an upper for you: https://www.keystoneaccuracy.com/match-grade-uppers.html
They machine the ramp and ejector cuts in the barrel shank so you use a CMMG .22 bolt without the collar.

Orrrrrrrrrr, you SBR an M&P15-22:
View attachment 6951470

Feeds and ejects perfectly but you will have to tune the firing pin spring if you want to use an aftermarket trigger. Key to consistent accuracy for these is to re-enforce the upper/handguard joint. I use a PRI .308-sized riser to tie the upper together.
Nice looking rifle! I'm waiting to hear back from keystone as it looks like he may do custom barrel lengths from the get go. That way I wouldn't have to send my barrel off to have it shortened and rethreaded. Plus everything I have seen on them says they just flat out shoot!

Ben
 

FromMyColdDeadHand

40X Mafia
Belligerents
Jun 19, 2008
303
159
49
47
CO
#7
I was going to go high end with a JP upper, but I short-bussed it by going with a email deal on a PSA 22lr upper for $269.... Conversion kits run about $200. I've wanted to do a dueling tree against my son and I have some left over lowers from the father's day sale. 1MOA accurate? We'll see....
 

Hoser

Ninja
Belligerents
Apr 12, 2005
1,162
118
69
108
East Africa
#8
I have 2 CLE uppers. One in service rifle config and the other just set up to be a quiet plinker. Both will shoot well under 1/2 inch at 50 yards and 1 inch at 100 if I feed them good ammo.
 
Likes: Seymour Fish

nakoa01

Private
Minuteman
Jul 2, 2018
26
1
6
#9
I have 2 CLE uppers. One in service rifle config and the other just set up to be a quiet plinker. Both will shoot well under 1/2 inch at 50 yards and 1 inch at 100 if I feed them good ammo.
I have built 5 ar 22s. All light weight models. For light weight, lights out accuracy only one barrel. Beyer. I test 13 brands of ammunition at 50 yds on a bench using a weaver v16, cmmg 22 arc bolt, and cmc 2 stage trigger. Ammo was sk rigle match, pistol match, std plus, cci std velocity, mini mags, eley subsonic, target, club, match, wolf me, as and a few others. Average for as ll groups combined was .48. Bought a 6in barrel to sbr kn a 10/22 from him and it shots .6 suppressed ar 37yds. A 16in barrel that shoots cci suppressor into a nickel at 50.
 

BenY 2013

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Jan 23, 2012
1,246
10
42
23
SW Arkansas
#10
I have built 5 ar 22s. All light weight models. For light weight, lights out accuracy only one barrel. Beyer. I test 13 brands of ammunition at 50 yds on a bench using a weaver v16, cmmg 22 arc bolt, and cmc 2 stage trigger. Ammo was sk rigle match, pistol match, std plus, cci std velocity, mini mags, eley subsonic, target, club, match, wolf me, as and a few others. Average for as ll groups combined was .48. Bought a 6in barrel to sbr kn a 10/22 from him and it shots .6 suppressed ar 37yds. A 16in barrel that shoots cci suppressor into a nickel at 50.
Aren't the Beyer barrels aluminum shrouded with a .22 lining in them? Not entirely sure if I like that idea since I plan on using a suppressor. Do you shoot with a suppressor? Any issues?

Ben
 

nakoa01

Private
Minuteman
Jul 2, 2018
26
1
6
#11
Yes sir. His barrel is a stisnless liner with 7075 aluminum on outside not 6061. Suppressed is no problem. I shoot all them suppressed inless benching for groups so I dont dirty up baffles.
 

BenY 2013

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Jan 23, 2012
1,246
10
42
23
SW Arkansas
#14
Yes I don't mind the weight since this is going to be a dedicated precision rig, but I am wanting to keep the barrel length short at 13.7", not sure if he does custom lengths or not yet.

Ben
 

adamjma

Cold fingers
Belligerents
Feb 13, 2017
160
72
34
Canada
#15
Out of curiosity, does anyone make barrels for the TACSOL BCG? Comparing it to the CMMG one, it's like a Ferrari versus a Lada. I'd love to get a 10.5" equivalent steel barrel so I can clone my SBR upper.
 

BenY 2013

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Jan 23, 2012
1,246
10
42
23
SW Arkansas
#19
Keystone Accuracy 22lr uppers are extremely accurate and use Black dog mags
I've talked to the guy at Keystone and will likely go that way especially since he does custom configurations. I'm wanting a 10.3" barrel now as I'm planning on SBRing the lower. This thing just go a lot more expensive.

But I figure a 10.3" barrel from Keystone, suppressor and a Vortex 2.5-10 PST on top would make a nice little package capable of good accuracy.

Ben
 

flatland1

Sergeant
Belligerents
Jul 7, 2005
866
231
49
67
Western Kansas
#21
Hoser - I bought a converted M261 unit & match SS bbl from CLE a couple of years ago and put an upper together on Aero Precision parts. Accuracy is at least as good as the complete CLE SR 22RF upper I'd purchased back in the late-90s while I was still in the hunt for leg points, but sold to a friend after I legged-out in 2001. Got to missing that upper & how well it shot, which is why I bought the M261 & bbl. I've got a RRA 2-stage NM trigger in the lower, and had issues with it not cycling. Remembered having to bend the hammer spring legs to reduce spring tension on my old 22RF rig, and have tried that on this one, but it's still giving me problems. What trigger do you like in your CLE? IIRC, I wound up going with one of Frank's old CLE trigger conversions for that first 22RF upper, but that's not an option today, as I got rid of all those triggers when I gave up shooting AR SRs.
 

Hoser

Ninja
Belligerents
Apr 12, 2005
1,162
118
69
108
East Africa
#22
I am using Geissele NM triggers and they run perfect. But I do have to keep them clean because my cans gunk them up in a hurry. Hurry as in I have to wipe things down every couple hundred rounds or so.

I had an early CLE NM trigger in one of my service rifles. Its was ok, but I ditched it and went back to my KM and eventually Geissele.
 

ShooterwithNoName

Regular Guy
Belligerents
Minuteman
Jan 14, 2012
335
258
69
Central WV
#27
I would concentrate on 16" barrels for best 22LR performance.

Greg
I was just curious about this recommendation? After 16" is the powder pretty much burned up in a 22lr? Just wondering because I'm planning on building a 22 trainer upper for use here at the house. Something I can practice off hand and sitting without pissing off the neighbors.

So I'm trying to figure out exactly how to build this thing before I go dropping the coin on a premium rimfire upper. My plan was to go with a 20" since that's similar in profile to my service rifle upper. But if 16" is a better option I can go with that and just buy a rimfire can down the road to help with the balance.
 

TerryH

Private
Belligerents
Feb 25, 2017
33
29
24
#28
Can we get specs on that? Or maybe some group pics if you have them? Very nice!

Ben
Ben

The basic components are the Maga Arms ambi upper/lower and float tube.
Barrel is a Benchmark 2 groove 1:16.26 finished at straight .8" diameter with 5/8 UNEF thread for suppressor or flash hider (as a thread cover).
Chose Benchmark 2 groove as they seem to be the top dogs in 22BR competitions so no harm there as a staring point :)
18" as I wanted a rifle as opposed to a carbine and 18" and .8 diameter balanced the heavy Magpul stock i planned to use.
As other have said no real gain in going much past 16", but no harm either, your call.
Trigger is a very nice, but new to me a Millazo-Krieger A2 NM (I'd used Gieselle up to that point on AR's)
Stock and trimmings Magpul, + Ergo grip
Has a Booney Hills hold opend device and uses S&W magazines
2 scopes employed dependant on use, Both March, 1-8 x 24 FFP illuminated and a 2.5-25 x 42 SFP. MDI quick release mounts, 20moa on the 2.5-25
FED / black trim as per images, Ceracoate on uppe/lower
Do not have images of groups to hand but from memory best ammo found so far has been CCI target solid and RWS R50 at 50 yards nice cluster type groups - not one hole.

John at Keystone very helpful thought selection an build process.

Brgds Terry
 

BenY 2013

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Jan 23, 2012
1,246
10
42
23
SW Arkansas
#29
Ben

The basic components are the Maga Arms ambi upper/lower and float tube.
Barrel is a Benchmark 2 groove 1:16.26 finished at straight .8" diameter with 5/8 UNEF thread for suppressor or flash hider (as a thread cover).
Chose Benchmark 2 groove as they seem to be the top dogs in 22BR competitions so no harm there as a staring point :)
18" as I wanted a rifle as opposed to a carbine and 18" and .8 diameter balanced the heavy Magpul stock i planned to use.
As other have said no real gain in going much past 16", but no harm either, your call.
Trigger is a very nice, but new to me a Millazo-Krieger A2 NM (I'd used Gieselle up to that point on AR's)
Stock and trimmings Magpul, + Ergo grip
Has a Booney Hills hold opend device and uses S&W magazines
2 scopes employed dependant on use, Both March, 1-8 x 24 FFP illuminated and a 2.5-25 x 42 SFP. MDI quick release mounts, 20moa on the 2.5-25
FED / black trim as per images, Ceracoate on uppe/lower
Do not have images of groups to hand but from memory best ammo found so far has been CCI target solid and RWS R50 at 50 yards nice cluster type groups - not one hole.

John at Keystone very helpful thought selection an build process.

Brgds Terry
Thanks for the info! It's a great looking build!

Any idea what brand barrel was used on that build?

I would concentrate on 16" barrels for best 22LR performance.

Greg
Care to elaborate? I'm certainly not going any longer than 16" but plan on shorter.

Ben
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Belligerents
Aug 10, 2001
5,831
1,093
119
Arizona, good place for me...
#34
I was just curious about this recommendation? After 16" is the powder pretty much burned up in a 22lr? Just wondering because I'm planning on building a 22 trainer upper for use here at the house. Something I can practice off hand and sitting without pissing off the neighbors.

So I'm trying to figure out exactly how to build this thing before I go dropping the coin on a premium rimfire upper. My plan was to go with a 20" since that's similar in profile to my service rifle upper. But if 16" is a better option I can go with that and just buy a rimfire can down the road to help with the balance.
Yes, at roughly 16" the 22lr's powder is fully consumed. Longer barrels tend to be for the purpose of providing a longer sight radius, or for balance and/or aesthetic purposes.

FWIW, I would also prefer a dedicated Upper for the .22LR, as there are small differences in things like bore diameter (.223"), etc. In practice the performance differences are negligible, so don't get carried away about such things.

Greg
 

Rolltide

Sergeant
Belligerents
Sep 14, 2003
424
68
34
44
East Tennessee
#35
It sounds like there are several great options for a dedicated AR upper or barrel. Has anyone tried the Volquartsen barrels in an upper? I've been looking at one to have a dedicated AR that will shoot with my other rimfires, instead of the average at best groups I'm getting with my 15-22 PC.
 

Conaso

Private
Belligerents
Jul 8, 2011
102
14
22
Ft. Belvoir Area, Northern Virginia
#36
One size does not fit all. Having a 22lr 16" barrel does not guarantee improved accuracy or internal ballistics efficacy. I have a JP Rifles AR15 JPNC ded. upper with 18" barrel. I also have a Win. M1885 low-wall with a 26" barrel. Both scoped and both rifles' ammunition was chosen to chronograph slightly above or below speed of sound to avoid transsonic destabilization. Both shoot 3/4 MOA. If you want a short barrel and accuracy, pick a quality firearm and ammunition best suited for your shooting environment.
 

Gundoc

Sgt
Belligerents
Sep 13, 2014
40
30
24
DFW, Texas
#37
the most reliable Mags for .22LR AR's are the S&W M&P mags. coupled with a Boonie packer better mag adapter, giving you hold open etc.
Personally Ive found that chambering in .22bentz gives a nice accurate chamber, and a little work on the CMMG collar ensures reliable feeding/ extraction (although they are a lot better than they were 3-4 years ago)
 

BenY 2013

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Jan 23, 2012
1,246
10
42
23
SW Arkansas
#38
the most reliable Mags for .22LR AR's are the S&W M&P mags. coupled with a Boonie packer better mag adapter, giving you hold open etc.
Personally Ive found that chambering in .22bentz gives a nice accurate chamber, and a little work on the CMMG collar ensures reliable feeding/ extraction (although they are a lot better than they were 3-4 years ago)

Are you clambering your own barrel? If not who is doing it for the dedicated upper?

Ben
 

flatland1

Sergeant
Belligerents
Jul 7, 2005
866
231
49
67
Western Kansas
#39
I am using Geissele NM triggers and they run perfect. But I do have to keep them clean because my cans gunk them up in a hurry. Hurry as in I have to wipe things down every couple hundred rounds or so.

I had an early CLE NM trigger in one of my service rifles. Its was ok, but I ditched it and went back to my KM and eventually Geissele.
Hoser,
I just got a Geissele B-G2S-E trigger from Brownells ($135) for the CLE dedicated 22RF rifle. Swapped out the RRA 2-stage NM unit for this one, and wound up with an excellent 3lb break & solid function with std vel SK Std+ ammo. Only downside is, now I'm wanting to get more of these triggers for my other ARs....always thought the RRA with a lighter disconnect spring was plenty good enough, but running just 10rds through the CLE with the Geissele has me wondering... I put a Fenix TK16 light on it for use while playing bodyguard against coyotes when I have my little Aussie shepard/border collie cross out after dark. Find myself wishing I'd have had Frank turn the SR contour bbl down lighter - the little sucker weighs 11.25lbs.
 

Attachments

Last edited: