ARP 038 - Listener Hands-On Experience with 22LR Conversion Kits & BUIS

The AR-15 Podcast listeners share their knowledge and experiences with BUIS and 22LR Conversions

Welcome to episode 38 of the AR15 Podcast.  I’m your host Jake Challand with Co-host Reed Snyder. This is THEE podcast about youuurrrr favorite black rifle!  This show is for you; whether you're building your first AR or you’ve been building AR’s for years.  There’s something we can all do to take our black rifle to the next level.

Training Tip of The Week:  Capture your training on video to see yourself in action from a third person perspective.

Main Topic:  Listener Hands-On Experience with 22LR Conversion Kits & BUIS

Bryan Bolivar Canadian Service Conditions Radio: Regarding your response to the listener regarding accuracy troubles with his BUIS:

I believe the listener stated that they limited experience with aperture sights which could be a factor in his struggles.

Given your experience and training with the Marines perhaps it may be beneficial to the listeners for you to cover how properly use military aperture sights. My thought is that you could cover:

1) how the eye naturally centres in the rear sight,

2) that the shooter should focus on the front sight rather than the target

3) and perhaps adopting a 6 o'clock hold for initial sight in and practice which aids in precision.

The listener may also want to consider letting a more experienced shooter try shooting with his BUIS to further test to see if they are the problem like you suggested (which I agree may well be the case)

Rudy: Hey guys, I just got done listening to episode 37 of your podcast. I wanted to comment on a question one of your listeners sent in about his new Magpul BUIS's. I've never personally used Magpul sights, but on the M-16 we were issued in the Army, there were also 2 different sized holes for the rear sight. The small and large holes are not for long a short range, but they are for daytime and nighttime shooting. The small hole is for daytime use and the large hole is for nighttime use (something about how your eyes works at night). Anyway, using the small hole should help with the accuracy problem.

Stan: Hey there, guys.  Long time listener of the Firearms Radio Network, and a big fan of this show.

I just finished listening to Episode 37 about the .22 LR, and I wanted to add some info to the listener question about the Magpul MBUS sights and not being able to sight them in.

While you did mention the possibility of counterfeit product, I also wanted to chime in with something else.  Like Reed, I wanted to hear more information from that listener as well.  In particular where did he buy the sights from?  During my build, I was excited to see that I could buy Magpul MBUS sights from Amazon for really cheap, like $30 a set, but a little more reading revealed that they make a line of MBUS sights specifically for airsoft.  These sights are the Magpul PTS line, and PTS is short for Professional Training and Simulation.  They're hard to identify as the packaging looks VERY similar to that of the real MBUS sights.  One poster on did mention that the real MBUS sights are never boxed together.  Don't know if that's really true.  I found some other threads on talking about these sights and how they won't hold a zero, and this is because they are not designed to handle the kind of shock and recoil that come with a rifle caliber.

Apparently, the difference can be told when you find that the ghost ring of the rear sight is not made of metal.

I hope this little tidbit of info can help your listener.  If he bought them dirt cheap from Amazon, he may have gotten one of these PTS sights.  They're genuine Magpul: just not made for real rifles.

Wes Carlile: Guys on the email that you got about problems sighting in there rifle. The first problem is that the guy is having is using the large open in the rear sight. That sight is used in the military when we are using a gas mask. And go online and use the military targets for sighting in your Iron sights. The target is for 25 yard target which will help you at 100 yards.

glen biddle: i own the M&P 15/22 and i love it.  lower parts are the same as a reg ar but that is it, no buffer tube or gas system.  as for the old conversion kits, these were for military use for alt qualification at 25 meters.  they were not looking for accuracy at long distance just doing a modified qual in a smaller or indoor range.  i have shot these many times as a catm instructor in the air force.  the army used them too.   you can find these kits at gun shows for about 125.00.   the chiappa ar complete gun and/or upper are decent but on the lower end.  the umarex colts are very good (i bought the uzi umarex and it is cool)  the mossberg 702 plinkster is low end junk but will suffice.   the old ap-74 or mitchell arms was the first really good copy of the ar in 22.   i love the m and p.  i also own the ati  hk mp5/22 and the ak/22.  all good fun.  i think someone has copied a scar in 22 as well.   the ati 1911 pistol in 22 is fun to shoot.   i have switched to mostly shooting 22 now with the ammo crunch.  i bought a boat load of it after the last election and the night of the newtown, ct shooting anticipating the panic buying.  the M&P handles just like an ar and i can hit steel 9x11 tgt  at 100 meters with it with no problem using magpul mbus and i also have a bushnell trophy red dot on it with the sights co witnessed on the dot.  I also have a R R A 9mm ar which is just a lot of fun to shoot.

Dixie Pattengale: I just put a .22LR in AR 15 platform in layaway. As soon as I get it out I will be sure to let you know what I think. I seen it yesterday and then listened to your podcast about the .22LR AR 15. I knew it was meant to be , so it's in layaway +today. Love the AR 15 podcast, keep up the good work.

Jake I just watched one of the live broadcast on youtube. You look a lot different than I had pictured in my mind. I guess that\'s not a bad thing , I had you pictured as a little old guy. Lol ! Keep up the good work. I listen to all the podcast on the firearms network. They are all top notch.

Ben Wagner: You mentioned on episode 37 that you're looking for a small-diameter forend. Have you  checked out Troy Industries\' Alpha Rail? I used one on my current build, which I started after listening to the AR15 podcast, and the Alpha rail is light weight and not bulky. You can add rail sections only where you want them. The Alpha rail is also compatible with standard barrel nuts.

Matt Hoffman: Hey guys

 Just a few experiences with the .22 ar\'s I have had. These are just my first hand so your mileage may vary.

I used a buddies drop in cmmg bolt/mag. It functioned but accuracy past 20yds was horrible and the leading was bad also. After a 100 or so rounds gas port was nonexistent.It would work for learning manual of arms but I don\'t think overall its practical.

I ended up with the S&W15-22. It was cheaper and nearly identical to my ar. It was cheaper than the Colt and the mags/reloading was way closer to real than the Mossberg which has a odd mag.

The 15-22 functions great,fun as hell and as accurate as any standard rimfire rifle and accepts standard ar furniture. 1 note though, I was told by a Smith friend that not all dropin triggers for the ar will reset with the .22 ammo so you should check with the manufacturer.

 The only down side for me is its polymer.I would like to sling it tight for maybe an appleseed shoot or just practice but am afraid of distorting it. So I would like to buy a dedicated upper or a ccmg kit with their barrel and put it on a standard lower. Then use Blackdog mags. From our Steel matches they seem to be THE mag to run.

Sorry to ramble but just thought I\'d ad. Love the show, keep up the great work! Later,Matt

TJ Gauthier: I just wanted to add some feedback to the last episode of AR15 and get entered for that Bone tool giveaway. You guys mentioned the twist rate of the 5.56/.223 being different and not stabilizing the 22lr properly. Aguila make their Super Colibri 60gr ammo that should stabilize properly. I've never tried it, but I've heard good things. I think if someone were to go with a conversion, they could shoot the bulk stuff for familiarization and then shoot the 60gr ammo for better accuracy.

bill bonelli: I enjoyed your AR 22 show, but you missed the best deal out there. The AIR Omni M4 22, you get one thru Gallery of Guns for less than $400 inclusive. You get a Chiappa dedicated 22 upper that fits any lower and a polymer mil-spec lower that takes any upper. A gunsmith buddy turned me on to this. He has used full auto upper on the lower no problem. I used an Adam Arms mid upper and a Bushmaster upper and shot lots with it and put the upper on a Double star lower and again no problem. The upper is also easy to clean the .22 bolt comes out as a unit and cleans easily. Hope this helps your search.

Randy: Let Tiger Mckee know I'm very sorry for messing up his name, I took to heart his article on the rat gun. I had built a 7.62X39 AR to replace my lever action 30-30 and couldn't figure out the best format for it. It is now kinda cammoed and has its own image. Everyone. At the the range +today joked about it but they all said they liked it. Ps, wait for the paint to dry before shooting, I couldn't wait. Everyone at the range is now trying to look up the article by Tiger McGee.

Dave Hendon: I have enjoyed your podcast on the EBR so much so that I’m thinking about building one myself.

Regarding the build, at what point does the economy of scale kick in?  By this, I mean, its great to purchase all the parts and do the assembly but at what point to you start buying kits (such as lower part kits) over individual parts?

Surely, it would be more cost effective to purchase a completed upper receiver with barrel than to part it out.

I’m not looking to build the lowest cost rifle that I can, as I would like to keep the quality up and yet maintain pride in the fact that I built the AR-15.

Keep up the great work you’re doing and maybe do a segment on Optics for the AR-15 in the $300 and less range (I mean good ones).

And now a suggestion, I have viewed all three of your assemble videos on YouTube.  The information that you present is excellent but some of your production work could be improved.

I don’t know what camera you are using but take it off of Auto focus.  This will stop the camera from “hunting”or going in and out of focus which distracts from what you are trying to show visually.

You have staged your shot with the AR-15 cleaning mat and with the lighting and it all looks good. Then when you want to emphasize a close up, you move the rifle part out of focus and up to the camera.

This can be solved by shooting a second close up shot that is well illuminated and in focus and then cutting or editing it in to the production while your narration continues.

Again, I don’t know what program you are using to edit the video with, maybe Windows Movie Maker, but using this technique should help out with these type of instructional videos.

In case your are wondering, I’ve been in the Broadcast and Audio/Visual industry for 30 years and the last 14 years at the NASA Johnson Space Center – White Sands Test Facility as their Videographer and Video Production Editor.

Brad: So Reed was right on the MBUS sites, though a few days late.  Up until about a month ago, the MBUS was ~$65 per. The price just came down because they have the new metals coming out. The only ones you could ever get for ~$50 for a set was the shitty PTS line for air soft Magpul makes. I paid $130 for my last set of MBUS in March. I also completely disagree on lower/upper price/quality.  Having owned a DPMS Oracle and a Spikes ST-15, there's no comparison in quality.  The fit, finish, and durability are worlds apart.  For the minimal price difference, I can't see why anyone wouldn't opt for something like BCM, Spikes, S&W versus the DPMS products of the world. That said, my .22lr conversion kit worked better in the DPMS, whereas constantly jammed in the Spikes.  Conversion kit accuracy sucked in both, even at 50 yards. Sold the conversion kit about a month ago.

Zach brown: Hey guys, I have the tactical solutions ar22 m4. It is a dedicated upper on a standard lower for me.  The upper is built on a mil spec regular ar upper. The forward assist is not functional though. The door is full size. The barrel and and chamber adapter are made just for .22 and the action is all stainless and moves with place of where the bcg is on a standard AR. It uses the excellent black dog machine 26rd magazines. The only added part I use is a taccom pressure plug that helps keeps the bolt in battery. It fits in front of your buffer in the buffer tube. Taccom also makes ar22 conversion barrels and actions I think. I have excellent accuracy with mine. I had a cmmg with an ar 1/7 twist barrel and it sucked. Having a barrel and chamber made for the round is much better. The tac solutions uses a standard barrel nut, front sight, hand guard and retainer. The also make great uppers for other weapons including glock and 1911\'s.

Mark: Hi guys,

I decided on the M&P AR 15-22 because it had functional controls in the proper places. The Mossberg had the safety on the mag well and the Colt had a nonfunctioning bolt release. I love this thing, it works great

Otis BONE Tool and O12 Carbon Remover Giveaway O12 removes stubborn carbon fouling with ease BONE tool is the quick clean tool which scrapes carbon and fouling from the bolt, bolt carrier, and firing pin of your AR15.

Winner: Denny B

Thanks for the fine program you are providing.  I have an AR15 built by The Black Rifle Company of Clakamas, OR with which I am very pleased. The muzzle is threaded and fitted with a compensator. I use this rifle primarily for hunting and find the muzzle blast to be excessive, compared to other rifles.  Question: Do you know of a device, other than a suppressor/silencer, to replace the compensator that will reduce the muzzle blast?  Thank you.

AR-15 Giveaway


ARP 037 - The 22LR AR-15 Rifle - Conversion or Dedicated?

Jake rejoins Reed for a Rimfire filled AR-15 podcast.

 Welcome to episode 37 of the AR15 Podcast.  I’m your host Jake Challand with Co-host Reed Snyder. This is THEE podcast about youuurrrr favorite black rifle!  This show is for you; whether you're building your first AR or you’ve been building ARs for years.  There’s something we can all do to take our black rifle to the next level.

Main Topic: 22 long rifle


Can I shoot 22lr in a 556 barrel?

Will it damage my barrel?

Can I use my existing upper? Lower?

Will it save me money

What's needed for a conversion

Is it hard to install?

Dedicated 22lr ar15 style rifle

Are they worth it?

Are they quality?

Do they take ar15 accesories?

Do they shoot like an Ar ?

Are they more accurate than a conversion kit?

Better for youth?

Uses other than plinking?(22 rim fire challenge)

I can't find 22lr should I just stick with 223?

Otis BONE Tool and O12 Carbon Remover Giveaway O12 removes stubborn carbon fouling with ease BONE tool is the quick clean tool which scrapes carbon and fouling from the bolt, bolt carrier, and firing pin of your AR15.

Feedback / Listener Questions

Levi: I am a new listener to your pod casts but have listened to most of them. One thing I have not heard you mention is the 6.8 SPC. It ireaters the second most puchased caliber in the AR platform. Its effectiveness on target is way better than the 223 and ammo availabilty is better than all the 6.5's. If you've covered this I appoligize, if not I think it would make for a good episode or at least a segment. Keep up the good work and "Carry On".

Listener Shared YouTube Video:

David Bui: Hello Reed,

I just bought an AR15 Oracle DPMS a few months ago and undergoing some customization.

I found this podcast with perfect timing. I enjoy your podcast and it provides me something to look forward to listending at work.

I have a question regarding the difference between the forged lower recievers and uppers. Is it worthwhile to spend a lot of money on a lower reciever from some high end manufacturer vs some cheap below $100 stripped reciever?

Rich  - Brownstown, Michigan (20mi. south of Detroit):Hello, enjoy the show,

I recently installed a set of Magpul BUIS to back up my Aimpoint PRO.  I am new to the AR world (built my first AR 1 yr ago) and have no experience with these pop up sights (or any AR sights).  I am disappointed with the accuracy that these magpul sights offer, as compared to my Aimpoint, which is very accurate.  I assume the big and small rear loop on the the rear sight is for long or short range? I installed the front and rear Magpul sights and took them to the range but found I was unable to sight them in with any accuracy because there was too much room in the rear loop to line up the front sight post and the front was just a black metal post.  I had trouble hitting a 10 inch circle at 40 meters.  I did put some white paint on the tip of the front post but that had little effect on my being able to make accurate hits.  Are all of the back up AR sites like this (not very accurate) or do I need and education on how to properly use these sights?  The rear sight is mounted at the very rear of my rail (behind the Aimpoint) and the front is mounted at the very front of my rifle length free float rail, so I do have a very long sight radius.  Thanks for any insight you may have on this subject.