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What .22lr AR rifles use a standard lower?

This is a discussion on What .22lr AR rifles use a standard lower? within the AR Talk forums, part of the Long Gun Talk category; Hi! I'm new to ARs - I'd like to purchase a .22lr AR, and I was thinking it would be great and cost effective if ...

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Old 11-19-2011, 08:00 PM   #1
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What .22lr AR rifles use a standard lower?

Hi! I'm new to ARs - I'd like to purchase a .22lr AR, and I was thinking it would be great and cost effective if I could buy a complete .22lr AR that I could later convert to .223/5.56, either with a new upper, or (even better) by replacing the BCG and magazines.

I shot a S&W M&P 15-22 yesterday and loved it, but I know these don't accept standard AR uppers. I would be using it as a .22 for cheap/fun plinking/range shooting, and to get my wife into shooting (she shoots my 9mm XD(m), but is a little intimidated by the recoil). My local range does not allow rifle calibers. I would use 5.56 for range shooting and 3gun. If I got the 5.56 and decided I loved it, I'd probably build a higher quality rifle in the future.

My questions:
Is there a complete rifle similar to the M&P 15-22 (hopefully in that price range) which I could later convert to .223/5.56 by replacing the BCG/magazine, similar to how you would convert a .223/5.56 to fire .22lr?

Is there a complete rifle similar to the M&P 15-22 (hopefully in that price range) that I could later convert to a .223/5.56 by replacing the upper/magazine?

Is this whole idea dumb? Would I be better off buying the .22 AR now, and a totally different .223/5.56 rifle later? If so, why?

Please be patient if I asked a completely ridiculous question (I'm really new to ARs)! Thank you for your help!
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:36 PM   #2
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I'm new to AR's as well, but i feel it would be easier to get a 5.56/.223 and buy the conversion kit for it, so it's just a simple bcg change. That's what I did atleast. Might also be less costly to go that route
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:53 PM   #3
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Depending on your budget buying a rifle and conversion kit would provide a more versatile platform . Plus a decent AR15 in 223/5.56 has never been cheaper ( M&P sport , DPMS both have rifles in the 600 range if you look around ) then add an upper or conversion kit from CMMG.
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:56 PM   #4
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I was given a full .22lr CMMG AR and later (like a couple months) bought the .223/5.56 upper. The CMMG .22lr ran about $700 or so, the .223/5.56 upper ran me about $425 (with a couple upgrades).

I like having the dedicated .22lr upper. Allows me to keep that setup in tact, while moving back and forth. I've hard good and bad things about the conversion kits (more good than bad).

Just my $.02
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:45 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses so far!

Clarification:

I was thinking about buying a complete .22lr AR (with standard lower) first because of the lower initial cost. I could afford to own something like a M&P 15-22 much sooner, and I'd probably get much more use and fun out of the .22 because my range doesn't allow rifle calibers (plus cheap ammo).

So does anyone know of a $500 or less complete .22lr AR that uses standard lowers?
That way, I could go back and buy a 5.56 upper and magazine later, and have both.
Later still, I could buy another lower and then have both as complete rifles. I am really looking for a way to spread out my purchases in stages.

I have looked into buying and building, but the prices don't really work:
$100 - lower
$125 - lower parts kit, buffer, stock
$300 - 5.56 upper, minus BCG
$150 - .22lr BCG and magazine
------------------------------equals---
$675 to build a .22lr AR, versus approx. $400 for an M&P 15-22 or Umarex .22.

I have heard the Umarex .22 AR uses a standard lower, but I have also heard they are of poor quality, and the barrel is not suitable for changing the BCG to fire 5.56.

Any ideas? Maybe I'm way off on the prices to build a .22 AR?

Thanks for the help and feedback

**edit - it's the ATI VK-22 that uses standard AR lower, not the umarex. **

Last edited by tjNOVA; 11-23-2011 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:46 PM   #6
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The CMMG is the best 22lr that has a standard (mil spec) lower that will accept a 5.56 upper later...
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:38 PM   #7
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I am with carbonman556. I see you can get a CMMG complete 22lr for $550. So keep your eyes open and you can find one on gunbroker. I want to get my hands on a couple of their new magazines with the steel feed lips.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:46 PM   #8
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I assembled a plum crazy/ cmmg 22 for under $500. Lower was $117 upper was $360 with 1 mag. Works great. I have on the flame suit so fire away.
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:58 PM   #9
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I have a Stag Arms AR15 .223/5.56 and I also have Spikes Tactical .22LR upper that works perfectly. All I do is swap uppers and use different magazines. Hope this helps.

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Old 04-20-2012, 09:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williewvr View Post
I assembled a plum crazy/ cmmg 22 for under $500. Lower was $117 upper was $360 with 1 mag. Works great. I have on the flame suit so fire away.
Im thinking about doing the same thing! I would grab a CMMG complete for $550 if I could ever find one! I did find a CMMG Quebec-A that was even cheaper but no one had them in stock nor any good info on them.

aside from the Plum Crazy lower there is also New Frontier Armory. They have a polymer complete lower for $99 (they say theirs is better then Plum Crazy) and they also have a forged aluminum for $199 both mil spec.

I need to find a cheaper upper in .22 and im sold!
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