Jump to content
Rimfire World Community
Visit Brownells Visit AR15 Builder Visit Visit Site Visit Ballistic Advantage Visit Aero Precision Visit Cabelas

Picking a .22


Recommended Posts

Okay so I'm in the market for an AR style dedicated .22.  Has to be a purpose built system as I live in Kawleefournya and don't want to run afoul of our state's brilliant assault weapon ban.  (I use brilliant in a sarcastic sense)

I really like the look and feel of the Colt M4 ops.  The rail system, all aluminum, replica like looks, and the name on the side.

The MP 15-22 by S and W is nice as well.  Cheaper too.  But the out of battery firings that a few owners have experienced worry me.  Cleaning is certainly easier. 

I don't like the Mossberg tactical .22's look and feel, but it's probably a nice enough rifle.  The price certainly is right.

Ruger's SR-22 is nice, of course, but does not have the look I want.

Umarex's HK416 .22 is very nice, though it's basically the Colt inside and costs more at my local stores.

And I looked up Umarex's airsoft versions of their HK and Colt, and to me the resemblance to the .22 versions is only superficial.  The Umarex airsoft versions are made in Taiwan and their inner workings are totally different. 

I can pick up a Colt M4 ops for $499 right now. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, you've already mentioned the S&W M&P15-22 and there's the Chiappa dedicated AR-15-22. I've never seen the Chiappa so can't comment on it's quality but can say I've owned two Chiappas, one was a 1911-22, one of the worst pistols I've ever had the displeasure to own. Sold it.  The other is a 2" Rhino which I find very well made and carry it frequently.

So in my experience with Chiappa is hit and miss.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I've got a Colt M4 ops in jail waiting for me to "cool down" before I take possession.  My son in Montana enjoys jabbing me about how he can walk in and buy a rifle and walk out with it same day.  Ah, but here in Calif we wait.

Got it for $499.95 on sale, serial number is in the 60k range and it seems to have many of the minor changes that I've read have been incorporated since 09' and it's introduction.  It does NOT have the 90 degree fire selector. 

I'm very interested to see how the tension retained barrel is for accuracy.  Such barrel set ups can be had for highly accurate target work, and I've never used one before. 

It comes with a 10 round mag as well, since more than that is verboten here.

Want to get a fore-ward grip and a sling of some sort, perhaps an IDF style.  Ideas? 

This will be quite a departure for me, my firearm collection is mostly historical pieces, black powder, late 19th and early 20th century military, WW2, 30's to 50's sport and hunting.  My 1962 Ruger single six is my newest firearm, before getting this Colt. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congrats! I had forgotten about the 2 - week "cooling off period". Glad i don't live there any longer! On mine, the trigger was the biggest obstacle to accuracy. I sent mine (trigger group) to Bill Springfield in Colorado Springs. I think it was $49 and it went from 9+lbs to about 4.5. Much better. As far as the tensioned barrel, you will have to loosen it to split the gun for cleaning. I made a dimple on the flash hider to always get the tension back to the same spot.

Enjoy, only 13.5 days left. Plenty of time to buy some ammo.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Finally!  My 10 days of "cooling off" are over and the new Colt is home.  First impressions:

Very nicely fit and finished.  No slop in the receiver housings, or anyplace that I can see.  The finish is even and smooth.  No idea how it will hold up over the years, but it's a good start.  I know that a fair amount of it is not constructed like it's big brother M4s, but it certainly feels like a well made rifle in the hands. 

Came with a 10 round magazine since larger ones than that are illegal here in the People's Republic.  So I bought another 10 rounder to round it out.  The magazines are neatly done, and I already dropped one on concrete by accident and it came up with only a minor dent, that you have to look for to find, on one edge.

The owners manual is cheesy.  It has a supplement for loosening the flash hider so you can break it down, as the original manual seems to have forgot that important fact.  Also the manual is missing many small things that the online manual has, but boy it has lots of warnings.  My favorite so far:

WARNING: Never put your hand in front of the muzzle!

Thanks, I needed that.

Now to get some ammo and take it out and see how it performs.  I've read lots of online comments about Federal bulk pack being a good feeder so that's what I'll try, but I've also got some Winchester super X laying about that will be given a shot as well.  (lame pun)

As nothing I own has an aperture sight system this will be new to me.  The one and only time I've fired an AR platform rifle was about 1979 at a National Guard open house day, they had a few rifles with blanks and for a few bucks you could fire them.  One on full auto and one on semi. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Range report.

Went out and fired it today.  Instead of heading to the gun club range we went out to our firing hole out in the country, a handy spot shooting down into a creekbed with measurable distances and the ability to set up targets.  I wanted to go here instead of the range so that I would be able to do rapid fire to really test the mechanism.

Took Federal bulk pack ammo, Winchester Super-X and some Colibri sub sonics, the ones with no powder.  Used some paper targets to sight in at 25 yards, I like to shoot close with .22s, as well as cans and the usual plinking victims.  Used an old military sling that I have as a temporary for carry and firing bracing. 

We spent a few quality hours with the rifle, myself and some family members.

Rifle was not cleaned before firing, merely taken out of the box and carried out and fired.  Did this on purpose to give it a good functional test.

505 rounds fired.  No cleaning during firing.  Fired a few clips through it for functional confirmation, then sighted in, then plinked away.

Not a single malfunction.  No failures to extract, failures to fire, stovepipes, chambering problems, nothing.  The firing pin strikes the cartridge head nice and firmly, and the magazines feed perfectly.  The Colibri's don't cycle the bolt, of course, and they sound like a pellet gun.  But working the bolt manually fed them fine. 

Rapid fire is great!  Sent about 75 rounds downrange this way, no problems at all. 

Accuracy is a work in progress.  All freehand shooting, my first time with an aperture sight system, I'll need to go to the range and use a shooting stand.  Seems to shoot harder than our other, much older, bolt action .22s.  They have long 24" barrels, guessing that they are reducing the velocity of the bullets due to their length.  (speculation for sure, but we all agreed that bullets fired from the Colt hit targets harder) 

Helluva fun rifle!  Easy to use, swapping magazines was quick and slick, good handling and ergonomics, and no failures or breakdowns. 

Problems?  The trigger is nothing to write home about, creeps and jerks and inconsistent pull.  A trigger job would be worth the money.  Cleaning is goofy, to do it properly you have to violate the warranty.  Huh? 

Overall I'm very pleased with it.  Now to see how it holds up as time, and round count, goes by. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Got a sling for it.  Israeli.  Came all the way from Israel, cost 21 bucks, does the whole fancy 1, 2 or 3 point carry thing that is totally new to me.  (I'm still in the 19th century when it comes to using slings it seems)

The 3 point carry is quite interesting, and surprisingly comfortable and useful.  Has a little pouch for your earplugs on it, handy as well.

Here's a pic.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I cleaned it yesterday according to the video on the Umarex Colt website.  Kinda goofy process, you have to have a can of spray cleaner and basically use a lot of it.  The spray cleaner tends to stain the finish unless wiped off right away, so getting it looking good took a while. 

Removing the actual inner receiver and barrel, but not disassembling it, seems like a better way to clean it.  Then you could spray till your hearts content without worry about staining the finish of the upper and lower.  Might try that next time.

(Umarex's video recommends cleaning every 500 rounds)

But it cleaned up as well as can be expected. 

Took it out again and fed it more Federal bulk from Wal-Mart.  About 250 rounds this time.  Again no problems at all!  No jams, no FTEs or FTF, lots of rapid fire, worked perfect.  It's damned amazing really, and while I've read a lot of complaints about this rifle online, and a lot of hate directed at it, perhaps those were early versions with some teething problems as mine is rock solid.  We were also shooting a 10/22, which is by all accounts one of the finest .22s ever made, and it had the only failure of the day.  Stove-piped one round.  Other than that it was flawless as well.

But this Colt continues to deeply impress.  What Walther seems to have done here is created an inner mechanism, the inner receiver and tensioned barrel, that can be fit into a wide variety of external shells.  So they can make an UZI, or an MP-5, or M4, etc, rather economically and easily.  If that inner mechanism works well then they've got a winner design, and judging from mine they do.  That UZI rifle is sure interesting looking.

Also a comment on the ammo needs to be made.  So far we've shot through nearly 1000 rounds of Federal bulk from Wal-Mart in the last month, all new ammo purchased in that time.  About 755 rounds through the M4 and 250 through a Winchester 190, Remington 512, and 10/22.  We have yet to have a single FTF.  The 190 gave us trouble until we found that the firing pin was broken, extraction problems not firing problems, once the pin was replaced it's been fine.  (the firing pin is also the extractor and that part was broken)  Clearly Federal Bulk is better than I remember it being.

Lastly here is a pic of the wife with the M4 at our shooting hole.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...


The rifle now has 1200 rounds through it and I thought an update was in order.  Functionally it remains rock solid, still not a single FTF, FTE, stovepipe, etc.  Every round fires cleanly, does not matter if I take my time between shots or rapid fire the magazine as fast as I can.  Does not matter if the gun is dirty or clean, it fires just as well with 500 rounds through it and all the parts dirty as it does when freshly cleaned.  Firing only Federal bulk pack from Wal-Mart now, as well as Colibri no powder .22s at a pellet gun target in the backyard.  (have to hand cycle the bolt for each one of those shots)

The trigger is better.  Much better.  I didn't do anything to it, usage seems to be what has smoothed it out. 

Took it apart to clean it again at 1000 rounds, cleaning every 500 as the company recommends, and found some curious things.  This time I pulled the inner receiver all the way out for cleaning, it's much easier as you can spray the cleaner into it all you want without worry about marring the finish of the upper.  Also took the trigger group out for cleaning.

Upon removing the inner receiver I found that all the screws that hold the two halves together were loose.  One was totally undone and fell out upon removal, the others were all quite loose.  Hmm.  There is blue loctite on the screw threads, but it does not seem to have worked.  On the one that was totally undone it seems that the loctite never contacted the nut. 

The flash hider loosens after a few hundred rounds and I have to retighten it. 

The takedown pins have a keeper built in that does not seem to work much.  The rear pin is held in by tension on the inner receiver, but the front pin will work loose by extended firing.  I roughed up the surface of the pin to make it stay in better. 

The rear sight will loosen after a day of firing.  (stock iron sight)

So the theme of this rifle seems to be things get loose with use.  Not sure how that will work out as time goes by.  Will this M4 hold together at 10k or 20k rounds?  Or will it have worked itself into a jumble of parts that won't stay tight no matter what you do?  To be fair to it I've got similar problems with an old Remington bolt action .22, don't go out without a screwdriver for that one as it will eventually needs some tightening.  Of course it's 60 years old, and the M4 is new.  Next time I pull it apart it will be interesting to see if the screws are tight or not.

It's a fun rifle!  Am enjoying it very much.  But am concerned about these loose screws and odds and ends.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll give the o ring idea a try.  Where'd you find it?  We have the usual hardware stores here.

If the screws on the inner receiver are loose at the next cleaning that will be very weird.  Maybe this was a Friday afternoon rifle and they were in a hurry to get home. ;D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Haven't done the O-ring fix yet, need to as it still works loose.  Went up to Montana to see our boy and took the M4 along for fun.  He and I put a few hundred more rounds through it up there, no issues during the firing as seems to be typical for this gun.  After shooting I checked the flash hider and sure enough it had worked loose a tad.

It was nice to be able to go out shooting with it and not worry that if LE showed up they might think it's an Evil Illegal Assault Rifle and that I needed to go to jail.  Went to his local gun store and actually got to handle .223 M4's, which felt oddly exciting and sinful.  That's what happens when you live in the PRC for too long I guess.

The gun store was interesting as well, the rifles were just out in the open like clothes or stuff, you picked them up, no trigger locks, gave them the look over all you wanted.  It was refreshing to be treated like a responsible adult. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have over 2000 rounds thru my Umarex Colt (Walther) C-4 Carbine and haven't noticed anything loose nor have I had any problems......................The Colt carbine and the Colt OPs are the same except for the furniture......I think the ones with the 90 degree safety are an improved version over the ones with the 180s.......

I'll take your coments on the loose screws and barrel nut as a heads up and watch mine closely.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

1700 rounds now through the gun, had my first FTE today.  Case hung about halfway out, a Federal Value Pack round from Wal Mart, otherwise no issues.

Cleaned and disassembled.  Attached a couple of pics of the process I'm using.  I pull the inner receiver out and use spray to clean it up, scrap the buildup off with a wooden tool, and then a few drops of oil.  This cleanup works well, but the cleaning process is still pretty bizarre.  I mean, having to disassemble to this level is ridiculous, come on Walther try harder.

Stuff was loose again.  Bolts for the inner receiver were all a tad loose.  Flash hider was loose again.  Bolts on the trigger assembly were just a little bit loose.  All these were tight when I last cleaned it at 1200 rounds.  Hmm. 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you contacted Umarex customer service about your problems?...........I probably have 3000 rounds through my Colt now and never clean it beyond the level suggested in the owner's manual........No screws have come loose and the barrel nut stays tight also............................................What kind of ammo are you using?....Some types of ammo are much dirtier than others.........I have used Winchester 36 grain hollow point bulk packs for the most part.........I would say that an occasional FTF or FTE is normal for most ammo in most guns.

Am really sorry you are having a bad time with your Colt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...