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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Default Any virtue in 22LR clones for training?

    I'm just trying to understand the virtues of 22Lr clones. The usual thing I hear is that they are good trainers. Are they really that good? One advantage I do see is they don't have the assault gun and magazine ban limits (at least here in Maryland). I have a couple of buddies who are smarter than me, that like the concept. Maybe that should be enough but I just don't "see it". I'm not opposed to a 22LR as a kids gun. For that I think a decent bolt gun or maybe a 10/22, is a better idea than a M4-22LR.

    I'm just thinking that for the price of a "trainer" and mags, I could buy a fair bit of 223 ammo and good electronic ear muffs? I'm not opposed to training; but I see shooting as a skill that translates from "trigger to trigger" and manipulations are learned by doing on actual guns being used.

    What am I missing OR am I right?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Palmer, Alaska
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    6,991
    With a .22 rifle, I can drag the steel up as close as 10 or 15 meters (25 if the RSO is watching) and not worry about the splatter. With a 5.56, my local range requires 100m, and I wouldn't get any closer than 50m even if there weren't a rule.

    Ammo cost used to be a big factor, but hasn't been for years.

    Rimfires have virtually zero recoil and very little noise (even unsuppressed), which makes them good training tools for super-sensitive shooters. This isn't for you, this is for your grandchildren or similarly situated new shooters.

    The M4-22 has the benefit of training rifle manipulations for the M4, which a 10/22 doesn't. Whether that is a benefit or not depends on whether you want to teach those skills. On some days, you might rather have the simplicity of a bolt-action. In an ideal world, you have both.
    Virtute et Armis

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    271
    I have a SW 15-22 purchased as a trainer which I used for about two years. I transitioned to most of my non 223 training to 9mm AR which offers more realistic recoil, comparable muscle memory and still is usable with metal plates about four years ago. Cost between bulk 9mm and .22 is very close these days too.

    I really enjoy shooting the 15-22 because it is so effortless. It sounds like a sewing machine when rattling off a magazine. The 4lb? weight, handling and lack of recoil make it dramatically different than a big AR. I have a few buddies that purchased them for kids or beginner guns, the adjustable stock, low recoil/report and lightweight all shine for new shooters.

    As noted, the main advantages for trainers are use of short ranges where rifle rounds are not viable. That is why I have mine, but I would just recommend a 9mm over .22 in most cases.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    15,563
    Used to be that 22 ammo was cheaper but not so much anymore!
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Richmond, VA
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    2,200
    I used to, when .22 ammo was cheap and available (my local Walmart still doesn't stock .22 for longer than a few hours on the morning the truck comes in), shoot a couple of .22 trainers.

    I bought a SIG 522 for my 556R's "mini me" and got a 10/22 close as I could to the M1A.

    I don't know if I've told this story, here, before, but it's sure as hell true.

    I went shooting with my cousin one day back when I was shooting the M1A a lot. I had the 10/22 with me. It is set up with a set of Tech Sights, a 1.5" extension on the butt stock to make it fit me better, an M14 front sling swivel, M1917 rear sling swivel and 1&1/4" GI web sling. I use a brand of magazine (just 10 rounds, but it has a piece on the rear that you squeeze/push forward when your grab the magazine where it sticks down out of the receiver that makes removing the magazine like removing the M1A magazine.)

    I unzipped the rifle case and got my rifle and loaded magazines out. I got down prone on the mat, got the sling set up, inserted a magazine, loaded a round and went through my NPOA "exercise". I was ready. I stuck my trigger finger in the trigger guard to push the safety to the "fire" position. My finger didn't contact the safety and I thought, "Oh crap, forgot to make sure it was on safe before I loaded it." I pulled my trigger finger out of he trigger housing and went out front to put it on safe and again couldn't find the safety. I can't describe, exactly, what was going on in my head but there was something wrong. I couldn't find the safety on the M1A inside or outside the trigger guard!! I raised my head up off the stock to turn the rifle sideways and realized it was my 10/22 - not the M1A.

    In my mind, that 10/22, prone and in the sling, was so much like my M1A that I was looking for the M1A safety.

    Recoil? I'll be honest. Slung up in prone the M1A (or M1 Garand) just doesn't get my attention with recoil. I know it fired. The sights move on the target, but when you're got that sling set up right (and I use the hasty sling, not that rig around my upper support arm) and you've got a good solid sling supported firing position, recoil is something that just doesn't register as much as the sights, the target and the trigger.

    I've got a couple .22 adaptor kits for the AR15's, too. With the right ammo (ammo that your rifle shoots well and functions with) that can work as a trainer, too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    1,526
    Maybe, kind of sort of. I think a 22 is great for learning and practicing marksmanship but I question the whole deal of only learning one manual of arms. You drill with your real rifle or pistol on mag changes, tap rack drills and so on. Is it reeeeeaaaaly going to harm anything if you spend a day here and there working position, point of aim, breathing, trigger, follow through etc with a bolt action? Probably not. So, in see value in shooting 22 as a type of training but I don't think that it's as important to have a 22 copy of your AR or your Glock as it is to dry fire and dummy round train with your real guns and/or have a Sirt trainer or an airsoft.

    Side note to Edelweis, I've been cruising the web looking at antique 22 trainers like the German KKW and the old Springfield 03 22caliber trainers lately. There have been some really nice 22 training rifles made over the years, particularly during the age of the bolt action service rifle. Stuff I think you would lust after too.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    SWFL
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    708
    I shot a steel match this month with my M&P 15-22. It was super fun and cheap. Can't do that with a 5.56, and same manual of arms.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    1,834
    Quote Originally Posted by EDELWEISS View Post
    One advantage I do see is they don't have the assault gun and magazine ban limits (at least here in Maryland).
    The MD magazine limitations on purchase and intra-state transfers include .22 magazines, including those for any .22 clones of assault rifles. Just buy them out of state like any other mags.

    I used the S&W 15-22 and SIG 522 to familiarize my kids with the ergonomics of ARs and SIG 556/556R rifles before they were ready to move up to 5.56 or 7.62x39. This allowed for an easier learning of fundamentals and marksmanship without the distraction of recoil. Later training dealing with recoil, especially on the 556R, was not a big deal as they already had the basics well in hand.
    There are two types of pain in this world, one of discipline, and one of regret. - Greg Nichols

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Southeast United States
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    718
    I bought a Tactical Solutions M4 clone upper before the explosion of dedicated rifles hit the market. Thought about selling it, but decided against it. It's on an otherwise unused Sun Devil lower and works as good as any other .22, maybe better. I like it for all the usual reasons, mimicking my 5.56 guns, shooting cheap ammo (yeah, 9mm is pretty cheap, but c'mon, 22 is still the miser's favorite), shooting at my local indoor range, training/practicing at close range, etc. I put my beat up old Form 1 Maglight can on it and it's a lot of fun. Also, malfunctions are training opportunities ... it's not quite the same as 5.56, but it keeps me aware.

    I bought into the concept with my handguns as well with first a Ciener Glock 19 conversion, followed by a Tactical Solutions G19 kit (with threaded barrel), a Kimber 22 1911 kit, and a SIG/GSG 1911. The Glocks run pretty good, with a nod toward the TacSol, which still jams up on occasion. The SIG/GSG has a threaded barrel and is a pretty awesome gun in its own right; have you seen the magazines for that thing ... they are the best built 22 mags ever!

    I even found an old High Standard Sentinel snubbie like what Chic Gaylord used for practicing his fast draw in that old book he wrote back about sixty years ago. It looks like crap, but it's fun to shoot and lets me warm up before getting into the centerfire stash.

    There's a long tradition of .22 trainers going back at least a century. Twenty-two bolt guns on both sides of the Atlantic were made to mimic 30-06, the same with revolvers (S&W K-22, anyone ... Buehler?), High Standard target guns were designed to replicate the grip of a 1911, the same with the Ruger 22/45.

    What I typically did ... and still do ... is shoot a hundred or maybe two hundred rounds of 22 to warm up, then get out the centerfire gun, depending on time, money, etc. Now that I'm retired, that's even more important on a fixed income.

    There must be some value in the AR/M4 22 training carbine. I finally rejoined the local outdoor range after a hiatus and was pleased to see that my rifle skills haven't totally faded. Besides, I don't golf or give a flippin' care about bassetball or foosball. This is way more fun. Which is what life should be about if you're lucky.
    Last edited by Redneck Zen; 03-22-2017 at 07:43 PM.
    Redneck Zen
    "Be careful what you get good at."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Snohomish County, WA
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    1,889
    I just picked up an M&P 15-22 for cheap back yard plinking and to train my wife on the AR platform.... or at least that's my excuse.
    The government selectively enforces laws, so I selectively follow them.

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