M&P 15-22 update

S&W now has a banner up on their website touting the M&P 15-22.  I am 100% in favor of a dedicated .22 LR rifle built on the AR style platform.  With an MSRP of $499, the gun is priced right – it will street for lower than that, and be right in the price range to beat the GSG-5 (the .22 LR MP-5 clone) as well as get under the Colt/Umarex M4 .22 clone.

While you can still buy a Ruger 10/22 for less than what the MP 15-22 will cost, to trick the 10/22 out to an equivalent level with the factory MP 15-22, you’ll end up spending the same amount, if not more, money.  I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the new .22 LR M4 style rifles on store shelves.  It’s one of those guns that I think the market has been demanding, and I’m hoping that S&W’s R&D efforts on this gun are rewarded by it selling like hotcakes.  Just to whet your appetite, here are the pictures I snagged from SHOT ’09.

From SHOT SHOW 2009
From SHOT SHOW 2009

Want. Do. Want.


  1. Caleb, do you know if the MP15 22 uses the BlackDog mags? Or proprietary ones?

  2. They’re going to have a heck of a time getting that pistol-grip past CA.

  3. The pistol grip will be fine for California as long as the magazine holds no more than 10 cartridges and requires a tool to be removed. However, the forward handgrip is a problem and unlikely to be available for the California version.

    Stupid California laws. Support the CalGuns Foundation to support challenge restrictive gun laws in the Golden State!

  4. Want it just for the PSH potential in in PRNJ. Sadly, unless the collapsible stock (and/or the foregrip) are removed, it’s no fun for me

  5. Doesn’t matter with a rimfire. You can have all the pistol grip you want. They haven’t banned those…yet.

  6. NJ does not have a rimfire exemption for their assault weapon ban. Per the NJ AG opinion (spit) “substantially similar” to a named assault weapon requires 3 features from a list of features. This fails on detachable magazine, pistol grip, and retractable stock. It also fails on magazine size.

    However, the spec sheet has a “compliant” model for sale in CT, MA, MD, NJ, NY – available in October. It omits the adjustable stock and has a 10-round magazine (does not note if it is a bullet-button mag or not).

    The foregrip would appear to be a rail-mount accessory.

  7. Dave – it’s a purpose built .22 platform, so the lower and the upper won’t interface with “other” AR lowers/uppers.

  8. Will the bolt catch work like the real one? That seems to be the one thing nobody can get right.

  9. Any idea why they use a dedicated non-interfacing lower and upper?

    Wouldn’t it have been easier and cheaper to use a standard lower, and an upper that could be sold as an add on?


    Mr Fixit

  10. @ Mr. Fixit

    I was thinking the same thing. Sell it as a starter kit. Upgradeable in the future to 5.56. But I bet they’re trying to skirt some of the dumbass ‘assault weapon’ laws in CA, NJ, etc. others have discussed here.

  11. @ Alec – The one I shot works exactly like the real thing. The charge handle doesn’t pull as far, as you would expect due to the difference in the length of the cartridges. Beyond that, all functions seem to be identical.

    @ Mr Fixit & dave – This is NOT an AR. This was designed from the ground up to be a .22lr. As I understand it, it has no buffer tube, and the upper and lower are polymer. The M&P15-22 is as much an AR as a Ruger 22-45 is a 1911.

  12. The reason they’re doing a “dedicated” .22 LR platform is because it’s more cost effective. The lower and the upper are part polymer, which makes the gun cost less. The idea behind this was to create a fun, AR-styled rifle in .22 LR that would compete for the same marketshare you see the GSG-5 in, but with the added advantage of being similar in operation to the real AR.

  13. Also it seems to me that the polymer components are probably strong enough to stand up to the pressures created by .22 lr but wouldn’t be in any way sufficient for the .223.
    If polymer’s strong enough it has to be a lot cheaper.

  14. It is what it is. And, that would be awesomeness! I think DAve is right, that the components would not stand up to .223 or 5.56, even if you could make it take them, but that’s really not the point of the thing. For a budget-minded, dedicated .22lr in an AR-like package, S&W gets an A+ from me! It’s not on the short shopping list, but it is on our shopping list. If you get a chance to shoot one, you’ve got to at least try it out. OBTW – I missed gun nuts this week. That makes me sad…

  15. I’ve handled both the M&P15-22 and the Umarex-Colt .22 M4 Carbine.

    The Umarex-Colt has a metal lower and is more superficially faithful to M4/AR visuals w/ its flash suppressor and such (though the honking long 30-round singlestack magazine is off-putting). However, the Colt controls feel really cheap and toylike.

    The S&W overall seemed like the smarter and more practical design. Smith wisely went with a 25-round .22 LR mag that (unlike the Colt’s mag) has similar dimensions to a GI doublestack 30-rounder. The S&W’s safety switch duplicates a standard centerfire AR and is less cheap-feeling than the Colt’s. The S&W has a bolt release that is not a fake lump like the Colt’s.

    Frankly, I think the polymer lower on the Smith is an acceptable trade-off for the quality feel of the rifle as a whole. The Colt looked nice from a distance, but I got bad “Airsoft-like” vibes when I handled it up close.

    I have no doubt that if I buy one of these things, I’ll get the S&W.

  16. Is the M&P15-22 available now? I know the compliant version is due out in October (S&W’s site says so), but didn’t see anything on the standard version.

  17. I have 2 Colts and now M&P, in general the Colt is more accurate but fussy on what it will chamber. The M&P will digest anything but less accurate. I like them both, for the money and fun they should have a sin tax!
    Tim O

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