FIREARMS WEEK: Three years, thousands of rounds, and lots of fun – the S&W M&P15-22 Carbine

REPOST: Three years ago I bought my Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 and have enjoyed it ever since. In fact -I am planning to buy another. This semi-automatic, magazine fed, AR-clone has served me well. I have found it to be accurate and extremely reliable.


When thinking back to the many times I have shot the M&P15-22 the first thing that comes to mind is accuracy. I have never mounted an optic so the original factory open sights have been used exclusively. I cannot tell you my 100 yard group size, or 50 – or any other distance. I have shot this thing for fun and lots of it I have had. What I aim at I hit – or come pretty darn close. One time I was in Georgia at my brothers place and we were shooting from approx 40 yards. The targets were a series of empty shotgun shells hanging by a string. Hitting the shells an average of 3 out of 5 shots was impressive to me. Most of the other shots flew by so close the shell would move. Bottom line: This gun will shoot better than I do.


Reliability has been excellent. I do not have an exact round count but I would estimate total rounds fired in excess of 3,000.  Almost exclusively I have shot CCI brand ammunition from Blazers to Mini-Mags (both hollow point and solid). I have found the Mini-Mags to shoot extremely clean compared to other options – especially Remington Golden Bullets. Regardless – it is a .22 and will get dirty quick. Failures have been extremely rare – like maybe 5-6 failures in the last three years and 3000 rounds. Most failures occurred after 250-300 rounds have been fired without cleaning. I actually lent the M&P15-22 to a buddy who used it in a tactical carbine class (trying to save money on ammo at the time) and he didn’t have one failure after firing around 300 rounds with no cleaning, and many rapid fire drills.


I have quite a few factory S&W 25 round magazines and all have performed well. They are easy to load with the spring compression button on the side. I also have shot the Pro-Mag 32-round magazine and it has performed flawlessly.


Controls and ergonomics are all AR. Training with the M&P15-22 provides an affordable experience with magazine changes, bolt release, safety, working he action – and of course handling and shooting. It is a joy to shoot.

BOTTOM LINE: I highly recommend the Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 if you are in the market for a high quality .22LR. My favorite used to be the Ruger 10/22 but I know I am not alone in moving over to the M&P family.

“Gun control is being able to hit your target.”

Take care all – 




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2 thoughts on “FIREARMS WEEK: Three years, thousands of rounds, and lots of fun – the S&W M&P15-22 Carbine”

  1. Cool little gun and I can see why it might be a good choice for less expensive practice if you favor the AR-15 for your main rifle. However, by your own description, the 10-22 is more reliable. I own five 10-22s and the only time I can get a failure is when I’m using the “gatling” version which has two receivers mounted together on a NATO tripod with a set of cams and a wheel to turn. Each turn fires each receiver twice. The 50 round mags are sticking out to the side so the weight of them can sometimes let them shift slightly out of alignment causing one side or the other to stop cycling. Lots of fun playing with that toy but the point is I don’t think there is a more reliable .22 to be found then the venerable Ruger 10-22.

    • CaptTurbo – I have found the Ruger 10/22 to be ore reliable with the standard 10 round magazine – not the BX-25. With the BX-25 they are both extremely reliable just not 100%.


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