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

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

  1. First gun I bought! My 2 sons and I have put about 1,500 rounds through the gun the first time we went to the range! We bought several extra magazines and even got 3 Blackdog 50 round drums. One would be shooting while the others would be reloading! Lots of fun and as you point out it’s easy to hit what you are shooting at. Spent several hours at the range that first time and the ammo was less than $65.00. Have gone out several times in the last 2 years and everyone who tries the gun loves it! Created a love for the AR platform for my older son, but my younger son loves to shoot this gun because of the lack of recoil. Great times and memories made with this gun.

    • Kevin – I believe so. Like Todd S. said it is not going to be hard to find forever. My local gun shop has tens of thousands of rounds of .22LR from various manufacturers – with prices about 30% higher than before all this crap started. If you find some that is within what you are willing to pay – scoff it up!.


  2. Yes, right now it’s hard to find. You can go to armslist to look for locals selling in your area, but expect to pay around $0.12-$0.15 per round. I don’t use gun-broker since it involves shipping and I would rather meet someone face-to-face to avoid scams.

  3. Thanks rourke, looks and sounds like a great gun! I’m a big fan if practicing with the 22 LR, I’ll try one out at the range 🙂

  4. I have more .22 Long Rifle weapons than any other caliber. For anyone into crisis and disaster preparation, they are a requirement. I regret to say that I don’t own any tactical models. I have a Ruger 10/22 Takedown rifle and 22/45 pistol, a Henry AR-7, a Marlin 60 with wood stock, plus a Sentinel revolver. I am very glad I started stocking up on ammo a few years ago! Who would have predicted that .22 LR would ever be so hard to obtain?

  5. All my Marine Corps buddies say screw the 22 and stick the AR or AK. They say the 22 is for your kids and wife and target practice. Marshall or civil war you want something heavier and more productive. Thoughts?????

  6. I’m sure that this is a very pretty and good shooting .22. For the cost it sure should be.

    That said, I’d rather invest the money in TWO, CMMG .22 conversion kits and extra magazines for any existing AR15 platforms that I have. Cheap training, and I am training with my primary weapon with all of the bells and whistles that I plan to run come SHTF. The kits change over in seconds. I have run them in 3 different platforms in the same range session with zero problems.

    Don’t get me wrong I like .22s just not at this price. Granted it was years ago, but I have an AR,UZI, Detonics.45 and others that I paid $400 or less for. One of the reasons that they get these outrageous prices, is because you will pay them. .22 battle rifle clones once sold for under $100. My question is: will the resale value of these appreciate as does conventional battle rifles, or decrease. I can build a bare bones AR for about $150 over the cost of these.

    • D.

      Thanks for the comments.

      What battle rifle clones were able to be had for under $100?

      The purchase of my S&W M&P15-22 was not a purchase made taking into consideration what I COULD have done with the money – it is what I wanted. Plain and simple I wanted THIS gun – and not another – so I bought it. The .22 conversion kits are a fantastic option and certainly have no quarrel with that decision. Value comes from the perspective of the person holding the money – and I found the M&P15-22 to be worth the money so I bought it. Someone else can go buy an AR and spend $1600 for it and another person will say they are nuts- they should just have bought an AK for less money. Another person goes and buys a big screen flat panel TV for $1200 and another person will say you could just buy a used 32″ older style non-HD TV for a lot less money. It is not always about need – sometimes it is just about what someone wants. I wanted the M&P.

      I don’t know if I would call the 15-22 “pretty” – but it is pretty cool.


  7. 70s-80s era, there were a number of companies cranking out cheap .22 cal. copies of military weapons. AK47,M16,FAMAS,PPsh come to mind. I was considering the release of an AK50 that was seen only in RVN. IIRC these were going for about $69.95, catering to “looks”. The 10-22 and AR7 were also available at this time as higher end rifles.

    Yes, I read and understand your want/need philosophy. But, some comments here seemed not to be taking this into account. Other than “I want it” do I think, all things considered, it is a good deal? NO, wouldn’t you rather have the real thing? The CMMG conversion, in an existing platform, does it all better and cheaper with NO transition, but just my dissenting opinion.
    Regards, D.

    • D.

      I gotcha.

      Yeah – the .22LR is NOT a defensive firearm. I think some people are looking at its use in a defensive situation as a budget firearm or if nothing else is available. Of course – for $469 that I paid for mine I could have bought any number of shotguns, bolt action centerfire rifles, lever actions, SKS, etc.

      If its all i had I would use it – but I would not recommend it for a defensive purposeover many, MANY other options.



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