The Case For a 22 Long Rifle AR-15 and MP5
Kevin Felts 04.17.18
Several years ago, a buddy of mine bought his two young teenagers an AR-15 chambered-in 22 long rifle. At that time I had been knowing the guy for around 15 years. In those 15 years, we had gone camping, hunting, and shooting together. So when he said he bought his son and daughter a 22 long rifle AR-15, I was rather dumbfounded.
If someone is going to buy an AR, why not go ahead and get one chambered in 5.56mm? The children were in their early teens, say 12 or 14 years old. 12 years old is not a teenager, but it is close enough for the purpose of this article. It seemed the children would out-grow their rifles, rather than growing into them.
Then there is the issue of buying the same type of firearm twice. Why buy a 22 long rifle AR, then buy a full sized AR later? I knew the guy would eventually buy his kids a full sized AR-15 later on.
All of my opinions changed after I had the opportunity to shoot a Walther MP5 clone chambered-in 22 long rifle. After shooting the MP5 clone, I knew all of my previous opinions were wrong. There is definitely a case for owning an AR or MP5 in 22 long rifle.
Shooting Remington Thunderbolt 22 long rifle through the MP5 clone, I was surprised at how quiet the rifle was. It seemed more quiet than my Ruger 10/22. I would put the decibels along the same lines of a Marlin Model 60.
This is wonderful for people who do not like the report of a full sized rifle. Several years ago I knew a man who had an uncontrollable fear of loud noises. When he was a child, someone threw a string of firecrackers near him. The sudden “popping” noise at such a young age left him terrified of loud noises, even into his 30s.
Not that the 22 long rifle is loud anyway. The Walther MP5 clone was a pleasure to shoot.
Recoil from a semi-automatic rifle is non-existent to start with. Add a couple of more pounds to a rifle, and the recoil goes down even more.
Weight, as weighed from my personal rifles:
- Marlin Model 60: 5 pounds 7 ounces
- Ruger 10/22: 5 pounds 8 ounces
- Walther MP5: 7 pounds 8 ounces
The two extra pounds makes the slight recoil of the 22 long rifle even lighter. I would compare the recoil to a light spring breeze.
From a prepping point of view, someone walking around the property with what “looks” like a submachine gun (MP5 clone), or an AR-15, could be a deterrent. To the unknowing, the person holding the rifle is holding a real MP5 or a real AR. You have two or three people walking together, chances are the appearance of readiness would be palatable.
Then there is the availability of gear to fit both the AR and MP5 clone. Want a light on the firearm? No problem. Want an optic? No problem. The same can not be said about the Marlin model 60. The Ruger 10/22 has a plethora of after market parts, but it still does not compare to the AR-15.
Some readers may be quick to discredit the 22 long rifle for a tactical firearm, and that is fine. However, please do not discredit the lethality of CCI stingers, or other good quality brand name hyper-velocity 22 long rifle ammunition.
A 22 long rifle AR-15 or MP5 clone loaded with the right ammunition could be very lethal.
The end result is a tactical firearm which has low report and non-existent recoil.