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Super Tactical .22 LR AR Pistol [Spare Parts Build]

Who doesn’t love building a new AR-15? 

It’s almost like a trial by fire for gun owners. After you do a few builds, eventually, you’ll want to do something different. 

And after a few AR builds, you’ll likely have a parts bin full of fun stuff.

Uber Tactical 22LR AR
Just a little different…

I found myself at a point wanting to build something weird and luckily I had a parts bin full of stuff.

But the ammo drought was in full swing. So finding 5.56, 9mm, and even .300 Blackout was nigh impossible. One caliber type I had piles of, though, was .22 LR.

Popular .22LR Ammo
Popular .22 LR Ammo

This led me to only one logical conclusion.

I needed to build a .22 LR AR…but, like, make it weird, different, and dare I say, an oddball. 

Like Dr. Frankenstein, I dug up some spare parts and mashed them all together. Well, kinda. I still had to go searching for a few parts…namely, the guts of the gun.

But the end result was an Uber Tactical .22 LR AR Pistol

mel brooks young frankenstein
“It’s ALIVE!”

So let’s dig into why I would even want a .22 LR chambered AR-15, what parts I used, and how well it did all put together.

Who knows, maybe you’ll find some inspiration for your next super tacticool AR build.

Table of Contents

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Why Build a .22 LR AR? 

My goal was quite simple. I had the itch to slap parts together, and I wanted something I could have fun with during this ammo drought.

On top of that, I wanted a gun my kids could shoot and have fun with. 

Kid Wall Drawing
Otherwise they get up to…mischief.

As cool as the Ruger 10/22 is, most kids see more appeal in an AR-type rifle than the traditional wood stock .22 LRs that rule the market.

Blame their taste on video games, but I plan to convert to the glory of wood stocks…eventually. 

Let’s start at the top and work our way down this unnecessarily tactical .22 LR AR

Upper Receiver Assembly

PSA 7.5-Inch Flat-Top Upper

The upper is a standard PSA flat-top design. Nothing fancy here.

Our barrel is a 5.56 variant that’s 7.5-inches in length. 

Uber Tactical 22LR AR
Uber Tactical .22 LR AR

Let’s be real…7.5-inch barrels on a 5.56 are a bit of a meme. They drop so much velocity from a 5.56 round and create so much concussion, muzzle flash, and noise that they aren’t super useful

Let’s not forget the violent recoil and reliability issues with 7.5-inch barrels on 5.56 guns. Shorty ARs in 5.56 should stick to that 10.3-ich sweetheart barrel length and above.

I found the 7.5-inch barrel too short and not reliable enough for a proper 5.56 AR build, so it’s been in the parts bin.

However…a .22 LR is an entirely different story!

When I decided to go .22 LR, I knew this upper would be perfect for the little rimfire round.

Soft
There’s something to be said about a round with practically no recoil!

Shooting .22 LR through a 5.56 barrel is completely safe to do, but be aware it’s not as accurate as a dedicated .22 LR barrel.

We are looking at about 4 MOA with bulk ammo.

I’m not looking to complete a biathlon or shoot beyond plinking distance, so this was fine by me. 

420
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Hogue Overmolded Free-Float Handguard

The handguard is a 4-inch Hogue Overmolded model designed to be smooth and comfortable to grip.

Uber Tactical 22LR AR
Look at that stubby little handguard!

It lends to the weird look of the gun, as does the rail gas block in front of it.

Again these were both sourced from the parts bin.

They saved me some money when it came to building Frankenstein. 

81
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Troy Claymore Linear Compensator

The muzzle device is a Troy Claymore which is a linear compensator meaning it propels flash and noise forward of the shooter.

Troy Claymore comp
It is absolutely unnecessary.

It made a lot of sense when I was slinging 5.56 through this barrel. Now, with a .22 LR, it doesn’t have a job to do. 

Basically, it’s a glorified thread protector that happens to look quite aggressive and lends to the uber tactical nature of this build. 

67
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The Guts of the Gun 

The guts of the gun consist of the very cool and handy CMMG .22 ARC kit.

ARC stands for AR Conversion, and this drop-in kit converts any 5.56 to .22 LR.

The bolt carrier group is a single-piece installation containing the bolt, chamber, and buffer system. 

CMMG ARC kit
CMMG ARC kit

The conversion consists of just dropping the bolt in.

Boom, and it’s done.

The CMMG ARC kit uses special magazines that match the dimensions of a normal 5.56 magazine, so they work with mil-spec lower receivers

Best AR-15 .22 LR Conversion Kit
220
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The magazines come in CA compliant ten rounders and 25 rounders for free states.

They are essentially a shell that holds an internal single-stack magazine complete with a bright orange follower. 

20
at GunMag Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The kit does its best to replicate the look and feel of a standard AR.

Our controls stay the same, and you use a standard charging handle, magazine release, hammer, and bolt lock.

What changes is the bolt lock device

CMMG BCG
Here’s what the innards look like up close!

The bolt locks to the rear on an empty magazine, but when the magazine is removed, the bolt slams home.

Trying to lock the bolt to the rear manually is also futile. 

That Funky Polymer Lower

FMK AR1 Extreme Lower

Are polymer lowers the future? Can ARs take the Glock route and trim weight and cost by using polymer? 

Yoda Future
Who knows?

Well, I can’t necessarily answer that question, but I can say the FMK AR1 Extreme Lower has left a good impression on me. 

FMK poly lower
FMK Polymer lower!

I’ve had some bad experiences with polymer lowers, specifically two out of spec ATI Omni hybrid lowers.

Since then, I swore them off with more drama than a telenovela soap opera. 

Then the FMK AR1 Extreme popped up for $22 at my local gun store. Hell, if it doesn’t work, I have a piece of wall art. 

70
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The real weak point of polymer lowers is the receiver extension/buffer tube. Well, the ARC has an integral bolt buffer, so I didn’t need one of those anyway.  

PSA MOE Lower Parts Kit

The lower parts kit was a simple PSA Mil-Spec Kit.

Nothing fancy, but the FMK AR1 Extreme lower was in spec and the parts in with ease. I only lost one spring and cursed seven times. 

55
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

With an oddball polymer lower, you’ll likely want to keep away from anything outside of mil-spec. 

Fitment issues might become a thing with fancy LPKs designed for a metal receiver.

With the promise of better reliability with the ARC and ease of fit, the PSA Mil-Spec kit just made sense. 

military grade meme
Mil-spec truths

The only thing I don’t like about this lower is the long name that seems like it fell off a late ’90s Mountain Dew bottle. 

Brace Yourself

No buffer meant I could use a skeletonized folding brace if I so choose. Well, unsurprisingly, that’s what I chose.

To mount it, I needed an AR to MCX adapter. KNS Precision just happening to make one, the KNS 1913 adapter

Get the model with a flange to cover the rear detent slot.

Uber Tactical 22LR AR
So foldy!

I got the model without a flange because I jumped the gun and didn’t read the product description.

I was forced to modify a rear plate to fit and function to hold the spring and detent in. 

The KNS 1913 adapter is super easy to install.

It’s two parts, and the user installs the threaded portion into the receiver and then attaches the rail to the threaded portion.

Boom, it’s simple and easy. 

60
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

With this kit, you have access to all MCX/MPX 1913 braces and stocks.

Most fold, which appealed to me quite a bit and is what drove my decision to choose the….

SB Tactical FS1913 Folding Brace 

I couldn’t make an Uber Tactical .22 LR without a brace!

SB Tactical makes the best braces on the market, and the FS1913 offered me all the features I could ever want. 

SB Tactical FS1913 Folding Brace
SB Tactical FS1913 Folding Brace

It folds for one, which gives my Uber Tactical .22 AR a poor man’s KAC PDW vibes.

The brace fits almost perfectly flush to the receiver when the brace is folded. It’s hard to see, but the handguard just barely engages it. 

It also provides excellent support and comfort when strapped around the forearm.

Size-wise it accommodates both my large forearms and my girlfriend’s dainty forearms comfortably. The length is perfect for most users as well. 

Oh, and it’s very light –hardly any bulk to the gun! At only 10-ounces, it doesn’t act like a boat anchor.

160
at Optics Planet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Optic and Mount 

There are no iron sights on the Uber Tactical .22. Iron sights would add at least +2 drag and minus .5 cool points

Instead, I went to the only logical conclusion for such a gun, a Nightforce ATACR 7-35×56. I wanted to hit a target at 50-yards and figured that kind of magnification is necessary. 

Okay, okay, I didn’t install a $3,600 scope that weighs 39-ounces on this little gun.

I went simple, light, and affordable with a Fastfire 3 on a UTG mount

Burris Fastfire III with UTG riser
Burris Fastfire III with UTG riser

This specific Fastfire 3 and I go way back.

It’s been used and abused on dozens of different guns over the years. It seems time to retire and ride the back of a soft shooting .22 LR. 

The Fastfire 3 is a mini red dot with a simplistic design.

You get three brightness modes, low, medium, and high, an auto mode, and that’s really it. It provides a 3 MOA red dot and makes .22 LR shooting fun and easy for all ages. 

Getting kids behind guns with red dots is the way to go.

Put the dot on the target, pull the trigger, and boom, that Coke can is dead. 

shooting bottles fail
None of this, or it won’t be fun for them!

It’s a simple solution for a simple gun — light, reliable, easy to zero, and an affordable nature…perfectly suited for a .22 LR blaster. 

Is it Reliable?

I knew you were gonna ask that!

And I can happily say yes, it’s quite reliable.

Admittedly it works best with CCIs .22 AR series of cartridges. 

Like any .22 LR, it’s more prone to misfires and dud rounds, the bolt doesn’t seem to be ammo picky, and I suggest you use a Mil-Spec trigger kit for best results.

Light triggers tend to have lighter springs. Those lighter springs may not always allow the hammer to strike the firing pin with enough force to ignite the rimfire cartridge reliably.

In all my shooting, I’ve found the system to be 95% reliable across a broad spectrum of ammo. 

.22LR (CCI vs Winchester vs Super Colibri)
.22 LR (CCI vs Winchester vs Super Colibri)

It’s not a defensive firearm, so I’m not too tough on it.

Frustration due to misfires never sets in, and the CMMG ARC is a well-made piece of gear. 

Conclusion

Since building the Uber Tactical .22 LR AR, I’ve shot close to 1,000 rounds. Minimal recoil, low concussion, and cheap ammo make it a favorite for plinking and learning to shoot.

The lightweight design makes it simple for nearly any shooter to pick up and get after it. 

Troy Claymore comp
Hehehe.

What say you, fine folks? Any thoughts on my weird Uber Tactical .22 AR? Any weird builds of your own? Let us know below! If you need even more .22 LR action, check out our list of the Best .22 Rifles!

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5 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Jasen

    I really enjoy mine as well. I also used the same 22 conversion kit and 7.5” barrel, but it never occurred to me to ditch the buffer tube . . . Which I love. . . So that will be my next step!

    It’s been a great build for taking the kids out and getting comfortable. . . And not feeling guilty about firing off a few hundred rounds.

    I originally went this route so that I could convert it back to a 223, but I’m not feeling any rush, and it feels nice having a working firearm that serves as a back-up of parts for the other ARs in a pinch.

    Thanks for the article, I hope more people give it a go.

    July 2, 2021 10:37 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    ST

    Will a longer barrel do better than 4 MOA (specifically, 16")?

    April 20, 2021 9:01 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    John

    I grew up with guns, my dad and uncles and grandfather had guns so they were around all the time. But the one that taught me how to handle a gun safely and how to shoot at an early age was my mom. When I was 12 i asked of i could have my own gun. Today that's considered way too young by many in today's world but back then where I lived it was common. So I had seen this Remington nylon 66 .22 cal at a local store. I wanted it and my dad and mom got it for me. I loved that gun, shot the heck out of it for many years even more than I did the other many guns an calibers I've had over the years.

    Four years ago it was stolen when it was taken from my car after an accident in which I and my daughter were badly injured and taken to the hospital after being run off the road by a drunk driver. We were on the way to the range. I had very carefully and lovingly cared for that rifle all these years. It was still in tip top shape and I was going to teach her to shoot with the nylon 66 that had been so faithful to me all those years and it was going to be hers.

    That .22 was the most fun I ever had shooting. I've never had another .22 after losing that one that was mine. Got a river 10/22 for my daughter and she loves it. But now something about your article gives me the bug to want to build one just for me.

    April 19, 2021 12:57 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      John

      That was supposed to be Ruger 20/22 - rogue spell check

      April 19, 2021 1:05 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        John

        Uggg that was suppose to be a Ruger 10/22 for my daughter and not river 10/23

        Damn spell check and fat fingers

        April 20, 2021 5:53 am