Why Every Shooter Needs A .22 LR Conversion Kit
I think a better title for this post would be “Why you don’t need a .22LR Conversion Kit”, it would certainly be a much shorter article.
Let’s first go over what conversion kit actually is: if you used context clues and basic level thinking to deduce that a conversion kit turns your AR-15 into a .22LR chambered rifle; congratulations! --you are correct! For the purpose of this article we are going to reference the CMMG Bravo Kit, as it is a reputable brand, reliable kit, and pretty fairly priced at $260. And while that might seem like a chunk of change, if you shoot more than 1,000 rounds, it's already paid for itself. And we all know how fast .22 can go.
CMMG 10-Round Conversion Kit. The most popular and reliable on the market by a mile.
With no need to change out your barrel, the Bravo kit is as easy as swapping out your BCG, magazine, and pulling the trigger! Done in literally minutes, you can go from shooting .223/.556 to .22LR at the range as many times as you’d like.
Now, let’s move on to what benefits a .22 kit offers to the shooter. Most importantly in my book, your shooting expense is greatly lowered. We all know ammo is sky-high these days, and it’ll make your wallet cringe after a surge of patriotism forces you to dump a 30-round mag of .223 in the name of freedom. But this patriotic problem isn't as big of an issue when you're shooting .22LR. Oh you shot 25 rounds in 5 seconds? What did you spend maybe fifty cents? Mag dump to your hearts desire my friend.
Next up in benefits for the conversion, is trigger time. Because you’re shooting your rifle and not a completely different .22 rifle, you’re getting practice on your own rig. The trigger will break at the same point, the rifle will weigh basically the same, and you will be acquiring targets through your own sights. Knowing your rifle and how it functions helps in all aspects of training, and you’ll be able to train harder and longer when shooting .22 LR.
The .223 Remington Next to the .22LR
Hand in hand with trigger time, is our next benefit: shooter fatigue. Though .223 is a very manageable cartridge in terms of recoil, after a long day at the range you will (or should be) tired. Have you ever gotten tired while shooting .22LR? Hopefully the answer to that is a resounding ‘no’. With less fatigue, you can spend more quality time at the range to improve your weaknesses, and enhance your strengths.
An overlooked benefit to these kits in my opinion, is the ease at which it lets you introduce an AR15 to youths. The .22LR is an extremely tame, quiet, and fun cartridge; making it a perfect round for youngsters to develop their shooting skills, safety, and overall comfort around firearms. Shooting an AR15 compared to a traditional style rifle is a little bit of a learning curve, and teaching your kids how to manipulate a gun they are comfortable with is much easier than one they are scared of.
A .223 Remington bullet next to a .22LR. Only about 15-grains larger!
On top of all these other reasons, shooting a .22LR is just plain fun. For many of us, myself included; the .22 holds a special place in our hearts as it was what we were taught on. I never crack off a little ol .22 without thinking about shooting turtles at the family ranch, or having shooting competitions with my brothers.
The .22 conversion kit offers you the freedom of being able to spend more time doing what you love; shooting. With a relatively affordable price tag, and no real drawbacks, I'm not sure why you don't have one already. Plink away my friends!