Pete Moore concludes his look at the military-type rimfire rifles with German Sport Gun and CMMG plus considers accessories
Awaiting product to test
Barrel 16, 18 and 20”
Capacity 10 and 25
Forward assist Y
Automatic last round hold open Y
CMMG are a bit of a mystery, as I have yet to see one, though I have been told they are a very good, 22 rimfire AR15. This should be remedied shortly as they are about to hit the UK and by the time you read this and I should have one on test. There are three basic versions – a 16” M4-type and a similar 18” model, all with telescopic stocks, flat topped receiver and options on sights etc. Plus a 20” military A2 rifle with fixed butt, full (carry handle/A-frame) iron sights etc.
They have fully functioning forward assist, last round hold open and case deflectors as standard. The action uses a drop-in, semi-auto blow back mech, so making it simple to clean; this is also available for retrofit into 223 guns. Feed is from what looks like a Black Dog magazine and there’s also a drop-in bolt hold open device that will fit Spike’s Tacticals too, so solving that problem. US dollar prices are keen - for example the QUEBEC-A .22 Evolution 16” flat top costs $549.95. Obviously they will be more expensive in the UK and prices will be commensurate with features and build.
Discussions with CMMG shows they are dealing with three UK outlets, which is unusual. I am expecting quite a lot from these rifles, not sure why but I have a good feeling. If all goes well I expect to give you a full gun test next issue.
North West Custom Parts, 0161 684 1159 LANTAC, 44(0)203 0867255 When Prompted for Extension, Enter: 1Riflecraft Ltd, 01379 853745 http://www.cmmginc.com
1, CMMG M4-type carbine, the general view is that these are some very good 22 ARs; they also offer a full, military-style A2 version too
2, CMMG 22 rimfire conversion kit for 223 AR15, note the drop-in bolt hold open adaptor (left)
German Sport Guns (GSG)
GSG 5 (SS tested July 2009)
Capacity 22 & 10
Last round hold open Y
Magazine safety Y
Iron sights Y
Price £520, SD version £549
Magazines 10 - £30, 22 - £34
110 drum £89.95
GSG AK47 (SS tested January 2010)
Capacity 24, 15 & 10
Last round hold open Y
Magazine safety Y
Iron sights Y
Price £540 (P), £564 (W)
Magazines £38 all sizes
Contact: York Guns Ltd, 01904 487180
For: Some good feature and certainly different
Against: GSG5 barrel length
Verdict: For those that don’t want an AR15, but keep them clean
Though not the first military look-a-like, GSG certainly started the ball rolling in the UK a few years ago. The GSG5 is a reproduction of the H&K MP5 SMG, the only difference being the mandatory 16.29” barrel, which is done to keep the dimensions that of a Section 1 Large Firearms. As you can remove the fixed butt and fit a telescopic version. To counter this look the standard rifle comes with a dummy moderator fitted. The other option is the GSG5 SD (suppressed version), which copies the MP5 SD down to its round/ribbed handguard but with a dummy silencer. Both can be fitted with working moderators, which are longer.
Magazines have external lugs to aid filling and are available in 10 and 22-round options. The mechanism is a pre-packaged unit and offers automatic last round hold open and magazine safety. From the box they come with iron sights, though scope bases are available as are a wide range of accessories. The safety catch is ambidextrous and there are both button and lever magazine releases.
The GSG AK47 looks like a real AK and is available in wood (W) or synthetic (P) stocked versions with a 17.7” barrel. This consists of a rifled, steel liner inside a dummy outer, iron sights are standard AK. Internally the mechanism is identical to the GSG5 with a last round hold open and magazine safety, capacities are 24, 15 and 10 with external filler lugs. GSG also offer a 110-round drum that will fit this and the GSG5. Accessories are available; muzzle brake, side-folding butt, scope mount and 1/2x20 UNF moderator adaptor and more.
In terms of reliability the GSG5 is good for around 150-200 shots before it needs cleaning and the AK 47 about 300. The mechanism is not easy to remove as it’s literally bolted into the rifle, which makes stripping long winded and awkward but essential for maximum reliability.
At this year’s IWA show I did see prototypes of GSG’s latest rimfires - the German Stg 44 assault rifle and MP40 SMG. Speaking to York Guns shows that they are considering the 44 but the barrel length on the MP40 will probably preclude it from the UK.
3, Standard, fixed stock GSG5, this one is fitted with the longer, working moderator
4, GSG AK47 P, though using an identical bolt system to the GSG5 the AK will function reliably for around 300-shots before cleaning
5, SIG522, this version is fitted with the DD stock adaptor and Leapers UTG 1-4x32 scope, plus Magpul AFG; accessories can make a difference
6, Spike’s ST22, well built and reliable but at the price items like sights and fully functioning controls should be included. Note the Black Dog 50-round drum
7, Probably the best buy in this area S&W M&P 15-22, this is the MOE version with Magpul furniture at £699 good value for money
Though I have not shot the CMMG yet I would imagine it will be of similar build quality to a Spike’s Tactical combined with the full controls of the S&W M&P 15-22, if so it’s going to be a good one! So what would I recommend? Three aspects of these rifles have become apparent – reliability, ease of cleaning and longevity of components. Which on hi-capacity, 22 semi-autos are paramount.
The three to currently look at are the SIG522, Spike’s Tactical ST22 and the Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 as they are best of show! So here’s what I think, warts & all:
SIG522 – Got one like it a lot, but the wobbly stock is not ideal and it does not come with iron sights. Plus the price is now edging up towards £800, which does make it a little too expensive.
Spike’s Tactical ST22 – Solid, full alloy, AR15 build, reliable and accurate, it should last forever! But at £900+ you’d expect an on board, automatic last round hold open and manual bolt release plus iron sights.
Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 – Reliable, magazines easy to fill, fully functioning auto, hold open and manual bolt catches. Iron sights fitted, two versions available, priced £599 (standard) and £699 (MOE) with Magpul furniture and sights. You might not like the full, polymer construction; however this gets my best buy.
Bolt on goodies
8, SIG522 DMR, this is the standard rifle, which has been accessorised by LANTAC to offer a sort of super, rimfire sniper. Note the Samson Star rail, Magpul MBUS sights and stock
9, Probably the easiest magazine to fill are those with external lugs as on the right like this Colt Tactical unit. On the left is a Black Dog M16-type that does not feature them
10, Though hi-capacity magazines would seem mandatory, 10-rounders are of use too
11, For rifles like the Umarex HK and Colt Tacticals, Riflecraft Ltd offers an 8mm-1/2 UNF moderator adaptor
12, Compact torches like this Crelant 7G2 LED will add both fashion and function to your rimfire semi and for the rabbit shooter well worth a look too
Accessories are an integral part of any package and with these types of rifle dressing them up is near mandatory! Some manufacturers make their own – GSG offers the widest, in-house range for the GSG5 and AK47 with scope mounts, forends, butts, moderator adaptors, fore grips, magazine options and optics. SIG USA are smaller – iron sights, Picatinny rails and a small selection of scopes and red dots. Likewise Colt Tactical/HK have iron sights, D-handles, red dots etc.
Most will offer different magazine capacities with the norm being 10 or 25-rounds. The Colt Tactical and HK series (Walther/Umarex) gives 10, 20 and 30, the last being a bit big. However, for the SIG, Spikes and CMMG we have Black Dog who make generic 22 AR clips in 10 and 25-round boxes or a 50-round drum.
Magpul is massive with a good selection of butts, pistol grips, fore grips and iron sights. Likewise Samson make QD iron sights for AR15s and SIG along with a selection of 4-way forend rails; perhaps the most noted being their STAR 522 that is used on the SIG522 SWAT model. Still with SIG, the Double Diamond adaptor, replaces the standard butt and accepts AR buffer tubes and therefore telescopic butts. There is now even a special, clip-on cheek piece that fits the standard SIG, which makes it more rigid.
Here your best bet is the internet or one of the more specialised UK companies such as Suffolk Rifle, North West Custom Parts, LANTAC or Bradley Arms who are into this kit. Riflecraft now offers an 8mm – 1/2 x 20 UNF moderator adaptors for the Colt Tactical and HK series. On that point if you have a rifle with a 1/2x28 UNEF thread rimfire moderators are readily available from most outlets.
Real or replicated?
Given we are using 22 semi-auto rifles, accessories perhaps do not have to be as robust as the real thing. After all this is sport and not combat! Magpul realised this and offers some of their gear in two versions, with the only real difference being the price. I saved £15 buying their training-only, angled fore grip (AFG) as the original is over £40 and there’s no appreciable difference. Likewise have a look at the Soft Air market as they use similar rifles and love to dress them up and there’s a whole industry out there making the stuff at a fraction of the cost.
Quite the most impressive company in this area is Leapers UTG of China. They really are a one-stop-shop for all your tactical needs! UK importers DGS International sent me a selection, which I will be looking at over the coming months. But they do rails, M4 butts, furniture, iron sights, masses of scope mounting options including QD fittings, gun bags plain or camo, lights and lasers, fore grips, compact and full size scopes with illuminated reticules etc., red dots; you name it and Leapers will probably have it or be making it. Well worth a look!
My SIG522 is a good example of improving or fine tuning a product. The basic rifle is now fitted with Samson, fold-down iron sights, the original butt has been replaced with a Double Diamond adaptor with a Crane stock and the standard forend has the SIG/Picatinny, 3-rail kit with a Magpul AFG underneath. I have an A-TEC CMM rimfire moddy in 1/2x28 UNEF so it goes right on. Along with 5x25-round Black Dog mags I have two 10-shots for bunny bashing along with the small Crelant 7G2-C LED torch, which is easily powerful enough for 22 rimfire work.
I think by now you are getting the idea so I will leave it there. I hope you have enjoyed this look at what is quite a niche area of shooting, but very much a fun one too…
Pietta PSS and Norinco JW25 - Henry Krank & Co Ltd, 0113 256 9163
V22 – Southern Gun Co, 01208 851074
Walther G22 and Colt Tactical – Bisley Wholesale, 01483-485590
HK 416 and MP5 SD – John Rothery Wholesale Ltd, 01730 268011
German Sport Gun GSG5 and AK 47 – York Guns Ltd, 01904 487180
S&W M&P 22/15 – Shield PUBLIC SAFETY & DEFENCE, 01297 678233
Spikes Tactical, CMMG and Lakeside belt-fed AR15 upper – North West Custom Parts, 0161 408 1155
SIG 522 – Garlands Ltd, 01827 383300
ISSC Modern Sporting Rifle – CPG Designs, http://www.cpgdesign.co.uk
Remington 597 XTR and Magpul – Edgar Brothers Ltd, 01625 61177 (trade only)
Ruger SR22 – Viking Arms Ltd, 01423 780810 (trade only)
CMMG and Raven rifles and SIG DMR custom – LANTAC, http://www.lannertactical.com
Butler Creek 10/22 magazines – Tim Hannam, 01977 681639
Colt Tactical, moderator adaptors and CMMG rifles – Riflecraft Ltd, 01379 853745
Chiappa Mfour – Western Shooting Supplies, 01269 832654
22 rimfire specialists, Samson accessories and SIG cheek pieces- Suffolk Rifle, 01473 730035
Leapers UTG accessories – DGS International Ltd, 01527 853245 http://www.leapers.com
Crelant torches - InovaTech, 020 8220 8000
|Barrel||16, 18 and 20”|
|Capacity||10 and 25|
|Automatic last round hold open||Yes|
|Contacts||North West Custom Parts, 0161 684 1159 LANTAC, 44(0)203 0867255 When Prompted for Extension, Enter: 1 Riflecraft Ltd, 01379 853745 http://www.cmmginc.com
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates