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GunCraft .22 WMR AR15

GunCraft .22 WMR AR15

I first met Rob Chapman at the Silverstone Shooting Centre back in November; I was there to check out the improved facilities, including the new air rifle range and he was there to test some of his straightpull AR15s and the semi-auto 22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (WMR) that he had been developing for several years. I was immediately impressed by both (and their creator come to that) and really loved his authenticlooking ‘M16’ that he built with the newly available Brownells upper and furniture. Rob let me have a go with both and they functioned perfectly. I recently paid a visit to Rob’s premises in West London and he’s got a really neat set-up in a purposebuilt workshop, with all the lathes and milling machines etc. needed to produce his rifles. Security is obviously a priority and his alarm system in itself is very impressive. Once inside, it was clear that this is a very slick operation, with everything in its place and a place for everything!

Rob first started developing his WMR several years ago, as he could see the potential for such a rifle, as it would add an extra dimension to target shoot shooting and practical disciplines, as the calibre flies faster and flatter than the Long Rifle and can easily reach out to 300-yards; it would also allow the rifle to be used for rabbit and fox control. In standard form, firing a 40-grain bullet, at 100-yards the WMR has more than double the energy of a standard 22LR has at the muzzle, so it is clear that it’s a bit of a mini marvel and, due to our sometimes-bizarre UK firearms laws, we can have semi-autos! Long gone are the days of this round only being available with the traditional, 40-grain bullets however and loads with bullets from 30-50 grains are common and they perform very well at various ranges and the more modern bullets are more accurate than those previously used and their construction is better for vermin control.

Feeding

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The stumbling block for Rob was that weren’t any commercially made magazines available; so, he set about designing his own! An awful lot of rather expensive prototyping then took place, but Rob was determined to see the project through. However, the breakthrough came when Black Dog in the US started making suitable 14-round magazines and this kick started the project once again. The Black Dog mags work well but unfortunately there’s no last round hold open facility; it’s a bit of a shame but the fact that Rob could get on with project far outweighed the disadvantages.

Most of the components for such a semi-auto 22 WMR rifle are obviously standard AR15 parts and it would be possible to build any configuration; ‘medium weight’ barrels are sourced from Sassen Engineering in Birmingham, but the bolt would be the component left for Rob to design. The bolt of a standard AR uses a rotating bolt head that is cammed in and out of engagement with the cut-outs in the barrel extension but a 22 WMR cartridge operates at much reduced pressures, so a simpler, blowback bolt can be used. Various 22 LR bolts obviously existed for the conversion kits that can be used to convert 223/5.56mm ARs to fire the cheaper rimfire round, so something similar but heavier was required and Rob set about designing one. Over the years he made several prototypes, with different dimensions etc. and even modified an upper receiver to see exactly what was going on when it moved back and forth. As well as machined steel, Rob has also employed 3D printing to produce prototype components. The finished product looks great and functions perfectly.

Quality components

Rob’s 22 Magnum ARs look great, with a standard AR upper and lower receiver, made from 7075-T6 alloy and an M4-style butt that is adjustable for length; the pistol grip is the standard ‘A2’ style but customers can always swap it if they want, as the grip is only held on by a single screw up into the lower. The trigger uses standard components, but Rob has his own springs made that are lighter than standard versions but still ensure reliable ignition of the cartridge. ‘Performance’ trigger springs are 40 thou thick and standard ones are 49 thou; Robs are 42 thou and this seems to be the perfect set-up. The high-quality Sassen barrels are 18-inches long with a 1 in 14 twist and are fitted with an ‘A2’ style flash hider, so any ½-inch UNEF moderator or muzzle brake can be fitted if required. The free float forends are hand-filling without being too bulky, with another length of Picatinny rail on the top and others can be fitted to the KeyMod holes on the sides and base to allow bipods etc. to be attached. As the upper receiver has a Picatinny rail machined into it, any optic can be fitted, depending on what the rife is to be used for. Controls are standard AR, with the usual T-handle used for cocking to rifle.

Conclusion

The overall fit and finish is great and I can see a lot of happy customers in the future! These 22WMR ARs are £1650, which I think is great value for something of this quality and a 14-round Black Dog magazine comes with each rifle; spares are a reasonable £29.95. I’ll be putting one of these cracking little rifles to the test soon, so look out for a follow-up article.

  • GunCraft .22 WMR AR15 - image {image:count}

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  • GunCraft .22 WMR AR15 - image {image:count}

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  • GunCraft .22 WMR AR15 - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • GunCraft .22 WMR AR15 - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • GunCraft .22 WMR AR15 - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • GunCraft .22 WMR AR15 - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • GunCraft .22 WMR AR15 - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

gun
features

  • Model: Guncraft AR15
  • Calibre: 22 WMR
  • Length: 34-38-inches
  • Barrel: 18-inches 1:14 twist
  • Capacity: 14
  • Forend: Free float 12-inch Keymod
  • Butt: Six-position, length adjustable
  • Price: £1650
  • Magazine: £29.95
  • Contact: Guncraft. guncraftltd.co.uk

15 Comments

  • Would like info and price on any complete Ar15 .22WMR Upper that is for sale
    Thanks

    Default profile image
    Joebiplane
    28 Oct 2020 at 12:51 PM
  • could you send me the details for ordering the WMR22. AR15.

    Thanks,
    JH

    Default profile image
    Jeremy Hill
    06 Aug 2020 at 04:23 PM
  • WARE BOUGHT AND PRICE AVA

    Default profile image
    Edward L Boyd
    18 Jul 2020 at 05:26 PM
  • Very interested in buying one of these 22 mwr rifles .Please contact me with all order details. Thanks in Advance   Howard

    Default profile image
    Howard Boyd
    01 Jul 2020 at 11:03 PM
  • I am very interested in a 22WMR AR15. Would make a awesome varmint rifle in areas where center fire rifles would be too much. Also would be interested in a complete AR upper only for 22WMR to fit any standard AR15.

    Default profile image
    AL
    30 Jun 2020 at 12:47 PM
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    Default profile image
    kneeque
    17 Jun 2020 at 07:06 AM
  • INet one ar15 22mag for my ar small game tell i can get one i will buy it today

    Default profile image
    mike counts
    19 May 2020 at 06:27 PM
  • INet one ar15 22mag for my ar small game tell i can get one i will buy it today

    Default profile image
    mike counts
    19 May 2020 at 06:24 PM
  • Please let me know ho is your Dealer in Canada to by the AR15 in 22 WMR.
    Thanks
    Daniel

    Default profile image
    Daniel Norris Marchand
    23 Feb 2020 at 03:43 AM
  • I’m also interested in buying a ar15 wmr with the short barrel.  For varmint hunting in South Dakota.

    Default profile image
    Chad Gordon
    19 Feb 2020 at 07:00 PM
  • How do i buy one of your Ar in the U.S.

    Default profile image
    Andy
    09 Feb 2020 at 07:21 PM
  • How can I get one in the US?

    Default profile image
    Jim Hasselbeck
    21 Jan 2020 at 10:26 PM
  • I’m interested in buying a ar15 wmr with the short barrel. Is it possible.

    Default profile image
    John Ragsdale
    01 Dec 2019 at 05:11 PM
  • Hi, I am the owner of a varied selection of rifles from 1st WW P14 303 through to a modern day
    308 long range target rifle. I am a member of 2 rifle clubs and shoot up to 4 locations. On my ticket is the space to fill, and that’s with a .22 wmr semi-auto,but have been waiting for the right one to come along. I was wondering what your procedure is on the purchase of your AR15 style .22WMR is. Is there a waiting list, do you require a deposit ? I hope to treat myself to one of these rifles in the new year.I very much look forward to your reply.

    many thanks,  Graham Cooper

    Default profile image
    Graham Cooper
    14 Nov 2019 at 05:13 PM
  • Hi Rob

    My colleague Collin Shortland has just received his .22 wmr AR 15 from you and I am interested in ordering one myself. I have a variation on my FAC at the moment and would like to know the details, waiting time/delivery etc..

    Yours faithfully

    William Munden

    Default profile image
    William Munden
    04 Nov 2019 at 11:08 AM


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