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SGC V22 Military

SGC V22 Military

The new German Sport Guns GSG-5, which I looked at last month has doubtless got a lot of people excited, as there’s no denying the popularity of 22 semi-auto rifles that look like grown up guns. Bob Clark’s Southern Gun Company (SGC) has for many years been offering versions of the AR15 in 22 rimfire that can integrated with the full 223 Rem lower of the rifle. Initially he used the Ceiner, drop-in conversion kits, then discovered a unit made by CZ of the Czech Republic exclusively for the Victor Arms company in the USA called the V22.

The original came as an upper only, which was configured to go straight on to any standard AR15 lower. With a flat top/Picatinny-type base and side-cocking, blow-back action and a free-floated barrel the V22 gave ‘black rifle’ shooters a rimfire option. The biggest draw back compared to the prolific Ruger 10/22 was the low magazine capacity as the unit only came with a 10-rounder. Over the years I have seen many variants of this system from SGC and the latest is very much up my street, as it duplicates the CAR15 (16”) carbine version of the AR. Conversely this could also be made to look like the current, 14 ½” M4 variant, or even a standard A2, as the mix & match nature of the rifle allows for a lot of custom options.

Pleasing Cosmetics

The rifle arrived wearing the Tdi Arms collapsible, CAR butt, a standard A2 pistol grip and the newer/deeper oval plastic carbine forend. To complete the look there was a cage flash hider, A-frame front sight and a D-handle/rear sight unit. The majority of this is pleasing cosmetics, as the basic V22 action remains. What is however different is the magazine, as SGC for a few years have been making their own 25-shot design. Machined from solid stock it offers a single column feed and is dimensioned to fit the standard AR mag well. As I said before, if you already own a standard AR15 rifle, you can just order the upper and it will drop straight on to your lower, or for more money you can have a complete rifle just how you want it to look.

My one concern with any semi-auto 22 are reliability and for that read ammunition compatibility and fouling build up that causes jams; as many semis start off doing well then gradually go down hill due to the lack of cleaning, which causes stoppages. To this end when testing I always run a good selection of ammo through the gun and note what type it prefers and when/what stuff-ups occur. But first the rifle…

Similar But…

From the box the gun comes with a standard weight trigger; nothing amazing but this example was easy to get on with and broke at around 4-5 lbs. Though configured to look like an AR15 upper, the V22 is simpler, as the action cocks on the right side, as opposed to a rear-mounted T-handle of the 223 version.

The one aspect of the controls I did not like was the fact that even though the lower receiver has its standard bolt hold open catch, it does not function with the new upper. So there is no way of locking the action open, short of jamming something in the ejection port. I find it odd that even though the V22 was expressly produced for AR15s, the designers never incorporated what I consider a mandatory safety feature.

The 16” barrel offers a medium/heavy profile and shows the standard A2 flash hider on the end. Removing it exposed a ½ x 28” UNAEF thread, which means just about any 22 moddy will not fit as they are ½ X 20” UNF. This is not a problem as if you ask SGC will cut this form instead, though it means no A2 unit. Fortunately I had a B R Tuote T8 AR Reflex 223 moddy from Jackson Rifles, which went straight on and gave the rifle a certain look…

The SGC magazine uses the standard mag well and release catch, which is nice, as is the capacity that puts it on par with the 10/22 unit from Butler Creek. It is surprisingly heavy, so free falls from the well when the button is pressed. Also it can be easily disassembled for cleaning, which is another important consideration for a rimfire semi!

Though liking the look of the iron sights, they do have their limitations, which is around 50 yards on a good day. Though at that distance the V22 was keeping it at 1 – 1 ½”. However, you can take off the D-Handle to fit a scope. Conversely keep it on and get an optic that uses the handle’s sight gutter as a mount, which was how it was done in the old days. Quite by chance I found an old AGS SAS 6x32, Mil-Dot that offers this configuration. Looking not unlike a Trijicon ACOG it proved effective and really suits the military styling of this rifle. The X6 of the AGs means it’s easy enough to use unsupported, yet offers enough magnification for good accuracy. The scope over bore measurement is high, but the Tdi butt can be fitted with an adjustable comb, which sorts out that problem. Off a rest the V22 was shooting ¾” at 50 yards, so well up for it… Not sure if the AGS is still available, but it’s a good bet if you can get one.

story continues below...

400 and Counting

Ammo consisted of Winchester’s Superspeed (H/V), sub-sonic and their Xpert Match loading, plus Lapua Standard Club. Initially filling the magazine was a bit awkward and though advertising a payload of 25, if loaded to this capacity the first 5-6-rounds would not feed, but nose dive into the breech face. However, after a few clips and using the old AR tactic of slapping the rear of the mag every few rounds loaded, the clip sorted itself out and would feed and load to full capacity without a hitch. Filling effort was not too bad and the SGC design is certainly easier to fill than a comparable Butler Creek unit. The V22 cycled this reasonably diverse cross section of ammo; even the Winchester subs and I reckon I put over 400-rounds through the gun in the course of the testing. It seemed best with the Lapua Club, even though you might automatically pick a higher velocity loading, due to the nature of the action.

In terms of stoppages I had one, where the fired case managed to get stuck behind the return spring rod, which caused the bolt to stop short of battery. More common was a failure for the hammer to cock; even though the case had ejected and the live round chambered. Initially I put this down to a low powered cartridge, as happens with 22 Long Rifle, but it showed this with all types and almost seemed to happen at a set time. I think I had five of these over 400-shots, so not a bad average and in terms of IA (immediate action) drills it was a simple matter of cycling the action to eject, re-cock and chamber.

Generally the gun ran well and I found myself enjoying it, as rimfires - especially hi-cap semi-autos - are addictive. Using the issue iron sights again initially felt odd, but I soon got back into their post and aperture system. Apart from paper punching, picking small bits of broken clay pigeon off the back stop reminded me of how practical irons actually are, though I’m as guilty as the next shooter about not even bothering with this sort of equipment.

Out of interest I also swapped the V22 upper onto my Speedmaster Mk 5 lower, which has an ACE skeleton stock and vice versa. As expected both rifles mixed and matched no problem. So from my point of view no need to buy a complete rifle, just the go faster bit.

End Game

Generally the V22 ran well and even the occasional and expected stoppages were not a problem to sort. The iron sights were good, as the rear unit is micro adjustable so you can get the gun to shoot where you want it to at sensible distances. The collapsible stock is just one option, as you could also opt for the standard fixed butt, or ACE skeleton unit, as I have on mine. The new style forend fills the hand well and provides good hold, though I found the A2 pistol grip a bit skinny.

The irons were kinda’ fun, but on reflection a scope is far more useful and the AGS 6x32 was an ideal solution that suited the V22 perfectly. Likewise you might want to put a can on, despite its range-orientated build, so forget the flash hider and get the muzzle cut ½ x 20” UNF. These days you can get all sorts of brakes cut to this thread form that are both cosmetic and in some cases effective too.

Though mechanically no different the SGC V22/CAR15 is for those who know what they want. From my experience the semi-auto, rimfire upper is a nice addition to your 223 Rem AR15 and I have to say that though not starting the test with the intention I am now quite tempted by one…

We Reckon:

Good shooter
Decent magazine capacity
A must for the AR shooter
A bit pricey

PRICE:
£879.14 (complete rifle)
Spare 25-shot mag £50.01

  • SGC V22 Military - image {image:count}

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  • SGC V22 Military - image {image:count}

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  • SGC V22 Military - image {image:count}

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  • SGC V22 Military - image {image:count}

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  • SGC V22 Military - image {image:count}

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  • SGC V22 Military - image {image:count}

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  • SGC V22 Military - image {image:count}

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  • SGC V22 Military - image {image:count}

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  • SGC V22 Military - image {image:count}

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gun
features

  • Name: SGC V22/CAR15
  • Calibre: 22 LR only
  • Capacity: 25 (DM)
  • Action: blow-back semi-auto
  • Barrel: 16”
  • Stock: collapsible
  • Sights: Y
  • Base: Picatinny

21 Comments

  • Pete
    Thanks for that I'll have a look.
    Cheers
    PM

    Default profile image
    Pete Moore
    26 Apr 2010 at 03:28 PM
  • Nordic Comonents Inc are just about to release a totally new design bolt & new AR upper in .22LR & .22 WMR, Both come with Black Dog Machine magazines. 20rnd billett aluminium in the case of the .22WMR magazine.
    Do a you tube search for: nordic components wmr upper

    Default profile image
    Pete Kenneally
    26 Apr 2010 at 02:18 PM
  • You said it, I asked Bob last year if a 22 WMR V22 was on the cards and he seemed to think it was a good idea, though also indicated that it might not be that easy to build as it would all be from scratch as and unlike the 22 LR versions there was nothing about that could be used.

    However, if AA are making something that is great news; if nothing else it could revitalise old-style PR, albeit at reduced ranges and opens the door to other companies to follow suit.

    Thanks for the heads up
    PM

    Default profile image
    Pete Moore
    11 Apr 2010 at 10:30 AM
  • Hi Bob,
    When will the V-22 WMR be availible?
    Bill Alexander of Alexander Arms is about to launch his 17HMR & I have spoken to him & he would love to bring some in to the UK with .22WMR barrels fitted. I think it's going to be a case of 'the early bird catching the worms' on this one as there is a raesonable size client base waiting for an 'AR' in .22 WMR.

    Default profile image
    Pete Kenneally
    11 Apr 2010 at 09:35 AM
  • I'm interested in purchasing either one of these or the GSG-5 primarily for target shooting (and perhaps later a bit of vermin bashing) - which is the better buy out of the two? Opinions please 😊

    Default profile image
    Stuart Black
    08 Dec 2009 at 01:32 PM
  • The old AGS 6x32 should come with a Weaver-type base that will go on to the flat-top V22 receiver and clamps by big thumb screws. If you want to use a carry handle (D-handle) then the base of the scope mount can be removed (two Allan screws underneath) leaving the upper section which drops into the U-slot on the carry handle and secures by a screw put in from below, which should also be included.

    Overall the old AGS does suit rifles of this type well, though the illumination package can be a bit much at 'high beam'... The Mil-Dot reticule is useful for working out fall of shot on a 22 rimfire and with guns like the V22 it really looks the part, which is cool too!
    PM

    Default profile image
    Pete Moore
    25 Apr 2009 at 08:21 AM
  • Thinking of buying one of these to sort out our explanding rabbit problem as my old bolt action isnt keeping up.
    Found a place which sells the scopes that the gun was tested with here: http://www.chweston.co.uk/acatalog/AGS_Special_Forces_Range.html

    Although im still a little unsure how the scope fits onto the carry handle or if a special adapter is required.

    Looks an awsome bit of kit.

    Default profile image
    Ben
    24 Apr 2009 at 10:15 PM
  • I'm in for a .22WMR AR15 too!

    Default profile image
    Pete Williams
    15 Apr 2009 at 06:00 PM
  • I drove down to Bodmin and bought one of these from Bob in January 2008. It was a bit more money to stump up over some of the competition but over a year down the line I've been very pleased with it indeed. Six months into ownership I won a medal (2nd Div 10) in the Midland Shooting League. I was extremely chuffed. It's very accurate and gives nice tight groups. I've only ever used the CCI Minimags as Bob advised and I've never had any feed problems at all. Be advised though - they are the gateway to addiction - I went on to buy a SoG SpeedMaster 😊

    Default profile image
    Guy from Oxford
    08 Apr 2009 at 01:33 PM
  • No problems, have fun...

    PM

    Default profile image
    Pete Moore
    05 Apr 2009 at 11:06 AM
  • Pete

    Many thanks for the advice and info, much appreciated. I spoke with Pete Starley today and a .22 upper will definitely not drop into the LA action. His advice was to buy both if I really wanted the LA, otherwise like you said, go for a straight pull. I would be nice to have two ARs though!

    Pete also bought up thousands of lead pills for the .30 cal so I'll be OK to start with, but yes, good advice, maybe I'll cast my own, perhaps a 30 to 1 lead/tin mix?

    Chris

    Default profile image
    chris hollebon
    04 Apr 2009 at 05:57 PM
  • Chris

    If you are going the 30 Carbine AR15 route and intend to get a 22, semi-auto upper as a drop-on, you are probably going to need to buy a straight-pull 30 and not a lever-action. Reason being the LA mech has an S-shaped operating lever attached to the pistol grip that pushes back the carrier, which might foul a semi-auto rimfire bolt unit. I’d check with the manufacturer before committing…

    Not sure if anyone does lead pills for 30 Carbine reloading. If they don't and Wedgenock is your only range then you will have to consider casting your own, but use a hard lead mix. A good compromise is the Speer, 100-grain, half-jacket bullet. It has a full lead nose and a copper bearing surface and base.

    Yes the 30 Carbine should be good for 300-yards in a sensible length barrel.

    Good luck
    PM

    Default profile image
    Pete Moore
    03 Apr 2009 at 04:58 PM
  • Pete

    Heard what you said about dropping a .22 upper onto a .223 and that is a genius idea and thanks SGC for offering it. Harking back to my first post, which you commented on, I will go the .30M1 route because we are allowed that calibre at Wegdnock where I mostly shoot. Those that know say the .30 will still hold it's own at 300yds so when I visit Bisley (once or twice a year) it won't be too shabby. Hope you can drop a .22 upper onto a .30M1 lever action or I'll have to re think!

    Chris

    Default profile image
    chris hollebon
    02 Apr 2009 at 11:22 PM
  • Bob
    Good news on the 22 Mag V22; can't wait to test one...
    PM

    Default profile image
    Pete Moore
    27 Mar 2009 at 10:30 AM
  • Firstly i would like to address the ammo issue, the rifles are tested with CCI Minimag and if requested with subsonic CCI hollowpoint. We have found this ammo to be consistent in power and clean in operation which is always important for a semi auto. Moderators in 1/2"x28 thread proofed are availiable for £35 (ASE SAC) from us if your dealer can't source them, so you dont have to buy an expensive one. Finally, 2010 will see the introduction of a .22magnun upper and magazine

    Default profile image
    BOB CLARK
    26 Mar 2009 at 06:49 PM
  • I reckon Bob Clark (Southern Gun Co) would be the best bet, as from what I have heard the 22 WMR magazine would be the biggest problem. However, as Bob makes his own hi-cap, 22LR mag for the V22 surely he could design a 22WMR version?

    Come on Bob there's an oppertunity here... Well that's what I reckon!

    Default profile image
    Pete Moore
    24 Mar 2009 at 08:30 PM
  • I aggree with pete moore whole heartedly I would defo buy one in 22mag , that would be a super bit of kit as long as you could get it to shoot well.

    c'mon sgc theres a market there.........

    RT

    Default profile image
    Russ Taylor
    24 Mar 2009 at 06:34 PM
  • The problem with any 22 semi-auto is reliability and keeping the action clean. As if the latter is neglected the former suffers equally. On the ammo front it's a case of seeing what works best, which might not always be the round you wanted. Saying that I have had more success with sub-sonic and standard velocity loads than hi-speed fodder. Ask around and see what other people are using and once you find the right stuff buy it in bulk…

    Yes the 1/2 x 28 UNEF thread, which is service spec, is so the V22 will accept the M16 flash hider unit, which keeps the military look. I have yet to see a 22 rimfire moddy threaded for this form, with 1/2 x 20 UNF being the standard. Annoyingly if you want a suppressor you are going to have to go for a more expensive fullbore can that offers this pitch. I used a BR Tuote T8 AR, which to be honest is way over the top for 22 Long Rifle…

    You could of course get your gunsmith to make an adaptor that is female 1/2 x 28 UNEF for the muzzle and male 1/2x20 UNF for the rimfire moddy. There might even be purpose-built units out there, so if anyone knows please let us know.

    Cheers
    PM

    Default profile image
    Pete Moore
    18 Mar 2009 at 10:59 AM
  • I bought the .22 version a couple of months ago and I'm pleased with it, it's consistently accurate, my only gripe is the jams/stoppages with sub sonic ammo and have found winchester to be the best so far but if anyone can recommend I would much appreciate. also getting a moderator was 'intresting'! I was able to get a SAK but then no-one could test it at the proof house because of the 1/2 x 28", still, I'm very happy with it.

    Default profile image
    richard mason
    18 Mar 2009 at 12:23 AM
  • Yep the V22 is a lot of fun and it’s a great pity SGC doesn’t offer it in 22 Magnum as that would give a 200-yard ability for range work and a mini PR self-loader too. As that is the nearest you are going to get to a semi-auto AR15 these days.

    If you are considering a straight-pull AR15 then my advice is to go for a 223 Rem and not a 30 cal, as they can be a bit hard in operation, unless you find the right ammo. Also if you go for a 223 you could just buy the V22 upper as that will drop straight on any compatible lower.

    PM

    Default profile image
    Pete Moore
    02 Mar 2009 at 11:07 AM
  • Yes I agree, a lot of money for a .22 plinker!!! Bloomin nice gun though, but why bother in .22? May as well get a full bore or even .30cal, which, I am considering at present. Thanks for the great article.

    Default profile image
    chris hollebon
    01 Mar 2009 at 09:03 PM


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