Smith & Wesson M&P15;/22 TB
- By Pete Moore
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 26/01/2017
I have to admit to becoming a convert to the new trend of military-looking 22 rimfire semi-autos. A year or so ago I would not have bothered, but improved build quality have made them a serious consideration. Four months ago I bought a Smith & Wesson M&P15/22 TB, as I had recently tested one and it impressed me.
The TB is not that pretty with its all polymer build, but offers a free-float, 4-way forend, flat-top/Picatinny receiver and fully functional, automatic last round hold open and bolt release. Removable iron sights are included along with an A2 pistol grip and basic telescopic stock. The barrel is a 16” mid-weight tube with flash hider, threaded ½ x28 UNEF, a 25-round magazine comes as standard and has external lugs for ease of filling. At just £599 it’s a bargain!
Wobble and Grip
What clinched it for me were the hold open systems, accuracy and reliability. But I did not like the rather wobbly butt, small pistol grip and uncomfortable forend. I could have paid extra and got the MOE (Magpul Original Equipment) version which addresses these areas but not as much as I wanted! This also includes MBUS, fold-down battle sights.
The butt was replaced with a Magpul ACS (Adaptable Carbine Storage) model, which not only adjusts for length but also has a separate lock that eradicates wobble. Also included are twin storage tubes for batteries and a compartment for small items. It’s triangular in section so offers excellent head position and support. A slim rubber pad gives good shoulder adhesion. The A2 grip was changed for an Ergo Grip, which is bigger, wider and more hand-filling and textured for a secure hold. Integral is a back strap that sets the hand back about ½” so allowing a better first pad trigger finger position.
I wanted more girth on the forend, so opted for Leapers/UTG Rubber Rail Guards. Coming in packs of 12 these individual units slide on and can be tailored to suit and provide a comfortable and secure hold. From the box the TB has a forward barrel support in the forend, which I removed and reckon it improves consistency.
The Smith was bought as a fun gun, but it now does double duty as a bunny basher too. Though I swore many years ago I would never use a semi-auto in that role, things change! To aid this I fitted a Crelant 7G2-C compact torch, which produces 320-lumnes out to 75-yards+. This was fitted forward/left on the 9 o’clock rail using a ring mount nabbed from an old Stream Light Strion Tactical torch. In this configuration it’s easy to move the supporting hand thumb to operate the tail cap switch. A final item was a vertical pistol grip, not sure where I got it from but they are a common item from Magpul and Leapers/UTG etc. I find it useful for moving targets and more practical applications.
The ½ x 28 UNEF muzzle thread might have presented problems for a rimfire silencer a few years ago, as it was all ½ x 20 UNF. These days many companies offer this thread form and I opted for an A-TEC CMM (compact modular moderator) .22 unit. The issue muzzle brake is lightly Loctited on, the best way to get it off as to warm it up to break the seal.
The 25-round mag is good for fun shooting, but a bit long for rabbiting as it can get in the way. Smith & Wesson offers a more practical 10-shot clip. On top a Schmidt & Bender 1.5-6x42 Zenith Flashdot in a set of high, Leapers/UTG, 30mm QD mounts. Top end glass, but the specification suits both long and short range hunting and target needs; especially with illumination. Wound down to 1.5 and with the dot on it’s excellent on close range running rabbits and equally allows real time practice to improve my driven boar shooting skills…
I do not use the iron sights much, but they are fully adjustable and practical, plus I like to keep in practice! However, if I fit them I have to take off the scope, which is not a problem as it will return to zero. But I am considering getting a fold-down set so I can keep them on at all times.
Frankly and regardless of my PMV (Pete Moore Version), MOE or the standard TB versions the basic M&P15/22 is a cracker, well-priced, reliable and accurate it ticks all my boxes.
•Smith & Wesson
Shield PUBLIC SAFETY & DEFENCE, 01297 678233
• Magpul, Edgars Brothers Ltd, 01625 613177
DGS International Ltd, 01527 853245
InovaTech, 020 8220 8000
•Schmidt & Bender
York Guns Ltd, 01904 487180
Jackson Rifles, 01644 470223