The S&W M&P 15-22 MOE is the perfect solution for the AR enthusiast who wants to shoot on a budget. With the price of .223 and 5.56 on the rise shooting the popular and cheap .22LR is a very attractive option. Furthermore, this platform is an excellent choice for the shooters who want to get the rest of the family involved in shooting. The .22 Long Rifle caliber is the ideal round for introducing marksmanship to children and novice shooters because of the ease of use and low recoil. And they get to shoot a rifle that looks and feels just like an AR-15.
The S&W M&P15-22 not only looks like an AR, it feels very much like an AR-15. It features a bolt catch/release that helps mimic the feel of the standard M4/M16 rifles chamber in 5.56 NATO/.223. This is a feature that is not offered among most competing tactical .22 rifles on the market. The Polymer frame allows the M&P 15-22 to be extremely light weight making it not only easy to shoot all day at the range, but easy to carry out into the woods, while patrolling your ranch for varmints etc. I would actually consider this rifle a possible choice as a survival rifle along with a large brick of .22LR. While not ideal, it’s lightweight, accuracy and high-capacity magazines make it a rifle I wouldn’t mind having on me if I had to survive out in the woods for an extended period of time.
The magazines have a twenty-five round capacity and they come standard with a follower extension-rod to help assist in loading. The disassembly of the rifle is extremely fast and simple and is very similar to that of a standard AR-15. Just remove the two takedown pins and pull out the bolt carrier and the rifle is ready for cleaning.
This particular model of the S&W M&P15-22 is the MOE model which uses some of the popular AR-15 accessories from Magpul. It includes front and rear MBUS sights, a Magpul MOE stock and the Magpul MOE Pistol Grip.
Overall the S&W M&P15-22 is a great rifle with little to fault, however there were a few small things that caught my attention. Firstly the MOE Pistol Grip seemed to have an awkward space between the lower which makes it seem a bit cheap. The MOE Pistol Grip was made to fit the AR-15 rifle which it does pretty well, it seems that the S&W M&P15-22 lower isn’t exactly the same dimensions as the AR-15. It wasn’t a big deal, but it was pretty noticeable.
While the S&W M&P15-22 is a very lightweight rifle, the polymer frame can make it seem fragile at times. It’s definitely not a rifle you’d want to drop on a hard surface or get in a fire fight with. Moreover, the M&P 15-22 was not 100% reliable for us. Out of over 1000 rounds sent down range on each outing, I encountered about four to five FTF/FTEs. Considering this is a rifle dedicated to the .22 chambering and the fact that .22 bulk ammo is not known to be the most reliable ammo to use, it is understandable to have a few issues here and there. The pros definitely outweight the cons with the S&W M&P15-22 however.
We used Federal and Winchester .22 bulk packs during our evaluation which is available at your local Wally World. Accuracy was respectable, the above target was fired at offhand at 50 yards. While the S&W M&P15-22 has a few drawbacks, I feel it is an outstanding rifle with many applications. I strongly recommend this platform for anyone who wants to shoot an AR style rifle for cheap. It also could make a good varmint hunter if you attach a scope to it. I think it would really make a great trainer rifle for children, women and new or experienced shooters alike. This rifle is worth the investment because it is simply a fun rifle to shoot no matter the user’s skill level.
Specifications and features:
S&W M&P 15-22 MOE semi automatic rimfire rifle
- 25 round capacity magazine
- .22 Long Rifle caliber
- 16.5″ barrel
- 1:15 twist
- 33.75″ overall length extended
- 30.5″ overall length collapsed
- 15.5″ sight radius
- 7 pounds trigger weight
- Weighs 5.5 pounds without magazine
- Blow back semi automatic operation
- Threaded barrel with A2 bird cage compensator
- Standard M4/M16 trigger group
- Magpul MOE adjustable stock
- Magpul MOE grip
- Folding MBUS sights
- Mini sling side mounting point
- Polymer upper and lower receiver
- Quad 1913 Picatinny rail handguard
- Carbon steel barrel
- Matte black finish
- Ambidextrous sling attachment point
- Cost: $480-$550
Check out all of our past reviews at our Reviews Page, and a few more images from our S&W M&P15-22 MOE Review below.