Cheap Thrills

If you’re like me (and I know I am), you bought an AR-15 three years ago, not for any particular reason, but it looked like it would be the last time we could, thanks to the Kwisatz Haderach’s imminent ascension to the throne.

Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, and no new Assualt Weapons Ban was introduced, leaving a lot of people owning lot of modern rifles.

I was one of those people. I bought my first AR-15 rifle with the idea I’d eventually use it for 3 Gun, and that’s just what I did.

Along the way, I found out three things:

1. 3 Gun is a LOT of fun to shoot.

2. .223 ain’t cheap, at least compared to 9mm that I had mostly shot before I bought my AR.

3. I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn at 200 yards or more.

My problem was reconciling all three of those at once: I like shooting 3 Gun, but I just don’t have the cash right now to sink a ton of money into the ammo to correct my trigger jerk.

Enter the Brownells .22LR adapter for the AR-15.

At $200, it’s a real bargain, and super-easy to use and install. Keep in mind, this is coming from someone who saws something twice and it’s still too short…


I installed the adapter in this gun, my ÜEBR / 3 Gun Rifle, and it couldn’t have been easier.

Just pop the rear retaining pin, pull back the charging handle and ease out the .223 bolt carrier out of your upper.

Bolt Carrier

And slide in the new bolt and adapter for .22 Long Rifle.

And in go the .22's

It’s that easy.

Now it's a .22!

One of things I found out is the adapter works super-great with standard AR’s, but I couldn’t get it to work with my side-rod plastic gun: There’s nowhere for the latch for the side operating rod to engage with the .22 adapter. Not a big deal, but something to be aware of.

How does it shoot? Not bad.

Distance: 50 Yards
Gun: 20″ barrel AR-15
Scope: Strikefire 1x Red Dot
Ammo: CCI 36gr HP
Mean Radius: 0.68″
Extreme Spread: 1.62″
Shot group analysis courtesy of Robb Allen.

Not too shabby, though I know I could to better with better optics and more practice.

Bottom line, if you’ve got an standard, direct-impingement AR, the Brownells .22LR adapter is a real value. There is no cheaper way to send rounds downrange and work on everything not related to recoil for just pennies a shot.

Disclaimer: Brownell’s provided the adapter used in this review.