The Smith and Wesson MP 15-22 is probably the most popular rifle in the AR-15 look alike category and with good reason. It was built to utilize many of the same mods that are used on a standard AR-15 platform. Because it’s a similar size and feel to a traditional AR 15, it can be used for training purposes by law enforcement officials and recreational shooters alike. That’s a big plus for those of us that don’t want to pay upwards of .75 cents a round for .223 ammunition (if you can actually find it) and prefer to rely on our stocks of .22 LR ammunition. The MP 15-22 has pretty much the exact same specs as a standard AR 15 (minus being a little lighter) so it makes a great training companion for anyone that regularly handles an AR 15.
The ergonomics and control of the MP 15-22 are where this rifle excels the most. If you have never had the opportunity to shoot a traditional AR 15, this gun would be a great start so you can get the fit and feel of what an AR 15 feels like over a traditional .22 caliber rifle. The Smith comes with several different variations of stocks and furniture. Since they come pretty well packaged already, there isn’t a huge need for customization outside of throwing on an optic of your choice and a sling. For those of you that like me prefer to completely customize your rifle like me, the Ruger 10/22 might be a better fit, especially with a cheaper price tag. The Smith and Wesson runs between the $500.00 and $600.00 range and as a result is one of the most expensive rifles I’ve written about. If cost doesn’t push you away, this gun will likely be something that you can use for years to come. Equipped with 10 or 25 round magazines depending on your state, there are a lot of options in the magazine territory, similar to the Mossberg Tactical in round count. There are not as many aftermarket magazine choices besides the Mag Plnkr Arms M&P15-22 Magazine for this rifle in comparison to the Ruger 10/22 which seems to have several. I have had the pleasure of putting 100 rounds of cheap 22 ammunition through the MP 15-22 down range at my local shooting establishment and it performed as well as my MP 15 T (AR 15) that I own and shoot whenever I have the money to buy a a few boxes of .223 ammunition. For those that have a license to operate firearms with a suppressor the MP 15-22 offers a threaded barrel option, and also offers a more expensive specialized Magpul edition with flip up sights.
If you can afford the cost, you can’t go wrong with the MP 15-22. I still prefer the Ruger 10/22 carbine myself for customizability options, but the MP 15-22 holds it’s own as one of the best .22 caliber rifles available in the market today.