TacSol AR-15 .22LR Conversion

Tactical Solutions AR-15 .22LR Conversion
Retail Price: $600.00
Reviewed by: Trevor Guinn

Anyone that has been actively shooting and training in recent times does not need to be reminded of ammunition shortages and soaring costs. Fortunately there are options available that with a reasonable initial investment will stretch your training dollars and allow you to maintain a set of skills that otherwise deteriorate rapidly.

Tactical Solutions of Boise, Idaho manufactures a complete AR-15/M-4 Style upper receiver that mounts to most standard AR-15 lower receivers. The TacSol M4 upper receiver is configured with a 16.1” barrel, A1 flash hider, bolt carrier group and charging handle. The TacSol M4 has a standard AR-15 front sight post and flat-top 1913 Picatinny rail ready for the rear sight/optic of your choosing. A single Black Dog Machine .22lr magazine is included with the unit. Both Tactical Solutions and Black Dog Machine make reliable products that when paired together will serve you well.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of training with the .22lr M4, the most obvious being cost. The initial investment may seem a little steep to some considering there are complete AR-15 look-a-likes chambered in .22LR that can be had for roughly the same cost as the TacSol dedicated upper alone. Bear in mind that these rifles only look like AR-15’s, and with the TacSol you get the real deal. The dimensions, weight and feel are so similar that with my eyes closed, I cannot tell the difference between my 5.56 carbine and my TacSol equipped carbine unless I work the charging handle. In fairness I have not torture tested the other offerings but after handling and shooting a few, I put my money on the TacSol to stand up to the abuse of training.

The other side of cost is feeding the weapon system and .22LR is the clear winner in that department. Quality “bulk” .22LR can be had in the $.03-.06 range per round where as .223/5.56 is currently $.40-.50 per round for the good stuff.

Saving money is nice but I needed to replicate my primary carbine for the full benefit of training. I own a Ruger 10/22 and it is a fantastic rifle but for the purpose of my carbine training it does not fit the bill. The TacSol equipped AR allows me to train with the same ergonomics and manual of arms as my 5.56 carbine. In addition, the Black Dog magazines will work with your existing magazine pouches as they are closely dimensioned to GI 20 and 30 round magazines.

There is one more benefit worth mentioning and quite honestly something I had not considered until I started training with the TacSol and that is significantly less noise. Noise is a bigger issue than you may think and I am not talking about being a shooter with sensitive ears. In Southern CA we have fought noise complaints in almost every location we have used for training and the situation isn’t going to improve anytime soon. By alternating between our primary weapon systems and a .22lr version, we have the opportunity to train more while staying under the radar.

In closing I would like to mention a few tips for incorporating a TacSol M4 into your personal training program.

Mimic the configuration of your primary carbine as best you can. My TacSol lives on a dedicated lower and is configured to match my primary carbine. I understand that if you run an ACOG or Aimpoint on your primary, it would be a tough pill to swallow to purchase a second pricey optic for your .22 trainer. There are fairly decent clones available for common close quarters optics. I do not suggest mounting a clone on your fighting weapon as they are only designed for casual use but understand that the TacSol is meant for the range only and well, if your budget optic fails on the range, so what?

Test a variety of ammunition before you make a large purchase, not all .22lr is created equal in my experience. Bulk Federal in several flavors runs really well in my TacSol and is one of the better deals out there. Tactical Solutions recommends CCI Mini Mags and DOES NOT recommend Remington Golden Bulk Ammunition.

I like to end my training session with a few drills using my full power primary weapon system. The TacSol is a fine addition to my training equipment but it’s still a .22lr and the recoil and shot recovery is very different even compared to a 5.56 carbine.

Trevor Guinn

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MztzOjY0OiJodHRwOi8vdGFjZmlyZS5tdHNoZXJtYW4uY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvNS1oZWFkZXIucG5nIjtpOjQ7czo3NjoiaHR0cDovL3RhY2ZpcmUubXRzaGVybWFuLmNvbS93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzQtNC1HR0JBaGVhZGVyLXRyYW5zLnBuZyI7aTo1O3M6NzE6Imh0dHA6Ly90YWNmaXJlLm10c2hlcm1hbi5jb20vd3AtY29udGVudC93b29fdXBsb2Fkcy8zLWt1YnJpY2toZWFkZXIuanBnIjt9PC9saT48L3VsPg==