Subcaliber Trainers

I’ve had an AR-type .22 rifle since the early 90s before they became popular. No longer made, the upper receiver is an Olympic Arms “Partner” mated to a Stag Arms lower and uses Black Dog Machine magazines. I have it set up like my working guns, including a Streamlight Scout Light, Blue Force Gear sling, forward vertical grip and a red dot sight (RDS).

Having a top-of-the-line nearly-indestructible RDS, such as an Aimpoint, is not necessary for the .22 trainer. I procured a Simmons RDS through Amazon for $35.

Because the Black Dog mags are the same size as a regular AR magazine, I can practice with the same pouches and chest rigs I use for training and “social work.”

Semi-autos are often picky eaters and you should find out what brand of ammo works best in yours. All of mine like the Federal Champion 36-gr. copper-coated hollowpoint. I buy the bulk pack to save even more money, and who doesn’t like to save money?

With most AR-type .22s the bolt won’t lock back when the last round in the magazine is fired so the charging handle needs to be worked with an empty gun reload. Some consider this a disadvantage, but I don’t. Rather I consider it another training opportunity to load when I can and not when I have to, performing tactical reloads or transition to the handgun.