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Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 Semi-Auto Rifle

So how does it perform out of the box?   Fairly well in my opinion. 

My 54 year old eye balls were pretty happy to see this group after I walked the 25 yards to see how I did with the factory open sights.  Since I usually run all of my rifles with scopes, I was doubly pleased at this iron sight group.  The ammo used was from the last box of a brick of Western T-22 standard velocity target cartridges that dates back 30 years.  7 shots down range, 7 shots in the X ring.....heck, I guess I should have loaded a few more in the magazine!  I was more concerned about proper functioning given the target velocity loads.  At this point, I was starting to think this rifle was going to do just fine.  The iron sights were right on and it cycled well with standard velocity ammunition. 

So....while I was now really starting to regret not snatching the Leupold .22 scope from my Ruger 10/22, I did the next best thing and mounted the red dot optic I brought along.  The factory iron sights were removed with a few knurled knobs and the el-cheapo red dot was installed just as easily.  With my buddy watching through the spotting scope, we were about ready to give it another try.  

It took a while to adjust the red dot and at one or two points in time, I wasn't sure we were going to succeed.  (This is not uncommon with a cheap red dot.....for optics, you really do get what you pay for.)  But it finally settled down and things got to working a little better.  This was shot with cheap Walmart bulk Federal ammo.  In fact, all day long the cheap (read lower velocity) ammo did better than the high dollar name brands.  I'll note here that the dot on the cheapo red dot unit was actually a little larger than the target's orange "X" ring.  As such, it was a challenge to reliably tell when I was correctly centered on the target.  BIG dots on cheap red dot optics are also not at all uncommon. 

Here is a run down of the ammo I fed through the M&P 15-22 on its maiden trip to the range.  I'm happy to report that all of the ammo reliably functioned.  I'll also comment that the most expensive ammo, the Aguila Hyper Velocity 30 grain rounds absolutely sucked in the accuracy department.  On the same target as shown in the previous photo, the hyper velocity rounds patterned all over the 10 ring, literally, with a couple slipping out into the 9 ring.  It looks like I had shot it with .22 cal buckshot from a .410 shotgun.  Very, very disappointing to say the least.  The slower rounds (read cheap bulk and target ammo) were the most accurate and cycled 100% of the time too.

The business end of the 25 round magazine.  On multiple occasions, I loaded the magazine to its full 25 round capacity and then inserted it into the rifle.  A push on the bolt release reliably loaded the first round off the magazine, each time. 

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