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Affordable Fun - Chiappa M4-22 Upper
#1
I've been financially strapped for several years now and as such, haven't made any firearm purchases, or even done much of any shooting for that matter - it just costs too much any more.

I decided that it's time for a "fun" .22 that I could afford, and afford to shoot, and I started looking into either a GSG5, or an AR15 in .22LR.

A forum member on pafoa saw that I was looking and let me know he was selling a NIB Chiappa .22LR upper. The price was fair and was in my price range, so I decided to try it out.


Here it is!


[Image: 20121010_140529.jpg]

[Image: 20121010_141116.jpg]



It's a pretty close "replica" of a standard AR upper, but there are a few differences, most notably is the fact that it's constructed of a "polymer". One could replace the polymer body with a standard aluminum one if they so desire, as the bolt will work in one. I'm not sure why you'd want/need to, but it is an option.

[Image: 20121010_141631.jpg]



The flash suppressor is cosmetic and polymer, and is held on with a set screw. I have read that some have removed it, threaded the barrel, and added an authentic part.

[Image: 20121010_141512.jpg]



The front sight is made of the same material and the bayonet lug is just for looks, as it won't "hold" anything...

[Image: 20121010_141358.jpg]



The charging handle is made of metal - the bolt is silver in color and the dust cover is functional...

[Image: 20121010_141649.jpg]

[Image: 20121010_141757.jpg]

Not shown is the forward assist which is "simulated" - there's a spring inside and you can "push it", but it doesn't DO anything.



The magazines (2 included with upper) hold 28 rounds (29 fit just fine for me) and are easily loaded using the thumb stud. Only one side has the open slot which I like...

[Image: 20121010_141151.jpg]

[Image: 20121010_141237.jpg]

I've read that Black Dog mags work in it as well.



Here's the Chiappa in comparison to my RRA .223 upper.

[Image: 20121010_142255.jpg]



Note the "shorter barrel" on the .22 thanks to the barrel starting further back in the upper. (shorter bolt)

[Image: 20121010_142243.jpg]

[Image: 20121010_142228.jpg]



The upper fits very snugly on my Anvil Arms lower. I had to gently tap the pins through with a small hammer the first time. I'm sure it will loosen up with use, but it's nice to have an upper with no play - my .223 upper feels sloppy to me.

[Image: 20121010_142918.jpg]

[Image: 20121010_143206.jpg]

[Image: 20121010_143148.jpg]


After "assembling" it I took the bolt out and lubed it with Weapon Shield before taking it with me to the group shoot last weekend where it functioned flawlessly.

Note that I only ran about 8 mags through it so far, so that's 228 rounds.
I loaded them with Federal 550 rd bulk pack (which works well in my Mossberg Plinkster), Federal "Lightning", and Federal "AutoMatch". (which states "Optimized for semi-automatic firearms" on the box)

Most of those rounds fired were "mag dumps" just to see how it would handle it.
Man, it's been a while since I've been able to do that!!!

No failures due to ammo, or upper, but one of the mags is hanging up slightly. The rounds don't get pushed "up" the way they should. It may just need to have the spring worked back and forth a bit, as after using it a few times, it began to work a little better.

As far as dedicated .22 uppers go, the Chiappa is an absolute bargain. (Especially when you factor in the two included mags)
Time will tell if it was truly worth it, but so far, so good!

Cool
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#2
Great review.

Any idea on what these run brand new from a retail? For the right price, this could give tons of trigger time for a fraction of the cost.

How is the weight? Does it feel like an average AR? You
Did mention it was polymer, so I don't know it it
Would be a significant reduction in weight.

What about accessories? I am assuming it has the standard rail on top. But would a quad rail mount on it?

I must admit, one of the reasons I like the platform so much, is you can go from .22lr, to .50bmg (bolt action of course) with no tools. Really spreads the usability factor quite a bit.
This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins. -Ben Franklin
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#3
Looks good bro Wink

I got a 22 conversion for mine and one for the missus from Brownell's about 2 years ago. Black Dog mags rules Smile

Hope you enjoy shooting again.

Now if only someone OTHER than Ciener made a conversion kit for the AK 47 in 22lr I would be all over that like a fat kid at a buffet Big Grin
There is no Liberty without Law.
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#4
Connal;30720 Wrote:Great review.

Any idea on what these run brand new from a retail? For the right price, this could give tons of trigger time for a fraction of the cost.

How is the weight? Does it feel like an average AR? You
Did mention it was polymer, so I don't know it it
Would be a significant reduction in weight.

What about accessories? I am assuming it has the standard rail on top. But would a quad rail mount on it?

I must admit, one of the reasons I like the platform so much, is you can go from .22lr, to .50bmg (bolt action of course) with no tools. Really spreads the usability factor quite a bit.

I believe the MSRP is $350 and I'm seeing one online now for $289. I've read that people have purchased them on sale as low as $250 - maybe something like that was a Christmas promo? Most prices I saw when looking into it were right about $300.

It's not THAT much lighter. The barrel is what makes an AR heavy and I don't think there's a significant difference between the two kinds of uppers.
I did compare it to a S&W M&P22 at the group shoot, and the S&W was slightly lighter. That said, those have a polymer upper AND lower.

The flat top rail will accept anything a standard upper will. The notches are nice and sharp considering the material it's made of.
As for the fore end - I THINK I read where someone replaced it with a free float. I also read something about how you may need to be careful if you use a fore grip since the "gas tube" on the front sight isn't "functional" and doesn't act to hold the fore end at all. Note that I'm NOT an expert in AR15s, so take this all with a grain of salt - I really don't know how the fore end is attached/removed or how they compare to the "real" one. (if it's any different at all)
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#5
That is a pretty good price. Seems in line with other uppers, but it comes with the extras. I'll have to start a new penny jar to pick one of these up. I'm normally allowed one gun a year, and that is what the wife lets me get for my birthday.

Definitely made my short list though.
This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins. -Ben Franklin
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#6
Connal;30726 Wrote:That is a pretty good price. Seems in line with other uppers, but it comes with the extras. I'll have to start a new penny jar to pick one of these up. I'm normally allowed one gun a year, and that is what the wife lets me get for my birthday.

Definitely made my short list though.

I'm pretty sure this dedicated .22 upper is a LOT less than other brands. (unless you mean the upper ALONE... I'm not sure what they normally sell for)

"Dedicated" was another reason I went this way instead of a drop-in bolt conversion. This way you get a barrel that has a twist that is better suited for the .22LR AND I can eventually build another lower for it to make a complete .22LR carbine.


Speaking of... Chiappa makes a complete carbine in addition to the upper. I think it runs around $380.


AND they make a pistol version! Big Grin

[Image: chiappa-taylors-m-four-22.jpg]
http://www.tactical-life.com/online/manu...erfection/

If this thing turns out to be a winner, I will seriously consider the pistol version. A 28 round AR .22LR pistol... with no buffer tube garbage? Me likey.
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#7
No, I meant you can get an upper in
5.56
For right around 300, but you don't get the bag and two mags thrown in.
This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins. -Ben Franklin
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#8
I am digging the idea of a dedicated .22 upper! I'm just not sold on the poly upper and FSB. Does look super fun and affordable to shoot and I like it better than the Umerex and Mossberg 'Plastical' AR's! LOL!
___________________________________________________________
A Reading from the Book of Armaments, Chapter 4, Verses 16 to 20:

Then did he raise on high the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, saying, "Bless this, O Lord, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy." And the people did rejoice and did feast upon the lambs and toads and tree-sloths and fruit-bats and orangutans and breakfast cereals ... Now did the Lord say, "First thou pullest the Holy Pin. Then thou must count to three. Three shall be the number of the counting and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither shalt thou count two, excepting that thou then proceedeth to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the number of the counting, be reached, then lobbest thou the Holy Hand Grenade in the direction of thine foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it."
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#9
Affordable to shoot?

Anyone recall the group shoots from several years ago where mag dumps of .223 were given no thought in regard to "cost"?

Times have certainly changed and NOW when you go to a group shoot half of the AR15s you see are actually .22s.
It's been interesting to watch the transformation in firearms and shooting styles.
"Bring your own ammo if you want to shoot it" was something we NEVER heard (or said) a few short years ago. Used to be you'd load 30 round mags with .223 and hand them to someone saying "Have at it!" Then people started downloading mags to 20, then 10, then 5... it just became too expensive to be generous with your toys.


You can't see me well in this, but I'm the third one in out of a row of five .22 AR15s...

[Image: th_20121020_121213.jpg]


Affordable? YES!!! Big Grin
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#10
I have owned one of these for the past few months. I did a review on "another" forum for this upper. The first thing I did was thread the barrel to install an A2 birdcage on it. Its easy if you have the die guide and the threading die. Please post a pick of the bolt assembly. Chiappa replaced mine because they were having problems with the bold block bending/cracking. They got it back to me ASAP. Please don't shoot Winchester 555s thru it. They leaded the shit out of the barrel. I have never had any issues with it feeding any of the bulk ammo I put thru it. It's a great addition to my SAA lower. I got mine from Black Market Arms.

PS: There is a little slop between the upper and lower, I may install an Accu-thingy!!! Wink Yes, I did. I just went there!!
NRA Life Member, NRA Certified Instructor:  HFS, Pistol, Rifle, PPIH,PPOH
Suarez Combat Arms Instructor School
Admit nothing.  Deny everything. Demand proof.
If we lie to the government, it's a crime. If the government lies to the people, it's called politics.
Paying for welfare is slavery.
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