CMMG Bravo 22 LR AR Conversion Kit
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Regular readers of AmmoLand News have found that we have highlighted good prices for this kit over the years. Therefore, it is time to do a proper review of the CMMG Bravo 22 LR AR Conversion Kit.
USA – (AmmoLand.com) – As you might have guessed from the title, I haven’t had much success with 22 LR conversion kits other than the CMMG Bravo. I’m sure someone in the comments will tell me I’m a fool or that the Off-Brand 22 conversion went flawlessly for 10,000 rounds. But realistically, they’re either lying or they’ve managed to combine the best example in the world with spotlessly clean rimfire ammunition.
The CMMG Bravo .22lr conversion kit installed in an AR-15 SBR with an innovative weapon suppressor. IMG Jim Grant
Anyway, most of the 22 conversions are just fancy, overpriced paperweights. What makes the CMMG Bravo 22lr AR15 Conversion Kit so unique? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
CMMG Bravo 22 LR AR conversion kit
It would be simple enough to summarize this article in four words: “The CMMG Bravo works.”
And while that would be a perfectly accurate statement, there is more to the story – especially for those on the fence about investing in a .22 conversion kit for their favorite black rifle. So I’ll explain how the conversion works first, and then go into its strengths and limitations.
The CMMG Bravo .22lr conversion kit for the AR-15 is simple, accurate, and reliable. IMG Jim Grant
Under the hood
Like almost every self-loading rimfire conversion, the CMMG Bravo is a direct blowback system. This means that the bolt never engages in the battery, but simply rests there under the pressure of the return spring. This is because, while the .22lr is affordable and accurate, it has a relatively low pressure and therefore there is no need to block the action of the weapon during detonation to ensure the safety of the shooter.
But wait, you may be thinking how can the Bravo just come around and change the caliber of the host gun without changing the barrel?
Well, the diameter of most 40g .22lr rounds is .224in – the same as .223 rounds (confusing, I know). As long as the conversion aligns the round in the chamber correctly, it is good to go. How is this accomplished? By replicating the dimensions of an AR-15’s bolt carrier assembly in a stand-alone unit.
The front part of the CMMG Bravo 22 LR AR conversion kit is shaped like a .223 cartridge and fits securely into the chamber. IMG Jim Grant
Basically the CMMG Bravo is a bolt, a return spring and a chamber in one. The chamber itself is shaped like a .223 cartridge so that it sits perfectly in the chamber of the host weapon.
Why does that matter? For our purposes, the importance of this fact lies in its simplicity, ease of installation and reliability. Since only the spring tension and the weight of the bolt need to be properly adjusted for reliable operation, fewer things will have to get dirty and broken. Plus, the entire unit can be installed in seconds by removing the BCG and replacing it with the Bravo – it’s easy.
The CMMG Bravo uses magazines that are shaped like standard STANAG AR magazines. IMG Jim Grant
Most of these weapons, however, are not very reliable – why is that? Well, I’ve heard a number of reasons ranging from ammo quality to magazine design, but none of them seem either as reliable or accurate as a specific .22lr firearm.
But here’s a question I didn’t ask: does it have to be?
Bravo conversion kit accuracy
Here’s the thing: .22 center fire rifle conversion kits are not intended to perfectly replicate the entire shooting experience. Rather, they are intended to enable shooters to develop basic shooting skills such as vision, trigger control, and proper breathing without making expensive rounds in depth. Given the relatively limited range of 0.22 lr, shooters shouldn’t expect to be converted into sub-MOA groups
Does that mean the Bravo isn’t very accurate?
In fact, during testing, the Bravo reached groups hovering 1.6 inches at 50 meters, which made it more than accurate enough for hands-on training, plotting targets, and even hunting small game. While it may not be the best configuration for the Alamo, an AR with the CMMG Bravo installed could definitely serve as a survival cannon in a pinch.
CMMG Bravo reliability
The main event! This category distinguishes the rock stars from the groupies. Several companies have made similar caliber conversions in the past, but none of them can challenge the Bravo’s reliability. And while the importance of a gun’s reliability is pretty obvious, it’s also vital in training. One of the biggest hurdles for new shooters is motivation. Finding the time to drive to the shooting range and exercise can be very difficult, especially for those who work more than 60 hours a week.
The CMMG Bravo conversion kit after 500 laps and quick wiping. Dirty but still up and running. IMG Jim Grant
The best way to encourage return travel and commitment to training is to see both successes and not struggle with malfunctions all the time. Because we’ve all been there before – starting something new with no one around to guide you – it’s easy to make mountains out of molehills. A good example: when a child swings a club for the first time, it is either absent entirely or swings under the ball. Anyone who has played a small league knows that the solution is easy. Either the batsman has to keep an eye on the ball and / or hold up his shoulder, but that is not immediately apparent to someone new to the sport. This is a lengthy tangential explanation, but the point that is reliable is critical to training.
How has the CMMG Bravo developed?
In a word: flawless.
The Bravo was built into three different firearms: a PSA 10.5 “barrel pistol, a LaRue Tactical 14.5” Ultimate Kit carbine (with a pinned and welded muzzle device), and a 20 “Bravo Company rifle Machine. Each gun was fed with 200 cartridges from the 25-cartridge magazine, which were filled to capacity. The PSA pistol and a SilencerCo Saker 762 at LaRue had a noise suppression of 0.22L installed and the gun did not malfunction on those 600 rounds.
It did so with Winchester WildCat, CCI Standard Velocity, and the old federal military contract CMP ammunition. The only cleaning procedure observed was wiping the Bravo down at the end of each shooting session and, after replacing the Bravo with the original BCG, firing a single .223 round from the gun.
Advantages and disadvantages of the Conversion kit
That brings us to the first point that shooters should be aware of before using conversion. After each shooting session, it is recommended that shooters replace the Bravo with the original BCG and fire a firearm through the gun at full power. This causes the gas pipe to be freed of excess carbon and lead fouling that is created by firing 0.22 liters of ammunition. It’s not a big deal at all, but something to watch out for to make sure you don’t completely clog the gas hose after about a thousand rounds.
The rifle conversion fits all .223 / 5.56 AR-15s, including Gucci tier stuff like LaRue Tacticals Ultimate Upper Kits. IMG Jim Grant
Another problem with the Bravo and all .22 conversions is the recoil or lack of it. Since your AR-15 is designed to fire the more powerful .223 / 5.56mm cartridge at higher speed, it will have ridiculously little recoil with the Bravo installed. This is great for younger or brand new shooters as it helps them get used to the sound and kick of firearms before going all-in. But it also has the strange effect that laps with full power when shifting back momentarily seem excessively loud and powerful. For some shooters, this can cause them to flinch – especially indoors where the 5.56 round could just as easily be a lightning strike, it’s so damn loud.
Unfortunately, this is inevitable as there is no easy way to recreate the recoil of a full-power cartridge in a .22lr carbine. Colt managed to do a decent job recreating a recoil with his Colt 1911 Ace and floating chamber, but nothing like it to my knowledge.
But what about the benefits of the Bravo?
The Bravo even runs in long rifles like this BCM 20 inch rifle. IMG Jim Grant
The cost of ammunition is the biggest, but the disadvantages listed above are boons too. Without a loud report or an intense recoil impulse, the smallest and most recoil-shy shooters can easily handle an AR with the Bravo installed. Sure, it won’t teach them how to properly handle recoil, but they will get a solid understanding of sight alignment, trigger control, and proper weapon handling without dropping $ 100 plus any distance travel.
Take that away
The Bravo .22 LR conversion kit from CMMG is not revolutionary as it reinvents the wheel or comes in a super cool finish or is supported by door openers. It’s revolutionary because it just works and does the original design intent – allowing shooters to improve their shooting skills without breaking the bank.
The CMMG Bravo 22 LR AR conversion kit is available from several well-known online weapons dealers. Also, check out our Daily Deal link at the top of this page for tips on how to save money.
About Jim Grant
Jim is one of AmmoLand.com’s elite editors who, in addition to his mastery of prose, can use a camera with expert finesse. He loves anything and everything, but keeps Cold War guns in a special place in his heart.
When he’s not checking guns or shooting for fun and competition, Jim can hike and hunt in the South Carolina lowlands with his wife, Kimberly, and their dog, Peanut.