Sunday, January 16, 2011

CMMG Evolution 22lr conversion review

I recently tested a stainless steel CMMG evolution 22lr kit that comes with the forward assist adapter, last round bolt hold adapter, and anti-jam charging handle.

First impressions; the bolt, rail and chamber adapter are very well made, certainly on par with the tacsol I had before.

The charging handle, forward assist and bolt hold open adapter are all made out of plastic/polymer or something. I was a little disappointed by this considering the price of the kit. The moving parts of the bolt hold open are metal, so I guess it'll be good enough. I'm not sure what makes the charging handle anti-jam, but I don't plan on using it unless I have issues w my standard charging handle.

**I have yet to have any jams on the stainless conversion kit with either the standard charging handle or the BCM gunfighter. I have, however had one jam on a steel/parkerized model. So I now see the need for the anti-jam charging handle on at least the steel conversion kit (I'd still like to see an alloy anti-jam handle though)

Mags. The CMMG mags felt well made, as good if not better than black dog mags, and they worked well. They were super tight going into the magwell and required a ton of force to insert and remove. Upon closer look a the directions, there are two tabs on the rear of the magazine that require filing to fit well. Two minutes later I had no issues.

Range test: I used my RRA AR with a 16" Daniel defense barrel w a 1:7 twist rate. Ammo was 38gr American eagle. My main goal was to test the function/reliability of the kit as well as the accuracy of the 1:7 twist.

I put 200 rounds through the kit with zero issues. The bolt hold open worked great, though it's a little sensitive. When I was forcing/slapping the tight mag into the gun, the bolt would sometimes slam forward chambering a round. With some adjustment to the bolt hold open adapter, all issues were fixed. I never had issues with rounds chambering, so I never used the forward assist.

Accuracy was very good considering I thought it would be terrible with the 1:7 twist. At 50yards, I was holding 2-4" groups. Certainly not the type of accuracy I can get out of my 10/22, but good enough for training.

Conclusion: I sold my "more accurate" tacsol upper because it didn't allow me to use all of the AR controls. I wanted a cheap way to shoot and train with my AR. This conversion kit provided perfect AR functionality, 100% reliability, and very respectable accuracy. Well worth the investment.

Cost was $220 for the kit and one mag, and an additional $56 for two extra mags. By the time I shoot through 2-1/2 bricks of ammo, it will have paid for itself.

Lessons learned. Don't spend the money on the charging handle and buy the speed loader (the mags can be a pain to load).

Here are some 25M shots taken from a bench rest:

Some shots at 50m:


  1. The antijam charging handle is 'filled in' under the guide. This is to prevent a 22 case from getting jammed under there on a bad extract, it's rare but apparently can happen.

  2. I understand it's purpose, I would have preferred a standard aluminum charging handle w/ the shallow machine slot. My Tactical Solutions Upper had a dedicated .22 aluminum charging handle (granted it was not an anti-jam), so I know it can be done.