Recently I was introduced to Tippmann Tough 2.0 by Tippmann Arms. While still based in Fort Wayne Indiana and just down the street from the paintball facility, Tippmann Arms is worlds apart. Tippmann Arms recently released the M4-22 carbine. It’s a .22LR AR that is as tough as its paintball cousins. From the Tippmann Arms website: “I’m very excited to produce firearms again under the brand my father started back in 1983, Tippmann Arms is where it all started for the Tippmann family” said Denny Tippmann Jr. Tippmann Arms originally produced fully functional half scale .22 caliber belt-fed Browning machine gun replicas. Today these half scale machine guns are very collectible and can bring upwards of $30,000 each. When the gun laws changed in 1986 Tippmann Arms ceased manufacturing firearms and started manufacturing paintball guns initially under Tippmann Pneumatics and later under Tippmann Sports, which was sold to GI Sportz Inc. in December, 2013.” Tippmann Arms is a completely seperate company from Tippmann Sports.
From their website the M4-22 has/is:
The first thing I noticed when I picked it up was that the upper and lower receivers are very tough aluminum. The two fit together very tightly and there is no perceivable wiggle or movement. Other AR15 style 22’s I’ve shot are made of polymer and seem to be very loosely fit. Standard push pins hold everything in place just as they should. The next thing I noticed was the rest of the gun is very high quality. The quad rail is solidly mounted via a delta ring system, the flip up sights are well made and fully functional, the bolt catch actually works right and is solid when activated, the stock trigger is very crisp (but a bit heavier than what I prefer) and the buffer tube solidly mounts to the lower without any wiggle or flexing. The barrel is a “heavy” format with the OD being .740”. While these are items we expect from a 5.56 or .300BLK AR it’s great to see them in a gun this new to the market. It seems the design engineers really did their homework.
After a cursory cleaning I took it to the farm and ran 100 rounds of ammo through it. It was a mixed bag of Winchester White Box and Remington Golden Bullets. I didn’t have a single problem. While I didn’t have any paper targets with me shooting at a Bobcat Steel Torsion Popper was available. At 25 yards it performed flawlessly and the flip up sights were spot on.
But, just like any AR you have to “make it yours”. Once I bought the new parts it was time to put it on the bench. In stripping it down I noticed that for having shot 100 rounds of low end ammo through it the bolt and barrel were very clean. Not sure if I was lucky or if the bolt and chamber design kept the bulk of the debris going out the end of the barrel. Disassembly is as easy as any other AR; pop the pins and split the receivers. The proprietary charging handle does not keep the bolt in the upper so be careful when you split the receivers. Pulling the bolt is simple as it slides right out the back.
The bolt is very simple as compared to a CMMG adapter, an M&P 15-22 or a Mossberg 715T. In its simplicity the failure rate has to be much lower. I’ve shot over 1,500 rounds through my M4-22 with zero failures. This hasn’t been with only primo or high quality ammo. I test with everything I can find to ensure the gun will do what it needs to when it has to. Plus this is a lot of fun to shoot! Who doesn’t love hitting a 14” square Bobcat Steel plate at 100 yards with only a red dot?
This is at 50 yards benchrest with the red dot.
The magazines are proprietary, just as all conversion kits and other rifles are. These magazines are a bit different. They are similar in that there is a spring pull down but the similarity ends with the built in ammo, spring and follower cover. You press a button on the side of the mag and the cover slides down revealing the spring pull down buttons. After you load the mag the cover slides back up. This not only keeps sand, dirt and debris out of the mag and gun it gives a much cleaner look to the mags. With the cover up the mags are reminiscent of Magpul and other AR mags.
So I said I made it mine. Here’s what I did:
This is one of the best shooting 22’s I’ve shot in a long time. It’s very smooth and hasn’t had a single failure in over 1,500 rounds fired. I’ve shot CCI SV, CCI Subsonic, CCI Mini Mag, CCI Stingers, Armscor, Remington Golden Bullets, Remington 22 Subsonic, Remington 22 Thunderbolt, Eley Subsonic, Anguila Subsonic, Anguila regular, Winchester White Box and American Eagle through it with zero problems. The only round I tried that didn’t fully cycle were CCI Quiets. They are at 710 fps and the only guns I use them in are bolt action. Ther round fired and the brass ejected but there wasn’t enough power to fully cycle the bolt. It didn’t pick up the next round from the mag. My favorite is the CCI SV’s. At 1070 fps they are subsonic and very accurate suppressed. The gun feels good and natural in your hands. While some may say this is an entry level gun I consider it a premium level gun. For a trainer this is the perfect starting step for a student regardless of age or size. It’s not plastic feeling and is able to deliver what is needed. The collapsible stock will let it fit most any student. It gives the feel and performance of multiple high end 5.56 AR’s.
The M4-22 is fun to shoot and has all the features of an AR, the forward assist, dust cover, and bolt catch all work and being mil-spec all my favorite AR handguards and stocks fit too. Shooting 22LR is so cheap I think this gun will pay for itself after a few thousand rounds, compared to 223. With an MSRP of $599.99 and a purchased price as low as $499 this is not only a good investment but a smart one. I highly suggest you check it out at your local gun shop and at www.tippmannarms.com. Once you do I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
I changed out the Magpul MOE handguard with a Radical Arms 12" Free Float. I also put a 4-16x scope on it. I was shooting a 1" group at 100 yards so now I'm ready to take it out to 200 yards.
I also modified the charging handle and put on an extended release. This lets me access the charging handle with the scope above it.
Copyright Dan Voils 2017