Bushmaster C22 – Big Green’s M&P 15-22 Competitor

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Bushmaster has quietly slipped the C22 out under the radar. The new plinking rifle is aimed squarely at the M&P 15-22’s commanding performance in the market. Built on the Carbon-15 platform, the .22LR rifle comes standard in a M4-like configuration and a price point that will make prospective 15-22 buyers think twice: $380 (the 15-22 on CTD is lowest at $418 for the “compliant version”).

Adding to the value, the C22 uses standard M-4 size furniture and a dust-cover complete with an A-2 front sight. Weight is similar┬áto its competition, coming in at 5.6 lbs vs the 5 lbs for the 15-22, which is respectable considering the metal sight and slightly heavier receivers. Its not all perfect, the C22 still has a proprietary barrel nut, so it may be a bit until the aftermarket allows users to match their “real” AR furniture.

The biggest obstacle to practicing is almost always the cost. Ammunition has constantly gone up of the years, and will continue to do so. So get more practice in for less money with the Bushmaster C22 M4 Carbine in .22 Long Rifle. It comes with a 16″ M4 contour barrel with a black oxide finish and lightweight carbon upper and lower receivers. The flat top receiver is equipped with a Mil-Standard top rail and fixed A2 front sight. The 6 position, M4 collapsible stock and Mil-Std carbine 2 piece handguard means you can practice the same holds in the same position as you do with your standard AR.

Specifications and Features:
.22 Long Rifle
16″ M4 profile barrel
25 rounds
1:16″ twist
Polymer receiver
6 position stock
A2 front sight
Flat top upper receiver
32.25″-36″ length
5.6 lbs



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Tim U

    Too bad it’s freedom group, meaning it will soon be joining the r51 in the quality department.

    • They have owned the company and been making them for some time. There is no Freedom Group. It’s been Remington Outdoors for about a year now.

      • Tim U

        Still is the same great quality control as the rest of the recent disasters.

        The real Bushmaster to me is Windham Weaponry. I won’t touch a new bushmaster. Or remington, or any of the others.

        • Zachary marrs

          Though to be fair, Remington is at least trying to get better.

          Trying being the keyword here

          Has anyone gotten back their r51’s with the pelican case?

          • The Real Teal’c

            “TRY”

          • Andrew Hobby

            Oh dear. Did that blown-out case come out of your R51?

  • floppyscience

    Does this have fully functioning AR-style controls like the M&P15-22, or whacky molded-in ones like other .22 “ARs”?

    • jbird

      That’s the details I’m interested in.

    • Bryan Stevens

      Looking at Bushmasters site they offer a combo pair, the 22 upper and a 5.56 upper with one AR lower. So I’d venture a guess that the controls are functional

    • The controls are AR controls just like a 223

  • blackspike2710

    Based on the Carbon line, somehow weighs more than the 15-22?

  • Nicholas Chen

    I paid $349.99 for my 15-22 on sale at a Field and Stream grand opening. I used a $100 reward voucher ontop of that. So it was only $250.

  • GordonTrenchard

    Is that a “real” barrel or just a sleeve like many others. Some time ago I bought the Beretta ARX-160 .22lr and it is noticably more accurate than a 15-22. It has also been 100% reliable thru 4000+ rounds. They can be had for about this cost as well. The Sig 522 is also a good alternative.

  • How so Remington Outdoors has owned them a good while.

  • Paul Dawson

    Another nice feature to note is the fact that it uses standard .22LR AR-15 magazines. Pictured are the BlackDog magazines. The M&P15-22 uses their proprietary magazines, which sucks. As long as it runs well it’s a good option. Personally I like my SIG 522 (also uses BlackDog .22LR AR-15 type magazines) much more than the M&P15-22 which feels too cheap for my liking. From outward appearances I would rather have the C22.

    • Guest

      I used to agree but the M&P’s magazine gives you a better functioning bolt catch. This is a plus for me for muscle memory and being able to use a bolt assist like the Magpul BAD.

      • Paul Dawson

        I’ve had zero issues with the BlackDog/OEM SIG magazines on my 522 and no problems with the bolt catch. I didn’t mean to say that the magaiznes suck, rather that it’s nicer to have more standardized magazines. Another option for AR owners might also be a quality dedicated .22LR upper receiver such as a Tactical Solutions if the purpose of the rifle is training for the fullsize caliber.

  • jeff k

    i guess all that matters is if the thing works . people buy the 15-22 because its one of the only .22 ar15s that work and ive tried alot of them. hope they live up to the name and its a good rifle because the price is just right

  • echelon

    It’s Remington so word to the wise…I would stay away.

    Even if the product isn’t recalled or just happened to completely get bypassed in the QC department their customer service is terrible – particularly at Bushmaster.

    I routinely like to call them about once a month just to ask them when the ACR barrel change kits will be available. I have a running pool of bets that their answer is either A. 6 weeks, B. 6 months or C. Next year. I won the pool last month but my friend Benny won the previous 3 months in a row…jerk.

  • uisconfruzed

    Nice, I’d much rather have a quality short (12″) threaded barreled 22lr upper to practice with my SBR lower. I don’t want to spend $ for another Geissele trigger etc.

  • commonwealth109

    S&W 15-22 is simply a workhorse that gets the job done through it all, at a fair price, like a G-Shock watch. It is one of the few guns that I would bother to “defend” on an Internet site.
    Also, nobody will ever convince me that the “BlackDog, or standard AR 22lr” mags are better than S&W’s mags. S&W mags have the load assist, full length round count viewing port, and they function as well as the gun. The 25 round mags have a perfect 5.0 customer rating on MidwayUSA, from 216 customers!
    I have two different versions of the 15-22 and at least a dozen mags.
    There *could* be some that like the ability to switch the upper on the Bushmaster, but not me, not at all interested in that. I like my 22lr guns as their own deal, I like rimfires. Now if my wife, or my state, put a receiver limit on me – then I might change my tune.
    I’m all for more guns and more choices – but to act like this Bushmaster is going to solve some “problem” that exists due to the S&W 15-22 is rediculous.