Equipment: S&W M&P 15-22
As we keep burning through another year of ammunition shortages, it is getting harder to practice with our carbines. Between ammunition still being hard to find and pricey it is hard to keep to the training schedules that we were accustomed to a year and a half ago. We can still work on many skills with dry-fire. We can work on skills such as trigger control, sight alignment, reloads, transitioning from carbine to pistol, etc. We can even use dry-fire to make sure whatever new gear we may have recently changed will work without getting in the way and be ergonomic and efficient. Things such as slings, flashlights, mag pouches, or if you are trying new magazines that they seat well in the carbine and work well in your drills.
Of course we are still going to have that itch to scratch of going to the range and getting some live-fire training in. Whether it's to be able to have continuous trigger presses as our bolt resets our trigger as we fire away through our magazines. Maybe it's that we miss the sound of shooting steel targets. Maybe it's the satisfaction of putting some holes in targets and seeing how we perform during live-fire to ensure that our dry-fire drills are working the skills that we may need to work on.
Whichever it might be, the Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 is a great solution to answer this problem. They are abundantly available and affordable. They are very well made and I even find them to be very reliable and not very picky with which ammo gets put through them. I have used bulk packed Federal, Remington Golden Bullets, Remington Thunderbolt and CCI Subsonic. All of which worked great with very few malfunctions right out of the gate. The controls are all the same exact controls as a standard AR-15. They are a similar dimension, although a couple pounds lighter, so it feels familiar as you swing them around and complete your mag changes. The magazines are the same dimensions so they will fit in the same mag pouches and reloads will feel the same as with a larger caliber carbine. .22lr ammunition has even started to show up on the shelves a little more lately and at .10 cents per round are a lot more affordable to shoot than other caliber carbines. They are also great for the family as well. With an adjustable length of pull, low-recoil and low-noise, they are great for younger shooters and new shooters.
Happy Shooting and Be Safe!