Military Replica Rimfire Rifles: Mossberg, Citadel, and ISSC
We liked the Mossberg 715T, a suitable smallbore stand-in for an AR-15. The Citadel M-1 22 Carbine took us on a good trip into the past, but the ISSC MK22 was the better replica, we said.
One reason to produce rimfire replicas of military weapons is to help familiarize the shooter with how each gun operates at a fraction of the price of buying and feeding the corresponding centerfire model. If this isnít fun enough, then consider the history and the innovation that each rifle offers the shooter ahead of simpler rimfire designs. We last tested military-replica semiautomatic rimfire rifles in the February 2010 issue (ďTactical-Style 22 LR Carbines: Ruger, S&W, Legacy Duke It OutĒ), with the majority of the roster being taken up by the AR-15 design. In this test we will evaluate only one such rifle, Mossbergís $276 715T Tactical 22. Our second replica rifle represents a bygone era and the third a modern design. Our old-timer was the $399 Citadel M-1 22 Carbine made in Italy by Chiappa. The $609 German-made ISSC MK22 Desert Tan rifle with folding stock was a replica of the SCAR (Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle). Both the MK22 and the M-1 Carbine are imported by Legacy Sports International of Reno, Nevada.
For accuracy tests, we fired from the 50-yard line with support from the Caldwell Tack Driver sandbag rest. Test ammunition was the same 40-grain assortment we used the April 2012 test of more traditional semi-automatic rifles. Two rounds featured copper-plated bullets. They were CCIís Mini Mag and CCIís AR Tactical 22 ammunition. We also fired Federalís Auto Match rounds, which launched a lead solid bullet. We also tried a variety of hollowpoint ammunition to assess versatility, but elected to fire shots of record with our roundnosed selections so we could compare results directly with our earlier tests.
Each one of our test guns arrived with open sights. In fact, the MK22/SCAR offered two aiming solutions in one set of fold-down sights. We wanted to know how well all of these sight packages worked. In addition, each rifle offered a way to mount a scope. We wanted to know how efficiently this option could be accomplished and its effect on accuracy. We began our accuracy tests using only the supplied open sights. Then, we mounted the same variable power 1-4X power scopes used in last monthís rimfire rifle tests. Firing only the most accurate round per each gun, we then recorded additional 5-shot groups from the 50-yard bench. All three rifles fired at least 300 rounds over three days of testing with no more maintenance than an occasional spray of Rem Oil into the chamber and on the bolt. Letís see how they scored.