Well, I managed to take my somewhat problematic Tactical Solutions AR-22 SBX Upper to the range today, and… well, the best I can say is that it does manage to fire and extract now, and that it is fairly accurate. When it wants to fire. Which is not often.
I was shooting Winchester Super-X Copper-Plated Lead Hollow Point .22 Long Rifle ammunition, and the best the upper managed to perform was four misfires out of a magazine of 25, and the worst was about 7. The symptom appeared to be light strikes, judging from the aft ends of the rounds – the successfully fired cases (including those I tried to fire again after they misfired once) had significantly deeper creases than the not-quite-duds.
And just to make sure the ammunition was not misbehaving, I ran a full 50-round box through the Smith & Wesson L-Frame .22 revolver Oleg let me borrow and did not encounter a single misfire of any type.
*sigh* To be fair, I am using a Chip McCormick Tactical Trigger Group, and I guess it is entirely possible it could be light-striking the SBX bolt, but my own tinkering with the lower seemed to indicate that its hammer struck harder than a “mil-spec” part kit, so I have no idea.
At this point, I am going to call the SBX upper a wash until such time as I build out my spare AR-15 with all “standard” components. I honestly do not know what could be causing the problem, so it is just time to start at the beginning and move forward. The good news is that Coal Creek Armory has agreed to order in that Magnum Research Magnum Lite rifle I was talking about recently without any agreement on my part of actually purchasing the thing, so that is pretty cool – it will give me an opportunity to try it on and see how it fits, and, at this point, it may turn out to be my go-to .22 rifle regardless.
I dare say I am slightly disappointed in Tactical Solutions by now; granted, they cannot exactly guarantee full functionality with all potential aftermarket configurations of AR-15s, but I kind of expected better from pretty much one of the leaders in the “conversion kit” industry.
And just to cap off this all-too-enjoyable day at the range, I had to drop $120… on a new battery for the car. Bleh.