The CMMG Bravo allows you to quickly and easily convert your 5.56mm chambered AR to fire inexpensive 22LR cartridges, without having to change your barrel or receiver. All for the price of a premium Bolt-Carrier group.
Installation is simple. Pop out your receiver pin and removing your existing AR bolt and install the Bravo like a Bolt Carrier group. If you need to learn how to take out your Bolt Carrier Group. Swap out your existing bolt for the Bravo and you’re done. Next just load the Bravo mags with the 22LR of your choice. The mags are physically the same size and shape as a 30rnd AR magazine and will fit in your magwell or pouches.
We’re trying out 3 popular 22 brands and see how they perform and their accuracy with 3” targets at 50yrds. Setting up 3” targets at 50yrds, the first step was finding a new zero which was going to be different than with a 556 cartridge. I had to re-adjust my scope about 4 Mil lower and a Mil or two to the left.
I started the test with my most reliable ammo: CCI Mini-Mags 36 grain Copper Plated Hollow Points
Like many, CCI is my go-to benchmark. It’s the most expensive ammo in this test but not by much. With better than average accuracy and reliability, it is the only mass-market ammo that consistently and reliably performs in both my rifles and pistols.
Next, I tried Federal AutoMatch.
The only Lead Round Nose bullet in this test. Another reason I included AutoMatch is that Federal originally designed this cartridge function better in AR-style 22 rifles. Ironically, the one failure to fire that occurred in this test, occurred with Automatch. It didn’t appear to be a light strike. And the round fired after rotating it 90º.
Finally, I tried Aguila Super Extra High Velocity, a 40gr Copper Plated round nose.
Super Extra HV
Aquila Super Extra is my everyday ammo for my other 22 rifles. It provides excellent performance for value with the lowest Cost-Per-Round of the three ammo tested. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a strong enough pop to cycle reliably many pistols.
In a 10 round average, CCI came out with the tightest groups. Aguila came in 2nd, and Federal Auto Match came in distant 3rd. But all three are good plinking rounds depending on the size of your plates at 25 to 50yrds.
Group Size: 3.3MOA
Group Size: 6.38MOA
Aguila Super Extra
Group Size: 4.65MOA
But at 100yrds it’s a different story. Due to the faster twist rate of an AR barrel, 22’s start to tumble off and shots were landing all over the place especially the Federal AutoMatch. So I recommend sticking to 50yrds.
Here’s some things you should be aware of. Using the Bravo leaves more fouling in your AR because 22 rimfire is dirtier round than 556 and it’s a blowback design. The manufacturer recommends firing a single 556 round through your AR after using the Bravo to clean out your gas tube. They also recommend using copper-plated rounds like the CCI Mini-Mag and Aguila Super Extra HV to reduce lead fouling in your barrel. The Bravo functions better with a light film of lubricant. I experience some failures to feed initially because I fired it bone dry out of the box.
Taking a closer look we see how the Bravo functions by separating into two parts. The back half of the bolt blows back. The 22 cartridge feeds into an inner chamber in the front section and the bullet fires out through the tip which is shaped like a 556 cartridge, and designed to fit in your AR’s barrel chamber.
Due to this split design, the bolt hold-open paddle in your AR will not work nor will the forward assist. But your charging handle work normally. The current version of the Bravo magazines features a last-round bolt open.
So first the negatives. Accuracy. For the price, you could buy a Marlin 60 which is a far more accurate 22LR rifle. A Bravo converted AR is not going to be as accurate as your AR is normally because of the barrel twist the slightly smaller bullet diameter. But on the plus side, it’s decent plinking 50yrds.
You’ll be able to practice and train with your existing AR with all of its accessories that you’re used to, the grip, optics, etc. The best reason to get a Bravo is the cost benefits shooting 22. Granted, as we saw with recent events, during an ammo panic, 22 can be hard to get. It’s still easier to find 22LR than 556 and it’s still far, far cheaper even with jacked up panic prices.
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25rnd Bravo: https://bit.ly/3sM21SU
10rnd Bravo (CA, NY Compliant): https://bit.ly/3bXD7tH