If you’ve been shooting for any amount of time, you know that shooting can get expensive, if for no other reason that having to buy more and more ammunition.
But there’s also the issue of picking a gun that is easy to work with for training. Because of that, some companies have released specific trainer guns to address issues such as ammunition cost and adjusting to kickback when getting used to a new firearm.
Tippmann M4-22 clone of the centerfire M4 carbine is one of the most realistic rimfire trainers I’ve ever encountered. The balance, the controls and the overall feel mimic the M4 almost perfectly. The only differences are the reduced noise (a benefit) and reduced recoil (great for marksmanship practice, less helpful for learning to control recoil). The carbine comes with an impressively accurate barrel (best groups are in the 1.5MOA range) and a magazine that’s dimensionally similar to the 5.56mm magazines, fitting the same pouches.
On the outside, Tippmann rimfire magazine looks like a typical AR feeding device. From the top, smaller feed lips reinforced with steel insets show the reduced caliber. Although the magazine is the same size as the centerfire mags, M4-22 upper does not fit standard M4 lowers. A dedicated lower is required.
Existing rimfire magazines are either sealed against dust or skeletonized for direct access to the follower in order to facilitate loading. Both approaches have merit, but only Tippmann magazine combines both advantages. Pressing a detent button at the bottom frees the outer sleeve, which slidesdown. Once the 25 rounds are loaded with ease, pressing the button again permits the sleeve to slide back to closed, sealed position.
While the carbine works with standard and high velocity ammunition, for high volume shooting plated or polymer coated high velocity loads are recommended.
Optics are recommended for realizing the high mechanical accuracy. Since this carbine is primarily intended for short-range defensive practice, a 2OA red dot makes for a good compromise between speed and precision.
Volk later writes, “Less noise, less cost, and the recoil management can be addressed later in the training process. All other aspects of pistol deployments and marksmanship remain very similar.”
In other words, this Tippmann trainer does exactly what you want a trainer to do: get you used to handling the weapon without the expense (or other factors) of training with the full-fledged model. So, if you’re looking for an M4 trainer, this rifle may be exactly what you’re looking for.