Today’s elite law enforcement and military special operations units tend to burn through hundreds of thousands of rounds each year while attending schools, training and conducting operations. While nothing can ever replace live fire training, it is being reduced by the continual shrinking budgets of these units. Units with unlimited resources are not feeling the pinch in their ammo allotments as bad as the small units with minimal to no funding. This is leading training instructors to search for ways they can get the most “bang” for their buck while giving realistic and effective training to their staff.
While searching for alternate means of training without sacrificing the need of live fire training, I recently discovered the Nordic Components .22 conversion system. The Nordic conversion system is made in Hutchinson, Minnesota by Nordic Components, and was designed by Engineering Manager Tim Ubel and Nordic Components owner Jarmo Kampolo. Creating a realistic training rifle that would allow shooters to increase the amount they could train and practice while saving money on ammunition was the intended goal. Nordic quickly realized that to make this happen, they would need to first find a shooting platform that offered versatility, flexibility and of course, realistic training value to bring this idea into reality.
Going off these criteria, they chose the Ruger 10/22 rifle chambered in .22 LR as the base platform for this project. Since the creation of the Ruger 10/22 rifle in 1964, there have been over 4 million of these rifles sold as of the last public report, which was in October of 2003. With so many Ruger 10/22 rifles sold across the United States it’s very rare that you don’t find one in almost every shooters’ rifle collections.
Using the Ruger 10/22 platform also offered an abundance of aftermarket parts, accessories and modifications with which to closely clone your actual duty weapons platform. Adding the Nordic Components conversion kit, you now have an effective low cost .22 LR trainer that can closely mimic your duty weapon or tactical rifle without breaking your wallet.
There are only a few minor differences that you will find with the AR22 system compared to your AR style rifle. The first is the location of the charging handle. On the 10/22 it is located on the right side instead of on the top rear of your AR rifle. Next the magazine release is on the bottom instead of on the side, which makes magazine changing drills completely different. I strongly recommend that magazine reloading drills be conducted at the end of each training session on your duty or competition weapon to get the practice of those much-needed magazine changes.
The third thing you will notice is the lighter recoil of the weapon. Keep in mind that the Nordic Conversion Kit was designed to augment and increase the amount of live fire shooting you can conduct during your training sessions, and not to completely replace training with your AR rifle platforms.