Accurate. Reliable. Solid. The Kriss Defiance DMK22 is that and more. If you are looking for a high end AR15 trainer in a .22LR platform this could well be your choice.
There are several options on the market for a .22LR AR15. One of the most popular is the Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22. We use the M&P15-22s at our Youth Marksmanship Camp and while they are a good little plinker they aren’t accurate or reliable in the long run (talking 5,000+ rounds). CMMG bolt conversions are also an affordable choice, but there is fear of leading up your barrel and reliability isn’t the best. Mossberg offers a junky one with fake controls. The HK 416 Rimfire has a horribly heavy trigger (we are talking 11+ pounds!). Leaving a place in the market for a high end, quality AR-15 in .22LR.
The Kriss Defiance is like a full-fledged AR15 with one exception – the lower receiver is not milled for a buffer tube. Instead, it’s solid. So you won’t be using it for any other standard uppers. The Defiance upper utilizes Ruger 10/22 style barrels which is pretty unique and downright genius. It has a sleeve that adapts the 10/22 barrel to be used in a mil-spec upper in conjunction with Kriss’s rail system that attaches via their barrel nut. It can use Black Dog style magazines, the same you would use in a .22LR converted AR15.
My ER Shaw 10/22 bull barrel fit just fine into the sleeve, however, my GEMTECH Mist integral barrel/suppressor was just a few thousands of an inch too thick to work. With a little sandpaper over the finish I bet it would fit.
The lower receiver also has a slight part change with the magazine catch. Using this oversized catch allows the bolt to hold open and release with the mag catch just like a real AR when using Defiance magazines. The only downside to the Defiance magazines is that they only come in 10 or 15 round capacity.
The Defiance is completely build from Kriss parts. The receivers, stock, grip, rail, and even the sights are from Kriss. This probably another reason for the high price point of $699. As the video proves, it is very accurate. I was thoroughly impressed hitting sub 1″ bullseyes at 50 yards with a non magnified Holosun optic. It ran flawlessly out of the box for several hundred rounds before needing cleaning.
With the price being $699 I would love to see Kriss offer the barrel sleeve as a kit for those of us with plenty of AR part lying around and even a lower to snap it on to. 10/22 barrels are plentiful and cheap. Those with a registered SBR lower would even be able to use a shorter Charger barrel. Maybe I can talk them into it at SHOT Show 😉
View all the options for a Kriss Defiance on their website: https://kriss-usa.com/rifles/rimfire/dmk22c-lvoa and pick up one for the best price from BDU here, only $556 at the time of this post.