6 Best AR-15 to 9mm Caliber Conversion Kits: How to
Over the years, improvements in the popularity of different ballistics types have been persistent.
The modularity of weapons like the AR-15 allows a very simple process to adapt the weapon to a particular calibre.
Let’s have a look at how to proceed about the process and make some suggestions to get you through it on the best kits available.
Benefits of the 9 mm AR-15
You get to enjoy a few attributes as you turn to 9 mm.
One is because the cost of ammo is lower. Clearly, you’re going to use this for another purpose, but shooting 9 mm can save you a ton per shot.
Another variable is the muzzle blast and sound. The smaller caliber would lower the noise and maybe make shooting just a bit more relaxed.
You benefit a bit of range and speed while shooting with an AR, opposed to shooting with a pistol.
Of course, there are other, more efficient 9 mm shooting options, but it’s a good alternative if you want the AR platform.
Finally, if you think it practical to stock up on one form of ammunition, you could be well served by selecting 9 mm.
In the case of SHTF situations, the expense and flexibility make it a reasonable option because you choose to keep a good stock on hand for multiple applications.
How hard is this transformation?
As the master of modularity, the AR-15 needs to be dubbed the Lego of the world of firearms.
Any owner knows how simple it is to make weapons modifications and install a range of customizations that are endless.
For upgrading a mil-spec AR-15 to 9 mm, firearm owners can select from many choices.
Swapping the upper assembly with another completed upper receiver is the best approach.
You may also easily use a modification package that removes the group of bolt carriers.
A quick drop-in to fit your Lower Receiver means the first and more expansive solution.
Usually, this kit consists of an upper assembly with a barrel and a well connector for the magazine. It will cost between $700 to well over $1,000.
The other strategy involves utilizing the normal upper receivers of the AR.
A new barrel, new trigger, and a magazine adapter may then be upgraded to a 9 mm Parabellum caliber by fitting.
If you’re familiar with a few basic tools, constructing a 9 mm upper receiver with a conversion kit is a really easy process.
You would need a barrel nut wrench like this TAPCO instrument to replace the bolt carrier group and buffer to put the block into the magazine well.
Like the ProMag AR-15 / M16 Upper And Lower Receiver Magazine Well Vise Block package, you’ll also need a receiver vise block.
Sections to Change
Using a conversion kit turns out, typically, to be more affordable than separately purchasing the parts.
For a bolt, different component rates fell below $200; the 9 mm barrel would set you back another $150-$200; the $50-$200 magazine block and the $50-$75 heavier buffer and heavier buffer spring.
Unlike the standard 20 “barrel of the AR-15, the pistol-caliber carbine typically bears a 16” or shorter barrel.
With a 10 or 32 round capacity, they can have straight magazines.
There are 50 and 100 round magazines for percussion, too.
However, in California , New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Colorado and Washington DC, possession of magazines of more than 10 rounds and a barrel length of less than 16 is illegal and is subject to sanctions.
How to get the transformation done
The installation of the 9 mm barrel is the same the same as every other barrel and can be achieved without gunsmithing or any changes.
Because the rear of the barrel is the same width and form, and the barrel nut is the same, just torque the barrel nut and finish with your choice of handguard.
Just bear in mind that at the muzzle the 9 mm barrel has different threads from the .223/5.56 to stop the flash.
The large one-piece bolt is a kind of blowback which removes the traditional .223/5.56 mm two-piece bolt.
Although it uses the same handle and buffer for charging, you can mount the heaviest buffer for the better performance.
Another improvement to the rifle will be to use a specific adapter to enable smaller 9 mm magazines to be used.
There are two forms of conversion blocks: one placed from below and supported by the mag catch in place and the other from the top, held by some bulge and lips in it.
It is advised to drop in from the top with the conversion adapter.
The barrel lengths for carbine conversions vary from 16 inches to gun barrels that are only 3 inches long!
Can the 9 mm Mod be switched on easily?
Of course, yeah. It’s as simple as mounting one to adjust the 9 mm mod.
Everything you have to do is remove the mod out of the mag well, take the two takedown pins out, change the top, bring the pins back, and you’re all right to go.
To save you time and resources, the 9 mm modifications were made.
This stops the 9 mm from needing to get an entirely new AR-15 chamber.
The modifications here are so clear that you never need a gunsmith.
You may add and remove the mod within seconds, if you know how to distinguish the upper and lower receiver.
However, it requires just a couple of minutes to understand if you don’t know how it functions.
The 9 mm mods are only tools that are plug-and-play.
Without adjusting the upper receiver, you can take a 9 mm shot from a 223 platform, but it is still not suggested.
But much of the time spent changing the mod is modifying the upper receiver to match the caliber of 9 mm, which is around 30 seconds.
Review of the AR-15 ‘s Finest 9 mm Conversion Kits
Below, we have created this quick guide to make it simpler for you to determine if you are using a mag well block that lowers your conventional AR-15 to accept either Colt or Glock magazines:
Best AR-15 to 9mm Caliber Conversion Kit: Stern Defense MAG-AD9
- High quality material
- Very durable
- Good value
Best AR-15 to 9mm Caliber Conversion Kit
The Stern Defense MAG-AD9 is in the AR-15 Conversion Kits at the upper price range.
It was initially constructed of lightweight aluminum type 6061 T6 aircraft, and is now made of 4140 alloy material.
The Glock-style double stacked 9 mm or .40 S&W magazines can be used with no required changes to your lower or magazines with this 9 mm AR adapter.
A last-round hold-open feature and built-in magazine release for Glock-type magazines feature the Stern Mag-AD9 series adapters.
The latest edition boasts an improved magazine release to be inline with the magazine without the bulge in the original magazine latch.
These adapters involve the use of a Glock cut bolt, however you will have to shave a little off the top and sides of the ejector dependent on your bolt range.
The Mag-AD bottom-fed magazine adapters are mounted in seconds in any mil-spec AR-15, M4 or M16 lower receiver with the familiar AR-15 plug-and – play system and converted into a lower Glock magazine.
You can hold all of the gun’s stock components except the barrel and bolt if you choose the Stern Defense adapter.
2nd Best AR-15 to 9mm Caliber Conversion Kit: Hahn Precision AR-15/M16 Conversion Block
- Available in two versions
- Very precise
- Best price-performance ratio
2nd Best AR-15 to 9mm Caliber Conversion Kit
Depending on the way of installing the block to the lower receiver, the Hahn Precision AR-15 / M16 9 mm Drop-In Conversion Blocks are made in two versions.
Hahn Precision makes adapters for both bottom-loading and top-loading.
From the bottom of the lower receiver, the bottom-loading magazine adapter slots and secures with a non-marring friction mechanism, preventing unintended escape.
The Top-Loading Block, on the other side, drops from the top of the lower receiver and allows the release of the bolt to be withdrawn.
The downside is that in the field, it won’t be transferable.
Made of aluminum billet, the Hahn one-piece conversion blocks are compatible with both Colt-type and updated UZI magazines.
On a top loader, the adapter offers a last-round hold-open feature.
Two styles of bottom loaders are available: with and without the hold-open system.
Without the built-in hold-open, the bottom-fed mag adapter needs a prolonged catch on the last round to hold open.
It’s smaller than the variant of .223, and during prolonged usage it will quickly break.
In combination with a feed ramp, the third bottom-loading adapter has a built-in basic 5.56 mm bolt hold-open operation.
For all types of projectiles, including hollow point and frangible ball loadings, it is cut for reliable feeding.
3rd Best AR-15 to 9mm Caliber Conversion Kit: Rock River Arms – AR-15/M16 Conversion Block
- Easy to install
- Drop-in solution
- Very reliable
- A bit heavy
3rd Best AR-15 to 9mm Caliber Conversion Kit
From the Rock River Arms comes another conversion kit. It utilizes the method of the Colt style, which is really common because it’s half the price of a real Colt.
The magazine block for the Rock River Arms 9 mm is put into the mag well and held by the normal mag catch.
With the regular Uzi magazine, but without the bolt hold-open feature, you can use it.
A drop-in solution built of aluminum and steel, the Rock River Arms Conversion Block suits a mil-spec small pin (.154′′ dia.), .223 lower receiver.
A fixed screw is used by this bottom loader to protect the magazine block, which enables the magazines to use the normal magazine catch.
Only Colt and the updated UZI magazines will leave the RRA conversion block open.
The main criticism of this marginally cheaper configuration is that the slope of the follower is too high for UZI magazines, which ensures that the bolt will often not strip the last 1-4 rounds out of the magazine.
4th Best AR-15 to 9mm Caliber Conversion Kit: Colt AR-15/M16 Conversion Block
- Compatible with many magazine types
- High quality materials
- Very reliable
- A bit pricy
4th Best AR-15 to 9mm Caliber Conversion Kit
The original well adapter of the Colt 9 mm AR-15 magazine modifies the regular AR lowers to use Colt 9 mm style magazines.
The standard AR-15 bolt capture is used by this bottom loader and has a last-shot hold-open feature.
The funneled magazine well, machined from tough aluminum, guarantees smooth entry of 9 mm Colt-style magazines.
For reliable round delivery with most bullet forms, the feed ramp with a steel insert is heat-treated.
Using a fixed screw to lock down and secure it, this block for the AR-15 framework installs quickly and comfortably.
Compared to the other block-style surplus styles, the main downside of the Colt conversion block is more costly magazines.
5th Best AR-15 to 9mm Caliber Conversion Kit: Brownells AR-15/M16 W/32rd Magazine Conversion Block
- Great quality
- Good price
- Quick to install
5th Best AR-15 to 9mm Caliber Conversion Kit
One of the higher-priced adapters is the Brownells AR-15 Drop-in conversion block, but it also comes with a 32 round Colt-style magazine.
This adapter, built from an aluminum block and a reinforced steel ejector, transforms the Colt-type magazines to the regular AR-15 platform.
Although the feed ramp is cut for effective feeding of all forms of ammunition, including hollow-point bullets, the Brownells conversion block is compatible with Colt-type, 9 mm upper receivers.
To avoid unintended release or free play, a spring-loaded roller retaining mechanism preserves continuous friction against the lower receiver well.
This Brownells bottom-loading model flawlessly uses a BHO feature, unlike Colt magazines.
However, last-round-hold-open modified UZI magazines are not going to fit.
It’s quick to mount this conversion block onto an established AR-15 lower receiver.
There is no reason to adjust the traditional hammer while it is combined with a 9 mm bolt carrier.
6th Best AR-15 to 9mm Caliber Conversion Kit: ATI – AR-15 9mm Adapter for 5.56 Lower Receiver
- Plug & Play
- Cool design
- Durable aluminium
- Not compatible with all rifles
6th Best AR-15 to 9mm Caliber Conversion Kit
ATI’s AR-15 to 9 mm converter is constructed of 6061-T6 aluminum and is ideal for any regular 5.56 lower receiver.
A built-in magazine release is included in the converter, appropriate for Glock-style 9 mm magazines.
Within the mag well of the upper receiver, the adapter slides much as a standard AR-15 mag will do.
After the last bullet is shot, the bolt hold-open mechanism of the converter locks the bolt in place, which is a good protection and operating precaution.
The adapter fits with magazines in the Glock doublestack type, plus a 10 round 9 mm magazine is included with the box.
The adapter is constructed of titanium, meaning it is robust and sturdy enough to endure friction and shocks.
Verdict: 6th Best AR-15 to 9mm Caliber Conversion Kit
The ATI AR-15 9 mm adapter features a robust and easy build to almost immediately turn your AR-15 into a 9 mm rifle.
The adapter is relatively less expensive than some of its predecessors, but to avoid games, it will also take some fitting.
In a number of cases, being willing to use 9 mm ammunition in both a pistol and a rifle makes sense for the civilian market.
As home-defense rifles, pistol-caliber carbines are fine.
Plinking training and weapons firearms for adults as well as for young people are also great.
It’s not a hard transition if you’re able to make the switch – give it a shot!
Test: Tippmann Arms M4-22 Elite GS in .22 l.r. – how much AR-15 can be in a small caliber rifle?
A solidly made small caliber AR-15 with BKA approval is the Tippmann Arms M4-22 Elite GS, which is newly available on the German market.
We took a closer look at it for all4shooters.com and tested it for you.
The US manufacturer Tippmann from Fort Wayne, Indiana, known worldwide for paintball guns since 1986, has been offering a lavish family of small caliber rifles based on the AR-15 platform for about four years, consisting of seven models.
The importer and wholesaler Helmut Hofmann offers in Germany the two Tippmann Arms models M4-22 Alpha GS with 282 mm barrel and M4-22 Elite GS with 406 mm barrel, each of which has a BKA assessment notice.
Both KK rifles feature a classic, length-adjustable M4 shoulder rest and a closed light metal hand guard.
Accurate authenticity – the details of the Tippmann M4-22 Elite GS
What we particularly liked about the test weapon in the form of the Tippmann M4-22 Elite GS with 16″ barrel, which is predestined for sporty shooting, is the excellent workmanship on the outside and inside as well as the authentically positioned and designed controls, which are completely identical to the AR-15 system in terms of handling.
This guarantees a fantastically safe handling even in competition stress when using AR rifles alternately in central and rimfire disciplines.
In the workshop we tested if lower and upper receiver of an AR-15 in .223 Rem. are compatible with the grip and system housing of the Tippmann M4-22 Elite GS – this is not the case.
Although the pivot pin could be snapped in, a further assembly was not possible due to a few millimeters difference.
Despite the proximity to the original dimensions, the Mil-Spec specifications were not followed, which meant that many components of the unmanageable AR-15 giant market no longer fit.
The manufacturer, who became famous with color marking weapons, has probably invested quite a lot, because almost all components of the AR-KK rifles are made in house.
Only a few turned and milled parts are discovered, which is why the pre-investment for the tools must have been enormous, but finally the serial production can be much more rational.
The plastic components on the rifles, such as the shoulder rest, the free-standing pistol grip or the mechanical folding sights (BUIS; Back Up Iron Sight) are also perfectly finished.
In this context: The free-swinging light metal hand guard in 12″/305 mm construction length is so solidly constructed and connected to the Upper Receiver that the front sight element cannot be pushed away in the stop.
Tight tolerances on M4-22 Elite GS from Tippmann
In view of the favorable purchase price, we had actually expected light metal main components with generously dimensioned tolerance fields.
But far from it, because we had difficulties to separate the lower receiver from the upper receiver.
Especially in the area of the pivot pin, both tolerance fields were tuned to each other completely free of play.
By the way, “Pivot Pin” means the front fixing pin, which acts as a pivot axis when the rifle is opened.
Take Down Pin” always refers to the rear cross pin, which is needed for further disassembly and field cleaning.
Inside is a simple, nickel-plated ground lock with an internal extractor and firing pin, which has been made as light as possible to ensure high functional reliability with a wide range of ammunition.
In the ejection window area of the system box there is a bushing that appears to guide the breech.
This turned component is screwed to the system box and also functions as a guide for the ejector, which in turn serves as a guide surface for the breech.
This reads more complicated than it is and is designed to be as clever as it is space-saving.
The T-shaped loading lever, which is mounted in the rear system box area, functions and is operated in the same way as on an original AR-15.
The loading lever engages in a cutout on the top of the latch and has been adapted to the latch repeat travel, so that it is only half as long as an original AR-15 loading lever.
The system box contains a 16″/406 mm barrel with 1-16″ twist and ½x28 UNEF muzzle thread.
Also the controls on the grip are arranged and designed absolutely authentic, whereby for example the mechanism of the slide catch lever differs clearly from the original.
The shape of the lever has been adapted to the magazine, and in order to ensure that the breech stop always works reliably, the magazine must be equipped with a correspondingly strong feeder spring.
Special feature of the Tippmann small caliber AR: Two-part magazine
In order to make a comfortable operation possible despite strong springs, the box magazine with a capacity for 10 cartridges has some special construction details.
This is because it is equipped with a control knob with which the feeder can be pulled down against the pressure of the spring to make it easier to fill the magazine with cartridges.
In the Tippmann M4-22 magazine, this eye-catching operating element is elegantly hidden under an outer cover.
Through this outer case the magazine, which is of course also available in the USA and other countries with a larger capacity for 30 cartridges, looks like an original AR magazine.
At the push of a button the outer case can be slid down and the inner magazine can be separated from the outer case.
So this function not only makes it easy to clean it, but also gives you access to the control knob, which makes it easier to load the magazine.
Metal inserts in the area of the magazine lips ensure that the bottom of the rimfire cartridges always moves out of the magazine in a repeatable and even manner when feeding from the magazine into the cartridge chamber, which ensures increased reliability.
Here the manufacturer does not only rely on plastic, which could wear out in this area in continuous use.
With the Tippmann Arms M4-22 on the shooting range
The precision test was carried out as close to practice as possible by shooting the Tippmann M4-22 Elite GS at 50 meters with the aid of two conventional sandbags in a horizontal position.
In addition, we mounted on the small-caliber self-loading rifle with the Bushnell AR 1-8×24 rifle scope with reticle in the second image plane a not overly powerful optic, which is also very affordable at 449,- Dollar.
The glass fits like the “famous fist in the eye” on this rifle and also convinced with a well-balanced price/performance ratio.
The recoil is hardly noticeable and with a clean hit with the rifle firmly retracted in the shoulder, you are immediately back on target.
Considering that the trigger weight was just over two kilograms, there is still room for improvement and therefore a reduction of the scattering circles is possible.
In some cases, we completed five-shot series of less than 10 seconds with quite appealing results on the target.
When using nine types of ammunition, the best three scattering circles measured 11 mm, 12 mm and 13 mm in sequence.
All results can be taken from the table in caliber 7+8/2020. No malfunction occurred during the entire test.
caliber conclusion on the Tippmann M4-22 Elite GS
The Tippmann M4-22 Elite GS is a small-caliber self-loading rifle with an unmistakably authentic AR look, which provides a great deal of pleasure thanks to its high level of workmanship, maximum functional reliability and top shooting performance.
Therefore, according to our experience, the price of 799,- Dollar is absolutely okay.