Seriously? A .22 long rifle AKM?
Just like a real AK
The WASR-22 sports the cool AK(M) looks, but is chambered for the .22 long rifle rim fire cartridge. Although the 22 does not actually use the standard AK-47 “gas piston” mechanism, it is compatible with a lot of standard AK(M) parts. With a purchase price under $300, low recoil and cheap ammo this “AK” is marketed as a “starter” or “trainer AK”. Since it fires a rim fire cartridge it is legal in Connecticut. This rifle is geared towards those who are on a budget, looking for an entry level fun rifle to take tho the range, or something to get the kids started on.
Figure 1: WASR-22 with regular AK stock. Notice the dimples above the magazine well; unlike the WASR-10 the 22 was actually built for the magazine it takes...
Common WASR-22 Issues
A common problem with the WASR-22 is spent casings rattling around in the receiver or the vacant gas tube (which is just show on the .22) causing jams. These problems can be corrected by replacing the top cover with a standard AKM Ribbed Eastern European model which has a larger ejector opening than the standard .22 version. The empty gas tube can be plugged up with a hard rubber plug to prevent empties from getting in there.
Adjusting the eccentric adjuster screw on the bottom of the bolt to the strongest setting can also help prevent empty cases from ending up under the dust cover. Loctite can be used to make sure the screw stays in place after you find the perfect setting.
The .22 round is not very powerful, which reduces recoil. It also reduces the force with which the bolt is pushed back and the mechanism is operated. Some people have had good luck with their WASR-22, especially after some tinkering and in combination with the more expensive brands of .22 ammo. However, if you are looking for a rifle that will shoot every time, without you having to tinker with it, you might want to stick with the GP WASR-10. If you are looking for a WASR with a lower recoil that shoots cheaper ammo, consider the WASR-2. The WASR 2, as an AK-74 equivalent, is chambered for the lighter and cheaper 5.45X39 round.
What owners have to say about their WASR-22: