Finally have the silly thing in my hands. A standard Smith & Wesson M&P15-22, naked barrel and all. There was also some material removal required in the trigger guard area to get the BAD lever to fit, but I knew that ahead of time. Of course there were a few other parts swapped as soon as I got it home, and I'm still debating what to do with the pistol grip and what to do for optics.
On to the pictures and whatnot. Here it is with the full size. As you can see, it's a little shorter. The length of pull is set the same, but as with all the dedicated .22lr platforms, the barrel comes back into the upper more than on a 5.56, so it looks shorter. As I said, the LOP is about the same, and the AFGs are the same distance out as well.
Here's the bolt assembly- The bolt travels along the two rails, the black chunk in back acts as a polymer buffer, and the recoil spring guide easily comes out and allows the recoil spring to launch clear to the dining room.
Bolt face- Pretty straight forward. Extractor on your left there, firing pin up at the top of the case notch area. You can also see how the rails are sitting at 7 and 2, which kinda messes with your head when you shotgun the rifle and look at the back end. You'll also notice the lack of an ejector.
That's because it's here- It's connected to the back end of the barrel, which is a pretty simple solution to keeping the lower receiver from getting too cluttered.
So far, the only thing I'm really iffy on, is the charging handle. It's plastic, and not at all near the size of a 5.56 one. Did I mention it's plastic? I think I'm going to contact S&W and find out about scoring a spare just in case. I might also send an email to BCM voicing interest in a 15-22 Gunfighter. I know I'm not the only one. (Scroll down a little bit, Optimus is my handle over there)
Overall, I think the wait was worth it, especially given the price (S&W gave me a Vet. discount, and my FFL takes care of service members). Hopefully it shoots as good as it looks, and the weight difference doesn't throw me off too much switching from the "little" one to the "full size" one. I've got a nice stack of magazines too, so my stash of .22lr bulk packs should start shrinking pretty soon. That is, assuming global warming ever kicks in and the glaciers retreat from the range.