Boutique builder 2A Armament just launched two new complete AR-pattern rifles, both chambered for .22 Long Rifle. Each rifle comes with a unique set of receivers that not only stand out from each other, they stand out from all other AR receiver sets.
While there’s plenty of demand for AR-15 .223 Remington/5.56NATO to .22 rimfire conversion kits, there’s plenty of appeal for a dedicated .22 AR-15.
Dedicated .22 ARs offer improved reliability, better accuracy and much lighter weight thanks to .22-specific barrel options. Conversion kits are a good way to save money and enjoy the AR experience. Dedicated .22 ARs let you get the best performance out of your .22 rifle that happens to run like an AR, too.
The two new models are the Balios-Lite and Atheon .22. The Balios rifle uses 2A Armament’s featherweight, minimalist AR-15 receiver set. It pairs a slick-sided skeletonized upper with no forward assist and a minimal shell deflector with a matching lower.
The Atheon adds a few choice features like a forward assist, enlarged, flared magwell and integral quick-detach sling swivels on both sides of the buffer extension.
Both sets incorporate reinforcing ribs along stress areas of the receivers. Because these are the areas that bear the load, the other material can be removed. The difference shows. The Balios-Lite models weigh just 3 pounds, 10 ounces, and the Atheon just an ounce more.
The receiver sets are the only major difference between the two builds. Both feature 2A’s in-house titanium bolt, hybrid 7075-T6 and 4140 steel barrel, and 2A components.
The two rifles come with different handguards, cut to match the lines of the uppers. the barrels measure in at 16 inches under the extended M-Lok-compatible rails.
2A sourced some of the other parts including the Bravo Company Mod 4 charging handle, Magpul MIAD grip and Mission First Tactical Minimalist stock.
These rifles feature a lot of high-end components and command a solid price premium of $1,399. The rifles are assembled to-order and may take two to three weeks to deliver.
Still, if you like what you see here and think you can do it for less, they also offer their Balios-Lite and receiver sets separately for $559. And if that’s still too rich for your blood they also make an enhanced .223/5.56 to .22 LR conversion kit for $272.