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Ruger SR-556 Quality?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Uncle Richard, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. Uncle Richard

    Uncle Richard Well-Known Member

    I have my choice for an AR narrowed down to a Ruger SR-556, piston driven rifle.

    What is your experience with this rifle? Specifically, I'm curious regarding any malfuction issues and quality of the rifle. I plan to use for play and hopefully, 3 gun next year.

    I read a lot of comments/postings regarding the big names SmithnWesson, DPMS, Colt, and Bushmaster........just don't hear as much about Rugers. It seems like all manufacturers make good rifles with little variance between all of them. Which brand name to go with seems to be a matter of personal preference. Ruger was or still is known for making machined parts instead of stamped.
  2. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    I really don't know how good the SR-556 is. I imagine it is a very good rifle. I do know that Ruger's very first firearm, the Standard .22 auto, used a stamped sheetmetal grip frame and they continue to this day with the MKIII. ;)
  3. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Well-Known Member

    I can’t offer much. I’ve shot one and it went bang and hit the target. This was a 16” carbine w/ a holo sight and seemed pretty heavy for what it was. The m14 looking flash hider looks good. I’ve heard from a few people that there were issues with the piston / carrier, but I have never seen it in person. Search here or elsewhere for ‘Ruger Carrier Tilt’ or similar and you’ll probably find more info on it.
  4. nathan

    nathan Well-Known Member

    With that kind of money, i ll get a Stag 3G with 18 inch stainless steel barrel. Check it out. And they have free floated barrels. Pretty nice.
  5. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

    Caveat: I have no way of making a comparison with other brands, as I have never fired any AR other than a Ruger SR-556. However, I got to shoot one at a 3-gun match over the weekend. It was also my first 3-gun match, so take my comments with a large dose of salt.

    With all of that said, I ran about 150 rounds through it, using American Eagle & PMC .223. The owner was kind enough to allow me to use his rifle for the match, and he also used it, so I would expect that ~250-300 rounds were run through it. If I remember correctly, he told me that it had an aftermarket competition trigger. It had a scope of some kind, but I didn't think to look at exactly what it was.

    I had zero malfunctions, but the owner had a jam on about the 5th of 7 stages. I think that the jam was a magazine issue, but I don't know enough about ARs to be sure. It was a significant enough of a jam that the owner gave up on that stage. The 6th stage was shotguns only, but the rifle ran fine on the 7th stage, and he and I both used it. As for accuracy, I'm relatively inexperienced with rifles, but I was definitely left with the feeling that the SR-556 was more accurate than I was.
  6. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Well-Known Member

    My AR is a Ruger SR556. I like it. Lots of folks seem to dislike the gun because of the piston drive. Many say it's too heavy, too expensive, too whatever.

    I have had mine for about a year and put 1500 rounds through it. Bought it new. When I first bought it, I tried shooting some Tula steel through it but the stiff got stuck in the chamber until I had shot about 500 rounds of brass. Now, it will shoot anything I feed it without an issue, including steel.

    I only use PMags and they work great. Shoots very accurately. I have a cheap Vortex red dot and it hits well. I plan on taking it on a coyote hunt at some point and will definitely put a decent 3x9 scope on it for better accuracy with my old eyes.

    Bottom line, I'm happy with mine, and expect it to last for many years as its a Ruger...never had a problem with any Ruger firearm.
  7. Uncle Richard

    Uncle Richard Well-Known Member

    thanks guys....

    It seems like just about all ARs are close in quality and which one is best boils down to personal preference. Some being a little better, some being a little less.
  8. I would stay away from any Stag rifles as I bought (2) model 8s one left and one right and the left had poor upper lower fit and the worst trigger I have ever seen on any rifle. The customer service at Stag in a bad bad joke.
  9. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    Not true at all. If it were, people wouldn't pony up for the pony, or spend even more for higher end rifles like LMT and Noveske. There are definite, appreciable differences between rifles.

    That said, price range is only a partial indicator. A DPMS AP4 is about the same price as an Armalite LEC15A4CBK, but there's really no comparison in quality. The Armalite uses a chrome lined mil spec barrel and carries a lifetime warranty; DPMS is not chrome lined and they give a 3 year warranty. Those are just the two glaring differences. And the LEC15A4CBK is Armalite's budget rifle, while the AP4 is DPMS's flagship carbine.

    Do your research.

    As for the Ruger, I really can't comment. I have zero trigger time with one. I don't care for piston ARs, but if that's your preference, I'm sure Ruger did a good job executing the design.
  10. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    Methinks it's highly debatable why people pony up for the pony.
  11. Uncle Richard

    Uncle Richard Well-Known Member

    MachIV...thanks for the tip.

    I like the piston action simply because the gun doesn't "crap where it eats," as occurs with gas impingement.
  12. Quentin

    Quentin Well-Known Member

    MachIV gave good advice, especially "do your research". As far as ArmaLite, they are clearly superior to DPMS but when you get into the price point of the Ruger there is a universe of great, highly reliable ARs. Colt, BCM, Daniel Defense, LMT and Noveske immediately come to mind and there are more.

    Ruger makes an acceptable AR at a premium price. I'm convinced there are better choices at the price point.

    As far as "craps where it eats", I recommend a little more research as to whether that's a real issue. Up to you...
  13. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    There is plenty of variance.
  14. Uncle Richard

    Uncle Richard Well-Known Member

    thanks guys..........i shouldn't of made the comment "It seems like all manufacturers make good rifles with little variance between all of them." Im not looking to get into who's better war. However, Im taking your advice...

    Still lookn for info on the SR-556
  15. tulsamal

    tulsamal Well-Known Member

    I've got the top of the line model that Ruger sells for $1500. I wouldn't have paid that much for it but.... there was a guy on the rugerforums that bought it, kept if for a year and fired a few hundred rounds through it, then put it up for sale. He only wanted $950. So I figured for a third off I would jump on it.

    As it came, it worked but it wasn't exactly the way I like my AR's. So I replaced the stock and PG with MagPul products. Put a G. SSA-E trigger in it. Put in the KNS pins at the same time. Took off the Ruger flash hider since I've never liked the look of that one. Replaced it with a Battle Comp. Put on an AFG. Probably other things as well but that's all I remember.

    The important thing is that gun has worked perfectly for me. Once I had the parts installed that "feel right" on an AR to me, I had nothing to complain about. So much so that I've decided it would be my first choice out of my AR's if I had to grab just one of them as a "go to gun." It has earned my trust. And with that improved trigger it will shoot nice tight groups as well.

    So if you can get a good deal on one, I would pick it up. I doubt you will regret it.

  16. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

    i just bought a colt le6940 to go with the other 6 or so ar's i have.next is an le901 in 308
  17. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    Don't swallow everything whole. There's a lot of hype about piston guns, but DI ARs have been with us for a half century, are still used by our military, and are produced in vastly greater quantity than piston guns. I'm building my 5th personal AR, and guess what? It'll be DI. I lost count of the rounds fired through my Armalite M15A2C since last cleaning, but I know it's been 2 years and at least 2.5 cases, mostly steel cased Wolf & Tula. It has had 3 stoppages in that time, and it had nothing to do with DI or even being an AR; The offending Wolf cases (unfired) were so grossly out of spec that they had to be tapped out of the chamber from the front after the extractor ripped the rims off (using a chunk of 2x4 on the charging handle). The rifle just gets the bolt carrier wiped down after the range trip, then I hose the action with CLP and put it away. No, it's not laziness; I want to see how long it can go without cleaning before problems arise. Might be awhile from the looks of things......

    Anyway, back to the point. IMO, piston guns are a solution looking for a problem, and on top of that, they create problems. They're proprietary, so component interchangeability from one brand to the next is not good. They won't accept a lot of standard hand guards. The design has a negative impact on accuracy compared to DI. They're a tad heavier with all else being equal.

    Frankly, you could build a lot more gun than what the Ruger offers for $1,500. Not that the Ruger isn't a good gun, but $1,500 is entering premium AR territory, and I just don't see anything about the Ruger that puts it there.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  18. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    The platform was designed using DI. It works. Start with a quality gun, properly and sufficiently lube it, use GOOD mags, use decent ammo...it will work, and work very well.

    There is no need to whatsoever to use a piston.

    I, personally, wouldn't pay $1,500 for a Ruger AR. For <$1,400 I could get a brand new BCM or Daniel Defense.

    But if one really wants the $1,500 piston Ruger...why not? Go for it.
  19. Uncle Richard

    Uncle Richard Well-Known Member

    Mach and Warp

    Ok....I think you guys have changed my mind.....I will consider the gas impingement and other ARs.

    I would still like to know if anyone owns a SR-556
  20. CharlieDeltaJuliet

    CharlieDeltaJuliet Well-Known Member

    Listen to Mach and Warp, they are very knowledgable on this subject. I have shot an SR-556, it shot fine. A friend owns one(huge Ruger fan). He has been pleased with it so far. I have seen a thousand or so rounds go through it and no issues. Each person will have their favorite and their reasons for that. Mine is the S&W M&P15. I have a DDV4 and a CMMG alongside the Smith. I just love the fit and finish of the Smith for the money. I also have seen their manufacturing facility first hand. They forge their own uppers and lowers in house. My point is, there are good and bad in all. People have different opinions and reasons for so. If you are wanting a piston AR, HK is where I would look. There is a reason that our special forces use them. They cost considerably more, but are finely tuned rifles. DI is reliable and proven, I would not be afraid of direct impingement. Just my $0.02, hope it helps.

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