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Ruger SR-556, good business or no?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by ArmedBear, Dec 29, 2009.

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  1. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Has anyone here bought one yet?

    I noticed in the latest American Rifleman that Stag and SIG are both now offering piston ARs for a hell of a lot less than Ruger's rifle. Of course, there's a good amount of variation in standard features, between them. Still, Ruger entered a crowded market with a product that wasn't too hard to rapidly emulate.

    Personally, I've never bought a whole AR. It's a modular gun, and that's how I've bought them -- by the module.

    Do you think that it was a good idea for Ruger to sell their own AR as a whole package only? Was it a good idea for Ruger to enter this market at a similar price point to everyone else, as opposed to something more groundbreaking?

    (Note that Ruger's old strategy was to make something either unique, or at a much better price than the other guns in the target market.)

    I'm interested in others' thoughts.
     
  2. dakotasin

    dakotasin Member

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    i think ruger flat screwed up. you used to be able to count on ruger to deliver a solid rifle at an everyman's or working man's price.

    i haven't bought ruger's iteration of the ar because of price, only. seems to me ruger strayed a little off the working man's path...
     
  3. Mags

    Mags Member

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    If it was 1200 bucks and came with a CTR stock and MIAD grip it would be worth it. Those two additions should come standard on +1k AR. I mean 1500 bucks MSRP and you get bare stock furniture? Come on Ruger! The Troy sights and rail add value but to compete I think the rifle should be MSRP of 1200 and you should be able to get down to around 1100 but really needs some better furniture.
     
  4. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    The No. 1 isn't exactly a "working man's price", but it is unique in the modern marketplace.

    That's what I meant about Ruger's strategy in the past: either their product was unique like the No. 1, or it was a uniquely good value in its niche like the Blackhawk.

    The SR-556 was only unique for a matter of weeks -- and the nature of the AR made this pretty easy to foresee. It's no longer a "killer product" for its uniqueness, so where's the "killer value" it represents?
     
  5. bofe954

    bofe954 Member

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    I wonder if the price will come down. It was introduced at a time when everything AR was hard to find and big bucks. I get American Rifleman too, as soon as I saw the Sig I decided the Ruger was overpriced.
     
  6. juk

    juk Member

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    Honestly, I was a little put off by it. Personally, I would have rather seen them sink the R&D money into their Mini series. The Minis are cool looking guns that could benefit from increased accuracy and consistency. I feel Ruger would make more money selling a modified Mini that they would selling the 556. I'm not talking about painting it a different color and hanging a band-aid on the barrel either.

    For the money of the SR556, you could buy just about anything else. I believe most people would trust the Sig name over Rugers for that type of weapon. It may turn out that the Ruger is the best thing since sliced bread, but I seriously doubt I'll ever plop down cash to find out.
     
  7. lvcat2004

    lvcat2004 Member

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    Eversince Ruger shameless STOLE Keltec's design for the LCP....I'm kinda anti-Ruger.

    I would never pay that kind of money for a Ruger AR. I'd buy Sig or even Stag over Ruger, for any price.
     
  8. Lloyd Smale

    Lloyd Smale Member

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    i see nothing wrong with the ruger. I doubt youd put one together any cheaper. I dont have one as i allready have 7 ars and really dont need another but i think where ruger is missing the boat is by not adding a base line gun at a cheaper price to the mix.
     
  9. alemonkey

    alemonkey Member

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    I think anyone who introduces a new AR right now is too late to the dance. It's dumb to jump into a market at the peak. The AR marketplace is incredibly saturated.
     
  10. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    and

    Put those two together, and I think you have a really good argument for why Ruger should have offered the upper assembly, not just the rifle. That was my first reaction: "Nice upper." I think that, by this point, most civilians who would appreciate and pay for a special AR variant probably have all the lowers they want, or at least don't think in terms of buying whole ARs with standard furniture and internals, just to get another lower. For those without an AR, just looking to "get their feet wet", the price of the Ruger is a pretty big barrier.

    Maybe the SR-556 is really all about the LE market, and the MSRP for civilians is something that Ruger's management laughs about, around the office.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  11. Rodman30

    Rodman30 Member

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    I guy I work with got a Ruger SR-556 for christmas he told me he cleaned real good before taking it to the range. And when he fired it the first time it jammed 3 times he figures it crappy ammo but he was shooting federal ammo
     
  12. highorder

    highorder Member

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    I shot one a few month back. It was accurate and there were no problems.

    For the money, it really should come with a Magpul CTR.
     
  13. skidooman603

    skidooman603 Member

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    The piston systen is excellent but...I own and compete with many AR's and the old impingment system can go hundreds of rounds with no trouble. Besides I like the option of swapping pretty much everything I own around
     
  14. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    I've been a Ruger fan since I bought one in 1973 and now have three. Great guns, great value - that was their hallmark. But I can't warm up to the SR-556 when I can get a better AR for less money. That doesn't sound like the Ruger I knew in the past. If I ever get a piston operated Ruger .223 it'll be the Mini-14 and for a whole lot less money.

    Also I can't warm up to this whole piston craze in ARs. If you buy into a proprietary design that doesn't make it, parts could be a real problem down the road. No thanks, I like the old system - it works just fine and there are millions of parts available from thousands of sources.
     
  15. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    I'm seeing a lot of comments on pricing. Just keep in mind that the SR556 has a couple of premium, expensive features:
    -Troy quadrail ($250-300)
    -Troy BUIS ($200 ish)
    -hammer forged, chrome lined, mil-spec-alloy barrel ($200 is a good estimate of the premium this commands in the marketplace, although it does not actually cost much more to make than a button rifled 4140)
    -chromed bolt carrier ($50, again a marketplace premium)
    -piston system with adjustable gas regulator ($???)

    The more realistic comparisons for the SR556 are the POF-USA carbine, LWRC piston models, and to some extent the Robinson XCR. Those are all in the $1500+ range.

    If you want to compare it to a conventional AR, the Colt 6940 (with rail system) or a Noveske are your most reasonable comparisons.

    My one hesitation, which is big, is over the piston system and reports of carrier tilt and wear in the buffer tube. Once that is resolved*, I think the rifle will be a good value and a good product.

    *we all know that Ruger has had too many issues with new models lately, but they do at least get the problems ironed out and ultimately provide a solid product.
     
  16. RP88

    RP88 Member

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    no, but most people could put together a milspec or overall higher-quality one for that price. And to add on to the above post, the gas piston usually goes for $400 market premium as an aftermarket part. So, you can figure that you are getting a rifle that is worth substantially less than its add-ons (yes, that is a condition common for most ARs, but on an unproven rifle, it means a lot to me)
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  17. dakotasin

    dakotasin Member

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    z-michigan validated lloyd smale's comments on the lack of a base model.

    my counter to trying to justify the ruger's price is: i don't want a troy quad rail, and i damn sure don't want a buis... so, pull those 2 pieces off and we have a $450-500 savings (by z-michigan's count), and i'm buying at that point.
     
  18. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    Yeah, I can see that angle. I would guess that Ruger started this way for a couple reasons:
    -it's an "all-out" effort with a high end AR
    -there are probably thin margins, and we know there is heavy competition, farther down the options/price scale
    -it may have cost Ruger a lot to develop their piston system, and they may be getting really good pricing on the Troy items, which may help them maintain a profit while presenting the appearance that it's a really good value. (I have to think that Ruger could have created a quadrail and BUIS in-house without too much trouble.)
    -A basic piston AR without a quadrail and priced at $1000 or so starts presenting direct competition to their Mini/Ranch Rifle line, which they just redid a couple years ago and is presumably also profitable.

    If anyone from Ruger is reading this, I would like to see a model with an 18.5" barrel, a simple free-float tube (no rails, but perhaps holes to attach rails) and no BUIS included.
     
  19. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Member

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    I don't know about folks that pay $1500 for an AR! It is sad that the retail prices of these type firearms are so high.
    If most knew how much cost was in the manufacture of an AR they would choke!

    I think Ruger has put the el premium price tag on this thing because it is something different.
    I have to agree with dakotasin, what IF you do not want the BUIS, or the Troy stuff.

    Piston operation of firearms have been around for.... for ever, tell me why it is so special in the AR?
     
  20. kwelz

    kwelz Member

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    The Ruger 556 is a Mid level gun at high level prices. While the added troy stuff is nice, the Piston system adds un-needed complication and weight to the gun, the barrel is 1/9 twist and they still have carrier tilt issues.

    All of this doesn't make it a bad gun but it does make it a bad buy at ~$1500.

    I could build a BCM or LMT with a DD rail and all the trimmings for that price. It would be lighter and use better component.

    They need to come off the price by about 400 bucks then it would be in the right proce point for the quality and features.
     
  21. benzy2

    benzy2 Member

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    Its no different than what Smith and Wesson did. Their rifles were all over priced for no reason at all. After the new S&W AR shock wore off the prices dropped to be competitive in the market rather than ride the brand name hype. Ruger is in the same boat. Run at brand name hype prices until sales stink, then price yourself back into the market. Some people are going to buy a Ruger piston AR no matter what the price. Might as well make a mint off of them first, then drop price tiers and pick up the rest of the interested buyers. I can't say I blame them for trying to cash in on their reputation. I haven't bought one from them but I don't blame them for pricing where they have.
     
  22. BurningSaviour

    BurningSaviour Member

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    The Ruger isn't badly priced. The only problems I've seen with them is that they tend to suffer from carrier tilt, which is easy enough to rectify.
     
  23. CMP

    CMP Member

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    I thought Ruger fixed the carrier tilt problem by making the carrier longer or something. Maybe It was someone else, im not sure.
     
  24. Mags

    Mags Member

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    Ruger has fixed the carrier tilt the rear of the carrier is made fatter and works kind of like a bearing or bushing.
     
  25. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    First of all, I don't think Ruger has a dime into developing the piston on this. I strongly think they just bought an existing system, get it with their name on it, and ship.

    Considering the track record with the LCP ( I have one ) Ruger is more into getting another product in the mix right now, not spending tens of thousands on new product development. And with the potential introduction of a 1911, I rest my case.

    Sure, the 556 is pricey - again, it's a flagship for the AR line. Dump the fancy (and unnecessary ) options, use all Magpul MOE or milspec parts, it's competitive with the other entry level AR's.

    After all, look what happens when they do cater to the "working man's price." They get too much demand and a lot of heat for it. So price it high with justifiable accessories and cut down on the most troublesome customers, keep profits reasonable, and be happy.

    I think this new corporate team has been learning it's lessons.
     
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