Ruger was that attractive girl at high school who you wanted to love but she stabbed you in the back and you just could not trust her again. That was two decades ago. Sturm, Ruger & Company CEO Michael O. Fifer has listened us, the customers, and changed the company culture for the better.
There is no better illustration for this change than the Evil Black Rifle itself which has just joined the Ruger product offering. The slogan for the SR-556 is “a platform redefined”. I say it should be “a company redefined”. I present to you the Ruger AR-15, the SR-556:
Ok, I will wipe the tear from my eye, be a man and shove my emotional outburst back down where it came from Onto the features …
The most significant feature is a new short stroke gas piston designed by Ruger. It shares the same benefits as other gas pistons system: a cleaner, cooler bolt carrier as the excess gas it vented out the gas block, far from the upper receiver. The AR-15 was not designed for a piston and retrofit piston systems can cause problems, for example the pressure from the piston operating rob can cause the bolt carrier to bind. It was been suggested that the Ruger bolt carrier is designed to mitigate this particular problem. Time will tell (I am no expert on this topic).
Another feature is a four position gas regulator. The first position prevents any gas entering the piston system. This turns the rifle into a single shot which requires the bolt to be manually cycled between shots. The next position allows the normal quantity of gas into the piston system to cycle the bolt. The next two position each let in more gas than the previous system which can help when the rifle is dirty or the ammunition is low powered. It is a compelling feature for reloaders because it gives them a greater range of adjustment for thier powder loads.
Chromed gas regulator.
The rifle also features:
- Full length Troy Industries Quad Rail with rail covers.
- Hogue Pistol grip.
- Ruger branded Troy Industries flip up Backup Iron Sights (BUIS).
- Ships with three 30-round Magpul PMAG magazines.
Ruger branded Troy Rear Sight
Caliber: 5.56mm NATO / .223 Remington
Barrel Twist: 1:9 Right Hand
Weight: 7.92 lbs
Total Length: 32.75″ – 36″ (depending on stock position)
Stock: 6 position M4 style
It is nice to see Ruger has explicitly said .223 Remington AND 5.56mm NATO are compatible with the rifle.
The MSRP is $1,995. It is expensive and you could build one your self from parts for less, but if the gas system works flawlessly then I think it will be a good seller. I think it will sell for about $1800 on the street.
Here is the Ruger promotional video. They seem to be keen to promote it to law enforcement and military:
GunBlast.com made this video showing the rifle in action:
This photo is from Snowflakes in Hell. For the high resolution version and many more photos as well as on the ground reporting from the launch visit Snowflakes in Hell:
This photo Adam’s Incoming blog. For many more photos check out the Guns and Hunting Incoming blog.
More information about the rifle is at Caleb’s Gun Nuts Media blog.
Thanks to y’all who emailed me about the SR-556. I appreciate it. Contrary to popular belief I am not dead just slow and overworked.
UPDATE: Many thanks to Brian for sending me these photos of his new Ruger SR-556.