Ruger SR-556C Carbine

The Ruger SR-556 has been updated. The new SR-556C model is 1.75″ shorter thanks to an integrally machined flash suppressor (ATF counts integrally machined flash suppressor as part of the barrel. The barrel is technically only about 14.5″ long). The heavy barrel is now fluted. Ruger say these two changes drop 1/2 pound off front of the rifle.

Caliber 5.56mm NATO
Barrel Length 16.12″
Twist 1:9″ RH
Stock Black Synthetic, Collapsible
Sights Folding BattleSights™
Finish Manganese Phosphate / Hardcoat Anodized
Overall Length 31.00″ – 34.25″
Weight 7.40 lbs.
MSRP (Price) $1995.00
Available June

“Many of our customers appreciate the limited muzzle rise when shooting the original SR-556, which allows them to re-acquire their sight picture more quickly between shots,” said Todd Wilkinson, Ruger’s Chief Engineer for Rifles. “However, some customers requested a shorter, lighter, faster handling gun that can more quickly acquire separate targets. This new SR-556C drops a full half pound off the front end of the gun, which changes its handling dynamics considerably, something our customers are really going to appreciate.”

The SR-556C offers the same great features that made the original SR-556 such a success: it includes the two-stage piston driven operating system with a four position adjustable gas regulator; chrome plated, cold hammer forged barrel; Troy Industries Folding Battlesights, Quad Rail, and rail covers; chrome plated bolt carrier group and operating system, six-position stock, Hogue® Monogrip® and three 30-round MAGPUL PMAG™ magazines.

I shot the Ruger SR-556 at SHOT Show Media Day and really liked it.

UPDATE: Corrected the specs.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Nill

    You posted the stats and picture of the original SR-556.

    The new SR-556C is only 31.00″ – 34.25″ long, weighs 7.40 lbs, and has a visually shorter barrel.

    • Thanks for the correction. I think they linked to the wrong rifle when I pulled down the info.

  • Mike

    That’s pretty cool… I think this is the first time I’ve heard of a major manufacturer doing the pinned or integral flash hider trick to bring a 14.5″ barrel up to 16″.

  • Erik

    The ‘integrally machined’ flash-hider is a novel approach. Do any other weapons have this? I am considering a piston AR and the 556c is leading the pack as of now, will be curious to see how it performs.

    • Erik, I have seen it been done many times before.

  • Lance

    More updates on a good design.

  • Cymond

    Congrats Ruger, you just engineered yourselves out of suppressor compatibility. One of the advantages of a piston system is avoiding gas in the shooter’s face, and one of the advantages of an adjustable gas system is compensating for increased blowback from a suppressor.

    Oh, we can now forget about any other muzzle attachments, like those high-end muzzle brakes that are so popular in competitions.

  • jdun1911


    Mostly in AWB states. I personally don’t recommend you get an AR15 that have a permanent muzzle brake or flash hinder attach unless the law force you. You will limit you options in the future in you go this route.

  • Nill

    Cymond, as far as suppressor use is concerned, the standard threaded barrel SR-556 isn’t going anywhere.

    Also, I somehow doubt the people who specifically asked Ruger for these changes will be disappointed about getting exactly what they wanted.
    If weight and length are your primary concerns that probably means you aren’t eager to hang an 8 inch, 1 pound can out on the end of your barrel.

  • Nadnerbus

    It’s great that they are keeping this weapon current. Weight reduction is always a plus. However, the extra inch and a half of barrel length would never bother me, and I was never sure why the 14.5 is so popular. Hardly any advantage in handling, and a bit less muzzle velocity.

    About the only reason I would ever care enough to get a pinned break/hider, would be so a bayonet would fit correctly when attached. But the SR 556 doesn’t have a bayo lug, or a milspec flash hider so that’s moot.

    I guess there is a market out there for this setup, though, or Ruger wouldn’t have spent the dime.

  • jdun1911


    Yeah there is a market for it. It’s called AWB(Assault Weapons Ban) states.


    The only time I would considered going to piston AR is with a suppressor.

    The honest brutal truth is this rifle is gimped. Ruger is trying to marketed a rifle that is design primary for AWB states to look good in a none AWB states.

  • Cymond

    I got the impression that this is an update, not a new model. I’m assuming that the previous SR-556 will be discontinued, satisfying one market segment while neglecting another.

  • Nill

    Sorry jdun1911, but many “AWB states” actually ban flash hiders; only allowing muzzle breaks. They don’t look kindly on 30 round magazines or collapsible stocks either.

    And Cymond, maybe you could actually look at Ruger’s site instead of making foolish assumptions.
    Nothing is being discontinued and there are now actually THREE models of SR-556.

    1) The original with 16″ threaded barrel

    2) The one shown above with fluting and integral flash hider.


    3) A model without muzzle device OR threading, a fixed stock, and 10 round magazines. You know, something ACTUALLY INTENDED for your hated AWB states.

  • jdun1911


    Maybe in your state but not in most AWB states. As long as it is pinned you are allow to have flash hinder. Replace the 30 magazine with 10. The collapsible stocks can be a problem tho.

    The SR-556c is a gimp carbine and it will be view as such in the firearm community.

  • SRD

    I live in CT with Preban laws. This wouldnt be legal here. You can not have a flash hider even if its pinned on a post ban weapon. and no collapsable stocks. It can only have two things. Like a removable mag an pistol grip. but a regular rifle even with a removable mag can have a flash hider but no pistol grip etc. Thats why i all my AR15 have preban lowers so i dont have to follow that silly crap.

  • G3Ken

    1. $2K on yet another variation of the same design? How is it twice as good as my Bushmaster?

    2. Ruger has not been 100% behind gun freedoms in this country.

    No thanks. I will pass.

  • happyhunter42

    There are sure some Ruger haters out there. I like the look but can’t afford 2K for a rifle. Any rifle.

  • willh3

    Just wanted to chime in about Ruger… they have THE GREATEST customer service I have ever dealt with! I live in CA and had a small problem with my SR-556. I sent it to Ruger for the minor repair. Unfortunately since I live in an AWB state, Ruger said that they don’t modify their guns for AWB states so instead they offered to refund the entire retail price that I paid for the gun… over $2000!!! I received my check within a couple of weeks, which made me loyal Ruger fan! I immediately went to the local Gun show in Costa Mesa and purchased a CA legal SR-556c. I’m still waitng for the 10 day waiting period to expire but I’m really looking forward to my new gun.

    Ruger REALLY impressed me and I’ll definitely be shopping for more RUGER firearms.

    Thanks Ruger!!

  • cptbadass

    The wholesale price on all three of the Ruger models is $1300 even. If your dealer is pricing them at $2,000 USD, you are getting screwed. I thought a Gemtech would go on without taking off the flash hider? Won’t a Gemtech work on the 556c? Either way, I have no need for a suppressor, nor the money for one, but a shorter barrel may prove useful for when the fabric of society starts to tear and the wife and son are hiding in the bathtub with me at the top of the stairs raining down rounds upon would be intruders (I’m being facetious)!

  • Steve Hunter

    I own a SR 556c i love it it was 1536$ out the door and it dont jam on steel ammo like my buddies m&p and stag so stop crying about ruger until you own one or bash ruger for anything when your not perfect and no one breathing past or present is!

  • Lobo

    With most of the haters on here not having the technical experience or appreciating shaving length so you can do easier PSD, CQB, work with an affordable piston AR, this forum is amusing.

    If a 14.5 inch barrel is so ineffective, why did the U.S. Army and SOCOM switch to it years ago?

    In tight environments 14.5 is nice to have and use vs the longer you go, the more it gets in the way for actual engagement distances that are in real world and not at some open range doing drills and free of clutter. It is a slightly faster handling rifle and for those that want it, they can afford it.

    How many shooters are actually going to hang a can off their AR system? I would bet less than 10% that buy them and that is a high number based on that has become more popular during the past 10 years than ever before.

    If we took all the active shooter situations for personal defense situations and ammo fragmenting factors range vs barrel length, unless you are in the Military and in Afghanistan or Iraq, the weapon performs as intended while giving a faster handling profile. It is actually a Ferrari design that unless you do extensive shooting and want it exactly kitted out will not come to appreciate this design. Some people do drilling and practice range work for their profession rather than shooting coyotes.

    Since most have stated that they don’t own one and do not intend to, the quote –

    “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt .” — George Eliot – applies to them.

    I want to thank Ruger for providing this smaller firearm profile footprint.

    Unlike some others posting on here, I can easily afford to buy 5 of them as a Private Military Contractor if I so desired and still have money left in the bank for ammo and range courses on off duty training environments.

  • Enzo

    Ruger doesn’t even offer a warranty.

  • tom schneider

    Is the Ruger 556C equipped with a threaded barell???