Ruger selling SR-556 upper recievers

Earlier this month Ruger announced that they would be selling complete upper receivers for Ruger SR-556. The price difference between a full SR-556 rifle and the upper is just over $500.

The Ruger SR-556 comes with an unexciting lower receiver with a standard M4-style stock. The $500 savings could be applied to a more interesting receiver.

The upper is available in both 5.56mm and 6.8mm. They both have an MSRP $1449.

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.


  • Raoul O’Shaugnessy

    I think thats the sound of Ruger gearing up to try to get a .gov contract for retrofitting current M4s.

  • J.T.

    MSRP from Ruger means nothing. That price is pratically what the complete rifle sells for.

  • Jesse

    At first I read that and thought the upper was $500 and I was all over that, then I realized it was just $500 cheaper than getting the complete weapon and I was less excited…

  • Zach

    So I can put this massively heavy, unbalanced and somewhat pointless piston upper on my own lower, and not have any lifetime warranty support when carrier tilt grinds apart my buffer tube and damages the threads on the lower? Wow, that’s great! Sign me up!

    Alternately, you could save the $1999 MSRP / $1400-1500 street price entirely, and get something better like a quality DI AR (Daniel Defense, for example) or be 3/4 of the way to buying an ACR or SCAR.

  • Or the B.E.A.R. and avoid carrier tilt altogether. >:-)

  • cc19

    +1 to what Zach said.

  • Marine (SRT)

    In response to a few of the comments. I am never surprised to see someone with a comment in the negative of something they probably never held let alone shot.

    I own a Ruger SR 556 in 5.56mm. To begin with I have 30 years firearms experience first as a civilian police officer and then with the United States Marine Corps as a weapons instructor (PMI) in one capacity; a sniper, MP (SRT -is the MP spec-ops). I give a little background not to toot my horn, but let the audience know what my reference points for my positions and opinions are.

    About the Ruger SR 556. If anyone has done their home work and not presumed they understand what Ruger did, you will know the gun is made from a variety of superior metals: The barrel is made from 41V45 chromoly vanadium steel. This metallurgy of this steel is superior to simple chrome lined bores, as the entire barrel is produced out of 41V45. It is cold hammer forged. The receivers are both upper and lower are 7075 aircraft aluminum.

    Now the operating system is def a two stroke gas piston 4 position adjustable system. If you like DI systems fine. But don’t be a DI snob, many of our older rifles were gas piston systems that work beautifully; i.e. Springfield M1A. And also the weapon used by most of our world wide opponents, the AK-47 which everyone hails as a great gun that does not foul.

    Why gas piston, do we really need one? That depends on a variety of things; what you want it for, how will it be used, and what is your mission profile (both personal and professional). If anyone has been to Iraq or Afganistan than you know our DI systems are useless the talcum powder grit of one area and the sand of another. POINT BLANK DI systems are failing our troops. So they have reissued in many fronts over there the M1A again because they are reliable and less prone to failures of the M-16 DI system.

    DI systems need to be well lubricated to operate properly, but in the desert oil attracts what…? It attracts dirt, which does what to DI AR’s? It causes them to fail.

    If anyone claims to be a gun nut then you should know Masaad Ayoob, well guess what? He gave the Ruger SR 556 thumbs up.

    Do better research on your guns, just because a friend prefers one brand to another does not mean he’s right. But I def respect the opinion of Masaad Ayoob, who doesn’t?!

    Here’s the link for anyone to read his comments themselves.

    No my friends, the Ruger is a very fine rifle from a hardened Marine.

    Semper Fi

  • Ralph

    I recently looked at Ruger sr556 and really considered it. I really like to examine anything very closely before any purchase is made. The weight is a non issue, but fit and finish is. The upper and lower rattled a lot, they didn’t mate up well at all. The upper appeared to be darker than the lower. It did have nice parts but heart and soul to me seemed to be lacking. I am in no way saying that it is not a fine rifle but for that kind of money it better be close to perfect.

  • Oifbull

    I’m gotta agree with the marine the SR556 is a great rifle. I have one I love it,simple as that. Yea it’s heavier but, it’s also alot more reliable than DI hands down. If you look at a DI all the heat and fouling are in the bolt carrier group which is made up of several small parts and o shit pins . A majority of the heat and fouling are found in the gas regulator in a piston gun. The actual regulator itself is one solid piece of metal and is easy cleaned with ur standard brushes and lubes.I could tell you about the FACTORY bells and whistles and the accuracy, all that would just be beating a dead horse. If you shoot alot piston is the way to go if not the out dated DI is still the right arm of the most powerful nation of all time.

  • hispaint

    I found this upper as the last upper on earth in Jan. 2013. Seriously, the gun/ammo world is upside down right now. I had just completed my PSA lower build with their higher end kit and couldn’t for the life of me find an upper. My FFL just happened to be selling this upper for $1300. I REALLY didn’t want to pay it but there was NOTHING else avail. Holy *#@%! This upper with my custom lower turned out to be the finest AR I’ve ever shot. The 4 spot gas system allows me to shoot ANY ammo I can get my hands on. I’ll never look back.