Was Ruger Developing an AR-15 Automatic Rifle?

A Ruger patent for a “Firearm Barrel Retaining System”, filed in 2009, was published by the USTPO yesterday. The patent application (#20120017483) describes a quick change barrel system that includes an old school machine gun carry handle that help facilitate hot barrel changes.

I wonder if Ruger had planned to enter a quick barrel change variant of their SR-556 into the Marines IAR competition that was won by H&K.

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.


  • Big Jay

    God I hope so. I think the SR556 being adopted by a branch of the US military would be a great thing. A reliable piston driven system made in America, by an American owned company.

    • DeeB

      Carrier tilt is a known problem w/ the SR556. LWRC M6 series is squared away, little to no carrier tilt, lighter than a SR556, nitro carburized CHF barrel, TeflonNickel plated BCG and trigger group, and excellent customer service. LWRC is an American company, employs American workers and their Rifles are made here in America.

    • Komrad

      In addition to LWRC, there is the ADCOR BEAR mad in the us. I believe it was even in a recent competition, but I’m not sure which one or what branch.

      • charles222

        It’s in the M4 upgrade competition, IIRC.

    • charles222

      So, basically, it’s chief value to the military would be having a piston? Weapons made overseas have been off-limits to the military for decades now.

      • Marine

        What are you talking about? All of the military’s machine guns are made in Belgium. The IAR in Germany, the SEAL’s pistol in Switzerland, M9’s in Italy, etc. Only service rifles made by Colt are US made. Or am I misunderstanding your statement?

      • W


        one of the most compelling reasons for the US military to use a piston rifle for their next service weapon.

  • The Stig

    It never hurts to own a patent on something one of your competitors successfully markets to the government either. Getting a constant stream of royalty payments is one way to stay in business.

    • Other Steve

      On that note, I think the old school carry handle was for obfuscation of what they were really patenting/intending. I don’t even need to read it to know that in the claims section they will state it that a handle is optional for their system.

    • spc fish

      no they arent. they are made in factories in the USA. all the FN machineguns, Beretta pistols, and M4 and M16s are made in the united states. maybe the seals buy foriegn weapons but thatd be about it

  • letti

    Google Patents link: http://www.google.com/patents/US20100269682

    Lots of pretty pictures and few ideas that I’m going to give a try at some point.

  • charles222

    Huh, interesting; always had trouble imagining what an M4 with a quick-change barrel might look like.

  • charles222

    Yes, you’re misunderstanding me. All of those weapons might have been designed overseas, but US law requires them to be built here. Beretta, HK, and F&N all have factories here for their military contracts.


    It’s a stupid law (seriously, it restricts us from buying BOOTS made overseas) but it’s one we have to deal with.

    Also, reaching outside the military for a second-SIGs, as far as I know, are actually made in Germany, as Switzerland has strange export laws.

    • W

      i disagree that the berry amendment is a stupid law. any individual equipment of the US soldier needs to be made in the US.

      • Charles222

        Rangers and SOCOM would disagree with you. They love their foreign-made Asolo boots. Which they get issued, as Barry doesn’t apply to them. 😉

  • It looks like a great tool for operators who are moving in and out of houses a lot. The only thing I might have a concern with is the accuracy at longer ranges. Overall a great idea.

    • I made this comment by accident to the wrong post. It was intended for the under barrel shotgun.

  • Ian

    This would explain partially why their gas block is so ridiculously oversized.

  • @MArine: Actually, I know for a fact ALL M9s are built in America.. there’s a plant that makes them, not too far from where I am sitting in South Carolina…

    • smores

      Beretta M9 pistols (as well as many others such as the 92/96 FS, M9A1, Px4 SubCompact, Neos, 21A, 3032 and a few shotguns) are actually made in Accokeek, Maryland at Beretta U.S.A.’s manufacturing facility. Please get your facts straight before spouting off things you know nothing about.