Ruger Announces SR-556 Takedown Oprod AR-15

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Ruger has announced a new takedown addition to their operating rod actuated SR-556 rifle line. From the press release:

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) is pleased to introduce the new Ruger® SR-556® Takedown autoloading rifle, an innovative twist on an already innovative rifle. Compact and easy to maintain, the SR-556 Takedown sets a new standard for the modern sporting rifle.

Like the popular Ruger 10/22 Takedown®, the SR-556 Takedown was designed with ease of use in mind. The barrel is removed from the upper receiver by simply moving the slider bar towards the breech, rotating the barrel and pulling it free – no tools required. Installation is simpler yet – just slide the barrel into the upper and twist until it locks. The takedown mechanism provides a repeatable point of impact and employs a patent-pending, chrome-plated, two-stage piston driven operating system for a cleaner, cooler running, reliable firearm that is truly state-of-the-art.

“We are excited to bring the portability and ease of storage that we introduced with the 10/22 Takedown to a modern sporting rifle” noted Mike Fifer, CEO. “The SR-556 Takedown has all the reliability of the original two-stage piston SR-556 and adds new and innovative features for MSR shooters.”

The removable 16.1″, chrome-lined, cold hammer-forged Mil-Spec 41V45 chrome-moly-vanadium steel barrel is chambered in 5.56 NATO. The headspace is set at the factory so no adjustment is necessary. The barrel assembly includes an elevation & windage adjustable flip-up front sight so that the zero stays with the barrel. The SR-556 Takedown also sports the shorter Ruger flash hider on the ½”-28 threaded muzzle.

MSR shooters that desire a larger cartridge will be excited to find that a replaceable barrel kit chambered in 300 AAC Blackout is available on ShopRuger.com. The cold hammer-forged 300 AAC Blackout barrel is 16.1” long, has a 1:7” twist, and is capped by a 5/8”-24 threaded muzzle fitted with a Ruger flash hider. This range-ready barrel’s headspace is set at the factory and comes complete with a metal flip-up elevation & windage adjustable front sight and two, 30-round metal magazines marked with “300 AAC BLACKOUT” to ensure easy differentiation.

The SR-556 Takedown maintains the best-of-class elements of the SR-556 and comes standard with a host of accessories that today’s shooters demand. The quad rail handguard provides ample mounting area for accessories and provides a stiff and secure mount for the takedown mechanism. The slider bar for removing the barrel is located on the bottom rail under the gas block and is out of the way of accessories. The upper receiver is complete with dust cover, forward assist, and metal flip-up windage adjustable rear sight. All aluminum parts are hardcoat anodized.

The Ruger Elite 452 two-stage trigger is installed in the standard mil-spec pattern lower receiver. At 7 pounds 10 ounces, the SR-556 Takedown handles easily with Magpul’s MOE grip and MOE SL stock on a mil-spec buffer tube.

Three, 30-round Magpul PMAG® magazines and three full length rail covers ship with the SR-556 Takedown in a rugged, ballistic nylon case.

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Based on the mechanism Ruger is using for their new takedown offering, my guess is that its development was spun off of a program designed to provide user-changeable barrels to military customers, but that’s speculation on my part.

Phil Note: We have one ordered for review.



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • Tim Pearce

    “repeatable point of impact” after separating the barrel and the optic? absolute BS.

    • Risky

      Technical improbability (impossibility?), yes, but they can probably maintain a level of consistency that will go unnoticed by most shooters. I know that I wouldn’t notice an inch shift at 100 yards when shooting irons or a red dot.

  • Not_a_Federal_Agent

    I’m so glad I can take off my barrel without taking off my handguard. It’ll shorten the package by a whole 4 inches. Now it will definitely fit in my backpack. Now if only there was some way to separate the upper receiver from the lower… That’d make it real easy to fit in a backpack or small case. Why doesn’t anyone make AR’s like this?

    • sauerquint

      Someone does,

      • JSmath

        You missed the point, as did Not_a_Fed.

        The ‘takedown’ part that Ruger is marketing is the quick swap between .300BLK and 5.56NATO. Maybe if they throw in some 6.5, people will give a damn.

        • Not_a_Federal_Agent

          and for the price I can buy a complete, quality AR from PSA chambered in 5.56, along with a complete upper in 300blk (even a piston upper if I wanted) for the same price and none of the stupid proprietary parts

          • JSmath

            I own a PSA AR15 myself, so I can certainly sympathize with what you’re getting at!

            However, you certainly do not get a -higher quality- piston AR, which is something Ruger has already proven themselves capable of making. And before you get into the PSA quality argument. Really, my PSA build shoots exceptionally well for a $700 build, but everyone notices the pronounced rattle between the PSA upper and PSA lower.

            On a related note, my PSA AR is at a total of 4 malfunctions of ~1000 rounds, and my Tavor is at 12 at ~750. Operated by myself a fourth of the time at best in either case, but it’s pretty hard to you’know limp wrist a rifle.

        • MR

          Should have called it “Quick Change” or something, then. To me, and apparently a few other people, “Takedown” suggests that you can “take” the rifle “down” in size.

          • JSmath

            Ruger already owns their Takedown trademark, but likely not one on Quick Change, which might be saturated in the market for all I know and care.

            The AR-15 does handily take down with two push pins to begin with. Two barrels, one upper, one lower and a backpack they already use for the 10/22 Takedown, and Ruger has something that’s actually pretty unique and sellable. It’d be high on my consideration list if I didn’t already own an AR that’s proven itself to me.

  • Bobb

    So you gain 3 inches of compactness? I don’t see it being worth it. I’m a huge fan of takedowns. But it’s just not worth it on an AR.

    A bolt gun or a lever gun or pretty much any other platform and I’m afan

  • tazman66gt

    Would have to agree with everyone else here, whats the point if you can’t take off the rail as well?

    • patrickiv

      Doesn’t matter as the barrel is the longest piece.

      • MR

        Matters a bit, as once you remove the barrel, the handguard is the longest piece. And in this case, it’s a long handguard.

  • marathag

    Now if they have different caliber choices, for real quick change ability

    • Giolli Joker

      Haven’t they recently ventured in 300BLK territory?
      It would be a sound evolution.

      • The availability of spare .300 BLK barrels is specifically mentioned in Ruger’s promotional material for the new release.

        • Giolli Joker

          Yep, I hadn’t noticed the small print, thanks.

  • Jimmy Cricket

    Or you know you can just push two pins and save $1000. The AR already is a take down rifle.

    • patrickiv

      Looks like it takes about 6″ off of the broken-down length. Too expensive for my taste though.

  • Sianmink

    I’d like to see a magpul carbine 2-piece foreend on this, attached to the barrel. Does Ruger know that quadrails are out of style?

    • JSmath

      Their quad rail guns have been selling quite well on their AR series, though. Helps that they include covers. I don’t care for it, but Ruger has never been in the business of doing what’s popular – just what works, for them and their customers.

    • Green Hell

      Quad rails are removable on Ruger SR rifles, very nice and smooth handguard under them.

  • Cool but too expensive for my wallet. I’d rather have the .308 version with an 18 or 20 inch barrel and a conversion to 7mm-08.

  • Andrew

    Ruger, you are so dumb. For real.

    • Doug73

      Well, “Dumb Ruger” seems to be selling plenty of piston and DI AR’s these days. Which begs the question: Who is dumb, exactly?

  • Joe

    Marketed for quickly changing calibers, maybe. For stowage, not a lot of help.

    • MR

      “Hey that’s kinda cool. Wait a second, you’re leaving that long-azzed rail attached to the receiver? Nevermind.”

    • Fred Johnson

      I agree. Quick change barrels. The fact it fits into a 10/22 sized takedown bag is just a small bonus.

  • sean

    it will retail around $1,639.99

  • Aaron Hsu

    With the price of a Beretta ARX-100 at less than $1200 these days, this just is not that convincing. I would pick an ARX over this any day for what it is offering.

    • Green Hell

      Same price as Ruger SR’s, actually. A good piston AR for that money should be no-brainier over that bulky plastic toy.

  • Scott Connors

    Too bad the twist is 1:9. Someone with a registered MG lower receiver could use this to create a poor man’s SAW or IAR (provided the bolt carrier wasn’t neutered).

    • Doug73

      Why would the 1:9 twist matter? Unless someone is shooting 69gr+ ammo on a regular basis, a 1:9 is entirely fine. Perhaps even preferable if, like a plurality of AR shooters, the overwhelming majority of ammo you shoot is either 55 or 62 grain.

      I’m convinced I’ll go to my deathbed believing that the primary reason people want 1:7 twist AR’s is because “that’s what the military uses”, rather than the presumed fact that hoards and hoards of AR owners regularly shoot $600 cases of 75gr. ammo.

      If you DO shoot that ammo on a regular basis, then obviously my comment wouldn’t apply, and my sincere congrats on having that kind of disposable income. But I’d bet a nickel that most of the 1:7 barreled AR’s in America rarely if ever see ammo heavier than 62 grains. Most shooters I know complain when a company like Wolf raises their prices by even a penny per round. I find it hard to believe many of these guys are actually shooting ammo that requires or would be better suited for a 1:7 twist rate.

      • Scott Connors

        I shoot M193 at the range, but I also use Hornady 75gr TAP for home defense. (I zero for 75gr and adjust while practicing.) Also, anybody with a registered MG lower can afford the ammo. However, the main reason for the 1:7 twist is to accommodate the longer tracer round, for where such are legal. Also, the use of a 1:9 twist is something of a weather vane that tells you the rifle is not intended for hard use. Colt, FN, DD, BCM–all use 1:7; all are dependable rifles. Other companies: not so much. I went with the other companies for some little period of time, learned my lesson the hard way.

  • robkarrob

    Surrested retail $2049.00. This is way too expensive!

  • Bodie

    MAYBE if the handguard stayed attached to the barrel as well, but at best you’re saving 5″ beyond the GB, and adding an entire 16.1″ long third piece to pack away. I’m good. Especially pending a verdict on POI shift.

  • jcitizen

    I hunt prairie dogs with my ARs and they get REAL hot!! So that is why I’m interested in this rifle; I still think it beats removing the entire upper, and I have a SAW hot barrel bag I can set it on while it cools. The only problem there, is I have no idea if the barrel will warp sitting on an insulated bag like that. Perhaps putting a bipod on it will assure warp=less cooling. It works on the M60 – why not?