Ruger Pleases NJ, NY, MD & MA Residents with AR-556 Legal for Consumption (Of Ammo)


If you sadly live in New Jersey, New York, Maryland or Massachusetts and actually like firearms, your list of legal AR-15s can probably fit on the bar napkin you drink your sorrows away on. OK, that is slightly over the top, but legal ones are few and far between. Ruger is adding to that list with a new AR-556 with a MonsterMan grip.

Some notable features, or modifications depending on how you look at it, that make it legal in the aforementioned states are:

  • Threaded Barrel (1/2″ x 28 TPI) w/ Thread Protector [No Flash Hider or Muzzle Device]
  • Fixed A2 Stock [No Scary Collapsible Stock]
  • 10-Round Magazine [None of that High-Cap Nonsense]
  • MonsterMan Grip [It Ain’t a Pistol Grip If Your Hand Can’t Go All the Way Around]

Other than those few changes, it is the same AR-556 Ruger has been affordably producing for quite some time. A short overview of this rifle’s specs can be seen below:


This is still a rifle with a chrome-plated bolt carrier group and gas key. A barrel with a 1:8″ twist rate which is favorable for heavier bullets. The Ruger Rapid Deploy rear sight this gun comes with has all the aesthetics and functionality of a Magpul MBUS which most all AR lovers should be familiar with as well.

All-in-all not a bad option if you come from Maryland, Massachusetts, New York or New Jersey.

The outdoors, fitness and anything related to firearms are my passions. I am a S&W Armorer, Glock Armorer, reloader and am coping with an addiction to classic S&W and Colt revolvers (by buying more revolvers). I’ve been a guest writer for Sierra Bullets and love long walks to the gun range.


  • James

    Not sure about the other states, but if you pin and weld a compensator onto the barrel so its no longer “threaded” you could put a real pistol grip on it, or put a telescoping stock on it. Oh and 15 rounder’s are legal! woo…

    + 1 evil feature of pistol grip/telescoping stock
    – 1 evil feature of threaded barrel

    Relevant code section:

    A semi-automatic firearm should be considered to be “substantially identical,” that is, identical in all material respects, to a named assault weapon if it meets the below listed criteria:

    A. semi-automatic rifle that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of the following:
    a folding or telescoping stock;
    a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
    a bayonet mount;
    a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor; and
    a grenade launcher;

    • Jaydc

      For NJ a Pistol grip is legal, main things are compensator needs to be pinned and welded (no flash hiders allowed), no bayonet lug, 15 round magazine, and if a collapsible stock is used it must be pinned. (Only reason I could think of for Ruger to sell one of these in NJ is it’s cheaper to cover multiple states with one (ugly) package

    • AK™

      I remember the great Bayonet Wars of the early 1990s.

  • Blue

    Still not MA ‘legal’ thanks to the AG considereding this a “duplicate or copy” by regulatory fiat.

    • Jim_Macklin

      Maybe everybody should read the 14th Amendment. It isn’t limited to former slaves. It says, ” No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;” So most state gun laws are unconstitutional since Heller and McDonald.

      • iksnilol

        Then lead by example, take them to court.

        • supergun

          Only the citizens can do anything about the infringements on the 2nd Amendment. When they become too stupid and sorry to stand up to the lawlessness politicians, then they deserve what they get. Now, for the minority citizens that are willing to fight, but are outnumbered by the living dead,,,,they have choices also.

          • iksnilol

            Aren’t you a citizen ?

          • supergun

            Who is writing a book?

  • Joseph Woods

    Is it Cali legal?

    • Disarmed in CA

      12276.1 (a) Notwithstanding Section 12276, “assault weapon” shall also mean any of the following:
      A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:
      A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon.
      A thumbhole stock.
      A folding or telescoping stock.
      A grenade launcher or flare launcher.
      A flash suppressor.
      A forward pistol grip.

      Looks like we’re good to go!

      • Marcus D.

        That’s what I came to say. Plus we don’t have to have a pinned muzzle device unless the muzzle device is needed to meet the minimum length limitation, and as long as ot is not a “flash hider.” Pretty much an 16″ barrel or longer is good to go.

    • gunsandrockets


  • Kelly Jackson

    Honestly if I didn’t live in a free state I’d just get on of those Ares rifles with standard lower.

    They’re not a bad looking gun and retain all the important functions of an AR15

    • Adam in DC

      I have one- shoots great.

  • datimes

    Thankfully Ruger chose to protect the citizens of the noted States with that thingy fin doodad attached to the grip.

  • codfilet

    Isn’t a Mini-14 legal in NJ?

    • raz-0

      Yeah, but so are AR patterned rifles far less crippled than this one.

  • Liv Sining

    Not legal in Maryland. Like MA, the AR-556 is banned by name as a copy of the AR-15.

    • janklow

      not strictly true; depends on what kind of barrel that thing has.

      • Wzrd

        Yeah Marxland doesn’t have the featureless restrictions, just an HBAR is enough to make it legal. Bc we all know the deadliest part is the lightweight barrel. In MD anyway. Other parts are apparently more deadly in other locations.
        MD laws suck but at least we don’t have it as bad as other “ban” states.

  • Edeco

    The fin should have wires molded in to make it more difficult to alter into an assault grip 😛

    • Anonymoose

      And so you can get stabbed by little slivers of steel by holding it. 😀

  • Holdfast_II

    Still totally illegal in CT on two counts:

    1) Threaded barrel (though you could silver solder the protector into place)..

    2) The goofy grip which still leaves some non-trigger fingers below the loosely-defined action.

    Ironically, Ruger is still headquartered in Southport, CT.

    • Vizzini

      The goofy grip which still leaves some non-trigger fingers below the loosely-defined action.

      I’ve never seen any rifle or rifle grip that didn’t require you to have some non-trigger fingers below the action.

      • Geoffrey Hoffman

        Specific statue is: “2) Any grip of the weapon, including a pistol grip, thumbhole stock, or other stock that would allow an individual to grip the weapon, resulting in any finger on the trigger hand in addition to the trigger finger being directly below any portion of the action of the weapon when firing”

        It means “traditional” rifle stocks are fine, so like M1A, stock 10/22, Rem 700, shotguns, etc. Fingers are “behind” the action instead of “below” it. Yeah, I know, WTF. I’d move if I could…

  • opsonizer

    Still not legal in MA. Still fails the “clarification” by our AG.
    Similarity Test: A weapon is a Copy or Duplicate if its internal functional components are
    substantially similar in construction and configuration to those of an Enumerated
    Weapon. Under this test, a weapon is a Copy or Duplicate, for example, if the operating
    system and firing mechanism of the weapon are based on or otherwise substantially
    similar to one of the Enumerated Weapons.
    Firing mechanism same as AR – banned.

    • thach1130

      You can install a fostech echo trigger pack in there and it is okay because it is not the same firing mechanism as an “AR”

  • Anonymoose


    • raz-0

      It’s hard to tell form the pic if it has been cut back to be non functional.

    • Sledgecrowbar

      I don’t think it is a lug. It’s something, maybe a locking system different from pins. It kinda sorta has the lug look which maybe they want for the appeal.

  • John Browning’s Ghost

    Still not legal in here in Masslandia.
    If it’s based on the AR platform, it’s verboten according to AG Herr Healey. It’s a “copycat” or duplicate.
    But you can buy a brand new pinned SCAR, ACR, Bren, Tavor, etc….
    Makes total sense. That’s some downright sensible legislation right there keeping the streets safe.
    Until the Supreme Court smacks down all of this garbage. I’ll stick with my actual preban colt lowers decked out in all the freedom I want. I don’t want some Mickey Mouse Frankenstein rifle that looks like got webbed feet and micropenis.

  • Sledgecrowbar

    Yeah this isn’t legal in NY, and nobody in Jersey is buying it either. Having threads on the muzzle is considered a feature in NY, just like it is in NJ, except we get to have one feature without it being an assault weapon. So between the pistol grip and literally anything else, everyone gets a pistol grip. Also you can have a pinned muzzle brake but not a flash hider. Most people go with that as opposed to a pinned thread protector.

    • You buy it with the one feature being the threaded muzzle. Pin on your desired muzzle brake, and then put a proper pistol grip on it.

  • USMC03Vet

    I’m surprised they allow the things that flip up.

    • John Browning’s Ghost

      Or the heat seeking bullets!

  • DC

    If you are in MA you are better off with a SCAR. This is likely legal in MA as is a rifle with a pinned stock and muzzle device, however the AG disagrees.

    • m-dasher

      the one good thing about the AG decree is since there is technically no such things as a “mass compliant AR”……we can now do away with all those “mass compliant” parts and we can have evil features just like everyone else.

  • Audie Bakerson

    Breyer, Ginsberg, Kennedy: Please retire.

    • RSG

      I’d prefer they die. It’s always possible that if still breathing they can infect the body politic. See obama for the most recent example.

      • John Ruhl

        Maybe the whole DNC/left can die.
        Just hoping.

        • John1943

          They’ve been brain-dead for many many years.

  • John Ruhl

    It’s hideous.

    • gunsandrockets

      Yes. Hideous in many ways, not just aesthetically.

  • Uniform223

    Does having a “featureless” rifles or having restrictions on particular components or firearm related items actually do anything to reduce the amount of firearm related violence or crimes in a state?

    Pretty sure we all know the answer to that question…

    • Marcus D.

      The purpose is to limit, and ultimately eliminate, sales of AR style rifles. Because they are scary. And shoot 30 round clipazines per second. And no one needs military weapons for hunting.

  • Uniform223
    • Norm Glitz

      The front handgrip needs the Chucky Scummer note that it allows you to “swagger around with a sneer on your lip as you mow down innocents” Or something like that.

  • Your description of AWB induced alcoholism is not “over the top” in the slightest.

  • janklow

    if it’s an HBAR, it doesn’t need to look like THAT to be legal in MD.

    • Klaus Von Schmitto

      HBAR rules are different in Md? What’s the deal?

      • janklow

        MD has an AWB that bans a list of guns by name, and anything with too many “assault features” (calling them “copycat weapons”). a lot of guns are banned until they lose a flash hider, etc.

        AR-15s are banned by name… but with an exception for HBARs. so any AR that’s an HBAR is not banned by name. an HBAR with a pistol grip, telescoping stock and flash hider is not banned in MD.

        i have no idea whether or not this rifle makes the cut because i don’t know what its barrel profile is, but still.

        • Klaus Von Schmitto

          That is bizarre.

          • Mystick

            Welcome to the People’s Republic of Maryland.

          • janklow

            100% accurate.
            we also have a length restriction, so you can’t get an AUG (banned by name) but you CAN get a Tavor (wasn’t on the ancient list of “restricted firearms” that became banned)… but it has to have a longer barrel/flash hider/something to break 29″ inches in length.

  • gunsandrockets

    Good for Ruger.

    However, for those residents of places like New York and California, you should anticipate the laws will only get worse, much worse in the next few years.

    In fact, California almost banned ALL semi-auto rifles regardless of “features” four years ago, but it was vetoed by the Governor. I don’t expect Governor Gavin Newsom to follow that example in 2019.

    Brown vetoed Senate Bill 374, which would have banned semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines and required firearm owners to register even low-capacity rifles as assault weapons.

    In a message to the legislature, Brown wrote he didn’t “believe that this bill’s blanket ban on semi-automatic rifles would reduce criminal activity or enhance public safety enough to warrant this infringement on gun owners’ rights.”

    The National Rifle Association had threatened to file a lawsuit over the bill, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D). In a statement earlier this week, an NRA attorney singled the measure out for special ridicule, the Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday.

  • Fred Johnson

    Where did Ruger come up with an A2 stocked AR having a LOP of 11.88″?

    Did Ruger make a short A2 styled stock, or is their ruler broken again?

    It makes me think of the “first generation” 16.5″ barreled GSRs that are actually 17.25″ long.

  • Peter Nissen

    Considering that Kennedy was assassinated by a Carcano rifle – which to my understanding does NOT have a pistol grip – I fail to see the logic in banning long arms with pistol grips. But then again – I come from Australia where everything is banned except Alcohol, extreme V8 cars and predatory corporate twats who rips the guts out of a company for profit and run off to Marjoca Spain!

  • Jim_Macklin

    Brownell’s, Cheaper Than Dirt or Midway USA will be happy to sell you a buffer tube and carbine stock. You may have to move, but the gun is certainly better than nothing when the burglars invade your home. Magpul has a very nice handguard that is easy to swap and you can mount a flashlight with a M-LOK rail and plain Weaver mounts. The regular AR556 with an old K4 Weaver and an old Maglight XL50. A 20 round aluminum magazine is handier than the 30 round.

  • Ark

    As we all know, angling the grip makes the rifle non-functional if pointed at children or puppies.

    • Cymond

      Exactly, that’s why ATF says it’s ok to put an angled grip on the front of your pistol!

  • supergun

    How sad our government allows the trampling of the 2nd Amendment, while allowing the murder of millions of babies.

  • Parnell

    This is not a rifle to meet NJ law. We can have 15rd mags, Pistol grip and an adjustable stock pinned in the fully open position. We can also have a muzzle device, just not a flash hider. Maybe not the best of situations, but not as ridiculous as NY; etc. Of course, when this clown Murphy and his Democrat-contolled legislature take office, all bets are off.

    • Norm Glitz

      And no threaded barrels, unless a comp is pinned or welded on.

  • CK S

    NJ still allows normal pistol grips as long as you have not more than 2 evil features like in 94 ban era. So usually it is pistol grip and detachable mag limited to 15 rds. FH no go but there are plenty of other cooler MB options so it is ok. Most of us shoot with stock extended anyway so it is ok. Bayo lug is useless in my opinion as well. This is way too much ‘banned’ even for NJ. You can get pretty much any post ban era firearms but just require some modifications. I guess NJ is little more free state than NY MA MD. I hope it will stay this way.

  • Nashvone

    Ruger still hasn’t learned from all their past efforts to appease the anti’s? I know they want to be able to sell in those markets but this just gives the anti’s more confidence to go after other “scary” features on other guns that don’t make a bit of difference in how effective it is.

  • Grey Beard

    Life is too short to own and shoot ugly guns and that is about the second most ugly AR I have ever seen.

  • Veteran for Trump

    Some day, maybe not in the rest of my lifetime, we’ll get all these idiotic gun laws eliminated.

  • ft

    OK, despite the headline, some posts here still say it illegal in Ma.because of Healy’s ruling or decision on these semi auto weapons being copies of weapons of war and thus ILLEGAL in Ma.
    Please find out if its leagl or not in Ma. for once and for all so I know if I can buy one LEGALLY and how much is it??
    People shopuldn’t print stuff that MAY not be true. Isn’t that FAKE News?

  • ft

    Boy I’ve never seen such a ray or different opinions of whats legal and whats not where. Makes me want to stay away from this rifle until I see it in Print from Her Highness Maura Healey.

    • J.E.Walker

      Good luck waiting for that to happen.

  • raybbr

    No mention of CT. Anyone know if this passes muster in the “Constitution State” (he asked with irony in his voice)?

    • phillip miller

      this gun would not pass …. fingers under the action (or lower if you will)

  • Rodrigo

    I do believe I would rather have a regular Mini-14 than this monstrosity. In the REAL WORLD form follows function. In the retarded states form follows political winds.

    It is hard to believe that the first registration scheme (1962) from Thomas J Dodd and Emanuel Cellar was for handgun registration only, and a ban on 5 shot bolt action army surplus rifles to protect the domestic rifle manufacturers from competition.

  • Scott P

    As a former Marylander this shows yet again how ignorant gun companies are about Maryland.

    No, it doesn’t need to be in a Cali configuration to be legal.

    Rifles in Maryland can have pistol grips, muzzle devices, bayonet lugs, collapsible and folding stocks. You just can’t have a flash suppressor, “grenade” launcher, and folding stock (AR-style collapsible stocks don’t count) equipped at the same time.

    Contrary to popular belief not all AR’s are banned in Maryland. Only government profile/pencil barrel .223/5.56 models are. HBAR 5.56 rifles like the Colt 6721 are legal in Maryland as is. AR’s in different calibers and any barrel profile are legal like other AR’s in this country.

    Finally the 10-round cap only applies when buying/selling/and transferring inside Maryland itself. The law says nothing about possession. It is legal to receive mags out of state and bring them in.

    This has been your Maryland Gun Law Public Service Announcement!

    • Wzrd

      I hope to be a former Marxlander someday…

  • bob-ny

    Sorry, Not NY Legal.