Ruger SR-556 Takedown Update

Richard Johnson
by Richard Johnson

Ruger released an update to the company’s SR-556 Takedown rifle. The new Takedown gun replaces the quad rail forend with a KeyMod model. The result is a gun that is 1/2 a pound lighter. The original gun weighed 7.6 pounds while the new gun weighs only 7.1 pounds. Additionally, the front end of the rifle is thinner, which may make it easier for some shooters to hold.


I recently had a SR-556 Takedown for review and found the gun was a bit front end heavy. I like the idea of going to an alternative accessory rail like the KeyMod to lighten the load and shift the gun balance farther back.

The Takedown gun is designed to allow the barrel to be removed by pulling down on a tab and twisting the barrel to unlock it. Broken down in this way, the gun can be stored in a smaller package than just removing the upper from the lower. Additionally, a shooter can install a 300 BLK barrel and run a .30 caliber cartridge from the same package.


Concerns about maintaining zero with an optic when removing the barrel are reasonable. If you are shooting with the iron sights, all of the adjustments are made to the front sight, which is attached to the barrel. In my testing, I found the iron sights kept zero when swapping barrels back and forth.

Richard Johnson
Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is

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  • Evan Evan on Dec 30, 2015

    I don't get why anyone would want nonsense like KeyMod and M-Lok instead of quad rail. It saves a negligible amount of weight, and in doing so gives you a crummy proprietary system for mounting accessories instead of something universal and battle proven. I get that most people, myself included, are never going to use every bit of rail space. Still, it's nice to have it there. The whole point of rails is modularity, and these new fads do nothing but reduce modularity and convenience in the name of saving three ounces on a 7lb rifle.

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    • Evan Evan on Jan 05, 2016

      @Doug73 What an ironic comment.

      I said I don't know exactly how accessories attach with Keymod, though I assume it's pretty intuitive based on how it looks. Either way, it's clearly inferior because it's essentially a proprietary system which offers no distinct advantage over quad rail, and still requires rails to be attached to work with many if not most accessories. You really can't argue against that; it is objectively true. Basically, you prefer saving a few ounces over function. I do not. Function comes first; then other considerations like weight can be addressed. Quad rail functions perfectly, and can be used for anything from bipods to lights to PEQ-whatevers to M203 grenade launchers. Keymod is not nearly so versatile. It's an answer to a question nobody asked, and because you choose to jump on this fad does not make it equal, much less superior, to a proven and unflawed system.

  • Austin Austin on Dec 30, 2015

    What's interesting is that Ruger has removed the links to all models of the SR-556 except the takedown from their site. Have they discontinued the other versions, or can we expect to see updated ones in the near future?