Ruger SR-556

Ruger SR-556

Ruger SR-556 - Standard Configuration (discontinued)
Type Semi-automatic rifle
Place of origin United States
Production history
Designed 2009
Manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc.
Unit cost $1995[1]
Specifications (Standard)
Weight 3.60 kg (7.94 lb)[1]
Length 832 mm (32.75 in) (collapsed)
910 mm (36 in) (extended)[1]
Barrel length 409 mm (16.12 in)[1]
Width 64 mm (2.5 in)[1]
Height 197 mm (7.75 in)[1]


5.56 NATO[1]

6.8mm Remington SPC (upper only)[1]
Barrels 1:230 millimetres (9 in) Right Hand twist
Action Gas-operated, rotating bolt
Feed system STANAG magazine
Sights Folding Iron Sight

The SR-556 is a semi-automatic rifle carbine manufactured by U.S. firearms company Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. The rifle was introduced in 2009, marking Ruger's entry into the popular AR-15 market, and it would continue with a .308 AR-10 variant, the Ruger SR-762.[2] It is one of several new AR-15 platform rifles to use gas piston operation. In January 2016 Ruger discontinued all SR-556 rifles and introduced a new Takedown variant with a lightweight Keymod handguard.


The rifle features a patent-pending, "two stage" piston mechanism as opposed to the standard AR-15 direct impingement system. Gas flow is controlled by a four position regulator. Several key parts, such as the short stroke gas piston, gas regulator, and bolt/carrier group are chrome plated. The bolt carrier features an integral lug in place of the AR-15's gas key. The flash hider is similar to Ruger's AC-556 and Mini-14GB.[3]

The rifle includes a number of other manufacturer's parts such as a Troy Industries railed handguard and Samson folding iron sights, a Hogue rubberized pistol grip, and three Magpul PMAG 30-round magazines. The SR-556SC comes with three 10-round magazines and does not have the flash hider or collapsible stock, making it compliant in several states with restrictive assault rifle laws. The barrel is 409 millimetres (16.12 in), chrome lined, and features a six groove, right hand, 1:230 millimetres (9 in) twist.[2]

In August 2010, Ruger announced that the rifle would be offered in the 6.8mm Remington SPC cartridge.[4]


Ruger SR-556E with Bushnell red dot sight.

Ruger AR-556

On September 29, 2014 Ruger announced the AR-556, a variant that utilizes traditional direct impingement action and introduces a rear flip up sight similar to the Magpul BUIS. Pricing suggests that it's intended to compete with other entry level AR-15s such as the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport.


Ruger's introduction of the SR-556 was met with some criticism for its high price tag (around U.S. $2,000). Ruger products are usually known for affordability, but the SR-556 is essentially a regular AR-15 albeit with a different, more complicated operating system, unlike cheaper alternatives, like the Smith & Wesson M&P rifles, which lack a forward assist or dust cover. The SR-556 was also criticized for its heavier weight than other AR-15s. Ruger addressed these shortcomings by introducing a lighter and less expensive rifle, the SR-556E.[5]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Ruger SR-556". Sturm, Ruger, and Co., Inc. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  2. 1 2 Gilbert, Glenn M., Ruger's SR-556: Ready To Run, Right Out Of The Box, American Rifleman, October 2009
  3. Sweeney, Patrick (2010). "The Ruger SR-556". Gun Digest Book of the AR-15. Gun Digest Books. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-4402-1376-2.
  5. Cumpston, Mike. "Ruger's SR-556E 5.56mm NATO". Guns. 51 (12): 56.
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