Ruger SR-556: More Information and Interview

Eric Shelton at the Handgun Podcast (Shelton….) has a great interview with Todd Wilkinson, the Chief Engineer for Rifles at Ruger.  The interview covers the new Ruger SR-556 that was introduced last week at the NRA Meeting in Arizona.

ruger_sr-556_012For those just hearing about it, the Ruger SR-556 is Ruger’s new AR-style rifle that uses a two-stage piston rather than direct impingement, which promises greater reliability.  In the interview, Wilkinson states that they have been running one of the SR-556’s without cleaning or lube for 15,000 trouble-free rounds.

Other information that Wilkinson provided:

  • Even though the SR-556 uses a AC556 flash hider, the barrel is threaded to the standard 1/2″x28 so all of the aftermarket flash and sound suppressors work.
  • The adjustable gas regulator has an “off” position, allowing for shooting it off the bench like a bolt action rifle.  Additionally, this would make for a very quiet supressed gun, as the action would not cycle when set to this position.  The only noise would be whatever the suppressor did not dampen.
  • Parts are mil-spec, not commercial, which means just about any buttstock, etc. will bolt right on.
  • The SR-556 also comes with a rifle case.  The Ruger concept was to provide you with everything you need for the gun, except the ammo.  Hence the three magazines, Houge pistol grip, Troy quad rail and other upgrades.

Shelton also notes that Ruger is not making the lower receiver (no surprise, as a lot of manufacturers are not).

Something that may be of interest to a lot of current AR owners: Ruger may sell the upper assembly alone in the future.  This would allow the average guy to bolt on a pistol system with little fuss.  (Yes, I know other companies are selling retro fit kits, etc., but I think Ruger would be the only major manufacturer to do so.)

So, if you don’t already listen to Shelton’s podcast, please go over and check it out.  The Handgun Podcast is one of several pro-gun podcasts at the Gun Rights Radio Network.

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About Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, police trainer and really bad joke teller. Check out his other writing in Combat Handguns, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement, on The Firearm Blog and at BlueSheepdog.


  1. My SR 556 malfunctioned after less than 30 rounds. The piston froze and the bolt would not close. The action cannot be opened. It is hopelessly fouled up. I feel a recall coming on.

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