Ruger SR-556VT Rifle

Another of Ruger’s new product announcements for 2013 is the new SR-556VT rifle.  A variant of the company’s piston-driven AR platofrm, the SR-556VT appears to be set for long range accuracy shooting with a fixed stock and 20″ barrel.  As you might guess, the VT stands for “Varmint Target.”

Ruger SR-556VT review

Since this model is designed for hunting, it sells with three, fice-round magazines.  However, the mag well is standard, meaning the shooter can add his or her own 10, 20 or 30-round magazines.

The SR-556VT comes without iron sights, but has a full length Picatinny rail for adding any kind of optic or sight system you might like.  I imagine most people would want to add serious glass on top of this one.  Some type of back up iron sights might be a good idea as well.

Ruger SR-556VT photo

The barrel is 20″ long and has a 1:8″ RH twist, which is generally good enough to stabilize heavy .223/5.56 bullets.  The stainless steel barrel is cold hammer forged with a target crown.

The bolt and carrier are both chrome plated.  The trigger is a two-stage that Ruger describes as having a short “take up” and a light, crisp break without creep or over travel.

As with the other guns in the SR-556 line, this Ruger rifle uses a piston system and has a four position gas regulator.  The adjustable regulator allows the shooter to tailor the rifle performance to the type of ammunition being used.  One position even allows the shooter to effectively “turn off” the system, allowing for manual cycling of the action only.  While this might be puzzling to some, anyone running a suppressor knows that the action cycling can create a lot of unwanted noise.

Ruger SR-556VT

Ruger SR-556VT Specifications

  • caliber:  5.56 NATO
  • magazine capacity:  five rounds (accepts other AR/M4/M16 magazines)
  • barrel length:  20″
  • barrel twist rate:  1:8″ RH
  • overall length:  38.25″
  • length of pull:  13.75″
  • finish:  black oxide, hardcoat anodized
  • weight (empty magazine):  8.5 pounds
  • sights:  none
  • MSRP:  $1995
  • CA/MA Approved:  Are you kidding?
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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. Want. Very much want! This is the exact gun I’ve fancied for myself, scoped with BUIS. If I had already bought an AR or were to build one, this would be it though for expense’s sake I would probably buy a gas impingement version instead of a piston gun. Never the less, this rifle is a dandy!

  2. oldephardt says:

    Now, if it will work with me to out-shoot those people clinging to their impingement-operated Stag Model 6 toys….at twice the price, I would hope this Ruger will be at least twice as good….Hey, I can hope !!!

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