Building vs Unboxing

AR-15 builders are a little nuts. And I am one. We obsess over each build, the nuances of each part, and no rifle is ever complete. Our build projects are always being revised and updated for better or worse. It’s a fun and expensive hobby. But some folks simply don’t want to cobble parts together to create a working rifle. Building a rifle takes work, time, and know-how. I have friends who are active shooters and because of busy schedules or personality will never turn an armorer’s wrench. And that’s where the Ruger AR-556 steps in. It is ready to go on day one. No upgrades needed. No extra parts. Just add ammo and head to the range.

Full disclosure, I have a soft spot for Ruger firearms. They are affordable, American made, and more importantly, they work. I have owned a full complement of Rugers for decades and have never lost sleep over workmanship or value. So when the Ruger AR-556 was introduced I put aside my AR-building-nuttiness and purchased the 8500 entry-level model.

The Ruger AR-556

Packaged in a simple cardboard box, the rifle comes with paperwork, sight-adjustment tool, and one P-Mag. The rifle is light at 6.5 pounds and the overall feel is comfortable. The rifle has the classic mil-spec buffer tube, adjustable stock, and typical charging handle. Front sight is an A-2 style and the rear sight is a polymer pop-up that will be familiar to most shooters. At the range, the rifle fires flawlessly. Overall, the rifle is a well-machined, entry-level AR-15.

While no changes are required to have a functional and dependable rifle, owners may consider adding extra magazines, a sling, and an optic. Overall the rifle delivers on quality and affordability. And for the AR-15 builders who cannot help themselves, the rifle can be customized, upgraded, and revised endlessly.