- Is the Ruger AR556 a good deal (at just under $500)
- Is it a rugged gun
- Is it a decent product (trigger, ammo feeding etc.) and
- Does it require moar $$$$ / massive effort to set it up with a tac-light and red-dot scope? (ignoring the cost of the doodads, of course)
…or is this one of those things needs a bucketload of cash to make it a decent gun?
Asking for a friend. (Seriously; it’s not for me. And I should point out that the guy just wants an off-the-shelf, grab ‘n go gun and isn’t interested in building one from parts. He is my friend, after all, and we share many traits and characteristics.)
From my admittedly-inexperienced perspective, the AR556 seems like the bees’ knees for a one-stop shop, plus the Ruger brand gives some degree of comfort. Am I wrong?
Update from A Concerned Reader:
#1 I am not a fan of Ruger and their quality control with AR-15s is suspect. So for something “off the shelf”, I would not look to them.
#2 S&W is abut the same as Ruger. I’ve heard and seen some corners cut to bring the price point down. This MIGHT be ok. The again I was at FEDEX and the guy next to me in line was sending his S&W MP AR-15 back. Apparently nothing S&W customer support could tell him to do could get it to work reliably. We didn’t go into details, but he was completely dissatisfied with the S&W AR.
#3 PSA (Palmetto State Armory), seems “OK”. PSA is cheap but they seem to work. I have not bought a complete AR from them. I bought an AR upper with a free float handguard, but the aluminum was so thin it would flex and touch the barrel. But PSA AR’s do work. I would say if you want a cheap AR, that would be the way to go. Most of the internet commentators, focus on the cheapness, but don”t complain about them not working.
#4 DPMS used to be considered a bottom tier AR maker. IMHO, their quality has improved and other manufacturers have found more corners to cut in order to reach lower prices. I would put them in the same tier as Anderson Manufacturing.
#5 I’ve heard good things about Spike’s Tactical. In my dealings with them, I’ve found them to be excellent (I ordered a charging handle from them and they offered a free return and refund while it was en route to me, since it had been advertised as made in USA and apparently their supplier was getting the part from overseas-China).
#6 I’ve also been happy with all things Aero Precision. Right now I’m building an AR in 458 SOCOM (as a 45-70 fan you have to appreciate that) and I am mainly using Aero Precision parts.
At a minimum, your friend is going to need to add a decent 2 point sling… I call a one point sling a noose and I just don’t need a complicated 3 point sling. Finding a good sling these days is difficult. I don’t think people carry long guns enough anymore to appreciate the need fora good sling.
So in summary, NO to Ruger and S&W. Shop around for a PSA or spend a little more for a DPMS or Anderson. Maybe go for a Spike’s Tactical or Aero Precision.