Reviewed By: Cory S on 05/16/2012
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]
Great gun for the price. Buds was slow with me on this one. No failures to extract or shoot 800 .223 Remington rounds (3 shooting sessions) I haven't yet shot 5.56 but am looking forward to it. The gun while naked is a bit heavy, 7.36 lbs. So while mounting accessories the weight adds on quick to give fair warning. A big seller for me was the piston system. The piston helps but all internal parts will obviously still get dirty. The design of the bolt is different than the traditional AR-15, there are no gas stake keys in this bolt, it is one solid piece of metal in its entirety, very solid; probably hard to replace or hard to find at a gun show, I've searched at several with no luck. The shape of the bolt is slightly different than on a regular AR. I’ve been meaning to call Ruger to see if they sell just the chrome bolt but have no luck yet in searching their website or scavenging the internet.
I purchased the 556e to basically build it to the 556C. I would have rather saved a few extra bucks and purchased the 556C solely to have the chrome bolt vs. the black, the Troy sights, and full length 3, 6, and 9 o’clock picatinny rails. With the Ruger 556e, you may purchase up to 9” picatinny rails on shopruger.com which appear to be about 3” shy in length of those on the 556C or 556FB to give you a heads up.
Additions I purchased: Magpul ACS stock (black), Magpul aluminum winter trigger guard, ergonomic pistol grip, Magpul flip up sights (the Troys would be better), bipod handle grip, muzzle break, BCM vltor mod 4 gunfighter charging handle, 17 additional p-mags (18 total), three 9” picatinny rails, the troy battle rail covers, UTG 150 lumen flashlight, Eotech 3x magnifier with spring loaded flip to side mount, Truglo TG8380B red dot, and with some adjustments the gun is able to hit a beetle’s nut sack at 50 yards. Total price after additions (gun price included) = $2,050. Soon I will get an ambidextrous safety, sling, and new carry case since I quickly out grew the nice soft case it came with.
I give this gun 5 stars for: functionality, milspec, perceived reliability (I’ve had it for only a few months), feel, quality, and price.
I give this gun 3 stars for: weight, and the fact Ruger does not recommend you to change the free float quad rail (not a problem to me but could be to someone else). Also changing the barrel out may be a pain. (BTW, does come with heavy barrel)
In all I’m extremely happy with the purchase.
In my opinion the stock pistol grip is garbage because of fairly easy slippage in the hand. I didn’t care for the flash hider, or the wobbly stock. These were the first items to get replaced with solid upgrades. Thanks for reading the essay, hope some of it helps those who are interested or curious. Youtube has a good 2 part review on this AR somewhere out there.
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