First firing Ruger SR556E -- very satisfied!!

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by Redleg, May 26, 2012.

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  1. Redleg

    Redleg New Member

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    Finally got the new Ruger SR556E to the range today. Since forum posts seem to have a lot of complaints, I am pleased to be able to say that the SR556E functioned flawlessly. I put exactly 200 rounds through the rifle, and everything worked great.

    Although I have fired a lot of M16s in my day, the SR556E was quite a surprise due to its piston operating system. I had fired some other piston rifles before, but not this one. The action when firing feels very smooth and imparts a "gentler" feel than the standard Direct Impingement system. The result was that I was able to achieve pretty OK groups for a rusty 58 year old codger. Shooting at 25 yards while shooting from the shoulder my groups were around 2.5 inches and a few were better than that. (OK, OK a few were worse too. Alright, more than a few. :eek:) Naturally practice will better this. Overall I must say that I was pleased with the gentleness of the rifle. It performed beautifully.

    I shot 3 different types of .223 ammo and all fired and ejected fine. I used three different brands of magazines and all were fine, and all held the bolt back when empty. Ejections were very consistent. I used setting 2 for all of the ammunition. I should have tried setting one but did not think about it.

    By the way, my perception of the smooth action of the SR556 was not only mine. A couple of friends who had been firing a brand-new DI AR15 also fired my SR556 and made the same observation that I did about the smoothness of the rifle. One remarked that "my wife would like firing this gun."

    The piston system sure beats the heck out of the DI system when it comes to cleaning. It only took a few minutes to clean the piston assembly. The bolt was almost pristine -- a gentle wipedown with CLP was all it needed. When I think of what my Army M16 was like after firing, particularly the bolt container group and chamber, I can really appreciate the piston system of the SR556E.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Nice report and I'm glad you like your new Ruger. This is the lighter version isn't it? I think most of the complaints about muzzle weight were for the original non-E version.
     

  3. Redleg

    Redleg New Member

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    Yes. The SR556E does not have the quad rails and has a much slimmer forward profile. I like it that way and did not add the two side rails. I did add the lower rail so that I could add the forward grip. I had never shot with a forward grip before, but I find that I like it. I am a little guy (5'8") but I did not find the weight of the SR556E to be a problem. Back in my younger days I humped M14s around, so by comparison this was no problem.
     
  4. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    I also carried the M14 except when I was in Vietnam. Too heavy for me, I'll take a 6.5lb AR any day. (Well closer to 8lb when you add a sling and full magazine.)
     
  5. nukinfuts29

    nukinfuts29 New Member

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    I never understood the complaints, such a great gun. My friend has one and I shoot it anytime we go out. Very smooth, you will be happy for a long time to come!
     
  6. MikeJK

    MikeJK New Member

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    It's a balance thing. There are other, better balanced ARs on the market. When you really get using an AR balance makes a big difference. From a bench front heavy rifles work well but when slung, unsupported it is a detriment.
     
  7. nukinfuts29

    nukinfuts29 New Member

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    are there more balanced AR's that share the same price bracket?
     
  8. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    Less talk. More pron.

    Any observations? Likes and dislikes?
     
  9. Fathead00

    Fathead00 New Member

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    The only thing is the price tag! Isn't that thing $1500 or so?
     
  10. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    Never said my sr556 didnt function :) i can see it appears they riveted on the ff tube...

    My complaint was i couldnt get that fftube off for maintenance and the weight for a 16" gun. It was also waaaay front heavy. Mine was to be used outdoors in dusty and sometimes wet conditions.

    This meant i needed to get under the handguards and couldnt cuz it was roll pinned.

    Glad you like it. Hope it works out for ya :)
     
  11. Redleg

    Redleg New Member

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    I have never even once fired an M16 or AR rifle from a bench. Yesterday I had an opportunity to fire a friend's custom-made DI rifle. If it was any lighter than my SR556 I sure could not tell. He had quad rails and a large ACOG unit on his rifle. It was a very nice rifle, but I preferred the SR556, which frankly I think also was balanced better.

    There are guys on this forum who are committed to the DI system, which is fine. Any praise of the piston system over the DI system, or any praise of a piston rifle, brings out the usual players on this forum who claim that these rifles lack "balance" or something. Like most of the quad-rail DI rifles loaded down with ACOGs and other do-dads have better "balance"? (whatever that means).

    I've shot countless DI rifles, and carried even more in (non-shooting, thank goodness) tactical situations, and I am pretty enamored with the piston system. Wait until it is time to clean the rifle. Took about 5 minutes to clean the piston assembly(it just pops out of the front for a quick wipe-down with Hoppes #9), maybe a little more for the barrel. The bolt carrier group was pristine (unlike the filth you get with a DI system), and the rest of the rifle really only needed a wipe-down with an oil rag.

    By the way, my friend's custom DI rifle had a lot more money in it than the SR556E, which retails for around 1.2 Boat Units ($1200).
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2012
  12. MikeJK

    MikeJK New Member

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    It seems like the piston crowds battle cry is, you just hate piston ARs. I happen to have one and like it a lot. It's the one rifle I have some attachment to as it was my first non issued AR. Reality is they are heavier and most of that weight is in the worst place possible, closest to the muzzle. That translates into slower handling and causes fatigue to set in sooner.
     
  13. Redleg

    Redleg New Member

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    It seems like the battle cry of the DI crowd is: DI weapons may be dirtier. They may be less reliable (think Vietnam, 1965), but they are "better balanced." Any discussion of a piston rifle on this forum and the thread is quickly invaded by the same guys (every time) screaming how great DI is etc. etc. This thread did not start out with any real reference to DI weapons or "DI versus piston" discussion. But the usual DI suspects on this forum quickly turned it into one. Some of the DI guys on this forum just cannot stand it when others decide against the DI design in favor of the newer, better, piston design. Sorry fellows, but some of us do not agree with you.

    I was in charge of maintenance for M16s for too long to have any illusions about the flaws of the DI system. 99% of the our M16 rifles designated "unserviceable" were that way due to the stress induced by the DI system upon the bolt carrier group. I say 99% because I assume there must have been one time or other when some other defect surfaced. I cannot remember one. After that experience I personally would not own a DI rifle which is why, until I became enamored with the SR556E, I shot Mini 14s. :)
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2012
  14. MikeJK

    MikeJK New Member

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    I guess you didn't read the part where I state I am an owner of a piston AR, a very expensive well made piston AR. I have been running it for years. I know the rifle very well. It is very nice as stated but it is not as ideal as the lighter DIs I own. It may not be a big deal but spend the entire day w/ the thing shouldered while swinging it around from target to target and you'll see why I fill the way I do. Not saying it's impossible, I've done it. It's just not ideal as compared to the lighter, more balanced DI. It's reality.

    You need to update your knowledge on the DI system. This isn't 1965.
     
  15. Redleg

    Redleg New Member

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    I did read that you owned a piston AR. Never said you were not entitled to your opinion. It is kind of striking though that every thread on this forum about a piston rifle immediately gets invaded by the same couple of pro-DI guys complaining that they don't like the "balance." This does not happen on other forums and it is always the same two or three guys on this forum. You just can't stand to leave a discussion about piston rifles undisturbed. Like this one. All I was doing was sharing my own impressions, and immediately the same gang chimes in negatively. If we want to read that same old stuff, the forum has a "search" function, fellows.

    And you are right about one thing; weight does matter. I went with the SR556 "E" model partly to deal with weight. No quad rail for me. The quad rail DI gun that I shot yesterday probably weighed more than my rifle, what with all its heavy metal. And you are right that depending on one's usage, weight will matter more or less. Paratroopers carry the lighter shortened carbines, for example. I freely admit that my days of humping a rifle all day are probably over, excepting the odd trip to the desert. Even then a range table and sling are the order of the day. :D. I'll bet that just about everyone on this forum is that way. On the other hand, I have humped heavier rifles than my SR556E all day.

    1965 was before my time. Actually, my experience was 1975-80. :eek:

    The DI system in modern AR 15s looks the same to me. Looking at modern DI weapons after firing, the bolts are just as overstressed and filthy as they were in Vietnam in 1965 -- and this was the source of a notoriously high failure rate. That is a system that cries out for improvement and the piston system is the improvement. :cool:
     
  16. MikeJK

    MikeJK New Member

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    Go to other forums like M4C where the professionals hang out and the mention of a piston AR will be swarmed on. They're not near as nice as we are here. All for good reason though.

    As far as opinion. How is it opinion? It's either balanced or not. It either is or it isn't. A piston system puts more mass/weight up front. Are you saying a gas tube is heavier than the piston op system? It's physically impossible. More weight up front effects balance. It's a simple concept.

    You chimed in about its balance. This is a knowledge based discussion board. Well it once was. If you want hugs, kisses and pats on the back regardless of fact I'm sure there's a place for that. If you want factual information to help you in this great hobby/sport, welcome home.

    LWRC is the top of the line when it comes to piston ARs. It's not like I'm using a Ruger to draw my conclusions.

    The DI system looks the same so it must be the same. lol, seriously?

    The piston AR is far from an improvement. It has more moving parts and no standardization. What happens when you need to replace a part in your Ruger or I have to w/ my LWRC? We have to contact the manufacturer. What happens when I need to replace a part in one of my DIs? I drive down the street or scavenge the part from one of the others. What happens when/if one LWRC/Ruger changes their design or stops production? We are screwed.

    Shoot whatever AR you choose it really doesn't matter. Reality is we both overpaid for a solution to a non existant problem. I'm here to keep others from doing the same.
     
  17. Redleg

    Redleg New Member

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    Never heard of them. Guess that's 'cuz that's where the "pros" hang out. Whatever that means. Anyway, if the folks there are the way you describe them I think I'll steer clear.

    What you are really doing is taking your subjective preferences and opinions and labeling them as objective fact. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, but you do it thread after thread, making it impossible to have a discussion about a piston rifle without you and a couple of others here hijacking the thread into a thread about how DI is the best, [add all of your other subjective opinions here, etc.] Never mind the abysmal performance that these rifles turned in during the Vietnam war.

    In point of fact the DI system is so poor that it was notorious in Vietnam how bad the M16 rifle was. Eventually, of course, the US Army logistical complex swung into action and finally through intense effort and a lot of money they were able to get the M16 to function about as well as other combat rifles. This was in spite of the inherently poor DI system which remains essentially unchanged in modern AR rifles. In Germany our M16s were a nightmare to maintain, with the bolt-carrier-groups constantly failing inspections despite the relatively infrequent firing of these rifles. The M16/AR DI is simply a bad design. When I was in the Army that was a commonly (not universally) held opinion. The Army is notoriously slow to admit to procurement errors.

    You have a point about the piston system not being as standardized as the DI system. That is why I selected a Ruger -- produced by an iconic American arms manufacturer with legendary customer support. They are not going anywhere unless the Zombies attack. :eek:

    I "chimed in" about the SR556E balance because I like it. I also like the buttery-smooth operating system. If you like the DI system, great, but any reading of your many posts indicates that you are simply taking your personal preferences and trying to label them as objective facts and then hijacking every thread that contradicts these opinions. Ignoring the maintenance nightmare that the DI system represents.

    I'm done, since this thread is ruined. You can have the last word.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2012
  18. MikeJK

    MikeJK New Member

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    Seriously this has become retarded. If you can't/refuse to except the fact that the piston op rod system is heavier than a gas tube then that's on you. I'm guessing you never held a gas tube or your Ruger's gas system in your hand. If you had you would understand. You're a grown man I shouldn't have to school you on weight distribution. It's science not make believe or opinion.

    Once again using 60's tech to form opinion in 2012 holding you back. You could learn a lot here.
     
  19. fetep

    fetep New Member

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    Glad you had a great day at the range with your new rifle! 2.5 groups are a great first days shooting! I hang out at M4C quite a bit, it's M4carbine.net. And it's a great place! Come on over;-)
    You're right, you mention a piston gun here and you take an ass whooping! The ruger is a fantastic platform and I have dollars to doughnuts it will serve you well for many, many years!

    Fetep
     
  20. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Redleg, most of the complaints about the Ruger were about the "1.0" version, the E has lightened the muzzle somewhat. Still, if you handle a lightweight DI you will find exceptional balance and the midlength gas system makes for very soft, smooth operation.

    Normally the piston system offers advantages in SBR and suppressed applications and of course for the person who wants to try the latest thing or cut down on cleaning in the BCG area. That doesn't mean DI has been surpassed, DI works very well today like it did 50 years ago. The problems with the early M16 were not the gas system, they were ammo (powder) and magazine related along with poor maintenance and non chrome lined barrels.

    Personally I have no need for a piston AR but I'm glad you're happy with yours.
     
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