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AR-556 vs. M&P Sport II

This is a discussion on AR-556 vs. M&P Sport II within the Rifles forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; I am curious about something. The AR-556 and M&P Sport II are very similar rifles. They both cost about the same, are both from respected ...


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Old March 18th, 2017, 07:18 PM   #1
 
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AR-556 vs. M&P Sport II

I am curious about something. The AR-556 and M&P Sport II are very similar rifles. They both cost about the same, are both from respected major firearms makers, and both offer a lot of value for the price. Frankly, if I were shopping for a basic AR today, I think it might be difficult to choose one over the other.

With that in mind, I am forever surprised at how often I see and hear people saying the Sport II is better. What exactly is "better" about it? While each rifle has some features the other doesn't have, at their core they are both pretty much standard AR-15's. If you disassembled one of each, mixed up all the parts, and then tried to build two rifles, almost all of the parts would be interchangeable.

I don't think you can go wrong by buying either of them.



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Old March 18th, 2017, 07:38 PM   #2
 
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I would choose the Sport for several reasons...

1. Shrouded firing pin vs. unshrouded on the Ruger
2. Nitrided barrel on the Smith
3. Standard delta ring configuration on the Smith
4. Standard FSB on the Smith

And now the Sport II is offered in a few configurations, to include an optics ready model and one with a Magpul hand guard.
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Old March 18th, 2017, 07:54 PM   #3
 
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They're going to say the one they bought is better.
For no reason other than its the one they bought.

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Old March 18th, 2017, 08:03 PM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patkelly4370 View Post
They're going to say the one they bought is better.
For no reason other than its the one they bought.

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Hmmm... I like that answer. And yes, mine IS definitely better!
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Old March 18th, 2017, 08:44 PM   #5
 
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I don't own either one. Based purely on specs, I'd go with the Ruger AR556 because of the 1:8 CHF barrel. More durable, accurate and gives a wider range of bullet stabilization. $0.02
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Old March 19th, 2017, 03:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyphertext View Post
I would choose the Sport for several reasons...

1. Shrouded firing pin vs. unshrouded on the Ruger
2. Nitrided barrel on the Smith
3. Standard delta ring configuration on the Smith
4. Standard FSB on the Smith

And now the Sport II is offered in a few configurations, to include an optics ready model and one with a Magpul hand guard.
This is what makes me favor the Sport a bit more than the Ruger.
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Old March 19th, 2017, 04:34 AM   #7
 
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I don't know anything about the Smith but, I know all of my Ruger pistols and rifles are backed by a lifetime warranty. I just recently had a problem with light strike/no strike with an older 10/22. (Early 90's) It's in the shop in New Hampshire being fixed. My understanding is N/C!
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Old March 19th, 2017, 05:21 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundown Thursday View Post
I don't know anything about the Smith but, I know all of my Ruger pistols and rifles are backed by a lifetime warranty. I just recently had a problem with light strike/no strike with an older 10/22. (Early 90's) It's in the shop in New Hampshire being fixed. My understanding is N/C!


Actually Ruger doesn't have a written warranty. However, they will fix the issue.
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Old March 19th, 2017, 05:26 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ditto1958 View Post
I am curious about something. The AR-556 and M&P Sport II are very similar rifles. They both cost about the same, are both from respected major firearms makers, and both offer a lot of value for the price. Frankly, if I were shopping for a basic AR today, I think it might be difficult to choose one over the other.

With that in mind, I am forever surprised at how often I see and hear people saying the Sport II is better. What exactly is "better" about it? While each rifle has some features the other doesn't have, at their core they are both pretty much standard AR-15's. If you disassembled one of each, mixed up all the parts, and then tried to build two rifles, almost all of the parts would be interchangeable.

I don't think you can go wrong by buying either of them.




Go with the M&P sport!!!! I have a M&P15 Magpul edition, It is flawless, great fit and finish and shoots great. No complaints what so ever. The Ruger may work, but don't be surprised if you have fit and finish issues. I like rugers and my experience these last few years (again, my experience) Rugers QC department seems like they could give two craps about great quality compared to what they used to be. (MY OPINION ONLY)

I'm sure which ever one you buy will be fun to shoot!
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Old March 19th, 2017, 05:31 AM   #10
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If I were to blindfold you, give you one of these rifles, point you in a safe direction and tell you to fire it I'lll bet a large sum of cash none of you could tell me which one you were shooting. Both of them are more accurate than you are and both of them will eat more ammo than you can afford to buy before you wear them out. If I were in the market for a basic AR (I don't care for the term 'entry level' because these aren't beginner rifles) I'd buy whichever one was on sale and call it good. Or flip a coin. Either way you'll get a great rifle.

For the record, I don't own either one. I do own an M&P10 but Ruger is my favorite brand. Plus I already have a 5.56 AR (Colt) so I don't need another one. My recommendation: buy a Saint.

Last edited by Bonk; March 19th, 2017 at 05:45 AM.
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Old March 19th, 2017, 06:20 AM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonk View Post
If I were to blindfold you, give you one of these rifles, point you in a safe direction and tell you to fire it I'lll bet a large sum of cash none of you could tell me which one you were shooting.
While it is true that I probably wouldn't know which one I was shooting as long as the furniture was the same, I could feed the shrouded vs. unshrouded firing pin while blindfolded.

But I do agree... both are good rifles, and extreme values at the prices they are hitting lately. You can't go wrong with either rifle at $500 or less! Even with the unshrouded firing pin, I would shoot it until a problem arose, if it did...

Same with the barrel... don't know which one will last longer, but a barrel is a consumable. If you shoot enough to wear one out, you can afford a new one!
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Old March 19th, 2017, 06:33 AM   #12
 
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I looked hard at both before I bought my Ruger, and I actually thought the AR-556 had a little better "fit and finish". I love the threaded Delta ring and have had zero problems with it.

Both great rifles at any rate. Not sure the shrouded/un-shrouded thing would affect most of us.

G.
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Old March 19th, 2017, 06:39 AM   #13
 
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I just saw the ruger on sale yesterday at a local show for 495.00.......NIB

For me, either one would be nice but for reasons said, from people who know, I'd lean towards the Sport.

I do not own either.

Sometime we get so picky we forget our application. For a few hundred rounds on the weekends.....I think you'd be happy with either.....HOWEVER, you may never be happy with the one you chose.....so get a colt. When it comes down to "I shooda or wooda - get something totally different.
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Old March 19th, 2017, 07:01 AM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garyji View Post
I looked hard at both before I bought my Ruger, and I actually thought the AR-556 had a little better "fit and finish". I love the threaded Delta ring and have had zero problems with it.

Both great rifles at any rate. Not sure the shrouded/un-shrouded thing would affect most of us.

G.

I agree on the threaded delta ring. Why didn't major manufactures do this before? LOL, I have to have a second seat of hands to take off the hand guards on my S&W MP15 Magpul and Colt LE6920. LOL, I ended up buying a delta ring tool.
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Old March 19th, 2017, 08:51 AM   #15
 
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If all else is equal, buy the one with the best trigger.
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