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AR-556: Advice For New Owners

This is a discussion on AR-556: Advice For New Owners within the Ruger Semi-Auto forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; Originally Posted by Iowegan For those people thinking about buying an AR-15 type rifle, I'll tell you the same thing I tell prospective 1911 buyers. ...


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Old March 15th, 2016, 04:08 PM   #16
 
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Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
For those people thinking about buying an AR-15 type rifle, I'll tell you the same thing I tell prospective 1911 buyers. Buy the rifle that comes closest to matching your desired configuration. It's great to have so much aftermarket support but just remember .... ever part you replace, technically you have bought it twice. This can quickly turn a $700 Ruger AR556 into a $1500 rifle with a box full of spare parts. I have right at $1000 in mine .... Nikon P223 3x scope, scope rings, low profile gas block, 2 ten round magazines, an additional 30 round magazine, a sling, and a set of RCBS small base dies. For what I have invested, I feel I definitely got my money's worth.
This just saved me asking my question of what to buy this weekend. I want just a basic AR that I can just have fun with. Don't really need all of the junk. When I was in the Army we didn't have that stuff anyway, just a basic M16.



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Old March 15th, 2016, 04:35 PM   #17
 
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bocop, a Ruger AR-556 will definitely do the trick if that's what you've decided to buy.
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Old March 15th, 2016, 04:44 PM   #18
 
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Right now it's between the AR556, the Bushmaster Patrolman Carbine and the Windham
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Old March 15th, 2016, 05:03 PM   #19
 
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Right now it's between the AR556, the Bushmaster Patrolman Carbine and the Windham
Good choices, all of them.
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Old March 16th, 2016, 03:19 AM   #20
 
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Originally Posted by bwinters View Post
Good advice. Sometimes I think I am the only us citizen with more than one stone stock basic ars.
I've an SR556 and it hasn't had anything added at all. Iron sights are fun to work with and require a little more skill to use effectively.

Not every one aspires to be an 'operator' . . . whatever that may be.
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Old March 16th, 2016, 05:47 PM   #21
 
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Originally Posted by Sundown Thursday View Post
I've an SR556 and it hasn't had anything added at all. Iron sights are fun to work with and require a little more skill to use effectively.

Not every one aspires to be an 'operator' . . . whatever that may be.
I haven't shot open sights in years and want to get back to it. I seemed to enjoy the shooting more from a "fun" side back then.
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Old March 19th, 2016, 06:21 PM   #22
 
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Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
ditto1958, Good post! Possibly your very last sentence could be revised .... my AR556 is a bit fussy about ammo. I've had failures to feed with a couple different brands ... one was Federal (pretty cheap, made in Israel), the other was bulk grade Winchester 223 Rem. Seems my gun has a tight chamber and won't feed any ammo when the case head diameter is slightest bit out of spec. I had to buy a small base resizing die for my reloads but once I realized how tight the chamber is and how to pre-measure and cull the cartridges, I haven't had a single failure to feed since.
careful with some of that Fed. Independence brand 5.56 .... early lots had lots of blown primers. Way over pressure judging by my experience, chrono'd velocities were way over the norm.

Last edited by bfoosh006; March 19th, 2016 at 06:23 PM.
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Old March 19th, 2016, 08:02 PM   #23
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bfoosh006, I chronoed the Independence 5.56 55gr ammo and it ran virtually identical to Winchester White Box 55gr 223 Rem. I haven't experienced any blown primers .... just "fat" heads. I have reloaded some of the spent cases and they came out fine with a small base sizer die. My guess ... probably just a bad batch ... no different than other brands. That said, I have a lot of LC head-stamped brass, bullets, primers, and a couple jugs of Varget so I doubt if I will shoot any more factory ammo in my rifles ... at least not in the foreseeable future.
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Old April 24th, 2016, 03:43 PM   #24
 
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Originally Posted by ditto1958 View Post
If you are a new owner, or soon to be new owner of a Ruger AR-556, here is some basics advice to help ensure that your first experiences with it will be happy ones.

1. Don't even think about touching your delta ring until you have a tube of anti- seize compound in your hand. Now, put a little dab of it on the threads and work it in a bit.

2. Don't even think about shooting your new rifle until you have taken it down and removed all the preservative oil Ruger has drenched your rifle with. That stuff is not a lubricant. Then lube your rifle with real gun oil as recommended in the instruction manual.

3. Check your castle nut and make sure it is snug. If it's loose, tighten it up, preferably with a castle nut wrench.

******************

Okay, those are the three biggies. Chances are now very high that your AR-556 will work. Still, a few other bits of advice, mostly for new AR owners.

4. Take the Magpul magazine that came in the box for your first trip to the range. Don't leave it at home and instead bring some no-name Chinese mags you bought for 10 for $19.99. Save those for later.

5. Start out with some decent ammo. It doesn't have to be $25.00 a box stuff, $7.00 American Eagle, or something like that should be just fine. But save the $4.99 steel cased Russian stuff for later on.

6. Don't change out all sorts of parts before your first trip to the range. Make sure it works right first. In the unlikely event that you do have a problem, A. Sometimes it's hard to tell whether it's the fault of the mods you did, and B. If you have to send it to Ruger, you have to put all the OEM parts back on it, or Ruger will do that for you.

For around $600 the AR-556 is a really nice entry level AR. Chances are that if you buy one, you will find it runs just fine right from jump street. It will likely shoot pretty much any ammo you feed it, run any decent magazines, and be a reliable performer that's fun to shoot.
Thanks for publishing this. The wife and I just bought a pair of AR-556's and this bit of advice is great for newbies like us. I found that the castle nut was not staked and I put anti-sieze on the delta ring threads. Next I clean up the preservative and lube it and next stop - the range.

I 'd advise you to pin this piece of advice on this site.
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Old April 24th, 2016, 04:19 PM   #25
 
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I would like to add... keep an eye on the tapered pins that are driven into the gas block/front sight. Before I knew it, one was gone, lost in the gravel and discarded non reloadable casings at the range, and the other was hanging dangerously on the last edge of its hole. Ruger was very polite when I called, but my AR556 is out of service until the new pins come in the mail.

Im going to use a bit of Blue Loctite to help them stay put.
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Old June 5th, 2016, 10:07 AM   #26
 
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Question

Very good thread. I was Army Infantry so the AR is not new to me.
I bought 2 new AR-556's this week; one for me, one for my son. The pistol handle is loose on mine. Does it take a flat blade screw driver or a socket to tighten it up?
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Old June 5th, 2016, 03:24 PM   #27
 
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All good advice for first time AR556 owners. I was already familiar with the AR having been in the Seabees, so I knew how to disassemble and clean the weapon. I bought my new AR556 last week and I too broke it down an cleaned it before first trip to range.
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Old June 5th, 2016, 03:27 PM   #28
 
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All good advice for first time AR556 owners. I was already familiar with the AR having been in the Seabees, so I knew how to disassemble and clean the weapon. I bought my new AR556 last week and I too broke it down an cleaned it before first trip to range.
Welcome to the forum!
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Old June 5th, 2016, 03:32 PM   #29
 
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Originally Posted by BlueOvalFitter View Post
Very good thread. I was Army Infantry so the AR is not new to me.
I bought 2 new AR-556's this week; one for me, one for my son. The pistol handle is loose on mine. Does it take a flat blade screw driver or a socket to tighten it up?
It has an allen (hex) head screw. You need to make sure your wrench is long enough to reach all the way up there to tighten it.
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Old June 5th, 2016, 05:50 PM   #30
 
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ditto1958 Thanks.
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