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Discussion Starter #1
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.

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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.
 

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Spot on. I would also add that while you have the rifle apart to clean it, carefully look everything over the make sure nothing is loose and the gas rings are aligned properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good advice. Sometimes I think I am the only us citizen with more than one stone stock basic ars.
You may very well be. :)

I started this thread because when you read this forum you can easily get the impression that the AR-556 is pretty much a disaster. Oh, there certainly are a few that sneak out of Mayodan with an issue, but they are the exception.

Often, those who post with issues have muddied the waters so much by the time they get to the range that it's impossible to tell what the real problem is.
 

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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.
 

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You may very well be. :)

I started this thread because when you read this forum you can easily get the impression that the AR-556 is pretty much a disaster. Oh, there certainly are a few that sneak out of Mayodan with an issue, but they are the exception.

Often, those who post with issues have muddied the waters so much by the time they get to the range that it's impossible to tell what the real problem is.
The forums could give that wrong impression; but my experience has been a great one. Your spot on with the ammo advice to. I ran 100 rounds of federal eagle brass through first after the check-over/ clean/ oil. After that first 100 rounds, I cleaned and re-oiled and found nothing out of the ordinary. By the next trip to the range my 1000 round case of Tula Steel had arrived and I went to the range with it. 200 rounds of Tula and not a single issue. It deffinitly makes for a dirtier gun with out the seal brass makes while being fired, but even so, the AR-556 was flawless.
 

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ditto1958, The chamber may be tight but accuracy isn't. I'm not complaining though ... my best groups are just under an inch at 100 yards with my reloads .... 26.5gr Varget and a 55gr Hornady V-Max. This same ammo in my Remington 700 shoots 1/4" groups @ 100 yards and about an inch at 250 yards on a dead calm day. Other than my reloads, I haven't shot any high quality factory ammo in my AR556 so I don't really know what it will do. I bought the gun for my Granddaughter and I to enjoy shooting balloons at the farm from 20 to 100 yards off hand. What a hoot for both of us! Easter is coming so "PEEPs" will go on sale soon. They are really fun to shoot ... leave shards of pink all over the target stands.

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.
 

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I understand that somebody in DC is considering an EXECUTIVE ACTION to declare that all PEEPS, regardless of color or flavor, are entitled to FULL AMNESTY from peep attacks of all kinds, will be entitled to drivers licenses and the right to vote, but only for PROGRESSIVE LIBERALS!

PEEPS MATTER!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
8. (Thanks, Iowegan):

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 .... every 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.
 

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I was one of those folks who might have muddied the waters a bit regarding the AR. Mine shot reliably at first but I found the barrel nut totally loose. Sent it back for Ruger to square away, since it was pretty new. It came back tight- but the rifle wouldn't cycle. Back to Ruger a second time. They said they replaced the gas tube this time but on inspection it looks like they actually changed out the front sight gas block assembly entirely, along with the gas tube.

Just back from the range - 120 rounds of mixed 223/556/FMJ/JSP without a hiccup. They may be having some additional problems on initial assembly at the Mayodan facility (or in my case with the first repair attempt as well), but the company culture is still to get it right. They'll take care of you if there's an issue.

It's a great rifle overall, especially if it's your first AR as you get used to the platform. Couldn't agree more with leaving it alone at first - just shoot it! The latest/greatest Magpul UberLite SkinnyLine Tacticool MLok fore grip (in FDE) will still be waiting for you when you're ready :)
 

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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. :D
 

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Right now it's between the AR556, the Bushmaster Patrolman Carbine and the Windham
 

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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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