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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought an AR-556 after shopping for awhile in the now crowded $599-and-under AR market. The Ruger and Smith entries seem to be the two biggest players in the game, and both seem to be excellent rifles that have made many, many shooters very happy.

The thing I find most interesting with these two AR's is the differing philosophies of the companies in how they get to the product that ends up in stores. S&W seems to approach it by asking "okay, what do we need to cut from this rifle in order to get it down to this price point?" Ruger, on the other hand seems to say "okay, we're gonna sell this gun for $599. Now, how many features can we cram into it for that price?"

They do the same thing with the SR1911. It seems to be the best value of any 1911 in its price range.

I guess the thing that irks me a bit about Smith & Wesson is that they don't stop asking their "how can we cheapen this gun?" question after the gun is introduced. They keep asking it. The Sport, when it first came out, had a metal rear sight, and a 1:8 twist barrel with a melonite treated bore and 5R rifling. The rear sight is now polymer, and the barrel is now a 1:9, has lost the melonite treatment, and has conventional six groove rifling.

It's still a really good rifle, don't get me wrong. I've yet to see or read anything negative about it. I guess I just like Ruger's approach better. They work at making their manufacturing more efficient so that they can keep, and even add, features, without raising prices.
 

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I recently bought an AR-556 .........

.......... Ruger, on the other hand seems to say "okay, we're gonna sell this gun for $599. Now, how many features can we cram into it for that price?"

............I just like Ruger's approach better. They work at making their manufacturing more efficient so that they can keep, and even add, features, without raising prices.
I think Ruger did the same with the RAR. Sturm Ruger was literally founded on the principle of making quality firearms at a price the average Joe could afford.
 

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Ruger definitely cut a lot of corners on the 10/22. I have a 20 year old stainless 10/22. All the exterior parts on my 10/22 are stainless steel. I never had a need to replace the trigger group on my rifle. I can hit a golf ball just as far as I can see the golf ball, Most of the time the golf ball rolls into a shallow depression so I only have part of the golf ball to shoot at. I still hit the golf ball most of the time. I am not concerned with groups or paper accuracy. My concern is practical accuracy. I could care less if the gun shoots a 5" group on paper.
 

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I just purchased this M&P Sport just yesterday ,after a brief hiatus from the AR platform ...after reading several reviews on several budget based AR's I went with the Sport ,I took this home for 700$ in this furnitue ,and that included two Mags. Ruger was a one of my considerations and also looks like a good choice
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Neither the M&P 15 nor the AR556 are high-end, custom or precision rifles. But both are decent quality at a fair price. Neither is better or worse than the other, just better or worse for a specific buyer.

If you prefer one or the other, or something entirely different, that's your choice.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Uh, Ruger may have gone the other way with the 10/22.
I suspect that if Ruger had been using the modern hi-tech manufacturing capabilities they now have at their plants, they may have treated the 10/22 differently. These days the aluminum parts that Ruger replaced with polymer could probably be made much more cheaply than they could be back in the 80's and 90's.
 

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S&W may have cut some corners but no one can argue that it's not an excellent rifle. The proof is in the pudding. Almost without exception M&P15 owners praise the rifle. The Ruger may look good on paper and I suspect in reality it probably is a great rifle. However, get back to me in about 5 years or so after 100,000 have been sold and we find out whether or not they'll really hold up. The S&W has passed that test with flying colors. FWIW, I don't own either one. My last remaining AR is a Colt.
 

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I got an MP15 Sport and love it. It's the only AR I've shot except for a .308 one time. The Ruger wasn't available yet when I got it or I'd have looked hard at it. No real desire to upgrade to a fancier model.
 

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The Ruger seems like a really nice rifle. I held one today.

My Sport ate all sorts of ammo and ran dirty. Pretty impressive. Plus, the barrel is Melonite treated which is a nice feature. It never seemed to need the dust cover or FA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Again, both are good rifles. That's not my point. I'm saying that I prefer the way Ruger gets their product out there. They apparently say "we're gonna make this rifle, and it's gonna have this, this and this feature, and we're gonna sell it for $599." Then they tell their production people to figure out how to make it at that price.

Smith seems intake the opposite approach, which is to cut features to get down to the desired price point.

Ruger recently came out with a couple of new Super Blackhawks that have recessed chambers. Smith & Wesson dropped that as too costly back in 1982.
 

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I wonder if I went to the S&W forums if a similar thread would be underway with the Sport being favored in its approach. I always wonder...
 

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I wonder if I went to the S&W forums if a similar thread would be underway with the Sport being favored in its approach. I always wonder...
I've read a lot of reviews on the S&W forums that praised the Sport and several that spoke highly of the Ruger AR556 this being a Rugef forum some maybe biased ... I have to say it's a tough choice between the two and I spent hours researching both . In the end I chose the Smith due to the many comments assuring me that it would eat everything ! The Ruger just needs more time to prove itself and as a Ruger fan I'm sure it will
 

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In the end I chose the Smith due to the many comments assuring me that it would eat everything!
Careful who you listen to... :p Shoulda got an AK. :D

Both seem to get praised. I just wonder if S&W forum goers give the nod to the Sport over the 556.

I'll gladly take both.
 

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Careful who you listen to... :p Shoulda got an AK. :D

Both seem to get praised. I just wonder if S&W forum goers give the nod to the Sport over the 556.

I'll gladly take both.
I looked at several AK's ( as you know ) and have owned a couple ....I felt it better for me not to get back into stocking up on another caliber since I'm well stocked up on 223/556 .
Most posters (Smith&Wesson forum) have said that the M&P has a "long lasting and proven record " and a good friend of mine also assured me that I would not be sorry .
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I wonder if I went to the S&W forums if a similar thread would be underway with the Sport being favored in its approach. I always wonder...
From what I have seen, the Sport is pretty much universally praised, and that includes on the S&W forums. In spite of my choice to get the Ruger, I really don't think you can go wrong with the Sport.
 

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to be fair, i can't speak to the new ruger AR. imo, the verdict is still out. the price is great, BUT is the gun great? imo, only time can tell.

i bought the s&w sport in its prime, with the supped up barrel. it has been a helluva gun for the price imo. check the reviews.......i did....90% or more are positive. and i agree...the sport is (or was) a great gun at a fair price.

only answer i can come up with...the ruger needs some time to prove it is as good or superior. at this point....the jury is still out. and ruger doesn't have a great track record thus far with AR's.

I recently bought an AR-556 after shopping for awhile in the now crowded $599-and-under AR market. The Ruger and Smith entries seem to be the two biggest players in the game, and both seem to be excellent rifles that have made many, many shooters very happy.

The thing I find most interesting with these two AR's is the differing philosophies of the companies in how they get to the product that ends up in stores. S&W seems to approach it by asking "okay, what do we need to cut from this rifle in order to get it down to this price point?" Ruger, on the other hand seems to say "okay, we're gonna sell this gun for $599. Now, how many features can we cram into it for that price?"

They do the same thing with the SR1911. It seems to be the best value of any 1911 in its price range.

I guess the thing that irks me a bit about Smith & Wesson is that they don't stop asking their "how can we cheapen this gun?" question after the gun is introduced. They keep asking it. The Sport, when it first came out, had a metal rear sight, and a 1:8 twist barrel with a melonite treated bore and 5R rifling. The rear sight is now polymer, and the barrel is now a 1:9, has lost the melonite treatment, and has conventional six groove rifling.

It's still a really good rifle, don't get me wrong. I've yet to see or read anything negative about it. I guess I just like Ruger's approach better. They work at making their manufacturing more efficient so that they can keep, and even add, features, without raising prices.
 

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Ruger makes the American Dream come true for millions of people every year. And that is a quality firearm at a great price with the customer service to support it for decades to come!!!

There will never be a time to say, hey its a complete loss. It seems like if they can't fix it they offer a comparable current production product. I have read about this more than once. A few people take the original back and turn it into a project gun which are always interesting to follow.
 

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I went to the gun shop to buy a SW Sport because it is a highly rated rifle. I have SW revolvers and they are great quality handguns so I figured the Sport would be the same quality. However, while I was there I was introduced to the Ruger AR 556. I fell in love with it just like I did with my first 1022 many years ago. Both are neat little rifles.

As far as what one has over the other in features, I really didn't care. They're both economy models and the price difference is negligible. Furthermore, I was ok with the Ruger barrel not being lined. On the other hand, I did like the dust cover and the forward assist. But to be honest, I really didn't care for the name "Sport" so I took home the AR 556. Call me crazy but like guns that have numbers for names. After all, the first AR handed to me was named M16.
 
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