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Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking of getting an AR 556. I've also read up on the Smith & Wesson M&P 15, pretty much the same as the Ruger. I have a S&W M&P 15/22 rifle and love it! Any one have both or have shot both the ruger 556 and s&w 15? Give me the good and bad on the AR 556.
 

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OP, you really can't go wrong with either one. Both Ruger and Smith make excellent entry level AR's.

I bought the Ruger and have been very pleased with it. I wanted a forward assist and a dust cover. I also like the pistol grip on the Ruger, as well as the threaded delta ring. It makes it really easy to remove the hand guards. As for the M&P 15 Sport, I have yet to read or hear anything bad about it. The Sport II was not out when I bought my AR, but it now gives Smith & Wesson buyers the forward assist and dust cover.
 

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As said they are good ENTRY level AR's.
If you plan on getting it and spending hundreds on it to make it the way you want, consider getting something that already has what you're looking for, it saves you money.
I've had people come in and want an AR. They look at three of four different makes. Like the entry level price but prefer the magpul furniture and rails etc on a different model. I show them the complete price for adding all that and let them compare prices. I won't push them either way, it's going to be their gun, not mine. I've got too many AR's and lowers for myself already.
 

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Both are comparable but...

You will get better customer service from Ruger.

I, too, have the S&W 15-22. As you know, if you need a small part, it's next to impossible to get it from Smith without sending the whole firearm in and waiting for weeks.

Ruger publishes a parts list and exploded view diagram in their manuals, has many parts listed for sale on their shopruger website.

Customer service will often just mail the part to you free.

Ruger's factory repair turnaround is much quicker then Smith's

That may not be a big deal on an AR15 cuz of part interchangibility but on anything of a more specific nature it is.
 

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Good rifle. Buy one with confidence. I also like the comments about buying add-ons. If you want that stuff more times than not buying a rifle already so equipped is a better bargain.

I'm in the AR minimalist camp. Less is more. IMO the Ruger AR556, S&W M&P Sport II and several other 'entry' level ARs are outstanding rifles right out of the box. They don't need a thing and most of the crap people do to them is superfluous. I am not opposed to anyone spending their money on their rifle as they see fit. It's none of my business, but most of it is cosmetic. If you really want to improve the rifle you going to have to change the barrel, free float it and focus on ammo selection. Hand guards, rails, stocks, triggers, optics, flashlights, etc don't improve the rifle's performance in any way.

It seems that a lot of folks don't even shoot their rifles much (if at all) before they start spending large chunks of cash on triggers, hand guards, pistol grips, rails, etc. For example, MagPul furniture. I like their products and if I were building an AR I'd buy their gear but in reality are their pistol grips really any different than the OEM one the rifle came with? Seriously? Are you telling me that you can only effectively shoot your rifle with one specific pistol grip? Like I said, I'm not even remotely opposed to modifications and I certainly wouldn't tell others how to spend their hard earned money. I'm just suggesting that maybe, just maybe, we ought to actually shoot the rifles a while before we start throwing money at them. I suspect most of us will like them pretty much as they come from the factory once we get to know them a little bit.

YMMV
 
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Bonk, you make some outstanding points.

mndoggie, I intentionally refrained from saying anything about customer service, but you are spot on about that.
 

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I've never shot an AR but I'm thinking about buying one.
It is suggested to buy a better one with the components you want. Since I've never shot one, I don't know what I want in an AR.
I plan to buy a "entry-level" and a stripped lower (or 3).
If I feel I'd like a different trigger I'll try it. If I like it, it will go on the lower.
Eventually I'll have a beater rifle and a custom rifle.
AR556 is one I'm seriously considering.

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Bonk. I think you nailed it right on the head. :D
 

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I've never shot an AR but I'm thinking about buying one.
It is suggested to buy a better one with the components you want. Since I've never shot one, I don't know what I want in an AR.
I plan to buy a "entry-level" and a stripped lower (or 3).
If I feel I'd like a different trigger I'll try it. If I like it, it will go on the lower.
Eventually I'll have a beater rifle and a custom rifle.
AR556 is one I'm seriously considering.

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Well... The kind of AR you want could be determined by the type of shooting you plan to do with it.
 

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My 2 cents is when the Ruger 556 came out with forward assist / dust cover and at a really good price. (depends where u live) M&P fell off the grid due to not having 1/8 twist and no forward assist / dust cover. The new M&P has those features and are playing catchup. The Ruger is my first AR556 and really enjoy shooting it. I added Magpul furniture and MS1 sling.
 

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Generic shooting, nothing specific.
But I like to tinker.

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Since you don't "know" what you're going to like/dislike until you start shooting an AR, I think buying an AR-556 or S&W Sport makes a lot of sense. Once you get it, shoot it a bunch and see if there is anything you want to change. My AR-556 is still completely stock. If I were really pressed to change something? Maybe I'd get a different trigger (although I actually like the one that it came with).

Many of the "upgrades" people do to AR's mostly just look "tacticool," but may or may not really improve how the rifle shoots. I can relate to guys wanting to "customize" their stuff, and I guess there's nothing wrong with that. I tend to change things if they make a gun shoot better, not look cooler.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Got a chance to check out both today after work. My LGS just got the ruger in today. I'm probably gonna go with the ruger. I don't plan on adding a bunch of stuff to it besides a scope.
 

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Like yourself I was debating on a ar platform. Went with the ruger and added a ruger trigger group and leupold scope. Very pleased with this configuration. The S&W offering probably would be a nice shooter with these same additions. As was mentioned though, ruger customer service is second to none.
 

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Got a chance to check out both today after work. My LGS just got the ruger in today. I'm probably gonna go with the ruger. I don't plan on adding a bunch of stuff to it besides a scope.
It's too bad that Ruger doesn't make the AR556 in two versions:

the current model and

one with a gas block so those who put a scope on don't have to remove the front sight and put a low gas block on.....
 

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It's too bad that Ruger doesn't make the AR556 in two versions:



the current model and



one with a gas block so those who put a scope on don't have to remove the front sight and put a low gas block on.....

I did not remove the front pin when I added my 3x scope and I have no issues. No shadow or anything. Works perfect.

Jeff


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