8 Best Ruger AR-556 Accessories & Upgrades
One of the main advantages of modern sports rifles or AR-15 is its customizability.
The Ruger AR-556 provides you with an excellent, rock-solid and inexpensive base to build your dream firearm by swapping parts and adding accessories.
Yet what pieces sure do offer you an advantage? Read on to know.
Accessories Great for your AR-556 Ruger
Practically every component of your AR-556 has options to switch out and improve.
Every mechanism may be switched from the charging handle to the mag release, but the handguard is perhaps the most popular choice for an update.
The sky is also the limit in terms of the add-ons that can be attached to the different rail systems, though optics, lights, lasers and front grips predominate.
Best Ruger AR-556 Stock: Emod Stock Assy Collapsible
- Great qualiry from the US
- 15 year warranty
- Very high quality materials
Replacing the stock will have improved longevity and design efficiency, but the key reason shooters are likely to change their stocks is for performance.
The ability to whip your firearm up to the optimum shooting position in an instant is a major key to shooting good.
It involves pull and cheek welding to the appropriate degree.
The various users prefer different buttpad shapes and different buttpad softnesses.
It comes down to personal taste and suit.
Vltor was founded in Idaho, in 2001.
The stock of Emod has been something of a tradition.
It has a unique clubfoot style, which means the angle from the bottom of the buttplate to the receiver forms the shape of a dogleg.
Even the toe is special, slightly wider and longer than the one on a standard M4 stock.
It has an apparent negative pitch, making the transition from the ready position feel more natural.
The pull length of the five-position adjustable has a range of 11.5 “to 15” It includes a buffer and carbine spring kit, a proprietary lock plate and a proprietary lock nut.
It comes with a rubber buttpad, as well as a strike block.
The stock features swivel sockets on both sides with standard mil-spec quick detach.
Built of damage- and temperature-resistant rubber, it is available in black, brown, or white, all matt color.
Overall weight arrives at 14 ounces.
A special aspect with anything called a reflex sight is the use of three waterproof battery compartments with backup control.
Under the cheek weld the two compartments each carry four CR123 batteries, or three AA batteries.
The clubfoot water-resistant pocket will accommodate two double As.
Verdict: Best Ruger AR-556 Stock
This stock’s designs are fantastic, looks special and a little evil.
The highlights are the tiny details, the compartments, the QD mounts and the adjustable pull length.
When you want something a little special it is a perfect choice.
Best Ruger AR-556 Handguard: AR-15 Diamond Pattern Free Float
- Produced in the US & lifetime warranty
- Great customizability
- Good grip
- Installation is not the easiest
Handguards also perform various main roles and bring a ton of improvements to the AR.
They should be comfortable in the hand, protect the gas block, diffuse heat and allow easy accessory mounting.
They could look like crazy, of course, and bad too.
Options abound here, first divided into free float and drop-in.
Both have their benefits, but free float handguards appear to be higher-grade and more costly, since they have little impact on barrel harmonics and thus precision.
For rails, you usually have a Picatinny or universal rail upstairs, and often on three other sides as well, though in this arena KeyMod and M-LOK take on.
This Yankee Hill Free Float Handguard is extremely versatile and attractive.
No surprise as Yankee Hill is one of the giants of the western rifle area of action.
In the 60s, Yankee Hill began to establish its enviable reputation with a military contract for M16 cleaning rods.
This free float handguard drives both aesthetics and practicality to the limits.
The four full-length rails offer you the ultimate mobility when installing components from third parties.
This handguard has diamond-shaped vents between those bars, which not only look very elegant but also have outstanding ergonomics.
This vent configuration of course often takes on heat more than other other handguard designs.
The hard coat anodized aluminum complies with military specifications and is aircraft-grade.
This handguard is available in 3 styles, 7, 9, and 12 inches. It will fit over any block of low profile gas.
It ships with all the necessary mounting hardware including a jam nut, barrel nut, and anti-rotation screws.
Separately, Yankee Hill end caps are open.
The top rail stretches over the nut of the barrel to make a smooth transfer from the receiver line.
The slots on all four rails are T-marked alphanumerically to guarantee consistent remounting.
Verdict: Best Ruger AR-556 Handguard
This is a high quality handguard that offers the most versatility and looks.
The diamond venting design and the smooth transition from receiver rail to hand guard rail are the top features.
Best Ruger AR-556 Scope Mount: Monstrum Tactical High-Performance
- Compatible with any Picatinny Rail
- Sitting very tight
- Great for many Scopes
- Sharp edges
That’s one thing you don’t want to economize on.
Scope mounts ensure the optic retains nil irrespective of how much abuse you expose it to.
Almost everyone has back-up sights on their device, which ensures that stability for mounting scope may be a question of life and death.
We come in varieties of set or fast detachment.
At the flip of a lever or two, the latter can be withdrawn immediately, maybe to turn to an alternate spotting method.
Vertically divided ring mounts are excellent in balance and grip but a little difficult to install.
Monstrum started so called SoCal in 2008.
In ten years they have come a long way, establishing themselves a good amount of credibility.
A strong scope mount is important and you can safely relax assured the confidence that this mount has all the tools you need to keep nil no matter what you throw at it.
This lens brace only fits for normal one inch scopes.
The single-piece construction guarantees complete balance, negating the need to disrupt the circles by lapping.
Unlike separate rings, it is guaranteed that it will not straight out of the box tweak or damage your scope.
The cantilevered configuration allows you a larger variety of eye relief solutions, theoretically allowing you a broader field of view and a faster objective acquisition.
Each ring is sealed with six bolts to insure that it keeps zeroing in raw conditions, almost the best you can provide.
It clips to the regular top rail on your AR-556, but with a spare three inches of Picatinny rail it could easily be swapped out temporarily to any firearm.
The mount is made of a lightweight but tough aluminum alloy of 6061, and weighs just nine ounces. It is covered by a lifetime guarantee that is 100 per cent risk-free.
Verdict: Best Ruger AR-556 Scope Mount
This is an excellent mount on scope, particularly for the price.
The main characteristics are build of cantilever and six-bolt.
This model is truly puncturing above its weight.
Best Ruger AR-556 Scope: Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x/40mm
- Lifetime warranty
- Very accurate even over longer distances
- Great magnification
- Little bit heavy
Reflex sights are all the rage on modern sporting rifles, but if you really want to reach out over 150 or 200 yards and hit something, a scope makes all the difference in the world.
There are abundant options and it can be very difficult to know what to pick.
Modern AR-style rifles are mostly designed for the sub-400 yard ranges mostly experienced by the military in places such as Iraq.
Which makes an AR-556 famous with anything like a 1-4x magnification.
It provides you with a wide field of view at short distances, while providing adequate magnification at distances.
A fixed 3x magnification can be great too, but a 3-9x is probably the best all-around option with good long range reach.
Bushnell is a well-respected Kansas based American optics manufacturer.
This model is their building an ideal scope for the AR platform, and it’s safe to say it’s a success.
The three-nine-fold magnification scale is ideal for getting the maximum gain out of the operational range of the 5.56 NATO without losing any field of view at near range.
This scope has a BDC ballistic reticle specifically engineered for 5.56 NATO cartridges containing bullets weighing between 55 and 62 grains.
At 100 yards the crosshair is dead on and the reticle boasts up to 500 yards of further targeting points.
The lenses are completely multi-coated and sealed with an O-ring as you would expect.
The anodized aluminum tube is purged of nitrogen to prevent the fogging.
The target towers are thick and touchy, and adjust a quarter of MOA per click.
The scope includes side parallax control and an eyepiece with fast concentration.
Eye relief, though a little short at 3.5 inches, is very common.
The erector cap assembly is situated under the control housing which, depending on the scope ring label requirements, can prohibit you from using small scope rings.
The package is quite on the large side at 19 ounces.
A lifetime warranty ensures that you do not get a shoddy piece of workmanship, and that they can take care of any complaints should you have difficulties.
Verdict: Best Ruger AR-556 Scope
The BDC reticle and magnification set are the key characteristics that render this the Ruger AR-556’s greatest potential sight.
Best Ruger AR-556 Magazine: Magpul Pmag 30 5.56x45mm
- Easy to disassemble and clean
- Very easy to handle
- Durable materials and build
- No special features
For magazines the main items to search for are longevity and reliability.
Obviously, different capability options are available based on preferential and local laws, with 30-rounds standard.
Polymer manufacturing has come a long way and promises both robustness and lightness.
These can often come across transparent or provide circular counter windows to measure the amount of rounds left.
Aluminum and steel are both fantastic choices, the heavier of these being the latter.
The feed lips and the followers are two of the magazine’s main components.
Steel, preferably carbide, should be the feed lips to avoid damage.
Damaged lips in feed rendering a magazine worthless.
For effective feeding the follower will be anti-tilt.
Magpul was founded in the year 1999. Their first offering was a run-of-the-mill reloading assist magazine.
Magpul has since grown to conquer the area of AR-style firearm accessories.
PMAGs continued to consolidate the publication industry domination.
A 30-round, Gen-2 PMAG is an alternative that’s traditional, bomb-proof and inexpensive.
Such mags are constructed of a high-tech impact polymer which is crush-resistant.
To ensure smooth eating, the internal geometry is defined by a continuous curve.
The design of the followers sets the PMAG above most of its competitors.
For the utmost reliability it was designed to have anti-tilt and self-lubricating properties.
Below it is a corrosion-resistant spring made of stainless steel that also works in military issue magazines.
The PMAG has a textured gripping surface in terms of handiness and a flared floorplate for positive handling and extraction of magazines.
Disassembling is easy, and involves no equipment to be used.
These magazines have more than proven themselves over the decades in a plethora of cases of use by the military and law enforcement.
Verdict: Best Ruger AR-556 Magazine
The Gen-2, 30-round PMAG Magpul is a classic choice; you can’t go wrong with that.
Sending the boys into battle in green and blue with confidence, this is a iconic mag suitable for a Ruger AR-556.
The Gen-M2 PMAG’s key features are the anti-tilt, self-lubricating companion, the flared floorplate and quick disassembly.
Many would find the lower price than Gen-M3 edition appealing.
Best Ruger AR-556 Grip: MAGPUL – AR-15 MOE+ Grip
- Very easy to mount
- High quality materials
- Great grip sitting very good in the hand
- Storage door not very easy to open
Replacement grips offer better ergonomics. Again it’s a matter of personal preference and taste.
Things to remember are the thickness of your palm, and which grip angle is more convenient for you, normal or reduced.
Some shooters favor swells in the hand, beavertails or grooves in the fingertips.
You do have Design choices, rubberized versus rough finish and soft versus sharp design.
Magpul is the 800-pound elephant in the demand for new sports weapon components.
You will spend thousands of hours with real-world military operators and range rodents, and never hear a harsh word about Magpul.
While it’s a matter of fit and choice to choose the right handle, this Magpul MOE+ is a fantastic spot to continue.
It is made of a single piece of high-tech, impact-proof polymer and has wrap-around rubber overmolding features.
Both the backstrap and the front strap have a crackle pattern on the sides and dark horizontal grooves.
The height is 4 inches and maxes the thickness at 1.2 inches.
The angle of grip is a normal 25 degrees. The feel of a regular medium-sized, military-issue MIAD grip is quite familiar.
A curved beavertail close to that on the MIAD B2 insert gives your thumb ‘s web nice comfort and security.
The bottom edge of hard polymer reduces the snags and fumbles.
Optional storage core for turning the bottom into a storage hatch is available.
The MOE+ comes in black, tan, grey, or green and is easy to install.
Hardware overall weight is a mere 3.4 ounces. Like all products from Magpul it is made in the U.S.A.
Verdict: Best Ruger AR-556 Grip
No matter what accessories you require, Magpul is still a safe option.
The best aspect of this grip is the relaxed structure, for the beavertail especially.
Best Ruger AR-556 Bipod: CVLIFE 6-9 Inches Tactical
- Includes a Picatinny Rail adapter
- Silent springs are very robust but easy to move
- Very adjustable
- Rubber on the feet could be metal
For longer range accuracy a bipod may be crucial.
Usually telescope bipods, offering a variety of height ranges depending on your needs, 6-9 inches providing a fine balance.
The power of a bipod to turn or move comes in very useful as shooting terrain is never flat and straightforward.
Different bipods can often be installed on various rail systems or sling swivel mounts, so it’s necessary to fit them to what you have.
CVLIFE’s something of an enigma.
The best I can judge is that it’s not based in the U.S.A. but like China somewhere.
The kitten memes are not exactly something you see with H&K or Magpul on their Twitter feed.
While CVLIFE’s bipods are essentially a low-brand-recognition product, they are a resounding success in the shooting community, presumably because they get the job done consistently for a very inexpensive price.
It’s also reasonably light, at ten ounces.
Nevertheless, the construction uses anodized aluminum of the quality hardened steel and 7075 aircraft grade.
The silent springs (more appropriately, ‘not loud’) help you to deploy the legs of the bipod without betraying your presence and location.
The range of six to nine inches of leg length includes five length settings to allow you to adjust to just the right height to make your shot.
Underneath, there is a swivel stud for fast detachment.
This also comes with silicone foot pads which are detachable.
It mounts on your Ruger AR-556 with a Picatinny rail adapter included.
Verdict: Best Ruger AR-556 Bipod
CVLIFE may be an unknown entity but some pretty sharp engineers seem to be working there.
The best features of this bipod are the Picatinny mount adapter included, and the QD sling swivel mount.
Best Ruger AR-556 Speedloader: ETS Speed Loader
- Made in the US
- Very good materials
- Works bets with 20 round Ammo trays
- Needs regular lubrication
Loading a mag by hand constitutes a tedious waste of energy.
Classic sporting rifles such as the Ruger AR-556 might not be compliant with the stripper clip but a speed loader is the next best thing.
The cost-benefit calculation is an utter no-brainer, considering the reduction in time and the reliability of the average speed loader.
Look for durable materials and a reputable fabricator when choosing one.
This is essentially a stripper clip that you can attach on and use the same way on every rifle cartridge.
Plus, it lets you scoop rounds easily from an ammo tray and feed them smoothly into your mags.
The loader works well with 20-round boxes of ammo or simply loose rounds aside from scooping up rounds.
It not only saves a lot of energy but it also prevents you from enduring some shooter’s bane, mag thumb.
It is built of a durable polymer and will not damage the feed lips on any of your mags, crucially.
It is lightweight , compact, and simple to carry in a range bag or as a glove pocket or bug-out kit anywhere.
This is protected with a lifelong guarantee, so it is manufactured in the United States.
Verdict: Best Ruger AR-556 Speedloader
Whether you’ve used stripper clips on anything like an old M1A, with that tool you’ll be right at home.
Life is short, why waste it one-by-one loading mags, especially if you’ve been following our guide on the best AR-556 mags and stocked up with dozens?
This speed loader ‘s greatest qualities are the universal reliability, the feed lip-safe construction, and the fact that it’s manufactured in the U.S. The lifetime guarantee is good to sweeten the pot too.
The Ruger AR-556 provides infinite customisation possibilities.
By testing it in different situations for a while you will get an understanding about what the most relevant enhancements are with your body and tastes.
We are sure that you can find some of the best choices on our page.
About the Ruger AR 556
In this price range, to our knowledge, you can hardly get a full-sized sniper rifle in Magnum caliber with a versatile adjustable aluminum chassis and top equipment.
For this reason alone it is worth taking a closer look at the RPR available in .300 Winchester Magnum and .556.
It is probably the merit of the US company Sturm, Ruger & Co. to have been the first manufacturer to offer the Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR), a practically designed, fully-equipped aluminum chassis precision rifle, at exactly the right time in 2015, at a price that was unbelievably low until then on the commercial civilian market.
After that the market sector of affordable chassis rifles exploded and today you are spoilt for choice.
Ruger with its Precision Rifle – Wide range
The rimfire repeating rifle Ruger Precision Rimfire, which is identical in appearance, is available in the calibres .17 HMR, .22 Long Rifle and .22 Winchester Magnum in numerous versions (test the .22-L.R. version in calibre 7-8/2018, which is still available in the VS Medien-Shop as digital and print version).
The full-sized sniper rifle, also available in various versions, is currently offered in the following centerfire calibers: 6 mm Creedmoor, 6.5 mm Creedmoor, 6.5 mm PRC, .308 Winchester, .300 PRC as well as .300 Winchester Magnum and 556. Since the RPR premiere 4 years ago until today there are already 3 different model generations in detail.
After one year the 2nd generation of the Ruger Precision Rifle appeared, which had a light metal extension at the lock instead of a plastic extension.
In addition, the picatinny rail on the top of the hand guard was omitted, which allowed a lower scope mount.
In the latest, 3rd generation Ruger Precision Rifle, the hand protection has been optimized with M-LOK instead of KeyMod fastening system, the safety catch on the grip has been designed on both sides and the lock has been given a new corrosion protection.
The RPR Magnum rifle in detail
The RPR in .556 weighs 6.9 kg when empty and has the typical AR features of the Lapua Magnum series.
The Magnum version is also based on the cylinder locking system with 3 massive locking lugs and 70 degree opening angle.
The locking chamber with an oversized, user-friendly chamber barrels ball encloses a system box made of 4140 tempered steel (steel grade 1.7225 or also 42CrMo4).
On its upper side a scope mounting rail with 30-MOA instead of 20-MOA forward tilt was attached with 6 screws.
So we already had doubts if we would have problems to insert this rifle scope at 100 m.
But far from it, because even at this short distance, shooting in the RPR Magnum was absolutely no problem, which could have been due to the included Nightforce NXS 5.5-22×56 with a full height adjustment range of 100 MOA.
The breech locks in the front bridge of the system box and not in a barrel extension, as you might expect considering the “AR-Look” of the RPR.
Beneath the steel system case is the 7075-T6 aluminum grip, which has been hard anodized “Type III” to improve surface finish and wear resistance.
The Ruger Marksman Adjustable Trigger Unit is located in the grip, which can be adjusted within a range of approximately 1,000 to 2,270 g trigger weight.
The RPR is equipped with a shoulder rest that can be folded to the left in order to be able to quickly free the breech chamber from the system housing with the straight AR “In-Line” construction, which also transfers the recoil in a straight line to the shooter’s shoulder.
The hinge joint has a robust design and the push of a button is sufficient to fold the stock.
This also makes it easier to transport and store the RPR, as the Magnum version with the shoulder rest folded out is a massive 133 cm long!
The MSR-shoulder rest has all adjustment possibilities to be able to make an individual fine adjustment to the shooter.
Thus the length of the shoulder rest is variable as well as the height and length position of the cheek rest.
The locking mechanisms of the quick release system do not engage in the usual threads, but in deep grooves, which ensures absolute shooting stability.
In front of the soft, recoil-absorbing plastic butt plate, there is a MIL-STD-1913 mounting rail on the underside of the shoulder support, to which additional equipment such as a tail skid can be attached.
Several contact points for quick-release sling swivels successfully round off the fully equipped, foldable MSR shoulder support.
The barrel of the .556 AR.
The 26″/660 mm long, cold-hammered and free-floating “Heavy Contour” barrel made of 4140 chrome molybdenum steel with an outer diameter of 22.2 mm has a 5R internal profile with a twist length of 1-9.375″ (1-238 mm) and is equipped with an extremely effective compensator with two expansion chambers.
The manufacturing method and the inner profile promise long life, with technical details such as the centralized cartridge chamber and the minimum seal distance representing precision.
By the way, the barrel can be easily and quickly replaced by a competent gunsmith using AR tools and breech distance gauges.
The 18″/457 mm long M-LOK light-alloy handguard is locked to the front of the system case with a barrel nut, as with the AR system.
It can accommodate mounting rails in 4 positions.
The classic optics mounting rail on the top has been omitted in order to mount the scope on the system box as close as possible to the barrel axis.
The scope of delivery already includes a short mounting rail on which, attached to the underside of the hand guard, a bipod can be mounted as well as a lateral QD socket.
As usual, the lock cover contains tools for removal and trigger adjustment.
On the shooting range with the long-range repeater
Already on the 100 m course, the RPR, which was checked for precision with 8 types of ammunition in .556 AR, surprised us not only with a very pleasant shooting behaviour, which is due to the weight of the weapon and the effective compensator, but also with first-class shooting performance.
After all, we managed to get a best shot with the Hornady 285 Gains Match factory cartridge, measuring only 14 mm.
The result was hardly worse with the 270 Grains ELD-X Hunter Precision ammunition from the same manufacturer with a 15 mm scattering circle.
Also the MEN 250 Grains HPBT from the Sniper Line convinced with 18 mm.
With the RWS 250 Grains HPBT Target Elite, 4 shots were also together on an excellent 14 mm, but the full 5-shot group measured 24 mm in the end, probably due to a shooter error.
After the first test we devoted ourselves extensively to cleaning the rifle, because already in the first test about 100 bullets left the barrel.
And the long barrel with the long system case already requires a correspondingly oversized cleaning rod.
Practically, the company Heinz Henke from Werlte had supplied us with everything we needed to make cleaning as easy as possible.
The scope of delivery included not only a cleaning rod guide, a correspondingly long cleaning rod, but also many brushes and sufficient patches.
So we went with a very clean RPR to Philippsburg for the second part of the test on the 300 m track.
Here we noticed that the slightest marksman errors were revealed by lateral hit deviations.
And also on 300 m the rifle could score with good performances.
But as a shooter you have to know exactly what you are doing.
Because otherwise runaways can creep in very quickly.
But if you work cleanly, then the holes are where they belong in the target.
The shooters mistakes resulted from the fact that the Ruger has a very good compensating recoil, but still has a 66 cm long match barrel and a total length of 133 cm.
In this long barrel, a 250-300 grain bullet produces a decent recoil distance.
Even if you use a good buttstock support here, the weapon still moves.
And in our case, the runaways were always lateral. This is due to the fact that the gun moves back unevenly, and thus the gun breaks out horizontally differently in the rear stock area.
Even the Rabbit-Bag used could not prevent this.
This results in lateral outliers which are always in line with the main group.
On the photo with the 300-m scattering circle this can be seen very impressively.
The outliers on this picture, especially on the sniper line of Men with the 300 grains match bullet, could be clearly attributed to this mistake.
One has to realize here that a 300 Grains bullet is sent on its way and that almost 92 Grains of powder were used.
Everyone should be aware that if you make a mistake, the weapon does what it wants with you.
As a shooter, you have to work with absolute repeat accuracy at this point.
Only when the even pressure is built up in the shoulder and the buttstock support is always positioned exactly the same, then the performances fit perfectly.
The 31 mm scattering circle achieved with the MEN 300 Grains HPBT Sniper Line proved this particularly clearly.
But also 51 mm with the Hornady 285 Grains BTHP Match or 54 mm with the RWS 250 Grains HPBT Target Elite at 300 m show that the RPR can also shoot in Magnum calibers.
Anyway, we were also very impressed at the facility in Philippsburg what is possible with this weapon.
Ruger Precision Rifle in .556 AR: The test conclusion
The light alloy chassis precision rifle Ruger Precision Rifle in .556 AR is a real hit for this price and highly recommended.
As far as we know, there is currently no other production rifle in this high performance caliber that offers so much quality workmanship, features, function and precision for 2,656 Dollar.