How Much is a Ruger AR-556 Currently Worth?

In the diverse world of modern sporting rifles, the Ruger AR-556 demands our attention with its versatile design and dependable performance. This AR-style rifle has cemented its place as a popular choice among firearm enthusiasts, appealing to both experienced shooters and newcomers alike. As we embark on this journey, we will go into the intricacies of the Ruger AR-556, offering a comprehensive analysis of its value and unique characteristics.

Written by:
Frank Holder
August 17, 2023
minutes read
Picture of a Ruger AR-556

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Current Market Value of a Ruger AR-556

While prices can vary, a typical Ruger AR-556 is worth around $450, but the price range generally falls between $400 on the low end to as high as $550. If it is heavily upgraded, it may be worth even more.

Photo of a Ruger AR-556

Factors That Influence The Value of a Ruger AR-556

Understanding the factors that influence the value of a Ruger AR-556 is essential for both seasoned firearm enthusiasts and those new to the world of AR-15 style rifles. While the intrinsic value of any firearm is tied to its core components, customization plays a pivotal role in determining market worth.


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Understanding the condition of your Ruger AR-556 is essential for collectors, enthusiasts, and practical shooters alike. Whether you're maintaining, buying, or selling, having a grasp of firearm conditions will empower you to make informed decisions.

New or Mint Condition

In "New or Mint Condition," a Ruger AR-556 is essentially brand new and exhibits no signs of wear, use, or damage. This condition reflects a firearm that has never been fired or perhaps only test-fired at the factory. Key characteristics of a Ruger AR-556 in this condition include cosmetic perfection, with no scratches, dents, or any noticeable marks on the upper and lower receivers, barrel, stock, or any other components, as well as flawless mechanical excellence. Functionally, the firearm should be in perfect working order, with all moving parts, including the trigger, safety, and magazine release, functioning smoothly and without any hitches. A clean bore, free from fouling or residue, is also expected. In many cases, a Ruger AR-556 in mint condition will come with its original packaging, including the box, manuals, and any accessories that were included from the factory. Such firearms are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts and command a premium price in the market due to their rarity in untouched, factory-fresh condition, making them an excellent investment for those looking to build a collection.

Excellent Condition

This condition signifies a firearm that has seen little to no use beyond occasional handling and maintenance. While there may be minor handling marks or superficial blemishes on the stock or finish, these should be cosmetic in nature and not affect the firearm's functionality. Functionally, the firearm remains in superb working order, with all components, including the trigger, safety, and magazine release, operating smoothly and reliably. The bore should be clean and free from significant fouling or residue, and overall, rifles in excellent condition often reflect responsible ownership and regular maintenance. This condition retains a significant portion of the original value and is sought after by buyers who desire a well-maintained and reliable firearm without paying a premium for a mint-condition model. Ruger AR-556 rifles in excellent condition strike a balance between affordability and quality, making them an attractive option for a wide range of firearm enthusiasts.

Very Good Condition

In "Very Good Condition," a Ruger AR-556 has been well-maintained and displays noticeable signs of wear commensurate with regular use. While it may exhibit some minor cosmetic imperfections, such as surface scratches or scuffs on the stock or finish, these should not hinder the firearm's overall functionality or performance. Functionally, the firearm remains reliable, with all components, including the trigger, safety, and magazine release, operating as intended. The bore is typically clean, though there may be slight fouling or residue that doesn't impact shooting accuracy. Firearms in very good condition are often favored by shooters seeking a reliable and functional rifle with some cosmetic wear, making them an affordable and practical choice for various shooting applications.

Good Condition

Firearms in "Good Condition" can show noticeable wear and handling marks, potentially including surface scratches or blemishes on the stock or finish. These signs of regular use should not compromise the firearm's functionality or safety. Despite cosmetic wear, rifles in good condition remain fully operational and safe to operate. They are often more budget-friendly, appealing to buyers who prioritize function and reliability over cosmetic appearance. Good-condition firearms provide a practical and dependable choice for those seeking a functional firearm without making a significant financial investment.

Fair Condition

In this condition, firearms exhibit noticeable wear, use, and cosmetic imperfections. They may have substantial handling marks, scratches, and signs of aging on the stock and finish. While these rifles remain functional and safe to operate, they are well-worn and may require some maintenance or attention. Buyers of firearms in fair condition are often looking for budget-friendly options and are willing to accept cosmetic wear in exchange for a reliable and functional firearm. Fair-condition firearms are suitable for those who prioritize function over appearance and are willing to invest in some maintenance or refurbishment to restore the firearm to its optimal state.

Poor Condition

In "Poor Condition," firearms exhibit significant wear, damage, or neglect. They often display extensive cosmetic imperfections, including deep scratches, dents, or rust on the stock and finish. Mechanically, they may require extensive maintenance or repairs to ensure safe operation. Buyers considering firearms in poor condition are typically looking for budget options or are interested in restoration projects. These rifles, while heavily worn, may still have some value as a base for refurbishment or customization for experienced gunsmiths or hobbyists. However, they are not recommended for regular use without substantial repairs and maintenance to address safety and functionality issues.

Close up picture of AR-556


The Ruger AR-556 boasts a diverse range of models, each tailored to specific preferences and purposes. From compact variations suitable for home defense to long-barreled options designed for precision shooting, Ruger offers an array of choices. Whether you're a sports shooter, a hunter, or a tactical enthusiast, understanding the distinct features and capabilities of each model is crucial.


The Ruger AR-556 stands as a distinct and popular model within the realm of modern sporting rifles. Manufactured by Ruger, a renowned name in firearms, the AR-556 boasts a reputation built on a combination of innovation and reliability. This model inherits its design from the AR-15 platform, a system known for its versatility and modularity. The AR-556 features a direct gas impingement system, which propels the spent cartridge out of the chamber using the gas produced from firing, contributing to its semi-automatic firing capabilities. Chambered in 5.56 NATO, this model offers a balance between manageable recoil and effective range, making it suitable for a range of applications from recreational shooting to home defense. With its ergonomic furniture and thoughtful design, the AR-556 provides users with comfort and control during operation. This blend of performance, adaptability, and trusted Ruger craftsmanship makes the Ruger AR-556 a sought-after choice among firearm enthusiasts and collectors alike.


The Ruger AR-556 MPR, which stands for Multi-Purpose Rifle, represents an evolution of the standard AR-556 model, tailored to meet the demands of a diverse range of shooting scenarios. This variant retains the core design principles of the AR-15 platform while incorporating enhancements that elevate its versatility. The MPR features a longer barrel length compared to the base AR-556, which not only optimizes bullet velocity for increased accuracy but also expands the effective range of the rifle. Its free-floating M-LOK handguard offers attachment points for various accessories, enabling shooters to customize their setup with optics, grips, and other tactical additions. The MPR is often chambered in 5.56 NATO or .223 Remington, providing users with choices in ammunition that suit their preferences and shooting goals. The extended handguard also provides more space for a comfortable grip, contributing to improved handling during extended shooting sessions. This model's adaptability makes it an appealing choice for competitive shooting, hunting, and even long-range precision applications. By blending the versatility of the AR-15 platform with purposeful upgrades, the Ruger AR-556 MPR embodies Ruger's commitment to delivering a rifle that excels across a spectrum of shooting disciplines, enhancing its desirability among firearms enthusiasts and those seeking a reliable multi-purpose firearm.


The Ruger AR-556 Pistol represents a compact and versatile variant derived from the traditional AR-556 platform. As a pistol configuration of the popular rifle, this model offers a unique combination of firepower and maneuverability. The AR-556 Pistol features a stabilizing brace, which provides greater control and support for one-handed shooting while adhering to legal constraints for pistol classifications. Chambered in 5.56 NATO or .300 Blackout, it offers a formidable range of ammunition options suitable for various applications. The pistol variant retains the modularity and compatibility of the AR-15 platform, allowing users to attach accessories like red dot sights, vertical grips, and lasers to enhance accuracy and customization. The shorter barrel and compact design make the AR-556 Pistol particularly well-suited for home defense or as a compact range companion. While its primary design caters to personal defense and close-quarters engagements, the AR-556 Pistol's adaptability and resemblance to its rifle counterpart have sparked interest among firearm enthusiasts who appreciate its unique configuration and potential for customization. This compact yet potent model showcases Ruger's commitment to innovation and responsiveness to the evolving preferences of the shooting community.


The Ruger AR-556 Elite presents a refined and upgraded version of the standard AR-556 platform, tailored to meet the demands of discerning shooters seeking enhanced features and performance. This model builds upon the solid foundation of the AR-556, incorporating premium components and thoughtful design elements. The AR-556 Elite often features an upgraded trigger, offering a crisper and more consistent break for improved accuracy during rapid-fire scenarios. The handguard is extended, featuring the M-LOK attachment system, allowing users to easily mount accessories such as lights, lasers, and vertical grips to enhance the rifle's versatility. The Elite variant may also include improved barrel materials or profiles, contributing to enhanced accuracy and reduced weight. With a focus on ergonomics, the AR-556 Elite often boasts features like enhanced pistol grips and adjustable stocks, ensuring a comfortable fit and optimal control for various shooting styles. Whether chambered in 5.56 NATO or other popular calibers, this model maintains compatibility with a range of ammunition choices. By combining performance-enhancing upgrades with Ruger's reputation for reliability, the AR-556 Elite caters to those seeking an elevated shooting experience. Its attention to detail and commitment to meeting the needs of enthusiasts and practical users alike solidify its position as a desirable and valuable addition to the AR-15 market.

Free-Float Handguard

The Ruger AR-556 Free-Float Handguard is a key component that enhances both the functionality and aesthetics of the AR-556 platform. Unlike traditional handguards that attach directly to the barrel, the free-float design is engineered to remain independent of the barrel, minimizing any potential interference that could affect accuracy. This design philosophy allows the barrel to vibrate naturally upon firing, optimizing accuracy potential. The free-float handguard often incorporates the M-LOK or KeyMod attachment system, enabling users to mount accessories such as optics, lights, bipods, and more without affecting the rifle's accuracy. This handguard design not only enhances customization possibilities but also offers improved heat dissipation during prolonged shooting sessions, contributing to sustained accuracy. Furthermore, the free-float handguard provides a sleek and modern appearance that aligns with contemporary firearm aesthetics. Ruger's incorporation of the free-float handguard into the AR-556 reflects a commitment to both performance and user experience, catering to shooters who prioritize accuracy, modularity, and an overall enhanced shooting platform.

MPR Ranch

The Ruger AR-556 MPR Ranch stands as a specialized iteration of the Multi-Purpose Rifle (MPR) series, designed to cater to the needs of rural and ranch shooters. Building upon the MPR foundation, this variant is crafted to excel in scenarios such as varmint control, predator hunting, and farm management. The MPR Ranch often features a threaded barrel, allowing for the attachment of suppressors or muzzle devices that can mitigate noise and recoil, crucial considerations for maintaining a peaceful environment on a ranch. The choice of chamberings like .223 Remington or .300 Blackout offers versatility in ammunition selection, allowing users to tailor their rifle to the specific demands of their environment. Additionally, the MPR Ranch's accuracy-enhancing features, such as upgraded triggers and longer barrels, aid in precision shooting when dealing with pests or predators. The inclusion of ergonomic components like adjustable stocks and comfortable grips ensures prolonged comfort during extended periods of use. The MPR Ranch demonstrates Ruger's attentiveness to the unique requirements of rural shooters, providing them with a purpose-built tool that balances accuracy, power, and adaptability to address the challenges faced on ranches and farms.

Picture of a AR-556


The Ruger AR-556 comes with an assortment of finishes, each contributing to its appearance, durability, and performance. These finishes go beyond mere aesthetics; they serve to protect the firearm from corrosion, wear, and environmental factors while also allowing shooters to express their personal style. From classic black and stainless steel to specialized finishes like Patriot Brown and Tungsten Grey, the choice of finish can significantly impact how the firearm both looks and functions.


The choice of a black finish on the Ruger AR-556 holds both practical and aesthetic significance. This black finish, often achieved through processes like anodizing or black oxide coating, provides essential benefits beyond its sleek appearance. It offers exceptional corrosion resistance and durability, protecting the firearm's metal components from environmental factors, making it suitable for various conditions and extended storage. Moreover, the black finish reduces glare and reflections, aiding shooters in maintaining a low profile, whether in tactical or hunting scenarios. The black color has become an iconic representation of modern firearms, signifying a blend of sophistication and ruggedness. In terms of market value, the enduring appeal of the black finish ensures that it remains a sought-after choice among Ruger AR-556 enthusiasts, contributing to its overall market desirability.

Patriot Brown

The Patriot Brown finish on the Ruger AR-556 adds a distinctive touch that combines both functionality and aesthetic appeal. This unique finish goes beyond a simple color choice, often symbolizing a connection to tradition, heritage, or a sense of rugged individualism. Patriot Brown finishes are achieved through various processes, such as Cerakoting or other specialized coatings, which enhance both the firearm's appearance and its durability. The Patriot Brown color offers a blend of earthy tones, making it suitable for blending into outdoor environments, particularly in hunting or outdoor shooting scenarios. This finish also contributes to reduced glare and reflections, aiding shooters who require discretion in their pursuits. Firearms featuring a Patriot Brown finish tend to stand out from the crowd, attracting individuals who appreciate a departure from the more traditional black or standard finishes. This uniqueness can positively impact the firearm's market value, as limited edition or unique color variants often hold higher desirability among collectors and enthusiasts, potentially commanding a premium price in the resale market. Whether for its practical advantages in the field or its distinctive appearance, the Patriot Brown finish on the Ruger AR-556 adds a layer of personalization and character that resonates with those who seek both function and individuality in their firearms.

Davidson's Dark Earth

The Davidson's Dark Earth finish, found on the Ruger AR-556, introduces a distinct and captivating aesthetic while also offering functional advantages. This particular finish, achieved through processes like Cerakoting, is characterized by its rich earthy hue that strikes a balance between practicality and style. Functionally, the Dark Earth finish provides enhanced durability and protection against the elements, making it a valuable choice for firearms used in various environments. Its resistance to corrosion ensures the firearm remains reliable over time, even when subjected to adverse conditions. The Dark Earth coloration also has tactical implications, as it effectively blends with a range of outdoor settings, from desert landscapes to wooded areas, offering shooters an element of camouflage. Beyond its practicality, firearms with a Davidson's Dark Earth finish have a distinct visual appeal that stands out among more traditional finishes. This uniqueness can boost market value, particularly among collectors and enthusiasts seeking firearms with a personalized touch. As a result, firearms featuring the Davidson's Dark Earth finish often hold a special place in the eyes of those who value both functionality and aesthetics in their firearms. This enhanced desirability can contribute to a potential premium in the resale market.

Tungsten Grey

The Tungsten Grey finish on the Ruger AR-556 introduces a contemporary and visually striking appearance that offers a blend of functionality and style. Achieved through specialized coatings like Cerakote, the Tungsten Grey finish provides more than just an appealing color; it enhances the firearm's performance and durability. Functionally, this finish adds a layer of corrosion resistance and protection against wear, extending the lifespan of the Ruger AR-556 and ensuring reliable operation over time. The Tungsten Grey color itself is characterized by its muted yet distinct tone, lending a modern and tactical vibe to the rifle's aesthetics. This finish has proven popular among Ruger AR-556 shooters who appreciate a sleek, understated appearance that stands out without being overly flashy. The Tungsten Grey finish's market appeal lies in its ability to bridge the gap between traditional and modern firearm aesthetics for Ruger enthusiasts. Ruger AR-556 rifles featuring this finish can attract a wide range of enthusiasts, from those seeking a tactical look to those who appreciate a contemporary twist on classic designs. This versatility contributes to its market desirability and potential impact on value. In essence, the Tungsten Grey finish embodies a fusion of practicality and visual appeal that resonates with Ruger AR-556 owners looking for firearms that reflect their individual style and preferences. This enhanced desirability can contribute to a potential premium in the resale market for Ruger AR-556 rifles with this unique finish.

Coyote Tan

The Coyote Tan finish, as seen on the Ruger AR-556, brings a distinctive and functional touch to firearm aesthetics. Achieved through coatings like Cerakote, the Coyote Tan finish offers both visual appeal and practical benefits. Functionally, this finish enhances the firearm's durability by providing resistance against corrosion and wear. This is particularly valuable for firearms used in diverse environments and conditions. The Coyote Tan color itself is characterized by its earthy and neutral tone, making it an ideal choice for shooters who value a blend of tactical efficiency and subtlety. This finish often blends well with outdoor environments, providing a degree of camouflage in various settings. The Coyote Tan finish has gained popularity among shooting enthusiasts who appreciate its utilitarian look, whether for tactical applications or as a reflection of their personal style. Firearms with this finish possess a unique appearance that sets them apart while retaining a level of understated elegance. The market value of firearms featuring the Coyote Tan finish is often influenced by its growing popularity and its ability to cater to a broad spectrum of Ruger AR-556 enthusiasts. In essence, the Coyote Tan finish exemplifies the fusion of function and aesthetics, appealing to Ruger AR-556 owners who seek both reliable performance and a unique visual statement in their firearms. This enhanced desirability can contribute to a potential premium in the resale market for Ruger AR-556 rifles with this distinctive finish.

Olive Drab Green

The Olive Drab Green finish, showcased on the Ruger AR-556, offers a distinctive and utilitarian aesthetic that carries both historical significance and functional benefits. Achieved through coatings like Cerakote, the Olive Drab Green finish combines a unique appearance with durability and performance enhancements. From a functional standpoint, this finish enhances the firearm's longevity by providing resistance against corrosion and wear, which is particularly valuable for firearms subjected to rugged conditions. The Olive Drab Green color is characterized by its muted, earthy tone, reminiscent of military and outdoor gear. This finish not only adds a touch of historical context but also serves a practical purpose, blending well with natural environments and providing an element of camouflage. The Olive Drab Green finish has garnered a following among shooters who appreciate its tactical look, whether for practical use or as an homage to military-style firearms. Firearms featuring this finish evoke a sense of reliability and utilitarianism, appealing to those who value performance over flashy aesthetics. The market value of firearms with the Olive Drab Green finish is influenced by its growing popularity and its connection to both military history and modern tactical applications. In essence, the Olive Drab Green finish encapsulates the convergence of practicality and a distinctive visual identity, appealing to Ruger AR-556 owners who prioritize both performance and a nod to tradition in their firearms. This enhanced desirability can contribute to a potential premium in the resale market for Ruger AR-556 rifles with this iconic finish.


The camouflage finish, as applied to firearms like the Ruger AR-556, combines both functional adaptability and a visually striking appearance. Camouflage finishes on firearms encompass a range of patterns, each designed to blend seamlessly with specific environments or terrain types. These finishes serve a dual purpose: providing both practical advantages and aesthetic appeal. Functionally, camouflage finishes allow firearms to blend into natural surroundings, making them less conspicuous in hunting or tactical scenarios. The specific camouflage pattern chosen, whether woodland, desert, or urban, is tailored to the intended usage of the Ruger AR-556. This not only aids in concealment but also enhances the rifle's versatility across different settings. The camouflage finish is characterized by intricate patterns that break up the outline of the Ruger AR-556, reducing glare and reflections that could give away the shooter's position. From an aesthetic standpoint, the camouflage finish appeals to those who value both the visual impact of their rifle and its adaptability in various shooting environments. Ruger AR-556 rifles featuring camouflage finishes are often sought after by hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, and tactical shooters who prioritize both performance and aesthetics. The market value of Ruger AR-556 rifles with camouflage finishes reflects their desirability among a diverse range of firearm users. In essence, the camouflage finish embodies the fusion of practicality and a unique visual statement, catering to Ruger AR-556 owners who seek a rifle that can seamlessly transition between different shooting contexts while also making a bold visual impression. This enhanced desirability can contribute to a potential premium in the resale market for Ruger AR-556 rifles with this adaptable and eye-catching finish.

Stainless Steel

The Stainless Steel finish, found on firearms like the Ruger AR-556, offers a distinct and enduring aesthetic that embodies both practicality and timeless elegance. Unlike traditional coatings, Stainless Steel isn't just a finish; it's a material choice that provides a range of benefits. Functionally, Stainless Steel is highly resistant to corrosion and rust, making it an excellent option for firearms used in challenging and diverse environments. This durability ensures the rifle's longevity and reliable performance even when exposed to moisture and other elements. The Stainless Steel appearance is characterized by its bright and reflective surface, which can provide an eye-catching contrast against traditional black finishes. Firearms featuring this finish offer an air of sophistication and resilience, appealing to those who value a premium and classic look. The Stainless Steel finish is often chosen by Ruger AR-556 owners who appreciate the aesthetic appeal of a polished rifle and by those who prioritize minimal maintenance and lasting quality. While Stainless Steel rifles may require different care compared to traditional finishes, their unique combination of beauty and robustness often attracts enthusiasts and collectors alike. The market value of Ruger AR-556 rifles with Stainless Steel finishes reflects their desirability among those who appreciate both the aesthetic and functional advantages of this enduring material. In essence, the Stainless Steel finish embodies the marriage of practicality and refined aesthetics, appealing to Ruger AR-556 owners who seek a rifle that seamlessly marries functionality with an elegant visual statement. This enhanced desirability can contribute to a potential premium in the resale market for Ruger AR-556 rifles with this enduring and eye-catching finish.

Picture of AR-556

Included Accessories

The Ruger AR-556 is often accompanied by a range of accessories designed to improve its usability and overall shooting experience. These accessories, such as the original box, manuals, extra magazines, and other documentation, can offer valuable additions to the firearm's package.

Original Box

The "Original Box" is the packaging that the firearm, in this case, the Ruger AR-556, was initially sold in by the manufacturer. It serves as a container for the firearm during transportation and storage, providing protection against damage and environmental factors. While the presence of the original box can be important for certain collectors and can help maintain the firearm's condition over time, it generally doesn't significantly impact the firearm's intrinsic value. The primary value of the original box lies in its potential to enhance the resale value for collectors, as firearms with their original packaging are often perceived as more complete and well-preserved. However, for many shooters, the absence of the original box doesn't significantly affect the firearm's performance or usability. Therefore, while having the original box is a nice addition, its absence is unlikely to greatly impact the firearm's overall value for those who intend to use the firearm for practical purposes rather than collectible value.

Owner's Manual

The "Owner's Manual" is a comprehensive guide provided by Ruger, the manufacturer of the AR-556, to accompany the firearm, offering essential information regarding its proper usage, maintenance, and safety guidelines. It serves as a valuable resource for Ruger AR-556 owners, especially those who are new to this particular model or firearms in general. While the presence of the owner's manual is considered important for understanding the Ruger AR-556's features, functions, and recommended maintenance procedures, its impact on the rifle's market value is typically not substantial. The value of the owner's manual lies primarily in its usefulness to Ruger AR-556 owners, helping them operate and care for the rifle safely and effectively. From a collector's perspective, the presence of the owner's manual can contribute to the overall completeness of the Ruger AR-556's package, potentially enhancing its appeal. However, for most Ruger AR-556 shooters, the absence of the owner's manual is unlikely to significantly affect the rifle's usability or market value. It's worth noting that Ruger, like many firearm manufacturers, provides downloadable versions of their manuals online, further reducing the impact of a missing physical manual. In summary, while having the owner's manual is beneficial for proper Ruger AR-556 use and maintenance, its absence is unlikely to have a substantial impact on the rifle's overall value for practical purposes.


The "Lock," often referred to as a cable lock or trigger lock, is a safety device included with firearms to prevent unauthorized access and ensure safe storage. It is typically a cable or lock that can be passed through the firearm's action or trigger guard, rendering the firearm inoperable. The lock serves as an important safety feature, especially for households with children or when storing the firearm in a location where others might have access. While the presence of a lock is crucial for responsible firearm ownership and safe storage, its direct impact on the firearm's market value is generally minimal. The primary value of the lock lies in its contribution to firearm safety, minimizing the risk of accidents and unauthorized use. From a resale perspective, its presence might add a small degree of completeness to the overall package, but it's unlikely to significantly affect the firearm's value. The lock is more about promoting safe practices and adhering to legal requirements in some regions rather than being a key determinant of the firearm's worth. In summary, the lock is an essential safety accessory that is essential for responsible firearm ownership, but its influence on the firearm's market value is typically minimal.

Sling Swivels

Sling Swivels are a practical accessory for the Ruger AR-556, offering firearm owners the ability to attach slings for enhanced carrying and handling convenience. These swivels allow for the attachment of slings, which can improve firearm control and provide a comfortable means of carrying the rifle during extended periods. While Sling Swivels are functional additions that can enhance the rifle's utility and ergonomics, their impact on the Ruger AR-556's market value is typically limited. Their primary value lies in their practicality, aiding owners in carrying and maneuvering their rifle effectively. From a collector's standpoint, the presence of Sling Swivels may add to the completeness of the rifle's accessories, potentially increasing its appeal. However, for most Ruger AR-556 users, the absence of Sling Swivels is unlikely to significantly affect the rifle's overall usability or market value. In essence, Sling Swivels serve as a practical addition for those seeking enhanced handling and carrying options for their Ruger AR-556, without significantly altering the rifle's intrinsic value or desirability in the market.


A "Sling" is a versatile accessory that attaches to the Ruger AR-556, aiding in carrying and maneuvering the rifle. It consists of a strap or harness that allows the shooter to carry the rifle comfortably over the shoulder or across the body. Slings come in various designs, such as single-point, two-point, or three-point configurations, each offering distinct advantages based on the intended use. The presence of a sling adds practicality and convenience to the rifle, enabling hands-free transportation and quick access when needed. Slings are particularly beneficial during extended periods of carrying, such as during hunting or tactical operations. They also provide stability and control while shooting from various positions, enhancing accuracy and reducing fatigue. However, in terms of the Ruger AR-556's market value, the impact of including a sling is generally limited. The primary value of a sling lies in its contribution to usability and shooting comfort. For those who plan to use the rifle regularly, a sling can significantly enhance the overall shooting experience. From a resale perspective, including a sling might add a modest degree of convenience, but it's unlikely to substantially affect the rifle's overall value. Collectors and enthusiasts who prioritize authenticity might prefer an original sling that matches the rifle's era and model, which could potentially influence market value slightly more. However, for the majority of Ruger AR-556 users, the presence or absence of a sling is more about personal preference and convenience than a major factor in determining the rifle's worth. In summary, a sling is a valuable accessory that enhances usability and comfort during Ruger AR-556 use. While it significantly contributes to the shooting experience for practical users, its direct impact on the rifle's market value is generally limited, unless it's of historical or collector's significance.


Magazines come in various capacities, and their inclusion with the rifle can significantly impact both its functionality and market value. From a functional standpoint, having magazines included with the Ruger AR-556 is crucial for its operation. Magazines enable shooters to load, feed, and fire rounds continuously, enhancing the rifle's practical use for various applications such as target shooting, hunting, or self-defense. The number of magazines included can affect the shooter's ability to engage in sustained shooting without frequent reloading. In terms of market value, the presence of magazines is often considered essential. Firearms are typically sold with at least one magazine, and the inclusion of multiple magazines can positively influence the rifle's value. Having extra magazines enhances the Ruger AR-556's overall package and offers added convenience during shooting sessions. Collectors and enthusiasts also recognize the importance of original or compatible magazines for this particular rifle model, which could impact market desirability and value. Moreover, specialty or extended magazines designed for specific purposes, such as competition shooting or high-capacity needs, might further influence the rifle's appeal. In summary, magazines are integral to the Ruger AR-556's functionality, enabling it to fire rounds effectively. Their inclusion enhances the rifle's practicality and convenience, which contributes to its overall value. The presence of original or compatible magazines can positively impact market desirability, particularly when catering to specific shooting needs.

Picture of AR-556


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One of the appealing aspects of the Ruger AR-556 platform is its versatility when it comes to customization. Whether you're looking to enhance performance, improve ergonomics, or simply express your personal style, this rifle offers a wide array of aftermarket options. From tactical stocks and precision barrels to specialized grips and optics, the possibilities for customization are virtually endless.


Optics customization is a vital aspect of adapting the Ruger AR-556 to individual shooting requirements. Optics, such as scopes, red dot sights, and holographic sights, augment aiming accuracy for diverse scenarios. Choices like red dot sights for quick target acquisition or scopes for precise long-range shots impact performance. Customized optics not only enhance accuracy but also personalize the shooting experience to suit shooting style and preferences. The presence of quality optics can elevate the Ruger AR-556's desirability, catering to buyers valuing enhanced accuracy and usability, while the impact on its market value varies based on brand reputation and alignment with shooting needs.


Customizing the stock of the Ruger AR-556 is a foundational aspect of tailoring the firearm to individual shooting preferences. The stock, providing stability and support, can be adapted through various options like adjustable lengths, folding designs, and ergonomic enhancements. Stock customization has a substantial impact on shooting performance, ensuring proper eye alignment with sights for accuracy and aiding recoil management for improved control. A well-designed customized stock increases the Ruger AR-556's desirability, especially for those prioritizing comfort and shooting style alignment. The market value impact depends on factors like the manufacturer's reputation, functionality, and complement to the Ruger AR-556's overall customization. However, personal preferences might also influence the extent of this impact, as some shooters prefer to choose their own stock for optimal comfort and usability.


Customizing the grip of the Ruger AR-556 is a pivotal aspect of personalizing shooting comfort and control. Offering a variety of textures, materials, and ergonomic designs, grip customization directly affects how shooters handle and manipulate the firearm. This impacts shooting stability, recoil control, and trigger precision. The inclusion of a well-fitted customized grip can significantly enhance the Ruger AR-556's market value, appealing to shooters valuing ergonomic comfort and tailored handling. However, the extent of this impact depends on factors like the grip's reputation, functionality, and its alignment with individual shooting preferences, recognizing that grip customization is a subjective choice.


Customizing the handguard or rails of the Ruger AR-556 is essential for tailoring its functionality and adapting it to diverse shooting scenarios. Serving as attachment platforms for accessories such as optics, grips, and lights, handguards allow Ruger AR-556 owners to customize their firearm to their specific needs. The options for customization range from varying lengths and profiles to attachment systems like M-LOK and KeyMod, accommodating preferences for accessory placement and firearm aesthetics. By optimizing accessory positions, customized handguards contribute to improved accuracy and usability, enhancing the overall shooting experience. The inclusion of a well-designed customized handguard can elevate the Ruger AR-556's market value, particularly for those who value versatility and personalized setups. However, the extent of this impact is subject to factors such as the handguard manufacturer's reputation and its alignment with the buyer's preferences, acknowledging the individual nature of customization choices.


Customizing the trigger of the Ruger AR-556 is a pivotal customization that can profoundly influence shooting accuracy and control. The trigger, responsible for releasing the firearm's firing mechanism, plays a crucial role in determining a shooter's ability to achieve precise and consistent shots. Upgraded triggers, often featuring reduced pull weights, minimal travel, and crisp breaks, can enhance shooting performance by minimizing trigger pull inconsistencies and improving overall accuracy. While the inclusion of a high-quality customized trigger can significantly impact the Ruger AR-556's shooting capabilities and shooter experience, its direct influence on the firearm's market value is subjective, with shooters who prioritize refined trigger control being more likely to value its inclusion.

Muzzle Devices

Customizing the muzzle device of the Ruger AR-556 is a fundamental customization that can have a substantial impact on the firearm's performance and shooter experience. The muzzle device, often referred to as a muzzle brake or flash hider, influences factors such as recoil management, muzzle rise, and flash suppression. Shooters can choose from a variety of muzzle devices, each designed to address specific shooting needs. For example, a muzzle brake reduces recoil and muzzle rise, aiding in faster follow-up shots and improved control, making it popular for competitive shooting. On the other hand, a flash hider minimizes the visible flash when firing in low-light conditions, adding to tactical advantages. The inclusion of a well-suited customized muzzle device can significantly enhance the Ruger AR-556's market value, especially for those who prioritize specific performance attributes. However, the extent of this impact depends on factors such as the muzzle device's reputation, functionality, and alignment with the shooter's preferences, recognizing that muzzle device customization is a matter of individual choice.


Customizing with foregrips or bipods can markedly augment the Ruger AR-556's stability and shooting precision. Foregrips, designed to enhance grip control and reduce muzzle rise, provide shooters with improved handling for quick target acquisition and sustained fire, particularly useful in rapid-fire scenarios. On the other hand, bipods offer a stable shooting platform, crucial for achieving accurate long-range shots or maintaining a fixed shooting position over extended periods. The inclusion of well-designed foregrips or bipods can substantially elevate the Ruger AR-556's shooting control and accuracy, catering to shooters who prioritize enhanced stability and support. The direct impact of these customizations on the firearm's market value is largely contingent on the buyer's recognition of the value of heightened shooting performance and specialized applications, given the subjective nature of these enhancements.

Sling Attachments

Customizing with sling attachments significantly enhances the Ruger AR-556's versatility and ease of carry. Sling attachments, which encompass swivels, loops, or mounts, enable the attachment of slings for hands-free transportation and enhanced maneuverability. These attachments are especially practical for hunters, tactical operators, and firearm enthusiasts who value the convenience of quickly transitioning between carrying and shooting positions. The inclusion of well-chosen sling attachments notably augments the Ruger AR-556's usability and comfort, particularly catering to those who prioritize ease of transport and readiness. The direct impact of these customizations on the firearm's market value largely depends on the buyer's recognition of the benefits of improved handling and the seamless integration of slings into shooting routines, given the subjective nature of these enhancements.

Magazine Releases

The magazine release of a firearm, such as the Ruger AR-556, holds the potential to streamline reloading and enhance shooting efficiency. Magazine releases, when upgraded for improved ergonomics and operation, can facilitate quicker and smoother magazine changes. Shooters benefit from reduced reload times and enhanced control during high-pressure situations. The inclusion of a well-designed customized magazine release can significantly impact a firearm's ease of use and overall shooting experience, catering to those who value responsive reloads and rapid engagement. However, the direct influence of a customized magazine release on the firearm's market value depends on the buyer's emphasis on improved reload dynamics and optimized shooting performance.

Charging Handles

Upgrading the charging handle of a firearm, like the Ruger AR-556, offers noticeable improvements in reliability, ease of operation, and the overall shooting experience. Features like extended latches, ambidextrous designs, or enhanced ergonomics make manipulation easier, especially in demanding shooting scenarios. This translates to smoother chambering, quicker malfunction clearing, and enhanced control for shooters. A thoughtfully customized charging handle can significantly elevate a firearm's functionality and user-friendliness, appealing to those who value responsive firearm operation. The impact of a customized charging handle on the firearm's market value, however, hinges on the buyer's recognition of improved handling and optimized shooting dynamics.

Safety Selectors

Customizing the safety selector of a firearm, like the Ruger AR-556, presents a valuable opportunity to improve user control and weapon handling. Safety selectors, especially when upgraded to ambidextrous or extended configurations, offer more intuitive and easily accessible operation, ensuring safe and efficient firearm handling. Shooters benefit from enhanced ease of engagement and disengagement, particularly in critical situations. The inclusion of a well-designed customized safety selector can significantly enhance a firearm's user-friendliness and the overall shooting experience, appealing to those who prioritize quick and confident access to safety functions. Nevertheless, the direct impact of a customized safety selector on the firearm's market value hinges on the buyer's recognition of enhanced control and streamlined firearm operation.


Cerakote or paint customization on a Ruger AR-556 typically involves applying a specialized ceramic-based finish to the firearm. This customization serves both aesthetic and practical purposes. Aesthetically, it allows gun owners to personalize their AR-556 with various colors and patterns, enhancing its visual appeal. Moreover, Cerakote provides a durable and corrosion-resistant coating, which is highly advantageous for firearms used in adverse conditions. It also contributes to a smoother and more comfortable grip. However, the effect on the market value depends on the quality of the customization and the preferences of potential buyers. A high-quality Cerakote job can potentially increase the firearm's value, as it offers added durability and visual appeal. Still, excessive or poorly executed customization may deter some buyers, impacting the market value negatively. Ultimately, customization like Cerakote can influence market value, but the extent and direction of this impact depend on the execution and the preferences of potential buyers.

Barrel Upgrades

Barrel upgrades for a Ruger AR-556 involve replacing the original barrel with a different one, often to enhance performance or meet specific shooting needs. These customizations can significantly affect the firearm's characteristics. For instance, upgrading to a longer barrel can improve accuracy and increase muzzle velocity, making it suitable for long-range shooting. Conversely, a shorter barrel may enhance maneuverability in close quarters. The choice of barrel material, such as stainless steel or chrome-moly steel, can impact durability and weight. While a high-quality barrel upgrade can potentially increase market value, it depends on factors like the brand, caliber compatibility, and how well it aligns with the preferences of potential buyers. Careful consideration of these factors is essential, as poorly matched or low-quality barrel upgrades may not necessarily raise the firearm's market value and could even reduce it. In essence, barrel upgrades have the potential to influence market value, contingent on their quality, compatibility, and alignment with buyer preferences.

Gas Blocks

Customizing the gas block of a Ruger AR-556 can significantly impact the firearm's performance and market value. Gas blocks regulate the flow of gas from the fired round to cycle the action, and different types offer various benefits. Upgrading to an adjustable gas block allows shooters to fine-tune the rifle's operation, optimizing it for different ammunition or reducing recoil. On the other hand, a low-profile gas block can enhance the overall aesthetics and slim profile of the rifle. The effect on market value depends on the quality and appropriateness of the gas block for the specific firearm and its intended use. A well-chosen and properly installed gas block upgrade can increase the firearm's value, especially if it improves functionality or aligns with the preferences of potential buyers. Conversely, an ill-fitted or low-quality gas block customization may deter buyers and have a negative impact on market value. In conclusion, gas block upgrades can influence market value, contingent on their quality, compatibility, and alignment with the needs and preferences of potential purchasers.

Lower and Upper Receivers

Customizing the lower and upper receivers of a Ruger AR-556 is a fundamental aspect of personalizing the firearm. These components play a pivotal role in the rifle's function and appearance. Upgrading to precision-machined or billet receivers can enhance both the aesthetic and functional aspects of the rifle. These customizations can increase market value if they are high-quality, contribute to improved accuracy, or provide a unique look that appeals to potential buyers. However, the impact on market value is not uniform and depends on various factors such as brand, material, and how well the receivers align with the rifle's intended use. Poorly executed or mismatched receiver upgrades may not necessarily raise the firearm's market value and could even decrease it. In essence, customizing the lower and upper receivers of a Ruger AR-556 can influence market value, but the extent and direction of this impact rely on the quality, compatibility, and appeal of the upgrades to potential buyers.

Bolt Carrier Groups (BCGs)

Bolt Carrier Group (BCG) upgrades for a Ruger AR-556 are pivotal for enhancing the rifle's performance and durability. High-quality BCGs can significantly affect the firearm's market value by improving reliability and longevity. Premium materials like Carpenter 158 steel or Nickel Boron coatings can increase wear resistance and ease of cleaning. These upgrades can make the rifle more attractive to buyers, especially those seeking a reliable firearm for various applications. However, the impact on market value depends on factors such as the brand, compatibility, and overall quality of the BCG. A well-chosen BCG upgrade that aligns with the firearm's intended use can potentially raise its market value, whereas an ill-fitted or low-quality BCG customization may deter potential buyers and have a negative influence. Ultimately, BCG upgrades can influence market value, contingent on their quality, compatibility, and alignment with the preferences and needs of prospective purchasers.

Trigger Guards

Customizing the trigger guard of a Ruger AR-556 is a relatively minor yet meaningful modification that can affect both aesthetics and usability. Upgrading to an extended or oversized trigger guard can enhance the rifle's usability, particularly for users wearing gloves in cold weather or tactical situations. However, the impact on market value is relatively limited compared to other customizations like barrels or optics. The effect on market value primarily depends on the quality and compatibility of the trigger guard with the specific firearm. A well-executed trigger guard customization may marginally increase market value, especially if it caters to the preferences of potential buyers. Conversely, a poorly fitted or low-quality trigger guard may not significantly raise the rifle's market value and could even deter buyers if it affects overall functionality. In essence, trigger guard upgrades can influence market value to a lesser degree compared to other modifications, mainly contingent on their quality and compatibility with the rifle.

Lower Parts Kits (LPKs)

Lower Parts Kits (LPKs) are crucial components that can significantly impact the functionality and market value of a Ruger AR-556. These kits typically include various small parts such as the trigger assembly, hammer, pins, and safety selector, among others. Upgrading to a high-quality LPK can enhance the rifle's reliability, trigger pull, and overall performance. The effect on market value depends on the LPK's brand, materials, and how well it complements the rifle's intended use. A top-tier LPK can potentially increase market value by offering improved functionality and durability, making the firearm more appealing to potential buyers. Conversely, a low-quality or mismatched LPK can hinder performance and detract from the rifle's value. Therefore, LPK upgrades can indeed influence market value, with the direction and magnitude of the impact contingent on the quality and compatibility of the kit with the Ruger AR-556.

Takedown Pins

Takedown pins are small components in a Ruger AR-556, but their customization can have a notable impact on both functionality and aesthetics. Upgrading these pins, typically through quick-detach or extended options, can enhance the ease of disassembly and reassembly, making maintenance and transportation more convenient. However, the effect on market value is relatively minor compared to other firearm modifications. The impact primarily depends on the quality and design of the upgraded takedown pins, as well as their compatibility with the rifle. While a well-chosen and properly executed takedown pin upgrade may slightly raise market value, it's unlikely to have a significant influence. Conversely, an ill-fitted or low-quality customization might not substantially increase the firearm's market value and could even deter potential buyers if it affects functionality. In essence, takedown pin upgrades can have a modest impact on market value, contingent on the quality and compatibility of the pins with the Ruger AR-556.


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History of the Ruger AR-556

The Ruger AR-556 is a modern sporting rifle that has its roots in the long and storied history of the AR-15 platform. Developed and manufactured by Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc., this rifle was introduced to the market in 2014. While the AR-556 is a relatively new addition to Ruger's extensive lineup of firearms, its heritage can be traced back to the origins of the AR-15 itself.

The AR-15 platform, originally designed by Eugene Stoner in the late 1950s, was initially adopted by the U.S. military as the M16 rifle during the early 1960s. Over the years, the AR-15 became a symbol of American firearms innovation, prized for its modularity, accuracy, and versatility. It found its way into civilian hands and became a favorite among competitive shooters, hunters, and firearms enthusiasts.

Ruger's foray into the AR-15 market with the AR-556 was a response to the increasing popularity of these rifles among civilian gun owners. Ruger, a renowned American firearms manufacturer with a history dating back to 1949, brought its reputation for quality and reliability to the AR-556. The rifle was designed to offer a blend of affordability and performance, making it accessible to a wide range of shooters.

The AR-556 was built around the direct impingement gas system, a design known for its simplicity and reliability. Ruger incorporated features such as a cold hammer-forged barrel for accuracy and durability, a telescoping stock for adjustability, and the standard AR-15 controls that enthusiasts were already familiar with.

One noteworthy aspect of the Ruger AR-556 is its commitment to providing a solid base for customization. Ruger recognized the growing trend of firearm enthusiasts personalizing their rifles with various accessories and components. As a result, the AR-556 was designed to be compatible with a wide array of aftermarket parts and upgrades, allowing shooters to tailor the rifle to their specific needs and preferences.

Over the years, the Ruger AR-556 has garnered a reputation for being a reliable and affordable entry point into the world of AR-15-style rifles. It has found favor with new shooters, experienced enthusiasts, and even law enforcement agencies. The rifle's versatility, combined with Ruger's commitment to quality, has solidified its place in the modern firearms market.


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General Questions & Answers

Is the Ruger AR-556 worth the money?

The worth of the Ruger AR-556 depends on your specific needs and preferences, but it's generally considered a reliable and reasonably priced firearm.

Is the Ruger AR-556 legal?

The Ruger AR-556 is legal to own in the United States, but firearm regulations vary by location, so check your local laws.

Is the Ruger AR-556 mil-spec or commercial?

The Ruger AR-556 is typically classified as a commercial-grade AR-15 platform rifle.

Is the Ruger AR-556 an SBR?

The Ruger AR-556 is not classified as an SBR (Short-Barreled Rifle) as it comes with a standard-length barrel.

What is the maximum effective range of a Ruger AR-556?

The maximum effective range of a Ruger AR-556 depends on factors like ammunition and shooter proficiency but is generally around 500 yards.

What is the difference between an AR-15 and an AR-556?

The main difference between an AR-15 and an AR-556 is the caliber; AR-15s often use .223 Remington, while the AR-556 uses 5.56mm NATO.

Is the AR-556 a pistol or a rifle?

The Ruger AR-556 is typically sold as a rifle, but some versions can be legally configured as pistols depending on local laws.

Can you mount a scope on a Ruger AR-556?

Yes, you can mount a scope on a Ruger AR-556, which can enhance accuracy for various shooting purposes.

Is the Ruger AR-556 a good choice for home defense?

While 5.56 can be effective for home defense, the suitability of the Ruger AR-556 depends on factors like the layout of your home and your comfort with the firearm's operation.



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Did you know that the Ruger AR-556, a popular modern sporting rifle, owes its distinctive name to its innovative gas system design? Unlike many AR-15 style rifles that utilize a direct impingement gas system, the AR-556 employs a more robust and user-friendly piston-driven system. This unique operating system enhances the rifle's reliability by reducing carbon buildup in the action, resulting in smoother and cleaner operation. Ruger's decision to incorporate a piston-driven system showcases their commitment to engineering excellence and user experience, setting the AR-556 apart as a reliable and low-maintenance firearm in the world of modern sporting rifles.


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