Ruger’s expanding on their line of AR-type rifles with the new SR-556VT. A full-size rifle with a 20-inch hammer-forged heavy profile barrel, the SR-556VT uses a gas piston system to stay clean and cool for a full day on the range or at the ranch.
The barrel is stainless steel with a target crown and is not threaded for a muzzle device. It has a one-in-eight twist which will work with a very wide range of ammo, ensuring that no matter what particular varmints you’re targeting, you’ll have the right load for the job.
The SR-556VT uses a fixed full-length A2-style stock, but pairs it with a Magpul MOE grip. We suspect that many users will want to throw a matching Magpul MOE rifle stock on there.
Like the rest of Ruger’s SRs, it comes with their own modular handguard, which can be fitted for rails for accessories. It’s hard anodized black to match the receivers and extends along the bottom and sides to enclose the adjustable gas piston block.
The two-stage gas piston system has four positions, from no gas to full-open, ensuring that you can run it no matter how fouled it gets.
Built on forged aluminum receivers, these are not lightweight rifles, tipping the scales at 8.5 pounds, making this the heaviest yet of the SR-556 series. But they’re renown for their extremely light recoil, have low reciprocating mass in addition to weight everywhere else.
The rifle doesn’t come with irons, which is a shame because Ruger just came out with a set of pop-up polymer sights that would look pretty snazzy on this gun. They probably figured most people would throw a scope on this; it is a varminter after all.
The SR-556 VT has a couple of premium features that round out the package, including a two-stage target trigger and an enlarged charging handle. It also comes with three 5-round magazines and a chrome-plated, polished bolt and carrier.
This looks like a great rifle for someone who likes the idea of an AR but doesn’t want much to do with the now-ubiquitous tactical carbine.
It’s also a bit more expensive than most of your carbines, with a suggested MSRP of $1,995. Real-world prices should be a few hundred dollars less, but it’s still up there.
And if it’s not your cup of tea but you like the Ruger touches, you might want to check out their E-model carbines. They’re lighter and a lot less expensive.