Ruger this week took a pause to fill the gap left in its lineup since the SR-762 was discontinued and introduced the sub-7-pound SFAR.
The new Ruger Small-Frame Autoloading Rifle is more appropriately described as a .308 Winchester-chambered AR-15 rather than a true AR10 as its barrel and bolt are roughly the same size overall as the company's AR-556 series and accepts standard AR-15 trigger groups, receiver end plates, charging handles, pistol grips, and adjustable stocks. Ruger has hit the ground running with the new rifle available in both a 16-inch (6.8 pounds) and 20-inch (7.3 pounds) format.
They share much of the same features, including CNC-machined 7075-T6 receivers, cold-hammer-forged barrels with 5R rifling and 5/8-24 TPI muzzle threads, a four-position regulated gas block, a two-port Boomer muzzle brake, and a free-floated handguard with M-LOK slots. They also come standard with Ruger's Elite 452 trigger billed as having a smooth, crisp 4.5-pound two-stage trigger pull.
Both accept SR-25 pattern mags and ship with a 20-round Magpul PMAG while a Magpul MOE SL stock and MOE grip are installed.
The SFAR, as noted by Ruger, "is bigger and stronger where it needs to be" with bolt and barrel extensions that are CNC machined from high-strength super-alloy steel that the company says outperforms traditional C158 bolts. Further, tapered lug geometry further strengthens the breech to support larger short-action cartridges. The bolt carrier assembly includes a chrome-lined 8620 steel bolt carrier and nitride-processed gas key while the titanium firing pin has been DLC coated. The bolt itself includes dual ejectors and an optimized extractor while the upper has an enlarged ejection port.
"Over the course of this rifle's development, we fired hundreds of thousands of rounds to assess and enhance real-world performance and wear," said Ben Parker, lead design engineer for SFAR. "The proprietary design and material selection of the bolt and barrel extension help deliver a rugged, reliable, and safe rifle that we are proud to call a Ruger."
Ruger's last .308 semi-auto, the SR-762 carbine was a two-stage piston-driven gun with a 16.1-inch barrel that hit the scales, unloaded and sans optics, at a beefy 8.6 pounds. It was discontinued in 2018.
The MSRP on the SFARs, regardless of size, is currently $1,229. Ruger told us they have both models ready to ship and available to distributors.
While AR-308-style guns aren't new, and it isn't shocking to find them on the market at such a low weight, the price on the Ruger SFAR may be a winner. For instance, the POF Rogue, specifically designed from the company's Revolution platform to be the lightest .308 semi-auto rifle on the market, is similar in weight but has a significantly higher asking price.