Ruger® AR-556 Review
Part 2 - What's In The Box
October 30, 2014

Ruger AR-556 Review

The Ruger AR-556 Rifle came boxed as shown below.


Figure 1 - Top of Box
Ruger AR-556 Review: The Box

Figure 2 - Bottom of Box
Ruger AR-556 Review: Bottom of Box

The end of the box had a sticker will all the critical information about the rifle such as:

  • Model: 08500
  • Finish: Black Anodized / Black Oxide
  • Serial No: Shown
  • Catalog No: AR-556
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO

Figure 3
Ruger AR-556 Review: Sticker on Box

When I opened the box, the contents were packed as shown.

Figure 4
Ruger AR-556 Review: Box Opened

Inside the box were the following items:

  • Ruger AR-556 Rifle
  • One 30-round Magpul PMAG
  • Gun Lock
  • Front Sight Adjustment Tool
  • Rear Sight (installed on rifle)
  • Chamber Flag (in chamber)
  • Instruction Manual
  • Misc. Printed Material

Figure 5
Ruger AR-556 Review: What's Inside Box

When I get a firearm for review, I always inspect it closely and try to document the as-received condition with a set of photos.  These next photos show the as received condition.  They are high resolution photos and clicking on them will bring up the high resolution image.  Overall, I would say the rifle came in near perfect condition like you would expect from a new firearm. 

Figure 6
Ruger AR-556 Review: Top View

Figure 7
Ruger AR-556 Review: Right Side

Figure 8
Ruger AR-556 Review: Bottom View

Figure 9
Ruger AR-556 Review: Left Side

The reason I say overall is that there were two items I noted.  The first was something that initially looked like corrosion on the gas block as shown below.  In all honesty I don't think it was corrosion because it wiped off very easily and did not have a pitted surface.  After studying it with a magnifying glass, it looked more like some kind of adhesive.  When you consider how well Ruger lubricates new firearms, the adhesive idea seems to fit better than corossion.  The two photos below show a before and after photos.

Figure 10                                                           Figure 11
  Ruger AR-556 Review: Front Sight

The only other mark was on the side of the barrel and looks like it may have been made when installing the gas block over the barrel.  Unless you get the barrel in the right lighting situation, you would never notice this mark.  Sure I'm nit-picking, but this is what I observed on my initial inspection.  This is a good time to point out that whenever you purchase any firearm, make sure you look it over carefully before you sign the paperwork and take it out of the store.  If you don't like something on the firearm, ask the clerk to bring you another to examine.  Once you own it, it is yours and anything you find at home you will have to deal with through the manufacturer in most cases.

Figure 12


First Impressions

My first impressions were very positive.  The fit of the upper receiver to lower receiver was probably one of the best fits I have seen on a rifle.  There was no noticeable freeplay, but I could still remove the rear takedown pin without using any tool.  The machined A2 styled front sight had a nice look and Ruger did a nice job branding the various components (upper receiver, lower receiver, buttstock, pistol grip, handguards and rear sight) with their logo.

For more detailed photos and commentary, make sure you check out the other parts of this review and feel free to leave comments on my Reader's Comments page.  The following links are provided to help you see other parts of this review. 

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