Ruger SR-556VT Review
Part 4 - Disassembly
June 14, 2013

Ruger SR-556VT Review

Disassembly of the Ruger SR-556VT Rifle is very simple and similar to any other AR style rifle except the SR-556 models include the need to remove the gas piston and regulator for cleaning.  Always remember that before you attempt any disassembly, you should  verify that your firearm is completely unloaded.  The disassembly steps shown in this part of my review are similar to that shown in my SR-556C review.  This other review has some slightly different photos and may give you a further understanding of this rifle.


Step 1 - Safety and Removing Gas Regulator and Piston

The first place to start with in disassembly,  which is also probably of greatest interest, is removal of the gas regulator and piston.  Again, make sure the gun is unloaded.  After that, the regulator must be rotated so that the arrow on the regulator lines up with the arrow on the gas block.  It may be difficult to rotate the regulator with your fingers because of the regulator detent (spring loaded clip) which locks the regulator in position during operation.  You can insert a tool or bullet tip into the hole in the regulator to give you plenty of leverage to rotate it if needed.

Figure 1
Ruger SR-556VT Review

Figure 2
Ruger SR-556VT Review

Next you push the regulator pin to the right with the tip of the bullet or other tool, and then pull the pin to the right the rest of the way until it stops.

Figure 3
Ruger SR-556VT Review

This pin is held in place with a spring loaded detent pin similar to the takedown pins on the lower receiver.

Figure 4
Ruger SR-556VT Review

You can then slide the regulator forward and out of the gas block.  You will have to fiddle with the detent clip to get it positioned just right to get the regulator all the way out of the block.

Figure 5
Ruger SR-556VT Review

Once the regulator is removed, you can tilt the gun barrel down and the gas piston should fall out.  The photo below shows the three pieces you have after removing these items.  You can see that the piston and regulator are chrome plated.  The piston is a two stage piston.  In the first stage, the force produced by the piston is related to the surface area of the portion of the piston (nipple) that is inside the regulator (smaller diameter area on the right side of the piston in the photo below).  The second stage begins once the piston moves to where the nipple is outside of the regulator.  The gas can then apply force on both the nipple area and the the larger diameter area also.  Ruger claims that this two stage piston reduces the initial energy impulse to the carrier (I can see that), which reduces the amount of tilting force during the carrier’s initial motion (seems logical).

Figure 6
Ruger SR-556VT Review

When you look down the cavity of the gas block, at the back end of the cavity you will see the front end of the transfer rod which rides in a hole in the gas block that is smaller in diameter than the larger piston area.

Figure 7
Ruger SR-556VT Review

I borrowed the photo below from my other review and by looking down at the bottom of the cavity of the gas block, you see the large area where the regulator pin protrudes up to secure the regulator.  Just behind that you see the gas port that allows gas to pass from the barrel to the regulator.  The last two holes that are offset on the right side of the gas block (left in the photo) allow the gas to escape from the gas block once the piston passes to that point during its cycle.

Figure 8
Ruger SR-556VT Review

Step 2 - Remove Bolt Carrier Assembly, Charging Handle and Upper Receiver assembly

This portion of disassembly is just like any other AR style rifle.  First push the rear pin to the left.

Figure 9
Ruger SR-556VT Review

Rotate the rear of the upper receiver up as shown below.

Figure 10
Ruger SR-556VT Review

Slide the charging handle and bolt assembly rearward until the bolt can be removed and then the charging handle.

Figure 11
Ruger SR-556VT Review

Last, push the forward receiver pin to the right and the upper assembly can be removed from the lower assembly.  In most cases, this is the maximum disassembly required for cleaning your SR-556VT rifle.

Figure 12
Ruger SR-556VT Review

If you want to clean further, and I typically do, you can remove the cotter style pin and the bolt carrier group will disassemble to the level shown below.

Figure 13
Ruger SR-556VT Review



Disassembly of the Ruger SR-556VT Rifle was quick and easy like most AR style rifles.

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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