Sturm, Ruger & Co. has just released their new AR-556® MPR (Multi-Purpose Rifle). Capitalizing on the good reviews and success of the original Ruger AR-556®, the MPR version is tailored designed for regular or professional shooters who prefer much more versatility than the basic shooting platform of the original. The new Ruger AR-556 MPR comes with an impressive addition of modern features and components, but also provides the type of modularity expected of today’s AR-15 rifles.
Ruger was very late to the AR-15 (Modern Sporting Rifle) market, and many professional observers questioned if their initial basic AR-556® would even have a chance in the flooded market. However, Ruger’s quality manufacturing, aggressive marketing campaign, and very competitive pricing, all combined with very positive reviews to lift the Ruger AR-556 into the serious conversation about mass-produced AR-15’s. The Ruger AR-556 has been praised for its accuracy and action, and the MPR looks to advance those successes with a much more adaptable rifle.
Ruger® AR-556® Multi-Purpose Rifle (MPR)
The new Ruger AR-556 MPR is not an earth-shattering addition to the already broad family of available AR-15 rifles. However, Ruger has done a good job of matching quality construction with key features desirable to a wide range of shooters.
The upper and lower receivers are made from aerospace-grade 7075-T6 aluminum for excellent durability while remaining fairly lightweight. Both receivers are Type III hard coat anodized to give the user freedom of mind regardless of the conditions the shooter faces. The Ruger AR-556 MPR comes with a machined bolt made from 9310 alloy steel. The bolt is shot peened and pressure proof tested to ensure strength, structural integrity, and durability. The bolt is then paired with a chrome-plated bolt carrier group (BCG) and bolt key, and is staked to prevent loosening.
One of the finer features of the Ruger AR-556 MPR is the Ruger Elite 452™ AR-Trigger. The Elite 452 is a 2-stage trigger system providing a smooth and crisp trigger pull right at 4.5 pounds. The full-strength hammer spring is paired with a lightweight hammer enabling 30% faster lock time over standard MSR triggers. Though there is nothing wrong with a standard AR trigger, I have come to really enjoy the smoothness of both trigger pull and reset with a 2-stage trigger.
A cold hammer-forged 4140 chrome-moly steel barrel provides excellent accuracy and durability for the MPR. Ruger boasts “ultra-precise” rifling for these barrels, and from what I’ve seen through shooting the MPR I would agree. Ruger wisely chose to chamber the MPR in 5.56mm with M4 feed ramps to provide the greatest leverage in ammunition selection. The barrel is finished in matte black nitride for superior corrosion resistance. A Ruger® radial port muzzle break tops of the barrel with a standard 1/2″-28 threaded end for any accessory additions.
Ruger chose a 1:8 twist rate, which is an excellent choice. Though the 1:7 and 1:9 twist rates are more popular in carbine model AR-15’s, the 1:8 twist rate captures the benefits of both of the other twist rates while losing nothing. The 1:8 twist rate is able to stabilize a wide range of bullets from 35 to 77 grains, more than sufficient to handle the vast majority of popular AR-15 cartridges.
The Ruger AR-556 MPR is fitted with a rifle-length gas system, which some consider to be the best for the AR-15, following the original design for the military rifle. A rifle-length system can provide smoother operation and reduced felt recoil. At the same time the rifle tends to shoot cleaner as more of the carbon is burned up before activating the bolt.
Finally, the Ruger AR-556 MPR is outfitted with quality furniture from Magpul. The MOE SL™ collapsible stock is designed for the Ruger Mil-Spec buffer tube, and provides excellent shooting position options and a nice cheek weld. A MOE® grip and free-floating M-LOK® 15-inch handguard provide excellent ergonomics and accessory attachments at the 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00 positions. There are also angled positions on top near the muzzle. A single 30-round Magpul PMAG is included.
Ruger AR-556 MPR Features
- Rifle-length gas-impingement operating system
- Mil-Spec buffer tube
- Free-floating 15.0-inch M-LOK® hand guard
- Forged aircraft-grade 7075-T6 aluminum receivers
- Receivers are Type III hard coat anodized
- Machined 9310 alloy steel bolt is shot peened and pressure proof tested
- Elite 452™ 2-stage trigger – full strength spring, lightweight hammer is 30% faster
- Magpul MOE grip
- Magpul MOE SL collapsible stock.
Ruger AR-556 MPR Specifications
- Overall Length: 35.0 to 38.25 inches
- Barrel Length: 18.0 inches
- Height: 8.0 inches
- Weight: 6.8 pounds
- Length of Pull: 11.1o to 14.40 inches
- Barrel Material: Cold-hammer forged 4140 chrome-moly steel
- Bolt Material: Machined 9310 alloy steel
- Trigger: Ruger Elite 452™ 2-stage
- Trigger Pull: 4.5 pounds
- Sights: None
- MSRP: $899.00.
We’ve been really impressed with what Ruger has been producing over the last several years. Ruger already had a very good reputation for firearms excellence, but their latest mass-produced rifles and handguns have really risen to the top. From the Ruger Precision Rifle to the Ruger American Pistol to the two Ruger AR-556 rifles, Ruger has really delivered.
Though late to the AR-15 market, Ruger’s submissions have proven themselves to be very well-built, accurate, and affordable. The Ruger AR-556 MPR is well worth a serious look for both professional or personal use. The accuracy is top-notch, the 2-stage trigger is fantastic, and the Magpul furniture is a great selection for a variety of accessories. The one negative I have found is the MPR does not come with any form of iron sight. Despite this oversight for out-of-the-box readiness, the Ruger AR-556 MPR is one of the best mid-range AR-15 rifles on the market.