Ruger’s new AR-556 Optics Carbine swaps the front sight for a railed gas block
By Chris Eger
The flat top Picatinny upper receiver and same-plane gas block is billed by Ruger as ideal for easy attachment of magnified optic, red dot or open sights. (Photos: Ruger)
The latest chapter in Ruger’s AR-556 series uses a milled gas block with an integral Picatinny rail in place of the more traditional front sight.
Essentially the same platform at their original AR-556, Ruger’s new Optics Carbine variant has both a flat top Picatinny upper and a same-plane railed gas block that allows end-users to easily attach accessories, open sights and/or the glass of their choice. The gas block is located at the carbine-length (M4) position on the 16.10-inch, 1:8-inch RH-twist, 4140 chrome-moly steel barrel.
The new Optics Carbine model, left, is the same as the standard AR-556, except for the sighting option on the top half, and comes in at a hair cheaper.
Like the rest of the series, the rifle uses a 7075-T6 aluminum receiver with forward assist, 9310 alloy steel bolt that is peened and proofed, 5.56 NATO chamber, chrome-plated and staked gas key, M4-style buttstock, and Mil-Spec buffer tube. Available in matte black, it ships with a single 30-round PMAG.
Retail is $789, which is sawbuck cheaper than the standard model, and