SR 556 Too Heavy, Help Me Make It Lighter?

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May 25, 2017

I enjoy shooting the SR 556, or should I say I used to enjoy shooting the Ruger SR 556. The model in question dates back to 2012 or their first series. For a while at 25 yard indoor or outdoor duty it was fun enough but as time went by, a Primary Arms scope found its way to the top, any my skills have improved, I feel hampered.

The problem for my shooting tighter groups prone or hitting small targets beyond a certain distance is the fact that I cannot keep the rifle steady due to its heavy weight. I know that a bipod or bench rest always solves this problem, but this is not a 338 Lapua taking 1,000 yard shots. I just want to hit clay pigeon fragments, pinecones, small rocks or small(ish) varmint animals while shooting prone at 200+ yards on the first shot. Again bench rested the rifle does great, both the Arrow and the Indian are up for it. The problem is that the Arrow, in this case the SR 556 is too heavy.

I would really rather avoid having to buy a whole new upper as I do very much enjoy the gas piston design which is quick to clean vs a DI rifle. A friend of mine commented that the rails on the rifle were the cat's meow when it first came out in 2009 but there are more lightweight options now. However being a gas piston (and proprietary) design I don't want to start buying parts only to find out they don't fit.

Are there lightweight mods that are compatible with an early SR 556, anyone have experience with this?



Nov 16, 2012
Kiowa/Deer Trail, CO
you aren't going to shave enough weight by changing stocks and furniture, to suit you. And generally the heavier weight is easier to shoot more accurately due to less wiggle. A bipod from prone, or shooting sticks from kneeling or sitting will do more for your accuracy than ANY weight you try to shave. And maybe you wouldn't feel as 'hampered' if you had a decent scope. And really, if the 'Indian' was up to it, he could do what you want to do, without a benchrest. Those 338 Lapua guys taking 1000 yd shots, are more than likely using a bipod rather than a bench. Follow their lead......


Sep 24, 2014
Shawnee, CO
Think you are stuck, they did do a economy and CLA model that were lighter, with a lighter handguard.

You could call customer service and see if any are available and if you could buy one or send yours in to have it changed.

Don't know if they will do something like that or not....

Otherwise, easier to sell it and buy a lighter gun that is more reactive in your hands, suggest something more tailored to 3 gun competition.

That will be accurate, point well, and easily moved from target to target.

Suggest you look at some of Jerry Miculek's videos on youtube on shooting ARs for 3 gun. Talks about stances, how to hold the firearm, especially at the handguard, and how to "push" it to target with your offhand.

Good stuff there...


Mar 29, 2017
You do not go into any detail about your shooting position (s) you are using that makes a heavy rifle to heavy to hold steady. Prone should be done with a proper sling and leather shooting glove. Elbows, wear clothing that do not side around as with the sling on your upper arm. My DCM match AR was (I quit matching) was somewhere in the 15 lbs. My international smallbore rifle was about that depending on what I attached to it. Standing a heavier rifle is steadier. Sling or freehand. Prone or other positions the rifle weight gets locked down with a proper sling. I was for many years in the 140lb range. Our bodies do change over time. Where I once could lock down in prone for 30 mins at shoot 100 percent. I cannot do that now. 5 minutes is enough and elbows hurt as an example. Breathing is more difficult as you gain belly weight. With the AR platform you have nearly unlimited models and parts. If that rifle is really to heavy get a light weight carbine, do not put a alot of stuff on it or a large socpe.

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