When I learned Ruger planned to introduce an upgrade on its successful gas impingement rifle, I was very interested. The AR 556 is a reliable and accurate rifle—possibly the best buy in its price range.
The new Ruger Multi Purpose Rifle (MPR) is designed for sporting use, including hunting and 3-Gun competition. It is also well suited to home or area defense and would be a good rifle for agency use. You don’t need many accessories for tactical use, but you need a reliable rifle. This is that rifle and it is affordable.
The MPR is supplied with a MAGPUL MOE grip and MOE SL collapsible buttstock. I see no reason to replace these parts. They are proven accessories. A few months ago, Ruger introduced its two-stage 452 trigger. I have enjoyed excellent results with this trigger in several rifles.
The 452 trigger fits most AR-type rifles. The MPR is supplied with this trigger from the factory. Specified at 4.5 lbs., mine was crisp and broke at 4.7 lbs. The barrel is an 18-inch version with a removable compensator. The chromed bolt carrier is properly staked at the gas keys. The rifle shows attention to detail and good quality control.
The Ruger MPR features a full-length gas system. The MPR is chambered in 5.56mm NATO, allowing use of the full range of 5.56mm NATO and .223 Remington ammunition. Ruger’s relatively slim (1.5-inch diameter) free-floating handguard features accessory attachments on the forend and near the muzzle. There is plenty of real estate to mount a laser, light, or other combination of accessories in the most advantageous locations.
The rifle is supplied with a single 30-round PMAG. I evaluated the rifle in multiple range sessions with two different optics, as well as fixed sights. The optics included a TruGlo 30mm red dot and a TruGlo Eminus 3x9x40mm scope. Neither was expensive, but I have used each on multiple rifles with good results. They have both served well and represent a good buy.
I began with fixed sights at a modest 25 yards to evaluate gun handling. The Magpul magazine and my own mix of magazines were filled with the Hornady 55-grain FMJ training load. Included were magazines from a half-dozen makers to ensure the MPR is compatible with various types. All worked fine.
I began running the rifle at 25 yards, firing at man-sized targets. Quickly bringing the rifle to the shoulder with the forward hold, I consistently punched holes in the X ring. The trigger is an advantage, with a crisp let-off and good reset. The 18-inch barrel doesn’t have a heavy contour and is well balanced for fast work at moderate range.
It doesn’t take long to make brass with the Ruger MPR, and I ran 90 rounds in the rifle without any issues. Next, I mounted the TruGlo red dot and with a minimum of rounds expended, I had the 30mm Red Dot sighted in. With this sight, times were much faster as I homed in on the target.
The rifle was taken home, cleaned, and properly lubricated. A week later, with several hundred cartridges expended, the rifle had given good results. There were no failures to feed, chamber, fire, or eject. There was a single failure of the bolt to lock to the rear—early on—that may have been due to a well-worn magazine.
The final test was for absolute accuracy at 100 yards. For this test the 3x9x40mm Eminus scope was mounted. The TruGlo 3x9x40mm scope and the 452 trigger, along with quality ammunition, provided good results. This is an excellent scope for the price point that should give good service.
The TruGlo Eminus features an illuminated reticle with brightness setting. I like this scope a lot, and I predict this new edition will be a success. I used an aluminum 20-round magazine for easier bench resting in this test. The trigger is good and the forend provided a good grip.
While a better shooter or better optics may have provided more impressive results, an off-the-shelf AR that produces 1 MOA with quality ammunition is a good rifle to have. Some of the groups were larger, but none drifted over two inches for a three-shot group. One group went under an inch at .85.
In one instance, two of the three shots were touching with the third opening the group to 1.2 inch. The rifle is consistently accurate. The Ruger MPR is reliable and offers quality at a moderate price. The extra two inches of barrel provide a small but noticeable velocity edge over the 16-inch carbine.
Ruger’s MPR has a better, natural point than some. It is accurate, reliable, handles well, and you do not have to purchase furniture for the rifle as it comes well equipped. This is an AR-15 for sporting and defense, and well worth its price.
Accuracy Results 100 Yards
|Hornady 55-grain FMJ Training||3,011 fps||1.4 inch|
|Hornady 68-grain BTHP||2,901 fps||.9 inch|
|Hornady 75-grain BTHP||2,830 fps||1.2 inch|
|40-grain V Max||3,200 fps||2.0 inch|
|60-grain A Max||3,013 fps||1.0 inch|