This week on Rifle Roundup, it’s the Ruger AR-556 MPR rifle, along with a Leupold Patrol 6HD low power variable optic and a Magpul bipod.
Ruger AR-556 MPR Rifle MSRP $2049
One of the reasons why the AR-15 is so popular these days is that just by adding a few accessories, it can become whatever gun you want it to be, or you can buy a gun right off the rack, setup just the way you want it.
The Ruger AR-556 MPR is one of those second kinds of AR-15s. Yes, it can be turned into a close-quarters defensive rife by changing out the upper receiver and other parts, but this rifle is really designed from the get-go to shoot at longer distances than your typical AR-15 can shoot.
The 18-inch Proof Research barrel is your first indication that this is not a run-of-the-mill AR. The barrel is made from carbon fiber with a steel liner and is finished off with a threaded-on muzzle brake. The carbon fiber barrel means this gun is much lighter than other ARs with similar barrel lengths. This in turn makes it easy to transition from target to target as there’s less mass to move around.
The MPR is chambered in .223 Wylde, which means it can feed both .223 Rem. and 5.56 NATO with equal aplomb. The handguard has Picatinny rails on top and Magpul M-Lok on the sides and bottom, and it’s also free-floated to reduce pressure on the barrel with firing, increasing the accuracy of the gun. The lower receiver is fitted with Magpul PRS Lite stock that nicely balances the weight of the rifle and has a reversible QD cup to attach a sling. The stock is adjustable for length of pull and comb height, and there is also a Magpul MOE-K2 grip on the gun.
Inside the lower receiver is a two-stage Ruger Elite 452 AR-Trigger that has a rather nice, crisp, 4.5 pound trigger pull, and the rifle ships with one 30 round Magpul P-Mag magazine.
What all of these features mean is that the Ruger MPR is easy to move between shots on close-range targets, but that great trigger and 18 inch barrel means more accuracy against longer ranged targets. As a result, we’re teaming this gun with a low power variable optic, or LPVO, to get us on target at both near and far distances.
Leupold Patrol 6HD 1-6x30mm LPVO MSRP $1,599.99
Low power variable optics are becoming more and more popular because they can be used at 1 power for fast, close quarters engagements and, with the twist of a dial, zoom out to 4x, 6x or ever greater magnifications, giving you better accuracy at longer distances. The Patrol 6HD we have on top of this rifle has Leupold’s CMR2 reticle, which gives you both a “donut” for fast target acquisition and a hash marks on the reticle that are calibrated for bullet drop compensation (hence the term “BDC”) when used with either .223 Rem. or .308 Win. ammo. As a result, when you twist the magnification dial (or move the included lever attached to the dial), your hold points for longer distances are right there for you to use, without the need to refer to an external ballistics chart.
In addition to this, the Patrol 6HD has a nifty motion-sensitive illumination feature that lights up the reticle when in use and shuts it down after long periods of inactivity. The illumination also adjusts to ambient lighting conditions, and everything you see inside this scope goes through Leupold’s top-shelf, multi-coated optical-quality glass, resulting in a LPVO that sets the standard for others to follow.
Magpul MOE M-Lok Bipod MSRP $114.95
That high-quality glass does you little good if you can’t keep your sights on-target, which is why a bipod comes in mighty handy for making long-distance shots. The Magpul MOE M-Lok mount bipod fits right into the M-Lok slots found on many of today’s modern sporting rifles, and is also available in versions which work with Picatinny rails or a swivel stud. The legs on the bipod are individually adjustable from 6.8 to 10. Inches in height, with seven adjustment points in between fully open and fully closed. The legs snap into place for use, and then close down at the touch of a button. There is a knurled knob on the bottom of the bipod that locks everything into place once you’ve settled in behind your rifle.
I set up my bipods a little bit different than some people in that I swing the legs towards me. I find it easier to deploy the legs that way, and there's less of a chance of getting everything caught up in brush or something. This only works, of course, if the bipod legs stay locked during recoil, and the Magpul MOE does exactly that.
The really nice thing about the MOE Bipod is, while it’s solidly built, just like so many other products from Magpul, it is still lightweight and has a low-profile design, so it won’t get in the way when not in use. Other bipods in this price range are bulkier and can be harder to deploy in a hurry, but the MOE Bipod does everything you want a general-purpose bipod to do, and at a rather attractive price point as well.