Is the Ruger AR-556 MPR semi-auto rifle one of the best ARs on the market? We review model 8514 using 5.56 NATO / 223 Rem. caliber ammunition and discover why the AR-556 MPR among the best.

Over the years of reading about the various latest and greatest AR type rifles, I noticed most, not all, but most reviews, test- evaluations were conducted by talented people who never professionally carried one. Yes these professional writers knew what they were talking about and even personally own an AR rifle. To own and shoot a rifle is not the same as to carry one day in and day out to enhance your chances to come home safe each night.

Many of my readers are American Heroes who have or are serving their Country, County, City or Federal Government. Many are issued an AR type rifle. Many of those take their AR to work each day and have them at the ready at arm’s length. To shoot at paper targets and varmints is not the same as shooting at a moving target which can and does shoot back. So for those of us who have and possibly will again depend on our AR for survival, we demand the best. After all, I know I don’t want my life to depend on an AR which came in second place.

The same goes for our warrior hearted Sheepdogs. I like to think the armed citizens in the USA are like our Minute Men of the Revolutionary War. On April 19, 1775 the first shots were fired just after dawn on the Green in Lexington, Massachusetts. The British then moved to Concord where they met over a thousand armed citizens who just took the North Bridge from the “Red Coats” which was when the “Shot Heard around the World” was fired.

Henry Repeating Arms

“Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1837

Keep in mind, the farmers and shop keepers who made up the Minute Men Militia, considered themselves British Citizens. They believe they were protecting their homes and families from tyranny. Ironically today Massachusetts is in the top five States which have the most restrictive firearm laws.

There are many good AR rifles being manufactured today. However, for me, in my professional opinion for the money at any price, the new Ruger AR-556 MPR model 8514 is the rifle to buy. The Ruger MPR 8514 lower receiver is fitted with a Magpul® MOE® grip and MOE SL™ collapsible buttstock on the Mil-Spec buffer tube. The 18 inch barrels’ handguard is a 15 inch Free-Float M-LOK® by Magpul. The one 30 round 5.56 Magpul magazine accompanies this top of the line rifle. I like the low profile of the Ruger MPR. The flattop upper receiver is made from aerospace-grade 7075-T6 aluminum. The upper receiver includes a forward assist, dust cover and brass deflector. Also the upper receiver is coated with Type III hard coat anodized for maximum durability. I don’t coddle my firearms and treat them as a tool and not a museum piece. For this reason I love the “Type III” anodized coating as it takes a licking and keeps on protecting.

The Best AR Just Keeps Getting Better

This Ruger AR MPR has a 9310 alloy steel bolt which is machined and pressure proof tested. The trigger is a Ruger Elite 452™ two-stage which offers a smooth and crisp 4.5 pound trigger pull. My test model has an average 4.3 pound trigger pull which is very crisp. The full-strength hammer spring is consistent in primer ignition. I never had a misfire or a misfeed after 800 rounds fired. This lightweight hammer enables a 30% faster lock time over other standard MSR (Modern Sporting Rifles) triggers. The gas operating system is such as it makes the shooting of the Ruger MRP considerably smoother and with considerably less felt recoil. Inexperience shooters who tried my test model were pleasantly surprised with the light recoil.

The selling point for the Ruger MPR Model 8514 is the cold hammer-forged 4140 chrome-moly steel 18 inch barrel. The ultra-precise rifling has a 1:8 inch twist which allows this rifle to shoot very accurately bullet weights from 35 to 77 grains. I fired 55 to 75 grain rounds through my test sample and experienced 3 inch groups at 100 yards.  A better shooter with a precise target scope would no doubt accomplish better groupings.

If you are one who just has to have a flashlight, laser and other accessories attached to their AR, then the Ruger MPR Model 8514 is your rifle. The Magpul® M-LOK® accessory attachment slots are located at the 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00 o’clock positions. For me iron sights or a low power shorter scope like the Leopold HOG pictured on my sample model is my choice.

Chrome-plated bolt carrier inside diameter and chrome-plated gas key inside diameter provide exceptional resistance to hot gases. The gas key is staked so that it will not loosen after extensive firing. A matte black oxide finish on the exterior of the bolt carrier provides corrosion resistance. This model of Ruger has a muzzle of a radial port design which significantly reduces felt recoil and muzzle movement. At the end is a 1/2″-28 threaded section allowing for standard muzzle accessories such as a suppressor.

Ruger AR-556 MPR Testing Results and Evaluation


In testing the Ruger MPR 8514, I used .223 Rem 75 gr, BTHP Match™ Hornady BLACK™, Nosler .223 Rem 74 gr. and Browning .223 Rem BXV Varmint Expansion 50 gr. rounds. All ammo fired was outstanding. Grouping of each round were within 3 inches at 100 yards.

After firing 800 rounds through the Ruger MPR Model 8514 I had zero problems. All ammo feed perfectly and functioned flawlessly. At 800 rounds the breach heated up to 175 degrees and the Magpul handguard tested at 158 degrees which was a little hot to handle barehanded. I used the standard Magpul 30 round magazine which came with the test rifle, and my favorite AR magazines the 30 round Hexmag. I have found through testing, the Hexmag to date, out performs any magazine I have tested. They are strong and reliable with a unique color coding system.

If you are a Warrior or a Sheepdog with a warrior’s heart, and have some the “Minute Men” blood pulsing through your veins, the Ruger MPR Model 8514 is the AR for you. I professionally highly recommend this outstanding product.

Ruger AR-556 MPR Specs

  • Barrel: 4140 chrome-moly steel
  • Barrel Length: 18 inches
  • Overall Length: 35 inch to 38.25 inch
  • Twist: 1:8 inches RH (Made for 35 to 77 gr. bullets)
  • Grooves: 5
  • Front Sight: None
  • Rear: Sight None
  • Height: 8 inches
  • Weight: 6.8 pounds
  • Thread Pattern: 0.5 inch to 28 thread (Suppressor ready)
  • Stock: Black Synthetic, Collapsible
  • Handguard: Free-Float M-LOK®
  • Finish: Type III Hard Coat Anodized
  • Operating system: Removable Magazine fed, semi-auto, gas operated
  • Length of Pull: 11.10 inches to 14.40 inches (Standard 13.5 inches)
  • Magazine Provided: MagPul 30 round

MSRP: $899.00
Can be found: $649.99

Ruger Firearms



Browning Ammunition

Sentry Hexmag

Henry Repeating Arms