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S&W M&P Sport II, or Ruger AR-556

7848 Views 37 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  Bradley T
I'm looking to get my first AR carbine, and I've narrowed it down to these two. Which one would you get, and why?

Honorable mentions to Windham Weaponry and Colt as well.

I'm a big fan of Ruger, so I'm leaning towards the AR-556. But I've also read a lot of good things about the S&W.

It looks like a toss up. 1:8 vs 1:9. Not sure.

So which would you get and why?

Thanks.
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I have the M&P, bought it for my first AR. Still love shooting it. Put 300 rounds down range with buddies today as a matter of fact.

I bought it for the price at the time. But it’s the one all my buddies want to shoot. It’s accurate, and I didn’t clean it until about 2,000 rounds (didn’t know better then) and it ran like a top both dirty and clean.
 

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Another vote for the Sport II. The rifles are close but the M&P had Magpul sights and front hand guard, plus the dealer threw in an extra Pmag on the deal. The trigger is better in my opinion and the finish was a little better on it too.

But I really like Ruger products and when I tried their AR I did like it. But the above mentioned extras swayed my choice. I think that either way you go you will be good.
 

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I might be incorrect but I believe the sport 2 has a nitride/melonite barrel. While the ruger is a chf with phosphate finish. I would lean towards the melonite just for ease of maintenance and corrosion resistance. I doubt there’s any real world difference. It’s my own personal bias.
 

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Asking which of these economical gun is better than the other is like asking which car is better, a Nissan Sentra or a Toyota Corolla.

The difference in these two guns are minuscule. They both go bang with regularity and tend to have better mechanical accuracy potential than their prospective owners.

I gave both of mine away. The SW went to a niece and the Ruger went to a nephew. Both of them were thrilled to get the fire sticks. Last I heard, the girl still kept hers with iron sights and the boy put a holosun on his.
 

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The real benefit of the Smith is that it's more mil-spec than the Ruger. A lot of the parts on the Ruger are proprietary. But with the Smith, you can change parts out because it's pretty much standardized. Plus the trigger is excellent; puts my 6920 to shame in that regard.

When Smith sport II was $499, it was a steal.
 

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The real benefit of the Smith is that it's more mil-spec than the Ruger. A lot of the parts on the Ruger are proprietary. But with the Smith, you can change parts out because it's pretty much standardized. Plus the trigger is excellent; puts my 6920 to shame in that regard.

When Smith sport II was $499, it was a steal.
What part on the Ruger that you can’t replace with standardized AR15 part?

please don’t say handguard because I put the MagPul MOE hand guard on without any issue.

even the strange front sight/gas block can be replaced by standardized gas block.

As far as the SW trigger putting the Colt 6920 to shame, that isn’t hard to do. The typical 6920 trigger pulls is godawful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone. Looks like I'm going for the Sport II. Sure would like to have the standard M&P 15....I hear it's more "robust", is that true?

How much does each of them cost these days?
About $749, if I recall.
 

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Thanks everyone. Looks like I'm going for the Sport II. Sure would like to have the standard M&P 15....I hear it's more "robust", is that true?



About $749, if I recall.
The other SWs cost more for a reason. Better barrel steel, better trigger pulls, fancier furnitures. As far as being more robust, unless you’re going to run a bull dozer over these guns, it’ll be hard to tell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The other SWs cost more for a reason. Better barrel steel, better trigger pulls, fancier furnitures. As far as being more robust, unless you’re going to run a bull dozer over these guns, it’ll be hard to tell.
That's a good point, thanks.
 

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I've got limited experience with these, but I found the M&P better built. The Ruger I shot didn't want to catch the bolt. As noted, the Ruger comes with some proprietary parts like the gas block, handguard hardware and (I think) flash hider, rear flip up sight.

Hardly a condemnation on the R556 model generally. But the Smith is my preference in this particular match up.
 

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In summer 2016 with Hillary’s expected election, I decided to buy an AR for the first time and narrowed it down to the S&W and the Ruger. I found the best deal at the time on the S&W and I haven’t been sorry.

If I’d gotten Ruger, I’d probably be equally happy.

Fast forward to the insanity of 2020 and 2021, and I think the issue remains the same, but even more so- try to find either of these guns that you can actually get your hands on at a deal you can live with and don’t look back!
 
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