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Best Barrel for Ruger AR 556

A Comprehensive Guide

The Ruger® AR-556® Semi-automatic Tactical Rifle is one of the most popular rifles. It’s lightweight and accurate for hunting or personal defense. However, there are a few things you need to know when choosing accessories, such as optics, sights and barrels. For the hunter out there, barrels are an essential piece of gear to have. If you want your rifle to perform well under any conditions, you must choose the best barrel for Ruger AR 556. A good barrel will help with accuracy by increasing velocity and reducing muzzle jump, translating into better shot placement on target every time.

Ballistic Advantage Ar-15 Modern Series Barrels 5.56mm

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Barrel for Ruger AR 556 can be used with many different gun types and help you improve your shooting skills. It’s easy to use; just attach it to the end of your barrel and start firing away. We want to help you with this process by reviewing five popular choices in Ruger AR 556 barrels.

Table of Contents

If you are in a hurry to purchase the best barrel for Ruger AR 556, and you want to make the best decision, here are our top 3 picks:

Top 3 Best Barrel for Ruger AR 556

We hope that this guide will help you make an informed decision on which barrel meets your needs best. Below we’ll provide features and pros and cons on each one. Take a look and enjoy.

5 Best Barrel for Ruger AR 556 (Ranked And Reviewed)

1. Ballistic Advantage Modern Series Barrels

Ballistic Advantage Modern Series Barrels
$115.99 $0
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The Ballistic Advantage Modern Series Barrels are precision machined from extra-strong 4150 chrome-moly-vanadium steel alloy and finished with a durable, corrosion-resistant nickel-boron coating. They also feature an M4 feed ramp extension at the end of the barrel to aid in reliable feeding under challenging use conditions. Barrels are the heart of any rifle. The quality of the barrel will dictate accuracy and longevity. Ballistic Advantage’s Modern Series barrels are made to perform and last a lifetime. These barrels are chambered in 5.56 NATO and can be used with .223 Remington ammo, ideal for home defense, hunting, and competitive shooting.


Each barrel is individually inspected for headspace by precision custom hardened gauges. This barrel features a mid-length gas system and includes a pinned low-profile gas block. It also comes with a pre-installed M4 style flash hider. It is a Product Description: 1/2-28 Threaded Muzzle – 4150 Chrome Moly Vanadium Steel, Cold Hammer Forged with  1-7 Twist Rate. This barrel is machined from Vanadium steel with a QPQ finish. The QPQ process takes all the benefits of chrome lining without any of the drawbacks. The QPQ finish allows for a tighter bore and more uniform hardness distribution.

Ballistic Advantage Modern Series Barrels.



2. Faxon Firearm Arc Barrels Heavy Profile

Faxon Firearm Arc Barrels Heavy Profile
$209.99 $0
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Faxon’s Heavy Profile 6mm AR-15 barrels are made from 416R stainless steel and finished with a black Nitride finish. The heavy profile is best suited for those looking for a weight-forward balance or shooting heavier bullets. These barrels feature an extended feed ramp for reliability and a 5/8×24 threaded muzzle and M4 style feed ramps. All of our finishes are done in-house in the USA.  The Faxon Firearms 16” Heavy Profile Arc 5R barrel features a 1-8 twist rate, .750 gas block diameter, and an A2 flash hider.


The barrel comes with a sub MOA accuracy guarantee and will free-float most rail systems. Faxon Firearm’s 6mm AR-15 Heavy Profile barrels are an excellent choice for shooters looking to get the most out of their 6mm AR-15. Thanks to Brownells’ partnership with Faxon, they offer these heavy profile barrels at a highly competitive price. These match barrel profiles are designed for 6mm AR-15 upper receivers and come ready for installation on your favorite lower receiver. All you have to do is install the barrel, headspace it, and you’re prepared to shoot.



3. Grendel Barrels Stainless Steel

Grendel Barrels Stainless Steel
$314.99 $0
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The Brownells 6.5 Grendel AR-15 barrel provides AR rifle owners with a high-quality barrel option that provides peak performance at an affordable price. The 18” length gives shooters the ability to use standard bolt carrier groups and magazines while still allowing for optimum velocity and accuracy when paired with a shorter gas system or suppressor. Grendel® barrels are the pinnacle of AR15 accuracy. Their match-grade barrel is engineered for pinpoint accuracy and made from the highest quality 416 stainless steel.


It is compatible with both .223 Remington and 6.5 Grendel ammunition; this stainless steel barrel features a 1:8 twist rate for excellent long-range accuracy, Grendel® barrels feature a standard .750-inch gas journal with 5/8×24 TPI threads, an 11-degree target crown for the appropriate thread protector, and an A2 flash hider. All Grendel Barrels are made to the highest quality standards in the industry, using state-of-the-art CNC machines to produce a superior product.

Grendel Barrels Stainless Steel.



4. Colt Barrel Nato Government

Colt Barrel Nato Government
$419.99 $0
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Colt’s M4 Carbine is a lightweight, gas-operated, air-cooled magazine-fed 5.56mm weapon system with a four-position collapsible stock. The barrel is forged from ordnance grade carbon steel with a chrome-lined bore and chamber for enhanced durability and extended life. This Colt M4-type features a 1:7 twist rate. It has an 11.5″ medium contour with a manganese phosphate finish and M4 feed ramps. The barrel extension is finished with an F-marked front sight base installed on the barrel, while the A2 flash hider is threaded for attachment to a standard 1/2×28 TPI muzzle device. 


It is a US-made AR15 barrel assembly for the Ruger ar 556 rifle. It has been manufactured to NATO specifications and features a front sight tower with bayonet lug, gas block with sling swivel hole, and a carbine-length gas tube. This barrel assembly will fit any standard AR 15 lower receiver and comes complete with a handguard cap. It also has a loaded chamber indicator on top of the slide, interchangeable backstraps, adjustable sights, and an internal striker block for consistent primer ignition.



5. Brownells Hybrid Barrel

Brownells Hybrid Barrel
$178.49 $0
10 08 2022
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Brownells Hybrid Barrel is the first and only drop-in barrel that you can use with standard AR-556 rifles and a host of other firearms. It is done using a unique piston design that separates the chamber and gas block into two separate parts. This hybrid barrel allows you to use multiple calibers in the same barrel without changing gas blocks or reconfiguring your gas system. The Hybrid’s .625 diameter gas block journal fits under almost all free-floating handguards currently on the market, including our own Brownells M-Lok Handguard.


It allows you to install your favorite free-float handguard without needing to remove the front sight post. The Brownells Hybrid Barrel is the ultimate solution for AR-15 owners who want to add a suppressor to their rifle. The Hybrid Barrel features an 11.5” barrel with a permanently attached, 3” long muzzle device machined from 416R stainless steel bar stock and features 5/8×24 threads on one end and 1/2×28 threads on the other. It provides the shooter with two thread pitches compatible with the most common AR-15 muzzle devices.



How Does A Barrel for Ruger AR 556 Work?

The barrel of the AR-15 has a gas port drilled in it, which feeds gas from the cartridge’s explosion to push back the bolt and eject a spent casing. The gas block has its hole into the receiver, which is open to the bore if there is any gas flow at all, that would be excess gas that isn’t pushing back the bolt and filling up your buffer tube with exhaust. If you have an empty chamber (no round loaded) and your rifle is cocked, you can temporarily block off that port by holding something clean across it without doing damage: a cleaning rod in one hand has it shut quickly.


Even when fired with a full magazine but without a bullet (called “dry firing”), there’s no noticeable excess gas from the port. When you don’t have fully-powered ammunition, the short maximum length of gas pressure in your barrel is insufficient to push back a bolt all the way and eject a spent casing; instead, it bleeds off quickly after unlocking with the bullet gone. Your rifle has three distinct positions: “cocked,” where pulling on the charging handle slides it along its grooves and compresses a spring inside its tube; “locked,” where pulling again releases it for firing; and “open,” where pushing on an empty magazine will drop down on something that locks it open so it won’t shoot when you pull the trigger.


You can feel this very clearly if you put your finger lightly against these things while holding one hand outside the rifle: cocking, locking and open are very distinct motions. In a typical shooting scenario, the bolt is locked by a round in the chamber, so you pull straight back on your charging handle to cock it – that’s when an empty magazine should fall out. That barrel port isn’t functional unless there’s something at least the size of a bullet in your receiver; if you don’t have one there, then it only has pressure from gas coming from behind to push back. After pulling back on the handle, the movement you feel is just its inertia starting up instead of if you don’t do anything relating to the barrel’s gas vent.

Advantages of A Barrel for Ruger AR 556

Your Ruger AR 556, although light and accurate enough for a good hit on the target, is not ideal as a weapon for various reasons. For instance, it is not of military quality hence may malfunction at any time. The benefit of installing an aftermarket barrel for Ruger AR-556 would be immense both in accuracy and reliability. A Ruger AR-556 barrel is a simple upgrade from the heavy factory barrel. Aftermarket barrels are lighter, thinner, more accurate than the stock unit and have better cooling properties. The latter would not take long to heat up and affect shooting accuracy. Some manufacturers claim that their products are military grade which means they meet all quality standards. You can get a barrel for Ruger AR 556 with no effect on accuracy and ease of installation.


The benefit of the Ruger AR-556 barrel is that it allows easy attachment of a flash hider or muzzle brake. The aftermarket part enables shooting stability, improves accuracy and reduces recoil, essential in semi-automatic guns. It also provides zero scope alignment between the bore axis with ammunition types for 556 NATO and .223 Remington/5.56mm NATO. An extra advantage is total customization of the gun according to individual preferences: lengths and styles are available for purchase if you cannot make one by yourself using a kit supplied by some manufacturers or use your parts as an option.

Disadvantage of A Barrel for Ruger AR 556

There are only two disadvantages to the installation of an aftermarket barrel for Ruger AR-556. The gunsmith who installs it for you might have difficulty at first. Specific instructions must attach the barrel, and you will need tools that are sometimes not included in a kit. It is also necessary to know how to do it yourself.

What To Consider While Buying The Best Barrel for Ruger AR 556?

The most significant thing to think of is the ease with which you can mount a scope on it because if you cannot mount a scope, then your AR would be incomplete.


You must also be careful about the compatibility of your barrel with the upper receiver to make it a good working unit.


Another thing you must not miss is that your barrel should fit the lower so well that there are no clearance gaps, or else it would give you a lot of problems in its use.


The next thing you need to think about is the quality of your barrel, and if it’s not good quality, then how can you expect a lot from it.


You also have to think about how much accuracy your barrel would provide because without that, all the other features are worthless.


The other thing you must consider is the material from which it’s made because if it’s made of cheap metal, there are many chances that it will not last long.


You should also keep in mind that you should not forget about its quality while considering the price, or else you would be throwing money away.


One more thing to consider while choosing a barrel for your AR-556 is that after buying a complete upper assembly, first get rid of its stock and replace it with an adjustable one to get better performance out of your gun.


What we have learned from this point is how important it is for you to consider all these factors while choosing your barrel because it would cost you a lot if you don’t.


We recommend using .750″ Diameter Gas Blocks with these rifles because they are not made to handle high pressures as other models can. 

Stainless steel is one of the most popular options, but there are some drawbacks to this choice. The most common choices for AR-15 barrels include stainless steel, chrome-molybdenum (CM), or nitride-coated CM. All three are good options and have their advantages and disadvantages. One of the main benefits of stainless steel is its durability; it doesn’t rust easily like other metals such as brass does if exposed to certain elements in nature or from human contact.

Yes, you can put a suppressor on your Ruger 556 rifle!  As long as it is threaded for 1/2×28 and has an overall length under 16 inches, any standard-length barrel will fit with no problems. 


The AR is a versatile weapon that you can use to hunt, shoot targets and defend your home. It’s also a gun with many accessories available on the market that allow you to personalize it for different purposes. In this article, we’ve taken a look at some of the best barrels for Ruger AR-556 rifles. We hope that you found it informative and helpful in making your decision about what barrel to buy. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.

Our Research Process

Our curated list of products has been provided to you by our experienced team of researchers and writers at Ballachy who have tested and scrutinized product recommendations on the market. Our experience in the field, in-depth research and hands-on approach has allowed us to objectively analyse products for years and continuously providing value for buyers who are looking to get accurate and unbiased reviews. If you would like to know more about our research methods, we welcome you to visit our page here detailing how our recommendations are done. Furthermore, as we are always looking keep our guides updated and welcome any feedback from readers regarding different experiences or recommendations to adjust our list. If you consider that we have missed on some important recommendations, please let us know here, so we can add-on any valuable feedback.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at .

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