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Ruger SR-762, c Nick Leghorn

The number of companies making AR-15 style rifles has exploded in the last couple years. Even some of the bigger names in the industry who had previously avoided the platform are getting in on the action, like Smith & Wesson and Ruger. Now that those companies have an established foothold in the market, it’s only natural that they would want to expand. We saw S&W’s M&P-10 in 7.62 NATO come online at the SHOT Show and now Ruger has gotten into the AR-10 game with their SR-762 offering . . .

Ruger makes some amazing products. Their 10/22, for example, is the gold standard when it comes to rimfire rifles, and Tyler Kee has used a M77 bolt action rifle for hunting ever since I’ve known him. But Ruger hasn’t really made any “new” auto-loading rifles since the Mini-14 came out back in 1973. So it was a huge surprise when they jumped head-first into the AR-15 game with their SR-556 — and an even bigger surprise that it was actually pretty damn good. I had a chance to spend a week in the Arizona desert with it and I can safely say that I had more issues than the gun, thanks in part to the piston system which Ruger used instead of the gas expansion design that’s more common in the AR-15 platform.

Moving from an AR-15 to an AR-10 design should, theoretically, be easy since the AR-15 is simply a scaled down version of its .308 Winchester big brother. But when you’re dealing with that much mass and energy moving around in such a small package, things can go awry. But before we start the gripe fest, let’s go over some of the brilliant points of this design.

Ruger SR-762, c Nick Leghorn

The SR-762 was designed from the ground up to be a true “battle rifle” — a lightweight, short rifle chambered in the heavy-hitting 7.62 NATO cartridge. In that sense the rifle hits all of the requirements, but also opens it up to a direct comparison to the FNH USA SCAR 17S which fills the same role.

The stock is an adjustable lightweight deal, which seems more at home on the lighter 5.56 NATO cousin but nevertheless works well on the gun. If I were going to buy this rifle I’d probably swap it out for a Magpul PRS stock, but then again that wouldn’t fit with the “battle rifle” mentality. The gun is designed to be light and slick, and for that purpose the stock is perfect — just enough stock without too much weight and bulk added. The castle nut keeping it on the gun is staked in place, and feels solid against the shoulder when firing or moving around.

SR-762, c Nick Leghorn

The gun comes with a set of folding iron sights, which look remarkably close to the H&K style sights that are in use on the HK416 these days. I’ve never been that much of a fan, but the sights work fine and do a good job for close range work. If your mission requires you to reach out a little further, the gun features a flat-top upper receiver and a full length Picatinny rail along the top of the handguards for whatever night vision or tactical tomfoolery your heart desires.

While we’re talking about the handguards, they aren’t free floating. The gas block contacts the handguards at the front, which usually means a decrease in accuracy when in non-standard shooting positions. However, I didn’t notice any appreciable shift in the point of impact when I was testing the gun while against a telephone pole or on a window sill. Then again, I was only testing at about 50 yards, so your mileage may vary. But while they aren’t free floating, they are extremely comfortable. The handguards come with some grippy panels that you can attach, but the slick design (without any rails on the sides or bottom) allow you to get your hand around them without any of the usual cheese grater comparisons.

The barrel length is a mere 16 inches, the legal minimum, which saves on weight and allows the gun to be more nimble in the field. The barrel itself is cold hammer forged for a longer useful lifetime, and features a fluted profile under the handguards to lighten the gun and provide more surface area for heat transfer when firing. That short barrel is capped with a Mini-14 style flash hider, which is threaded onto the barrel using a 5/8 – 24 thread. That threading is extremely important for those with silencers who are thinking about getting this rifle.

Ruger SR-762, c Nick Leghorn

Speaking of silencers, the rifle uses a 2-stage piston system that Ruger touts as being the best in the industry. The regulator is designed so that you can turn it by inserting the tip of a .308 Winchester cartridge in the hole, and the regulator is capable of a number of settings including “off.” This is where it gets nifty for those who are using a silencer, since turning off the gas eliminates the noise of the action moving around and allows you to work the gun as if it were a straight pull bolt action rifle. FYI, for comparison, the SCAR has a “suppressed” setting but that’s it — the gas is either “normal” or “suppressed” with no intermediate positions and no off switch.

I can attest to the ease with which one can tune the gas system, because as soon as I put the gun on the bench and started shooting groups, this happened…

Ruger SR-762, c Nick Leghorn

The gun short stroked. For whatever reason the gas setting was too restrictive and the bolt carrier wasn’t making it all the way to the back of the magazine to pick up the next round. I turned the regulator one click further open, and the issue never happened again.

The ability to fine tune your gas system is something I really hope to see in more high-end designs. Not everyone runs the same loads, and while the “average” load is fine for the “average” shooter, if you’re dropping a whole chunk of cash on a rifle it’s nice to know that you can make it work no matter what ammo you feed it. And especially for competition shooters, the ability to fine tune the gas system to the point where there’s barely enough force to cycle the action is a huge help in cutting down the felt recoil of the firearm.

Oh, and the gun takes standard PMAGs. Some AR-10 rifles only work with specific magazines, but this gun was designed to use the AR-10 PMAGs and so they work perfectly. That was one of my major gripes about the SCAR 17S (that it only takes FN’s proprietary magazine), and it looks like the SR-762 avoided that issue.

That’s not to say that the SR-762 is perfect, because it isn’t. Going beyond the technical specifications, there’s a few things that need work on this gun.

Ruger SR-762, c Nick Leghorn

Let’s start with the trigger. It sucks more than almost any other trigger I’ve tested this year. In fact, I think I’d prefer the trigger off the Tavor SAR than this one. This trigger feels like you’re dragging it through a gravel pit, and it’s creepier than a tea party with Bela Lugosi. When you finally get it to the end of its travel, the force required to hit the break is closer to that of a GLOCK than a .308 rifle. The SCAR 17S’ trigger is equally as heavy, but without the accompanying awfulness.

If you buy this gun, I’d recommend replacing the trigger as one of the first things to do. While it may seem like an inconvenience, replacing the trigger should be a snap given the wide availability of replacement triggers for the AR-10 platform. Plus, it’s just as easy as an AR-15 — two pins and you’re done.

Second up on the list o’ gripes is the safety selector switch. Normally as long as it functions I’m happy, but on the example Ruger sent me the safety likes to stop before it is fully disengaged. There’s a point where the safety is almost in the “fire” position (maybe about 75 degrees?), but something about the mechanics of the selector makes you have to force it over a “hump” in the track to rest in the fire position. I took the gun apart trying to figure out what was going on, and my best guess is that the detent for the safety selector is simply too small and is getting hung up on something. A replacement should fix that issue.

Despite these issues, there’s no doubt whatsoever that the gun performs.

SR-762, c Nick Leghorn

That target shows six rounds — not five — in about a 2 inch spread at 100 yards. The first four rounds were within the required 1 MoA to make me like the rifle, but then those two rounds dropped into the red and spoiled the fun. I get the feeling that with some proper equipment and a little more patience someone could get some great groups out of the gun, and if I do I’ll update the review.

Shooting the gun is downright pleasant, with the piston system soaking up some of the recoil and making it feel more like a stout 5.56 round going off than a 7.62 NATO round. If the trigger were a bit better, this would be a great range toy and maybe even a good long range gas gun. Not quite a precision system, but it has the makings of a great medium range rifle.

Ruger SR-762, c Nick Leghorn

The real question , however, is whether the gun is worth the money. The rifle clocks in at a chunky $2,200, which seems a lot until you start comparing it with the competition.

On the high end, you have the SCAR 17S. Spec for spec, the two rifles have almost the same feature set and seem poised to compete head-to-head. But in this case, Ruger gets the job done for about $800 less and with more parts compatibility and availability. So unless you like the aesthetics of the 17S, the SR-762 seems to be the better choice.

On the lower end is the DPMS 308 Recon giving Ruger a run for its money. With an MSRP of only about $1,560 and many of the same features, it appears to be the better choice. But the DPMS still uses the gas expansion system instead of Ruger’s piston system, and the gas system on the DPMS isn’t tuneable. The handguards are also covered in rails by default, which might be a comfort issue for some people. Some people think that those tweaks are worth the extra cash, and I tend to agree.

In my opinion, the Ruger SR-762 is a rifle that makes a lot of sense. It has some amazing features with excellent performance, but there are just enough little nagging issues to keep it from being “perfect.”

Ruger SR-762


Caliber: 7.62 NATO
Barrel: 16.12 inches
Size: 34.75 inches
Weight: 8.6 lbs empty
Capacity: Standard AR-10 PMAGs
MSRP: $2,195

Ratings (Out of Five Stars):
All ratings are relative compared to the other weapons in the gun’s category.

Accuracy: * * * *
It performed well enough, but the non-free-floating barrel gives me some concerns.

Ergonomics: * * * *
I’m not a huge fan of the stock. It just seems unbalanced, like most of the weight is in the front and it wants to tip forward, and it feels a little flimsy to me. Then again, those handguards are great.

Ergonomics Firing: * * *
FIX THE TRIGGER! Please, Ruger, this rifle has so much potential to waste it with a crappy trigger.

Customization: * * * * *
Change whatever you want — it’s an AR-10.

Overall Rating: * * * *
It would take some very slight tweaks to make this gun perfect. But even as it is, I’m thinking of sending a check back instead of the gun . . .

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  1. The AR piston system: a solution in search of a problem.

    Why anybody would spent 2200+ on this when the vastly superior MWS or OBR can be had for a bit more is mind boggling.

      • Agreed. It is a great rifle. You can often find them used for a similar price as the Ruger on Arf or M4C.

      • What’s with all the acronyms? I have no idea what you just said. DGI, yeah I get that–but the rest? It’s all Greek to me.

        • OBR=Lewis Machine and Tool’s (LMT) Optimized Battle Rifle
          Arf=ar15 dot com forums (also referred to as arfcom)
          PSA=Palmetto State Arms

          • As far as I was aware the
            OBR= LaRue Tactical Optimized Battle Rifle. It’s the most expensive MSRP incidentally and the street price now is for only used ones and is far higher.

    • Piston ARs can be great as well as DGI. I own and shoot both – 6 total – and the four position gas selector on my SR-556 is a whole lot more adjustable than my zero position adjustment on my PSA / Magpul ARs.

      • Sure can. My dealer is letting them go for $1895.00. I confirm what he said about the trigger. My daughter says it feels weird…

      • Yes the price is coming down. Best I have heard of is from friend in LA where his father is a avid gun collector. My friend said his local gun shop offer his father one for 1500.00 cash. That is absolutely the best price I have heard of thus far. on another note the only disappointment with Ruger is they don’t offer parts list or a a kit to build your own so that one could choose the barrel length, trigger and safety switch they want for example. Kinda success one has to pay top dollar and not be able to request customized specifics.

        • I got my SR762 for $1300 from a private party sale hosted through an FFL. This is ironic because I bought the SR556 new at Cabela’s for $1400 new a few months earlier. It has allowed me to put all the bells and whistles I want (on both rifles) and still come out under the price point of the other high end AR-10 manufactures. Both my SR762 and the SR556 shoot sub MOA at 300 yards from a bench with ball ammo.

    • Apples and oranges. The Ruger is piston driven and is $1500 at bigger dealers while the MWS and OBR are DI and cost $3500+ new. Might as well get a HK MR762 for that price.

      • I shot the hk 417 the sig 716 and the lwrc 308’s and they shit great with a near $2500 dollar price tag. Dealer let me shoot a ruger sr 762 and said if this piston AR 10 does not make you hard I will knick 300 bucks off the sig you want but sold out of before you got here.
        Since he knows me and I am serious I shot 40 rounds if factory ball and match 308 &762, walked off the range and said wrap it up baby. Out the door under & 1700 with case, 3 20rnd mags, and rails incl. THIS Is Almost 2016 AND Tech IS THE same,Other players are just price gouging on a name.

        • Frank looked every where, just found 1. Out the door $1720.00 shipped. Every one is out and says that Ruger WILL have a price increase.

    • As will I.

      I’m building an AR in .260 for grins. I’ll wager by the time I’m done, I can bring it in under this price.

      At least on the M1A, one can use a sling competently. This is the failing of the AR design: the lack of planning for a serious marksman to use a 1907 sling.

      • Interesting. Did you consider the new 6mm Creedmoor by GAP as well? would love to have a gas gun that can shoot fast DTACs.

        • Yea, but I don’t think I can get the heaviest bullets into the 6mm or .243 cases that I’d want. I’d like to toss 120 to 140gr pills downrange.

      • And then there is the weight issue. The owner of my LGS said that an M1A is a gun you take hunting–once. That 9 1/2 lb (or more) weight gets old really fast.

        • Wow, those old guys from WWII and Korea must have been supermen. They lugged those 9lb rifles up hills and down dales with 40+lbs of other gear. I guess we must have devolved. Or maybe if you stay in shape you too can can carry a 9.5 lb rifle and maybe a day pack when you go hunting.

        • I carry a M1 Garand for large game hunting when im in brush. I dont mind it, that said, guys who carried an M1 in combat didnt exactly have a choice. When im hunting sheep in the mountain, id much rather carry my Sako. But i guess that makes me a sally

        • Carrying an M-1 or similar weighted rifle on a walk in the woods qualifies you to select whatever rifle you find appropriate without being a wuss.

    • So did the Army in 1957. If I wanted a 223 I would buy the mini-14 over an AR,

      The only reason I would even consider an AR-10 platform is to build out a 243 chambered version. That would be a very useful hunting configuration.

      • I second the motion. I concede that a gas piston system is generally more reliable than a DGI system. However, the S&W is also about $500 less expensive than the Ruger and DGI systems may also tend to be more accurate. Since most purchasers are unlikely to use either weapon to lay down a final protective fire against an invading horde, price and a perception of greater accuracy will often trump reliability. In any case, we live in the golden age of AR platforms and all of the companies mentioned in this string deserve a big “thanks” for continuing to expand and improve their product lines.

        • Why would there be any difference in accuracy between DI and piston? In neither does the action begin to cycle until the bullet passes the gas block, so the recoil impulse onset should be exactly the same, the velocities should be the same, the barrels are the same, the ammo is the same. The only difference should be that felt recoil in the piston system should be marginally less due to the mass of the piston.

  2. As the gun companies cycle thru and recycle thru ideas to generate sales, I personally am waiting for the 45-70 Trapdoor to be re-introduced as the newest wiz bang Tacticool objet d’art….Holy Cow, now someone at Freedom Group is gonna steal my idea. Dang…

  3. Pretty sure the AR platforms all use the same trigger parts. A better trigger (eg the Rock River 2-stage) is 10 minutes of work to swap in, but totally agree that this rifle should have a better trigger from the factory.

    Disagree with the light stock being preferable. Ruger cheaped out here. Weight behind the midpoint of an AR is FAR less of an issue than weight in front of the midpoint. More mass in the buttstock would be a Very Good Thing.

    The one thing I dislike about the Rugers is the proprietary handguard. I really like being able to set up my rifles with purpose-specific handguards, and no matter how nice the OEM units are you’re still giving up that choice.

    • Fair gripe, but to me, that handguard looks damn near perfect. When my Ar-15 build is finished, it will be sporting a YHM Customizable forearm that looks pretty much identical.

      • A little more money? Street price on this will be around $2k. I haven’t seen a SCAR-17 for under $3K, ever.

        That $1000-1500 difference will buy a better stock, a Geissele trigger pack, and a whole bunch of 7.62 ammo.

        Still want a SCAR-17, though. 🙂

        • Actually, lots of people have been picking these up for street prices around $1550, so in reality, it ends up costing about half as much as a SCAR. YMMV.

        • Alpha,
          I have a SCAR17s and an M&P10. Love both of them.
          Took my SCAR to the range and knew it was truely my dream rifle but had to make a few changes. First, I ordered a SCAR25 lower and a polished Timney trigger. By getting the SCAR 25 I got a more ergonamically correct lower and the ability to get easily available (and much much cheaper) PMAGS. The cost savings for the mags I bought over the $50 per for FN mags paid for the lower. The SCAR stock trigger pretty much sucked (my opinion) and the Timney trigger is so smooth and crisp its unbelievable. I’m now getting well sub MOA with off the shelf hunting ammo.
          I changed out the stock on the M&P10 as its the same cheap milspec piece of plastic crap as everyone else puts on their ARs. The SCAR is my all around rifle but I use the M&P for longer range shooting. It draws less attention at the range and still takes the PMAGS. Just wish MAGPUL would make a 30 rounder.

      • What makes you say that? Looking at this article, it seems to me that you get a better gas system and wider magazine compatibility with the Ruger compared to the FN SCAR.

        I’m not doubting the SCAR’s quality…but I’m doubting why I’d pay over $1k more for one. Theoretically, if I was in the market.

        • unfortunately, this article reviews the Ruger in a vacuum, with no comparison to other 7.62 rifles. spend a little time on SH and M4C, and you’ll get a good idea what this rifle can and can’t do.

  4. I was eying one of these and for sure like the gun…..but the price was the ultimate deal breaker for me. So I bought a PTR-91 and 20 mags for less then half the price of one of these guns.

    • I like my PTR-91, but the ergos suck on it. Hard-to-use charging handle, and a selector that requires Teutonic-ubermensch-size hands. The optics mounting options also leave something to be desired. Oh, and it eventually shoots itself out of headspace. It’s also maybe a 2-4 MOA gun.

      That said, I feel like the best buy in .308 is the cheap DPMS gun. They’ve got an excellent rep for reliability, take pmags, and tend to shoot damn well out of the box. I can take the money I save and buy the upgrades I really want/need, like a Geissle FCG.

      • The HK91 platform is about as comfortable to operate as a railroad tie. Not to mention they beat the hell out of you. But slapping the charging handle down to go into battery is pretty awesome

      • I would also do some serious due diligence before deciding a particular brand has a rep for reliability.

        my advice is always to create a shortlist of weapons that many others trust with their life and the lives of others. Cost should not play a role. These shouldn’t be mistaken for toys.

        • I know I regularly disagree with you, but I wholeheartedly agree with this comment. Completely & utterly.

          People are fond of saying “guns aren’t evil, guns are tools.” That’s absolutely right. And you know what my dad taught me about tools? “Don’t skimp on your tools. Buy it right the first time, and you won’t have to worry about it after that.”

        • I own a DPMS LR-308. I use pmags instead of the factory mags. I have over 2000 thousand rounds through it currently and just bagged my deer with it. When I went to the gun show to find a 308 ar the only one there was this one. I didn’t care for a 16 inch barrel and wanted an 18 or a 20. The rifle has proven to be quite reliable and accurate. I am getting 1 moa. I did switch to a geissele trigger. I love the rifle. But why do they put a sliding stock on it? I will be changing that soon.

  5. Bought my T&E version, first change was a Geissele 3-Gun trigger (which I have in my Colt 901 as well). Somewhere around here I’ve got a PRS stock that I’ve used on other guns and I’ll probably put on the Ruger. Loved my T&E SCAR, but when it came time to write the check it was just too darned much money. Not crazy about the hand guard, but I like it better than the Colt’s “monolithic” design.

    Michael B

    • I agree, and have an SR-762 hanging out here in my office on loan from a friend and customer of mine. He hasn’t decided to swap the trigger out yet, but we did change the twiggy Hogue grip out for a MOE+ and the stock for the STR to give a much nicer cheek weld. It’s a fantastic setup that ran him under $2000 including the new stock and grip.

      The best part of my job is playing with customers’ guns!

  6. It seems to me that a comparison to the Sig 716 is more apt than the SCAR.

    And those two shots in the red were caused by the trigger actuator, not the rifle. Don’t kid yourself.

  7. The AR platform is very nifty when shooting the 5.56×45 and other small caliber ammo. When it’s pared up with .30 caliber class ammo, such as the 7.62 NATO or the .308, the platform shows its limitations.

    As good as they are, I haven’t fired a single AR-10 that I would pick over the M1A or one of Springfield’s 16″ SOCOM varieties. YMMV.

    • you’ve apparently never shot a modern 7.62 military-contracted rifle w/ great optics (NF or S&B). The OBR or MWS would change your opinion.

      With that said, I’d still take a custom bolt gun that takes AICS mags.

      • I sat behind both the M39 and the M110 while in country, and the M110 was superior in everyway. And from a civilian standpoint, want an accurate and reliable M14 style rifle? Be prepared to take out a 2nd mortgage

        • You leave the M1A as is (standard, iron sights, sling). People get into problems when they try to make them into “sniper” rifles, which they are not. So, around $1,300 is a good price point for a battle rifle with a sexy look and history. The M110 is a rather pricey beast, and not really the same animal. Nothing wrong with bolt guns.

  8. An AR in .308 looks kinda…wonky. Like it simply wasn’t meant to be. I don’t know, why spend the money when you can buy a SCAR17 or M1A? I don’t particularly care for SCAR but it was at least built around the .308.

      • I suppose your talking about the classic AR10? Its an Stoner/Armalite platform yes but its design is more relevant to what became the M110. As a typical AR platform it doesn’t make much sense to me.

        • The idea is simple. Take a rifle the same size as an M4 and have it shoot a more potent cartridge. The tough thing about building a 7.62 AR10 is that there isnt a standard to follow like there is with the M16/M4 TDP. And so far the only companies who have gotten a 16″ AR10 to work well are LaRue, KAC, and LMT.

  9. Like skyler, was thinking that the Sig 716 would be the nearest, direct competitor to this in features, price, and operation. I think I’d rather have the Sig.

  10. I fired a Ruger SR-762 with Leupold 2.5X Scout Scope this morning. Loved it. I’ve had several FALs, a Ruger Gunsite Scout, an Ishapore 7.62×51 SMLE and a Kel-Tec .308 bullpup. This is the most pleasant shooting gun of the bunch. I’m sold!

  11. I played with the Bushmaster ORC a few years ago. Clocked in at ~$1300 at the time but funky handguards, a chintzy stock and not one amenity explained the price. I gave this serious thought but LMT has a caliber exchange friendly system for several rounds below .308 and cheese grater or not the handguards free float quite well. You clock in at just a bit higher and get a more modular gun with some higher accuracy potential out of the box.

    Unless you just want an easy to shoot plunked and aren’t picky. This has more than nothing, far more. And it can modified without Issue to your hearts content. It isn’t a Caddie but everyone doesn’t need a Caddie; a few options and ergos with easy to get mags go a long way. A lot of buyers don’t do due diligence but those are the same people who wouldn’t appreciate much of what they could find with that same diligence. So it fits a wide demographic just at that.

    Simply because it works and has good service life but isn’t just no frills. That’s enough for a lot of folks. I would have bought this if it were out before my tastes refined instead of the Bushmaster far and away.

  12. I just gave my SKS a little comforting pat on her stock and told her “All that money sure would buy you a lot of ammo”.

  13. This Ruger looks nice! I have a converted Saiga .308. It has the 16″ barrel and M44 Mosin-Nagant range clearing bang and fireball. I need a muzzle device to help that out but haven’t bought one yet. It’s total price is just a little over 1k with all of the conversion parts I’ve purchased for it. While it is not a 1 MOA rifle, it is probably between 3-4 and that is good enough for medium ranges.

    I am currently buying the parts to build an AR-10 and see how it goes.

    • are you asking where to mount a scope on an AR flat top? Upper receiver and please do not bridge the receiver and handguard like I’ve seen incorrectly installed on this site.

      Please use a quality quick release mount and flip up BUIS.

      • But he’s specifically asking about a scout scope, which is long eye relief. Mounting on the upper receiver would be too close.

        Not sure why you’d put a scout scope on an AR, unless that’s all you have. But that wasn’t the question.

        • Yes, that’s what I’m asking. I like using a scout scope. Is the rail over the hand guard sturdy enough? Or does it move?

          • It moves. A lot or a little, it moves. If you’re resting it on something on a bench, it’s going to deflect, especially if your barrel is free-floated, because then the rail is only attached at the back.

            I’m not a big fan of telling people they’re doing it “wrong,” but a scout scope on an AR is a pretty bad idea. I think you’ll end up getting exasperated at your lack of accuracy because of it.

  14. I’ve got a friend with an SR-556, and he just put an SR-762 on order. For my rather more scarce dollars, I’d go for a $1300 Rock River LAR-8. They’re duty-approved by many law enforcement agencies, which is where another friend got his Rock River. Even with a free-float tube, irons and drop-in trigger the RR will be $500-600 cheaper than the Ruger. That kind of price difference is tough to justify for the theoretical advantages of a piston system.

    • I’m not oft to recommend a RRA (aside from their pretty decent NM), but in comparison to this Ruger, it’s no decision at all.

      and FYI, the many disadvantages of the piston system greatly outweigh any theoretical advantage.

      • Agreed. The only fighting arguement piston guns have ever had is using them suppressed. Which in reality, most of the gas from a suppressed weapon is coming from the chamber itself, not the gas tube. Making any “advantage” of a piston gun null and void

      • hkfan & quinn,

        not to quibble- just filling in my grid of features and benefits-

        the di vs piston pro’s and con’s seems to have a lot of believers on both sides, but facts are harder to come by, and I find the conclusions to be 180 out by credible sources on both sides. For example:

        1. This youtube would conclude that all things being equal, the resuts show that DI is more accurate.

        2. This site argues that the DI improvement in accuracy has no basis in engineering fact:

        Of course, the final selection of a platform includes other priorities, including failure rates, durability, etc -a good point made in comments in the first link above, about why Delta and then Devgru replaced the M4 with the HK416, and the Marines followed suit with the same for their SAW.

        So, the guys who depend on good gear for their lives chose the piston gun.

        What say you?

        • I’m still scratching my head on the marines getting rid of their SAWs. They said the SAWs were not accurate enough. Long time ago I was an Infantry Officer and we were taught that Machineguns were area suppression weapons. You can make them accurate by putting them on a Tripod with T&E but ain’t happening on a Bipod or handheld. What they lost was 500 rds per minute and 200 rounds of linked ammo per drum. Thats a lot of firepower to throw away. I can’t help but think it is part of an undercover effort for the Marines to buy the HK416 for every marine, It offers no real advantage over a full auto M-4 other than it looks cool. Fraud waste and abuse.

        • Dont read so much into everything you see online. Look, the gas piston design was a solution for a problem that didn’t exist, and introduced a new set of problems. The DI system has been around for 40 years, and has worked just fine. I carried a DI Colt for 3 deployments in Iraq and 1 tour in Afghanistan, it worked just fine. And as far as the Tier 1 units switcing to 416’s- I met enough of them in Iraq- and most were still running M4’s. And the MK18 that the SEALs use is also a DI rifle.

          And as far as the 249 being ditched for the M27, it was because the SAWs was a jamming piece of garbage. Im not saying the M27 was the best choice, but it was an improvement

        • “Look, the gas piston design was a solution for a problem that didn’t exist, and introduced a new set of problems. ”
          Shoot a 100 rounds in rapid succession on either platform, then immediately remove the bolt and hold it in your hand. If you don’t get burned by the DGI, you’ll see which one has shows higher fouling. An extreme situation, but a problem solved it is not, just perhaps a different system with it’s own pros and cons.

  15. Thanks Nick- great review. Thanks to the commenters too.

    I’m looking for one AR pattern weapon that can do most of what I need:
    (well, ‘want’, to be precise… at my level of current hunting success its infinitely more efficient to go to Costco’s meat department…)

    semi-auto accurate and heavy enough to 300 yds for hog-hunting, deer, and coyote, now and elk/bear someday,

    that insurance factor for the 1% chance you might need it for something else-

    (caveat “I dont think it will, and i even more really really hope it never comes to it, BUT I’d feel a LOT better having spent time in the field to know I could use it)

    ‘just one quality long-gun to grab and go’, for civilian self-defense.

    Nick- if you do buy it, and I hope you do, I’d really like to see how this shoots with different ammo in the wild, and on the range vs the M&P, and maybe even the LMS, as a couple have suggested, so a guy like me could decide if its worth it to pay up to higher performance, to use as a hog hunting gun out to 300yds.

    Maybe you can get Robt and SHWAT to sponsor a field hunting test?

    I know you know your stuff on stats at the range, and I look forward to what you find there – heres a good review here with some of that info, but its limited to 3 rd groups:

    If the group sizes are to be believed,
    then perhaps this rifle can do better, with more time out of the box, and a replacement trigger, which is what I imagine would be the first thing you do, so maybe SHWAT or Geiselle would lend or help with that too.

    What I like about Ruger is theres a reputation for good service, and with a lot of these guns being sold, there will be aftermarket support, and in a while, some guns to buy second hand, at an even better price than the average $1600 retail I see advertised now, by those who didnt do their due diligence.

    If so, then its starting to make sense as a hog hunting gun out to 300 yds if one spent the time on practice, with a BIG savings for that extra MOA for another $1500, that I’d rather (uh, actually ‘need’) to spend on bullets first…

    I’ll defer to those who know ammo more than I ever will, but from a newb KISS kinda guy, who has more things to learn before handloading, clearly the .308 seems to have the advantage of being more readily available in a wide variety of good factory loads, and for bigger game at distance the capability vs 5.56 is obvious, and some of the lighter bullets in a 16.5 inch barrell compare fairly the same to .270 in a bolt gun, as far as bullet drop and hitting power out to 300 yds.

    If you dont have time for that Nick, no worries- I’ll wait to see what Ruger does with this in a VT setup, like they came out with after the first version of the SR556, with a two stage target trigger and 20″ barrel.

    I dont see any AR10 platforms that are particularly light, so unless you go to a light bolt gun, theres no advantage one vs the other, and if I could get decent groups without the heavy barrell, so much the better.

    I do recall dyspectic and jwm making the very good point that the extra weight gets very old if you were humping up and down hills- trust me I get it- theres a lot of up and down here so I’d be using this with bipod prone at a distance, after glassing to find the feeding or bedding areas, but also wanting the ability to also use it in heavy cover after a sneak to get in close for multiple shots on big dangerous pissed off animals. Theres quite a lot of mountain lion out there too…

    One more comment- made elsewhere that maybe you could speak to Nick, on the next review- the ability to dial down the recoil is a subtle point, that lends itself to using different loads, and lighter recoil means faster followups and faster side to side tracking on hogs.


    • There really isnt an end all be all AR for the things you listed, especially when you threw inup the bear hunting. my advice would be to just buy a Colt 6920 and make it fit your smaller game needs. Elk and bear, while can be taken down with smaller cartridges, are better off with a larger round with the “have it and not need it” mentality. Im sure i can take a brown bear down with a 308, but id rather take my 7mm mag to be sure

      • I guess I should take out the bear part- it would be black bear anyway, and only rarely.

        but, even with that out- why do you recommend the Colt LEO version of the M4?
        Its a 5.56, vs the 7.62 we are discussing in the Ruger.

        again, not to quibble, and given the nature of the blog format- perhaps we should take this conversation over to the TTAG forum, where it will be easier to update and expand.

        I really appreciate the benefit of your years worth of research, hkfan. Are you military, LEO, or contractor background- have any field or hunting work experience to share on the LMT, for example? I have read the M4 and SH websites and see theres some interest, but as the SR762 is relatively new, some of that is very early reports on reviews, and some is opinion, so I guess we’ll have to see how more range tests and field experience bear out.

        I’d especially like to hear from others who do have personal experience hunting larger game with AR platforms, including on the Ruger where what we have to go by is a years worth of time on the SR556 which appears to be what the SR762 is largely based on design and manufacturing wise, so thanks Accura81 for that info on yours.

        • Ive owned an LMT-MWS. Awesome platform. The ability of a fast change barrel is where that platform really shines. Its a touch on the heavy side, but most AR10’s are. I sold mine to buy a LaRue 18″ OBR. Hunting with an AR10 is just as simple as hunting with any other rifle. If you can kill something with a 308 in a bolt gun, then why couldnt you do it with an AR10. But if im hunting one animal, and I just need one shot, then why bring the added weight with where a good bolt gun will work just fine. If your hunting animals such as coyotes or wolves, pack animals, then the added mag capacity and semi-auto works much nicer.

        • As Quinn has mentioned, there are really only three 7.62 AR10 systems I would consider: KAC, OBR, and LMT. I place an emphasis on accuracy and a history of extensive testing, therefore I lean towards the OBR. The fact that the current wait time on the OBR is approaching 1.5 years probably indicates the value many place on it. Each system however, is fantastic. I think you need to further drill down gas gun vs. bolt. You might be surprised that a custom bolt rig like an AICS, or a tube/chassis system that feeds from AICS mags meets and exceeds your needs. I hate to recommend YouTube videos/channels because 99% of them are terrible and inaccurate and much prefer you read posts from well respected members of respects forums. However, LonewolfUSMC on youtube does have some great videos that cover the basics.

          • Quinn youre right about the Youtube vids. I will not profess to be an expert on shooting or guns but even so some of the vids I’ve seen are down right stupid.

            One joker was allegedly do an accuracy demo of the SCAR17 with a cheap 5 MOA red dot type scope and shooting at a 25 meter target unsupported. Of course his shot groups sucked big time and the idiot said that proved SCARs were overpriced crap.

    • My first piece of advice is don’t buy products solely because the company offers “great service.” Your goal is to never need service by buying an extremely tested and high quality product, not get good service as a result of needing it constantly. This is a common mistake in the gun community.

      The next thing you need to do is your OWN due diligence. Before I started building ARs, I spent literally a year reading and posting on forums frequented by intelligent, educated, and field-experienced posters. M4Carbine and SnipersHide are your friends. Unfortunately, to be halfway competent in figuring out which system fits YOUR needs, one article or blog post is not enough. Put in the time to become competent and it will pay off.

      Lastly, buy once, cry once. Do not be penny wise and pound foolish. These are not toys, they are life savers. Whether they are for staving off hunger or saving your life against an aggressor. Focus on buying ONE high quality system vs. multiple cheap substandard solutions for your “collection.” Too many people make this mistake.

      • Hkfan is GTG in my book. While what he says may not be be the most popular, and neither are my words, it is the truth. Great customer service is completely worthless when your weapon malfs in the middle of a firefight in dirka dirka stan

    • Pat,
      Most engagement ranges and deer kills are sub 150 meters. 16″ barells are fine for that and you get a lot of knockdown power with easy mobility. But guns are very subjective things. What works for you might suck for me.

      • I think you would be right for a specialty application like close range tactics against hard targets (body armor) or hunting with weight being an issue. I do like the ability to reach out farther (3-6 hundred yards) with a little more effect (longer sight radius on my M1A irons is also better).

    • As my gunsmith told me, use a 16″ barrel (on your AR10) if you want a 30-30. So, I went with 18″. And, if I recall correctly, my AR10 “Lightweight” weighs around 7 pounds, so they don’t HAVE to be heavy.

      • I think your gunsmith exaggerated more than a little but I believe a 30-30 has the same punch as a 06 out to a 100 yards or so. And its still more effective out past 500 yards than a 5.56 If you live on the east half of the US or doing tactical work the shorter barrel is meaningless. But if you are wanting more punch at longer ranges that 2 extra inches are important. More powder getting burned before the barrel ends. An old guy I used to work with told me he was a SeaBee in WW2 and was a .50 cal gunner. He told me the original barrels issued with the M2’s were ridiculously short (I want to say 28 inches) and during firefights unburned powder would pile up in front of his position and then flash. The flash blinded him for awhile so he started chucking kitchen matches over the sandbag ever so often to keep it burned off. That problem ended when they got their 42 in barrels.

        • I suspect my gunsmith was, in fact, exaggerating a bit—he’s a great ‘smith—but I do like that extra little bit of oomph. The gun is quite handy as it is.

          That’s a great story from WWII. Thanks for sharing it.

          • Back in the late 80’s we were given a few pallet loads of “old” M-2 ammo. EOD was busy and the ammo was still ssafe to shoot just old so to get rid of it they gave it to us to shoot up. Said it was probably a little smoky. That was an understatement. Fire a 10 round burst and you had to let the air clear to see the target. I go ahold of an ammo data sheet out of one of the cans and this stuff was loaded in 1939. The year that the M-2 was officially adopted by the army!

  16. Gents and Ladies- well, I figured I should step up and take my own suggestion to start a forum on this- “best semi hog gun in .308” whilst waiting for Nick to check with the Intelligentsia, and hopefully act on my secret agenda- take Robert hog hunting. (Hey! If a jewish east coast noob to hunting guy can do it, then I can!)

    Seriously theres a lot of good info there already, including different takes on which way to approach this-

    Caliber first- best round: by Kirsten, whose opinion I respect – she’s not exactly a FUDD, so maybe some of you COD ninjas* will read it too:

    Best .308 Battle Rifle

    Best out of the box bolt rifle

    What does more money get you in a rifle

  17. Oops. Forgot the link to the forum:

    and the asterisk:
    * hey, game boys- just a gentle poke in the ribs to get you fired up to respond.

    BTW, even tho you might THINK I am a FUDD, I am also practicing and learning handgun self-defence, mixing with past martial arts and some KravMaga for in close, and aiming toward IPDA 3 gun, when budget allows.

    And I love playing games, have for years on PC, and the XBOX. Even at my advanced age, and even if my teenaged son can kick my butt on pretty much everything. COD, Battlefield, MW.

    So, label me as you see fit if it makes you feel better! I am a noob, after all!

  18. I bought the Ruger SR-762 for $1,640 otd and dropped in a Giessele 2 stage trigger. It wears a 3x15x50 FFP Weaver Tactical scope on a Bobro mount. At the first range session, two of the three supplied P-Mags had multiple FTFs, FTEs, and light primer strikes. One mag ran perfectly. I changed ammo and had the same results at my second range trip. The Ruger customer service rep said they have had several customers with the same problem and have initiated a trade-in program for mags that are not running. My two bad mags were mailed to Ruger yesterday. Group size with precision rolled hand loads was barely sub moa, which is great. It ran steel cased ammo just fine at about 2.5 moa.
    Before buying, I compared this with the Sig 716, the Ruger 762’s direct competitor in terms of price and features, and wrote up my take on their pros and cons (not published here). At the end of the day, I’d be happy to own either rifle for hitting steel out to 800 yards and hunting. There are higher and lower quality AR pattern 308’s out there, but this or the Sig fit my application well enough for me. YMMV.

        • To my knowledge, it is usually the hammer spring, out of spec bolt/firing pin, or out of spec receiver. However, I’m no gunsmith. Hope you are able to get it fixed.

  19. There’s a lot of piston envy out there if you ask me! I love real rifles and have personally disliked ar’s my whole life. For some silly reason this gun convinced me to pre order as soon as I saw it. I ordered all the necessary upgrades, timney trigger, magpul stock…pretty sure it will be a legit rifle…I’ll be the first to talk shit if it’s a pos, but this is my first post ever, just tired of hearing people talking down on things and reviews, honestly if you have enough time to blog about a gun you don’t like out of principal you need to spend more time at the range!

  20. Okay, I own an M1A, M1 Garand, Rock River LAR-8, Ruger SR-762 and most recently a SCAR 17S. Can’t find a SCAR 17H(eavy) or I would be owning one now though the price tag is positively obscene. I think the vast majority of SCAR heavies are making their way to the military … such is the demand.

    I also have the SCAR 16, a stable of AR-15 platforms including one with a TNW piston-operated upper (totally cool and very low recoil because of the overall weight), and a SIG 556. I love the 1911 .45 Auto, have great respect for and own several SW M&P .45s as well as 9 mils, and am impressed with the Springfield Armory XD and XDm series of pistols in .45 Auto as well. I’ve “recreationally” shot probably a 100,000 round (excluding .22 long rifle) jacking around at various ranges from California, Minnesota, Texas and now here in the People’s Republic of Illinois so I guess this qualifies me for having an informed opinion.

    As to the Ruger SR762 I’ve found it to be an outstanding battle rifle with very few teething problems right out of the box. I did replace the rather pathetic collapsible stock that I believe is very marginal on a 5.56 AR as it is so it’s totally out of its league on a 7.62 battle rifle of this caliber (no pun intended … okay, it was intended). The first thing I did was install a Magpul STR stock and I LOVE the checkweld I get with a 30 mm tubed Millett side-focus 6×20 w/50mm objective with a Mil-dot reticle and 15 MOA turrets mated with Leupold’s high profile tactical rings. This is the same scope setup I use on my match-quality Savage Model 10 “police sniper” with a 24 inch fluted barrel which yields 1/2 MOA or better accuracy with handloaded 175 grain Nosler Match in Lake City match brass.

    Though it’s not advertised as such, my Ruger’s hammer-forged SR762 barrel is definitely MOA match-quality as installed on my rifle which is a bonus for me. I use 168 gr. Nosler Match in the same Lake City brass pushed by 40.6 grains of military WC846 powder and this combo is yielding 5-shot groups in the .75 to one inch-range at 100 meters (109 yards). Definitely minute of angle for five shots. A hot barrel will open up the groups a bit but I’m still under an 1.25 MOA out to 300 meters with Ruger’s 7.62 AR. Clean bore, cold bore and first round “slingshot” loaded rounds are generally several inches low at 200 meters. I would think it would be the other way around but there’s something about barrel harmonics and warm and dirtied barrels that can cause such unpredictable “flyers”. And always remember, the first slingshot round out of a semi-auto rifle (and pistol for that matter) will generally have an inch difference in point of impact from the rest of the rounds in the magazine – all other factors being equal. Once the bore is dirtied and a few rounds have warmed the barrel, the five-shot groupings become fairly routine. Sometimes its so routine there’s a temptation to get sloppy with ones technique on those really long-range shots.

    My Rock River LAR-8 and an Israeli heavy-barrel FAL on an Imbel receiver that I also use for informal “match” shooting have similar shooting traits, though the chamber on the Israeli FAL heavy barrel is a little “loose” so it produces a few unexpected flyers even with handloads. Factory Federal 168 grain Match ammo perform almost as well as my handloads and point of impact differences is little more than an inch or two at 100 meters but that could translate to much bigger differentials out to 600 or 800 meters resulting in possible misses on center-of-mass targets. 168 grainers will stay supersonic out to 800 meters and my handloaded 175 grain Nosler match with those incredible BCs should stay supersonic out to a 1000 meters or nearly 1100 yards! Muzzle velocity is around 2750 fps so they’re pretty hot.

    I love my 1943 Springfield Armory M-1 Garand, I love the thump of the .30-06 and the ping of the clip. My old school Springfield Armory M1A with fiberglass upper handguard and beautiful walnut stock is equally beloved but I’ll never mount a scope on it so it’s only as good as my 59 year old Mark 1 eyeball … maybe 500 meters on a deer-size target but it won’t be one-shot-one-kill. Both rifles are incredibly accurate and reliable. The SCAR 17S is some incredible eye candy and I’m glad I have one, but personally I believe you get more bang for your buck buying one Ruger SR762 (I paid a little over $1675 brand new for mine!) and then buying a Stag/DD/RR/Del/DPMS AR of our choice for what you pay for one SCAR 17 … or 16 for that matter! But let’s face it, SCARs are cool, have a heavy bolt system which tames the recoil in either caliber (I see why some competitors use the SCAR 16 in three gun competitions). Timney makes an excellent 4.5 pound tactical trigger for SCARS as well as AR-10s. I just installed a Rock River two stage national match on my Ruger SR762 and I’m excited to see if I can still get even smaller group sizes when the weather doesn’t suck here in fly over country. Don’t make the mistake of going to 3.5 pound triggers in either AR-15 or AR-10 platforms because accidental bump fire can occur and frankly, in the real tactical world I don’t see any accuracy advantage going to a 3 or 3.5 triggers on either rifles or pistols. Four to 4.5 pound triggers yield the perfect tactile feedback that I need for quick, clean double-taps and controlled rapid fire sequences.

    Off my soapbox.

  21. Hankmeister, thanks for the perspective on the SR-762. Mine gets much more trigger time than my new (shamefully unfired) M1a stainless National Match. I blame the SR’s new Giessele 2 stage trigger.
    Any thoughts on a good powder for the 16” barrel on the SR-762? I shot half a pound of IMR4350 through the SR-762 just to use it up with 155 SMKs, 165 SGKs, and 180 SPHs, but something with a faster burn rate may make more sense. Tac, Benchrest, or Varget are my best ideas to get the bullet up to speed in that short barrel, but I’d like to hear what you think. The above loads gave several groups just under and some over 1 moa at 100 yards.
    Still waiting on Ruger to send 2 replacement mags that run. The SR-762’s biggest problem is that it just goes through ammo too fast. Someone should call this into Ruger and get their engineers on it.
    Is your Sig’s piston system any/significantly better than Ruger’s?

  22. First time out to the range, not one complete cycle. Factory ammo in the three supplied mags, no success.
    Different piston settings, no success. A friend who bought his from the same LGS reports the same problems with different types of factory ammo. The forums are swamped with similar complaints. People are being told by Ruger that it’s the mags, “timing”, and a host of other possibilities. Some are getting barrels replaced by Ruger.
    Suggest anyone getting ready to buy one, hold off and see how this plays out.

    • Mike,
      My Ruger 556C does not like PMags at all. I tried shooting some cheap steel case ammo and it wouldnt feed at all from a PMag. Quality brass ammo was an iffy thing too. Eperienced no problems with steel and aluminum mags.

    • Yesterday afternoon took the gun to the LGS. They listened, took the gun to the back room test range and tried it out. The owner, came back with an angry look on his face. The gun totally jammed up. He had to force the spent brass out of the chamber with the bolt carrier. Gun’s on it’s way to Ruger. There are more issues with this gun than the magazines alone. A friend bought the same gun a week before me and in a call yesterday to him, said he had the same experience of no cycling.

    • Well tht sucks..tap is all ive tried im gonna run a mag of portugese ball real quik..well pmags are a nogo w any ammo as is the tap stuff..will not chamber..had one mag w the portugesse run good..ten round count for gum is just about twenty so i cNt write her off till 200 or so..sorry for on my cell typing

  23. Purchased a HK91 30 years ago. Installed a PSG1 trigger, Total 950. Now its worth 6-8 grand. Actually own two. Very accurate, is HEAVY!, Have hunted with it. No gas tube or pistons to fuss about. So, I am happy.

  24. I just don’t get it. When you can build an awesome AR-15 for around $600 to $800, how can you justify $2,200 for just a bit beefier weapon. Is a piston system worth $1,000? It sounds like my 15 has a much nicer trigger as well. More companies need to get into the AR-10 platform, there obviously is not enough competition, and for us builders there should be a robust after market parts business like there is for the 15.

  25. I have 3 AR15’s but I have really become AR10 type guy ! My rifle is awesome ! Damn its a badass rifle !

  26. It’s awesome to pay a quick visiit this web page and reading the vjews of all friends regarding this paragraph, while I am also eager
    of getting experience.

  27. Geissele 2 stage SSA and you’re done. My factory trigger broke at 11lbs,…creepy, like chalk on a chalkboard. Took 10 minutes to drop the Geissele in,…and it went from creepy to a clean consistent break of 4.5 lbs. It’s the ONLY extra money I’ve spent on mine and it was worth every penny of the $195.

  28. I just got the SR-762. I understand the 0 setting for suppressor, keeping the action Quiet. What about getting the gun to cycle sub-sonic ammo?

  29. I do not know what are those winy ass complains and constant modification, do not like this do not like that. I use it in mud, frost sand water ocean water wet sand dry sand, swamp, Shoot perfectly to safe your sorry ass in need! No modification needed! All complains i guess are coming from people who never been in REAL Combat that this gun will safe your sorry ass when needed! Please stop complain!

  30. Old news but the early SR762 versions didn’t like the second generation PMAGS. It would feed from the 3 supplied but not any others. The BLOGs said it would be covered under warranty. Sure enough Ruger had no problems and sent me a new rifle. That one has had no issues with any PMAG I have tried.

    As to the trigger, it was the best change I made (except maybe the scope). The Giessele SSA or now the Enhanced SSA are amazing upgrades. Smooth take-up and clean break. I went out last week and nailed a sub 1/4 inch group with Hornady Match. Surprised the heck out of me. I don’t reload but with any ammo it likes I can get under 1/2 inch groups all day.

    I will say the rifle likes the Hornady 168 gr A-Max bullets the best whether the load it from Hornady, Freedom, Bitterroot Valley or Black Hills. Strange that because it does not like the Hornady TAP 168 gr ELD nearly as well. Go figure.

    On an unrelated issue, I also have an SR556. When I was comparing the two I noticed the cheek weld on the SR762 just wasn’t quite right. It seemed a bit low and my eye just didn’t naturally line up with the sites or the scope. In looking closely at the rifles side by side I noticed that the top rail is about 1/8 inch higher (from the bolt centerline) than on the SR556.

    I had recently changed to a Magpul ACS-L stock and I noticed that the top of the stock was shaped in such a way that I could add a layer of thermoplastic sheet to the top and make a seamless “cheek-pad” that would still clear the charging handle. I got some 1/8 inch thermoplastic, cut it to the right size, heated it up and formed it to the ACS stock. I used a 3M heavy duty contact adhesive to bond it to the stock. Voila! instant cheek pad.

    Now I have the a comfortable cheek weld that lines up my eye with the sights or the scope, same as on the SR556. The addition is so seamless that no one seems to notice the modification until I point it out.

  31. just for the record, the direct gas system was invented by a European Rosignal, and used in the 50s in a French infantry rifle. May have been used in other weapons before the AR platform, but I don’t know of any.

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