As I mentioned in my previous article reviewing the Ruger AR-556, this is a quality and versatile firearm. While I have enjoyed taking it to the range and breaking it in, and I could use it for varmint hunting, I plan on using it primarily as a home defense option. I like that it is lightweight, simple for me to maneuver, and with the added optics, it is easy to be accurate in close quarters, even in a stressful situation.
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I’ve spent enough time now with this rifle to be very comfortable loading the 30-round magazine and finding the safety by touch. I’ve taken the time to become proficient not only from a shooting bench, but also from a seated position in my wheelchair. I feel confident that if the need ever arose, I would be able to effectively defend myself and my home.
In past trips to the range, I shot the AR with open sights before attaching the Leupold Freedom Red Dot Sight (RDS) BDC 1x34mm. I started at the 25-yard target to accurately dial in my windage. Once I was right on and about 3 inches low, I moved over to the 100-yard targets. Even though I plan on utilizing the rifle in close quarters, I wanted to fully understand what the sight had to offer.
With 7 levels of increasing brightness, the sight is great for any light conditions. I was able to acquire my target in seconds, and with just a few adjustments, I was dead on at 100-yards. Once this sight is zeroed, farther distances can be reached by simply dialing the top turret to the required yardage. The bullet drop compensation (BDC) turret is precut for .223, 55-grain ammunition, so I continued to use Hornady Varmint Express 55 grain in .223 Remington.
While the 550-yard target at our range is a little difficult to see with no magnification, I wanted to give it a try. Of course, it was a little windy (it is Wyoming after all), so I held over to compensate. I missed the first 2 shots, but after some minor adjustments, I heard the ever-wonderful sound of the bullet hitting metal. Gong! Such a sweet noise when you are trying something new on the range.
If you, like me, choose to utilize an AR for home protection, your next task should be to ensure it is safely stored while being convenient to access. I am considering an under-the-bed safe, such as the Hornady 98190 RAPiD Safe AR Rifle Gunlocker with RFID Touch Free Entry. I like that it has multiple options for accessing the safe while still keeping it secure from my daughter.
If you are looking for an accurate, efficient option for home defense, the Ruger AR is a great choice. Its versatility allows you to customize it to meet your needs, and the Leupold RDS optic and Hornady ammo make up the perfect combination for me.
For more information on the Ruger AR-556, please visit https://ruger.com/products/ar556/models.html
Ashlee Lundvall writes a blog titled "Redefining Life," that follows her rise from a debilitating injury as a teenager to Ms. Wheelchair USA in 2013. Her first book, "A Redefined Life," was released in February of 2016, and she was recently invited to join the National Pro Staff for Mossy Oak and the NRA’s Disabled Shooting Sports committee, and is on the President's Council for Sports, Fitness & Nutrition. Ashlee is also the recipient of the 2017 SCI Foundation Pathfinder Award. Ashlee truly shines as a keynote speaker at outdoor industry and disability related events and conferences. She is passionate about mentoring newly injured patients, and loves to pass on her love for adapted outdoor recreation! View all posts by Ashlee Lundvall