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I have conceived a theory that suggests nothing really exists. Each of us are but a few atoms united as nanobes, contained in a cloistered green pod, living through a virtual reality of our own creation, drifting about the universe, devoid of any commonality. So when I think the word “banana” I see a banana. When you think the word “banana”, you may see a 1966 Volkswagen Beetle. Where as I work inside a converted barn, you may work inside of a large potato. Where your image of the word “California” is sunshine and surfing, my image is that of dog’s hairy butt.

The pod theory is complicated and still in the early stages of development. Unfortunately, I find my research constantly interrupted by the need to work, pay bills and mow the lawn. Sounds far fetched?.. my pod theory, not the fact that I work, pay bills and have a lawn. Do you have a better explanation for the existence and persistence of overreaching and hyperventilating liberals, gatherings of fashion conscious snowflake anarchists and a country music industry that has made a sharp left political turn? Makes me want to stay in my pod and read entertaining, cheap Kindle science fiction like “Bastion Saturn” or finish my Real Guns® assignment.

It is too good of a rifle not to shoot…

The 223 Remington cartridge is more than adequate for hunting small varmints and medium size game at a distance, and unhyphenated northeastern whitetail deer. On the deer side of things, range should be inside 150 yards and bullet selection is critical. Very light 0.224″ bullets are constructed for varmint hunting; jackets are thin and shallow penetration and explosive expansion are desired. Very heavy for bore 0.224″ bullets and the 223 Remington cartridge pose a different circumstance. As match bullets, they need only muster enough energy to poke a hole in paper at long ranges. Heavy weight, expanding bullets are designed for higher capacity cartridges, hopefully with a tight twist rate. Fired from the 223 Remington, the result will be low velocity, high arching trajectory and a lack of bullet expansion and penetration on contact. Moderate bullet weights, with sturdy jacket construction will yield high velocity, controlled but full expansion and deep penetration. Subsequently, we are going to skip the latter and put together examples of the former…s.

On the far left we have the 40 grain, flat base, hollow point Sierra Varminter. There are actually three Sierra bullets in this weight; two for the 22 Hornet with rounded tip and thick ogive and #1385 for larger centerfire cartridges. Thin jacketed and pushed to high velocity, #1385 is intended for small varmints or match work with a range out beyond 300 yards.

The second bullet is the 65 grain, soft tip boat tail bullet, #1395 which was designed specifically for use on whitetail deer and medium size game. Used in concert with the 223 Remington, it has an effective range on deer inside 150 yards for proper expansion, penetration and terminal energy.

Cartridge: 5.56x45mm NATO*

 Firearm: Ruger AR-556 MOE
 Max COL: 2.125″ – 2.260″
 Bullet Diameter: 0.224″ -0.003″/+0.000″  Primer: CCI 450
 Barrel: 18″  Reloading Dies: RCBS
 Case length: 1.760″ +0.000″/-0.030″  Groups: 3 Shots – 100 Yard
*223 Remington brass loaded to 5.56 NATO pressure specifications
62, 366 PSI in
comparison to 223 Remington 55,000 PSI


Bullet Bullet
C.O.L.” Powder
100 Yd
3 Shot
Group “
Sierra Varminter #1385
HPFB 40 2.175 Re 7
 24.5 3634
 1173 0.8
Sierra Varminter #1385 HPFB 40 2.175 Win 748  29.5 3668  1195  1.1
Sierra Game King #1395
SPBT 65 2.260 CFE223 26.5  2746 1089
Sierra Game King #1395 SPBT 65 2.260 AR-Comp 23.5  2809 1139

Pictured left is the Ruger AR-556 MOE configured for a range session. A moderate powered scope suitable for up to 200 yard outings and a silencer suitable for my ears. Yes, the proper name for the device is a silencer and what it does is suppress. At 8x, the scope has enough power to take the quality of my eyesight out of the evaluation equation. Initially, silencers were put in place on when they were the object of evaluation. As they have shown no measurable influence accuracy, but make for much nicer range days, I tend to use them frequently for their utility.

Left, the perfect storm of handloads assembled from filthy brass fired from a suppressed AR and a lackluster attempt at cleaning by me. I am so ashamed… but not really. Nothing exceptional about the assemblies, powder was up to the base of the neck, but nothing what I would label compressed. Primers were small rifle magnum. I have processed the same loads with CCI small rifle bench rest primers with essentially the same result.

These are not heavy loads for for firearms marked or described chambered for the 5.56 NATO or 5.56 NATO and 223 Remington. They are heavy loads and over pressure spec for firearms chambered solely for the 223 Remington. If the velocity seems modest, keep in mind this rifle has a 16″ barrel.

The Ruger AR-556-MOE, especially with silencer mounted, a a pleasure to shoot; virtually no recoil and no ear smacking report. The stock combination is stable, a rail riser put the scope eyepiece in comfortable line of sight. Magazine swaps were positive, empties stacked up in the catch net and the rifle cycled without a hiccup and locked open on empty, regardless bullet weight.

Shooting with the mechanical sights was comfortable. I believe, if I were hunting in this area, I would leave the scope at home. The change from optical to mechanical tacked a half inch to three quarters inch to hundred yard group… the unaided eyesight penalty, but no big deal for deer size game.

The six position buttstock works for me. I do enjoy shooting from a kneeling and sitting position with the stock slightly collapsed, and without putting undue stress on my gut or rolling over after squeezing off a shot. Good times.

Out of time and out of gas… Me, not the Ruger

Going back to a comment I made earlier, or at least meant to, this is the best configuration I’ve encountered within the Ruger AR-556 line up; a stubby, lightweight woods rifle, with good handling characteristics and good ballistic performance. Setting aside the deer hunting aspect, the Ruger AR-556-MOE is certainly a good utility hunter for small and medium game and a competent handful as a defensive firearm. As for folks who like to overhaul their new ARs, the Ruger is a spec dimension rifle that will provide many opportunities for you to load it up with lots of superfluous modifications. Regardless the pod you live in, this is an excellent little rifle.

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