Ruger, at the NRA Show 2011, announced the SR-556E carbine, which the company is marketing as a value-priced alternative of the SR-556.
Both rifles include the two-stage piston and multi-stage regulator that runs cooler and cleaner than traditional AR-style rifles.
The Ruger SR-556E "comes equipped with a new, lightweight, adaptable handguard that provides multiple options for mounting optics and other accessories. This new, round handguard features a full-length Picatinny rail that aligns with the rail on the flattop receiver. The handguard also accepts sections of rail or hanguard covers," according to Ruger.
The SR-556E arrives with a cold-hammer-forged 41V45 barrel that's threaded 1/2-28 and capped with the Ruger flash suppressor. The regulator, piston and piston bore are chrome-plated. The transfer rod is nickel-Teflon coated. And the balance of the rifle is hard-coat anodized or black oxide treated.