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Thread: Review: Sig 556R - Not what I expected

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    Review: Sig 556R - Not what I expected

    I took my new Sig 556R 7.62x39 rifle out today to review it... and I was surprised by what I found.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXXmpp_T4l4

    Questions and comments are welcome.
    Please check out the Military Arms Channel on YouTube.

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    Unfortunately, nothing surprising in your findings, which is a damn shame.
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    There was a time when Sig was synonymous with quality. I guess it's hard for me to believe their quality has slipped so far.

    I really wanted to like this rifle. I want a modern 7.62x39 that takes AK mags and I was hoping this would be it.
    Please check out the Military Arms Channel on YouTube.

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    Could the light primer strikes be a result of the engineers not putting into consideration the recessed primers that 7.62x39mm naturally have? The SIG556R may need a longer firing pin, but they possibly decided to cheap out and use a 5.56mm pin.

    I know 7.62x39mm AR15's have this problem unless you acquire the correct firing pin. I think the Ruger Mini-30's had this problem, too.
    Last edited by kal; 03-19-11 at 16:28.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kal View Post
    Could the light primer strikes be a result of the engineers not putting into consideration the recessed primers that 7.62x39mm naturally have? The SIG556R may need a longer firing pin, but they possibly decided to cheap out and use a 5.56mm pin.

    I know 7.62x39mm AR15's have this problem unless you acquire the correct firing pin. I think the Ruger Mini-30's had this problem, too.
    I'm going to hold off on one until more reports on this come out and to see if they are addressed. The issue about the folding stock doesn't matter to me, I'll replace it with a DDLES and MOE stock. If we could get a close up pic of the primers from MAC's review we'd be able to tell for sure if they are 556 pins.

    This isn't a deal breaker for me, I'll get one eventually. I got an email that SIGUSA is hiring QC and design managers so maybe they are looking to improve the product with some new blood. If they would hire me, you could be sure the quality would improve to Swiss standards or better. There are more good reviews of the 556R than negative so far that it's the law of averages.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilitaryArms View Post
    I took my new Sig 556R 7.62x39 rifle out today to review it... and I was surprised by what I found.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXXmpp_T4l4

    Questions and comments are welcome.
    Good review. Can I ask what kind of ammo you used? You didn't specify in the video. If we knew the type we could probably find out the depth of the primer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phazuka View Post
    I got an email that SIGUSA is hiring QC and design managers so maybe they are looking to improve the product with some new blood. If they would hire me, you could be sure the quality would improve to Swiss standards or better. There are more good reviews of the 556R than negative so far that it's the law of averages.

    You've read about my buddy's experiences with SIG USA and Cohen when he was hired to bring the 556 out, haven't you?
    Employee of colonialshooting.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Templar View Post
    You've read about my buddy's experiences with SIG USA and Cohen when he was hired to bring the 556 out, haven't you?
    Yea, I heard. Still, one has to believe that America can make a better product than anyone, IF THEY WANT TO. But, SIGUSA has to want to achieve that quality first and build a better widget.

    ETA: This whole SIGUSA hatred reminds me of Colt 10-20 years back. Their quality went to hell, they were pandering to the Anti-gun lobby, people hated the name Colt and anything they made, especially post-ban rifles and the 80's series 1911 pistols. The pre-ban rifles and lowers commanded a premium but had anti-FA features. Then they made a comeback, turned around their QC and now people buy Colt and the name is quality again.
    Last edited by Phazuka; 03-19-11 at 17:26.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phazuka View Post
    ETA: This whole SIGUSA hatred reminds me of Colt 10-20 years back. Their quality went to hell, they were pandering to the Anti-gun lobby, people hated the name Colt and anything they made, especially post-ban rifles and the 80's series 1911 pistols. The pre-ban rifles and lowers commanded a premium but had anti-FA features. Then they made a comeback, turned around their QC and now people buy Colt and the name is quality again.

    For me, and for most of the people I can think of, it's not HATE, it's severe disappointment. SIG USA could have easily built a rifle comparable to the Swiss Arms quality, but chose not to. I know this through 1st person documentation.

    It's exactly like a DPMS compared to a Colt 6920. They may look almost identical on the outside, but inside, and what they're actually made out of, is entirely different.

    My disappointment comes from the knowledge I have of the workings inside of SIG USA and the repeated issues with the guns that they've been producing for about 6/7 years now.

    And as with a DPMS carbine, you might get one that runs like a scalded dog, but the chances of you getting a steaming pile of dogshit is much, much higher than it should be.

    That's my issue.
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    MAC, can I also request that you repost your review at the sigarms556 website so our resident expert Ullie and the other 556 members can check out the review and respond? Apparently, Ullie has a line inside SIGUSA and maybe he could recommend design changes? I'm sure the members would want to try and fix the problem and make the platform better for everyone to enjoy.
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    No surprise. This is exactly why I'm avoiding the Sig 556 family and trying to get a hold of an all-swiss 550/551. If only I could find one for a decent amount.
    Leave the guns...bring the cannolis.
    Give me but one firm spot on which to stand and I will move the Earth. -Archimedes

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    Quote Originally Posted by Templar View Post
    For me, and for most of the people I can think of, it's not HATE, it's severe disappointment. SIG USA could have easily built a rifle comparable to the Swiss Arms quality, but chose not to. I know this through 1st person documentation.

    It's exactly like a DPMS compared to a Colt 6920. They may look almost identical on the outside, but inside, and what they're actually made out of, is entirely different.

    My disappointment comes from the knowledge I have of the workings inside of SIG USA and the repeated issues with the guns that they've been producing for about 6/7 years now.

    And as with a DPMS carbine, you might get one that runs like a scalded dog, but the chances of you getting a steaming pile of dogshit is much, much higher than it should be.

    That's my issue.
    I always hear this analogy but aren't the lowers and uppers made by only 2 or 3 defense contractors anyway? The same people that make DPMS lowers make NOVESKE, COLT, Sig, BCM, anyone who uses the standard aluminum forged receivers.....so I discount this argument. AR's are now just a collection of parts thrown together and the quality of the builder is the stamp on the side of the magwell of a good AR, not the parts itself.

    SIG has to design and manufacture ALL of their components for their rifles, mainly the 556 series. They cant buy all their major components from a defense contractor, stamp their name on it and call it an AR. I applaud them for this and want them to succeed. I haven't been disappointed in my experiences with SIG products but I'm not a professional and I do not rely on them as a "Serious" carbine. They are for FUN and for shooting and getting outside and blasting! Doesn't anyone shoot for fun anymore or have fun guns anymore?

    The days of me having to use one of these guns for it's intended SERIOUS purpose is behind me, now it's all about the FUN. The days of me having a rifle to protect myself 24/7/365 are over, now it's all about which gun is going to the range on the weekend or which one I need to work on, or which one I need to zero. I'm glad that's all I have to worry about now.
    Last edited by Phazuka; 03-19-11 at 17:53.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phazuka View Post
    Good review. Can I ask what kind of ammo you used? You didn't specify in the video. If we knew the type we could probably find out the depth of the primer.
    Standard Wolf ball. I have cases of the stuff for my other 7.62x39's.
    Please check out the Military Arms Channel on YouTube.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phazuka View Post
    MAC, can I also request that you repost your review at the sigarms556 website so our resident expert Ullie and the other 556 members can check out the review and respond? Apparently, Ullie has a line inside SIGUSA and maybe he could recommend design changes? I'm sure the members would want to try and fix the problem and make the platform better for everyone to enjoy.
    Feel free to post a link over there. I don't have an account, but I have no issue with anyone posting the video across the internet.
    Please check out the Military Arms Channel on YouTube.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Templar View Post
    You've read about my buddy's experiences with SIG USA and Cohen when he was hired to bring the 556 out, haven't you?
    I haven't heard about anything specific to what Sig USA and Cohen did with the 556. Is it posted on here? I agree that hate is not the correct word for me either. I love the look and quality of the originals and I'm disappointed they didn't offer the old and new configurations with the same or better quality. That's why I'm stuck scouring message boards and forums searching for the original, to no avail.
    Leave the guns...bring the cannolis.
    Give me but one firm spot on which to stand and I will move the Earth. -Archimedes

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phazuka View Post
    I always hear this analogy but aren't the lowers and uppers made by only 2 or 3 defense contractors anyway? The same people that make DPMS lowers make NOVESKE, COLT, Sig, BCM, anyone who uses the standard aluminum forged receivers.....so I discount this argument. AR's are now just a collection of parts thrown together and the quality of the builder is the stamp on the side of the magwell of a good AR, not the parts itself.

    SIG has to design and manufacture ALL of their components for their rifles, mainly the 556 series. They cant buy all their major components from a defense contractor, stamp their name on it and call it an AR. I applaud them for this and want them to succeed. I haven't been disappointed in my experiences with SIG products but I'm not a professional and I do not rely on them as a "Serious" carbine. They are for FUN and for shooting and getting outside and blasting! Doesn't anyone shoot for fun anymore or have fun guns anymore?

    The days of me having to use one of these guns for it's intended SERIOUS purpose is behind me, now it's all about the FUN. The days of me having a rifle to protect myself 24/7/365 are over, now it's all about which gun is going to the range on the weekend or which one I need to work on, or which one I need to zero. I'm glad that's all I have to worry about now.

    We're speaking different languages and coming at this from very different perspectives.

    Firstly, AR's are not all the same, if you would take some time to research this, there is a wealth of information here that has been gathered over the years by people in that regard.

    Secondly, I've provided first hand accounts of SIG's attitude towards the 556, how it's not aimed or built for a serious use carbine. They fired a guy who could have built it to Swiss standards because he objected to the dumbing down of the carbine. There have been repeated and numerous issues with reliability and durability with the 556.

    If you can't understand that, then I'm just banging my head against the wall and that doesn't feel too good.

    One of the major reasons these carbine have issues is that SIG isn't making all the parts. They outsource. Now, for one component, the barrel, that's a good thing as the people who make the barrel are some of the best in the industry.

    This forum is not about "fun" carbines. That's a major disconnect that we have over this carbine.

    http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=54936

    http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=70019

    Please take some time to read the above threads, they do an excellent job in explaining the differences between M4C and a forum like AR15.com

    If all your looking for is a fun carbine and it doesn't matter if it goes "click" instead of "bang" when you're on a square range, then go ahead and buy 7 or 8 of these things and have a great time.

    If that is what you're looking for, then this site might not be the best fit for you. Sites like SIGForum, FALFiles, TheAKForum, or AR15.com are probably a much better fit for you.

    But, the simple fact is that the SIG USA 556 is not a "duty ready" carbine. It might be one day, but not right now.

    There's a lot of knowledgeable people who know back stories and have first hand experience with both the Swiss Arms and the SIG USA 556 rifles that have repeatedly explained why the 556 is not up to snuff as a serious use carbine. To simply ignore those people and argue about it is asinine, unless all you're looking for is to have fun at the range with it, in which case you shouldn't be arguing.

    I'm not trying to be a dick about this, but arguing that the SIG USA 556 is a serious use carbine as they are currently manufactured, is indefensible.

    As a "fun gun", sure, have at it, but not something that people should expect to put in a police cruiser or keep for defense.
    Employee of colonialshooting.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oreaopla View Post
    I haven't heard about anything specific to what Sig USA and Cohen did with the 556. Is it posted on here? I agree that hate is not the correct word for me either. I love the look and quality of the originals and I'm disappointed they didn't offer the old and new configurations with the same or better quality. That's why I'm stuck scouring message boards and forums searching for the original, to no avail.
    There's no way he'd come on a board and go into detail, but the short of it is, he was hired by SIG USA to develop a rifle based on the SIG 550/551 that could be built here in the US. He demonstrated how to do so and maintain Swiss Arms standards without breaking the bank, but there were/are people inside the upper management of SIG USA who wanted to dumb the rifle down, dispense with quality control, and make maximum return on their investments at the cost of said quality control. Much as it's "cheaper" for DPMS and Bushmaster to repair carbines that they know probably won't get shot very much than it is to do it right the first time, SIG USA made that calculation.

    He butted heads repeatedly with upper management and Cohen, trying to save the project and make a carbine that was worth of the SIG name, but was ultimately let go.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Templar View Post
    We're speaking different languages and coming at this from very different perspectives.

    Firstly, AR's are not all the same, if you would take some time to research this, there is a wealth of information here that has been gathered over the years by people in that regard.

    Secondly, I've provided first hand accounts of SIG's attitude towards the 556, how it's not aimed or built for a serious use carbine. They fired a guy who could have built it to Swiss standards because he objected to the dumbing down of the carbine. There have been repeated and numerous issues with reliability and durability with the 556.

    If you can't understand that, then I'm just banging my head against the wall and that doesn't feel too good.

    One of the major reasons these carbine have issues is that SIG isn't making all the parts. They outsource. Now, for one component, the barrel, that's a good thing as the people who make the barrel are some of the best in the industry.

    This forum is not about "fun" carbines. That's a major disconnect that we have over this carbine.

    http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=54936

    http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=70019

    Please take some time to read the above threads, they do an excellent job in explaining the differences between M4C and a forum like AR15.com

    If all your looking for is a fun carbine and it doesn't matter if it goes "click" instead of "bang" when you're on a square range, then go ahead and buy 7 or 8 of these things and have a great time.

    If that is what you're looking for, then this site might not be the best fit for you. Sites like SIGForum, FALFiles, TheAKForum, or AR15.com are probably a much better fit for you.

    But, the simple fact is that the SIG USA 556 is not a "duty ready" carbine. It might be one day, but not right now.

    There's a lot of knowledgeable people who know back stories and have first hand experience with both the Swiss Arms and the SIG USA 556 rifles that have repeatedly explained why the 556 is not up to snuff as a serious use carbine. To simply ignore those people and argue about it is asinine, unless all you're looking for is to have fun at the range with it, in which case you shouldn't be arguing.

    I'm not trying to be a dick about this, but arguing that the SIG USA 556 is a serious use carbine as they are currently manufactured, is indefensible.

    As a "fun gun", sure, have at it, but not something that people should expect to put in a police cruiser or keep for defense.
    Are you saying I'm excluded from a site "like this" because I'm not serious enough? I only train once a month with my NG unit and like I said I'm no longer in the active military. To be honest, being a weekend warrior is FUN. Not so much serious.

    "to promote a generally collegial atmosphere where the experienced armed professional and the newcomer to shooting can both get something out of the site,"

    Can't both casual shooters and professionals coexist on here without there being a class system or caste system? I did not read anywhere in those links where they exclude casual shooters from expressing their opinion, and yes some do have experience like myself.

    Are we not equals or are there some here that are "better" than others? By not "trying to be a dick" is like saying "just sayin". I don't see any difference between yourself and I and I do not look down upon you. I'd like to be treated in somewhat the same respect. I have been nothing but cordial to you in the past and was never "trying to be a dick" at any time. I don't like anyone trying to be a dick more than I would like to try being a dick to someone else.

    I guess that's the difference between us.
    Last edited by Phazuka; 03-19-11 at 19:01.
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    It's a damn shame that Sig Sauer is feeding this new business model and giving the customer something that could get them killed. A far cry from the guns imported and produced under the Sigarms name pre 2005. So many lost opportunities for Sig to grab hold of the LE market with a 550/551 clone, or have a continuance of their Federal pistol contracts, but they are losing out left and right here in the US.

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    Are we not equals or are there some here that are "better" than others?
    Not all opinions are created equal. That is a flawed premise. This type of thinking is why most forums turn into turd farms.

    If the 556 is a quality firearm, so is DPMS, Bushmaster the XD and anything by Taurus.

    Is that what M4C is coming to?

    If the 556 was built to Swiss standards, as it should be, there would be less contention on the issue. It isn't like SIG USA didn't have a well traveled blueprint to follow. They just chose not to, thus removing their end product from "duty class" to "bubba shooting in flip flops and tank top fodder"...
    Last edited by variablebinary; 03-19-11 at 19:07.
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