Sig Sauer 7.62 Rifle, P224 Doublestack Compact, 551-A1, SBRs!

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The Sig Sauer P224 is a two finger grip version of the full sized P226, which is the traditional flagship of the Sig line of pistols. If you already carry a P226, this new P224, available in 9mm, .40S&W, and .357Sig, is a natural backup or off-duty weapon.

The Sig Sauer P224 is a two finger grip version of the full sized P226, which is the traditional flagship of the Sig line of pistols. If you already carry a P226, this new P224, available in 9mm, .40S&W, and .357Sig, is a natural backup or off-duty weapon.

Unlike other gunmakers, Sig releases only very mature new products and this new P224 will be available in many finishes and options. This is the Equinox version.

Unlike other gunmakers, Sig releases only very mature new products and this new P224 will be available in many finishes and options. This is the Equinox version.

We first saw the SIG716 at Media Day at the Range, SHOT Show 2012, but didn't get to shoot it because others stepped in who needed to shoot video on their cellphones.

We first saw the SIG716 at Media Day at the Range, SHOT Show 2012, but didn't get to shoot it.

The SIG716 uses the same short stroke system as the SIG516, but in 7.62 NATO (.308 Winchester). It is one of many new rifles this year in the AR-15 platform, with AR hardware, that is a step up in ballistics. The 716 will be a welcome addition in this class of rifle, with a hefty improvement over standard gas impingement AR design.

The SIG716 uses the same short stroke system as the SIG516, but in 7.62 NATO (.308 Winchester). It is one of many new rifles this year in the AR-15 platform, with AR hardware, that is a step up in ballistics. The 716 will be a welcome addition in this class of rifle, with a hefty improvement over standard gas impingement AR design.

The SIG716 will be available in black, tan and OD green.

The SIG716 will be available in black, tan and OD green.

The SIG516 comes out in a new "Russian" version this year in the 7.62x39 caliber of the AK-47 rifle, and it takes AK mags. For fans of the cartridge this is a duty-quality rifle and a significant development.

The SIG516 comes out in a new "Russian" version this year in the 7.62x39 caliber of the AK-47 rifle, and it takes AK mags. For fans of the cartridge this is a duty-quality rifle and a significant development.

The M400 is a Mil-Spec AR-15 rifle from Sig. A lot of police armorers and Sig enthusiasts who rely already on Sig products have been asking for a standard AR from Sig, and now they have it in the M400.

The M400 is a Mil-Spec AR-15 rifle from Sig. A lot of police armorers and Sig enthusiasts who rely already on Sig products have been asking for a standard AR from Sig, and now they have it in the M400.

All of the 516/716 guns are completely ambidextrous, including the sling mounts. Note the sand in the desert on Media Day, and the Sigs never failed.

All of the 516/716 guns are completely ambidextrous, including the sling mounts. Note the sand in the desert on Media Day, and the Sigs never failed.

This is the SIG551-A1 which is a new version of the 556 that resembles the original Swiss 550 rifle on which the 556 was based.

This is the SIG551-A1 which is a new version of the 556 that resembles the original Swiss 550 rifle on which the 556 was based.

It is only available in 5.56 NATO, and has a folding buttstock.

It is only available in 5.56 NATO, and has a folding buttstock.

The regular 556 is available with standard AR mags but this A1 just comes with the original polymer Swiss mags.

The regular 556 is available with standard AR mags but this A1 just comes with the original polymer Swiss mags.

All of the Sig rifle designs will be available in SBR configurations this year. This is a 10 version of the 551-A1.

All of the Sig rifle designs will be available in SBR configurations this year. This is a 10 version of the 551-A1.

http://www.sigsauer.com/

Coming away from the Sig Sauer booth, and especially their shooting bay at Media Day at the Range, SHOT Show 2012, my overwhelming thought was, boy oh boy, do I want to try some of these new guns! Sig is known for an extensive line of duty-quality weapons that are bulletproof reliable and durable enough for years of solid service. This year Sig took a bunch of guns we already know and love, and that many of us own, and gave us more options.

On the pistol front the big news is the Sig P224. Think of it as the little brother to the P226, the original and most famous pistol in the Sig Sauer line. The P224 is the first double stack compact from Sig, and if you already carry the P226, it is a perfect backup or off-duty weapon. Some of the marketing pictures show it as a chopped P226 in fact, showing you that that P224 is the same gun, but with a slightly shorter frame and magazine for concealed carry.

Including the magazine, the P224 weighs in at 25.4oz. empty. It is 6.7 inches long, 4.5 inches tall, and 1.3 inches thick. The barrel is 3.5 inches, and it comes in two triggers, the standard double action/single action, at 10 and 4.4lbs. pull, or a constant 6.5lb. pull on the Sig DAK trigger. It is hammer fired, like the P226 and the capacity is 11 rounds of 9mm, or 10 rounds of .40S&W or .357 Sig. The P224 is a really good looking firearm as you can see in the pictures, and with the Sig Sauer name for reliability, accuracy and long term durability, I am sure the Sig dealers will have a good year with this new compact.

On the rifle side, there is a lot of news, but the biggest is probably the SIG716. It is a 7.62 NATO (.308 Winchester) addition to the Sig line based on their success with the SIG516 platform. You can’t tell the difference between a 516 and a high-end AR-15 on the outside. The 516 has ambidextrous controls and sling mounts, and they use a Magpul stock, but inside the 516 and now the 716 are entirely different guns. The inside of the stock of a standard AR-15 is a buffer tube for what is called a “gas impingement system.” And while this system does serve our US Military and a good deal of American shooters just fine, they can have reliability problems with sustained use.

Sig is one of the firearm manufacturers that have taken the pluses of the AR-15 platform, and removed some of the minuses, and the result was the SIG516, and now the SIG716. These guns use what Sig calls a short stroke pushrod gas system that has a 4 position gas valve. We have never actually shot and taken apart one of these guns, but hopefully we’ll get one this year. They have been a big hit with law enforcement, and they represent the next evolution in the modern rifle.

The new SIG716 Patrol Rifle has a 16 inch barrel and is 35.1 to 38.3 inches long overall. It weighs 9.3 pounds with the Mil-Spec collapsible stock, and it comes in black and both the popular tan and OD colors. It takes Magpul P-MAGs, and does use the same short stroke pistol found in the SIG516. I didn’t get a chance to shoot this gun at Media Day but we hope to get one in soon to take a look at, and to take apart to show you the difference in the two systems.

There is also a new SIG516 “Russian,” which is the 7.62×39 variant that shoots the AK-47 round and takes AK magazines. This is a significant development if you are a fan of the round, but don’t care for the poor accuracy and shoddy workmanship of most affordable AK rifles. It does tend to be cheaper to shoot than 5.56 NATO, and if you are looking for a duty-quality rifle, this SIG516 would be the most cutting edge rifle available for the round. Ballistically there isn’t a whole lot of reason to use a 7.62×39 over 5.56NATO, but each to his own.

The SIGM400 is the flip side of the SIG516 in standard 5.56 NATO. Because though the 516/716 is an evolutionary step in ARs, it is proprietary, and if you are a police armorer with racks of standard ARs in inventory that you have to maintain, keeping a separate parts inventory for even a superior rifle design isn’t practical. No matter how far we go forward with the AR-15 design, there are always going to be millions of legacy rifles in the racks, and as above, in most situations a standard AR works just fine. The M400 is Sig’s answer to all of the Sig armorers and fanatics out there who have demanded a true AR-15 rifle from a manufacturer they know and trust. Everyone in the firearms world knows that if Sig puts their name on a gun, you won’t ever find a sub-standard part in it just because “Company A” bid a contract a little cheaper, and this has led to a solid trust from those who rely on Sig guns. In a world full of ARs and AR companies, it can be difficult to decide which one to buy. After decades of guns that serve and serve and serve, without breaking down, the easy answer for someone who has relied on Sig products and now just needs a standard AR, is “just buy the Sig.” Now you have the M400.

One of the guns I actually got to fire at Media Day is a lesser story in the Sig rifle line, but one that I found really interesting. I was at the Sig plant in Exeter, NH back when the first SIG556 rifles were being shipped to the public, and I became an instant fan of the gun. Many people don’t understand the most important detail of the 556, that this was not a new firearm design. It was based on a tried and true Swiss firearm design, the Swiss 550, and it is far simpler and inherently more reliable than a standard AR (there we go beating up ARs again). As battle rifles go, the SIG556 is a formidable example, and now Sig Sauer is releasing a special version that is almost exactly like the original Swiss rifle called the SIG551-A1.

The new A1 has a folding buttstock like the original, and unlike many folding buttstocks out there, it looks extremely durable and feels solid. The gun comes only in the original grey, and it takes only the Swiss polymer mags. If you don’t know this already, you have a choice in a standard 556 rifle. They can take a standard AR mag, the Swiss mag, or in 7.62×39, the standard configuration AK-47 mag. The SIG551-A1 is only available in 5.56 NATO (.223 Remington), and it is 36.7 inches long unfolded, 28.3 inches folded, and weighs 7.9 lbs empty. It has a 16 inch barrel with a 2 stage 7.5lb. trigger out of the box.

And the final story for Sig is that you can now get all of these guns in an SBR, or Short Barreled Rifle version. The standard barrel length will be 10 inches on these SBRs, and some are available with 7.5 and 12″ barrels. You should be able to order them through your local Sig dealer. If you are not familiar with SBRs, they are a special exemption in the National Firearms Act rule that limits the barrel length of any single projectile firearm (ie. not a shotgun) with a buttstock to 16 inches. If you are law enforcement or you live in a state where you can own an SBR, Sig now makes all of their popular rifles, and even the new guns, in an SBR configuration. As a civilian you can file a special form and pay a $200 tax to the BATFE to own one of these 10 inch barreled guns. The tactical market has taken to SBRs over the last few years, but remember, the shorter the barrel, the bigger the muzzle flash and the boom, because more powder burns outside the barrel. I prefer a full sized rifle or 16″ carbine.

If you step back and look at all of these products new for this year from Sig Sauer, the theme seems to be that they took guns we already know, and that many of us own, and gave us more options from the company thought to be the most reliable name in firearms. There are more on the list, some new 1911 variants, and some new options and colors on many of the other popular Sigs. My favorite is definitely the SIG716 and I hope we get a chance to both shoot it and take it apart and look inside this year. There isn’t a gun that Sig makes that isn’t considered the gun to beat in its class, and with all of the 7.62 AR guns out this year, I bet the 716 is going to be yet again the gun to beat. The Sig Sauer name is always without question, and if you have always considered the 5.56NATO lacking, there could be a SIG716 in your future.

{ 45 comments }

{ 43 comments… add one }

  • ron January 31, 2012, 5:00 am

    Does the SIG 716, take a proprietery mag made only by sig ?

    • Administrator January 31, 2012, 6:48 am

      As the article says, it is a magpul p-mag.

  • rob deeter January 31, 2012, 5:46 am

    nice products. I have owned many sig products over the years and will always be a sig fan.

  • Stephen J Nottonson January 31, 2012, 6:37 am

    Your readers would appreciate clarification regards the Short Barrel Rifle (SBR) BATF
    comments.

    Your work at the SHOT Show is an industry first. Be proud, be very proud.

    Thanks again.

  • GE January 31, 2012, 7:50 am

    Great product. Great article. Thanks for the updates.

  • Tom Bender January 31, 2012, 7:55 am

    I’m not sure if Guns America stopped by the CTC Defense Booth at the Show.
    CTC Defense is a Division of Crimson Trace Corp. They have perhaps the best vertical grip for the AR rail system on the market with the flashlight/laser combo.
    Another great product was the current release of CTC’s “Rail Master”. It is a lightweight/compact and ambidextruse laser made for the rail system of todays pistols and AR style rails.
    As always, this CTC product has with it, the CTC quality.
    You’ll like the retail price too.
    For pricing and availability, you will have to look it up.

  • Unlicensed Dremel January 31, 2012, 8:10 am

    That’s NOT an “AR-15 platform”, as the second rifle pic caption says. The AR-15 / AR-10 platform, *by definition*, uses a DI system. Piston/op rod systems otherwise the same may be called “pseudo-ARs” or something that delineates them differently. If something as fundamental to the gun as the basic operating system is not part of the definition of the rifle type, then it would be correct to call the SW M&P 22 or the Umarex/Colt junk piece a true “AR-15 platform”. It’s not. It’s also not a “hefty improvement” over DI – it’s arguably not an improvement at all – unless “hefty improvement” means adding “heft” (weight) without benefit.

    • Builder and Shooter January 31, 2012, 10:31 am

      Hear Hear, the DI system is basically foolproof whereas the short strokes have their own issues.

      • Kenneth March 12, 2012, 9:12 pm

        Exactly. Ive seen the 20+ thousand rounds they ran through a di BCM rifle cleaning it for the first time.
        Quote and info from Pat Rodgers:

        ************************************************** ************************************************** ************************************* “Filthy #14 is the most used, and has (as 12-24-09) 28905 rounds down range. The barrel is original. It has never had a brush put through it. -At 16,400 rounds bolt lug cracked. Replaced the bolt carrier group

        -At approximately 26,000 rounds fired a 5 shot 50m group that went into 0.5″. This might not be that tight at 100 meters.

        -At 26,450 rds had 3 failures to extract. Replaced BCG and cleaned gun for the first time

        We use only SLip2000 EWL for lube and Slip 2000 725 to clean.

        **All of the rounds were fired during class (at the rate of approximately 1,250 rounds every 3 days)**

        I do not recommend allowing the gun to go this long without PM (preventive maintenance). However, we wanted to see how far we could take this particular gun (#14) without being burdened by the myth of meticulous cleaning.”

  • Stonekold January 31, 2012, 8:51 am

    The Sig 224 also comes with a $1259 price tag, 3 times the price of my Taurus 24/7 C-G2. Same size, better calibers avail= 9mm, .357/.40 cal. and .45 ACP and 2 mags. 10 rd + 12 rd. for .45 and 17 rd for .40.

    • Administrator January 31, 2012, 9:09 am

      As much as we are a fan of Taurus for bringing low priced guns to American gun owners, a Sig is a completely different class of firearm and can’t even be compared.

      • SpotterUp January 31, 2012, 10:39 am

        You can say that again. It’s simple – you get what you pay for. I remember picking up my first Taurus PT-908 in the mid 90′s (I worked behind the gun counter of a “Jumbo Sports” while going through college) and just being shocked at its lack of quality (it rattled, all edges were sharp, the finish was low grade, the trigger was gritty, etc.). We had more Taurus and Rossi firearms returned to be shipped out for repair than all others put together. It’s true that Sig firearms cost quite a bit more than the lower-grade guns, but I’m more than happy to pay more to own (and enjoy) that level of quality.

        • Hooverjeep February 1, 2012, 10:43 am

          Taurus has made great strides in their quality and reliability. I own several, especially revolvers and they are great, especially when I save 500 bucks vs. the way overpriced S&W stuff. We were shooting the other day (last Sunday) and my buddies brand new, not years ago when you worked at a sport’s store, S&W broke. We took the side cover off and BROKEN PIECES fell out! And no, these were not some brother in law reloads, it was a cheap cast or MIM part. On a 1200 dollar gun. Yes, Sig is in a different class, but Taurus WORKS. And yes, I own Sigs, too, and I love them. Sig’s 1911′s are a BARGAIN vs Springfield, Kimber, etc! I also own a Sig 556, as it is just stupid to crap where you eat as direct impingement weapons do.

  • Steve January 31, 2012, 11:42 am

    Be nice if they’d make a copy of the SG550, rather than the SG551. The 556 is actually based on the SG551, not the SG550, which is why it’s possible to swap the lower over and make something similar to the SG551. I’ve seen a version of the 556 with a long barrel but it looks stupid and the bipod has to be mounted too far back, or on the barrel which affects accuracy. Clearly there was a decision in NH that carbines are more popular in the US market.

  • Charlemagne January 31, 2012, 11:55 am

    I am sorry that Sig Sauer didn’t decide to build their 7.62 NATO rifle on a scaled up version of their 550 platform. While I realize the AR type platform has its pluses, for reliability’s sake I would rather have the two large locking lugs of the 550 than the seven small lugs on AR type platforms. I also like a reciprocating charging handle which allows one to manually operate the bolt through its entire cycle.
    I also disagree with the statement that “Ballistically there isn’t a whole lot of reason to use a 7.62×39 over 5.56NATO”. The 7.62×39 has some 25% more muzzle energy and pushes a bullet that is twice as heavy. It is my understanding that it was the inspiration for the 6.8SPC.

    • zed child January 31, 2012, 12:48 pm

      7.62×39 is a great round and for combat, better IMHO than 5.56×45. the trade off was accuracy (AK vs AR), but sig changed that.

  • lcjones January 31, 2012, 12:18 pm

    If it doesn’t say Sig, in my opinion most of the QUAL is missing from quality. I too have had to send back More Taurus than any guns. I’ll get them on Special order but I stock Sig Sauer.

  • zed child January 31, 2012, 12:43 pm

    i’ve got 6 sig side arms (226, 220, 239), and a STR (308/300wm), this past year i got a 516R and i have to say it’s everything i thought it would be. i was very pleased with the accuracy out to 300m. with the sig prismatic 3x i got head shots at 1 and 2 hundred and center mass at 300. they recommend bulgarian poly mags but i’ve not found any ak mags that didn’t work, as long as they work in other aks. i will get a 716/20 when they are out.

    • deuce January 31, 2012, 6:39 pm

      I would be careful about what kind of AK mags to use in your 516R/556R as the metal ones tend to “chew up” the front ledge on the receiver with constant use. Polymer (Tapco) seem to be the better choice in this case.

  • ed gandolfi January 31, 2012, 2:35 pm

    was wondering if you make it in left handed configuration??also if possible to change it over to a piston system instead of of gas ?

  • Joe January 31, 2012, 4:55 pm

    I own Sig and H&K handguns. They cost top dollar but cry once the day you buy it. But once you she’ll the money out you will never wish you had bought something cheaper.

  • Joe January 31, 2012, 4:56 pm

    Shell out. I hate auto correct

  • Andre January 31, 2012, 8:10 pm

    I think there is a big difference in the ballistic of 7.62 x39 and .223. see http://www.sherviews.com

  • Mark Chamberlain February 1, 2012, 11:42 am

    Actually Sig Sauer’s website states the P224 is based off the P229, not the P226. The website states newer model P229 magazines can be used in the P224 for a greater round count, so the P224 would be better as a backup gun to the P229.

  • Hollow Ts February 1, 2012, 12:04 pm

    one correction to the article on the P224. The P220 is the father of all sigs in the p series originally imported as the browning dba. And to the gentleman comparing the taurus to a sig. Really? Ask seal team 6 and Delta Force if they would rely on your $300 dollar pistol in a firefight with battle hardened insurgents!

    • Mark Chamberlain February 1, 2012, 3:20 pm

      The Sig P210 was actually the father of all sigs in the p series, however the P220 is the first in what sig calls the classic line of pistols. So in that sense you are correct. I also agree with you on your comparison of sig and taurus pistols. I carry a p226 in .40 as an LEO. It’s an excellent pistol of the highest quality. Once someone has used one, it is easy to understand why Sig pistols are highly regarded by many in the U.S. SOF community, British SAS, and some high profile LE agencies.

      • Keith-B. February 15, 2012, 11:01 am

        I own aP220, P245, P229 in 40 S&W, with a 357 Sig bbl. and a P239 in 9mm. They are all capable of sub-two inch groups and on a good day, sub-inch and a quarter, at 25 yds. I own a Raging Bull in 454 Casull with 5″ bbl. that will shoot into an inch, at 25yds. and a Tracker 4″ bbl. in 41 mag. that will produce groups around two inches, at 25 yds. I’ve owned the 99 and 101 pistols (Taurus’ knock-off of the 92 Baretta) and my findings are that for the most part, Taurus has gotten better over the last decade or so and that their revolvers are more accurate and reliable than their autoes but over all, there is nothing as sweet shooting as a Sig or an H&K !!! YOU CAN TAKE THAT STATEMENT AS FACT FROM A JAR-HEAD THAT SHOT EXPERT AND WAS A MEMBER OF 2nd Mar. Div. Rifle & Pistol Team .

  • Jeremy Davis February 1, 2012, 12:58 pm

    He states in the article that the 516 Russian will take AK mags, but that is not true it takes the AR mags that are designed for the 7.62×39 round. I would like a version that takes the AK mags.

  • D Johnson February 1, 2012, 12:59 pm

    Not Impressed with their customer service or their 516 PDW Series rifle. It had several FTE’s and issues on full auto and their SIG MOSQUITO is garbage. Their Handguns are top notch in my book though.

  • M. Sage February 1, 2012, 8:46 pm

    That’s not an AK mag in that 516. It’s a 7.62x39mm AR magazine. Am I missing something?

  • David R. February 5, 2012, 9:12 am

    It isn’t an “AK Type Mag” for the 516 Russian. It is an AR 15 mag in 7.62x39mm fir that round just every other 7.62×39 AR15. I am totally bummed because I wanted an AR in AK round and a piston. However Primary Weapon Systems was the only manufacture I could find and the wait time was too long for me. I like Sigs and wanted a 516 but again the wait was too long and it was only 5.56 :( Looks like I will have to put an order in for the 526 Russian and wait until they release. The Armalite DI AR 15 I bought in 7.62 x 39mm will go down the road!

  • Bill F. February 13, 2012, 1:04 pm

    It would be great if the 516 took AK mags but they don’t. The mag is a C-Products style mag which immediately raises questions in my mind about their reliability. I say this because I’ve struggling with four of them for several years, trying to get them to function without problems. Finally used Wolf springs which helped but they’re still not 100%. Because of this I’m looking at selling my Colt 7.62 upper or getting a lower that accepts real AK mags.

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  • jay505 July 22, 2014, 5:26 pm

    There is no comparison between Sig and Taurus, just ask the Secret Service, US Marshall, Seal Team 6, or the Delta what they carry.

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