SIG’s New Rattler Already Pressed into Military Testing with USSOCOM

United States special forces are impressed with SIG Sauer’s highly compact MCX Personal Defense Weapon kit or PDW. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) just ordered a small number of M4 conversion kits for testing at the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Indiana.

While the solicitation doesn’t call the PDW by its commercial name, it’s clear the military wants to play with SIG’s new Rattler, an updated version of the MCX carbine.

The military is also testing their sole-source contracting system to procure commercial off-the-shelf or COTS products on short notice. In many ways the commercial market moves faster than the government and this is particularly true for small arms development.

“Sample systems are needed quickly to be used in formal combat evaluations,” explains one source. “The current requirement is for 10 kits that will be used in evaluations that will help shape future requirements that are anticipated to be competed in a full and open manner.”

SIG’s Rattler is a great example of how consumer and police products can be a few steps ahead of what the military is using. It features quick-detach sling points, a modular free-floating handguard and a self-adjusting gas system.

The Rattler is a very short-barreled version of the MCX with a skeletonized folding stock. It is compatible with AR-based lower receivers and M4 carbines — it’s a drop-in conversion kit.

The MCX is gas-operated with a combination piston and recoil system. This means the recoil system is completely contained in the upper and it doesn’t need the lower’s buffer assemble at all. Instead, the MCX and the Rattler can use smaller and lighter folding stocks.

What makes it PDW-like is the compact 5.5-inch barrel and short handguard. Combined with the stocks the Rattler squeezes assault rifle capability into a package smaller than many submachine guns.

The military is ordering kits in 300 AAC Blackout along with 5.56 NATO conversion barrels. The MCX is modular, featuring a quick-change barrel system. While 5.56 is a real flame-thrower with barrels this short 300 BLK does fine especially with sub-sonic ammunition.

See Also: SIG’s New SBR — The MCX Rattler — SHOT Show 2018

With the kits SOCOM is ordering compact and full-size suppressors, fixed and telescoping folding stocks and optics and magnifiers. Special forces is ordering ten sets of each along with cases and accessories for the converted rifles.

The document doesn’t specify how much the military is spending on this contract, but with just 10 kits on the line, it won’t be much compared to everything else.

And while this will surely improve the MCX’s standing from a hard-use standpoint, it will also indicate whether or not the military’s more direct purchasing model has a strong future.

The right product at the right price, or cozy contracts? Let us know in the comments!

***Curious about the MCX? Shop GunsAmerica.com today for SIG rifles and pistols!***

{ 32 comments… add one }
  • Doug February 12, 2018, 1:10 am

    Hay folks, ease up. They’re buying 10 kits so they can take a look at it and see if it has a fit within numerous different special ops missions. It’s not like they are letting some humungous contract.

  • Boomer February 10, 2018, 11:52 pm

    I love the people on here that think everything is overpriced and they could do it in their garage for 25% the cost. Not sure if these cats know anything about this type of setup, but you won’t be building a piston driven foldable AR for $600 bucks. If you can then holler at me, I’ll take 50 as soon as you have them done. That’s of course if they are anywhere near the caliber of this Sig….. Ya, I didn’t think so.

  • Don February 9, 2018, 8:33 pm

    I don’t know anything about special ops or the Military but cutting down a rifle barrel to 5.5″ in length would surely destroy the ballistics of any rifle round in question (also the shooters ears). I think it’s wishful thinking to show a neat looking, extremely compact weapon like that without addressing the serious compromises involved.

  • Tony February 9, 2018, 11:52 am

    I think one of these in .300 would be a very good idea. 2200-2400 super sonic and switch magazine and add a suppressor for subsonic use. Although, a .45 sub machine gun with suppressor is more effective for silenced use.

  • Timothy Vatter February 9, 2018, 11:44 am

    When it come to military they should get what ever they need. The special forces are put in harms way every day. So if a few dollars can protect them better go for it. How can you put a price on the life of a soldier?

    • Andrew February 9, 2018, 1:38 pm

      Unfortunately they put a price tag on their heads all the time. All our equipment is from lowest bidder. I was in 17 years before I had to get medically retired due to a deployment. Unless you buy your own and it’s almost impossible to take a personal weapon even if it’s better or are a SOCOM unit the equipment is 20 years old. Unless it’s uniforms, I went through 5 different ones while I was in. All politicians say they are pro military to get votes but when it comes to support it just isn’t there. As a matter my last 8 years in they denied a pay raise. They told us we were getting one which was 1.5% while poverty level was 3.5% So we got a -2.0% raise. The only ones who care about the military are each other’s, friends and family. The government couldn’t care less as long as the numbers are there. Sorry started to ramble, it’s just few and far in between where someone has positive to say about the military now. Thank you

      • Steve G February 9, 2018, 7:48 pm

        People care. Thanks for your service brother.

      • Scott williams February 9, 2018, 11:12 pm

        Thank you for your service.
        I do care.

  • Brick February 9, 2018, 10:47 am

    The SOT’s such as EOD have been using the MK18 mod 0 which has its own issues. Blowback vs piston operation with an adjustable gas block perform virtually the same. HK uses the delayed roller system that I happen to like but cqb’s tend to be in pistol cals.5.56 tends to do a crap job in a short barrel. 7.62×39 or 300 blk would be more effective with short leg work being the goal. Sig makes good weaponry but their follow through tend to lack severely. The 556XI sold as a modular barrel change system was abandoned mid way and support for the modularity fell off. This left people with guns they bought for special purpose, then dropped off the edge of a cliff. Sig fails to follow thorough and shouldn’t be relied on to keep up support of their rifles. Sig is a company with ADHD.

  • Infidel762X51 February 9, 2018, 9:45 am

    These short barrel .223s are as loud as my cousin’s Mcmillan 50 cal.

    • Mario Ortega February 9, 2018, 5:13 pm

      The 11.5 barrelled version would be better in that regard thn the apparrant 5-7 in. they show.

  • Kevin February 9, 2018, 9:39 am

    Maybe I missed it, but “The right product at the right price”?

    I didn’t see any price at all….(?)

    • Tony February 9, 2018, 11:54 am

      They are no where near cheap!

  • John February 9, 2018, 9:11 am

    Assault rifle capabilities with a 5.5″ barrel? Did you seriously write that?
    If the request to test this stuff comes from real operators in real units then I’m fine with it. And by that I mean some E7-E9 operator whose job it is to actually use something like this. But if it comes from some Colonel trying to extend his career another couple of years sitting behind a desk with a SIG bumper sticker on his car who is part of the military’s recent infatuation with everything SIG…see misguided purchase of SIG pistol costing taxpayers more than half a BILLION dollars…then its a problem.

    • OldCommando February 9, 2018, 11:41 am

      USN Surface Warfare Center are the folks tasked with evaluating such weapons, especially if they may be used as a crew weapon on a helo or by a fast-boat team. Just about every manufacturer that makes a compact high firepower weapon has been evaluated for such use. Back in the 80’s-90’s it was the H&K’s that were the big interest item. I was involved in some of this testing. The big attraction that I can see for the Sig offering is that it will fit on a standard AR lower. So you don’t have to procure a complete weapon, just those components that are needed for a particular mission kit.

      • Tony February 9, 2018, 12:05 pm

        How about a configuration like the old MP5 but in .44 Automag? Be a little hard to suppress but be a wicked CQB weapon. I am pretty sure that this is what they are looking for . the .300 should be a good off the shelf cartridge for CQB requirements.

    • Baubreygreene February 9, 2018, 12:10 pm

      What is wrong with someone liking all things Sig? They are an exceptional company that puts out exceptional products. Better a Sig fan than a Glock fan.

      • Duane February 9, 2018, 11:50 pm

        Sig’s are nice guns to show off at the range but if you are betting your life there is nothing more reliable than a Glock. The AK-47 of pistols. Carried one to work for over 20 years and still carry one.

  • Snakeman February 9, 2018, 9:09 am

    I’m really interested the the Rattler in 300BLK. But I don’t trust Sig on their rifle evolutions. Say a owner of a Sig 556 SWAT, and a P556 Swat, now a SBR. Plus the entry price of the Rattler is ridicules. Bet SOCOM get’s ’em at a better price, and theirs has the fun switch included.

    • Tony February 9, 2018, 11:59 am

      Not really. You have to pay for extras like selective fire. They do get them at a discount but it is not as much as you would think. I think select fire with 3 shot or 2 shot burst would be nice on the .300. I am like you, I think it is a great concept and Spec Ops will probably be able to get them but they are no where near cost effective for anywhere else.

      A standard M4 is about half of a good civilian version. But a H&K is like a 10% discount for the military and they are cheaper in select fire than semi auto only! I had trouble figuring the logic on that one.

  • Jay February 9, 2018, 8:40 am

    With a street price tag over $2700.00 dollars you’ve got to be kidding me! You can build this thing for less than $600.00 and I’m sure we the tax payers will be raped once again if they ever sell them to the Government! Close quarter use only for sure, unless you also want to design special ammunition that well work with the decrease in velocity for expansion etc…The 5.56 rounds was developed for a 20 inch barrel and much of the early testing was done with a 22 inch barrel!

    • Tony February 9, 2018, 12:00 pm

      The .300 round already has the ammunition your talking about and your right, I would not even consider one of these in 5.56. The .300 gets it’s most effective use from a 8.5 inch barrel so the design would better fit it than a round designed for a 20″ barrel.

  • Mark A February 9, 2018, 8:38 am

    Duh Price?

  • Michael February 9, 2018, 8:32 am

    I support Team/Mission Specific/Over-the-Counter Purchase. Well trained Operators know best what their needs are. They know what works, and what won’t. Allow them to purchase the tools they need to do the job.

  • Daniel February 9, 2018, 8:06 am

    Man this thing is badass.

  • John Smith February 9, 2018, 7:21 am

    I heard the comment recently that SIG is becoming a “mile wide and an inch deep”. I’m not a Sig Sauer banner waver but that seems like something I would like a frustrated competitor to say about me.
    If that Rattler works…I like it.

    Procurement: No matter how streamlined the new system may seem…there will always be a way for some corporate giant to buy some corporate general a beach house quid pro quo.

  • Justin February 9, 2018, 5:52 am

    What are assault rifle capabilities? Can’t believe you said that….. ……..Disappointment……..

    • Mike February 9, 2018, 8:56 am

      Don’t confuse “assault rifle”, a real thing, with “assault weapon”, a misleading term contrived by anti-gun interests.

  • LT Storm February 9, 2018, 3:09 am

    Would be nice to know price as well as what rounds it’s capable of and perhaps a video for evaluation.

    • Matthew Bennett February 9, 2018, 8:39 am

      With a 5.5 inch barrel and a $3000 price tag, its not capable of much, military just wants these for suppressor use

      • Nick M February 9, 2018, 3:53 pm

        We already have 45 auto that fires big heavy subsonic rounds. No one bullet or weapon does it all. No need to reinvent the wheel. No apply that and see why this is stupid.

        • Ron February 10, 2018, 11:00 am

          The 45 is an ok round to fall back on once your main weapon runs out of bullets or jams/breaks…but the 45 is a slow and very close range round that will not even penetrate the lightest armor.

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