Few companies can claim they have a hand in every avenue of the market. Nowadays, the strategy of the outdoor tycoons is to buy up the corner of the market they’re pursuing. This often isn’t always the best option for the little guy as it creates monopolies. We’ve seen this with some of the more iconic firearm companies. However, SIG Sauer has set themselves apart. Roughly three years ago they stepped into the ammunition arena to become the all-around systems provider, and the rest is history.
Initially opening a facility in Kentucky, SIG just launched their brand new 75,000-foot facility in Jacksonville, Arkansas. We headed to Arkansas to check out SIG’s new digs. Although they’ve only been in the ammo arena for three years, SIG has a combined experience of Bud Fini, executive vice president ammunition, Dan Powers, president ammunition, former CEO of RUAG who is the man behind the patent for the V-Crown, BJ Rogers, plant manager ammunition, who spent the last eight years with Remington ammunition are just the tip of the iceberg of the talent behind SIG Sauer ammunition. To say that SIG has assembled the A-Team of the ballistics world is an understatement.
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The Land of Opportunity
Interested in giving back to the community and helping the economy of Jacksonville grow, SIG has given ammunition to the Jacksonville police department, which is right down the road from the property the factory is nestled on. When deliberations began to move the factory from Kentucky to a new location, the governor of Arkansas called Ron Cohen and expressed interest in bringing more jobs into the Arkansas, which is also known as the “Land of Opportunity.” Situated right outside Little Rock, SIG has brought roughly 70 new jobs to the community and plans to continue expanding. They currently produce all their brass in house. Their five-year plan encompasses expanding into producing the other parts in house.
From speaking with the people working in the factory and spending time with the ballistic engineers in the gel lab, it’s apparent that everyone has a common goal — striving for the highest quality. SIG Sauer’s FMJ target ammunition is designed to have the same velocity, recoil and point of impact as its corresponding V-Crown jacketed hollow points (JHPs). Why is this relevant? Shooters can train with a nearly identical load to their carry ammo. Their V-Crown line is known for its accuracy and consistent expansion.
SIG Sauer’s current line includes:
V-Crown (JHP) in .380 Auto, .38 Spl, 9mm, .357 SIG, .357 Mag., .38 Super +P, .40 S&W, 10mm, .44 Rem Mag, .44 S&W Spl, .45 Auto and .45 Colt
SIG FMJ in .380 Auto, .38 Spl, 9mm, .357 SIG, .357 Mag, .38 Super +P, .40 S&W, 10mm, and .45 Auto
Match Grade Open Tip Match (OTM) in .223 Rem., .308 Win., .300 Win. Mag., .300 BLK Subsonic, .300 BLK Supersonic, 6.5 Creedmoor Hunting — SIG HT – in .223 Rem., .308 Win., .300 Win. Mag. and .300 BLK Supersonic
SIG Varmint & Predator (V&P) in .223 Rem., 22-250 Rem and .243 Win.
SIG Subsonic .300 BLK V-Crown
“We want to do it right, if it’s not ready yet, then we won’t launch it,” Fini said. “Ron Cohen made it very apparent that we were not to do anything that would jeopardize the SIG Sauer brand and that quality was of utmost importance.”
A Little Piece of History
We’ve all heard it. “The exit wounds on that animal were impressive! You should’ve seen the group it produced.” We witnessed the shiny, jeweled rounds moving down the conveyor belt as a factory worker removed a round from each package and put it in a bucket labeled for testing. SIG’s stringent protocol includes sending projectiles down range at 100 yards, shooting through ballistic gelatin and other barriers to make sure quality remains consistent between batches.
With SIG’s brand new facility, you’d assume the machines would be shiny and new to match the exterior. Think again. There are some new machines, however, some of the heavy lifters on the line that resize the brass, check case necks etc. are from World War II.
“If we could get brand new machines to make brass, we would but the lead time tends to be so long,” Rogers said. These machines are the workhorses of our factory. We spend a few weeks a year traveling around the country tracking these down. We typically find them in old barns or someone knows a guy who knows a guy that owns one.”
SIG could be referred to as the American Pickers of the ammo world. We witnessed several engineers working on a machine that was off to the side making notes and measurements to begin fitting new parts to bring it back to life and integrate into the ammo production.
There’s a pride and high morale throughout the factory. From the worker scooping up bullets to seat the cases to the person loading the boxes on the machine to package the product, everyone is part of a long process to produce top-notch ammunition.
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