Sig Sauer announced this July the release of their first large-format AR-pistol, and we got a chance to shoot it for ourselves at this years Primary Arms Range Day in Houston, Texas.
As its name suggests, the M400 Switchblade is purpose built for maximum flexibility. The .223/5.56 chambered pistol comes standard with fully ambidextrous controls, including an ambi safety selector, changing handle, magazine release button, and bolt release. This is unusual for a factory AR-15 (especially the ambi bolt release), and it could set a new standard for high-end AR’s moving forward.
The ambidextrous controls allow lefty shooters to work with the Switchblade out of the box, and competition shooters will have an edge on stages that require both right- and left-handed shooting.
We didn’t have a chance to shoot the Switchblade in competition, but we did get to field test an SBR-ed Switchblade fitted with Sig’s new SLX suppressor (be looking for coverage of the SLX next week!).
That setup is sweet. Along with the fully ambi controls, the Switchblade comes standard with a 2-stage Matchlite Duo flat-faced trigger and a nicely textured pistol grip. The trigger’s crisp 5-pound break let us keep shots on target, and the grip’s more vertical presentation was perfect for a shorter length of pull. After just a short time shooting the Switchblade, it’s easy to see how it would be ideal for competition.
The Switchblade ships with a Magpul BSL brace, so if you don’t want to register it as an SBR, you can still shoot the pistol one-handed. The simple, blade-style brace is designed to rest on the inside of the shooter’s forearm, which removes the potential problems from straps and fins of other brace designs.
The Switchblade also comes with all the features and finishes you’d expect from a $1,400 rifle.
The receivers and handguard are Cerakote Titanium finished for added durability and an attractive silver-gray look. The barrel is cold hammer forged from stainless steel, measures 11.5 inches, and uses a tapered profile. The handguard comes with M-Lok slots on three sides and a full-length picatinny rail on the top. The model we tested was outfitted with a Sig SLX suppressor, but the standard pistol ships with a three-pronged flash hider.
Could you build a competition AR-15 and save a little cheddar? Maybe. But Sig’s new large-format pistol is ready to go out of the box, and it’s practically begging to be registered as a short-barreled rifle. Our only regret is that we didn’t have as much time to shoot it as we wanted at this year’s Primary Arms Range Day.