There’s a New Predator in Town – SIG Tread Predator Reviewed

The new SIG Sauer Tread Predator is a quality-built rifle at a reasonable price.

It may be midsummer, but it’s not too soon to be thinking about predator hunting season. In fact, this is the perfect time to get out and dial in your rifle, practice different shooting positions, and sharpen your skills. If you are looking to update or upgrade your gear there are many excellent choices out there. While many prefer bolt action rifles for predator hunting, I use gas-operated semiautomatic rifles, aka ARs, modern sporting rifles, etc.

SIG Sauer has a new model of their M400 Tread rifle called the Tread Predator. The basic configuration is the same as the M400 Tread, with a few notable exceptions. The first thing people notice is the color. It is a light green shade of Cerakote Elite called Jungle. I hunt out west, so tans and browns are more my style for Cerakote, but this flat Jungle should blend in just about anywhere. It’s green enough for a Midwestern forest and subdued enough to do just fine in the sage flats by me.

The free-floating handguard on the Predator is rock solid with zero wobble and plenty of MLOK slots for accessories.

SIG also changed the stock on this model to add an adjustable cheekpiece as well as adjustment for length of pull. One lever enables changes to either height or length without tools and the stock seems well-engineered. There are four quick detach sling locations, two at the rear of the stock and two at the rear of the lower receiver. SIG also calls out the polished single-stage trigger as unique to this configuration. The trigger guard is large enough to accommodate gloves, and the grip is SIG’s own deSIGn. The Tread Predator ships with a single five-round Magpul magazine, though any standard AR magazine will fit in this rifle.

The Sig Predator uses a stock with an adjustable length of pull and cheek weld height. Adjustments are easily made without tools.

As with other M400s the safety is ambidextrous, and there are magazine releases on each side as well. The bolt release is left side only. The upper receiver has a Picatinny rail for mounting optics. SIG shipped this test rifle with the Sierra3BDX rifle scope. This scope has an electronic ballistic program that communicates with certain SIG laser range finders such as the Kilo 1000. The scope has a reticle with a bright dot that moves to the proper point of aim once it is linked with the SIG range finder and all necessary ballistic data have been calibrated. It would have been great to test the scope/rangefinder functionality, but SIG did not send a rangefinder for this test.

The Sig Tread Predator has ambidextrous safety and magazine release controls. The bolt catch is left side only but has a larger lower portion.

The Tread Predator has a 15-inch MLOK handguard covering the 16-inch stainless steel barrel chambered in 5.56 NATO with a 1/8 twist. The free-float handguard is slim and comfortable. There are enough MLOK slots to accommodate any accessory setup that one might prefer. The direct impingement gas block is pinned and uses a mid-length gas system. This should provide a bit less recoil than a carbine gas system, allowing for faster follow-up shots. The barrel is threaded 1/2×28 to accept suppressors or other muzzle devices. The barrel is tapered near the muzzle to mate with SIG’s suppressors that feature the reciprocal tapering for a solid suppressor mount. SIG also includes a tapered adapter to mask the barrel taper so that non-SIG suppressors or other muzzle devices may be mounted.

Note the barrel taper for use with SIG suppressors. The included adapter (right) fits to the tapered barrel to accommodate standard muzzle devices.

Performance

At the range, the accuracy of the Tread Predator was reasonable with five-shot groups at about 1.5 inches using Hornady Varmint Express ammunition. I’ve had really good results on predators using Hornady bullets and ammunition, so I and two other shooters thought the Tread Predator was very likely capable of better accuracy. All three of us had trouble with the reticle on the Sierra3BDX for precision work. The thick reticle would be well suited for hunting, but for shooting groups at 100 yards it was not optimal. Similarly, all three of us found the trigger to be very heavy. SIG promotes the trigger as polished and hardened, and it may be, but for precision work, the trigger is just too heavy. The trigger wasn’t gritty and it didn’t have too much travel, it just took enough oomph to pull that accuracy suffered. Back in the shop, the trigger was breaking at just over seven pounds. The triggers on my personal predator rifles break at about three pounds.

To really test the limits of the Predator’s accuracy, the author installed a Geissele SSA-E trigger, Zero Compromise Optics Z527 scope, OSS suppressor, and Atlas bipod.

What I did next might upset the good folks at Sig, but I had to see what this rifle could really do. I pulled the stock trigger and replaced it with a Geissele SSA-E trigger. I also replaced the scope with a Zero Compromise Optics ZC527 scope that I had handy from another test rifle. These two changes shrunk the groups to just under an inch, which made more sense to me given the apparent build quality.

The stock trigger averaged about seven pounds, whereas the Geissele SSA-E was right at three pounds.
A lighter trigger and a larger scope decreased group size significantly.

Hits

The Tread Predator performed flawlessly with zero malfunctions, and the fit and finish are superb. There is zero wiggle between the upper and lower, likely in part due to the wedge added at the rear of the lower just under the takedown pin. This is one of those rifles you will need to use a tool to push out the takedown pins. A thumb isn’t going to do it. I like my ARs tight and this one is just that. The adjustable cheek rest on the stock is very good, and the SIG grip feels great in the hand (possibly because I usually carry a SIG P365). There are also two battery storage slots inside the grip (one for AA and one for a 123). The accuracy was very good after replacing the trigger as noted above – and to be fair I replace the triggers on all my ARs except those that come with high-end triggers. The balance of the rifle is also good, and it weighs an acceptable 7.5 pounds. The threaded barrel is a good idea as most predator hunters I know shoot suppressed. SIG including the adapter for use with all suppressors is also a hit. The color grows on you with time, so I would count that as a positive as well.

The polymer wedge just below the rear takedown pin undoubtedly added to the tightness of the fit between upper and lower.
One AAA and one 123 battery may be stored inside the grip.

Misses

The first thing I would do is pull the Tread-logoed inserts from the handguard. They rattle, and the last thing a predator rifle needs is to make any noise besides bang.* I would also have shortened the handguard to about nine inches instead of 15 because there is no reason a predator rifle needs a long handguard. It’s just extra weight. Finally, as mentioned above, the trigger has got to go.

*Editor’s Note: The Yellow Tread inserts aren’t intended by SIG to stay on the rifle. They’re like a sticker or tag that is meant to be discarded after you purchase the rifle.

Bottom Line – this optics-ready rifle will do just fine for predators, and with a new trigger will do extremely well.

Price – if you can find them, the SIG Tread Predator has an MSRP of $1,099.

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About the author: Steve Gaspar has been writing for gun and hunting publications for over 20 years. He is an avid hunter, staunch 2A supporter, and occasional 3-gun competitor. His favorite outdoor activities are calling predators and shooting suppressed rifles.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Charles m August 28, 2021, 9:14 am

    Nice little gun, I’m going for a good hog gun 🐻 bear gun, I’ve looking for a good automatic action for my 450m marlin Barrel I think it’s going to be a BAR,SIM AUTO 450M MAG IN BAR good 75yd gun.

  • Thomas Melton August 25, 2021, 1:34 pm

    What is the price of the sig Predator rifle?

  • Josiah Stephenson August 10, 2021, 12:44 am

    This looks like a great weapon, but at age 80, and going down hill, I do not need one, but would take one if it was offered on a site where they have give a ways. Old retired Minister, bad health, but would love to shoot one some day before i graduate to the Lord’s kingdom. I have had a great life for a poor man, but life has been good. I have many blessings to share with folks, but a lot of regrets that i did not do a better job. Take care every one and God bless you all. Dr. Josiah Stephenson, Farmington, Mo.

  • Michael Gilliam August 3, 2021, 11:59 am

    Absolutely perfect. Sig hit the nail on the head with this one. If I hadn’t already built basically the exact same weapon I’d order one.

    • Baron Von Volkswagen August 5, 2021, 5:34 am

      Yeah but its NOT a Sig…. : P

  • RICKY PRICE August 3, 2021, 10:31 am

    What’s the deal.

  • Joel IV August 3, 2021, 8:34 am

    Hey, look! Another 16″ barrelled 1.5 MOA AR in 5.56.

    “Predator” though?

    • Brian August 10, 2021, 1:47 pm

      Joel, my thoughts exactly. Based on the “predator” title I expected something interesting in terms of chambering, maybe a longer and heavier barrel? Oh well.

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