Update: SIG confirms that the Rattler is not the SURG upper. The SURG is a different design.
SIG Sauer landed a major contract with the Department of Defense to produce suppressed uppers for special forces. The indifinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity firm-fixed-price contract is worth $48 million over the next five years.
The Suppressed Upper Receiver Groups, or SURGs, are headed to U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) starting now with an initial payment of $24,620. The Defense Department expects SIG to fulfill the contract by 2023. SIG will handle most of the manufacturing at their Newington, New Hampshire facility.
The USSOCOM is using the SURG parts to upgrade existing M4A1 carbines in inventory. Details about the SURG uppers are scarce. The main requirement is that the uppers must be capable of sustained suppressed fire — the uppers don’t need to be integrally suppressed, just built for hard use.
It will be interesting to see what type of upper SIG came up with to fit the bill. While SIG makes standard AR-pattern rifles, the company also makes proprietary gas piston-driven MCX uppers as well.
Piston-driven rifles can suppress better than standard AR and M4 rifles. The piston prevents excess gas from dumping out of the action and helps keep the guns running cool. Still, if these are dedicated suppressed uppers, direct impingement gas systems can also be tuned for this kind of suppressed use.
SIG’s piston-driven MCX system has been a solid success for the company. Since its launch in 2015, many agencies and police departments have adopted the guns for service.
SIG designed the MCX to run suppressed. The gas system is self-adjusting and completely contained in the upper receiver. This also allows users to install a folding or telescoping stock in place of the standard buffer tube assembly.
The smallest MCX, the Rattler, is already in testing with the USSOCOM. The Rattler and other kits are compatible with M4 lower receivers without modification. Though the Rattler is not SIG’s platform for the SURG, some of its design elements could still be in play.
The USSOCOM started testing the Rattler earlier this year. Thanks to the interchangeable barrel system, users can quickly tailor the Rattler for specific mission requirements. Currently the USSOCOM is evaluating the Rattler in 5.56 NATO and 300 AAC Blackout.
Even though it’s not the Rattler, this is a good get for SIG Sauer. It never hurts to have the USSOCOM come to your company for top-flight gear.