(The above SIG516 is shown fitted out with an EOTech XPS3 HWS and Magnifier unit on its receiver rail. A Tactical Link sling, Magpul 30-round polymer PMag and TangoDown vertical foregrip round out the package.)

To say that Sig Sauer has a reputation for quality would be an understatement. With a history that has spanned both decades of renowned military service as well as the Atlantic Ocean, the respected Sig Sauer name has earned its standing. How exactly did the company develop such a revered following? By producing high-quality products for the military and law enforcement (LE) communities, Sig Sauer can be counted on to perform when needed.

In the United States, Sig Sauer has been often associated with its fine line of combat handguns that have served admirably with police, military and special operations units. However, in its ancestral home in Switzerland, the name SIG is associated with front-line military rifles such as the SIG SG550 series of 5.56x45mm rifles. Although rare on these shores due to restrictive legislation passed in the late 1980s that limited their importation, the piston-operated rifles have a storied history of rugged, reliable service. However, the company’s connection to long guns in this country never seemed to fully take root.

That is, until recently. Sig Sauer has made inroads in the US semi-automatic rifle market with its excellent 5.56x45mm SIG556 series of carbines. Combining the appealing operating characteristics of the SG550 series with a newly designed lower that can accept readily available AR-15/M16 magazines, the SIG556 has struck a chord with US shooter. Despite the many appealing characteristics of the SIG556, the fact is that the AR-style rifle is still the dominant semi-automatic rifle design in this country. This is due in no small part to its lengthy (and historic) service with the US military since the 1960s as well as its broad-based acceptance within the LE community.

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