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Old March 19, 2011, 04:11 PM   #1
Sturmgewehre
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Review: Sig 556R - Not what I expected

I went out to test my new Sig 556R today, the 7.62x39 rifle that recently hit the market.

I was a bit surprised by what I discovered.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXXmpp_T4l4

Questions and comments are welcome.
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Old March 19, 2011, 04:31 PM   #2
Ridge_Runner_5
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Why was your first assumption with a failure to fire that the mag might be bad?

Also, why not try refiring the problem rounds in the same gun, rather than another gun?

Everything I saw in your video looked like poor ammo. From failure to fire, to random ejection pattern, to random feeding/ejecting issues sounds entirely to me like crap ammo.

But I will go ahead and agree with you on the folding stock issues...

Also, don't expect much in the way of customer service from the XCR. The owner of Robinson Arms is an arsehole and notorious for his thought that you should feel honored to get any service from him on his weapons.
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Old March 19, 2011, 04:43 PM   #3
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The Sig 556 the hat I had cycled and fired everything I ran though it. Granted that was a 5.56 Nato... I sold that rifle because it never "did" anything for me. Would you say your ammo problems are because of light primer strikes?

From what everyone is saying, and what I am seeing, it seems Sig quality is going way down hill. How much was that 556R? 1200-1500? For that much money for a gun, there should be ZERO excuses why you had to go though three rifles to get one that was in "decent" condition, and you STILL have problems with it.
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Old March 19, 2011, 05:24 PM   #4
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Sig's US made rifles don't live up to the ones made abroad by the legitimate SIG company.
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Old March 19, 2011, 05:55 PM   #5
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Hell, they give you chinese red dots with their guns...SIG USA is a big bowl of fail.
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Old March 19, 2011, 06:24 PM   #6
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Why try a different mag? Because people would say "why didn't you try a different mag".

The ammo isn't at fault, hence the AK fired it fine. I have cases of this stuff and it runs fine through all of my AK's and VZ58. I can't fault the ammo because one rifle can't fire it.
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Old March 19, 2011, 06:38 PM   #7
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Fine report, thanks.
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Old March 19, 2011, 06:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
I can't fault the ammo because one rifle can't fire it.
Well said.
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Old March 19, 2011, 06:55 PM   #9
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Sturmgewehre, thanks for the review. I was going to buy one, and I think I'll wait.

However, I have a question. Did you try different brands of ammunition?
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Old March 19, 2011, 07:49 PM   #10
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Cawdor,

I didn't have anything but Wolf ball with me (new manufacture). I only keep cases of Wolf around for my AK's as I never have problems with it and I can buy it relatively cheap from AIM Surplus.

I have many other 7.62x39 rifles that fire it without issue, so I was somewhat surprised at the results. As you can see, the AK has no issues with it.

Other ammo, perhaps commercial ammo with softer primers, might likely work. But then I would still have a problem with the rifle. If it can't fire affordable ammo and requires more expensive commercial ammo, then I wouldn't want it anyway.
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Old March 19, 2011, 08:22 PM   #11
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My Saiga conversion will set off anything fed into it. My CZ carbine will not, similar to what your rifle did. I suspect the folks at Sig need to step back and take a closer look at the AK platform, perhaps strengthen the hammer spring or something.

Ironically a gentleman at my LGS told me the 556r is the greatest thing since sliced bread and came down on any AR-15 like they were junk, having used them for 30+ years. I wasn't convinced.
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Old March 20, 2011, 09:32 PM   #12
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As a fan of the 7.62x39 I really wanted this rifle to be good. But this dosen't give me much hope.

The main problem is there aren't enough non-AK 7.62x39 rifles on the market. Every company that does make one seems to do it half assed. So because of this, their rifles don't sell well and they eventualy drop them mistakenly calling it a "lack of demand".



Thanks for another good review Sturm
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Old March 22, 2011, 02:34 PM   #13
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Here's an additional video showing the malfunctions the 556R was having.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrObcZb_CCI

It's painful to watch...
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Old March 22, 2011, 10:17 PM   #14
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That is painful. The first video was just bad. But that second one hurt. I do not think brass cased ammo would make a difference. The double feed malfuntion (FTF, FTE) was a thing of beauty. Well done SIG:barf:.

Thanks for the video Sturm. I don't post much, but I always catch your posts and vids. Good stuff.
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Old March 23, 2011, 09:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
SIG USA is a big bowl of fail
I will have to disagree. SIG USA makes a great pistol line and the standard SIG556 is a great rifle. I built an AR with all top tier parts chambered in 7.62 x 39 and it was a complete failure(same exact light primer strikes every few rounds) from day one. After tweaking this and that and trying to get it to run properly, a case was stuck in the chamber so bad that I sheared the POF charging handle and broke two teeth off of the M1S bolt(not too bad) to get the rifle apart. Bottom line is the 7.62 x 39 performs best in the AK style rifles that it was designed for. Now I could see the 7.62 x 39 possibly performing well in the SCAR platform due to the design being close to the AK.
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Old March 23, 2011, 10:28 AM   #16
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I love, because one person has a problem with a one rifle, all of them must be built bad. Looked like that rifle didn't like that ammo. It happens!

Thanks for the review.
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Old March 23, 2011, 10:46 AM   #17
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What a total POS. I was looking at a couple of 556R's and was seriously going to drop some coin on one. Now I think not.
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Old March 23, 2011, 02:13 PM   #18
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I think it's still "breaking in". Plus, don't rule out limp-wristing.
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Old March 23, 2011, 03:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
Looked like that rifle didn't like that ammo
Personally, I would get rid of any rifle that wouldn't shoot a certain type of ammo when just about every other rifle of the same design does. That's just poor craftsmanship.
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Old March 23, 2011, 04:08 PM   #20
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It happens to semi auto's all the time. Handgun & rifles, especially when they are new.
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Old March 23, 2011, 04:37 PM   #21
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It happens to semi auto's all the time. Handgun & rifles, especially when they are new.
Thats because company's are cutting corners anywhere they can. If they can make a part cheaper they will. Sad because the concept behind this rifle is really neat.
If they had done it right I would have bought one....
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Old March 23, 2011, 05:07 PM   #22
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Thanks for the excellent videos, Sturmgewehre! A shame that these SIGs are having problems.

I must say I winced a bit when I saw you pick up those cartridges so quickly after a primer strike. I'd be afraid of a hangfire incident, especially with a solid primer strike.
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Old March 23, 2011, 09:14 PM   #23
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Sturmguire- I am always impressed with your videos and thanks again for a great review. I actually followed you on YouTube before I even knew you were a firing line member. My question is what kind of job do you have becuase I am very envious of all of your guns. P.S. how is the ACR treating ya? Still shooting ok it might be on my list of things to get!
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Old March 23, 2011, 09:28 PM   #24
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A shame. I have had nothing but good experiences with every Sig pistol I have handled, so this is a surprise to me. The 5.56 version has good reviews, so I expected the 762X39 to follow suit. The fact that it takes AK mags really had me thinking about getting one, but I'm going to wait to see if the bugs get worked out. Now, if Ruger could make a Mini-30 that took AK mags, I'd be all in!
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Old March 23, 2011, 10:56 PM   #25
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It keeps getting worse.

This was posted by a user of my Facebook page:

Quote:
"I got the 556R with the intent of using the steel cased ammo. I took the rifle out today and it shot fine until I got to the wolf ammo. I called Sig and talked to Josh in customer service, he informed me that Sig will void the warranty if steel cased ammo is used and that it will not work in the rifle. Only brass and non-corrosive ammo is to be used in the rifle. i will be selling the rifle due to the fact that I have several cases of the steel ammo and that Sig did not put a disclaimer on the web. Josh made the statement " Its in the owner manual but not on the web" So if you are thinking of buying the Sig 556R you can only use brass ammo."
Another user on the sigarms556.com forums confirmed that customer service agents at Sig are now telling folks this on the phone, this time the caller spoke to a service rep named Scott:

http://www.sigarms556.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10726
Quote:
OTOH as I was typing this I was on the phone with Sig and spoke with "Scott," and I asked him about this and was told it IS TRUE -- not supposed to be used with steel cased ammo!!
Not good considering steel cased ammo is the defacto standard in 7.62x39 and most people will shoot it. Not too many people will want to shoot $.90 a round ammo out of their rifle. I suspect most people want this rifle because of the cheap steel cased ammo and cheap AK mags.

But that's the other issue that's come to light. The 556R uses an alloy lower. Sig didn't reinforce the lower where the toe of the magazine locks in. If you use steel mags in the gun, you start to see serious erosion on the lower within as few as 1000 rounds. After a few thousand rounds fired out of steel mags there will be serious damage to the rifle. I fired 90 rounds out of a steel mag in my rifle and noticed the damage being done.
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