View Full Version : SIG 556, are the horror stories true?

October 23, 2012, 01:28 PM
It's been a while since this rifle hit the civilian market now, and I was wondering if the horror stories I've seen in video reviews (Most prominently from STG here and his video of the travesty that is the SIG 556) and in written reviews still true about this "rifle".

From what I saw in the past, the "rifle" was an absolute mess, constant issues with FTF and FTE, not to mention the over all poor craftsmanship and quality in materials (To be fair, if I recall the rifle is manufactured by SIG USA, and not SIG from Switzerland)

So has the massive teething problems of this rifle been ironed out, or is it still the poorly crafted waste of steel and plastic that I remember it was back in the day?

October 23, 2012, 02:12 PM
Nope. Best value 5.56 on the market, as long as you bought it within the last year. Fit and finish is great, easy to strip and clean, and it will fire cheap Russian ammo all day long..........after all it is modeled on the AK-47 except it has a gas adjustment to fire when dirty during long combat use. YouTube reviews get manufacturers to listen, plus you should never buy a gun when it first comes out.

If I remember it is only assembled here in the States.

October 23, 2012, 02:48 PM
I have one that's about two years old. Runs flawlessly.

October 23, 2012, 02:55 PM
I remember horror stories about the 556R(7.62x39) but nothing about the
5.56MM SIG-556.

It IS a great value; you can find the bare bones version for about $1,000.00 and the version with the quad rail for about $1,100.00.
Most AK's for that price will not have quite the same fit for finish. Most Piston AR's are $200+ above that price point.

If you understand the fact that the 556 IS NOT an AR and it is NOT an AK and you may not be able to change every little thing about it like an AK or an AR then it will be good. If you are simply looking to turn a SIG556 into a Piston AR/AK hybrid better to just buy a Piston AR for the extra $$$$.

If you are really interested in the SIG556 then check out the SIG556 forum; it has a wealth of info about the rifle.

DORC-1 is right though; perfect example is the SIG M400. You could find them for $800.00 last summer before they really caught on. Now the exact same rifle is about $1,000.00+ on average. Went from one of the better value for the money AR's out there to overpriced.

October 23, 2012, 03:08 PM
Glad to hear that it sounds like it's shaped up to be a good rifle. Watching the videos of all the issues the rifle was having was absolutely amazing and ridiculous. I was astounded that it was allowed to leave the development and testing floor with how many issues it was having at the time.

and yes, I was indeed talking about the SIG 556r, my apologies for the confusion.

But in regards to the 5.56/.223 version of the rifle, if I recall, that rifle didn't have any issues correct, if it did it wasn't the norm if memory serves.

October 23, 2012, 05:33 PM
I used to have one. With the exception of horrible trigger , there was nothing wrong with it. Finish was pretty decent and lasted.

October 23, 2012, 05:49 PM
I had a 5.56 NATO version. Trigger was two stage and it was great. Ultimately the rifle failed to keep me interested like I thought it would. That is more my fault, as I set the expectations very high.

The SIG 556R had a lot confusion around it, mixed messages from SIG USA, can you shoot Russian steal ammo, yes or no. Back and forth it went. Something about a shim or sleeve or something in the receiver or magwell area, not sure.

There is no doubt that the design is solid. That can be said of the Robinson Arms XCR as well.

October 24, 2012, 07:57 AM
The newer SIG556R's seem to be doing good even with cheap ammo finally. The problem was SIG wanted a precision swiss type rifle but chambered in 7.62x39. Problem is the cheap ex-com block ammo is not made to those same exacting standards :rolleyes:. I don't know exactly what SIG changed but they did something that seems to have made the problem much less common.

October 24, 2012, 11:18 AM
I have one of the early SIG 556s, a "JS" prefix.

The only problem I've had is a small tear in the rubber dust lip and SIG replaced that.

Otherwise, I've had no problems, no failures, and the trigger is excellent.

It's a little more front end heavy than most ARs, but then again, it isn't an AR.

October 24, 2012, 04:07 PM
i've got the p556. runs fine. i even rapid fired a full beta mag once from the hip. went all the way through with no trouble.

my only complaint is the safety. in the fire position, it rubs bad on the joint of my thumb. finish wears off quick behind the ejection port, but i haven't noticed any rust in its place.

October 25, 2012, 09:34 AM
The problems I've seen personally were with the 556R, not the 556.

The problem with the 556R wasn't that Sig was trying to make a precision rifle, it was that Sig put a poorly designed rifle with glaring quality control issues on the market.

The original had steel mags locking into aluminum which only took a few hundred rounds to start to cause serious erosion. The head spacing was way off on many examples, mine included. It was so far off that rounds wouldn't seat under the extractor and would fall off the bolt face when the bolt/carrier was retracted. The fit and finish was nothing shy of atrocious. The plastic furniture was cheap and easily broken with normal use (mine broke almost immediately). The barrels weren't chrome lined or nitrited.

Sig seems to have corrected most of these issues but haven't marked the second gen rifles any differently than the first gen rifles with all of the problems. I still see brand new first gen rifles on shelves of stores. You better know what you're looking for if you buy one or you will wind up with a rifle that should in all honesty be recalled.

October 28, 2012, 09:16 AM
I understand that the "remedied" 556R has a little steel horseshoe looking gizmo in the front of the mag well pressed into the aluminum to keep the wear from happening there.

Thanks guys.

I've been sitting on the fence about this in 223 cal, and your words have been encouraging.

July 17, 2016, 06:03 AM
I had a 556 pistol and have a 556 DMR and a 556 Swat Patrol. All three have been/were flawless, the biggest complaint would have been the sights supplied on the 556 pistol. Solid weapons.

July 17, 2016, 06:46 AM
I have a REALLY early 556 and it has been perfect. The early ones biggest issue besides the fact they were not 550s :) was a canted pic rail on top that didn't always play nice with scopes. Mine never had that issue.

July 17, 2016, 11:04 AM
Pretty moldy thread here. Be interesting to know if there's been any changes or new information in the intervening four years regarding the issue but I rather doubt it.

July 20, 2016, 03:06 PM
I also have one of the older models of the Sig 556. Great gun and had no issues with it that I remember. Even ran steel ammo just fine. As some of the others have mentioned, it is a bit heavy for a 5.56 rifle and I have started to use it as a range rifle vs. a carry around in the wilderness rifle. But I still love it and don't plan on selling it.
I'm kind of a trigger snob. The trigger is already nice, but www.shootingsight.com makes an trigger upgrade that makes it an even better rifle to shoot!

July 30, 2016, 10:18 PM
I'm not sure if the original poster is asking about the 556R or the 556.

The 556r's in 7.62x39 are not the most reliable guns out there.

The 556 in 5.56mm NATO runs like clockwork and is accurate to boot. The only drawback I see on them is that if you have smaller hands the safety in not as easily reached as say an AR's safety, even though it is in the same basic location. This problem is easily fixed in about 5 minutes by installing the Krebs extended safety lever.

I love the ones in 5.56. They are a great AR alternative and the run extremely smoothly due to their weighing slightly more than your average AR and their gas piston operating system.

July 31, 2016, 10:12 PM
4 yr old thread back from the grave