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Old November 12, 2008, 07:15 PM   #1
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Torn - Sig 556 or AR-15 Carbine?

Hey all,
I'm officially itching for a new member of my firearm family, and I'm looking to go with something chambered in 5.56 NATO and in iron sights (no plans to upgrade optics for quite a while, so flat top or removable handle is preferred). I'll preface this with the note that I've not owned a "black rifle" to date, though I've always wanted one. I'm not planning on entering any matches, but I am planning on putting a whole lot of rounds through it and becoming really proficient with it. There are some varmints and predators around my parts, and I'd like to be able to hit a pie-plate at around 150 with it.

I've recently seen the new Sig 556 and instantly fell in gun lust with it, though I haven't seen one on the range yet. Its got a great feel in my hand, and I like the added front end weight with regards to muzzle flip. The one draw back is the cost.

On the other hand, I could purchase or build a nice AR for probably 2/3 to 3/4 the price. I've heard great things about DPMS, Noveske, Rock River, etc...but I don't know enough about ARs to go in a certain direction with regards to manufacturer. One plus to the AR platform is the ability to change the chambering later on to something like 6.8 SPC, etc.

I'm looking for any and all thoughts, comments, rants, and ravings, as I'm starting from scratch here.

Thanks in advance for all your help and suggestions!
M1 Garand, Tikka T-3 Hunter 30-06, Springfield 1911-A1 Loaded, Ruger Redhawk 45LC 4", Beretta A390 12g, CMMG 308 16" Carbine, Custom AR-15 20" 5.56 SPR Rifle, RRA AR-15 6.8 SPC Mid, Burgeoning Handloader
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Old November 12, 2008, 08:23 PM   #2
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The parts interchangeability and availability for the AR is unmatched. I would go with the AR hands down, it is a long time proven design that is easy to work on and will keep running for many years to come. The cheaper cost is just icing on the cake in my opinion, I would pick the AR even if the price was the same as the SIG.
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Old November 12, 2008, 08:43 PM   #3
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Dixiedog is right on. AR all the way, especially w/the current political climate. they start banning things the Sig parts will disappear quickly but AR parts will be floating around forever.
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Old November 12, 2008, 09:46 PM   #4
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Another vote for AR carbine over the Sig. Spend the extra $ on ammo.
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Old November 12, 2008, 10:17 PM   #5
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I am a Sig guy (I have the Canadian Import model and it rocks) but you guys down there have much more to consider right now. Parts & ammo commonality and familiarity of the system all take precedence. Buy a good AR.
"If you put one in the snot locker, it doesn't matter what calibre it is".
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Old November 12, 2008, 11:17 PM   #6
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The AR is the way to go for now.
The front weight of the Sig is not as appealing as it may feel. The 5.566/.223 in semi auto doesn't kick enough to warrant the extra forward weight of the Sig. I like the Sig but it's expensive and you'll not find a better parts supply in the US than for the AR. My dad lives in Colorado Springs and had the same AR/Sig 5.56 predicament last week.....I sent him an AR. I'll let you know if it relieves his Sig lust!
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Old November 13, 2008, 01:23 PM   #7
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I believe the SIG will be the more durable action, however. I've read that the original configuration of the 556 will be offered next year. Essentially, it will be a 550 with a foldable, non-collapseable stock. Hopefully they will be smart enough to make the length of pull short enough or offer two or three buttstocks. Supposedly, it will have better front sights - like the original - and diopter rear sights. You could pound an AR-15 FLAT with the Sig.
"Necessity is the plea of every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves." ~ William Pitt, 1783
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Old November 13, 2008, 02:03 PM   #8
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I have been looking for a "just because" rifle and I come up against the same question.

The one thing the Sig seems to have over the standard AR is the Gas Piston vs a direct impingement gas system.

If you are methodical and religious about cleaning you are safe with the AR.

I admit I'm still searching and am leaning toward the 556 just because.

I rely on my .308s for any defensive needs that may arise.
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Old November 13, 2008, 02:13 PM   #9
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Consider an AR with a 16" barrel and a mid length gas tube.
Noveske makes a few versions of this upper.
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Old November 13, 2008, 02:38 PM   #10
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as previously stated, the AR is much more modular, you can change that platform so many different ways to suit your changing wants/desires.
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Old November 13, 2008, 03:07 PM   #11
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I would stick with the AR. I've read this on other boards and a lot of guys like the sig but still go back to the AR for some reason. I think the parts issuie would keep me at the AR. I like the looks of the sig its almost an AK look but for parts issuies stick with the AR.
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Old November 13, 2008, 04:02 PM   #12
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I walked into Academy the other day and i went to the counter to buy some pistol ammo. I saw that they had the Sig Halo model and i asked to hold it.

BAM i fell in love. I purchased a Bushmaster 3.5 years ago and fell also, but this was different..LOL. This is a very modular rifle also. The only downside would be the cost. I like that the magazines are interchangeable with the M-4's which is a plus. I already have 6 mags for the Bushmaster.

Whichever weapon you chose you will love!

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Old November 13, 2008, 04:23 PM   #13
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I sell both at work, and own an AR. For all the reasons mentioned above, get the AR. IF your so inclined, there is a gas piston version available from BUshmaster, but it's $1800
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Old November 13, 2008, 04:47 PM   #14
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Texas Solo:

Thats where the cash comes in..Sig's version is $1499 @ Academy! Thats where i purchased mine last week.
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Old November 13, 2008, 08:53 PM   #15
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I misspoke earlier. The Sig556 is not gas piston operated. oops!
I misspoke again, after further research, the Sig 556 IS a gas piston operated semi auto rifle.
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Last edited by maqueswell; November 14, 2008 at 12:02 PM. Reason: Wrong statement
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Old November 13, 2008, 10:25 PM   #16
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556 Ownership

If possible I would recommend shooting both rifle before deciding. You will know if really want a .223 when you see the bill for the ammo. When I purchased my 556 (Magpul CTR & TA01) I had buyers remorse for a week or two since it was similar to the feel of an AR but it handles differently. It does feel nose heavy when shooting unsupported but the two stage trigger is excellent and it shoots everything without failure. I must admit I had a touch of buyers remorse until I got comfortable with the feel and capabilities of the rifle. I have it for 6 months now and it is nothing short of outstanding. With all do respect, buy the SIG and don't look back. The $500-600 price difference is nothing compared to what you will spent on ammo.

With that said, I am also building an AR for my collection but I do so knowing the SIG will always be the preferred rifle if I could only choose one. But you really cant go wrong with the 556 or the AR.
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Old November 14, 2008, 01:17 AM   #17
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Get an AR15.
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Old November 14, 2008, 07:42 AM   #18
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Get 'em both...

I own a Sig 556 and several ARs; I would definitely recommend purchasing an AR first. The problem with the SIG is getting parts. I have yet to find a website that stocks any kind of replacement parts for the SIG. The AR on the other has more parts distributors than Wal-Mart. ;-)

The two things I don't like about my SIG is that it is unbalanced (front heavy) and the pistol grip was designed for a circus midget. For some reason SIG designed the grip a little short and it feels odd in comparison to my ARs.

Check out Fulton Armory's website, they have some very nice AR setups. I'm considering one of their Titan .308s right now.

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Old November 14, 2008, 07:59 AM   #19
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The AR is the way to go for NOW
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Old November 14, 2008, 08:00 AM   #20
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Well, I'm on my 4th AR, and I love them. I don't believe there is any rifle made today that is more modular than the AR.
With one lower, you can have hundreds of combinations(as long as you have the funds).
The GI iron sights are more than acceptable, and if you buy a flattop, you can pick what ever sight picture you want.

The Sig is nice, but I'll bet it never has the following the AR has, parts aren' cheap, and I personally don't care for the handling.

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Old November 14, 2008, 12:12 PM   #21
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For all the reasons given, the AR is the better first black rifle. I spent a lot of years in the US Army so I have a special attachment to them on top of that. I love the way I can swap uppers. Have one upper all setup in .22 LR and another heavy barreled one in .204 Ruger. An M4 style and a standard A2 style. Etc.

I personally prefer to have at least two AR lowers. Then I can have one that is basically a stock M4 style. Standard trigger, sliding stock, etc. Then another one that is more for precision shooting. Longer fixed stock. Match trigger. With those two lowers and multiple uppers, you have an amazing system.

All that said, once you have your two AR lowers, who can resist buying some of the more exotic rifles? My buddy has a 556 and I like it. I would like to get one. And an XCR. And an American AUG.

I need more income!

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Old November 15, 2008, 03:02 AM   #22
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Having both the M4 and the Sig 556 I must say the Sig is the superior weapon. It has far less parts, never jams ( my Colt will unless it is clean and wet), has Sig quality that they are known for, a much, much sweeter trigger, and again the mechanical design which is an improvement on the AK system is much better than the AR's. It has the reliability of the AK with the accuracy of the AR if not better due to the trigger.
I replaced the front heavy hand guard with the lighter and far more comfortable 551 hand guards and that made a big difference. If the pistol grip has not feel comfortable on the Sig that is another issue, I find it is more comfortable than the Colts. As far as the superior design it has to be the SIG. You really need to take it apart to see how strong and simple the bolt, carrier and other internals are. No staking to break loose,no gas tube to dent or clog, no cooked extractor springs to worry about and it does not get carboned up in the receiver.
I was really surprised how simple it is to take down and again how strong and beefy the parts are.
The only short comings of the Sig are you can not buy different uppers to install but that may change as it grows in popularity. Also, there are not lots of replacement parts out there for the Sig but you are less likely to need them as the Sig is more durable.
Anyone who has disassembled the Sig and seen the internals has to agree.
The Sig is a sweeter shooting gun due to the slightly heavier weight and crisp trigger. The Colt was my favorite until I got the Sig. Even the recoil spring is unlike what you see on American arms. It is a braided 3 wire spring that is way more fatigue proof than a single wire. It is more expensive to manufacture as is the cold hammer forged (as used on the fully auto machine gun barrels - it is military grade ) but this just shows Sig is building a rifle as good as their 220 or 226 line of hand guns. Anyone who owns a 220 or 226 knows how good Sig is.
I really hate to admit this as I loved the Colt but better is what better does.
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Old November 15, 2008, 03:04 AM   #23
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PS to SAILSKIDRIVE - I am no circus midget.
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Old December 2, 2008, 10:36 PM   #24
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556 by a long shot. I've owned multiples of both platform (on 4th version of Sig 556 now). In my experience, the Sig will out run the AR to the tune of thousands of rounds between failures.
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Old December 3, 2008, 12:00 AM   #25
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Love my new setup!

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5.56 , 556 , 6.8 , ar15 , sig

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