1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

sig 556 Or?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by lue_119, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. lue_119

    lue_119 Well-Known Member

    Yes ima be turning 21 next year and I've decided id do some research and find the right rifle for me I'm not real big on the ar plat forms cause of the failuers I've seen with them I've considered an ak for the longest time till they started coming out with these 556s and scars and stuff so I thought id get some first hand opinions what would be a good semi auto rifle has anyone heard anything on these new acrs as well? Just curious leave me your input and thanks!
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  2. sawdeanz

    sawdeanz Well-Known Member

    What a great 21st b-day present to yourself! I'm gonna go ahead and guess that plenty of people will come and tell you that the AR platforms are more reliable than you think, but there is no reason not to go with something else just cause you want to.

    I also wanted to add that you might consider refraining from calling it an "assault rifle" since it is not technically accurate and helps to fuel negative bias towards guns in general. A better term might be military type semi-auto rifle or some other politically correct term.

    Good luck with your search!
  3. lue_119

    lue_119 Well-Known Member

    Well and see for the longest time I've been a huge ar fan there beautiful looking firearms but I got a friend who owns a dpms panther ar got it decked out hes owned it for maybe 4 years and I've seen it strike primers but no projectile flying out the end of the barrel..leaving hot live rounds everywere was a turn off for me :(
  4. SigMic

    SigMic Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't worry about the reliability of the AR unless you plan to shoot a ton of rounds without cleaning or lubing it. But if you want to avoid the Direct Impingement gas system of the AR, you can go with a piston type AR. I'd recommend LMT (~$2k) or LWRC (~$1700), but there are others out there that are less expensive.
  5. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Well-Known Member

    The Sig a pretty darn good rifle, generally speaking.

    Sig has had QC problems, so buy from a store with a good reputation for taking care of their customers.

  6. Djay

    Djay Well-Known Member

    "Well and see for the longest time I've been a huge ar fan there beautiful looking firearms but I got a friend who owns a dpms panther ar got it decked out hes owned it for maybe 4 years and I've seen it strike primers but no projectile flying out the end of the barrel..leaving hot live rounds everywere was a turn off for me."

    That is a very rare occurence in my opinion, especially if you select from many of the better makers - ex. Colt, LMT, Daniel Defense, Bravo Company, etc., etc.

    the AR choice has the advantage of a myriad of parts and accessory sources.
  7. JustinJ

    JustinJ Well-Known Member

    If you go withe the Sig avoid the full length railed version as it is quite front heavy. I'd either stick with the plastic handguards or the shortened gas system.

    You didn't mention what your budget is but i'm a huge fan of the Steyr AUG. The AUG mags are awesome but there is also a NATO stock that can be installed for use with AR mags.

    Really though i think a good AR would be a better choice for a first assault type rifle. As already mentioned the piston is an alternative if you don't care for the direct impingement. My top three piston driven would be LWRC, LMT and PWS.

    Another option though is an AK in 5.56. Mags are more expensive than standard 7.62. An AK74 in 5.45 is another way to go.
  8. lue_119

    lue_119 Well-Known Member

    Is the piston type ar more reliable? I didn't relize they started making them like that, and as far as budget ima be saving over the time of 9 months givee or take and it'll prolly be something ill wanna be taking out to the range for fun so rounds will be going through it after I seen the ar do what I seen I started looking at the ak and the ruggedness of it but I thought id see what others thought cause there's sooo many new rifles out now
  9. BP Hunter

    BP Hunter Well-Known Member

    Wow, what a great birthday present. WHen I was 21, I couldn't afford didly squat! Yes, the Sig is an excellent rifle. I wish I could get one myself.
  10. CharlieDeltaJuliet

    CharlieDeltaJuliet Well-Known Member

    A Sig is a great choice. Enjoy it, have fun and be safe.
  11. JustinJ

    JustinJ Well-Known Member

    That's the million dollar question. There are quite a few different companies making different piston systems so it's hard to answer such a general question. Generally speaking, in short barrel, suppressed guns and under sustained fire I think so. However, the piston is another part that could break. Piston AR's definitely stay cleaner within the receiver and around the bolt/carrier. Realistically, in semi-auto i don't think there will be any appreciable difference in reliability between a quality DI AR and quality piston AR unless we're talking suppressed or short barrel.

    Nickel boron coating of the bolt/carrier will probably add more reliability than a piston for most semi-auto AR's.
  12. Unka-Boo

    Unka-Boo Active Member

    After 16 or so ARs, I finally gave up and bought a 556.
    I'm a big AK nut as well as being left handed....Sig fit the bill for me....standard, readily available magazines, optics ready, AK like handling/manual of arms.

    So far its been a good change, only ran it for one match so far but I think it will turn into a wise choice.
  13. lue_119

    lue_119 Well-Known Member

    Alright well maybe ima have to check some more of em out but I know I definitely gotta check out a 556 have done a little reading about it and it sounds like a hybrid between an ak and ar using both designs too come up with one great one I have read some bad about even them so I am left pretty torn I want something reliable accurate with easy operation and quick break down for field cleaning and that's something I like about the ar it seems sooo easy to field strip and clean then slap back together and your good to rock and roll again
  14. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    From what I've read, there is a SLIGHT advantage to a piston system's reliability (as has been mentioned, largely in shorter barrels or over extended periods without cleaning) and there is a SLIGHT advantage to a direct impingement accuracy. However, for most civilian applications (barring target competitions), piston systems will be more than accurate enough and DI systems, especially properly maintained, will be more than reliable enough even for HD.

    The big advantage of the DI is that it's popular. While many parts will work on a piston system, there is more support for the DI system. If there's a problem with your gas tube, for example, pick one to replace it or pick anyone who knows about ARs to fix it. If you have a problem on a piston system, get help from someone who knows THAT piston system, because they are all different.

    The biggest advantage of the piston system is that some (but not all) can be made to work with folding stocks. I believe the Sig might be like this (can't remember off the top of my head) but I know a lot of the newer military rifles and their civilian counterparts have folding stocks, and are able to because of their piston system (such as the SCAR or the ACR).

    One thing you'll find too is that "the perfect rifle for me" at 21 won't be the perfect rifle in a few years. Through experience and additional research you'll find that something else will work better. So while this is an important milestone, don't sweat the decision too much.
  15. JustinJ

    JustinJ Well-Known Member

    The Sig 556 has a folding stock. The sig 516 is a piston AR but does not have a side folder. The only folding stock AR i can think of is made by Para. Rock River also makes a side folder which i guess one could classify as an AR. The difficulty in doing a side folding AR is that the buffer tube is located in the stock so an alternate means of returning the bolt/carrier must be devised.

    The 556 is very easy to break down and clean in the field. Generally, the piston does not need to be cleaned very often but it's easy to do so. Unless one wants to clean the piston more often than needed i'd give ease of cleaning to the 556 over the AR.
  16. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    Yeah Justin, I've asked before and the line between AR and Not-An-AR is very difficult to define. Some piston systems have a different mechanism and can support folding stocks, like those I mentioned.

    Personally I prefer the curves of the stock on the SCAR or the ACR, but that's just a preference.

    FIVETWOSEVEN Well-Known Member

    Sounds like either bad ammo or the gun needs a new hammer spring. ARs are plenty reliable.
  18. RCArms.com

    RCArms.com Well-Known Member

    I have all three types on your list and like them all for different reasons.

    Sig 556: everything the AK should have been. I own the classic and it was a long time before I warmed up to this rifle. It took slapping an ACOG on it for me to really appreciate just how accurate it is. The Swiss SAN folding stock is top notch and locks rigid. I do not have the 551 lower because I cannot fathom having to stock and use yet another different magazine. Great rifle and a real value.

    Pros: accurate, based on a fielded military design, AR magazines, affordable

    Cons: heavier than AR rifles. No readily available source for spare parts other than Sig. Factory sights (if present) are not ideal using the HK type rotating diopter drum.

    FN SCAR-16

    Excellent rifle that shows the attention to detail that FN is known for. Horribly expensive, but has the lightest recoil impulse of any 556 rifle that I've ever fired. Fantastic optics platform.

    Pros: proven military rifle fielded by major forces and combat tested. Excellent sights and controls. Best optics platform I've handled and is lightweight and extremely well balanced.

    Cons: extremely expensive. No spare parts availability other than FN. Not all magazines will work without damaging the rifle ( P-mags require modification)

    Bushmaster ACR: had extremely high hopes for this rifle and still do. Bushmaster had a winner with the Magpul Masada and then they took every good feature and traded it away for cost savings and time savings. Early models were subject to a safety recall. Extremely nose heavy. I own a fixed stock standard handguard with a custom lightweight barrel that brings the rifle back closer to the original Masada concept. One of my favorite shooters.

    Pros: reliable and well made. Spare parts are out there with some aftermarket support. One of the better ergonomic fixed stocks on the market. Excellent control layout other than the selector levers. Excellent trigger. Very easy to strip and clean. Smooth in operation.

    Cons: overpriced and overweight. Bushmaster missed a HUGE opportunity with this one. The initial price point was $1300 to $1500 which was righ on the money, but it quickly climbed to $2300 and people will usually go for a SCAR for that kind of bank.

    This rifle could have been at the top of the pile if it was released with a lightweight profile 14.5" with permanent flash hider attached rather than the 16" m4 profile barrel.

    I'll leave the AR info to others. I have several and like them all (all are DI type rifles).

    If you would like pics, just let me know and I'll post up some 5.56 eye candy.

  19. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I have a 556 Classic and it is a great gun. It is very accurate. It is very easy to shoot well, both extended and folded. It is heavier than some ARs and lighter than others. It is no more front heavy than some ARs. It is extremely reliable so far. It accepts AR mags, which means all my AR mags interchange.

    I immediately fell in love with the first one I shot and bought one myself based on five minutes of gun time with that friends 556 Classic.

    A superb weapon.
  20. Unka-Boo

    Unka-Boo Active Member

    I should add a little bit:

    Part of the reason I even signed up here was for some input on a SCAR thread:


    I borrowed Brian's SCAR for a match and absolutely fell in love with it....BUT, it was about a K more than I had to spend...:banghead:

    If price wasn't an object, I'd be sporting one of those, probably the most well thought out 5.56 platform available today.

    I have nothing against the DI AR platform, it's a proven and versitile system with a gazillion options and about as many after market suppliers. They would be a good choice if you're so inclined.....where I gave up was from my leftycapableness...I've always fought the left hand driven charging handle, which is even harder to manipulate with optics involved. I've compromised for years, finally deciding to quit compromising and find something that fit my needs better. The Sig was it for the price point I was in.

    I'll say that the AK platform is the best "out of the box" left handed shooter platform, which is why I've owned and used them in competition for years. Wanting to go back to a 5.56 platform, I wasn't too keen on my limited AK options so looked elsewhere....Sig fit the bill for me, AK like controls, AR mags of which I have a bunch, and a fairly well designed platform.

    Like anything, I'd suggest seeking one out to try before you drop the money. You may be surprised, you might not like it....better to find that out BEFORE you drop a K.....

    ( eta= can I use the word platform one more time? )
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012

Share This Page