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 Sig 516 Review
homerj109  [Member]
11/20/2011 3:41:22 AM
I recently purchased a Sig 516 from Palmetto State Armory and have barely had the chance to take it out to the range today. This is my first AR, although I am familiar with the system and can compare the Sig to my experience with Army issued rifles and those purchased by friends and family that I have fired.

First impressions: The fit and finish of this rifle are very impressive, no wobbling between the upper and lower or any blemishes or scratches. The real estate on the rail was sufficient for me, not to much and not to little rail space which works for me as I keep the attachments on my rails to a minimum with only a Magpul AFG, flashlight, and Magpul rail covers. Comparable to the quality of a Larue my brother has.

I liked the idea of an ambidextrous magazine as a pro when considering which piston system to buy, but in reality it is a feature that I could do without and will probably not use. I am used to the standard right hand mag release and the left side mag release on the Sig is a little stiff and is not as intuitive or fast to operate for me. It may just be stiff but on my rifle I have to press down and towards me just right and with the ball of my thumb joint. I have read in other reviews that the ambidextrous mag release may result in a snug fit for some magazines (Magpul specifically), I have the same experience in all 4 of the 30 rd Magpuls I have used. When inserting the Magpul magazine with the usual force and technique I have used for every other AR I have handled, it is never enough to properly seat the magazine. The first few times I practiced magazine changes on this rifle I had the Magpul mag drop right out after I thought I had properly inserted it. The magwell is just tight enough that it can grip the magazine without it being seated properly which may give you the impression the magazine is ready to go. I have to insert the Magpul with some force or give it a good slap, there is a very distinct click I have to be mindful to listen and feel for to be assured the mag is in. I have read in some online reviews that the left hand mag release can be loosed which negates this issue, I haven't done this yet but may give it a try. As of now its not too big of an issue for me, for now I just know I have to be more forceful and deliberate when changing mags and may try different brands. The stanag that came with the rifle takes just fine and feels just like loading a normal AR which leads me to believe that it is a Mapgul related issue.

My rifle is a pretty fresh off the line, the label on the case says May 2011 and comes with the BUIS. They are not too impressive but at least they arent the Sig red dot. They look and feel to be aluminum and are very light yet firmly secured to the rails. There are no springs they just flip up and down but are good enough to do the job, not sexy at all but I am in no hurry to replace them.

The weight of this weapon was something that I was very concerned with and influenced my decision for an AR, which was a close tie between the Sig and Ruger SR 556. I have handled the 556 and 556 e in gun stores while shopping around and did not like how off balance and front heavy they felt. While handling the Sig at Palmetto State Armory the difference was immediately noticeable to me and it just felt right and clicked for me, after holding it for a few minutes I knew I had to have it. Everything just felt right and solid and very well balanced.

The balance was a great concern and is something that comes with the territory of piston ARs, I knew I wanted a piston system but I just had to find the one with the right balance of weight and features. I had also handled a Core 15 piston AR with rail system and one with a Magpul handguard. Both were really light and felt like they were pretty high quality although I had never heard of them before. I also considered pimping out a CMMG piston upper as well, all of these could probably be even lighter and more well balanced than the Sig. In the end I went with the Sig because it seemed to be the best value all around compared to everything else ive looked at, although not cheap it had everything I needed and was something that I wouldn't have to throw more money into for things like a better trigger, stocks, grips etc. I was also swayed by the number of positive reviews of this rifle and that Sig torture test video on youtube that was pretty sweet. I am very impressed with Sig pistols and although I have heard of QC issues with Sig rifles I took a chance and was not dissapointed.

Range report: I have had this rifle for a little under a month and have been dying to shoot it, I barely had the chance today and headed out to the indoor range at Shooters in Augusta GA. This range did allow me to shoot tula steel core as they have an indoor berm or something but there are no range measurements posted anywhere. In my estimation, with my target all the way to the back, the distance from my shooting table was about 25m. I fired around 250 rounds of ammo, .223 American Eagle, some nasty surplus South African .223 (said the guy at the gun show), .223 Tulamo, and 556 American Eagle.

I zeroed with the 556 AE and and was able to shoot a pretty tight shot group from kneeling with the rifle steadied on the range table. This rifle is easily able to consistently fire sub inch groupings even with garbage ammo (nevermind the typical flyers). The stock BUIS held a zero just fine then were flipped down to zero my Primary Arms micro dot which rocked. I had no misfires, jams, or any hiccups whatsoever. Most importantly for me the Sig chewed up and spit out 3 mags of steel cased Tulamo flawlessly. This was a biggie for me as I intend to stock up ammo for when the zombies come which will probably be mostly tulamo or silver/brown bear. This AR will be my SHTF rifle and it is a must to be reliable and accurate even with crap ammo. For this I was really relieved, I have read mixed reviews when it came to steel cased. Although 3 mags of Tula isnt a definative verdict on how well the Sig can shoot steel cased ammo, I am very optimistic that I will not have any issues.

The trigger on this rifle is amazing, it is comparable to the G2 trigger on my AK in how light it is yet it is a two stage which offers really nice trigger control and accuracy. Not much more to say about the trigger other than it is just a blast to shoot and better than any AR ive fired.

All in all I am very happy with my Sig and would recommend it to anyone in the market. Next up I want to run a CMMG .22 conversion kit on this rifle and hope to write a review of that soon especially since I cant find any.

Pros:
Balance/weight
Accuracy
Awesome trigger
fit and finish
Reliability
Eats all ammo

Cons:
Issues with Magpul mags
Could do without ambidextrous mag release


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StonerAR10  [Member]
11/20/2011 9:35:02 AM
I like all three of mine. I have not had any issues with Mag Pulls so far. Thats all I have.
homerj109  [Member]
11/20/2011 1:41:17 PM
Hope this is just a break in issue for mine.
boxoftj  [Member]
11/20/2011 5:12:14 PM
never had any issues with magpuls in mine, either.
prov431  [Member]
11/20/2011 6:53:07 PM
Dude, I must have put over 1000 rounds of 55 gr hp and ball Tulammo though mine....the only ONLY time this gun has ever misfired (double feed) was due to me doing a rush job on a mag load....other than that, flawless. No issues with wear any place I can see on the gun. In addition, a use Pmags exclusively....no problems there either. I've found Bulkammo.com to have the best price on 1000 round bulk Tula, if you're looking. Enjoy your 516!
Here's mine––-if you look close you'll see it's got Tula in the mag!


homerj109  [Member]
11/20/2011 9:54:30 PM
Thats good to hear! Has anyone heard of any issues with a CMMG Evolution .22 conversion kit on the Sig 516?
ABNAK  [Team Member]
11/21/2011 7:02:35 AM
Where does it vent it's gas, and is it easy to get to for cleaning?
prov431  [Member]
11/21/2011 7:04:42 AM
Originally Posted By ABNAK:
Where does it vent it's gas, and is it easy to get to for cleaning?


Vents under the quad rail....I've never taken it off to clean it as it doesn't appear to need it yet.
votefromrooftops  [Team Member]
11/21/2011 6:01:06 PM
i just picked up a Sig516 a couple of weeks ago, i'm trading labor for the rifle on the shop owners F250 . so far i like it, i said i would never buy another Sig, but this rifle has been very reliable so far, i may keep it
dubyaS  [Member]
11/21/2011 6:42:45 PM
Magpul mag issue has to do with the mag release. yank the mag release and bend it a degree or two so the catch protrudes farther into the magwell. Problem will be solved.
StonerAR10  [Member]
11/23/2011 2:32:00 AM
Looked at the Smith Enterprises muzzel break which reduces the recoil on AR type rifles. Smith makes really great stuff!! In the video he uses s Sig 516 in full auto for his demo.
ABNAK  [Team Member]
11/23/2011 7:21:47 AM
Why can't these piston systems vent outside the gas block/handguards? All of them except for the HK blow shit all over everything or in hard-to-reach spots.

Guess it depends on the kind of piston it is too. Any cup-over-spigot design is gonna vent at the interface, which is behind the FSB/gas block and under the handguards. The HK has rings on the piston that theoretically form a seal and kick the gas back (in this case actually forward gun-wise) out the vent hole and up and away from the weapon.
Melvin_Johnson  [Team Member]
11/27/2011 8:48:17 AM
Originally Posted By ABNAK:
Why can't these piston systems vent outside the gas block/handguards? All of them except for the HK blow shit all over everything or in hard-to-reach spots.

Guess it depends on the kind of piston it is too. Any cup-over-spigot design is gonna vent at the interface, which is behind the FSB/gas block and under the handguards. The HK has rings on the piston that theoretically form a seal and kick the gas back (in this case actually forward gun-wise) out the vent hole and up and away from the weapon.


Have you messed with the LMT piston? It seems to be more of a sealed unit so it doesn't foul the exterior of the rifle like some of the other designs on the market.

One nice thing about the SIG is that the handguard and gas parts are completely removable so the assembly can be disassembled for the occasional detailed cleaning.
ABNAK  [Team Member]
11/27/2011 9:39:24 AM
Originally Posted By Melvin_Johnson:
Originally Posted By ABNAK:
Why can't these piston systems vent outside the gas block/handguards? All of them except for the HK blow shit all over everything or in hard-to-reach spots.

Guess it depends on the kind of piston it is too. Any cup-over-spigot design is gonna vent at the interface, which is behind the FSB/gas block and under the handguards. The HK has rings on the piston that theoretically form a seal and kick the gas back (in this case actually forward gun-wise) out the vent hole and up and away from the weapon.


Have you messed with the LMT piston? It seems to be more of a sealed unit so it doesn't foul the exterior of the rifle like some of the other designs on the market.

One nice thing about the SIG is that the handguard and gas parts are completely removable so the assembly can be disassembled for the occasional detailed cleaning.


No I haven't. Interesting though...a "sealed" unit, eh? I guess it would behoove you to clean out whatever "chamber" the residue is trapped in, but at least it's confined to one area.

As far as the SIG is concerned, the area where the residue is deposited can be stripped down for a good hosing of some GunScrubber or similar?

Larain60  [Team Member]
11/27/2011 9:44:22 AM
I bought a 516 upper at the NRA show in Pittsburgh. Ran about 600 flawless rounds so far. Think the upper was 800$
Melvin_Johnson  [Team Member]
11/27/2011 10:41:29 AM
...a "sealed" unit, eh? I guess it would behoove you to clean out whatever "chamber" the residue is trapped in, but at least it's confined to one area.

As far as the SIG is concerned, the area where the residue is deposited can be stripped down for a good hosing of some GunScrubber or similar?



The LMT gas block doesn't have any external venting ports like other designs. Some gas does leak out the rear of the block where the piston rod passes as well as out the front of the block around the gas plug but that's about it.

With the SIG, the gas does get vented primarily under the handguard or rail. But the entire gas piston and push rod assembly is removable for ease of maintenance. You can't really access the dirty barrel without removing the rail but the rail comes off with Allen screws so that's easily broken down as well. Once the rail is off, everything can be brushed and/or wiped clean.

J-L  [Team Member]
11/28/2011 1:10:13 AM
any pics of the inside bottom buffer tube???

Wulfmann  [Member]
12/1/2011 3:40:48 PM
I ordered a Sig 516 basic Patrol. Tell me again why I can not or should not mount a front site on the gas block rail

Wulfmann
Augee  [Team Member]
12/1/2011 3:55:13 PM
Originally Posted By Wulfmann:
I ordered a Sig 516 basic Patrol. Tell me again why I can not or should not mount a front site on the gas block rail

Wulfmann


The suggestion is a caveat against mounting the MagPul polymer MBUS on gas-blocks due to melting issues under high volume fire.

A good metal BUIS should hold up fine.

~Augee
Wulfmann  [Member]
12/1/2011 7:20:42 PM
Originally Posted By Augee:
Originally Posted By Wulfmann:
I ordered a Sig 516 basic Patrol. Tell me again why I can not or should not mount a front site on the gas block rail

Wulfmann


The suggestion is a caveat against mounting the MagPul polymer MBUS on gas-blocks due to melting issues under high volume fire.

A good metal BUIS should hold up fine.

~Augee


Well then, good thing I asked because the Magpul MBUS is what i have as a back up set (Came with my PWS)

Wulfmann
patchz  [Member]
12/6/2011 8:07:47 PM
Greetings gentlemen. I am new to the forum and to AR's. I've been mostly a handgun guy all my life, I'm retired LEO, but my son got me interested in the Sig.

I am really glad to find this thread. I tried to find something on the 516 last night but could not do a search because I had not yet received my email confirmation on joining.

I ordered a 516 Patrol from G T Distribution because it was the best price I could find, $1279. There were none to be had locally and I did not want to order one from California. Thanks for the photos prov431, they are the largest I've seen.

BTW, what brand is your front grip? I think I want one like that.

My Sig was supposed to ship today but have not received a tracking # yet. Looks like the red dot and ammo may beat the gun getting here.

dubyaS, thanks for the heads up on the mag release adjustment, 'cause I ordered some MagPul mags too.
Wulfmann  [Member]
12/6/2011 10:09:38 PM
My 516 arrived yesterday and I sighted it in (EOTech 512) this morning.
I specifically used various reloads that were off spec to see what would (or would not) work

Things like no crimp or cases way too long (Trim to length is 1.761 and i had one magazine with cases 1.780 )

It ate everything not one hiccup.

I did various testing then finished with 2 20 round mags (40 rounds) at a 12" target at 100 yards.
4 in the 8 ring, 11 in the 9 ring and 25 in the ten bull with a 1X red dot.

I was very happy with that using reloaded 55gr ball FMJ.

Trigger sucked but that is why Geissele is a rich man today.


Wulfmann
patchz  [Member]
12/9/2011 4:59:12 PM
Got my red dot Wednesday and the 516 today. I'm going to have to order a riser, as the red dot is way too low for me. But I love the Sig so far. Can't wait to shoot it.
StonerAR10  [Member]
12/10/2011 3:05:45 AM
Everybody who has one loves them. They are great solid rifles.
prov431  [Member]
12/10/2011 7:02:10 AM
Originally Posted By patchz:
Greetings gentlemen. I am new to the forum and to AR's. I've been mostly a handgun guy all my life, I'm retired LEO, but my son got me interested in the Sig.

I am really glad to find this thread. I tried to find something on the 516 last night but could not do a search because I had not yet received my email confirmation on joining.

I ordered a 516 Patrol from G T Distribution because it was the best price I could find, $1279. There were none to be had locally and I did not want to order one from California. Thanks for the photos prov431, they are the largest I've seen.

BTW, what brand is your front grip? I think I want one like that.

My Sig was supposed to ship today but have not received a tracking # yet. Looks like the red dot and ammo may beat the gun getting here.

dubyaS, thanks for the heads up on the mag release adjustment, 'cause I ordered some MagPul mags too.


My front vertical grip is the Sig "Stop Light" 700 lumen LED w/strobe & laser features........its very bright and the laser (red) works well

patchz  [Member]
12/10/2011 10:11:18 AM
Thanks prov, I finally figured that out. :)
patchz  [Team Member]
2/5/2012 3:22:19 AM
Here's mine with the Barska mounted. I have since given the Barska to my son and bought a Leatherwood CMR 1-4x24. I also added some Magpul rail covers, a Sig Stoplight 300J front grip, and got

a 42" Voodoo case for it. Need to get some more pics. That is my son holding it in the first pic, I'm camera shy.


soapboxpreacher  [Member]
2/5/2012 9:50:43 AM
I have to say everything and every review I read about the sig is impressive. It is 1/2 the cost of an LWRC yet holds its own from what I have also read with sub moa groups. It also seems to eat anything you put in it. But it also has some other huge pluses like the weight balance, furthermore it is better balanced then most pistons. My sr556c was nice and the weight was better then the standard sr556 but it was still nose heavy. But back to the sig, the BCG is one piece and similar to LWRC design so zero carrier tilt without needing the pws buffer tube. I like all the QD mounting points, things missing on my SR556c. Sure the sig is missing a good trigger, mbus sights, a top tier butt stock but for 500 more you can have (trigger, butt stock, and mbus) even add an optic and your still under an LWRC (which I want but am having second thoughts because of the sig). As for reliability the sig seems to be there as well. I was considering the pws, but the LWRC and the sig seems to have a more accurate barrel...many reporting sub moa on both the LWRC and the sig. I have heard the pws is accurate but the others are a step up. The only thing I am not sure about on the sig is the rail. I have to get my hands on one to look. For 1200 this is an extremely impressive rifle. Someone tell me why I should pay more then double for an m6a2...because I am ready (I might just do an upper instead of either). Hard to not consider with such great reviews.
StonerAR10  [Member]
2/5/2012 11:17:48 PM
I own three of them and they are the only AR I shoot any more. Great guns!
patchz  [Team Member]
2/6/2012 12:25:20 AM
I want another one, preferably the one circled.

Larain60  [Team Member]
2/6/2012 12:32:51 AM
one option to consider is to buy just the upper and you can build your lower to your specs. Thats what I did anyway bc I had the stripped lower available and plus you avoid just a few proprietary parts that are on the lower (I believe anyways).

Good rifle.
StonerAR10  [Member]
2/6/2012 11:28:52 PM
There are plent of uppers on GB from 7" to 14.5"
dubyaS  [Member]
2/7/2012 12:22:17 AM
Originally Posted By Larain60:
one option to consider is to buy just the upper and you can build your lower to your specs. Thats what I did anyway bc I had the stripped lower available and plus you avoid just a few proprietary parts that are on the lower (I believe anyways).

Good rifle.


To be honest id rather buy the lower and build the upper. The 516 lower is by far my fave.
patchz  [Team Member]
2/7/2012 12:44:18 AM
I'd rather buy the whole rifle and let Sig put it together.
moderndaynin  [Member]
2/7/2012 7:03:16 PM
Another 516 happy customer here. Love how clean the lower and upper stay even after long day at the range. Def want the 10 inch upper.
Melvin_Johnson  [Team Member]
2/7/2012 7:46:58 PM
patchz  [Team Member]
2/7/2012 11:23:11 PM

Did you leave out the dash? If not, what does 104 signify.

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