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Basic
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Posted: 5/5/2012 2:47:02 PM EST
I have always loved the Sig 55_ series rifles but have never owned one. I am unimpressed with the cast aluminium lower 556. Today however I laid eyes on the 551A1 for the first time. I wasn't aware that they were being made here. The lower appears stamped like the Swiss Military 551. My question is, is this finally an identical copy of the real Swiss Military 551 or just another cheap knock off range toy? Was that receiver made here or is it Swiss made? I appreciate any feedback that you guys can provide. Thanks!


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Link Posted: 5/5/2012 2:56:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/5/2012 2:58:41 PM EST by JoshNC]
It does not have a stamped steel lower. It is just another iteration of the 556 series, but with a Swiss buttstock and an aluminum lower that accepts Swiss 550/551/552/553 mags. It is a 556 stamped 551-A1 and made to take Swiss mags. If you are looking for Swiss quality, you will be disappointed.

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Link Posted: 5/5/2012 3:07:40 PM EST
If that is the case I am not interested. The receiver on this one certainly appears stamped though. I'll take a second look at it.

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Link Posted: 5/5/2012 3:35:50 PM EST
Exeter does not produce a stamped 55x lower. Any chance you saw one of the limited edition 551s made for West Coast Armory? These used Swiss steel stamped lowers and furniture mated to US 556 uppers that were stamped "551".

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Link Posted: 5/5/2012 3:55:05 PM EST
I'm 99% sure that the receiver was stamped which is what caught my eye. I examined it pretty closely and unless I'm totally off my rocker, it was stamped. Still not going to interested though. I feel like ranting but I'll just say that I can't figure out what in hell is wrong with Sig and leave it at that.

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Link Posted: 5/5/2012 3:57:36 PM EST
after having a parts kit with lower and now a US swiss style lower i really dont see what the big deal is with it not being of swiss quality, the swiss parts were really nice and solid, but the original 550 series was at its best an incredibly reliable, unmodular, 2-4 MOA rifle/carbine, with great fit and finish

while sig USA has taken shortcuts and isnt the best at QC, the sig 556 has been an incredibly reliable rifle, that produces the same end results as the original outsie of "feeling" swiss.


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Link Posted: 5/5/2012 4:11:07 PM EST
I just viewed the limited edition West Coast Armory SIG 551s. That is certainly what it was. Mystery solved. I appreciate the feedback.

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Link Posted: 5/5/2012 5:23:36 PM EST
It really is a good gun. Mine is accurate and well made. I've fired the original 551 and its not worth the money differance. people I know who have purchased an new 551A1 really like it. I would not trade mine.

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Link Posted: 5/5/2012 8:22:15 PM EST
Originally Posted By JoshNC:
It does not have a stamped steel lower. It is just another iteration of the 556 series, but with a Swiss buttstock and an aluminum lower that accepts Swiss 550/551/552/553 mags. It is a 556 stamped 551-A1 and made to take Swiss mags. If you are looking for Swiss quality, you will be disappointed.



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Link Posted: 5/6/2012 4:14:31 AM EST
Originally Posted By QCMGR:
Originally Posted By JoshNC:
It does not have a stamped steel lower. It is just another iteration of the 556 series, but with a Swiss buttstock and an aluminum lower that accepts Swiss 550/551/552/553 mags. It is a 556 stamped 551-A1 and made to take Swiss mags. If you are looking for Swiss quality, you will be disappointed.




While I agree with JoshNC, at the price point of the 551-A1 it isn't a bad rifle. It may not be finished as nicely as a Swiss rifle, but it doesn't cost upwards of $5000.00 or more either. That being said, they are normally a reliable and accurate rifle which for most is good enough without parting ways with a large sum to get Swiss quality.


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Link Posted: 5/6/2012 7:18:20 AM EST
Just an update on the original Swiss 551's. I've seen two on Gunbroker, both at $9,000 and 1 that a dealer has and it was $11,500

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Link Posted: 5/6/2012 9:10:18 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/6/2012 9:11:54 AM EST by mace2364]
Mine feels just like the other swiss made rifles I've handled, those being a 552, and a 543. I absolutely love it. I was not disappointed in any way what so ever.

Yeah the lower is different, but if it was stamped I guarantee you that it would be over $2000 because Sig would have to buy all new machines to make it. The aluminum lower they use on the 551A1 can be made on the same machines they have making their AR lowers. And all that crap about it not being durable enough is just that. Aluminum is plenty durable enough, just look at the 1960's era m16s that the Karen people are still using in what was Burma.

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Link Posted: 5/6/2012 10:17:08 AM EST
I am all about quality, but i realize that there is a point of diminishing returns for certain thing, for example, high end bolt guns like surgeon, ga precision, and accuracy international, i more than willing to drop money on quality as i am looking to place a bullet in a small target very far away.

same things with optics, i have allways been a fan of nightforce, but untill recently, when i gained access to a 2500 meter range, i realized that i am going to need more elavation, with just as good quality glass, that puts me in the realm of S&B and Premier, i find that its worth it for me


but for a 556 carbine,that isnt really modular, a steel lower really doesnt do anything to improve preformace or reliability. it may look nicer, and be more in line with the original spec, but its just not worth it for me, for what a completly built swiss gun would cost, you could get an LMT MRP rifle, with enhanced BCG, spare barrel, with ACOG and silencer.you would have a rifle that is much more capable than what an original 551 was.


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Link Posted: 5/6/2012 3:02:22 PM EST
Originally Posted By StonerAR10:
Just an update on the original Swiss 551's. I've seen two on Gunbroker, both at $9,000 and 1 that a dealer has and it was $11,500


Absolutely. In fact, one of those dealers is local to me, and has several. When I mentioned the $5000.00 price point, that's custom built price from a few sources using original Swiss components. Otherwise, it's just about double.

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Link Posted: 5/7/2012 11:04:27 AM EST
I recently purchased a 551A1 and love it.

To the OP, I see you are from Kentucky. If you live anywhere near Bardstown KY GUN CO. has a Sig 551A1 in stock on the floor if you want to go in and handle one yourself.

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Link Posted: 5/7/2012 1:48:54 PM EST
I'm a couple hours drive from Bardstown but I'll keep that in mind when I pass through. Thanks!

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Link Posted: 5/7/2012 5:20:25 PM EST
Mine has a slightly canted front sight (or rail) can't tell. I put a real 550 semi lower on it and real Swiss sights. This is my second Sig. The first one being an early swat model. I traded that one because I really wanted a more authentic version. Can't say I love the new 551a1 because it costs so much to upgrade but it's as close as I can get short of paying the ridic price of a pre-ban. Urgh. Just my .02.

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Link Posted: 5/8/2012 6:39:08 AM EST


I love my 551A1, just recently installed the ACOG TA31CH so I still need to sight it in, but I find the rifle to be nearly as accurate as my SIONICS M4.

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Link Posted: 5/8/2012 2:16:19 PM EST
Originally Posted By QCMGR:
Originally Posted By JoshNC:
It does not have a stamped steel lower. It is just another iteration of the 556 series, but with a Swiss buttstock and an aluminum lower that accepts Swiss 550/551/552/553 mags. It is a 556 stamped 551-A1 and made to take Swiss mags. If you are looking for Swiss quality, you will be disappointed.




The OP asked if the 551A1 is an identical copy of the Swiss 55x series and of Swiss quality. On both counts it is not. This is fact. I own both Swiss 55x rifles and US 556 rifles. I don't base this on conjecture.

Now are civilian legal Swiss 551s worth the entry price of $9-10k? Admittedly no they are not.

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Link Posted: 5/8/2012 2:57:55 PM EST
Sig's opening another manufacturing facility at Pease, much bigger than the existing plant. I think it could easily fit inside it.

I'm not sure if they're getting new equipment or plan to change manufacturing processes, but should be interesting to see if QC gets any better. I think they're finally making a complete break from management overseas (same owners though). Pease (the old Pease AFB) will be their new world HQ.

They must be doing well, the first time I was in their plant was surprised how small it is. Now the original factory is used for assembly with manufacturing next door. They seemed to have outgrown the new building, so are doing something right.
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Link Posted: 5/8/2012 6:35:18 PM EST
Originally Posted By JoshNC:
Originally Posted By QCMGR:
Originally Posted By JoshNC:
It does not have a stamped steel lower. It is just another iteration of the 556 series, but with a Swiss buttstock and an aluminum lower that accepts Swiss 550/551/552/553 mags. It is a 556 stamped 551-A1 and made to take Swiss mags. If you are looking for Swiss quality, you will be disappointed.




The OP asked if the 551A1 is an identical copy of the Swiss 55x series and of Swiss quality. On both counts it is not. This is fact. I own both Swiss 55x rifles and US 556 rifles. I don't base this on conjecture.

Now are civilian legal Swiss 551s worth the entry price of $9-10k? Admittedly no they are not.


See above in bold. I take umbrage with that.

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Link Posted: 5/8/2012 7:28:08 PM EST
JoshNC Post a couple of pics of your Swiss 55X rifles. I never get tired of looking at them. I've looked at the few Swiss 551's out there and You are right. They are great guns but not worth anywheer near the 10 - 12,000 price being ask.

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Link Posted: 5/9/2012 12:36:41 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/9/2012 12:38:41 AM EST by JoshNC]
Originally Posted By QCMGR:
Originally Posted By JoshNC:
Originally Posted By QCMGR:
Originally Posted By JoshNC:
It does not have a stamped steel lower. It is just another iteration of the 556 series, but with a Swiss buttstock and an aluminum lower that accepts Swiss 550/551/552/553 mags. It is a 556 stamped 551-A1 and made to take Swiss mags. If you are looking for Swiss quality, you will be disappointed.




The OP asked if the 551A1 is an identical copy of the Swiss 55x series and of Swiss quality. On both counts it is not. This is fact. I own both Swiss 55x rifles and US 556 rifles. I don't base this on conjecture.

Now are civilian legal Swiss 551s worth the entry price of $9-10k? Admittedly no they are not.


See above in bold. I take umbrage with that.


But that correctly describes the 551A1. It IS a standard US manufactured 556 barreled upper mated to a US produced aluminum lower that accepts Swiss 55x mags and Swiss folding stock. It is stamped 551A1 instead of 556. These are simply the facts.


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Link Posted: 5/9/2012 7:22:21 AM EST
Originally Posted By StonerAR10:
JoshNC Post a couple of pics of your Swiss 55X rifles. I never get tired of looking at them. I've looked at the few Swiss 551's out there and You are right. They are great guns but not worth anywheer near the 10 - 12,000 price being ask.


I'm not into posting a bunch of photos of my collection on the Internet. Have done so in the past, don't do so anymore.

Swiss 55x are great rifles at around $4k max in my opinion. More than that and I do agree that the law of diminishing returns takes over. I've not paid more than roughly $4k for any of my Swiss 55x rifles. And I would not pay $10k for a semiauto.

But I do wish Sig Exeter would have offered a proper Swiss spec 551 with proper QC/QA from the start. It could have been priced at $2k and would have sold well.


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Link Posted: 5/9/2012 3:36:10 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/9/2012 3:43:47 PM EST by Specter1975]
If Sig, or any company for that matter, wishes to seriously compete in a U.S. market dominated by top notch AR15 type rifles like Colt, Daniel Defense, Bravo Company, etc. etc. then they are going to have to do a lot better. Why would I pay $1500 dollars for a cast aluminum receiver, sub par range toy when I can have a serious combat capable AR15 for $400 less.

I hope that the powers that be at Sig are reading this thread.

People can argue until they are blue in the face about whether the FN SCAR, Remington ACR or Styer AUG are as good as the M4 and maybe they are or maybe they aren't, but at least these companies are trying to produce something with real potential as a combat weapon.

I don't mean to rant or belittle people's choices; it’s just that some company's policies belittles me. This is coming from someone who has and still is a fan of the original German made Sig pistols. I still feel that they are some of the best handguns ever produced.


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Link Posted: 5/9/2012 4:40:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/9/2012 5:29:07 PM EST by LIONHART]
Originally Posted By Specter1975:
If Sig, or any company for that matter, wishes to seriously compete in a U.S. market dominated by top notch AR15 type rifles like Colt, Daniel Defense, Bravo Company, etc. etc. then they are going to have to do a lot better. Why would I pay $1500 dollars for a cast aluminum receiver, sub par range toy when I can have a serious combat capable AR15 for $400 less.

I hope that the powers that be at Sig are reading this thread.

People can argue until they are blue in the face about whether the FN SCAR, Remington ACR or Styer AUG are as good as the M4 and maybe they are or maybe they aren't, but at least these companies are trying to produce something with real potential as a combat weapon.

I don't mean to rant or belittle people's choices; it’s just that some company's policies belittles me. This is coming from someone who has and still is a fan of the original German made Sig pistols. I still feel that they are some of the best handguns ever produced.


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Your not...

The lower is forged 7075.

As "good" as an M4? Real potential as a combat gun? None of these companies IMHO have really brought anything new. If you skip the fancy rails, the furniture, the MISC. add on's, and all the marketing hype, it's still an AR. Big deal...

The AUG is in it's own class, for which the M4 is no comparison. Having also owned an ACR, that rifle has a lot of potential, and the latest Remington version is spectacular. The SCAR is another nice platform.

What's got me excited is the ARX-160...




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Link Posted: 5/9/2012 5:18:46 PM EST
SIG556® Rifle Wins NRA Tactical Gun of the Year



Few semi-automatic rifles have captured the imagination of the shooting public like the SG 550 series. For years this legendary Swiss-made rifle has been restricted to law enforcement and military sales, where it has acquired a reputation for reliability, durability and accuracy. Now, SIG Sauer has developed a U.S. made version called the SIG 556 ... .” So stated Shooting Editor Glenn Gilbert in “Like a Swiss Watch” (December 2007, p. 46).

Both 556 SWAT and full-length versions feature the quality shooters have come to expect from SIG, including steel Picatinny rails fixed to the tops of their receivers and military-grade cold-hammer-forged barrels. But these are fully updated designs. Significant changes have been made to the lower receiver and the stock. The cast aluminum lower receiver retains the ambidextrous safety lever of the original 550, but the magazine well has been modified to take commercial and surplus AR-15/M16-style magazines. Further, given the crisp break and limited overtravel of its trigger, the SIG 556’s accuracy was commendable.

“The bottom line, simply stated,” wrote Gilbert, “is that the SIG556 is an exceptionally accurate and reliable semi-automatic rifle whose performance is more than enough to justify its existence.” That shared sentiment among staffers resulted in the SIG Sauer 556 being named the first-ever American Rifleman Tactical Gun of the Year.

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Link Posted: 5/9/2012 5:34:41 PM EST
Originally Posted By Specter1975:
SIG556® Rifle Wins NRA Tactical Gun of the Year



Few semi-automatic rifles have captured the imagination of the shooting public like the SG 550 series. For years this legendary Swiss-made rifle has been restricted to law enforcement and military sales, where it has acquired a reputation for reliability, durability and accuracy. Now, SIG Sauer has developed a U.S. made version called the SIG 556 ... .” So stated Shooting Editor Glenn Gilbert in “Like a Swiss Watch” (December 2007, p. 46).

Both 556 SWAT and full-length versions feature the quality shooters have come to expect from SIG, including steel Picatinny rails fixed to the tops of their receivers and military-grade cold-hammer-forged barrels. But these are fully updated designs. Significant changes have been made to the lower receiver and the stock. The cast aluminum lower receiver retains the ambidextrous safety lever of the original 550, but the magazine well has been modified to take commercial and surplus AR-15/M16-style magazines. Further, given the crisp break and limited overtravel of its trigger, the SIG 556’s accuracy was commendable.

“The bottom line, simply stated,” wrote Gilbert, “is that the SIG556 is an exceptionally accurate and reliable semi-automatic rifle whose performance is more than enough to justify its existence.” That shared sentiment among staffers resulted in the SIG Sauer 556 being named the first-ever American Rifleman Tactical Gun of the Year.


They got it wrong. It's forged 7075.


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Link Posted: 5/9/2012 5:44:29 PM EST
Ok I believe you..Still I stand by statement that Sig needs to get it's act together if it hopes to compete in the current market.

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Link Posted: 5/9/2012 7:50:38 PM EST
Originally Posted By Specter1975:
Ok I believe you..Still I stand by statement that Sig needs to get it's act together if it hopes to compete in the current market.




They seem to be doing fine.

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Link Posted: 5/9/2012 8:10:03 PM EST
Specter

WTF I have 5 Sig rifles 3 Sig 556, one Sig 551A1 and a Sig 556R All are flawless. People like you are clueless as to what is going on with Sig right now. The SIg quality is top notch and has been for a while. I just purchased a new 556R 7.62X39 and they hit it out of the park with that one. It is tight, accurate as hell functions flawlessly and like my others is extremly well made. Usually when someone makes comments like you have they don't even own the rifle they are complaining about.

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Link Posted: 5/10/2012 6:18:26 AM EST
Although I haven't fired it yet, I too have recently bought a 551A1. Excellent looking rifle and besides the expensive magazines (although $50 magazines should be affordable for a gun of this price) I plan on keeping this one forever.

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Link Posted: 5/10/2012 11:48:14 AM EST
Check with SIg. They run specials on mag from time to time. Recently they sold them for $38.00. There are a lot of them out there.

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Link Posted: 5/10/2012 3:49:54 PM EST
Originally Posted By StonerAR10:
Check with SIg. They run specials on mag from time to time. Recently they sold them for $38.00. There are a lot of them out there.


I got mine for $37 from Sig and you get free shipping if you purchase 3 or more.



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Link Posted: 5/12/2012 4:41:27 AM EST
Originally Posted By Reptile502:
Originally Posted By StonerAR10:
Check with SIg. They run specials on mag from time to time. Recently they sold them for $38.00. There are a lot of them out there.


I got mine for $37 from Sig and you get free shipping if you purchase 3 or more.




Yup, I got six. Probably shoulda snagged a few more.

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