The SIG 550 is an assault rifle manufactured by SAN Swiss Arms (formerly SIGARMS) of Switzerland. It is considered to be one of the most accurate mass-produced assault rifles available. Standard features include an integral folding bipod and a folding stock. The rifle has an AK-47-type action.
It was developed as a competitor for the Swiss Army assault rifle contest of 1979 to 1980 and was derived from the previous SIG 540 and SIG 541 models. The SIG 550 won the competition in 1983 and was renamed the Sturmgewehr 90 in German ("Stgw 90") and F ass 90 (for Fusil d'assaut) in French among the Swiss Army service. However, due to financial constraints, large scale production only began in 1986. From then on, it gradually replaced the older SIG 510 ("F ass 57" or "Stgw 57"), which is now no longer in active service. Enlarge
The SIG 550 uses the Gw Pat.90 5.6 mm ammunition designed for nominal use at 300 metres . Although this calibre is designated as 5.6 mm, it is actually interchangeable with standard 5.56 x 45 mm NATO ammunition. The Gw Pat.90 ammunition is however optimized for the SIG 550's rifling twist rate of 1 in 10 as opposed to the 1 in 7 for which the 5.56 NATO calibre is optimised and as such provides better performance in the SIG 550. The rifle uses 20-round or 30-round magazines. The SIG 550 is accurate out to 400 metres without optics (600 metres with optics).
The SIG 551 carbine variant of this rifle has been adopted by various U.S. federal agencies because of its reliability and accuracy, as well as by Special Forces all over the world.
As of 2006, the SIG 550/Sturmgewehr 90/F ass 90 is the standard Swiss service rifle and it is also offered for export.
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