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Posted: 1/4/2003 5:04:38 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/4/2003 7:00:49 AM EST by capeboer]
I live in South Africa and I'm thinking of importing an M4 from the U.S. for my collection.

I can get a SIG 551 SWAT for about the same price from Switzerland.

Are there compelling reasons why I should rather get the M4?

I have a Trijicon ACOG TA01 that will fit both rifles.

Our local .223 ammo (the Denel military stuff) is all 55gr, so maybe the SIG's 10" twist will work better than the M4's 7" twist?
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 5:55:29 AM EST
Only if you want the look of the M4 the sig is a nicer made weapon.
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 7:53:48 AM EST
I own a semi 551 SWAT and like it alot. It has the best "military" I've tried. Very reliable, but slightly heavier than a M4. Also beware that from what Ive been told, the US State dept. will NOT approve export permits for any "NFA" firearm. This means the M4 you'll be importing will/must have a barrel of 16" or more. No 14.5" barrels... The 551 SWAT is also available with a 1:7 twist if you rather have that, but I don't know if this is normally kept in stock or if it much be specially ordered. Pics of my SIG: [img]http://www.hunting-pictures.com/members/Cardinal/SIG551_1.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.hunting-pictures.com/members/Cardinal/Wpn_selection.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 8:15:11 AM EST
Thanks for your reply, Cardinal. I'm especially grateful for the pics! The barrel length issue makes sense. You're right - NFA items can only be exported to governments en LE, not to private collectors. (In South Africa, you can buy suppressors over the counter and there are many guys here who would LOVE to get the correct, issue suppressor for their HK SOCOM pistols; but, State Department will not give the export permit.) Pardon my ignorance: Is the M4 (semi-auto version) available with a 16" barrel? I believe the 10" twist is definitely more suited to the lighter 55gr bullet. I would much rather have the 7", but we can't get the heavier SS109 etc. here. Now for an important question: That Picatinny rail on your SIG 551 - is it made of steel or aluminium? Is it a Brügger & Thomet? (Before we make the AR15 guys angry, maybe you should reply via e-mail. I'd hate for you or me to get kicked off this forum!)
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 10:12:51 AM EST
Originally Posted By capeboer: (Before we make the AR15 guys angry, maybe you should reply via e-mail. I'd hate for you or me to get kicked off this forum!)
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Awh com'on! we're more tolerant than you think. We're only pissed because we can't get the Sig (I think).
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 10:21:12 AM EST
[:D]
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 10:21:41 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/4/2003 10:22:12 AM EST by Juggernaut]
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 10:49:10 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/4/2003 2:04:06 PM EST by Arock]
Would a Bushmaster 16" then be better than a Colt 16"? (Irony is, I could probably get the SIG parts easier - the Swiss are not so tight with their export requirements as is the U.S. State Dept.) Africa to the north of us is probably not doing so well... But South Africa is a great place to visit, especially if you're paying in $. We've got amenities here that you wouldn't expect, and yet you can also have the "African" experience. Just take a look at [url]www.capetourism.org[/url].
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 11:19:40 AM EST
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 11:20:24 AM EST
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 5:59:01 PM EST
Note to self: Move to Norway for the cool guns. Cardinal, that's a beaut of a 551! [8D] Gabe
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 6:24:33 PM EST
Welcome to AR15.com capeboer, i just wanted to add that in my PERSONAL experience, 55Gr ammo works G R E A T, out of a 1:7 twist. and i mean great! Good luck bro, take care. HUNTER [blue]CHECK THE ARMORY AND THE HANDGUN FORUMS[/BLUE]
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 9:02:28 PM EST
Capeboer, get the SIG. The downfall to the M-4 is the barrel, which is turned for a M-204. The taper makes the barrel thin (at attachment point) and cause the barrel to bend if you find yourself in a prolonged firefight. The SIG on the other hand does not have the tapered ring, and can withstand a longer firefight, with out fear of barrel becoming warped. Note: The M-4 is not a SAW nor can the barrel take the prolong firing as one.
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 9:05:52 PM EST
You could also get a Bushmaster 16" with a 1/9" twist which is standard on a barrel of that length.
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 9:41:49 PM EST
Originally Posted By gman552: Note to self: Move to Norway for the cool guns. Cardinal, that's a beaut of a 551! [8D] Gabe
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Thank you, I have some larger pics which looks better than those above (which I'm not real happy with, I better tinker around in Photoshop...), but I thought some might protest if I posted 2xxx by 15xx pics and about 1.5mb a piece....atleast if they are on a 56k connection... Cape Boer, its a steel B&T rail. It was the cheapest picatinny rail I found (total cost inc. shipping was around $150) and the only one I could afford at the time. But Im very happy with it. Its not quick-detachable, but with the Aimpoint that doesn't matter since I can use the ironsights through the Aimpoint. Its somewhat heavy, but then again I'm used to carrying the 16lbs HS Precision HTR so a few extra ounses/grams on the SIG doesn't bother me...
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 9:43:48 PM EST
Will state approve the export of a 14.5in AR-15 upper reciever (which is not an NFA item in and of itself?)...
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 2:56:52 AM EST
Thanks for all the advice and guidance, guys! Dave_A, unfortunately the ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) defines "firearm" much wider than does the Gun Control Act of 1968. ITAR lists barrels (among other things) as SME (Significant Military Equipment), so the State Department must issue an export licence.
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 6:00:24 AM EST
Capeboer, Are there a lot of people moving to South Africa from Zimbabwe/Rhodesia with recent events?
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 10:23:55 AM EST
I'm sure there are some people that are moving south, but it's not a flood. Those that stayed on in Zim after 1980 are the kind that doesn't move easily, if you know what I mean. Real courageous, pioneer-type folk. It's just awful what is happening there. The Marines could sort it all out in a week.[:|]
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 10:37:15 AM EST
Cardinal, I have just looked at http://www.cybersurf.co.uk/johnny/dunblane/andrew.html Norway has very sensible firearm legislation! Now if it just didn't get so darn cold...
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 10:50:24 AM EST
capeboer You can get an export license to 14.5" barrel if there is permanently attached flash hider for example Phantom or Vortex. With those flash hiders barrels overall length exceeds 16". I´m suggesting you to use this method. MN
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 9:00:42 PM EST
Capeboer, Having had some hands on with the R4,I would wonder what it is you are after in the M4? Both are about the same in the accuracy department,but the R4 is soooo much more reliable in the field,and more controllable in full auto. Were it me I would get the Sig,and the R4 issued from the local Kommando and be done. Our state department is getting to be a pain in the arse about exports,and your Lisc. requirements are getting to be just as bad. If they have one in Bloemfentein for a decent price,grab it while ya can! Also holler at Dave Sheer in Pretoria if need be,he might be able to help. I suspect the stamping and Liscensing of new barrels will soon be choked thanks to the new restrictions. Get what will serve you best in the long run in the bad weather. Just,don't rub the Sig in our faces too bad...please! We all want one as well and have NO chance! Keep safe down there. S-28
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 11:13:38 PM EST
This just proves how 'free' we in the States really are.
Link Posted: 1/6/2003 1:33:09 PM EST
Originally Posted By Dano523: Capeboer, get the SIG. The downfall to the M-4 is the barrel, which is turned for a M-204. The taper makes the barrel thin (at attachment point) and cause the barrel to bend if you find yourself in a prolonged firefight. The SIG on the other hand does not have the tapered ring, and can withstand a longer firefight, with out fear of barrel becoming warped. Note: The M-4 is not a SAW nor can the barrel take the prolong firing as one.
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That's funny, how about A1 light barrels will they bend too? come on man, have you ever seen a rifle's barrel actually bent after a fire fight? what you just said is practically IMPOSSIBLE. Sure, you could melt your barrel if you wanted to, granted, but then you could melt a heavy barrel too. right?[:d] HUNTER Edited to say M4's are as good as any other car or better, after all The SIG550 series is nothing but an improved ak. [BLUE]CHECK THE ARMORY AND THE HANDGUN FORUMS[/BLUE]
Link Posted: 1/6/2003 7:40:03 PM EST
Well, it's been an education! My kind thanks to all you erudite folks that have advised and guided me. Having weighed all my options and the facts, I have decided on the SIG 551 SWAT. It's gonna take me 4 weeks to import it from Switzerland (as opposed to 4 months with the M4), and the SIG is going to be quite a bit cheaper (mainly due to shipping costs). Thanks again! BTW, take a look at www.capetourism.org and see what you're missing.
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 5:20:45 PM EST
Capeboer, What are South Africa's firearms laws like? Can you own a selective fire rifle or semi only? Thanks CRC
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 6:11:02 PM EST
We plink steel 16" square steel at 200 to 500 yards with our ARs. My son has a Colt A2 1-7 20" and I just let go of a Bushmaster A-2 1-9 16" bbl in a trade. The Bushmaster 16" hits just as well as the Colt (plinking) at long range with 62 grain ammunition. My slow twist 20" Colt/PWA "safe queeen" seems to do just about as well at long range for plinking steel with 55 grain bullets. You can tell a definite difference in the 55s though as they make a definitely lighter sound on the steel. The shorter bbl on the SIG will be handier and the twist should work great with 55 grain FMJs. I'm currently looking to replace my Bushmaster with another 16" bbl rather than a 20" as I don't see a big difference except the 16" is a bit handier. Of course, steel plinking at long range counts a marginal hit as much as it does a center hit so plinking versus match shooting would show a more dramatic difference in the various rifles and I think the heavier bullets and the 1-7" or 1-9" twists would start to shine at long range.
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 11:38:19 PM EST
CRC, to answer your question: Collectors and "bona fide" shooting sportsman who are registered as such with the South African Police may apply for semi-auto rifle licences (up to .50 cal.). (ALL firearms require a licence which takes 30-60 days to get. They check your fingerprints every time and generally do a good job of vetting your application.) A full-auto weapon (up to .50 cal.) requires a Section 32 permit, which is a schlepp to get. Only registered collectors may apply and the Minister of Safety & Security signs the permit himself. So some guys here do have Maxims, FN MAGs, Browning .50s, Browning .30s, etc. in addition to AKs, MP5s, M16s, etc. Barrel length is not regulated and suppressors can be bought over the counter. Ammo purchases (even .22) requires you to show your licence for that particular firearm to the dealer. Foreign visitors (hunters etc.) get a SAP312 temporary import permit at the airport. No full autos, and semi-auto long guns "by prior arangement only" (to be safe). If you have a handgun (which is licensed, of course) you may carry it concealed anywhere (except government buildings etc.). Same applies to a foreign visitor - the SAP312 acts as a temporary licence.
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 6:09:41 PM EST
Wow CCH anywhere?!? That's neat. Too bad you have to get a license to get guns (do ya think poachers and thugs to the north of ya get licenses for their FN FALs and AKs?) CRC
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