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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had a Gen 2 556R for about 3 years now with only about 1,500 rounds down the pipe. I went out with some family over the holiday and the tip of the firing pin broke off. I was running some red army standard when it happened. I called customer support and they are sending me a new firing pin; I also opted to buy a spare parts kit for 27 bucks. Has anyone else had a firing pin break on them? I'm trying to figure out if this is a one off thing or an on going problem with the gun itself. When I asked the service rep if this is normal he said you can expect this shooting steel case after 1,500 to 3,000 rounds. Prior to this I've not had a single problem with the gun, not even a single jam,FTF, FTE! This and my SCAR 17 were my go-to guns, but now I am reconsidering. What's your long term experience with the system?
 

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I've had a Gen 2 556R for about 3 years now with only about 1,500 rounds down the pipe. I went out with some family over the holiday and the tip of the firing pin broke off. I was running some red army standard when it happened. I called customer support and they are sending me a new firing pin; I also opted to buy a spare parts kit for 27 bucks. Has anyone else had a firing pin break on them? I'm trying to figure out if this is a one off thing or an on going problem with the gun itself. When I asked the service rep if this is normal he said you can expect this shooting steel case after 1,500 to 3,000 rounds. Prior to this I've not had a single problem with the gun, not even a single jam,FTF, FTE! This and my SCAR 17 were my go-to guns, but now I am reconsidering. What's your long term experience with the system?
I have not broken any yet, but it's not unheard of, i have read some threads where some 556 owners broke some. I buy spare parts anyway, so i keep a couple of those kits on hand, plus firing pins individually. Not sure if its true, but one thread i read somewhere said the replacement firing pins were upgraded, or made harder, i forget, but it was supposed to be better than the original factory installed ones. Not sure if that was a specific gen or not.
 

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I have not broken any yet, but it's not unheard of, i have read some threads where some 556 owners broke some. I buy spare parts anyway, so i keep a couple of those kits on hand, plus firing pins individually. Not sure if its true, but one thread i read somewhere said the replacement firing pins were upgraded, or made harder, i forget, but it was supposed to be better than the original factory installed ones. Not sure if that was a specific gen or not.
Same for 5.56?
 

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Same for 5.56?
Not 100% which thing you're asking is the same, parts or problem, haha.
If you mean the problem, i believe yes.

If parts, no, not the same as 556 cal. Russian and 556 classics in 556 are different parts kits with a different number. I believe patrol versions are a 3rd different number.
 

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While on the face of it the factory explanation about 'steel-case' may seem lame, since the steel cartridge case does not contact the firing pin, it is well-known that mil-spec imported steel-case ammo has 'hard' primers to avoid slam fires in AKs. Since firing pin breakage has never been a systemic problem with AKs, it looks like the original SIG firing pin is not as hard as it should be.
I might look into one of those parts kits too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
BTW, where did you find that parts kit? I've looked for one several times on the SIG site to no avail.
I had to order it over the phone from Sig customer service. I couldn't find any on line either. The service rep said they had some in-stock right now. Comes with firing pin, firing pin spring, crush washer, and a few other misc parts I don't recall.
 

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Sly, was that for the 556 or 556xi?

Thanks
It was for the original 556R, "Gen 2", not the xi. In fact its one of the rarer versions that came from the factory with the quad rail on it; which by the way I'm not sure I like as it makes the gun very front heavy. I've never weighed it, but side by side my 556R feels at least as heavy as the Scar17, and that thing has a 2.5-10 scope on it. A friend of mine has a "Classic" style fore end on it and the rifle handles a bit better in my estimation, though it is of course a bit looser than the quad rail.
 

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And even with the plastic hand guard the carbine is heavy up front. I have thought about selling mine ever since I got it and today I decided I am going to. I just like my ARs and AMD65 so much better. And I'm not getting any younger - I really don't need four mil-style carbines.
 

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. . . I really don't need four mil-style carbines.
Funny, but with current events being what they are, I feel I don't own nearly enough. . . or ammo, lol.

Yea the weight on classics up front take getting used too. I have the classic swat quad rails on mine. But a couple of upsides, one, its tough, that gas block and gas tube are no joke, you can brutalize that gun and not hurt it. Another is control and recoil, I can fire a lot more shots on target or follow up faster than i can with a lighter gun. But thats in 556/223. In 762x39 it may be a push as an ak is a touch heavy up front also, but i prefer an ak in that caliber anyway.

Not sure about now, but a few months back I was told there were no spare parts kits for the xi's for sale yet. Not sure about firing pins, can't remember if i asked, but i don't have one. And I try to own spare parts and such for all my guns.
 

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You are correct, they do not have the xi spares entered into their sales software yet. Spares can be had through warranty claims if something breaks.
 

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The 556 is almost perfectly balanced at the front pivot. Easy support hand hold if you have to do something else with strong hand. Try that with a bulpup for a while and you see why the bulpup is not as popular. But I was really impressed with the light weight of an AK. If I wasn't stuck on 5.56 and STANAG, I'd be AKin'.
 

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Makes me wonder if the overly soft firing pin spring in the 556R is contributing to this issue? Could it possibly be due to the lack of firing pin spring resistance vs. very strong hammer spring force is causing the firing pin to bottom out and eventually break?
Apparently, both the 556xi Russian and NATO are now using the same stronger firing pin spring (originally used in 556 NATO only; and the hammer spring from 556R); according to Sig CS.
 

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Makes me wonder if the overly soft firing pin spring in the 556R is contributing to this issue? Could it possibly be due to the lack of firing pin spring resistance vs. very strong hammer spring force is causing the firing pin to bottom out and eventually break?
Apparently, both the 556xi Russian and NATO are now using the same stronger firing pin spring (originally used in 556 NATO only; and the hammer spring from 556R); according to Sig CS.
Update/Correction:
Disregard previous info above.

According to another Sig CS, both the 556R & 556xi Russian use the same firing pin spring P/N: 1511901-R

Sadly, information from Sig CSR can vary depending on which CSR you are talking to.

Moreover, after doing a little research, I found out that AR's and MPX gen2's do not have firing pin spring. So, having soft spring may not necessarily the culprit..?
 
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