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...FYI

...here is a copy of a letter i sent to Sig Sauer's product manager September 14 after i had a lengthly discussion with him September 11 on behalf of Ron Cohen...he was formerly an engineer for Sig Sauer and seemed to grasp the trunion issue as i described it...he requested my overall imput on the 556 in writing...presumably left open for further discussion...he led me to believe the trunion issue would be addressed starting the 14th of this month...there certainly can be no further denial of this issue since he...and presumably Ron Cohen are now aware of it...at his request i copied Ron Cohen...i spoke with Tabata Wade...Ron Cohen's assistant... yesterday and she assured me that they are taking this very seriously...

...ullie


Hello Eric;

Thank you for returning the call I had placed to Mr.Ron Cohen earlier in the week. As per our telephone conversation on September 11, I am putting some of my concerns and recomendations in written form as requested by you and will copy Mr. Ron Cohen as you suggested in this e-mail. Since we have already covered some of this verbably, i will keep it brief. As you already know I am retired and have been moderating a forum entitled SIGARMS556 in my free time: I am also familiar with and have experience with the 55x series of assualt rifles of which the 556 is clearly a member. I will provide links, so that you can have some feedback from your customer base...but primarily to provide you with photographs referencing the issues.

Item 1: I suspected, and you confirmed, that you are currently shipping the 556 with full auto bolt carriers. Although the BATFE does make exceptions to their general determinations regarding the use of full auto parts in Title 1 firearms; you may be in violation of the law. Sig Sauer certainly is not practicing due diligence or acting responsibly in the sense that with the availability of 55x compleat full auto lower recievers and associated parts; a 556 can easily be converted to a select fire weapon. There is absolutely no justifiable reason to ship the semi auto version with a full auto carrier. Although, for example, the BATFE has recently been allowing the use of full auto shrouded carriers in AR types; it would be flawed logic to assume that they will make this same determination with the 556. The BATFE makes these determations on a case by case bases and these determinations are weapon specific. I highly doubt that the BATFE would allow this knowing how easily a 556 could be converted. The legal consequences could be very severe and have serious ramifications in the firearms industry considering the current political climate, especially if a "converted" 556 were to be used in a violent crime.

Item 2: There is a machining error occuring in the trunion of recently produced 556s that allows the bolt carrier to impact the rear left side of the trunion on it's fowards stroke. It seems that the area next to the bolt caming ramp is not flush with the retangular portion of the rear of the trunion tail. The only area that the carrier "should" impact is the small raised triangliar area of the trunion located ~ 1 o'clock while looking through the ejection port. This will also leave a corresponding shadow on the carrier after the weapon has been fired several hundred rounds. The effects of this machining error are that the left upper corner of the carrier becomes scarred and that the weapon's accuracy may be affected...and there are others. Sig Sauer's solution was to "grind down" the carrier to fit or to tell customers that this was normal. It is not. The solution is to correct the CNC machining program and to releave this area on existing rifles as per our discussion.

Refer to link regarding this issue in following tread...the photos clearly show this.


http://www.sigarms556.com/viewtopic.php?t=6753


Item 3: The formation of an concave indentation on the hammer face caused by impacting the firing pin. The hammer face does not have sufficient "indendation hardness" as a result of the hardness and temper of the substrate material used. This is a quality control issue related to the blend of steel and method used to cast the hammer and is not a surface harding issue. This should not be occuring after only several hundred rounds.

Item 4: Due to an inadequate surface harding process or finish machining error, the hammer sear shelf is "rounding" on some of your weapons. The sear only contacts about half the width of the hammer sear shelf, so you can see a before and after on the hammer sear engagement. The rounding of the hammer ledge and to a lessor degree of rounding of the tip radious of the sear suggests that the metal is too soft on the surface in this area. Briefly...this could be a result of the limitations of the casting process used for the hammer...blend of steel...improper hardening...after hardening machining error..and such... The consequences could be an accidental discharge or the weapon firing more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger due to the sear being able to eventually slip out of engagement from the hammer shelf, or fail to engage. The weapon will also be more prone to accidental discharge when disturbed.

Some other suggestions
1. Use a mil-spec buffer tube, ie reciever extension. The important functional difference between a mil spec and commercial tube is that the treads on the mil-spec tube are cut to "full height"...aside from any demensional differences...the full height treads have a lessor tendency to loosen or "pull out" of the lower reciever. The plastic reciever extension makes the 556 look cheap; and perceptions of quality are everything to the consumer. BTW..you should not use a treadlocker, staking the castle nut is more than sufficient to keep the nut from backing off.

2. Install the crush washer properly. The larger diameter facing the flash suppressor: the small diameter thereof pressing against the barrel shoulder...and properly center it. I recomend using a peal washer instead to index the flash hider. The flash hider should be torqued to 20 foot punnds...without the use of a treadlocker.

3. Since the extractor spring is difficult to replace for most consumers, it should be made of HR CS wire which will give it a much longer service life.

4. In recomend using captivated push pins in the front and rear of the lower in all your models. You should use a single detent pin... don't double up two shorter detent pins per push pin.

5. Increase the top height of the bolt catch slightly to ensure capture of the BC group and increase the capture area somewhat to distribute the impacting loading over a greater surface area.

6. The compressive value of the firing pin spring needs to be increased so as to avoid a possible accidental discharge when using ammunition with the more soft commercial primers. The specs for the 55x series are based on the harder military primers.

7. The gas valve should be manufactured using something like inconal...an austenetic nickel-chrominum-molybdenum supper alloy...or an alloy of similar properties. This will significantly reduce the errosion of the ports in the valve and prevent cracking. As the holes enlarge in the thin skin of the valve walls from the blasting and gas cutting effects of the hot, high pressure gases mixed with the particulate matter of combustion...the resultant increase in gas volume will increase the recoil impluse which will increase the stress and resulting strain (fatigue) on the weapon as a whole and in particular the linier and rotational sear forces on the bolt lugs.

8. The recoil plate needs to be affixed to the reciever more evenly and securely.

9. The use of "coiled roll pins" (spring pins) should be utilized throughout the weapon, especially in high load areas such as in front of the washer support behind the recoil spring on the piston rod. The washer support should be "flat"...not rounded as shipped in some of your replacement parts kits.

10. Sig Sauer should consider shipping each Sig 556 with a "good" quality mil-spec NATO STANAG magazing...such as a D&H mag with a Magpul anti-tilt follower installed. The Sig magazine, i'm sure, is a source of grief for many...and also a possible cause for some of your returns. I will provide you an extensive account of the importance of a "good" magazine...and how critical they can be to ensure the functionality of any weapon. There really is more to a magazine than meets the eye.

11. There should be some changes made to your DMR; especially the length of the gas system and barrel twist.

12. On your new" patrol model"...I noticed Sig Sauer is using a "pistol length" gas system. Although "gas port" size can be played with, both in the barrel and "gas valve walls"...the significanty increased peak post pressure, gas velosity, gas density (due to the compressive nature of gases), and other such factors "mated with the carbine length barrel" will have adverse effects on the weapon far too numerous to point out in this short letter.

In all honesty Eric, unfortunately the image of quality that Sig Sauer once possesed is deteriating rapidly; especially the precieved quality of the Sig 556 series. Adding cheap, margionally functional accessories doesn't enhance your image in the market place and further detracts from your "branded" name; that has for years represented the pinnacle of firearm excellence. The information I provided above is only a small sampling. It is literally impossibly to cover, and go into any kind of meaningful detail within the limited scope of a e-mail or letter.

I encourage you or Mr Cohen to call me since I am more than willing to discuss these issues. I would also be willing to allow you to tape record the conservation for your convenience.

I will be sending you some photos...

Best Regards
Ullie
 

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Letter

Great letter Ullie, wow if that don't convince Sig there are some problem areas then nothing will. I'm tired of talking to Sig so called Expert LE reps at trade shows think they have answers to walk away more upset that they make up bullshit answers instead of just saying I DON'T THE ANSWER. it took several calls and weeks to have Sig even admit there is a issue with My barrel mating to the mono block. All Sig wanted to due was blame the Larue Mount and Leupold scope for the issue, but after Finally speaking to a factory smith they admitted there fault and the rifle is currently at Sig being fixed for the second time.


Ullie,
Thank You for all you do to improve this produce and assist forum members, GREAT WORK.....

Officer Paul Miller # 5
 

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Great work...

It would be really nice if they would find some way to fix all the issues you outline in your letter. I wonder if you could ask them why they chose to mess with a proven system where the sights and the rail are concerned as well? Thanks for all you do.
 

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Letter to Sig Sauer-from Ullie

ULLIE, I'll have to say that is one well thought out letter,you pretty much covered all the bases.I would'nt be suprised if sig did'nt offer you a position with their company.
Really a great letter,once again my hat's off to you Ullie,Thankyou,
 

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WHAT? That's IT? Just those few little minor things, and you complain about your $2,000 rifle?? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Seriously, if SIG does not hire you as an independent QC consultant, they are missing the boat.

One final point: you are dead on about SIG's declining reputation. I bought my SIG 556 expecting the same level of quality I found in the many (older) SIG pistols I own. Frankly, my SIG 556 has been very disapointing for the many reasons you point out. SIG's reputation is reaching a critical tipping point. They either take steps quickly to reverse public perception of declining QC, or they will eventually slide off into obscurity. For SIG to think overwise would be the mark of fatal arrogance.
 

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San Francisco SIG guy said:
WHAT? That's IT? Just those few little minor things, and you complain about your $2,000 rifle?? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Seriously, if SIG does not hire you as an independent QC consultant, they are missing the boat.

One final point: you are dead on about SIG's declining reputation. I bought my SIG 556 expecting the same level of quality I found in the many (older) SIG pistols I own. Frankly, my SIG 556 has been very disapointing for the many reasons you point out. SIG's reputation is reaching a critical tipping point. They either take steps quickly to reverse public perception of declining QC, or they will eventually slide off into obscurity. For SIG to think overwise would be the mark of fatal arrogance.
I plan on sending them a letter via snail mail explaining why I purchased a Glock 23 today instead of the Sig P250 I had my heart set on after reading a 100 page thread on the Sig forum detailing many issues including light primer strikes, failure for the slide to lock back and various FTE's and FTF's. Some people having to send their pistol back 3 or more times only to have it replaced completely then still seeing the same issues in the new pistol.

And you know for a fact people on a Sig forum WANT desperately to say good things about Sig. I feel very lucky that my 556 has given me no trouble.

Great letter Ullie, hopefully it's taken seriously and not placed in the circular file.
 

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Has Sig ever replied? what did they say?
What exactly is "receiver fatigue?" I too have these wear marks. Thanks :?
 

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Ullie, Ullie

Your knowledge is unsurpassed and I always enjoy reading your responses. My hobby has been shaped by your recommendations and I truly enjoy reading this forum. I own 4 SIG firearms, a 229, P556 Swat, 556 Classic Swat, 556 ER. I bought all 3 rifles in part due to this forum (which I found after buying the 229). My reading here has influenced many purchases, I bought CLP, Leupold sights, new BUIS's, new stock, better ammo, better sling, hi-end cleaning rod, recommended magazines, and more, mostly from your and others recommendations on this forum. Not only the products, the places to buy it from. Its kinda of like a gun bible... I also know what I like, how to evaluate all the recommendations, and then make my own decision. The problem I have now, is after reading your letter, and coming to my own conclusions, I want to sell 2 of my SIG's, and buy a better made rifle... its kind of like Santa Claus. Sometimes, I wish I just didn't know the truth (j/k, but hopefully you get my point).. and BTW I am not having any major problems. Having a rifle or gun that you know is problematic for others AND has guys like you writing dissertations to SIG's engineering department, well its just disappointing.

Many will say, "if your not having any problems.....". Well, that's all good, but I don't want to be in a critical situation when my rail suddenly cants or falls off due to poor manufacturing OR have explain to LEO or judge to contact SIG about the "rounding of the hammer ledge" which is why my rifle "accidentally discharged" and hit the house next door.

I am not a gun expert so I don't know if, or more importantly when, these things could occur. When I bought these guns I truly believed they were the best I could buy (as compared to Colt, SCAR, LWRC, POF, Styer, FAL, etc. I am sure I missed a few others, but all were considered).

With money not being an object, and you could afford anything you wanted, what fully assembled rifle would you buy TODAY, excluding the SIG, which I presume would be your No. 1 choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Ullie, Ullie

scoom said:
The problem I have now, is after reading your letter, and coming to my own conclusions, I want to sell 2 of my SIG's, and buy a better made rifle...
...honestly scoom...

...i was hesitant to even post my letter for a number of reasons...one being that some people might misinterpet it as you may have...while it's true that Sig Sauer is having some quality control issues...none of these issues are "dissimilar" to those that other manufacturers are having...especially when almost all manufacturers are producing as many guns as possible to meet the unreasonable demand recently caused by the current political climate...

...a firearm is a machine...and as with all machines you will incur wear and breakage...likewise...some will be flawed...that's just the reality of it...whether it's a Sig Sauer...Colt...FN...HK or any other branded name...

...it's easy to tell you not to worry...but i'm sure you will continue to do so...the Sig 556 is one of the best assualt type rifles currently available to the U.S. consumer...bar none...


...my advice to you is that you become intemately familiar with *ANY WEAPON* you own and it's system of operation...so that you can intelligently inspect it and learn what to look for...this includes doing a function check *before and after* you fire the firearm...as well as after you clean the firearm and reassemble it...and know what to look for as the firearm wears through use... also place any weapon you own on a preventative maintence program in which you replace parts...especially critical parts...based on your inspection and in particular the round count...

...there's only so much a manufacturer and end user can do to insure the safe operation of any firearm...it's just the nature of the beast...following the safe use rules and a little common sense will go a long way...and if you dedicate yourself to being a responsible user...although events such as an accidental discharge "may" occur...although rare if you do your part...they will always be harmless...although disturbing...when you follow the number one rule...always be aware of where the muzzle is pointed...loaded or not...

...BTW...i sent you a PM...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
scoom said:
With money not being an object, and you could afford anything you wanted, what fully assembled rifle would you buy TODAY, excluding the SIG, which I presume would be your No. 1 choice.
...i'm hesitant here also...and i do not encourage you to sell your Sig...IMO the following are the best of the best in each type...all should be factory assembled guns !

...LMT Defender 16 inch barreled DI AR 15

...FN FNC...no longer imported but available...

...DSA FAL with a minimum barrel length of 18 inches...

...LRB ARMS M 14 with the standard length barrel...
 

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ullie said:
scoom said:
With money not being an object, and you could afford anything you wanted, what fully assembled rifle would you buy TODAY, excluding the SIG, which I presume would be your No. 1 choice.
...i'm hesitant here also...and i do not encourage you to sell your Sig...IMO the following are the best of the best in each type...all should be factory assembled guns !

...LMT Defender 16 inch barreled DI AR 15

...FN FNC...no longer imported but available...

...DSA FAL with a minimum barrel length of 18 inches...

...LRB ARMS M 14 with the standard length barrel...
Ullie, Thanks for your reply, I just got back in from a long day out. It finally was sunny here in Dallas so I went to the Alliance Airshow in fort worth and stopped by Cabela's while I was at it.... will respond with PM.
 

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Ullie,

The original thread with your letter was 3 pages long ... is this a different thread, or was it somehow truncated?

Also, since your letter, some 5 weeks ago, have you heard anything from SIG, or just silence?

Art
 

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ullie said:
scoom said:
With money not being an object, and you could afford anything you wanted, what fully assembled rifle would you buy TODAY, excluding the SIG, which I presume would be your No. 1 choice.
...i'm hesitant here also...and i do not encourage you to sell your Sig...IMO the following are the best of the best in each type...all should be factory assembled guns !

...LMT Defender 16 inch barreled DI AR 15

...FN FNC...no longer imported but available...

...DSA FAL with a minimum barrel length of 18 inches...

...LRB ARMS M 14 with the standard length barrel...


I'm not familiar with the LMT DI AR15, what exactly is it? I just purchased an LMT Defender 2000 lower and the CQB MRP 10.5" upper and and an additional16 inch barrel in stainless for a build. Why the 16" in stainless? To be honest, I liked the looks :)

That being said Ullie, can you explain why you like the LMT you mention? I know the lower I have is machined beautifully and am hoping the quality of the CQB MRP upper is the same. From what I have read the whole upper is machined out of a billet and the barrel free floats. The barrel swap is supposed to be easy too.
Let me make it clear, I'm an old wheel gun collector and have just now gotten into "black rifles"
I also ordered a Geissele DMR trigger. Any and all comments welcome.

Regards,
Steve

PS: If anyone is looking for a Leupold Scope I have one for sale in the NON FFL Section :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
szuppo said:
I'm not familiar with the LMT DI AR15, what exactly is it? I just purchased an LMT Defender 2000 lower and the CQB MRP 10.5" upper and and an additional16 inch barrel in stainless for a build. Why the 16" in stainless? To be honest, I liked the looks
...you need to Google AR 15...and pay particular attention to the discription of the operating system...all AR 15 types use a direct "gas" impingment operating system...as opposed to a gas piston operating system...gas piston ARs are conversions and not true to the origional design...see if you can exchange the stainless barrel for a chrome lined barrel...the chrome lined barrel will last longer and will enhance the reliability of the weapon...also easier to clean...you will have a very slight loss in accuracy though...

szuppo said:
That being said Ullie, can you explain why you like the LMT you mention? I know the lower I have is machined beautifully and am hoping the quality of the CQB MRP upper is the same. From what I have read the whole upper is machined out of a billet and the barrel free floats. The barrel swap is supposed to be easy too.
...the LMT is a hair better than a Colt...and civilians cannot purchase an FN...LMT is a manufacturer...Colt is more of an assembler and relies on it's vendors...more that one vendor may actually manufacturer the same component !...LMT is in a position to better control the grade and quality of materials used...

...the LMT upper is machined from a high tensil strength aircraft grade 7075T6 "forging"...a forging is stronger than a billet of aluminum...

szuppo said:
I also ordered a Geissele DMR trigger. Any and all comments welcome.
...if you want a better trigger...go with the LMT two stage trigger...the Geissele trigger has no place in an AR...IMO...

...you have the best AR money can buy ...period !
 

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I didn't mention it but the lower I have does have the LMT 2 stage.

I seem to have sidetracked the original post. Not my intention and I apologize. I just wanted to get Ullies opinion on the LMT.


Regards,

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
the_assman said:
an lmt 2 stage is nice but the geissele SSA is a much better 2 stage service trigger.
...i stand corrected...thanks the_assman...i persumed the poster was referring to the Geissele High Speed Match Trigger...that's the first thing that came to mind...wasn't aware that they made a service trigger...i don't have any experence with the SSA...

...the LMT 2 stage is a good...and more important...safe two stage trigger...i would recomend the LMT on that count...
 

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i agree that the lmt 2 stage is indeed a very nice trigger.the geissele ssa is just butter though.

to me all semi-automatic rifles should have a 2 stage trigger in them,single stage triggers really belong in a full auto.

they also make an SSF trigger for those lucky enough :wink:
it's a 2 stage in semi and single stage in auto.
 

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I installed and tuned the Geissele Two Stage Trigger-DMR in an LMT Defender 2000 lower that had an LMT 2-Stage. The LMT is nice but words can not explain the Geissele!
It truly is like a glass rod breaking. I don't see how it can be improved upon. I was hesitant considering the price of $279 but that was quickly forgotten once I adjusted it properly and pulled the trigger, time and time and time again.... :p

If only they made something similar for the 556.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
... Letter to Sig Sauer_UPDATE

...this morning i sent an e-mail "letter" to Tabitha Wade...Ron Cohen's assistant....this letter expresses my thoughts and opinions regarding Sig Sauer's response in addressing my origional letter sent September 14 of this year to Eric Vonbosse...and copied to Ron Cohen...



October 29, 2009


Dear Tabitha Wade;


I just wanted to follow up with you regarding my letter of September 14 that was addressed to Eric Vonbosse
and copied to Ron Cohen after I had spoken with Eric on September 11, at his insistance I might add, regarding
some of my concerns and suggestions regarding Sig Sauer's 556 series of rifles. As you already know, I was
surprised by his failure to follow through as promised; indeed, you commented that "He should have pushed
it to the front of his plate." Not only did he not respond as promised; but after speaking with you on several
occasions thereafter, you had expressed some astonishment and concerns that i have not been contacted by
Sig Sauer. It is my understanding that you have made several attempts to have the members of the senior
management staff contact me regarding this matter.

I contacted your office again mid October and was finally contacted by a Mr. Bud Finni, VP of marketing and
Eric Vonbosse's supervisor. We spoke for almost two hours and he assured me that he would be discussing
this issue with Ron Cohen later that evening over dinner. He further assured me that i would be contacted soon
by your engineering staff. It has been almost two weeks and sadly i have yet to hear from anyone from your company.

During our discussion it became evident that Mr. Finni, and by his own admission, lacked the technical knowledge
to pursue this matter. He was clearly the wrong person to speak with. Not only was I dissapointed, but amazed by
his lack of interest in better controling the quality of your companies product; and also in his lack of interest
in improving the product. He clearly gave me the impression that he was satisfied, in fact, he mentioned how well
sales were doing and that Sig Sauer was capturing the law enforcement and military markets, something that I chalanged.
His questionable buisness sense, along with Ron Cohen's apparent lack of interest, confused me. I would think
that a VP of marketing would welcome any suggestions that would enhance sales, especially in the law enforcement
and military sectors .I attempted to explain, and he seemed to grasp, some of the concerns I presented; however, I
have yet to be contacted. Mr. Finni doesn't seem to grasp the notion that it is not only important how well you are
presently doing; but rather how much better you ought to be doing, or will do, in the future.

In any case Tabitha, it is not within the scope of this letter to go into any great detail regarding our discussion.
Clearly there are issues that need to be addressed, and Sig Sauer is not addressing them. As I expressed earlier,
Sig Sauer at one time celebrated being thought of as representing the benchmark of firearm excellence, sadly that is
not the case anymore Although it is prudent to be finacially driven to remain a viable concern; a more moderate path
will ensure your future profitable existance in the marketplace.

From my recent experiences with Sig Sauer, I can only conclude that the new management team, that is, Ron Cohen
and those that he has selected to surround him, have a different buisness model, one that has lowered the standards of
quality in favor of greater short term revenues. Sadly this is also the perception of many consumers in the market place.
I suspect that if you maintain your present course, the "branded" name of Sig Sauer will become no more meaningful than
that of the other lessor manufacturers. Your sales will reflect this, especially in the law enforcement and your "so called"
military sectors, both of whom require weapons that function reliably and endure, something that I believe your leadership
has lost sight of.

I'm hopeful that you will convey my thoughts and opinions as presented in this letter to your management staff, in particular
to Mr. Ron Cohen.


Be Well, and thank you for your efforts.



...the intent and content of this letter was not to berate Sig Sauer...or their product line...but to express my thoughts and opinions regarding the lack of response that i had recieved after a member of their managemant staff had actually insisted that i write the origional...and after several assurances made by Tabitha Wade that i would be contacted to discuss the contents of the origional...

...see linky for the origional...

... http://www.sigarms556.com/viewtopic.php?t=7296

...i still hold the opinion that the 556 is the best semi automatic assualt type rifle avaliable to the American public...however...Sig Sauer...in my opinion...needs to evaluate their business model and place greater importance on their quality control protocols so that an acceptable level of consistancy can be achieved...and also develope a more workable framework in which issues can be effectively dealt with as they occur...
 
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