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The AK-47 is one of the most popular firearms ever made. Millions of copies of the firearm have been used in nearly every single conflict worldwide since the gun was first produced, and it even appears on the national flag of at least one country. Its reliability is unquestioned, its effectiveness well acknowledged, and its ease of use is without equal. But SIG SAUER thought they could do better — produce a modern AK-47 for the modern world. The result: the SIG SAUER 556xi Russian.

The SIG SAUER 556 Classic rifle is the modern civilian equivalent of the SG550, the modern infantry rifle for Switzerland. It has all the same major components and operates identically to the military rifle produced by the SIG half of SIG SAUER, but has been customized to meet the needs of the American market. Introduced in 2014, the 556xi line of rifles is an updated version of the 556 Classic to include some more modern features.

Specifically, the 556xi Russian was apparently designed with export in mind. SIG SAUER makes no attempt to hide the fact that what they care about most is military contracts, and with a large number of countries sporting a stockpile of aging AK-47 rifles providing a modernized version that takes the same ammunition and magazines is a no-brainer. The question, however, is whether this 556xi Russian is really an upgrade.


The most obvious change to the gun from the 556 Classic design is the addition of a set of metal handguards with a proprietary modular rail attachment system. This is the same system found on many of SIG SAUER’s other firearms, and while it does work I think most people would appreciate it if they had gone with a more commonly available system like keymod.

There are other options available for the handguards from the factory, including a slimmer Magpul M-LOK system, but again I really prefer either keymod or a standard Picatinny rail.


While the side sections need some additional parts to become functional, one of the definite improvements is the addition of a full length top Picatinny rail. The 556 Classic used plastic handguards and so only had about as much rail space as an A4 upper receiver, but the full length metal handguards o the 556xi Russian allow for a little more real estate to be made available. Along with that rail, the fixed (yet flippy) iron sights of the 556 Classic have been replaced with Picatinny mounted flip-up iron sights.


Since we’re up here at the top of the gun, let’s talk about another feature from the Swiss rifle. The gun has a fixed charging handle like the AK, but instead of just saying “screw it” and leaving the rear area of the receiver open to the elements SIG SAUER has a rubber dust cover enclosing the rear section. The charging handle travels through the dust cover just fine, and it closes once again as soon as it is back in battery. A nifty design feature indeed.


Another upgrade is the stock. Instead of the “one size fits all” approach of the 556 Classic’s stock, the 556xi sports a stock with an adjustable cheek rest. Which is great for accurate shooting, and something that more companies should be providing in my opinion. The stock easily folds to one side, and unlike the American AR-15 design the gun can be easily and reliably fired with the stock folded.

At the rear of the gun, there’s a mounting location for a sling swivel or eyelet. The gun comes with the eyelet on the left side of the receiver, but that can be pretty easily swapped.


With the typical American setup, the recoil assembly is located behind the bolt carrier. With the Swiss 556 rifle, the recoil spring is wound around the operating rod. The gun is a gas piston design, meaning that gases are vented from the barrel into a chamber, and the force of those expanding gasses act on a piston which moves rearwards and moves the bolt and bolt carrier back to cycle the action. In this gun, that same piston will then pull the bolt and bolt carrier forward and back into battery, completing the cycle. Its a nifty design for sure, but I have some concerns about putting a spring into the same compartment where you are directly venting gasses. Seems like a good way to get it dirty real fast, and cleaning a spring isn’t exactly as quick as cleaning the piston on an AK-47.

The operating rod and bolt carrier are connected using the charging handle, and one of the nice side benefits of that configuration is that the gun allows the end user to swap the side of the gun that the charging handle is on with ease. Whether you’re a leftie or just have too many knobs on one side of the gun to get a proper grip, swapping the charging handle is as easy as pushing down on the release and pulling it out. Re-inserting is just as simple. In fact, disassembling the gun is about as easy as it gets.


Disassembly of the gun is a snap. Pull the two takedown pins (just like an AR-15) and the upper and lower receiver come apart. Then pull out the charging handle and the bolt will slide free. Rotate the gas plug in front and the gas system will slide out as well. Easy as pie, no hammers required.

Rounding off the general overview, the gun takes standard AK magazines. Both steel and polymer work, which is nice, but the gun ships with a TAPCO AK magazine. Which is a little strange, since the rest of the gun seems to be made from quality parts and well machined yet they went with a chintzy plastic magazine. Eh, it worked, so I can’t complain much.

So much for the general overview, let’s get to the feel and function.


The controls on this gun feel like they were made for someone with bigger hands than I have, which I don’t think is possible. The safety selector lever is ambidextrous, but incredibly tough to operate. I need to move my hand out of position to use it, and moving it from one position to another takes some effort. In short, it sucks.

What to know another thing that sucks? The trigger.


This is quite possibly the worst trigger that I have ever tested. Ever.

The trigger is a two stage affair, and the first stage takes about half an inch of takeup over a good eight pounds of force. The second stage is all the way at the end, and overtravel is controlled by adjusting the screw at the rear of the trigger guard. The trigger is smooth and creep-free, but as heavy as yo mama. Adjusting that trigger pull weight isn’t possible with the rifle itself, and while after-market trigger mods are available the overall reviews seem to indicate that installation and tuning can be “tricky.” Not something I’d want to mess with unless absolutely necessary, in other words.

Out on the range, the gun runs just fine — so long as you had your Wheaties that morning. Working the trigger is a workout all on its own, and not something I really enjoyed doing. A magazine or two is more than enough, then I needed to swap to some rimfire for a bit to give my poor digit a break. The gun ran just fine and ate whatever I threw at it, including the Hornady ammo that the Mk47 Mutant didn’t appreciate. And the recoil, as a cute French video journalist who was following me for a couple days can attest, is downright enjoyable. But that trigger is an absolute beast, and not in a good way.

That trigger had a huge impact on accuracy.


Out on the 100 yard line, I used a U.S. Optics MR-10 scope in some Warne scope rings and Hornady ammunition to test out the accuracy of the rifle. On this same day in this same exact configuration, I was shooting one-hole groups with a different test rifle and that same scope. But with this gun? The results were decidedly disappointing.


This is the very best group I fired all week. A more representative 10 round group registered closer to 4 MoA., but I cherry-picked this 5-round group. For this exemplar, I put the extreme spread on that group at a hair north of 2 MoA. Considering that the Mk47 was grouping right around 1.5 MoA with the exact same box of ammunition and the exact same configuration, this rifle is objectively worse. And not just by a little bit. For those wondering, the order of the rounds was bottom left, top right, bottom right, top left, middle right. The group didn’t start small and open up, it was terrible from the beginning.

SIG SAUER Confirms
Given the problems, I asked SIG about the problems I was seeing and sent them the rifle. I worked with their product manager John who confirmed that every criticism of the gun I’d found was 100% accurate. The trigger tested in their shop at between 8.5 and 9 pounds, which is outside their stated specs. And the accuracy of the rifle, even when fired from a rest, was unacceptable. In short, as I’d found, the gun was awful.

Apparently the rifle I received from the factory was from an early batch. They claim that the issue has been fixed in later versions, and accuracy has improved. I’d like to take their word for it, but we need to report what we found. Even if they do fix the issues with the gun I tested and send it back, it’s no longer a factory gun. I can only review guns based on how they perform, and reviewing something that has had a chance to be custom-tuned by their gunsmiths isn’t representative of what the average person would see in an off-the-shelf model in their local shop.

So this review based on my assessment of the original rifle. I will also make you, our readers, aware of the possibility presented by the manufacturer that the gun provided doesn’t accurately represent what’s on store shelves. And finally, when this rifle (or a factory-fresh version) comes back from SIG, we will re-test the gun and run a follow-up article detailing how it performs and linking to this review.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled complaining.


The gun works. It shoots pieces of lead at high velocity in the general direction of a target, and does it reliably. But the accuracy isn’t good enough to be useful in any scenario I could think of, and the ergonomics leave me wanting. It’s a cool gun, and with some changes I think it could be a real contender, but as-is I think SIG SAUER missed the mark.

Specifications: SIG SAUER 556xi Russian

Caliber: 7.62×39
Action: Semi-auto
Barrel: 16″ 1 in 9.5 inch rifling
Weight: 7 lbs
Length: 35.8 Inches
Magazine: Standard AK-47
Street Price: $1,599.00 ($1,299.95 street)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Accuracy: *
Nope. My AK shoots better than that. And it only cost me $500.

Ergonomics: * *
In general, the gun is pretty good. The recoil is pleasant, the handguards are grippy yet not aggressive, and the charging handle feels good. But the trigger is abysmal, and the safety is as easy to use as the Large Hadron Collider.

Ease of Use: * * *
See: terrible safety.

Reliability: * * * * *
No issues whatsoever during our range time with the gun, even out in the Texas dirt and dust. Ran just fine.

Customization: * * *
There’s a full length Picatinny rail along the top and aftermarket parts available for the trigger, but there isn’t the depth and breadth of associated gubbins available like for the AK or the AR platform. Oh, and the rail system is proprietary.

Overall Rating: * 1/2
The Mk47 Mutant is about $100 more expensive, but worth the cash. This rifle looks cool and the operating parts are nifty, but the execution is flawed. A better trigger and perhaps a better barrel would make this gun a shooter, and then we’d have something to talk about. But as is? Pass.

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  1. Oh well. At first look, I thought this might be a good place to invest my $2000 “assault weapon” tax credit.

  2. I have been hearing very unfavorable reviews about this gun, so I am not terribly surprised at your results.

    • I’m surprised nobody seems surprised. After all of the ‘SIG Fanboy’ abuse Nick took for the positive review of the MPX, he posts a pretty darn negative review of another SIG product and it’s just business as usual? If I’m tracking this right… negative reviews on SIG are acceptable. Positive reviews on SIG are not. Negative reviews on Remington are not acceptable. Might it be true that a large company can produce both good products and ones that miss the mark? Heck, even the same model of the same product will have a lemon here and there… a review of one example doesn’t guarantee identical experiences across the entire production run…

      Stirring the pot… stirring the pot… 😉

      • I’ve never seen anyone call Nick a SIG fanboy, especially since FN sponsored him and he pretty much bashes anything not made by FN as a result. It’s also well known that Nick has a seething hatred for the AK platform or anything even remotely resembling it.

        • Then you didn’t read the comments on the MPX review ( Pretty tough audience haha

          I also have to disagree w/ your AK theory (& the FN one, as Nick published plenty of highly positive reviews on other brands while he was on the FN shooting team). None of the negative comments in this review were related to the fact that it’s an AK platform, and Nick owns an AK (which is mentioned in the ratings section)… not something likely to be the case if you have a seething hatred of the platform.

          At any rate, I’ve given positive reviews to platforms that I really do not like at all. Personal opinion on the AK platform doesn’t mean one can’t recognize a shining example of it. It’s not about whether you personally love the gun, it’s about how good it is compared to its peers…

      • I have made no such accusations toward Nick or anyone else at ttag. That being said, heaping such monumental praise on a gun that isn’t even available to the public yet (mpx) is a bit foolhardy.

        • I don’t have personal knowledge of the situation, but it was stated pretty clearly by Leghorn right in the first paragraph of the MPX review that the ones they were shooting were 1) production models off the production line and 2) that SIG has started actively shipping them to distributors so at this point they are available to the public… (as demonstrated by YouTube videos and reviews starting to pop up, such as the unboxing one linked further down in the comments here, etc)

      • Actually, I think most of us are just considering the MPX review as an outlier, and that most of Nick’s reviews are actually good.

  3. Yeah I really wanted this thing to work. The concept is spot on but it seems that they are yet to hammer out all the issues. I might still be interested in the future but I don’t want to be a guinea pig so I’m gonna have to wait. 7.62×39 being so cheap its hard to pass it up but what are you really getting here? Poor ergos like a AK, worse accuracy than an AK, trigger like a cheap AK, all for the price of 2 AK’s. Swing and a miss.

    • IDK what AKs you’ve been hanging around but my $500 Yugo has excellent accuracy and an awesome trigger. All it needed was a rail and a red dot.

      • Im talking more in generalities and relativity. Im not saying AK’s are not accurate, Im speaking relative to this rifle. How is it that a rifle like an AK is more accurate than a rifle that is “new” last year? Im saying that how is this SIG have a trigger that is worse than a cheap, off spec AK found out in the jungle. Im speaking more to this rifle than I am to AK’s and why would anyone opt for this rifle over an AK given the ergos, the price, the accuracy, and the availability?

        • Because I was stupid and bought the hype. I learned my lesson with hard earned $$.

        • Sorry anon. That sucks. I haven’t been shooting for long but one thing thats a good rule of thumb is never be a guinea pig. YMMV

  4. MY 5.5.56 version went back to Sig multiple times before I finally called it quits. Accuracy was beyond horrible with it. I couldn’t believe it, and I was sorely disappointed that I bought the XI instead of an ARX100 at the time

  5. “creep-free, but as heavy as yo mama” — Best LOL of the day so far.

    Yeah, not sure this is really jumping onto my ‘must have now’ list. And honestly with all of the issues they’ve had lately, I’m getting a wee bit worried that the MCX (9″, 300blk/5.56) may have issues as well – but, all of the preliminary reports indicate otherwise so far. THAT IS on my ‘must have’ list, but waiting for some more data before I drop the 2K+ (hint, hint).

    • Oh, and coincidentally, I already know the trigger on the MCX is total CRAP too. But at least that’s a quick swap-out/drop-in affair. What is it with Sig and crappy triggers?

      • First AK-47s havent been made since about 1953 or 54. Its AKM’s. Its only been for the last few years that the Russians and many other countries have started using chromed barrels. The barrels on AKMs bought in the US are usually better than the originals as imported weapons have new barrels put on them.

        As far as triggers go its hard to find a gun maker that doesnt put crappy triggers on their products. Look at the SCAR17. I personally love it except for the original crap for a trigger (and the stock). Cheap crappy triggers on expensive rifles is pure BS.

        Saying all of that Sig should be embarrassed at putting out a piece of crap like that.

        • Romanians used chromed barrel from at least the ’70s. The one that I was operating at the time was having a chromed barrel.

        • Chrome-lined bores have been standard for Russian guns since SKS. All AKs are chrome lined from the very first models on. The only AKs that don’t have chromes are Yugo ones (and ditto SKS), because Yugoslavia didn’t have its own chromium mines and didn’t want to depend on any third parties for something as basic as main infantry weapon.

  6. I would never encourage anyone to buy a gun in its first year of manufacture. All too often, the bugs haven’t been discovered by users — it sometimes takes hard use for the deficiencies to appear — and it takes time for design or manufacturing defects to fixed by the manufacturer. Think Glock Gen4 recoil springs, Remington R51, etc. etc. ad infinitum.

    SIG will fix this rifle. Eventually. Until then, caveat emptor still applies, as always. Thus endeth the Latin lesson.

    • Come on Ralph, don’t warn all the Beta testers. If they don’t buy them when they’re brand new and untested, then these companies will have no reason to work out the bugs. Then we won’t get a chance to buy the updated version.

    • I agree, and from a consumer standpoint, it is hard to figure out when the issues have been resolved. It’s a shame really because I think the marketing appeal of Sig products is there, they just keep getting bad reviews. Sig and Keltec, want to like them but will not buy until QC is consistent.

    • Dammit Ralph, that was completely logical, measured, well-reasoned, and even backed up with a little Latin — and goes directly against my strong desire and contrived rationale to purchase the first MCX 9″ I can get my hands on!

      Heck – I’m even getting excited by lame un-boxing video’s (and I hate un-boxing videos!)

    • The problem is that the SIG 556 platform itself is several years old by now, and it seems to be constantly plagued by problems, usually rooted in assembly quality. I mean, seriously, just google for it, you’ll see many horror threads dating all the way back to 2008, and the constant chant of “when the fvck are they going to fix it”. 556R (which is obviously the direct ancestor to this thing) has had a particularly troubled run. The fact that they still can’t make it all just work is seriously disappointing.

  7. Yeah, I prefer the sig 556r gen 2. Indeed I had to send mine in the first go around and told sig it was a lemon and to replace the entire rifle. They did not, but assured me that their technician fixed everything and that it was now a fully functional rifle that meets spec. Well, I took the “fixed” rifle out and found that it was over gassed and piercing primers! Sig then replaced the entire rifle.

    I think sig’s poor performance is directly related to them hiring temp agency machinists. It seems to me that they need to restructure.

  8. I believe MAC also reviewed this rifle (or its predecessor) and if I recall the rifle had some issues; continual failure to eject, failure to cycle reliably, would not consistently return to battery.

  9. For some reason, SIG Sauer seems incapable of introducing a genuine 500 series rifle of the european quality in the US. They have a plant here, I can’t believe that it is less expensive to constantly honor warranties and re-develop this rifle than it would be to just bring some tooling over, or set it up here.

    • They may not be able to. Swiss export laws are no joke. The only country that I can think of that’s worse if Japan.

      • They don’t need to export the guns from Switzerland. They should just get the tooling that is used to make those guns, and start selling exact, 100% accurate (sans full auto) clones of SIG 550 and 551 None of those experiments with materials (replacing steel with aluminum) and design, just the original exactly as it is.

        By the way, they do somehow manage to successfully export them to Canada, so…

        • They basically did that with the 551A1, which is about as close as you’ll get to a real Swiss 551 in the US – $40 proprietary mags and all.

          Despite all that, SIG USA still screwed up basic things like drilling the gas select valve backwards – the US versions of the rifle were built from the factory with the “emergency” port set as the default setting, overgassing every SIG rifle with the faulty part.

          • Well, and they didn’t actually do it with 551-A1. As I understand, what they really did there is took 556, change the magwell so that it uses the original 55x mags, and slapped 551 furniture on it. But it’s still aluminum receiver, no? And the overall build quality is the same as 556, i.e. it sucks on average.

            It still makes no sense to me that Canucks get the real thing and we do not. Granted, they have to shell out $3K for it, if I remember correctly, but still. It could at least have been an option here.

  10. Why not come up with something new and exciting instead of recycling old designs like the ak and ar? If you want an ak, buy an ak. Sig tried to fix something that wasn’t broke and, surprise, they broke it. And you get to spend 12-15 hunnert bucks to find out if your particular model works or not.

    And they based it on a rifle used by the Swiss military. When was the last time Swiss soldiers and their equipment saw real duty?

    • Actually, Swiss troops put a lot of hours on their equipment in some very harsh conditions. (Don’t forget, they have alpine combat training as part of basic.) They haven’t been involved in a real war in a long time, but their gear has a great reputation. The accuracy specs on a 550 sniper (DMR, really, but I digress) make is a 1000 meter gun. It almost has to be given the engagement ranges that the train in Switzerland makes common.

    • I disagree. My Gen II sig556r has a better trigger and is more accurate than my old ak. It also allows me to utilize a better rail system and iron sights.

    • >> Why not come up with something new and exciting instead of recycling old designs like the ak and ar?

      Because all designs are reliable designs. Besides, it’s not like there are all that many good designs to begin with. Heck, both AK and AR are similar in many respects (rotating bolt).

  11. I have a pistol configuration of 556xi R. I can attest to everything this article says. The trigger sucks and the accuracy is worst than my Draco pistol while the cost is three times more. The only positive is that you can put a can on it easily.

  12. First, let’s be clear; let’s all be very clear. In the age of modern firearms, the AK-47 has mass-murdered, and violently exterminated more humans than any firearm in the history of mankind, and continues to do so today. It is the preferred weapon of every freedom and liberty destroying collectivist, fascist, dictatorship all around the world. It is the established weapon of Islam and its murderous, terrorist adherents.

    And now Sig has designed, and is expressly advertizing, that they intend to produce a firearm that will be specifically targeted towards anyone who has an aging “stockpile” of AK-47’s? Does Sig’s new marketing plan seriously bother anybody but me? In my mind, it has always seemed like Sig was marketing their firearms to law enforcement, and people who stood up to protect life and liberty, not to people who would seek to criminally overthrow, and purposely destroy it. What kind of sick MF’s would announce this as their company’s new goal? Does this new direction mean that Sig is trying to become the worlds’ premier Lord of War? Sell to everyone, good and evil alike, then sit back and rake in the money?

    • I don’t believe the phrase ‘lighten up Francis’ was ever more appropriate than right now.

      • Thank you, you just said more about yourself than I ever could. Lighten up Francis? Ya, that was terribly funny…..about a decade ago. Since thinking is not your strong suit, how about this simple thought experiment? What would you say if, I don’t know, the Browning company declared they were going to sell their products to Islamic terrorists? How about if Colt started marketing to Americas enemies? Are you fine with that? I doubt it.
        For the other equally limp thinkers, did the word “stockpiles” in any way suggest, a single gun for personal use? Do any of you have a stockpile of anything? Hmm? Who in this world would have “stockpiles” of aging AK-47’s, who are not historically, violent enemies of America? Anybody? And while I’m at it, nobody buying 10,000+ of anything is paying full price. Where did you get your monumental economic ignorance from, the Internet? The only suckers paying full price are generally those who are buying just one(1). Doh! Armed intelligentsia? Really?

        • >> For the other equally limp thinkers, did the word “stockpiles” in any way suggest, a single gun for personal use? Do any of you have a stockpile of anything? Hmm?

          I don’t know, you tell me. I have >30 guns, and over 10k rounds of ammo NOT counting .22. Is that a stockpile?

          >> Who in this world would have “stockpiles” of aging AK-47’s, who are not historically, violent enemies of America? Anybody?

          How about most Eastern European countries, for starters? Romania still uses 7.62×39 AK as its main infantry rifle, for example.

          Beyond that they are too many to list. Like half of African countries, for example?

          >> What would you say if, I don’t know, the Browning company declared they were going to sell their products to Islamic terrorists?

          Well, they are selling them to Saudi Arabia, which is essentially an Islamic terrorist state. Of course, it just happens to be “allied” to US…

          >> How about if Colt started marketing to Americas enemies?

          See above.

    • Even Karl Rove is concerned about how much Neocon kool-aid you have consumed. Lighten up Francis, indeed.

    • They might be used by those guys, but they are also used by a lot of legitimate governments as well. You sound like an anit, blaming the guns for what bad people did.

      Besides, no rag-tag rebel group will ever be able to afford a Sig!

  13. I’m not sure I understand why so many companies are making sub-par pseudo AK’s that sell for three or four times the price of every other AK out there.

    I get the boutique AK’s to a point. But even those are priced less than these AR wannabe tacti-cool look-alikes that have been coming out.

    Who is the target market for such a thing? Are there really enough of those people out there to make it profitable?

  14. I dunno. All three of my Sig 556s – a Classic, a Patrol, and a DMR, all in .223 – are mighty accurate, handle better than my Colt AR, and use all AR mags. I much prefer a gas piston system over the DI, and the machining, fit and finish on all three is again superior to the Colt.

    Just picked up a gas piston Sig 516 upper to go on the Colt lower. Looking forward to it.

  15. Why would you designate any thing gunwise with 556 when it would lead people astray as to the caliber?

  16. “The trigger is smooth and creep-free, but as heavy as yo mama.”

    Then this can’t possibly be ” the worst trigger that I have ever tested”. Sounds like its a spring change from perfect, to my ears.

    • The trigger is horrible. From what I know, the change may not be that easy. Not only due to limited availability of mods but also due to ability of one to easily do it.

  17. Ugh. I never would have even remotely considered buying one before the review. I like AKs. They appeal to me. They are harder to run under (admittedly fake training) stress, for me, which is why I prefer the AR. If I am going to have to deal with AK mags and loading though, I am going with a real proven AK.

  18. Your website keeps crashing my internet explorer and then I find out the site is trying to get my location. Screw you!
    Why the hell to do need my location? I consider you and your site to be suspect and your reviews probably are too.

    • What’s Internet Explorer?

      On a serious note, most of the internet is actively getting your location from your IP address. What’s weird in this case is that you’re not only being informed of it, but you’re likely being given the option to either allow or block that. This is more disclosure and more privacy than the norm, not less.

  19. Comrades what izz dust cover? Cheek weld? AK good clean with vodka, lube with bear fat run perfectly! must kill bear with bare hands or fat no good! Why mess with design that has defeated many western imperialists?

  20. MAC tried reviewing the 556r XI and the first rifle they sent him basically stopped working after a few mags. He contacted sig and they sent him another rifle which also didn’t work. Both rifles were having all sorts of failures on top of poor fit/finish. They also exhibited significantly worse accuracy than the AK he was testing them against. Furthermore, he had tried reviewing an original gen1 sig 556r and that rifle had many of the same issues on top of worse fit/finish. I suggest you check out his channel and watch all 3 video reviews he did on the rifles. Sig eventually seems to fix their rifles in their gen 2 updates. I’ve heard almost nothing but good from 556r g2 owners, but they need to stop releasing gen 1 rifles with issues.

    • Get your facts straight. Mac did not contact sig, he contacted the dealer who pulled another one and sent him that. Mac has yet to do a video of the rifle after it was sent into sig. Maybe he just wiped his hands clean of the purchase. I’ll say it again, sigs problems stem from hiring temps. They bring in temp machinists to do runs, of course there are gonna be a lot of EXPLETIVE DELETED. I would think you need employees with tenure.

  21. Considering that the AK-47 pretty much sucked accuracy wise, and that mounting a scope on it was an exercise in futility, I’d have to say that the Sig 556xi is like the Dancing Bear: The amazing thing is not that it dances so well, but that it dances at all!

  22. Why not just buy a real combloc factory ak and not a wanna be garbage swiss rifle clone in a caliber it was never military tested with

  23. Have to say, I have a sig 556-r (bought 2 years ago) and it is one of my SHTF guns, runs fine, how does the old version compare to this new one in terms of features?

  24. Well, I’m bummed. I bought one of these back in January ’15. It was put in the box on Sept. 28, 2014. It is the most expensive firearm I own, out of 70+ by $100. The barrel moves when I grab it, way too much. The something or other rattles when I raise and lower it. I have not fired it yet for this reason. I have read one or two decent reviews on the xi Russian but much more negative reviews. My AK’s feel cheap and the accuracy sucks. I have a lot of ammo I bought back when it was cheap and plenty of mags. I really wanted this rifle to be my go to long gun and sell the AK’s. I don’t even want to shoot my new, expensive rifle. That’s a damn shame!

  25. just got my 556xi russian it shoots terrable the accuracy is not there quality of assembly is not there the top receiver and the bottom receiver have a lot of play when pinned the rear pin hole is oblonge a little egg shaped that makes the gun rattle i sent it back weeks ago i dont know they could redrill a hole? i hope they give me a new gun or better yet my money back

    • I really hate to hear that. I have held Sig Sauer products in high regard since I got my first one, a German P226, in 1985. The German P226 I bought in 1992 was the same quality. I since added an American made P239 for EDC, and have been thinking about a P224.

      There’s not a P224 (or pretty much any other Sig) to be found in this burg, and I’m not going to put down 8.5C on the chance I get a good one. Phooey!

  26. It’s a same to hear this bad review I have a gen 2 sig 556r that runs like a top and is as accurate as I can ask from it with tula ammo

  27. I can confirm, nothing but issues and a RMA to Sig. The fit is pre 80’s and the trigger is 9lbs+ pull. The factory mag is a Crapco and feels like the follower is not correct. 300 rounds and over 28 fails out of the box. Fail to feed was most issue and then fail to cycle was the other. Shot groups are a joke and around 10 inch groups at 100 yards if you are lucky. I think that a lot of issues are the mag and the 9lb trigger and the movement of the upper and lower. Not joking when I say 1/8 inch movement from side to side. 1/8inch play X 200 yard target = shots feet apart. I was waiting for the primers to get punched through but it never did. This is for sure not worth 1500.00 usd.
    No matter how good the service at Sig might be, if you are dead because your gun only shot 4 out of 30 rounds and only 3 came remotely close to the bad guy. All the good service in the world is nothing. The good thing is that you can bet that the other team will not be taking your weapon when your dead! uhhhhh

    • A update from Sig after the video and a phone call. My question to the rep. “have you had any calls or returns on the 556xl or have they had any issues that might cause the weapon to not work correct during battery?” Reply “Never in my years of working here have we had any come back for repair they are a very reliable model. Started to ask just questions and see what he said.
      With in a few minutes he asked if I had some issues and I said yes. He did not ask any questions only said RMA it. So, there must be a big issue we do not know if they are RMA with out questions on this model. To test this I called in again with ID blocked and got another rep and played stupid and said it was jamming a lot and I was a new shooter what should I do…Again, instant RMA. 5 calls over 7 days and every time we received no questions from the rep’s. The rep’s always listened to what the issue was and said no on is having that issue and told they would be glad to RMA….Every time we called we were offered a RMA. So my friend just got a new 556 not a xl and we did the same call. No RMA and a lot of try this and try that and so on. But no RMA was offered. Makes me think there is more going on than we know yet…..Any one else try this…..What did they say to you????

  28. My gen 2 556R is the most reliable gun I’ve ever owned. The trigger is crisp, the take up is right on. It’s easier to clean than my AK, and has taken every single AK magazine; from anywhere; of any kind; of any size. It even took single stacks but wouldn’t feed them. I have fallen in love with the Swiss style handguards and the well balanced heft of the gun. The handguards are probably not military grade, but I’m not intending it for military use; my spec is SHTF. I’ve owned everything from AR-10s to Kushnapups. The gen 2 556R is as accurate as the 7.62×39 in semiauto is ever going to be. I use a 1″ peep riser, a Fortis Red brake, and a Monstrum S330P. I’ve actually owned several of the more accurate AKs, and the gen 2 outshines them all. I decided the gun was more of a battle rifle setup for me. I run the new 20rd Korean steel mags. They never ever ever fail. As for the 556xi, one look was all it took for me. The proportions are all wrong; the length of pull is not right; the handguard system is laughable. This from a guy who has owned rifles with East German style handguards and was the sole North American buyer of the original Archangel AK stock (from what I can tell, anyway). This rifle might work with a new set of internals, a new trigger, and something like a Magpul Zhukov-S, but I’ll never know.

    I’m a big believer in the difference between civilian and military specs. I don’t believe that pushing everything towards mil spec is the best answer in every case. Over time, I’ve come to believe strongly that some military advantages do not hold up in civilian settings and applications. This rifle is a perfect example; half-%#ed mil spec marriage. Child born deformed. Sig has always put military use at the top of its priorities list; whether abroad or at home.

    Just my two cents. Disclaimer: I am not a troll. Also: I am often wrong and enjoy learning stuff I did not know. Thanks!

  29. I love this gun….sig 556 xi Russian….manufactured on April 2015…..shot about 500 rounds and loved how it functions and performs…too many whiners crying about squeezing a couple more pounds on the trigger…..feel great about having it for home defense

  30. I just bought and fired the 556xi Standard in 5.56 NATO, 2/29/16, and it worked out for me great. I am new to AR and long rifles in general and trying to sight in on my own on the 50 yd range I got a solid 2 inch group with the iron sights. The trigger is actually lighter than the one on my P250. After about 200 rounds through the rifle I was still able to go and shoot about 35 more rounds out of my 250 with decent (for me) accuracy. And again 200 rounds through and the gun was pretty dirty but there was no loss in performance. I had one round not feed properly and it actually broke the round (but 200 rounds and only 1 hiccup I can’t really complain). Does kick a bit though, or I just didn’t have it shouldered properly. Now I’m just waiting for my aluminum rail to get in from SIG so I can deck it out with attachments. Can’t wait to kill me some hogs with this bad boy.

  31. Tough being a fairly new shooter & reading such comments to Nick’s review. Some like/some dislike … Some are so opposite that you wonder if they’re reviewing the same rifle. Hard to learn much from reading the comments given such polar-opposite comments.

    Idle question: Nick’s original review was 4/15. It’s now 5/16 – 13+ months later. In the original review, Nick said the “factory” was going to return his rifle with proper trigger & accuracy issue abated; that once returned, Nick would retest – then post a follow-on updated review.

    … Has this been done??? If so, where can I find it??? Lastly, how does a person contact Nick to ask the above questions directly to him???

    Many thx –

  32. I just received my 556XI Pistol in 7.62X39 a few days ago and it was made June 1, 2015. I took it home, cleaned it as I do with all new guns, oiled it and then went to the range. Fired 60 rounds with a steel mag and a Pmag. Perfect. No proems at all. Slow fire, rapid fire all good with no problems. At 100 yards I shot three groups that averaged 1.5″ using Red Army Elite brass case ammo. Not one single problem. Paid $1399.00
    for it.

  33. I just recently sold a 556R which is the predecessor of this rifle. It was a great gun. Reliable, accurate, and came with a cheap red dot for $1000. I would have kept it but I decided to purchase a new Galil. Biggest complaint was the forearm was not firmly secured.

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  35. Having owned a 556xi 556 version for several year I would advise DO NOT BUY THIS! Had to go back to sig several times for repairs and their QA obviously sucks with this one.

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