SHOT Show 2019: Why Sig Sauer is a one-stop shop for LE firearms
Sig Sauer has spent the last decade reinventing itself as a “complete systems provider” capable of meeting the entire spectrum of LE firearm needs
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show kicks off on a Tuesday each year, with the invitation-only Industry Day at the Range held the day prior, on Monday. The Industry Day schedule is so packed with activity that Sig Sauer wisely elected to host a media-only event on Sunday this year, to allow media members the opportunity to focus solely on the Sig Sauer brand.
This is a good thing, because Sig Sauer has spent the last decade reinventing itself as a “complete systems provider” capable of meeting the entire spectrum of LE firearm needs. When I was first introduced to Sigarms in 1987, the company was already established as a “pistol firm,” but since 2007, Sig Sauer has diversified into rifles, submachineguns, electro-optics, ammunition and airguns. It has even started an industry-leading training academy.
As a result, there was a lot to look at this year. Here's a rundown on notable products that caught my eye.
The P320 XSERIES are variants of the increasingly popular P320 platform, which has taken the LE market by storm. These guns are built on a new grip frame called the XGRIP, which includes several improvements. The XGRIP module incorporates an extended beavertail, a beveled magwell, and an aggressive relief under the rear corner of the trigger guard that allows the shooter to take a higher grip on the frame. The curvature of the backstrap has changed on the XGRIP as well, offering a more raked angle than the standard grip module, which feels great in the hand.
The XSERIES guns are equipped with flat face triggers and optics-ready slides that incorporate some subtle cosmetic changes as well, such as the pitch of the dustcover edge, which was modified to match the angle of the forward slide cuts.
I was particularly pleased with the handling of the XCOMPACT version that I shot. The XRAY3 sights gave an excellent picture, and the flat trigger made for a good interface with the gun. The Medium-size XGRIP fit my large hand well, allowing excellent control of the 15+1 round gun. The race-ready XFIVE version with its 5.0” bull barrel and 21 round magazine didn't disappoint either.
ROMEO1 Micro-Reflex Sight
I shot several pistols equipped with the ROMEO1 Micro-Reflex Sight, and liked how the 3 MOA dot (a 6 MOA dot is also available, but I didn't shoot it) simplified the aiming process on distant targets by putting everything – sights and target – in the same focal plane.
By mid-year, SIG should be releasing the upgraded ROMEO1T and ROMEO1PRO versions of this optic, significantly improving the design.
The ROMEO1T changes the light source to a point-source emitter, which translates into vastly improved run times. The standard emitter on the current ROMEO1 sight that I shot produces a field of light, and only a small fraction of it is allowed to pass through a grate to produce the properly-sized dot for aiming. The wasted light equates to wasted energy drain on the battery.
In contrast, a point-source emitter dispenses with the filtering grate, and instead uses an exceptionally small, 25 Micron (25 thousandths of a millimeter) emitter to produce a dot of the desired size from the very start. The greater efficiency of the system means that less power is required to generate the red dot, and that bumps the ROMEO1T run time up to an incredible 10-20,000 hours.
The ROMEO1T will also incorporate hardened electronics and a body made of aluminum, instead of magnesium, to increase durability.
The ROMEO1PRO will incorporate these same features, along with a sight base that’s optimized for the slide cut on the Army's new M17 service pistol. The base on the ROMEO1T – like the ROMEO1 before it – is designed to fit in a Deltapoint-sized cut, but the M17’s cut is larger, and the ROMEO1PRO will fill the gap, resulting in improved cosmetics.
SIG MCX RATTLER
The SIG MCX rifle is an excellent AR-pattern, short-stroke piston gun, and with the MCX RATTLER, SIG has shrunk the design to the extreme. The gun features a 5.5” barrel tipped with a flash hider that also serves as a suppressor mount. The gun measures 23.5” in length with the stock locked in its extended position, but only 16” when the abbreviated stock is folded! The gun can be fired with the stock folded alongside the receiver.
Shooting the RATTLER was an impressive experience. The stubby barrel accentuates the noise, flash and blast of the 5.56 round (a 300BLK option is available), but what you get in trade is what SIG bills as the “most compact rifle in the world.” Police tactical teams or special units are the natural home for the ultra-compact rifle, but I think the RATTLER could also fill a special niche for motor officers who don't have the space to carry a longer carbine on the bike. I daresay the RATTLER could fit in most saddlebags with ease.
The SIG Electro-Optics lineup includes two primary choices in the TANGO6T tactical riflescope line, both of which succeeded in winning U.S. DoD contracts.
The TANGO6T 1-6X24 FFP (selected to fulfill U.S. Army Squad Designated Marksman requirements) is a variable-power scope that incorporates a 30mm main tube and a first focal plane reticle, while the TANGO6T 1-6x24 SFP (selected by U.S. Special Operations Command for the Squad-Variable Powered Scope) incorporates a second focal plane HELLFIRE reticle that's powered by a fiber optic source. That fiber optic source allows the user to change the intensity of the central dot in the reticle, turning the optic into an especially-effective, close-engagement optic at 1x – the functional equivalent of a red dot.
The 1-6x scope is a perfect choice for a patrol rifle since it can be set to 1x as the baseline for rapid engagements, but quickly zoomed up to 6x for more distant shots, or shots requiring greater precision. I found I was partial to the HELLFIRE reticle for close work, because the central dot didn't cover as much real estate as the horseshoe-shaped reticle of the first focal plane variant. Regardless of your preference, these two excellent performers from SIG are worthy of your consideration when you're trying to top your patrol rifle with an optic.
SIG has worked hard to position itself as a one-stop shop for police firearms needs in recent years, and this small cross section of items represents just a taste of the developments on display at SHOT Show. Readers are encouraged to check out Sig Sauer’s website for more information on optics, ammunition, firearms, suppressors, airguns and more.