Ordered a TV, Received a SIG 716

Yahoo Tech reports on a Washington DC resident who ordered a $400 TV on Amazon and instead received a .308 SIG 716 rifle worth $2,200.

Some people have wondered if the gun was actually an air rifle or airsoft clone of the SIG 716. I think it is probably the real deal. Most companies outsource their warehousing and shipping to fulfilment houses. This kind of error was almost certainly made by the fulfilment house, not the TV merchant, not Amazon and not the gun store. In theory a rifle should be kept in a secure part of the fulfilment house. What must have happened is that this rifle got mixed up in another companies inventory outside the secure storage, either accidentally or on purpose (disgruntled employee?).

The BATFE is going to have a lot of fun with everyone involved.

[ Many thanks to Mr. Fahrenheit for emailing us the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Leonard

    Lol, what a mix-up. Someone really messed this up.
    Then again, if I recall correctly, when I ordered my rifle it came in a box labeled “Sensible electronic equipment – Handle with care!” to conceal the fact that it contained a firearm. Didn’t order from Amazon though…Amazon Deutschland doesn’t ship guns.

  • bima

    I’d keep the rifle !! and order another TV..

  • The error most likely occurred in shipping, not at the fulfillment house.

    Shipping labels come off all the time in the shipper’s handling equipment. Usually when a shipping label detaches it gets stuck on the rollers of the equipment, but it’s possible for a loose shipping label to get stuck on another package.

  • Daniel

    I ordered a SIG 716 but received a TV. Can we exchange?

  • Nadnerbus

    so that’s what was in the package in Cast Away.

  • KC

    honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if the DC resident got into legal trouble for “illegally” owning this

  • charles222

    Huh, that is odd…Amazon sells firearms? I thought all they sold was accessories.

  • TangledThorns

    Wow, the guy looks like your typical DC hipster too.

    • Totenglocke

      If that’s the guy, no wonder he called the fuzz instead of keeping a great firearm for his own personal use (or just taking the damn thing across the border into Virginia and selling it for a couple thousand).

  • Avery

    You can get a better handle on the story through the Wired article http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/08/tv-amazon-assault-rifle/?utm_source=googleplus&utm_medium=socialmedia&utm_campaign=googleplusclickthru

    I think the running theory is that it’s a UPS screwup. Apparently, Horvitz’s label got put on the box and it was sent to his house because of that.

  • justin

    Something just feels fishy about this. Coming at a time when gun grabbers are pointing to the internet and screaming about how you can buy guns and ammo through the mail?

    • hikerguy

      It would be a hoot if the U.S. Attorney General or the Mayor of NYC had something to do with this.

      • cc19

        Operation Gun Walker 2! First it was to the cartels… now, American hipsters. Coming summer 2012!

  • ****A+++++!! FIVE STARS, WOULD BUY AGAIN!!1!!11!*****

    • Mr. Fahrenheit

      My laugh out loud of the day.

  • gunslinger

    man, i need to order from amazon more often…

    seriously, props to the guy for calling the cops though. politics aside, he’d probably be in a world of hurt with that in DC. if he was in say.. a more gun friendly area…idk.

    i’d really like to know how this happened. i would think that shipping people would be pretty good about labels and such. so i’m sorta interested in how the shipping error happened

    • Sian

      I’m sure BATFE is also very very interested in how this happened. Someone’s going to get fined up the wazoo.

  • Sian

    Could have been the third party vendor’s error, but I doubt a place that sells TVs also has a FFL so I’m going to guess label error. Amazon doesn’t carry these at all of course, so it couldn’t have been their screwup.

    Then of course the guy leaves a 1 star review on amazon, which they were right for rejecting.

  • P161911

    Once I ordered a mag-well for a Para-Ordanace that was about $50 from Brownells, they sent a Clark trigger group for a Ruger 10/22 that was about $75. I didn’t send it back.

  • Texan01

    The WaPo has the story.. guy’s a hoplophobe..called Sugarman.. his dinner party was aghast at the ‘deadly assault’ rifle.

    • RocketScientist

      Texan, I must thank you effusively for teaching me my new favorite word: “hoplophobe”. I’m a well-read person (and a fan of Jeff Cooper who apparently coined it), and don’t know how I never stumbled across this one before.

  • chucky

    Looks at the cardboard box and the styroform package. It probably is a Air Soft gun.

    • Jon
      • kb

        He is holding a copy of the FFL in the picture, it is real

    • Bryan S.

      Same manufacturers actually package their guns, and teh decent shops will give you the box along with your rifle.

    • The outer box (sitting underneath the gun box), looks a lot like the outer box Sig shipped my 516 in. Poor guy did not get a plastic case. lol

    • matt

      A lot of airsoft guns have better packaging than real guns. Take for instance the Kel-Tec RFB/KSG cardboard box, which is kind of funny because even their low end pistols come with a plastic/foam case.

  • Pepin the Short

    Shouldn’t have told anyone.

  • B

    My initial stance when I read about it was “This guy did the right thing.” Nope, not anymore. After reading the original article on the Washington Post, this guy is your standard Cali (from San Francisco originally)/Washington liberal “musician” who hates guns. He was the one who called the Brady Campaign himself.
    No gun control conspiracy, just a mistake by UPS seems like, that this “person” is helping fuel the flames for more 2nd amendment infringements.
    http://imgur.com/a/Bulu0 – the article in its entirety.

    • bob

      What a colossal liberal skinny jeans wearing hipster of a douche bag exploits a warehouse mix-up to mount his own small scale attack on the 2nd Amendment by calling the Brady bunch, the gun grabbing Washington Post and then calls the DC police for good effect, when a simple call to UPS would have fixed it by them picking it up.

      This was a mix-up as the package had a shipping label for the intended FFL and also this assholes address. This “guy” is the epitome of a self-centered liberal originally from San Francisco, living in DC, having a ethnic cuisine get together while showing off the evil “assault rifle” to his equally aloof self-centered nanny liberal friends of whom none had ever held a firearm and obviously believe all the liberal propaganda about the evils of guns they have been force feed all their lives. I bet he would call the Brady bunch and the DC police for protection during a zombie outbreak too and patiently wait for help while playing his flute and wondering why his twits aren’t posting.

      • Burst

        I think you have the wrong gun blog.

        You want, oh, any of the other ones.

      • charles222

        Zombies. Right.

      • bob


        The zombi part along with the flute, twets, skinny jeans where my attempts at sarcasm as vanity runs deep with his tribe called the hipsters.

  • West

    If the UPS driver left it on my porch without getting a signature no doubt I would have kept it but if the guy signed for it then theres no way.

  • D

    Gotta say: this shows if anything how rare it is for there to be any kind of serious shipping mixup. This is one case, out of how many millions of FFL shipments over the years? That’s an incredible, beyond-six-sigma sort of performance.

    • RocketScientist

      In the middle of the finishing touches on my Six-Sig ‘Greenbelt’ project… ugh. Wish I had received this gun in error so I could use it to shoot myself in the face.

  • charles222

    Okay, just went and searched “firearms” on Amazon. Amazon doesn’t sell guns, only accessories. So it sounds like a screwup by the fulfilment company, as Steve says.

    • Other Steve

      You had to check that amazon doesn’t sell guns?

      • Tinkerer

        It’s always better to check for oneself, instead of just relying on hearsay. That’s how the scientific method works.

      • charles222

        Just wanted to be doubly sure.

    • W

      you guys are hilarious… 😀

  • Steve W

    If they just dropped a Sig 716 on my front porch instead of some shitty TV that would be obsolete in 5 years, I would shut my mouth and thank God!

    • Social Impotence

      I know we all want to say this, to shake our heads at his dumb luck, that it didn’t happen to us. But keeping this rifle would be criminal, on a federal level, and dishonest. I hope the same brains that fight to maintain 2nd amendment rights also insist on self regulation of ethical and honest behavior.

    • Zermoid

      Same dude, I’d be in my car and taking it to a relative or close friend’s house in a more liberty loving state faster than you could saw “what is that?”!

      It would disappear faster than a vegan at a pig roast!

      • Zermoid

        Just being totally honest………

  • BA

    They would send it to a stupid faggot…and not someone smart enough to know what a deal this is.

  • Another commenter

    Maybe he ordered the ‘Dark Knight Premiere’ package?

    Too soon?

    Either way, what a lucky bastard!

    • mosinman

      this reminds me of the movie eagle eye where the main character gets home and finds a ton of explosives and other military gear and the ever present Desert Eagle lol

    • SadLefty

      ‘Dark Knight Premiere’ package?” This is not Fark.com, you get both thumbs up and thumbs down! 😉

  • Mouse

    I have already been a part of discussions of this situation, and the most important fact we’ve come up with so far, is that Amazon doesn’t even sell guns. This leads me to believe that you are in fact correct.

  • Esh325

    He looks like those type of guys that throw vegan barbecues with shitty Indie music playing, and is probably against “assault rifles.”

    • Bryan S.

      Why would you bbq a vegan? They are all gristle.

      • evilskinnybroad

        Now, is that any way to win more folks to our side? Enough with the incorrect rhetoric on vegans! I’m a vegan, shoot competition, obsessed with anything that launches lead downrange, and an armorer for one of the companies that speak German.

        I’m sure the folks here hate the gun aficionado stereotype of ignorant hick or extremist weirdo. Just doing my part to respect the different people out there who are gunpowder aficionados and introduce new individuals to our world. 🙂

  • Pete

    I have been a firearms dealer for a number of years. I have never, ever heard of fulfillment companies. There are not warehouses across the country with a mixture of firearms and electronics.

    This is a mess up on the shippers part.

    And for anyone claiming this is an airsoft or something, you do not need an FFL (what the guy in the photo is holding up) to ship airsofts.

  • I’ve seen mixups with firearms shipments before, in fact we had a situation with UPS where they claimed they delivered an EDM WindRunner that never actually arrived. It took over a week to resolve the incident, I never found out what had happened (as just an employee) but we did eventually receive the firearm.

  • tincankilla

    man, I live in DC and I would love this to happen to me.

    EXCEPT that the local police here are nutty about gun control. I just endured a dozen hours of hassle, multiple trips (two to the Virginia FFL, two to the Police HQ), fingerprints, FBI background check, a test on DC laws, an online safety lecture, a 10 day wait, and $60 in fees to register a gun. Was is a crazy awesome scary-looking weapon?? Nope. Just a 10/22.

    To add insult to injury, the cop who was taking my prints told me this was a fast and easy process and that I should be happy!!!!

    • B

      I would say time for a change of pace (and place). I don’t think I could ever live someplace so restrictive – especially with the amount of gear I have amassed over the years.
      I enjoy being able to build ARs when I want to. I feel for you.

  • Brandon

    I would have called it in too. Someone would have noticed a missing SIG 716 and went looking for it, and I wouldn’t want to be the guy holding it.

    • Avery

      The gun store owner didn’t know what happened to it until it had been seized by the D.C. police. The guy at GunBroker who sold him the gun probably thought it was shipped to the right guy.

      Honestly, I think someone in UPS intentionally “lost” his TV and reapplied his label onto a random package, not realizing that it was a gun both illegal in his district and worth four-five times that. It’s probably why UPS hasn’t commented on that story, they’re probably crapping bricks and launching an internal investigation at shipper improprieties.

  • Jon

    The fulfillment hypothesis makes no sense. Amazon has its own fulfillment network and does not carry guns. Also, doesn’t a distributor need a FFL and therefore a bound book or equivalent? The UPS mistake holds water.

  • W

    the guy would not have a choice but to call the police. If he moves the firearm around to the nearest UPS to “rectify” the problem, you can bet he would get pinched like a dick between vice grips.

    It amazes me how this person gets personally attacked. If i was mailed a firearm in Washington DC by accident, i would sweat bullets too.

    If it was a real firearm, heads are going to roll at UPS.

    • gunslinger

      i think he’s attacked because he is “anti-gun” and he called the brady campaign to complain as well.

      i think most “sensible” people living in DC would realize it wouldn’t be a smart idea to keep the gun and hope you never got caught. but i don’t think they’d also call Brady as well

    • bob

      The procedures for a wrongly delivered package according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service: his only obligation is of immediately notifying UPS of the mistake and to schedule a pick up by UPS of the package or dropping it off at a UPS sorting facility.

      The other shipping label on the box was of the FFL dealer that it was originally destined to, and further once he was aware of the wrongly delivered package, he is lawfully forbidden from any further tempering of the contents as their not his, which he actually did(showing the rifle off to friends & media) and can be held liable for any damages to the contents by the owner or the shipper of the parcel.

      He crossed the line by calling the Brady people and the Washington Post, both organizations are famously anti-gun beyond any rational reason and certainly unnecessary for what was a labeling mistake in which two separate shipping labels were attached at the warehouse, for him and the FFL that it was destined to. If people want to defend him for calling the cops fine, that was his right, although he didn’t have to. Him getting the Brady folks involved in this and the Washington Post clearly crossed the line as other posters have pointed out and justifies in him getting called out for it by all of us.

      • postal

        USPS is not the same as UPS

      • bob

        U.S. Postal Inspection Service is a federal law enforcement entity(the oldest one, Benjamin Franklin being its first postmaster!), while technically part of USPS it is a semi-independent entity and is usually the go to for U.S. Mail and postal system investigations and enforcement due to their expertise in this field and is usually involved in such matters along with the smorgasbord of federal/state/local law enforcement entity’s.

    • W

      He called Brady? I didn’t see that in the article and I couldnt find it on a google search. Citations please?

      Of course the Brady Campaign made a comment about the situation, though I havent seen anything to suggest that this gentlemen called them first. I there is evidence of this, please point it out.

      • gunslinger


        That was what i read. it looks like pictures from the WaPo article. Second page, 4th paragraph from the bottm “..and another call… to the Brady Campaign…”

      • W

        thanks for the link! duly noted sir!

  • mosinman

    talk about getting more bang for your buck! that would be cool for me , until i came to the realization that i didnt order the rifle……

  • Dira

    that lucky bastard

  • postal

    Sucks for the guy that ordered 716…. now he’s got a 400$ TV

  • SBeck

    Even during the manufacturing process everybody involved in making an AR lower receiver must have a FFL and receivers are checked in and out of each vendors property. The big stores such as Cabellas and gander Mountain have their own warehouses but from our shop a small store gets it shipped direct. I think the poster who commented that someone from the shipping company went home with a new TV and slapped the label on this one has it right. Witness the retrun label back to the FFL, not to a fulfillment company.

  • The gun is not real. I have many guns and never have I got any of them packed that way. NEVER. It is a airsoft gun Amazon does not sale real guns. They do sale airsoft. You spend 2,200 on a gun it comes in a hard case. And has to go to a FFL holder not your house sorry guys not a true story.

    • Garrett

      I am going to have to disagree with you. I’ve been playing airsoft for over 7 years, and I have yet to see a SIG licensed M4/M16 derivative with a .308 PMAG, short barrel, monolithic upper, and an ACE stock from an airsoft manufacturer. Plus, the 716 instruction manual was in the box, an airsoft one would either be poorly done Japanese translation, have ‘Made in Taiwan’ stickers all over it, or a really shitty Chinese characters.

      • Avery

        While I have no doubt this gun is real, I do have a point of contention with your description of airsoft manuals.

        While I’ve never seen the manual for the real thing, the manual for the Tokyo Marui MP7 has a strange air of authenticity to it. I’m pretty sure they copied a H&K manual, right down to typespacing and fonts.

      • Kaleb

        In support of this being an authentic firearm, I have received many airsoft guns in the mail, and I have NEVER gotten my shipment in a large wooden crate. Airsoft guns are shipped in crappy foam/cardboard boxes that are barely large enough to span the length of the gun. And often the mag is taken out of the shipment entirely.

      • Garrett

        @ Avery, that is a true point. TM and others have gotten much better over the years as the sport has evolved. It used to be pretty bad though, and now they are stepping up their game. The airsoft industry has come a long way in 10 years.

        VFC M60’s and MK43’s came with crates though, they are the only ones I know of that did though. Those replicas were $1,000. But I agree with Kaleb, most airsoft replicas come in cardboard boxes and foam inserts.

        My Remington 870 was in a cardboard box, so it is not surprising that this SIG has foam blocks and plastic wrap.

    • B

      As someone who sold firearms for a while, not all companies give perks like hard cases. Sig is one of them for some of their models. Izhmash never gives hard cases.
      Also, airsoft companies would have their name on the box the rifle came in, not just Sigs. Look at all the photos. You will not see one airsoft company name anywhere, like Tokyo Marui.
      Also, quick google search shows there is no one making a Sig716 Patrol airsoft.
      Perhaps you should do your research first.

      • mosinman

        yup my mosin came in a crappy cardboard box and so did my highpoint, hell i think the airsoft companys pack thier products better than high point and IO , Century ect. do lol

    • Jim

      The gun was supposed to go to a gun dealer, so it most likely was a real gun. What seems to have happened is the fulfillment center put the wrong airbill on the shipment. What usually happens is the order is packed and sent down the line to the guy who puts shipping labels on the box; last guy of the step misread the label and applied it to the wrong package.

  • PCP

    The sad thing is that unlike a decent person that would try to sort things out, or even a shitty person that would keep an use the rifle, this dude probably made as much of an effort as possible to see this fine weapon confiscated or even destroyed. You can feel that he just doesn’t give a damn.

    • Avery

      Except the guy at the gun store in Pennsylvania that bought the gun just had the inconvenience of driving over a hundred miles to pick up the gun from impound locker.

      From the Wired article…

      Jason Sidney, the gun shop owner, told Wired the incident baffles him, too.

      “I’m not sure how it happened,” Sidney said.”We order a lot from the internet, but this is the first time this has ever happened.”

      “I was more or less the middleman,” Sidney said. “The guy ordered stuff from the internet, it has to go through an approved federal firearms licensed shop…. You verify licenses on both ends, the shipper and the receiver, and you ship the gun to the approved ATF FFL holder.”

      But last night he got a call from a police officer saying the gun has been mis-delivered and that it’s in impound waiting for him to pick it up.

  • Jim

    Having worked for FedEx for 14 years, this happens a lot. Not necessarily the gun part, but packages being missorted. Sometimes the labels are kinda shitty and fall off. In the process of falling off they land on another box and stick really well. Kinda like the buttered side of toast always landing on the floor, it just works that way.

    If there were two airbills on the package, the handler may not have seen the original and that’s how it got delivered. This happens a ton when boxes get reused and the old labels aren’t removed, it just causes confusion.

  • mark

    I think you guys are all green with envy! BTW I just got a 716 and that is real. Its packaging is exactly the same as mine, right down to the little styrafoam bridge across the middle.