SIG516: Sig Sauer enters the AR-15 market!

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

You saw it here first! I had no idea that Sig Sauer were making AR-15 / M16 rifles but my DSEi spy spotted this prototype SIG516 PDW at the DSEi 09 expo. It features a 7″ barrel, putting it firmly in the PDW class, and chambers the 5.56mm NATO.

The SIG 516
Markings indicate manufacture at the Sig Sauer plant in Exeter, NH, USA

I do not know if Sig plan on a civilian carbine version. If they did it would compete directly with their Sig 550 line of full length and short barreled rifles.

UPDATE: jcmiller points out that the lower receiver is semi-automatic. A production PDW would have to be fully automatic. Maybe Sig are thinking of civilian sales.


The SIG516 Tactical Rifle line has three different models:

  • SIG516 PDW : 7″ barrel. A personal defense weapon (pictured above).
  • SIG516 CQB : 10″ barrel. A Colt M4 Commando equvelent.
  • SIG516 BASELINE CARBINE : 14.5″ barrel. A M4 Carbine equvelent.
  • SIG516 Patrol. 16″ barrel.
  • SIG516 Tactical Marksman: 16″ barrel A squad level sniper / designated marksmen rifle.
  • SIG516 Precision Marksman: 20″ barrel. Possibly a true sniper rifle, or designated marksmen rifle.

They are all piston operated and feature an adjustable gas regulator like the Ruger SR-556.

Caliber5.56mm NATO
Fire modessingle shot, 3 round burst and fully automatic (except marksmen models which are semi only)
Gas systempiston system with 3 or 4 position gas regulator
Upper ReceiverFlat top with picatinny rail
Lower Receiverforged 7075-T6 aluminum
TriggerMilspec for all models except the Marksmen which have 2-stage match trigger
CapacityTakes standard AR-15 magazines
Finishblack hard coat finish
Barrelchrome lined, cold hammer forged, nitrate finish
Barrel Twist1:7″ right hand
Stockcollapsible SOPMOD buttstock
Weight6 lbs. (PDW) – 7.28 lbs (Patrol) – 8 lbs (Precision Marksman)
RailsFree floating aluminum alloy M1913 picatinny quad rails
Sightsflip-up BUIS (backup iron sights)
MagazineShips with 30 round AR-15 magazine. Marksmen models ship with 10 or 20 round magazine.
Other Features0.5x28TPI threaded muzzle
MSRP (Price)not known

Upper receiver assemblies will be sold. Just before anyone gets their hopes up, while it is likely that Sig will sell civilians models, this has not been confirmed.

Big thank you to Lusaka for the information and photos.

  1. SIG 516 as in M16 … get it? 

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Bee Bee on Jul 03, 2011

    I have a Sig 516 patrol & a Sig 522 swat. I haven't have any issues at all with any of them. Just yesterday i shot 200rds through the 516 with out any problems and shot over 300rds with the 522.
    From my experience:
    Sig 522:
    Shot over 2000rds and had only about 5 misfires 3 of them due to bulk ammo. cleaning is done in 10 mins. It has a Tasco red dot with a angled Magpul foregrip. Its my practice plinker =). plus it is great on the pocket. 500rds for $20 you cant beat that. All in all its a great gun don't have any issues.
    Sig 516:
    Shot only 500rds. still breaking it in but its been a beast. i put the Bushnell trophy 1x32mm red/green dot in support to the "IRON SIGHTS" that came with the gun. I guess Sig got everyone's feedback about there red dot and fixed that issue. Kudos to Sig's PR. i was about to get Troy's front/rear flip up sights anyways if it did come with the red dot. Over all very impressed.

    FYI... if i didn't get the 516 i was going to get the DDm4 V5. either way i chose would think i would of been happy either way i went. They both great "USER" reviews many months of research.

  • Morgan Smith Morgan Smith on Nov 09, 2012

    Sig sauer did a great job again in providing a great flaws of guns in the market. And I'm sure a lot will love to purchase this product of them (Sig 516). Will look forward for more innovative guns in the future. [ firing pin journal dot com ]