Multiple variants of SIG’s widely successful MCX Rattler were brought to this year’s SHOT Show. SIG seems keen to show off the versatility of the Ratter platform. Of the new Rattlers, one particular variant caught my eye, the Rattler Canebrake. Featuring a new oversized rail with a faux suppressor tucked underneath, the Canebrake looks like a proper “SD” style firearm. SIG even took it a step further, making the weight and size of the faux suppressor roughly the same as their SRD762 suppressor. All of this is done perfectly to make the rattler both suppressor and end-user friendly.
Expanding on, but not deviating from, is where the Rattler Canebrake shines. Beneath that shiny new color remains the same 5.5″ 300 Blackout barrel and adjustable short-stroke gas piston. Building the lower around the AR pattern components was a brilliant idea from SIG. Allowing innovation to take place, while not deviating from the norm in terms of controls or end-user customization.
Aside from the new finish, the oversized rail and inert silencer are the two most prominent changes on the Canebrake. Like the rail on previous Rattlers, simply push out the front take-down pin, and slide the rail forward to remove it. Keep in mind, the rail is very heavy duty, so I recommend removing the rail slowly to avoid scratching the faux silencer during removal.
With the rail removed you see the similarity between this and previous rattlers. The weighted faux suppressor I found to be a smart feature for this gun. The simulated silencer weight is useful as you won’t notice a large weight increase when that inevitable future silencer shows up.
All the accessories stripped away, the Rattler Canebrake is now ready for whatever silencer you see fit. Inside the rail is spacious featuring a 2-inch internal diameter. Plenty of space to mount whatever silencer you deem fit.
Included also with the Rattler Canebrake is a 2-Stage Matchlite Flat Blade Trigger. It has a very smooth take up with a crisp break and reset.
At The Range
At 6.5 lbs. unloaded, the Rattler Canebrake certainly isn’t the lightest personal defense weapon on the market. However, that added weight helps more than it hurts when you start putting rounds downrange. Even with slightly higher recoil that 300 Blackout brings (compared to similarly sized smaller caliber weapons) the gun is remarkably easy to control. Even with the brace folded I could still easily acquire and require the Romeo4t red dot, and put accurate shots downrange.
What makes the Rattler incredibly useful is the rapidly deployable brace (or stock, should you decide to SBR the weapon). The brace folds up nicely alongside the magwell on the left-hand side of the weapon. This proved to be a perfect area to grip the weapon should you need to rapidly deploy it.
From this angle, you simply need to shift your grip rearward and push up on the brace to unlock it. With the brace unlocked, you can swiftly and easily swing the brace the full 180 degrees to the locked position.
This whole motion became very fluid after very little practice, and I found myself liking the side folding brace more than I initially thought I would. The receiver has the cutouts for a telescoping brace or stock, but I think a side folder really shines on this platform.
At the time of this review, I have just under a thousand rounds through the gun, and it has performed flawlessly. The gun ships with Magpul’s new 300 Blackout specific PMAG which worked perfectly, and was noticeably easier to load. Throughout testing, I made it a point to use a mixture of both steel and polymer AR pattern mags, and the Canebrake never flinched.
A common criticism of the Rattler series is the ergonomics, but more specifically the Rattler specific pistol grip. It is a broad departure from the common Magpul grip that you’re probably used to, but it does serve a specific purpose. Both the grip cutaway at the bottom and the grip angle make the gun easier to maneuver in and out of small spaces.
Pros & Cons
With an MSRP of $2,897, the Rattler Canebrake is not budget friendly. The gun is a purpose-built PDW, and the price tag reflects that. So if you’re trying to pinch pennies in your search for a suppressor ready PDW, the Rattler Canebrake isn’t the best option for you.
Price tag aside, it’s hard to put rounds through a Rattler and dislike it as a PDW. It’s short, compact, and functions flawlessly in this role. To that end, the Canebrake represents that just right balance of added ruggedness and refinement. The oversized rail is large and doesn’t get unnecessarily hot while under heavy use. The new Matchlite flat blade trigger is good enough to rival that of high-end custom AR triggers.
Even if you don’t like one of the Rattler’s features, it’s easy to find replacement AR pattern parts for it. Even more impressive is the variety of parts that SIG offers for this weapons system. SIG’s MCX platform can be easily customizable thanks to the variety of stock and brace options.
If you’re in the market for a PDW type weapon, it’s hard not to look at the Rattler series from SIG. They’re rugged, reliable, and now even more suppressor ready firearms. Yes, the price tag is high, but is indicative of the quality and craftsmanship in the underlying design. I certainly went into this review with very high expectations, and the Canebrake did not disappoint.
Personally, I liked the gun so much I’ll be purchasing it from SIG. l will be doing a follow-up article regarding how the gun performs suppressed. Stay tuned.
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