Why Do (Some) People Hate The SIG Rifles?
It’s a legitimate question and it can’t be ignored. I have over 5000 rounds through my original 556R without a single malfunction and the accuracy so far surpasses every AK I have ever owned. I have shot and hit out to 400 yards with it on video so it could not be denied. It is an excellent rifle and for the price, it beats the feces out of every single 7.62x39 rifle sold in America today.
So what is the deal? Since I have an entire staff assigned to market research, I detailed them to do some investigating. And doing what they did best in their prior positions, they dug like it was a homicide investigation.
There are entire forums dedicated to promoting other rifle platforms that despise the SIG because it competes directly with their rifle of choice – either the M4 or the Custom Traditional AK-47/74. There is even one forum that was partly financed by SIG that has as many SIG haters as SIG lovers. Incredible. One guy was claiming that his “Famous AK maker” custom rifle was far better because it was a customized MAK90, whereas the SIG was made in China! I nearly spit coffee when I read that. Not only is SIG not made in China, but his MAK90 most emphatically is.
The vitriol can be traced to the fact that SIG did not sufficiently study the AK world before putting out the SIG556R. If I were teaching a business class that would be Case Study Number One in why doing sufficient market research and sufficient T, E, and QC are essential. Nonetheless, all firearm companies have had recalls and put out bad guns from time totime. There are even “Famous AK Makers”that have sent out guns that went full auto. Yet that is usually not mentioned, or forgotten about, or the owner waxes apologetic about why it happened. Not so with SIG.
Here is what we found –
Some of the original internet videos done of the SIG556R failing was supported and/or funded by the American AK industry. In particular AK Makers and one large importer of high end AK rifles. When one is charging $1300 for a “custom AK” that is in reality nothing special, and along comes something like the 556R with its better stock, better trigger, full length handguard, receiver rail, optics ready, etc. It makes those selling “high end AKs” nervous, and thus an expose of the weapons failing must be made and spread virally over the internet. And so it was, fed by SIG's lack of sufficient R&D and their competitor's fear of losing the market.
The SIG, being a new rifle and not having many people supporting it fell victim to guerrilla marketing as the legions of AK supporters, and “Famous AK Maker” supporters joined in the chants of “SIG Sucks!” Even those who had never touched Swiss chocolate much less the Swiss rifle. The internet is very much like a mob and we know the psychology of mobs very well. I recall the anti-Glock hysteria that was spread by the high end 1911 Industry back in the early 1990s. There was no internet back then thankfully for Glock.
The guerrilla marketing done by the American AK Industry against the SIG, coupled with the internet mob effect, began to kill the sales of that rifle.
When SIG brought out the 516, which is a direct, product-improved copy of the HK416 (made by some of the same people) the M4 Industry nearly blew its colon right out of the seat of its multicam BDUs. One company sued SIG. M4 dedicated forums began lambasting SIG for theft, un-American behavior and even witchcraft. And the M4 industry coupled with the AK industry worked hard to rally its customers, and yes…its followers to burn SIG at the stake….and all its rifles too.
Now, since I have put away the AK…a rifle I used and promoted for some seven years, and selected the SIG 556R as the top choice in 7.62x39 rifles, I am seeing renewed attacks against me. I find it hilarious that on an M4 centric forum my team watches, Vickers is an "ambassador" for Daniel Defense (owning part of the company I would hope so), but me…I hear that I am just ”a pimp for SIG”.
The funny thing is that I do not need the US AK Industry (whom I slammed the door hard on) nor the M4 industry for business support, as we have a different structure. And as far as personal attacks – well one market analyst we did business with summed it up this way, “Mr. Suarez, you are untouchable…what could anyone possibly say about you that hasn’t been written about for years now. And what is more, many of these guys really do think you are insane and liable to stab them in the neck right there on the floor of SHOT Show”.
I love hearing things like that.
I will continue doing SIG video shorts promoting the new generation 556R because the truth is that the 556R is a far better rifle than anything coming out of Izhvesk, Nevada,or Illinois, or anywhere else. That is why I have selected it as my 7.62x39.