A desire to cater more directly to the AR-15 market actually makes a great deal of sense considering the nature of SIG Sauer. The company’s practices present an unusual case study of modern business. While many companies in this country are actively outsourcing work to the rest of the world, SIG Sauer is actually bringing it into the country.
During the past four years, the SIG Sauer facility in Exeter, N.H., has grown by leaps and bounds, adding employees, machinery and manufacturing space. And this growth has gone hand-in-hand with the company’s expansion beyond its traditional niche with handguns and into rifles.
A large part of SIG Sauer’s business revolves around military and law enforcement contracts for its successful handgun designs. Nonetheless, the company recognized a strong desire for package deals with many of these customers. Often, when agencies contracted with SIG Sauer for handguns, they also showed interest in buying rifles.
“We have been very successful with the SIG556 platform in this respect,” SIG Sauer President and Chief Executive Officer Ron Cohen said recently. “However, we recognized that the AR-15/M16 family of rifles was clearly the dominant design around the world.” Many law enforcement agencies have a lengthy background with the AR design, Cohen explained, and SIG Sauer recognized that there was a strong interest for an improved version of the platform. The answer is the new semi-automatic SIG516 series of .223 Rem./5.56x45 mm NATO rifles.
A Better Mousetrap?
“The SIG516 not only gave us a chance to tap into this broad market, but it also offered SIG Sauer a chance to bring its own unique approach to firearm design and manufacture to this popular platform,” Cohen said. “It allowed us to take an established design and make it more robust and hardy while improving on its weak points.”