Recently I was reminded of how the early bird gets the worm when fellow gun scribe Michael O. Humphries beat me to the punch with his evaluation of SIG Sauer's new 556 Classic Rifle for the August 2009 edition of Shooting Illustrated, The Definitive Source for the Modern Shooter.
Determined not to waste any more time, I contacted the manufacturer and made arrangements to evaluate SIG's new 556 Pistol for a future issue of Shooting Illustrated. What's more, it would also make a good base for a Short-barreled-rifle- (SBR) project—specifically a semi-automatic version of a SIG 552 Commando Carbine.
In the process of discussing the matter with a co-worker/556 Classic owner, I learned that SIG serializes their upper receivers instead of lower receivers like other U.S. rifle manufacturers. In addition to the $200 SBR registration, the only other key component needed to convert a SIG 556 Pistol into a semi-auto variant of the SIG 552 is the lower receiver assembly from a SIG 556 Classic.
My co-worker referred me to a gentlemen by the name of Michael Frost, CEO of MFI American Products. Frost not only confirmed what parts were needed, it turns out MFI produces an extensive line of accessories for various SIG rifles including duplicates of the SIG 552 handguard and 3-prong flash suppressor in order to make the 556 pistol look even more authentic.
And last but not least, the folks at SIG not only confirm what was needed to make it happen—they agreed to send me the necessary parts pending ATF approval.
Check back periodically to see how this new project of mine progresses.
"You know [Igor,] I'm a rather brilliant surgeon. Perhaps I can help you with that hump. [No? OK then, Pass the Form 1s.]"