Guns.Com - In the late 1970s the Swiss Army was itching to replace their hard-hitting Stgw 57 Battle Rifle with something more NATO friendly (meaning in 5.56 NATO) and modular. They tested several models from a multitude of gun-makers and a carbine developed by SIG, the SG 541, was announced as the winner in 1983. The next year the Swiss Military predesignated the rifle, the SG 550 and developed a carbine version known as the SG 551.
Military fetishists the world round were drooling over the prospect of the new futuristic-looking assault rifle that seemed to do everything the M16 could not. The SG 551 has the light recoil of the 5.56 M16 with the incredible reliability of the AK platform. Strangely, the US imported only a handful before legislation made doing so impossible due to its cosmetic features. The executives at SIG saw an opportunity and in 1985, established a German subsidiary of Swiss Arms AG under the name Sigarms to import and distribute SIG firearms in the United States.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t until 2006 that SIG began importing a modified version of the SG 550 to the United States. Known as the SIG 556, the American-friendly version utilized the STANAG magazines (much like the M16 and AR15) and a proprietary collapsable stock. While this upset purists and collectors, the new rifle proved reliable and robust. Hoping to expand upon its new rifle line, SIG released a .22 variant known as the SIG 522lr. Read More