Archive for February 2010

EBR Gun Porn

February 1, 2010

I decided to do a little photo comparo of my EBR’s.  I recently bought the Sig 556 and will be selling my AR-15 to (somewhat) make up for it.  There is a $300 rebate on the 556’s right now, so if you want one, now is a good time to get it.  I have other AR lowers and want some specific configurations for future builds, but the Sig pretty much replaces my current AR-15 in the gun lineup. I will be replacing the 556’s “fishgill” handguards with the newer “Classic” 551-style versions.

From left to right: Kel-Tec Sub-2000 in 9mm with Sig mag compatibility; Hungarian AMD-65 AK; Romanian “G” AK; SIG 556; AR-15.

I really wanted to compare the overall length and folded length of the folders:

There is a magazine under the folded SIG 556, as the pistol grip is too angled for the folded gun to rest on the rear of the receiver without falling over. Of course, the AR doesn’t fold, but I wanted to show it at its shortest possible overall length. The AK and the 556 can fire when folded; the Sub-2000 cannot. FYI, the AR-15 with the fully collapsed stock is roughly 32.5″ in length; the SIG, when folded, is 26″ from the front of the barrel to the back of the receiver, or roughly 27.5″ if you include the angled pistol grip in the OAL; and the AMD-65 is roughly 25″ to the back of the receiver (the little nub on the pistol grip probably adds 1/4″ to that, if you want to get really precise).

I just bought the SIG a few days ago and therefore have not put any rounds through it. My AR-15 is a Del-Ton 16″ midlength kit built on an Aero Precision lower. I will be moving the EOTech to the 556 and putting the dinky SigTac holosight on my 10/22. I like the AR-15 platform and will definitely have more AR’s in the future. I definitely prefer the midlength gas system over the carbine gas system (for a 16″ barrel, of course). However, Del-Ton only offers midlength barrels in a straight profile heavy barrel version, which, as the name implies, is HEAVY. I would really prefer a midlength with a lighter profile barrel. However, I think I prefer the midlength with a heavy barrel over an M4-style carbine with a lighter barrel. The barrel on the civvy 16″ M4’s just doesn’t look right sticking out that far past the handguards…. and IMO it’s not reasonable to pay the SBR tax for a rifle with a 14.5″ barrel. I haven’t weighed the SIG vs. my AR yet, but I have to say they feel very close in balance and in overall weight. The SIG barrel is lighter profile, but that’s made up by the piston system. So I think it’s pretty fair to say that the SIG and the AR-15 both fit the same operational profile (16″ barrel, 5.56×45, pretty much the same weight and size) which is why I will be getting rid of the AR, for now. I do like the SIG, but I doubt that I will get any more of them (although the pistol and DMR versions both look awesome, as does the new “patrol” model in SBR variation).

For any of you who doubt that the SIG 556 is really just an AK in AR clothing — take a look at the bolts and carriers:

Yep, that’s the same huge extractor; the same cutout for the same fixed ejector; the same 2 locking lugs. The operating system of the SIG is pretty much 100% AK with a few refinements. So, for those of you playing along at home, here’s how to make a SIG 556 by combining the best aspects of the AK and AR:

1) Take an aluminum AR-15 lower receiver. The buttstock can fold because it’s not a working part of the action.
2) Take a steel AK receiver and turn it upside down, omitting the magwell and FCG. This means that the bolt carrier rails are now on the bottom of the receiver instead of the top. Also, you now have a solid top receiver to mount optics on, instead of the flimsy receiver cover.
3) Chop off the AK’s gas piston and charging handle. Make a new gas piston with the recoil spring captive around the piston. Machine the bolt carrier so that the gas piston can be inserted into it and locked into place by inserting the charging handle completely through the bolt carrier. If that was totally unclear, refer to the photo above. The silver bolt carrier belongs to the 556. The hole to the left side of the image is where the bolt slides in. The hole to the right side of the image is where the gas piston is inserted. The charging handle, when inserted, acts as a pin to hold it in place.
4) Add a rotating 2-position gas valve to the AK’s gas block.
5) Profit.

I will probably do another photo series soon to show how to break down the 556 and exactly how it works. For now, here are a couple of final photos. First of my SIG family (556 and 2x 226’s) and then the 226’s on their own.