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Why do Sig 556 Owners Hate Variablebinary ????

4955 Views 27 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  tzoid
I'm kinda poking Fun at VB... But after 6-8 months
of heated SigForum fighting.I just have to say DAMN ARE THEY IDIOTS??

If any of you here are SigForum members then you may know what I'm talking about.
It's so bad I avoid 556 threads like the plague. In my opinion a few 556 owners have such thin skin
if the slightest hint of knocking the weapon comes up it's a full on assault.

VB sticks to his guns and another well respected SF member and well educated one as well is
Federale... Between the two of them the Sig 556 goon squad hates them. ::)

I even see a few of these characters taking shots at the XCR..
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My take on it is that he's telling them some things they really don't want to hear. That and they don't look very closely at what he is really trying to get across.

It's a knee-jerk reaction. All they see is that he "hates" 556s, and not that he's trying to make a point that US produced SIGs aren't up to the standards of Swissarms. And they're not.
VB is hated by 556 owners b/c, well..... he doesn't mind telling ppl, who just spent $1300 to $1400 on a rifle, that it is a POS.

I won't join in the debate, just as all this thing about Pat Rogers what he saying about the XCR in his carbine classes.

My answer to that is, "Who in the hell is Pat Rogers?", and, "What is a carbine class?"

I'm not ignorant, but about a week ago I've never heard of Pat Rogers. On the carbine class, I just poke fun b/c all of my long arm shooting is tantamount to a "carbine class" other than just plain ole' qualifying. Same goes w/ hand guns.

Why people get worked up over nothing? Because it's the internet I guess.

My take on all this is I'm sure the 556 is a fine carbine, it's just the XCR offer's more TO ME than what the 556, and AR's do. I'm sure it does to many here do too. This looks more to me like a Ford v. Chevy when clearly Dodge is the best vehicle ever made!! (lol)

To me the 556 wasn't what I hoped it to be and I did wait on getting the XCR until it came out. I wanted it to follow more of the 55X series, specifically the folding stock. I'm fine that it takes AR mags.

Both the XCR and 556 had initial production issues. Looks as if the 556 had a bit more. I'm hoping to get a 556 before they all get banned.

I don't see VB hated on SF as much as he is despised on in ARKKOM.
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The only thing I've personally seen regarding Pat Roger's comment on the XCR is one that went through his class that lost its ejector. Evidently, the bolts loosened up (no locktite), and the ejector tied up the gun. My only reaction was, "Hunh, something to keep an eye on." Just like firing pin stops and plunger tubes on 1911s.

As for the 556...eh, some of use remember REAL 550s for sale back in the day. I remember looking at several. I just couldn't swing the $5500 at the time. Now I wish I'd gone heavily into hock for one (or more). When I first saw a 556, I mentally compared it to the old 550s. It's not the same gun. Not even close. Whether what it is is good enough for you is something you can only answer for yourself. I wasn't impressed with it, personally.

I usually have a pretty open mind about guns (except for ARs... :eek: ). I'm very much looking forward to the new AUG clones coming out. However, they'll be directly compared to the Real Thing(tm), and if they're found wanting, then, well, I won't have anything to do with them. I'm hoping they'll be good (I want a railed receiver), but past experience with this sort of thing suggests that they might not be all that.

Only time will tell.
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I can tell you all in the SigForum if Myself or VB or Federale for that matter post into a 556 thread we are attacked by 556 owners. I actually was just looking at a thread of a member that took his 556 out for the 1st range session and he was very excited and pleased with his new 556. One of the posts that followed was something like The 556 is a great shooter right out of the box.. no 300 round break in and parts shooting loose if you don't loc-tite them in.

You see when someone spends 1100-1500 on a gun I guess they don't want anyone bashing their baby so like the 556 owners I hate to hear someone bash an XCR.

There is actually a SigForum member that posts that the 556 is the upgraded version of the Swiss 551 .. ???
and the others don't even slap him down and correct him. what a joke
I remember all the 556 stuff when they first came out. I was on the waiting list and folks like VB and Tzoid as well as all the rest convinced me I didn't really want a 556 until the bugs were worked out. Then I saw the light - found out about the XCR - and bought one. There's no looking back now. I did see and handle a 556 at a recent gun show, but it didn't ring my bell.

It's fun now to read the occasional 556 post to watch all the self-deluding going on
I do not think VB is hated at SigForum as much as he is despised… :) ;) :D ;D.

VB has pretty much told it like it is and I agree with his assessment. I think he, tzoid and others have hit it on the head with their observations on the 556. As to why all the flack on SF. No one likes to hear their system bashed even if the criticism is thoughtful and true. I think many have a personal attachment to their gear. If you say anything negative about their chosen gear it is as if you are saying there kids are ugly.

Like many of you I was at one time really looking forward to the 556. I also remember the original 5XX rifles back in the day. I was a struggling new father and there was never any hope of me obtaining a 5XX.

Now fast forward to the 556 and I was beside myself with excitement and counting the days… I have never looked forward to any gun more than the 556. My wife was actually planning to buy me a 556 for my birthday!

So when they were unveiled I was a bit disappointed in the look of the rifle. The weird telescoping stock and even weirder hand guards really troubled me. But still I had hope for options that made the 556 look more like the original. The fact that it took AR magazines was fine with me as I already have over 60 AR magazines in my personal stock.

Well after the final release I was disappointed to the point that I lost all interest. I am not saying anything about the reliability of the actual 556, I am only saying I felt so let down by the 556 that I just did not want one anymore. I wanted a 5XX, not the illegitimate child of a 550 that was raped by an M4.

So about that time John Farnam introduced me to the XCR and to date all is well. I have also had several occasions to shoot a 556. It is a sweet shooter & I liked it pretty well.

Now that we are starting to see more normal hand guards and if a SIG folding stock was ever available I might take another look at a 556. But until then I am very happy with my rifles as is. I guess I would like another XCR more than I would want a 556 but that is another story all together.
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As an SF memeber I am thankful for all the posts that VB and fed have made. Their comments have echoed what other people have thought. Sig's advertising campaign for the 556 said "the time had come" and we as loyal sig owners agreed!

-The time for me to not consider selling important body parts (you do have TWO kidneys!) in order to obtain a 551 had indeed come.

-The time had come to not search gunbroker for sig 551 only to get "Sig 551 rifle, new in box, 15,000USD, serious inquries only" (you have all seen it).

-The time had come to get the AIRSOFT 551 out of the Gun safe and away from all real firearms.

...... and then, we saw what time it was. Apparently it was time for a AR looking thing with cheese grater handguards and canted rails. The time had come and it was time for depression.

However, Robinson Arms changed all of that. They made an exciting rifle that has brought me good range times and many compliments. Thank you to Robison and the rest of the gang on SF and this forum. The time had come for the XCR and we did not even know it.
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I did some research on Pat Rogers. Although he may be a fine guy he seems to be one of those typical gun rag types. I really don't see anymore of an extensive BG with combat rifles than what I got, except his career is in commercial/civilian instruction and mine is in government instruction and actual patrol.

Some guns work for me, and some don't. What doesn't I would not go around spouting it's a POS. Glocks don't work for me, but I would recommend it for others.

I posted this on SF:


I have a legitimate question:

It seems as if NOW the XCR is sub-par based on the comments by a well known firearms instructor.

My question is the XCR now a POS based on what was mentioned by him?

Food for thought, every mechanical device is going to break at some point or another.

The XCR has a great feature that also can be a detrement. Everything on the rifle can be dissasembled with simple tools. This also subjects it to those bolts and screws possibly coming loose.

AR, Ak, and 556 doesn't have that advantage or problem. But they too have inherent problems of their own that the XCR doesn't.

AR, where I have seen it failed has been with dirt or thick dust in the operating system and the DI not potent enough to work it in those conditions. Another is the extractor and ejector springs crapping out after only a few thousand rounds. The other was weak mags, but in these last 3 years it seems as if that is not an issue anymore. It shouldn't have taken 30+ years to fix it. The XCR and 556 uses the same mags, so it's also their problem. Oh, and barrel's coming loose on duty M4A3's (Colt QC issues) and firing pins bending or becoming deformed after meeting something harder than brass (don't ask), besides ppl using the aluminium firing pin as a punch to take the lower apart.

AK, reliable as hell. Will loose in a fight w/the others when it comes to accuracy and mag change speeds and complexity.

556, has a proven Ak reliability design. I'd say the AR mags is more of a plus. Some initial production issues, but it seems mostly solved. I think it is a fine rifle over all. I would take it over an AR and AK, but it only comes in one caliber.

XCR, stupid fast mag changes, modularity that beats the rest, field fixable, caliber changeable (we'll see). Seems that you gotta check the nuts and bolts. I haven't had issues in almost 900 rounds.

I've owned several AK's and AR's. I have 25 years experience w/M16's and AR's. They break. I've had AK w/reliability issues also. Not many, but they are a pain to reload and that in itself is a reliability issue. I've shot the 556 a few times. I've heard from the all knowing internet commando's of problems w/556's, I haven't seen problems that would concern me. Too new to tell, but rest assure they too will have typical problems.

I've also lost extractors on M1A's, twice! Blown gas plugs and had extraction issues in FAL's. I've had extractors spring break and ejectors not eject on a PTR and HK91. AUG extractor pin breaking, firing pins, and that goofy spring in the bolt assembly breaking a tang. I've also had an SL8 crack by the BHO and a duty UMP 40 crack by the front take down pin. MP5 barrel trunnion come loose. I've also recently had to replace an Agent's brand new Hk P2000 b/c of a crack by the left side slide catch. His fault for not removing it properly but it is a design flaw we have to live with. I've seen cracks on 1911, Beretta's, Sigs, and Glock slides. I've had issues on M2HB's, M249's (seen one crushed by a Bradley ramp. Not gun fault,..or the Bradley driver either), M60's, M240B and C's, and I'm sure I'm missing mentioning a few.

Typical problem on all guns, .....extractors and ejectors, followed by recoil and buffer springs.

I'm not Pat Rogers. Not even knowing who he is, i had to do some research. By what I've found out is I could also have followed his career path and i too could have gone into the business of firearms instruction for profit. I still could do it, but I'm not retired yet from my field of work which is to actually go into the field w/guns and a firearms instructor for my agency.

Bottom line is all guns require maintenance, and all guns will be subjected to some degree of failure regardless of maintenance. Lack of any or little maintenance will assure a failure in any gun. Some take abuse better than others that's for sure. And we have yet to factor in ammo reliability, mags, and enviromental issues, beyond what it is expected for any gun to endure, such as salt water exposure. I will guarantee every gun will crap out if you don't do maintenance after about two weeks in any tropical or desert enviroment near the ocean.

If the gun is a POS it will show immediately and not sell well overall. I don't see the XCR or 556 as a POS. The M16 was a POS when it first came out and look at it now.

So let's stop this Ford v. Chevy debate, and lets see how time deals w/the XCR and 556. Lets hope both stick around for many years to come.

And we all know Toyota's are the masters, beeaoches!!!

Edited to add:

Actually I now just remembered that my gas brock allen screw came loose somewhere around 200 rounds. I tightened it right there and then w/a set of allen wrenches I carry in my cleaning box and haven't had an issue since. BTW the XCR still functioned with a loose GB. It was only after that shooting session (the first) that I noticed the rattle. Had it been any other rifle w/a loose GB I would have had to spend the money to send it back or spent the money to get it fixed.
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For those who have never heard of Pat Rogers, I'm really not sure how that is possible if you've been an AR shooter for any time at all. He's the kind of guy who gets his opinion printed right there in the marketing literature of top end carbines. Thats how respected he is. Its like shooting in practical pistol diciplines, and never having heard of Rob Leatham or someone else of that caliber.

Take his opinion for what it is: information/opinions that come from watching thousands and thousands of carbines over the years be abused to the breaking point. Thats all it is. No more, no less. Of course he doesn't document and research the exact causes of each failure that occurs. He can't. What he can offer is a snapshot of what breaks and what doesn't break... what works, and what doesn't work under stress, with all other factors cancelling out based on the sheer size of the sample.

So far, it seems his sample size of XCRs is three. That isn't enough to judge. Sure, I'm just as dissappointed as the next XCR owner/prospective owner that the very small number that went through his classes so far have all failed. It just isn't a big enough sample size yet to form a good opinion. *Three* failures is just not a large enough amount to where user error/etc become irrelevant factors to the overall trend. There are certainly possible "good" explanations as to what happened, as we discussed.

I think if you want to find out if your individual carbine works, the only thing you can do is take a class with it... with that specific one. That is really the only way to know for sure.

I think that is all that we are really getting at here.
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Class, Hell! Every time I take it out and pull the trigger it goes bang. That's good enough for me.
If any of you have been following my posts you know what I do for a living. I have plenty of experience and trigger time with the 551 SWAT and 552 commando. There is no way anyone that has actually spent time with the 55x can respect SIGARMS effort with the 556. That is what it boils down to, period. It isn’t hatred on my part, or trolling; My expectations are just higher that your average 556 owners who sees SIG on the side of his gun and thinks he has something special. Sorry, but I know better, I expect better and I wont settle for less. The more people I tell, the greater the chance of SIGARMS finally getting it through their noggin and making what everyone wanted: A carbine up the standards set by SWISSARMS.

Most 556 owners don’t want to hear the truth and completely shut their minds to the reality of the situation. Now I have a little fan club that follows me from forum to forum making attacks on the XCR as if it hurts me personally, which is pretty dang funny. I am outlawed from commenting on the 556 at all on SIGFORUM, because the 556 owners were getting their wittle feelings hurt and complained to the mod. Guess what though, the 556 is still a piece of garbage carbine that is embarrassing compared to the XCR and the upcoming SCAR and MASADA.

Now my fan club has latched on to the Pat Rogers fiasco as fuel to prove the 556 is better. I can only come back with this, if the operator had properly inspected his weapon before taking it to class, and took steps outlined in the manual then he probably wouldn’t have had issues. My XCR has been abused to all hell, I've had no issues other than the gas nut coming loose. Happened twice. After that I made sure it didn’t happen again by tightening the hell out of it.

The real amazing thing is while the ejector came loose for a couple of people, it didn’t actually break, so if the operator had a wrench and some loctite he would have been back in the fight.
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For those who have never heard of Pat Rogers, I'm really not sure how that is possible if you've been an AR shooter for any time at all. He's the kind of guy who gets his opinion printed right there in the marketing literature of top end carbines. Thats how respected he is.

That's because I hardly spend anytime at the magazine rack while I spend more time at the range. My duty assignment now doesn't let get the range time I used to get, 8 hrs a day, and it's about 8 to 16 hours a month. However I will have a week of range duty next week aside from spending 16 hours last week during transitional quals. If I'm not at work or the range, I'm at home most likely doing something w/the kids (5 of them). My only "me" time is the net, about an hour a day, if that. At work we don't talk about gun stuff or gun guru's, we usually talk smack about fellow Agents, specially supervisors, and typical g'vmt employee bitching about the job. A thing quite often done while loading mags at the range. So you see, to me, who's who in the gun literature world doesn't come up on radar and it wasn't so much different when I was in the Army except we talked more about what girl(s) we are currently chasing after (like I said, I have 5 kids now).

Gun rag guys, respect aside, will fill in 4 to 8 pages of what most of us can sum up in two paragraphs. What sucks and what doesn't suck. I often wonder how do they come up with that much stuff to write, then I read my old posts.

As far as VB and Federale's opinions on the 556, they do tell it like they see's it. I would agree with those (you VB) guy's POV about it ain't what Sig is known for, but as far as functionality the 556 seems Ok for the 2 times I've shot one. I think the XCR is better and those guys are right about the shooter needs to be more aware of your weapons condition. I've witnessed it myself and as I listed before, I've experienced a range of issues will all types. I shot a 551 once many years ago and I have a hard time remembering more about it to compare it to the 556. Being unfamiliar with the 551 I remember inserting the mag incorrectly. I was used to the M1A way and thought I could do it the same way.

From what I've seen, a good portion of people that take shooting courses are people that want that training and experience that is not available to them in their day jobs. So when one attends one, the guy who has all that experience and training at the head of the class (instructors) will be gun god. I know many LEO and military guys who also attend those classes, specifically at Gunsite (one instructor there was a former supervisor of mine - he's knowledgeable, but not much field time), but I don't have the time or money to go to one of those. If my agency wants to pay for one, or at least reimburse me, and allows me to attend one on the g'vmt time, I'd go in a heartbeat. There is always something to learn or re-fresh on. From time to time something like that comes up, but my current assignement keeps me from doing things like that.
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I'm one of Vb3's supporters ;D

I always get a kick out of the 556 guys crying about his comments when the comments are spot on. There are a few idiots on arf who seem to only exist to troll 556 threads and angrily respond to any post vb3 makes...

As far as pat rogers, we can't base anything off the 3 rifles he's seen and especially the extractor coming off in the one case. Without knowing how that owner had maintained his rifle who knows... For all we know he was tinkering with it and had taken the extractor off for some reason and then not loctited it back on.
VB3 got locked ;D That's like my 3rd locked ARFCOM account. Sweet. Being a pain in the butt never gets old, especially when it comes to the 556. You think SIG would just want to shut me up by making a real SIG carbine. That's the plan for me at least.

Keep up a good fight until I return to ARFCOM

I'm one of Vb3's supporters ;D

I always get a kick out of the 556 guys crying about his comments when the comments are spot on. There are a few idiots on arf who seem to only exist to troll 556 threads and angrily respond to any post vb3 makes...

As far as pat rogers, we can't base anything off the 3 rifles he's seen and especially the extractor coming off in the one case. Without knowing how that owner had maintained his rifle who knows... For all we know he was tinkering with it and had taken the extractor off for some reason and then not loctited it back on.
The only thing I've personally seen regarding Pat Roger's comment on the XCR is one that went through his class that lost its ejector. Evidently, the bolts loosened up (no locktite), and the ejector tied up the gun. My only reaction was, "Hunh, something to keep an eye on." Just like firing pin stops and plunger tubes on 1911s.
I had a nut on my extractor come out as well. this was during the break-in period we were all warned about. I removed and locktited them both then proceded to do the saem with any other screws and nuts with the exception of the barrel nut. 1500 rounds later without cleaning and I've had xero problems despite the dust and grit it's been in.
I'll add a little tidbit. Witness mark your screws/bolts. It helps keep track of what's up with your fasteners and will be a heads-up if something is going south before it sandbags you.

I lurk on arfcom, but don't post there for several reasons. Although I usually get a smile from VB's gadflyism, the site is problematic. The signal to noise ratio there is very poor. There's some good info there, but sifting it out from all the white noise gets tiresome. I've found the 10-8 forum more useful (and you'll cut Pat Roger's tracks there, if you care ;D ).
Wow Sloan, points for using the term "gadfly" as well as the phrase "signal to noise" within a single post. The ex-teacher in me salutes you!

The Sig crowd does seem to run toward the overly sensitive. It's a nice forum, but Any criticism tends to garner swift retribution. Sometimes the reaction is understandable, I've seen a number of posters hop on and lambast SigArms over frivolous issues. On the otherhand, VB's criticism of the 556 has generally been not only intelligent but also spot-on. I suspect the 556 has simply become a sensitive subject for the Sig followers.

I had my first run in with one of the Sig members the other day.

The Sig crowd does seem to run toward the overly sensitive
He started by saying that my avatar was too big for people with dial-up internet. Sorry!

He then went on to say that I was basically only there to promote my business and wasn't adding anything to the forum??? I set him straight with a long winded reply. I haven't head back from him yet, but it did get my post back up to the top of the VERY long list. For that I thanked him. It would appear that you don't need to do too much to upset that crowd and to be a victim of criticism. ???

I hope this forum stays true!
Honestly, I suspect that every forum faces the same big challenge: its own growth. The bigger a forum gets, the lower its collective IQ drops and the worse governed it becomes. I've seen this in the bigger forums I frequent regardless of subject matter. Forums are like any other RL gathering of people, with the added complication of relative anonymity.

My first 3 forums, bladeforums, pbnation, and ARF, all suffer from this. All 3 are international forums, most likely the largest in their respective arenas. It's simple math that predicts you'll run into a large number of asshats on those forums.

The SigForum on the hand, has fewer idiots, but suffers an over-developed sense of brand loyalty. I really think the forum has a lot of great folks on it, but a few of the members definitely imagine themselves as SigArms' very own cadre of Sir Galahads, riding off at a moment's notice the face any challengers. The truth is that SigArms is a well established company, fully capable of fighting its own fights.

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