In Guns.com’s ongoing Select Fire series, we talked SIG Sauer to let us into their sprawling modern facilities in Newington, New Hampshire.

While SIG Sauer originated in a 1976 team of SIGs based in Switzerland with West Germany’s JP Sauer & Sohn (which itself dates back to 1751), in 1985 an American spin-off, SIGARMS , was up and running in Tysons Corner, Virginia. After moving to New Hampshire in 1990, the latter company began domestic production here in America, turning steel and aluminum blocks into firearms.

And they haven’t looked back.

The company’s first American-made firearm was the P239, a bit of an underrated classic that was introduced in 1996 and eventually made in .357 SIG, 9mm Para. And 40 S&Ws. (All photos by Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Moving from SIGARMS to SIG Sauer in 2007 and embarking on an aggressive expansion, the American company has long since eclipsed the former German company of Eckernförde, which is now a thing of the past. Today, with some 3,000 employees in no fewer than 11 locations in three states (New Hampshire, Oregon and Arkansas), SIG Sauer is about as American as apple pie and a bald eagle.

To underscore this fact, over the past few years the company has entered into high-profile contracts with the Pentagon for the Modular Handgun System to supply nearly 500,000 assorted devices. M17 and M18 serial pistols to all major branches of the military as well and selected this year for the Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapons Platforms, a military small arms demonstration program that is slated for more radical for more than 65 years.

And that’s not even mentioning the mainstream market, which saw SIG rewrite the concealed carry rulebook in 2018 with the P365 9mm micro-compact family – the one that has seen just about every other gun maker go to a catch-up game in an attempt to outperform the P365 since then and SIG returning the fire with their own updates .

GIS P365

SIG has (finally) made over a million P365s since 2018, a testament to the popularity of the small, transport-optimized gun.

GIS P210

Today, the company has come full circle and is the only place in the world where the P210, a pistol developed by SIG in Switzerland in the 1940s, is still produced.

Round

With all that in mind, we visited the SIG factory in Newingham, New Hampshire, where the company has approximately 150,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Chances are if you have a SIG-marked gun made since 2015, it came from inside this building.

Exterior of the SIG factory building

Talk about a postcard…

Interior of the SIG factory

How’s that for a view?

GIS factory

One thing we noticed many times – and made many factory tours – was how neat, clean and modern the production and warehouse areas at SIG were.

SIG factory with assorted guns

If you love guns, you’ll love this part of New Hampshire!

MHS grip frames

A flagship program for SIG was the MHS series of pistols, derived from the P320

SIG MHS factory

And deliveries are still being made to the military while versions for the consumer market are also being built under the same roof and in the same way.

Legion GIS P229

And of course old school P-series DA/SA hammer pistols like this P229 Legion are still in production – who doesn’t love the classics?

GIS RDS

As SIG operates its own dedicated optics division, you see more and more guns deploying both optics ready and sometimes optics fitted.

SIG Sauer P322

Speaking of optics-ready, SIG announced the P322 this year, its first rimfire pistol in a long time, and it’s proving extremely popular.

GIS rifles

But of course SIG is also a major manufacturer of rifles and carbines, including the MCX, MPX and CROSS platforms.

SIG M400 Predator

And those M400 tread predators

MCX Suppressed Upper Receiver Group (SURG) System

With cool high-speed stuff like these MCX Suppressed Upper Receiver Group (SURG) systems.

Robots = Repeatability

While it might sound like robots making robots – SIG has over 200 of them on the floor – these devices are simply relegated to repetitive actions that can be performed through strict settings. Don’t be Luddite about this, no one loses a job to a machine, machines are just tools for employees to increase the overall productivity of the factory. An extra high-tech pair of hands, if you will.

GIS factory robots

This allows the company to keep the same number of people – in fact, they are always looking for more people who want to work in the 2A industry – and simply increase production while maintaining quality. In short, SIG staff set the standard that robots must meet, every time.

For example, the company has a bank of robots that produce P365 slides around the clock:

SIG Factory P365 Bar Stock

By taking them from the bar stock.

SIG Factory P365 slides being processed

To something that is closer to being…

SIG Factory P365 slides being processed

…more than one slide

SIG Factory P365 slides being processed

In numbers that can begin to blow your mind.

Quality

But this staging of quantity does not mean that there are no constant quality checks.

GIS Xmacro Quality Control

Some of the sections include built-in QC devices that automatically check specifications and alert operators on the fly.

GIS factory inspection

Beyond that, there is constant checking and rechecking by almost everyone who touches a firearm at SIG.

SIG Factory MHS Inspection

SIG has government inspectors on site who check MHS program guns through a multi-step process and the company tells us it has never rejected a batch as unsatisfactory.

SIG Factory Gun Assembly

And the assembly process is still something easily recognizable from any gun bench as a staple – attention to detail being key.

GIS factory operation control machine

They even use dedicated automated function checking machines that go behind trained technicians on the assembly line to check dozens of parameters when it comes to making sure firearms get a good or bad shot. before they go for a test shot.

Speaking of test firing, SIG wouldn’t let us shoot in their test ranges because there’s a lot of secret sauce in there, but, with a combination of automated aiming pushers that set the guns to thousandths of an inch and With the rigorous quality control checks in place, they easily achieve very impressive standards of accuracy.

For example, part of the government contract for the MHS series is to place the 10 rounds fired from an M17 25 yards inside a 2.85 inch circle, about the width of a tennis ball. . To keep that in perspective, the M9 series it replaced only had to keep 10 rounds on a 9 x 11 inch sheet – a larger space than the college-lined paper you were scribbling on.

SIG M17 Factory Accuracy

The circle is the current accuracy standard for the M17, while the leaf is the old standard from around 1985-2017 for the M9.

GIS factory inspection

Note that this is not just a final packaging area, but rather a “Final Inspection and Packaging” area, as guns that go through this final stage of the process are checked at least twice before being shipped. leave for the expedition.

SIG Factory Gun Boxes

If you’re curious in terms of the numbers, according to 2020 statistics from federal regulators, the New Hampshire SIG facility produced no less than 1,017,440 pistols and 58,879 rifles in that year alone.

You can be sure that this powerhouse isn’t planning on slowing down anytime soon.

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