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Is the SIG 516 Carbon the best AR-15 made?

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Is the SIG 516 Carbon the best AR-15 made?

Some items are so pricey that most people won’t give them a second glance, like high-end kitchen knives, for example. But people who already own high-end knives can’t imagine going back to sawing through food, but to the uninformed the price difference seems unwarranted. I felt exactly the same way about the SIG Sauer 516 Carbon series of rifles. I really enjoy the standard 516, but is the 516 Carbon TS worth the extra $500?

Absolutely. The SIG 516 Carbon ships with more features than a loaded Cadillac. Everything you could ever want from AR15 is possible with this weapon. I’ll admit that my first draft of this review wasn’t nearly as glowing. I believed the 516 Carbon to be in the same realm as the ACR, a very expensive, reliable weapon that doesn’t do enough to warrant its premium price. I had already penned half of this piece before I went to a recent designated marksman rifle match.

The SIG 516 features a forged lower receiver for a tighter fit between upper and lower. (Photo: Jim Grant)

I brought out the custom target rifle I built for the DMR article, and was shooting decently with it, but encountered a malfunction that I lacked the tools to fix on site. So I began packing my stuff to head home when my mind drifted to the SIG 516 Carbon in my trunk. A piston rifle zeroed for 55-grain ammo and wearing a four-times magnification scope, is probably the worst setup imaginable for distance shooting, outside of an iron-sighted 7.62x39mm AK.

I tried to look calm after seeing the next stage, facing 12 half-foot steel plates at 350 yards with a crosswind. I stepped up to the firing line, the shot timer screeched and I began throwing away ammo. Except, that’s not what happened.

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