Swiss Arms has the new SG553R in 7.62x39mm

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A couple years ago, Swiss Arms, formerly known as SIG, came out with their SG553 series rifle. This gun, aimed at military and LE sales internationally is a low-tech/high-quality weapon. What better coupling for this than the 7.62x39mm round?

The SG553

When introduced in 2009 this 5.56mm NATO chambered gun from SIG was billed as a "light primary intervention weapon for Special Forces and the field of Law Enforcement." An evolution from their SG550 and 551 series rifles, the SG553 is gas operated with a two-position adjustable gas-valve that can be throttled or choked to accommodate different changes in altitude (it's a Swiss gun) and ammunition types. It was offered with the same rotating bolt, ambidextrous set up, and folding buttstock as its SG550/551 older brothers.

Swiss Arms has the new SG553R in 7.62x39mm - christophereger - sig-553-1799.jpg
(The 5.56mm SG553 'Commando Rifle')

What was new was the size--just 28-inches overall with the stock folded. A large part of this came from its super-shorty CAR15 style barrel of just 8.94-inches without its flash hider. With its SIG style semitransparent polymer magazines capable of being clipped together, a SG553 with 120-rounds weighed in at just 11.4-pounds and could rock and roll at 850-rounds per minute. When you add to this a plethora of M1913 accessory rails and a built-in Swiss adjustable diopter sight, it sparked a lot of interest and continues to do so.

Now in 7.62x39mm

Over the summer of 2013, Swiss Arms introduced the SG553R, which is basically the proven 553, only chambered in 7.62x39mm. This round, famously used on the SKS, AK, and RPK series of rifles and machineguns was the standard Warsaw Pact soldier's cartridge throughout the Cold War. AK platforms are still in active service in dozens of countries around the world. Even in the US, the 7.62x39 is popular with Mini-30, AR and Saiga users, as well as those with platforms based on the old AK.

Swiss Arms has the new SG553R in 7.62x39mm - christophereger - swiss-arms-announced-the-new-sg553r-in-7-62x39mm-1798.jpg

It just made sense for SIG/Swiss Arms to come out with a gun chambered in this round for the other half of the world that doesn't use NATO rounds. The gun, while being billed as 'highly affordable' by Swiss Arms is noted to have passed the rigorous NATO AC-225 small arms testing trials. This means that although its ammo choice is decidedly non-standard for Western militaries, the performance of the gun is.

Swiss Arms has the new SG553R in 7.62x39mm - christophereger - sig-553-1797.jpg
(Note what appears to be standard AK mags...)

According to the technical data on their website the following specs are released:

SG 553R-LB (Long Barrel) / SG 553R-SB (Short Barrel)

  • Caliber 7.62x39mm
  • Overall length 32-inches (LB), 29.4-inches (SB)
  • Overall height 9.50-inches
  • Weight (empty) 6.776-lbs (LB), 6.556-lbs (SB)
  • Barrel length (lauflange) is 12-inches on the LB and 9.5-inches on SB
  • Trigger pull weight is 7.7lbs
  • Cyclic rate of fire approx. 700-800 rounds/min (LB), approx. 700-850 rounds/min (SB)
  • Function principle: Gas operated
  • Bolt pattern: Rotating bolt

Getting your own

Well, unfortunately we have this thing called the Hughes Amendment here in the US. This 1986 law banned the private sale of new select-fire guns of any sort to us mere civilians. That means that full-auto (and properly NFA registered Class III) firearms in the country before that date, so-called 'pre-86' guns, can still be bought, sold and traded as long as all the right forms are filled out, local laws don't prohibit it, and Uncle gets his tax paid on the sale. However since the SG553R is both an SBR, and is select-fire, as well as obviously being made post-86, it can't be imported to the US for sales to civvies-- just to law enforcement and military.

However, Swiss Arms has stated that they are working on a semi-auto version with a US-legal barrel. Of course, it will be at least four inches longer that the LB version of the SG553R and won't be nearly as fun, but it's basically a Swiss-designed AK.

This could be very interesting.

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