Review: Tokyo Marui Sig 552
Published: 27 December, 2003
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Sig SG 552 History
The SIG SG552 is the latest rifle in the 550 series from SigArms. This series came to life in February of 1983, when the Swiss Federal Council announced that the SIG SG541 (later named SG550 and now called the Stg.90 by the Swiss Army) was being adopted as the standard service rifle of the Swiss Army. The Swiss Army required two versions of this new rifle, which became the SG550 and SG551.
The SG550 is the longer version, and has one of the longest sight bases (distance from front to rear sight) of any assault rifle, coming in at 540mm. This allows for superb accuracy when using the standard sights. This rifle also can fire rifle grenades, has a built in bipod, a folding stock and clear magazines. These innovations, among others, have set this rifle apart into the ranks of the best of the best. The shorter of the two rifles is the SG551 and is referred to as a ‘headquarters weapon’. It’s 17.3cm shorter, lacks a bayonet lug, bipod and can’t fire rifle grenades.
Always wanting to be neutral, the Swiss adopted the 5.6x45mm bullet for the SG550 series of rifles, although the 5.6x45 and 5.56x45 are interchangeable. The 5.6x45mm bullet lacks a steel penetrator (steel spike found in NATO ammunition that helps in armor penetration) and has a thicker sleeve. The performance is almost the same as the Belgian SS109 bullet.
The SG552 is the latest version of this great series. It’s much more compact, with a barrel that’s a full 7.1 inches shorter than the SG551 barrel. It also weighs 7 pounds as opposed to 7.7 pounds for the SG551. This is a compact rifle intended for Law Enforcement and Military only, and is not sold to any civilian. To quote SigArms “The SIG Commando, built for tight, tactical situations when all that is between you and your target is a highly dependable gas-operated loading rifle in select fire. Whether you are working special operations or as a member of an air crew team, the SIG Commando 552-2 P is compact in size but big on firepower.” For all you guys who can read German, here’s the real steel manual.
I had been waiting more than a year for the release of the KWC GBB M16, only to be disappointed by release date after release date coming and going with no gun. For the past few months, KWC had flat out refused to even answer questions about the gun. So, I put my desire for this gun away and started looking for something new. Since it was getting close to winter (as much as there is a winter in Florida) I thought that I might try an AEG, since gas performance isn’t that great in cool weather. My first choice was a CA M15 variant, but they were all sold out, everywhere. I then set my sights on the AK Beta, G36 and the SG552. After thinking about it and asking my wife which is ‘prettier’ I decided on the SG552. The reason for choosing this over the others was entirely on looks. I knew aftermarket parts are nearly non existent and that it’s an unproven gun, but it just looks so darned hot.
I began searching for a place that sells the SG552 and had decided between Plycon’s Armory and Zorks. I’ve already bought 2 guns from Plycon’s, so I trust them and know they will not let me down, but I didn’t have the money to pay for the whole gun at once. I chose Zorks because of the payment plan, but I did have the money when it came time to pay, so I ended up not even using the payment plan. Zorks came through even better than expected by giving me 3 day shipping with no extra charge to be sure I had the gun for a game. For less than $300 shipped I got my baby.
The package arrived double boxed with plenty of padding. I opened it and my 22 month old daughter immediately ran to me and began smashing packing peanuts all over the floor. The box was turned inside out and ALL trades on the box were cut out. After opening the box, I found everything to be in perfect condition and working order. Coming from Zorks, the gun has all trademarks intact, and they are simply covered over with a thick, rough tape that easily peels off leaving no marks at all. The Flash hider was a cheap orange plastic that was super glued to the threads, but a decent twist loosened it and I was able to put the original, untouched metal flash hider on. I was very impressed and what I had bought.
I picked up the gun and looked it over. The first thing I noticed is its weight. This gun is just plain heavy for its size at 4.86 pounds and it feels even more solid than G36s that I’ve shot. It’s a very short gun – at 28.35 inches with the stock extended and 18.3 inched with the stock folded. The gun feels really good in my hands and, with the stock extended, seems to be steady and easy to aim.
At first I wondered of the rear sight might be plastic, because I couldn’t see any difference in the texture or color from the body that I knew was plastic. Well, the rear sight is metal and the texture and coloring on the plastic body is just outstanding .Metal was used quite generously with this gun. First, the obvious – trigger, trigger guard, front sight, rear sight, outer barrel. But, wait! There’s more – all that grey you see from the end of the front grip to the tip of the barrel is metal, except for the flip up night sight (interesting part of the front sight) and two small dials. Once you remove the front grip, you see more metal and that metal runs into the body as well. The front pin is metal too, but that’s a given on airsoft guns. The rear pin, however, isn’t a pin at all. It’s two screws disguised at a pin, but they are metal.
The plastic body really looks great. The powder coat finish does a great job in making the plastic blend perfectly with the metal parts. The detail on the receiver is also great. There are spot weld marks, and all the contours match perfectly with the real gun. The detail in the cocking lever/ ejection port is what really makes this gun look different. Other guns have really classy looking smooth lines, like the AUG series, and some have a no nonsense look, like the HK and M16 style guns, but the SIG looks more busy, more ‘mechanized.’ Combined with the Samurai, that area of the gun just looks bad. It looks ready for business.
The black plastic parts, the stock, pistol grip and the front grip all look great. None of the plastic parts feel flimsy, and there is very little body flex, even at the stock. These parts don’t look like cheap plastic, and they feel sturdy enough to take a beating. When looking at the pieces to the front grip, you can see reinforced areas, and I really do feel like I don’t have to be as tender with this gun as I was with my MP5k PDW and as I am now with my Benelli.
Also of important note, is the new style BB loaded. It’s shaped like a Beretta M9 magazine and holds about 110 BBs. This new loaded makes filling a standard magazine so much easier. You place the nozzle of the loader against the magazine and press the plunger down. 5 – 6 BBs will load with each press and when you’re done the plunger stores in the closed position and you can put the loaded in a standard pistol magazine pouch.
I ordered batteries separately and they arrived before the gun, so I was already charged and ready to go the day I got the gun. Just a note, don’t try to save money by buying cheap batteries. Go ahead and get the TM or Sanyo battery packs. I loaded a battery, grabbed some .25g Infinity BBs, loaded up the magazine with the wonderful, new magazine loading tool and went outside to shoot. The shots were way off target so I adjusted the hopup for level flight then started to adjust the sights. The pictures on the rear sight show which way to turn, so I did just that. Within a few minutes I was shooting right on target. I set up a little Elmo doll as a target and was able to hit it nearly every time from 50 feet. I was impressed. Even though I was using cheap batteries, I was able to get more than 1000 shots from a single charge.
At my first game, I was able to chrono this gun. I loaded up and headed to the chrono. Here’s the average results I got with different BBs:
Rate of Fire
12 BBs per second
I found that the heavier BBs, while more accurate, just took too long to hit the target and made it easier for the target to duck behind a crate or tree. I settled on .2g BBs by half time. With the .2g BBs, it was very easy to hit knees, elbows, etc from 50 feet or more and the longest shots were probably limited to 100 feet, though I don’t have an exact distance.
The standard sights are really good and are very similar to HK sights, but once I Samurai Red Dot Scope arrived, I haven’t gone back. The size of the gun lends itself to fast aiming and great maneuverability, and, with the stock extended, it’s still long enough to hold steady for really accurate shots. I used the open rear sights rather than the pin hole sights because I was moving a lot and wanted fast targeting. I find that I am able to get my sights on target much easier than with my M16 while either standing still or moving.
During my second game I had my Samurai and I have to say that there is just no contest. Samurai wins. With a red dot scope, any rifle should become a breeze to aim. Both eyes open, darting back and forth and landing my shots on target. I scored more hits while on the move than I did with the standard sights and the gun just looks so much cooler. I also added a TM vertical foregrip to assist in handling and aiming. While this gun is small, it is still long enough to have a comfortable foregrip, but I'm tall (6'2") and my arms are long. I've found that the vertical foregrip makes handling and aiming much easier and more comfortable.
* Looks. This gun is sexy. The fit and finish are just outstanding and I think it's the best looking of the current line is AEGs.
* Functionality. While this is a smaller AEG, it's long enough to make a decent medium range gun. Those who own the G36 can understand. It's great for CQB and it's great for the field.
* Upgradeability. Having the Version 3 mech box means this gun can take almost anything you can throw in it. I've already installed an M120 spring and will be adding gears and a piston soon. Just knowing that the mech box is strong gives me a feeling of peace about tinkering.
* Power. Stock power was a little less than I expected and really showed itself when I used my .25g BBs. Yes, I had decent range and accuracy, but the BBs were so slow. With my M120 spring, I am very pleased with power.
* Battery space. The battery compartment will hold an 8.4v mini and nothing larger. I am hoping for a new foregrip that will hold something bigger.
* Aftermarket Parts. This is a new gun, and not as popular as an M16 or an MP5, so metal bodies, stocks, grips and other cosmetic accessories are not available. I'm sure some will surface, but for now, I'll just have to be happy with my Samurai, a vertival foregrip and a PEQ2.
I am more pleased with this gun than any other I have owned. The gun meets the need of CQB and meduim range engagements. Although cosmetic accessories aren't widely available, an Aimpoint replica really helps in looks and function. While stock performance is in the low average for power, accuracy is great and, with upgrades, this becomes a VERY capable gun.
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