Sig Sauer began humbly enough as a wagon manufacturer in Switzerland, a little-known fact that is surprising given the American-headquartered company is one of the world’s most prominent makers of firearms.
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Sig Sauer pistols and rifles are respected for their ease of handling and reliability. Looking at intriguing facts about Sig Sauer, it is evident the company’s history continues to play a role in how it meets the needs of military, law enforcement, and private consumers.
● Friedrich Peyer im Hof, Heinrich Moser, and Conrad Neher opened a wagon factory near the Rhine Falls in Switzerland in 1853. According to the Sig Sauer website,
the entrepreneurs’ business took a different turn several years later when they won an award from the Swiss Federal Ministry of Defense for a state-of-the-art rifle the company had designed.
● As orders poured in for the rifle, the company’s name was changed from the Swiss Wagon Factory to the Swiss Industrial Company. In German, the name was Schweizerische Industrie-Gesellschaft, later shortened to SIG.
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● In the mid-1900s, SIG introduced the P49 for the Swiss military. The consumer equivalent was the P210.Leroy Thompson, a frequent writer about guns
, noted the P49 replaced the Luger pistol. “Even by today’s standards, “the P49 and P210 are incredibly durable,” Thompson wrote. “They are tough and will hold up to many, many thousands of rounds of use.”
● In the 1970s, SIG expanded its offerings of firearms by joining forces with Hammerli Target Arms of Switzerland and J.P. Sauer & Sohn of West Germany. According to Sig Sauer, hunting rifles were the specialty of Sauer & Sons.
● In January 1985, SIGARMS Inc. made its way into the American market. Originally based in Virginia, the company moved its American headquarters to New Hampshire in 1990. The company eventually changed its name to Sig Sauer.
● In addition to SIG Sauer pistols, the company added Sauer rifles and Hammerli target pistols and rifles, effectively expanding its reach beyond military and law enforcement into the consumer market.
● Today, Sig Sauer is headquartered in Newington, New Hampshire. The company has separate divisions for commercial, law enforcement, military, and international sales.
● Sig Sauer Academy, located in Epping, New Hampshire, provides firearms and tactics training for enforcement organizations and a variety of businesses. The vast campus offers multiple shoot houses, a 360-degree range, a maritime training area, and a public shooting range.
● Sig Sauer has more than 800 employees, the company website said.
● All but five of Sig Sauer’s products are manufactured in the United States, according to gun enthusiast Nick Leghorn, who wrote about his tour of the Sig Sauer plant for The Truth About Guns.
● “The very first thing you notice about SIG’s new facility is that it is amazingly clean,” Leghorn wrote. “All of the machining at SIG is done on brand new state-of-the-art CNC machines. In the center of the manufacturing facility is SIG Sauer’s quality control range, where each gun has a proof load and a full magazine of ammunition fired through it before it leaves the factory.”
This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.
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