until October 2007) is the US
representative of Swiss/German manufacturing firm Swiss Arms AG
, which was split off of Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft
(SIG) in 2000. SIGARMS was established in 1985 to import and distribute SIG firearms into the United States
although it now also has some manufacturing capabilities. As of 2000 it has been a separate entity. The original SIG Arms AG parent company was simultaneously renamed as Swiss Arms AG
The origins of the original SIG company lies in a wagon
factory created in 1853 by Friedrich Peyer im Hof, Rammstein, Frau Farbisna, Heinrich Moser and Conrad Neher. Upon winning a contract to produce 30,000 muskets
, they changed their name to Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft
(SIG), German for "Swiss Industrial Company". SIG produced what is widely considered to be one of the finest semi-automatic pistols—the SIG 210 series. Their high cost, however, limited their market. SIG began work on designing a pistol that would be advanced yet affordable. Eventually, SIG decided that it would be most cost effective to enter into a business collaboration with the German gunmaker of J.P. Sauer & Sohn. Thus, the SIG SAUER line of handguns was born in the 1970s starting with the SIG SAUER SIG P220 handgun
in 1975, still renowned for its accuracy and durability. Pre-WWII, Sauer had been primarily a maker of fine shotguns and hunting rifles. During the war they had produced one of the finest and most advanced semi-automatic pistols ever built, the Sauer 38H
. However, after the war, Sauer had retreated from this market. With SIG, Sauer would again be back in the business of building advanced handguns.
SIG also produced only one machine gun, The MG 710 which was based on the German MG42. It was a state-of-the-art GPMG of 7.62x51 NATO calibre, It also used roller-delayed blowback as used in the CETME/G3/SIG 510 rifles and sometimes had a muzzle capable of launching rifle grenades. The only drawback of the MG 710 was the high price tag so the weapon was only exported to Bolivia.
In 1985, SIGARMS was created as the American branch of SIG in Tysons Corner, Virginia
to import the P220 and P230. In 1987 SIGARMS moved to Herndon, Virginia
, and in 1990 moved to Exeter, New Hampshire
to accommodate new manufacturing.
SIGARMS, and its European sister companies, J.P. Sauer & Sohn, Blaser, Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH (Mauser Huntingweapons Ltd.) and Swiss Arms were bought by Michael Lüke and Thomas Ortmeier in October, 2000. Today, SIG SAUER is the largest of the five companies and one of the largest firearms manufacturing entities in the world. It is also the fastest growing firearms maker in the United States, expanding its operations and increasing sales nearly 50% since 2005.
On October 1, 2007 SIGARMS officially changed their name to SIG SAUER. This change of name reflects how SIG SAUER has grown in the world market. SIG SAUER has recently tripled its work force and invested eighteen million dollars into state of the art manufacturing facilities and equipment.
SIG SAUER was recently awarded two government contracts. One is for the United States Coast Guard, worth 4.2 million dollars. This is in an attempt to replace the Coast Guard's current standard issue firearm, the aging Beretta 92FS. The other contract is worth 23.7 million dollars from the United States Department of Homeland Security Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
SIG SAUER also operates a world-class firearms training school, the SIG SAUER Academy, in Epping, New Hampshire.
- MG 710, General Purpose Machine Gun based on the MG42, Also known as the MG55.