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If you are a hunter or shooter, you probably have heard of SIG Sauer. But do you know who SIG Sauer really is? Do you know where the kind of unusual company name comes from?
To satisfy your curiosity, let’s take a look at the interesting history of the company to answer the questions of their identity, their history, and more.
Where Did SIG Sauer Come From?
SIG Sauer is a European company that was originally built wagons and railway cars in Switzerland. The Swiss Wagon Factory (Schweizerische Waggon Fabrik) was founded in 1853.
About a decade later, SIG won an award to produce firearms for the Swiss army. (It’s true that Switzerland traditionally has remained neutral in international conflicts, but they still do maintain an army.) They developed the Prelaz-Burnand rifle and changed their name to Swiss Industrial Company (Schweizerische Industrie-Gesellschaft; that is, SIG, in German).
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, they produced Mondragón rifles, one of which was the first automatic rifle.
In the 1930s, SIG created the semi-automatic pistol, the P210, which was highly accurate due to its design and received much acclaim.
In the 1970s, SIG joined with the German outfit Sauer & Sohn to become what we know today as SIG Sauer.
About a decade later, SIG Sauer developed the P220 and created SIGARMS in the United States so they could import firearms there and gain a foothold in the American market.
In 2007, SIGARMS changed its name to SIG SAUER. The company may have as many as one-third of US police officers using their small firearms.
UPDATE: January 19, 2017 – The US Army awarded SIG Sauer a major contract. A variation of the P320 replaces the M9 Beretta that has been in use since 1985.
What Does SIG Sauer Make?
In addition to pistols, as mentioned above, SIG continues to make rifles. They also have expanded into riflescopes, sights, rangefinders, spotting scopes, binoculars, ammunition, airguns, and additional gear and apparel.
Of particular interest here at Optics Owl (besides the scopes and sights) are the Oscar spottings scopes and the Zulu binoculars lines.
I won’t review any of them here (likely elsewhere later), but if you’re interested, take a look at them on Amazon using the links below.
So the next time a friend brings up the name of SIG Sauer, you can have a more informative conversation with them about this big name in the firearms world.