Meet Sturmgewehr 57: Sig Sauer's Very First 'Battle' Rifle

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Meet Sturmgewehr 57: Sig Sauer's Very First 'Battle' RifleWhile Sig Sauer, Inc. may have entered the battle rifle market recently, the original company—SIG, Schweizer Industrie Gesellschaft—produced a variety of them. SIG’s most famous was the SIG SG 510, otherwise known as the Sturmgewehr 57.Though the Sturmgewehr 57 was a very early battle rifle that retained many vestiges of Swiss bolt action rifles before it, it also featured many thoughtful features and is considered to be among the best battle rifles in the world.More than anything else, the Sturmgewehr 57 was built for accuracy. The standard Sturmgewehr 57 features a 23-inch long barrel, 3 inches longer than an M16. While this makes it rather unwieldy for close quarters combat or for mechanized troops that might need to enter and exit a vehicle, it suits the light infantry role most Swiss units were set up for at the time. The rifle also featured an integrated bipod, rifle grenade launcher, and excellent diopter sights.Unlike most rifles where sight adjustment increments remain the same across the range of adjustment, the Sturmgewehr 57 features finer range adjustment increments at extended ranges, where precise ranging matters far more because a fired bullet drops more rapidly the further it goes. Of course, the Sturmgewehr 57’s sights are still reliant on the soldiers knowing precise ranges to targets, but in the Swiss case, most infantry would likely be defending from positions with existing range tables, which would allow them to dial in their sights with great accuracy.

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