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SIG 551 SWAT


Review date: 5-30-01
Model: SIG 551 SWAT
Type: AEG
Manufacturer: Tokyo Marui
Retailer: MFI






The SIG

The SIG 551 is perhaps the most under appreciated AEG that Marui produces. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that the SIG is a little seen weapon in the US. No branch of our armed forces use it as standard equipment nor is it visible in the radars of computer game players with the exception of Counter Strike. Also having either a gray or greenish (in the case of the 550) finish doesn't help either as it contributes to it being considered too toy looking. Another score against it is its burst fire mode. Although a cool feature I think a lot of airsoft buyers shied away from it after some reports of the burst feature breaking.

Feature packed

The SIG 551 has a lot of features going for it - in fact, it probably has more little cool things on it than any other AEG Marui makes. First of all, there is the folding stock. It folds at a push of a button (located at the base of the stock on the left hand side) to the right side of the gun. The stock folds in such a way that it does not interfere much with the operation of the gun. The only thing it does interfere with is if you stack your mags (more on this feature in a bit). In the folded position the stock can even act as a forward handle to help steady the gun which is quite front heavy like an M4. In the open position the stock proves to be one of the most comfortable stocks with a nice length and a rubber butt pad.

The sights on this AEG are also nice. They resemble the sights on a G3 with a hooded front sight and a rotating drum sight for the rear with an open iron style sight as one of the options. The front sight also sports a fake flip-up night sight that on the real gun is coated with a glow in the dark dot. The airsoft version doesn't even have a white dot. There is a hole on the left side of either sight for attaching a sling hook.

In the front of the gun the bird cage style muzzle doesn't screw off like the M4's. But just behind and above the muzzle is an adjustable gas regulator that rotates to a different position and can be removed. Of course, it doesn't server any function on the airsoft version. Below the barrel is a bayonet adapter that looks like the one on the M4.

This airsoft sports a cocking level similar to the one on the AK that closes with a nice 'thwack' and houses the hop-up adjustment dial. Unlike the AK, the SIG uses a hop-up adjustment dial similar to the AUG and the P90.

The trigger guard can be folded to either side to accommodate a trigger finger inside a mitten during cold weather operations. It is made out of metal and is quite sturdy. The mag release sits just forward of the trigger guard and is also made out of metal. It is very similar in operation to the AK's mag release. The handle is black plastic with horizontal grooves on the side. The handle also sports a design that gets fatter as it goes down which provides a comfortable and tight grip.

The Selector lever on this model of course sports a unique setting found only on the SIGs and that is the 3 round burst mode. Adjustments to the burst mode can be made in the battery compartment from 2 to 8 shots per burst. Ideally, this will allow the player to customize it to their playing style and allow them to count off the shots left in their mag (that is if its a standard capacity mag). The selector lever can be accessed from either side of the gun and can be reached by the shooters trigger hand. The travel on the lever is shorter than putting an MP5 from safe to full auto which is kind of nice but the different fire modes are very close to each other which could cause you to put the AEG in to burst mode when you intend to put it in semi. Not really that big a deal but something you will have to get used to.

The mags on this gun are also quite unique as the come with little attachments on either side that allow you to connect the mags together like you can do with M16 and MP5 mags with the appropriate accessory. This feature is actually more important than it sounds because you will have a hard time (like AUG owners do) finding mag pouches that will hold the SIGs mags in a satisfactory manner. They are shorter and fatter than an M16 mag. They are made out of a brown transparent plastic that allows you to see how many BBs you have left. The SIG mags are also some of the easiest to take apart as they have a screw on the bottom that allows you to slide all the parts off. Also it seems like the SIG mags are sized as twenty round mags instead of the usual 30 round mags seen on other similar guns.

Body time

The body itself is made out of a gray plastic with a realistic looking metal finish complete with fake weld marks and stamped numbers at various spots and a swiss style cross on the top. The rear section is a large chunk of die cast metal where the stock meets the body. On top is a grooved section in front and a slot under the rear sight to mate with the scope mount available from Marui.

The foregrip is quite long and is made out of plastic which is not unusual but this section of the AEG will squeak like there is no tomorrow. Its probably not loud enough to give you away but it will annoy the hell out of you. Its made of two different sections: one on the top on another piece on the bottom. Both piece sort of float along side one another and this is the cause of all the squeaking. Before you think about taping the parts together let me warn you that the free movement of both piece is what lets you replace your battery!

Battery time

To get at the battery which is store under the top half of the foregrip, you first have to remove a pin that is just forward of the mag well on the body. Pull the pin out (its not hard-in fact its a little too easy) and side the lower part of the foregrip back towards the rear of the gun. It will come back about a quarter inch and stop. Now carefully grab the rear of the top piece of the foregrip and pull it up GENTLY. After pulling up a half inch pull it back a bit then pull up again. You have to be careful because it grips the lower part of the foregrip with little plastic 'nails' (that's what they are called in the manual). They are real delicate so be very careful. The AEG uses an 'AK' stick battery and you can find it laying in a little half pipe above the barrel. To the rear of the battery is the burst control dial and below that is the little plastic box holding the burst control electronics. When replacing the battery remember to put the groove side (the side with the wire running down it) down to keep the battery from moving around and so everything fits real nice. Closing every thing up involves the same directions for opening it but in reverse. Remember to be gentle!

Conclusion time

This airsoft is definitely really nice in terms of detail and finish. It has been my favorite in my collection for a year now and although I don't use it much at games (I use my M4 all the time) I would say this is one of the best looking airsofts around. It feels great to hold and the details are amazing. It has a solid feel to it just like the AK. Too bad its not more popular because I think a lot of people are missing out on seeing one of these things for themselves.

Statistics:

  AEG Real Steel
Length: 832/609mm 832/607mm
Weight: 2700g 3400g (empty)
Barrel length: 364mm 363mm
Magazine cap.: 60 20
Cycle rate: 700-850/minute 700/minute
Initial bullet speed: 90 meters/second 900 meters/second

Review by: FA-Lance.

 


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© Copyright 2004 by Lance Eppley & Joey Araniego