Sig Sauer (Sig) is on a roll. Soon after winning the contract for the Army’s new infantry rifle with its innovative MXC SPEAR weapon, US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has announced its intent to buy the company’s highly regarded MCX Rattler short-barreled rifles (SBRs) for its Personal Defense Weapons (PDW) needs.
PDWs are designed for use in close quarters combat (CQB), or confined spaces like a vehicle or by helicopter crews, and their rifle ballistics allow them to penetrate heavy body armor.
I’m a big fan of the MCX Rattler, and am planning on getting one myself, but it has a hefty price tag at upwards of $2,500 retail depending on the version.
The Rattler chambered for the .300 Blackout round is my personal favorite, and likely the most common version that SOCOM will buy, but the rifles also come in standard NATO 5.56mm caliber as well.
The Blackout version is ideal for quieter operations when using subsonic ammunition, and even stealthier when suppressed. It also packs a harder punch than 5.56mm, even with the short barrel.
The Drive reports that:
Commercial, off-the-shelf Rattlers will come with suppressors, cleaning kits, magazines, quick barrel-change kits and training kits. The version chambered in 5.56mm uses ammunition compatible with the larger M4A1 carbine and other standard-issue infantry rifles in the U.S. inventory. SOCOM specifically wanted a rifle chambered in .300 Blackout, designed by Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC) in cooperation with Remington in the late 2000s.
The cartridge was developed primarily in two flavors that can be used interchangeably in the same firearm configuration. One was to roughly match the ballistic performance of the Soviet-developed 7.62x39mm round, retaining accuracy and power when fired from a weapon with an extremely short barrel. The other includes a heavier bullet that is subsonic and ideal for suppression and close-quarters combat.
Both calibers of Rattler have a 5.5-inch barrel and receiver mounted to an AR15 style lower. At 23.5 inches with the aluminum foldable stock extended, the .300 Blackout version is half an inch longer than the rifle chambered in 5.56mm. Both weigh in right at six pounds. The rifles feature Sig’s patented M-LOK free-floating handguard, which is its own accessory attachment system, topped with a Picatinny accessory rail and an ambidextrous charging handle. SOCOM will also purchase Sig’s SL series suppressors for both versions of the rifle.
For a more James Bond view of the Rattler in the wild, watch this promotional video on Sig’s website set in a nameless bazaar in Ramadi, Iraq, which shows an operator in civilian clothing pulling a Rattler from a shoulder bag to engage a target.
Adding to Sig’s new found love among the US military, in 2017 the Army began replacing most of its Beretta and other handguns with M17 and M18 Modular Handgun System pistols, which are customized variants of the Sig P320 pistol.
Now, with the Rattler, SOCOM operators may soon have a lightweight, compact weapon that will allow them to have maximum firepower in a concealable weapon. If Sig can just get the price of the civilian version down a bit so I can get my own. ADN