SOCOM– which earlier this year for up to $5 million worth of “Reduced Signature” PDW weapons in the form of modified commercial SIG MCX Rattlers in both 5.56 NATO and .300 Blackout– posted the notice for 7.62x39mm uppers for the platform in late October.
“Due to developing requirements,” explains the notice, the force at the tip of the spear is seeking conversion kits to include all “required hardware and ammunition magazines that will fit with the SIG Sauer Rattler and RSAR/PDW converted M4A1 lower receiver groups.”
SOCOM may be in luck as SIG recently debuted their first 7.62×39-chambered offerings in the MCX Spear-LT series. One of the options in that series is a factory SBR with an 11-inch barrel and an overall length of 29.75 inches, something that puts the company within striking distance of the RFI notice.
The U.S. Special Operations Command signaled the end of a five-year search for a personal defense weapon platform last week, opting to run Sig Sauer’s MCX Rattler.
The Commercial PDW contract, by its nature, needed to be filled by an off-the-shelf gun that was in current production. Sig introduced the .300 BLK-chambered Rattler in 2017 “at the request of elite military units” after a Request for Information was filed by SOCOM. The company then supplied a few to the country’s elite commandos for testing in February 2018. In a notice of intent to award published on May 19, 2022, it would appear those tests went very well.
“USSOCOM HQ has been researching and reviewing different systems since 2017,” said the notice. “We have meticulously reviewed each system for technical acceptance and whether it fits the commercial definition. Except for Sig Sauer, the vendors did not meet the technical requirements and/or the weapons do not meet the commercial definition.”
The SOCOM notice this month stressed, “The PDW system will allow Operators to have maximum firepower in a concealable weapon.” (Photos: Sig Sauer)
It’s an escape gun that is just 3.5 inches longer than the super compact HK MP5K, and is chambered in hard-hitting .300 Blackout, which Sig bills as still being accurate and dangerous in the platform out to 200m– something that a 9mm just isn’t. Thus, Sig says the new gun, likely aimed at a contract hinted at earlier this year for SOCCOM, gives “M4 ballistics in a subgun-sized package.”
Released in both a pistol and SMG format, each model features a 5.5-inch PDW barrel with free-floating M-LOK handguards and top Picatinny rail. A gas piston design, the SBR uses a folding stock that gives the rifle an overall length of 16-inches when closed while the pistol has a telescoping 3-position brace that gives it an overall length of 19.3-inches at its shortest, which ironically is slightly longer than the rifle.
The rifle tips the scales at 5.7-pounds while the pistol is 5.1.