It’s been said before and I’ll say it again, the AR15 platform really is America’s rifle. And looking at the new M400 TREAD from Sig you can really start to understand why.
The TREAD is not just another cheap “entry level” direct impingement rifle produced en masse for a saturated market. Like most things Sig, it is a complete system built specifically to allow the end user to customize their rifle with a host of TREAD branded parts and accessories.The engineers at Sig developed a new method of fitting the barrel into the receiver that only requires two screws, no D-ring contortions or proprietary tools needed to change out parts and no more worrying if a new part will fit your rifle. If it has the TREAD logo on it, it fits.
As the marketing team at Sig puts it, you have the “Freedom to Grow.” And like the stylized Gadsden flag logo suggests, this rifle is uniquely American. Rugged, adaptable and hard working, it can be used for the defense of one’s home and family just as easily as competitive shooting, hunting or a fun day on the range. The Gadsden flag stands for liberty and the spirit of being able to rely on yourself and the TREAD fits perfectly into that ethos.
Not Just More of the Same
When the TREAD was released it was tempting to think “oh good another AR from a company that already makes them” but once we got our hands on one our attitude quickly started to shift.
While the market may be teeming with budget conscious AR’s of questionable quality and break the bank “gucci” rifles ready to be admired on social media, there were a precious few mid -price high quality rifles to choose from. And that’s exactly the niche the TREAD is built to fill. The rifle comes with a mid length gas system, stainless steel one in eight twist barrel, micro gas block, three prong flash hider, polished single stage hard coated trigger, Magpul SL-K six position stock, ambidextrous controls and a slim free floating M-Lok aluminum handguard.
So right out of the box you get quality features and accessories that would normally drive the price of the rifle well above a thousand dollars. But the TREAD delivers all that at a base price of $799.
Should you want to upgrade and customize your base rifle, Sig has you covered there too. The TREAD line hosts a pretty impressive number of accessories that are available at the time of purchase or at any point after. You can choose different length handguards, ambidextrous charging handles, flat faced triggers, flip up sights, several handstop and grip kits, a three chamber compensator and any of Sig’s optics. That’s just what they offer at the time of this article, we were told that new accessories would be forthcoming in the next year.
What Can’t It Do?
So now, the real question, how does it shoot? Coming from venerable manufacturer Sig Sauer with such an array of quality parts and features the TREAD has more than a bit of hype to live up to, and live up to the hype it did.
The trigger is crisp and smooth with no clunky take up, the balance of the rifle made it fast and easy to move around and the mid-length gas system helped remove almost all of the felt recoil. Our test rifle came with a factory zerod Romeo 5 red dot sight that was as fast and easy to use as you would expect. The one in eight twist rate of the barrel let us feed the rifle a variety of bullet weights and still stay in that golden one; to one and a half MOA accuracy range. Several hundred rounds later we still haven’t experienced a single malfunction despite running the gun hard through barricade and position drills and more than a few drops into the snow on the range.
In fact the only downside we could find with the rifle in the 500 rounds we put through it was that the handguard being solid at the rear, where all the heat is generated during firing can get hot faster than other, more well ventilated handguards. However this is only an issue when firing prolonged strings of fire, and is fixed with a glove.
Overall, we continue to be impressed by the TREAD. It performs like a much more expensive competition rifle and has thus far had the reliability of a duty rifle. And the fact that almost all of its features can be customized, easily, by the end user means that just about anybody can buy the base model and build it out to do anything they need it to do, and all at a very competitive price. “Freedom To Grow” indeed.