Dear diary. It feels like an eternity since I have expressed my thoughts and feelings to you. When we last spoke I was in the middle of a love triangle. In one corner was the classic American “round next door”; a slender and sleek 5.56mm sweetheart that is easy going, reliable and comfortable in almost any situation. In the other corner was a more exotic round; a curvier contour with a bit more… mass. With expensive tastes, this 300BLK spinner is a lot of fun, with wild personality swings of raw pleasure and sass. Then there’s me, caught in the middle between simple utility and toe-curling pleasure. But it turns out two loves are not enough for my lusts and I’m writing you today to propose adding a third outlet into my life. Older, more experienced and professionally powerful, this would fill a longer-term role. Should I make this triangle into a square and add the SIG Sauer TREAD 716i battle rifle chambered in .308 Winchester? Please don’t say no, I’ve already succumbed to her love.
Read More: Bigger TREAD: SIG Sauer Adds Direct Impingement 716i TREAD AR-10
Usually heavier, larger, more expensive and with a standard magazine capacity less than its 5.56mm and 300BLK counterparts, AR-10 patterned battle rifles have taken a back seat to their younger AR-15 younger siblings. But packing serious velocity and weight, the .308 Win cartridge is a classic that can’t die. Sure, for longer ranges and flatter trajectories, the 6.5 Creedmoor round is probably a better choice for some platforms. But the .308 Win cartridge is a classic, with a near endless supply of factory load options and industry support.
Unfortunately, investing in a quality AR-10 can be an expensive undertaking, especially if you covet real accuracy. Prepare yourself for used-car level prices on many fully outfitted battle rifle setups. But the SIG Sauer 716i TREAD enters a small group of available factory rifles where the price, value, feature and performance lines cross high on the graph. I have one minor gripe with this gun and it’s an easy fix. I’ll fill you in on that detail a bit later.
Purists will scoff at a rifle chambered in .308 Win with a 16” barrel length. Yes, we are leaving some velocity on the table (in the form of a bigger boom). But for me, it’s a trade I’m willing to make for portability. An additional two to four inches of barrel length will push your 20 ounce suppressor and mount farther away from your center of mass. You ARE going to use a silencer, right?
I confirmed the weight at just under eight pounds four ounces sans a loaded magazine. Walking the 50-yard trek down and back easily 40 times in the course of my six-week review, I never felt weighed down. Then again I lift. Mostly preacher curls and calf raises, but I do lift.
Ah, that’s better. The SIG SRD762QD-TI rounds out this workhorse quite nicely. If you have the means, I strongly suggest picking one up. Besides, I didn’t even bother the neighbors. Let’s get into the specifications.
TFB REVIEW: New Battle Rifle – SIG Sauer TREAD 716i AR-10
- SKU: R716I-16B-TRD
- CALIBER: 308 Win
- BARREL LENGTH: 16 in (406 mm)
- MAGS INCLUDED: (1) 20rd Polymer Mag
- MAG TYPE: AR-10
- ACTION TYPE: Semi-Auto
- STOCK TYPE: Telescopic
- BARREL MATERIAL: Carbon Steel
- TRIGGER TYPE: 2 Stage Matchlite Duo
- TWIST RATE: 1:10
- FOREND TYPE: Alloy
- GRIP TYPE: Polymer
- RECEIVER FINISH: Hard Coat Anodized
- OVERALL LENGTH (IN): 37 in (940 mm)
- OVERALL WIDTH: 2.5 in (64 mm)
- HEIGHT: 8 in (203 mm)
- THREADS: 5/8 in – 24 tpi
- ACCESSORY RAIL: M-LOK
- OPERATING SYSTEM: Direct Impingement
- WEIGHT (OZ): 8.5 lb (3.85 kg)
- MSRP: $1,599 ($1,299 observed retail)
SIG Sauer TREAD 716i Parts Breakdown:
From an internal perspective, all the parts, receiver machining and finishing appeared to be within tolerances. If you are unfamiliar with the AR-10 system, most AR-15 triggers are cross-compatible; in general, there’s no need to hunt for special parts.
I am new to the world of double ejectors in a bolt. I assume that pushing out the .308 sprint brass takes a bit more force than .223 spent brass.
The 716i TREAD has MP stamped on all the important parts. Whether this means every part is magnetic particle tested or samples are tested from each batch, is not clear. Regardless, all the machining and finishing look to be on point.
Read: What is magnetic particle testing?
The gas key on the 716i TREAD is staked properly. If you have read other AR-patterned rifle reviews, you know that improper staking can lead to anger, protests and eventually rioting and social unrest. Drop the torches, SIG knows what it’s doing.
Over the years, I have become quite the trigger snob. For the most part, all of my ARs have triggers that begin with a G installed in them. But unlike wine, cheese and classical music, my snobbery is objectively rooted in testing and facts, not subjective tastes.
So we arrive at my one slight disappointment in an otherwise winning rifle: the trigger. Pulling on this two-stage trigger is a bit gritty, with a hesitation between the stages. What got to me the most is probably the fact that SIG’s MCX match triggers are so good that I have not needed to go looking for an aftermarket replacement.
Sure you can polish up the friction surfaces (I don’t recommend this modification unless you are an experienced gunsmith) but there are plenty of great triggers on the market. Unfortunate, but not a deal-breaker.
As an aside, I may have just got a bad trigger – as you’ll see in Joel’s video below.
The receiver has M4-style cuts leading up to the ramps in the receiver extension.
Overall, I’d rate the build quality of the SIG 716i TREAD as an 9.21 out of 10. Where a “one” is a slam-fire pipe and wood gun buyback turn-in piece, and a “ten” is a hand-fitted over/under 20 gauge fudd gun that costs more than my car.
It just needs a trigger swap.
- Reticle: 7.62 Horseshoe Dot
- Offered in first (FFP) and second (SFP) focal plane with multiple, illuminated reticle options
- HellFire™ electronic-illuminated reticle system using advanced fiber-optic technology to vary the light intensity of the central aiming point in any light condition
- HDX™ optics extra-low dispersion glass (LD) combined with high transmittance glass (HT) provide industry leading light transmission and optical clarity for any situation
- MOTAC™ (Motion Activated Illumination) powers up when it senses motion and powers down when it does not. Provides for optimum operational safety and enhanced battery life
- Capped elevation turret for close quarters
- Power select ring throw lever included.
- Dependable waterproof (IPX-7 rated for complete immersion up to 1 meter) and fog-proof performance
- MSRP: $1,799 ($804 current sale price)
I could (and probably should) write a whole review on the SIG Tango 6 optic alone. One small feature I love is the horizontal mounting line on the front of the tube. My preference for an optic on a .308 rifle would have a little more top end magnification. But otherwise, it performed nicely on my 50-yard range.
I’m a big fan of SIG’s ammunition lineup and as evidence I have in invested my own cash to purchase as much as I can afford. Accuracy and consistency is on point, but I am neither qualified or equipped to test terminal ballistics, so I’ll leave that to the experts.
SIG really has done a fabulous job with their ammunition. Let’s pair some with the new TREAD.
Velocity Testing: Labradar data for the SIG Sauer TREAD 716i and the SIG Sauer Elite Match 168gr OTM
Labradar Doppler Chronograph – https://mylabradar.com/product/chronograph/
- Advanced tracking radar
- Tracks bullets up to 100 yards.
- Up to 100 shot per series with up to 9,999 series
- Records velocities from 65 fps to 3,900 fps
- Metric or Standard velocity and distance reporting
- High, Low, Average, ES, SD data
- Delete shot function
- Kinetic Energy calculation
- IPSC / IDPA Power Factor calculation
- Power down with no memory loss
- USB and SD card downloads of stored data for PC use
- Battery status indicator
- Large 3.5” display
- 6 AA battery operation (not included)
- Operating Temperature range (15°F to 110°F)
- MSRP: $559 (buy here)
If you are a reloader or a long-range shooter, investing in a Labradar should be at the top of your list. Without diving into a full-blown review, I have fallen in love with this high-tech orange pizza box.
Anticipated Bullet Velocity And Drop – Strelok Pro App
Several TFB staffers turned me on to Strelok Pro a few months ago. The learning curve is steep, but the data output is worth it.
I used the SIG Elite Match 168gr OTM preset along with the Tango 6 reticle preset and a 16” barrel with a 1:10 twist to estimate velocity and trajectory.
The velocity table view from Strelok Pro can be seen below.
Back to the Labradar, my collected data aligned with the anticipated results almost perfectly. I give full credit to my shooting skills, not the quality of the gun, ammunition or instruments. /s
SIG Sauer TREAD 716i – Accuracy Testing
Before we get into the accuracy results, a few disclaimers:
- I only had 50 yards available. Blame Corona.
- I am not a PRS shooter.
- I used my Really Right Stuff SOAR tripod setup instead of a bench rest setup. Fight me.
Besides the above caveats, I attribute the accuracy results to a less-than-optimal trigger and 6x top-end magnification. All things considered, I was happy with my performance. If you feel the need to shame me, include some constructive criticism as a garnish.
I have little doubt that a better shooter could pull this rifle/ammo combination into sub MOA territory. Add in a higher magnification optic and a true match-grade optic and this setup. would be lights out.
SIG Sauer TREAD 716i – Final Thoughts:
I consider it a big deal when I decide to actually purchase a T&E firearm. I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to shoot some of the best guns in the world without needing to make a leap-of-faith style investment. For the most part, that’s enough time to scratch a specific itch and move on.
But buying a gun for me is a commitment to actually using and enjoying it; I don’t have the means or desire to be a collector for collecting purposes.
The SIG 716i TREAD is worth your money.
Thanks for reading TFB.
Here’s a solid review of the new Sig Tread 716i. It is a .308 caliber AR10 style rifle with the Sig Tango6T low power variable optic mounted on top. We’ll give you all the details and stretch the distance out to 600 yards with this capable rifle.