The SIG SG 716 comes from the Swiss gunsmithing concern of SIG Sauer, Incorporated and first debuted in January of 2011. The weapon makes use of the 7.62x51mm NATO standard rifle cartridge and is a gas-operated weapon utilizing a short-stroke pushrod system. The adjustable gas system is a refined form that attempts to lower the chances of internal fouling of the mechanism and is touted as a very reliable and robust development. The gas cylinder is fitted over the barrel and taps the gasses from the fired cartridge as it exits the weapon, using this force to cycle the firing action. The adjustable nature of the gas system allows the operator to supply the proper amount of pressure to achieve various cycling results. The stock is adjustable to varying lengths from the rear of the receiver while the receiver itself is conventional in its arrangement and appearance, closely mimicking the lines of the Colt/Armalite series of automatic weapons while implementing ambidextrous controls for left-handed or right-handed shooters. The integral internal working components are all lined in chrome to protect against corrosion and make for a long-lasting system capable of much abuse. A 20-round detachable box magazine (SR-25 or PMag types accepted) is inserted in the magazine well ahead of the pistol grip and trigger unit. Depending on the model (see variant descriptions below), the barrel extends a short or long distance away from the forend. Four accessories rail systems complete the design, located along the top of the receiver, the sides of the forward handguard and the lower region of the handguard. These rails allow for the installation of various M1913 supported optics, laser aimers, flashlights and forward grips as required. A flash suppressor is optional as is a sound suppressor.
SIG Sauer has marketed the SIG SG 716 in four major production forms to date, each differentiated by various barrel lengths, tactical role and other, more subtle variations. The line begins with the base automatic full-length rifle known as the SIG 716 "Patrol Rifle" and comes with a 16" barrel, 37.40" overall length and Spec trigger system. This is followed by the shorter SIG SG 716 Carbine which sports a 14.5" barrel length, 36.2" overall length and Std Mil trigger system. There is a more compact form available in the SIG SG 716 CQB (Close Quarter Battle ) form that includes a 12.5" barrel length, 34.25" overall length and an Std Mil-Spec trigger system. A Precision Marksman is also highlighted and this fits a 20" heavy barrel within a 39.4" inch long body and makes use of a 2-stage match trigger of 5.4lb pull as well as a forward-folding bipod assembly. Unlike the other offerings, the Precision Marksman is available in semi-automatic fire only. The marksman rifle also features a 21.25" sight radius unlike the standard 15.5" sight radius found in the other three forms. The CQB weighs in at 8.4lbs while the Carbine is a handy 9lbs. The full-length automatic rifle is 9.3lbs and the marksman version is listed at 10.6lbs.