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Sig Sauer M400 Tread Review: The Best AR-15 for Beginners?

Sig Sauer M400 Tread
Image: Creative Commons.

We all know Sig Sauer, especially for their handguns. Their rifles are a different beast altogether though. For a long time I let their big guns fly under my radar. That was until one of my friends asked me about the Sig Sauer M400 Tread, a pre-built AR-15 designed to introduce gun owners to the platform as well as provide an entry-level price point. It’s got a cool name and looks a little funky, but is it everything Sig Sauer said it would be? Read on to find out.

The Tread is a pretty-looking rifle for the most part. I’m still undecided how I feel about the handguard which only has MLOK slots on the front half. The M400 is supermodular, so that’s trivial to swap out, but I feel like it should come included rather than separate. It also does not include sights out of the box which has always been a let-down with whatever company I buy from. The Tread is an entry-level rifle, it should be ready out of the box.

Good news for lefties though: the M400 Tread is fully ambidextrous featuring the safety, magazines catch, and QD points on both sides of the rifle.

I’ll say that the Tread is remarkably accurate right out of the box. I threw one of my red dots on it, got it zeroed and started driving tacks while seated on a bench. Standing widened the group up some, but shots were still easy to put on target.

To test longer ranges, I put on an LPVO and went to work. I received similar results, but it looks like my rifle shooting could use a little practice at 100 yards out. I found groups to be an inch and change excluding fliers. Including outliers opens shot groups to 2-3 inches which I’d say is still pretty solid.

I’m hesitant to say the Tread is reliable because I’m not 100% convinced. I had a couple of malfunctions with some cheaper ammo, but higher-quality brass ammunition went fine. After a couple of hundred rounds, the M400 did begin to run flawlessly regardless of ammunition type.

It’s also worth mentioning that there’s a line of accessories available expressly for the M400 Tread. It’s very modular and for sure set up for people learning about AR-15s or just getting into them.

The Sig Sauer M400 Tread is a pretty solid rifle. A right that can be found for less than $800 at that. The only thing is that it’s not particularly remarkable. It’s certainly designed for someone looking to get their first AR-15 for under a grand. It’s not perfect, but it’s cheap, easy to learn/understand, and works. At this price point, I don’t know what else you would really want. I would personally build my own for the experience of it and to better learn how my rifle functions, but that’s not for everybody. And that’s where the Sig Sauer M400 Tread comes in.

Richard Douglas writes on firearms, defense, and security issues. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, 1945, Daily Caller, and other publications.

Written By

Richard Douglas is a long-time shooter, outdoor enthusiast, and technologist. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, Cheaper Than Dirt, Daily Caller, and other publications.