Over the last three years there has been a huge demand for AR-style rifles, and that demand has jacked up prices. So it’s newsworthy that SIG SAUER’s new SIG M400™ has a suggested retail price of just over $1,000–and can be had for less.

The SIG M400™ uses a “direct impingement” gas system, where some of the gases escaping from the fired cartridge drive back the bolt and cycle your next shot. To increase accuracy over some mil-spec carbines, the SIG M400™ was built with a tensioning device in the lower receiver that eliminates accuracy-robbing play between the upper and lower receivers.

The lower receiver is essentially the same one found on the very popular SIG 516™, complete with an ambidextrous magazine release and rear quick-detach sling mount. Upper and lower are machined from 7075-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum forgings and coated with a durable phosphate finish.

Chambered in 5.56 NATO, the rifle features a 16-inch chrome moly steel barrel with a chrome-lined chamber and bore; up top there’s rail for mounting optics and other accessories. A six-position collapsible polymer stock, too, as well as a muzzle threaded to accept a variety of flash hiders, compensators or suppressor mounts (an M16A2 flash compensator is included). Removable sight assembly, carry handle, 30-round magazine and hard case are standard.

There’s also an “Enhanced” version of the M400 that features Magpul® hardware. Some dealers are offering the SIG M400 for just $899. One on-line merchant even ships it for free. With so many AR’s starting in the $1,200 to $1300 range, the M400 looks like a real bargain.