"Assembled in the U.S.A."

November 18, 2020
Kevin "KJ" Jarnagin

Many of us strive to support companies that go the extra mile to design and build their products in the United States, ensuring our money is kept in this beautiful country. However, every once in a while, I come across companies that advertise products that are “Assembled in the USA.” Are they pulling the wool over our eyes or is there more to the story?

On a recent trip to Portland, I joined the Sig Sauer Electro-Optics team, and they walked me through their expansive operation. Our goal for this media event was to learn more about the team, what “Assembled in the USA” means to Sig Sauer and why it’s important.

I’m glad I went. I learned more about what goes into their optics in one day than many people learn in a lifetime. Not many glass companies can boast about having Optical Engineers on their team because most optics companies do not have that kind of fire power behind the scenes. Think about that one. If I’m purchasing an optic, wouldn’t I want to know that the guys behind the design are the best? I walked away more confused from those guys than anyone, but one thing was clear, Sig Sauer assembled some heavy hitters to produce some damn fine optics.

Optical Engineers aren't a dime a dozen. Sig Sauer employs optical engineers to develop some of the best optics on the planet.

Now, we’re not talking about the run-of-the-mill optics. Science and a whole lot of voodoo goes on behind the scenes to manufacture Electro-Optics like the new Sierra6 BDX system, Romeo2, and Echo3 optics.

Sig Sauer ensures everything is free of debris in the CLEAN room.

Aside from being a well-oiled machine, the factory and offices are meticulously kept. During these COVID-19 times, I’d still eat my weight in spaghetti off their floors. The Clean room is especially spotless—hence the name. Before we walked through, Gary and I had to suit up in a fine white suit equipped with booties, hair net, latex gloves and safety glasses. We strolled through a giant hair dryer before we were allowed in the room. The purpose? To make sure we were lint and particle free. This room is where they assemble the Sig Sauer TANGO6T, and they give their optics the white-glove treatment.

This is the same optic that was selected by the US Department of Defense for the Direct View Optic (DVO) program. This award from the U.S. DoD is the third award for the SIG SAUER TANGO6T; previously selections for the TANGO6T included the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle (SDMR) and the USSOCOM Squad-Variable Powered Scope (S-VPS).  The TANGO6T riflescope is currently in use with the U.S. Army Squad Designated Marksman and U.S. Military Special Forces.

The TANGO6T 1-6X24 DVO is a first-focal plane optic, which utilizes the DWLR6 reticle and HELLFIRE illumination system for fast target acquisition. I saw the optics being assembled, and as I was whisked through the operations, it became clear what “Assembled in the USA” meant.

The Sig Sauer TANGO6T performed better than imagined on the range. Gary, Team Gun Talk, takes aim with the TANGO6T.

I jokingly say to folks that when it comes to Sig Sauer Electro-Optics, they are just poor spellers. They forget how to spell “Made.” Some of the high-tech parts within the optics aren’t made in the USA. Rather than being dishonest, Sig Sauer discloses they are assembled right there in Oregon.

I appreciate the clarity because, like you, I don’t like the runaround. If a part here or a part there isn’t made here, they have to get it from somewhere, right? You should know where your money goes, and I’m happy to announce that Sig Sauer is doing their part to keep business within our borders. On behalf of myself and others, thank you Sig Sauer for your continued dedication to American produced products. ~ KJ

Kevin Jarnagin (KJ) hails from Oklahoma but quickly established Louisiana roots after joining the Gun Talk team. KJ grew up as a big game hunter and often finds himself in a bass boat. Whether it’s making his way to British Columbia for elk or training with pistols, KJ always seems to find a gun in his hands and adventure on his mind.