In 1853, Friedrich Peyer im Hof, Heinrich Moser and Conrad Neher began what they thought would become a successful wagon factory above the Rhine Falls in Switzerland. In part to a challenge from Switzerland's Federal Ministry of Defense, the Swiss Wagon Factory entered the competition to develop a state-of-the-art rifle with the hopes the Swiss Army would adopt it. Four years later, the award went to the Swiss Wagon Factory for its Prelaz-Burnand rifle. At this point, the Swiss Wagon Factory, with an order for 30,000 muzzle loading Prelaz-Burnand rifles in hand, changed the name of the company to the Swiss Industrial Company - Schweizerische Industrie-Gesellschaft, known worldwide as SIG.
By the 1970's, SIG's small arms division was expanding to include Hämmerli Target Arms from Lenzburg, Switzerland, and J.P. Sauer & Sohn, GmbH, of Eckernförde, West Germany, known worldwide for their hunting rifles. In the 1980's, SIG set its sights on the United States of America.
The American market was a vital part of SIG's business plan to continue to expand its market share and become an international leader in the small arms industry. January of 1985 marked the birth date of SIGARMS®, Inc. SIGARMS, then located in Tyson's Corner, Virginia, imported the P220® and the P230. By 1990, SIGARMS was looking to increase market share and begin manufacturing. Besides importing the SIG Sauer line of pistols, SIGARMS offered customer service from highly qualified gunsmiths in the reputable service department and state-of-the-art training at a separate training facility on 128 acres in Epping, New Hampshire. SIGARMS continued to expand its firearm lines with the Sauer rifle line and the Hämmerli line of target pistols and rifles. In 1998, SIGARMS brought in the first shotgun line designed specifically for SIGARMS by B. Rizzini of Italy. The next year, the revolutionary Blaser R93 rifle line from Isny, Germany, was distributed nationwide through SIGARMS.
In 2001, SIGARMS, Inc. continued to expand its role in the firearms market with new contracts in the law enforcement market as well as new products for the civilian market. The SIGARMS Training Academy has added many new courses at its Epping, New Hampshire location for both civilian and law enforcement personnel. Besides a new apparel line and efforts to reach a broader market, SIGARMS will continue its role in educating people in the safety and use of firearms, while offering to the public the highest quality products and services found in the firearms industry.
On October 1, 2007 SIGARMS changed its name to SIG SAUER®. The change reflects the vast worldwide growth in demand for SIG SAUER products. The name change, coupled with major new product introductions in pistols and rifles, reflects the continued commitment to the high standards of production, service and innovation the SIG SAUER brand has always represented.
Today, SIG SAUER is an ISO 9001 certified company with over 800 employees. It is the largest member of a worldwide business group of firearms manufacturers that includes J.P. Sauer & Sohn and Blaser, Gmbh. in Germany and Swiss Arms AG in Switzerland. This global network of companies gives SIG SAUER a world-class firearms knowledge base, unparalleled design expertise, and extensive manufacturing capacity, enabling the company to respond quickly and effectively to changing market conditions and the needs of its military, law enforcement, and commercial markets worldwide.