SIG SBX First Impressions Review

| October 17, 2014 | 15 Comments

The phrase “game changer” gets used a lot in the firearms industry. Usually the sentiment is unwarranted, and in short order everyone forgets about company XYZ’s latest interpretation of a 1911, AR15 or AK47.

And then every once in awhile a product comes out like SIG Sauer’s SB15 brace, and things really do change.

I’ve seen the SB15 on all sorts of firearms, from the obvious AR15 to AK47, MAC 10, MP5, Glock pistol enclosures, the Aero Survival Pistol, and shotguns.

The brace absorbs a lot of recoil on my 300 Blackout AR15 pistol and makes it easy to obtain a repeatable shouldering position (please note the SIG braces are not designed to be used as stocks, see the ATF’s opinion about their usage as improvised stocks). The bare buffer tube makes cheek weld and proper sight picture more difficult to obtain. Without the SB15 brace I would have to use the bare buffer tube, which causes bruising after about ten rounds.

SIG announced their latest version of their brace, the SBX, in April of 2014. One of my readers sent me some pictures taken at the NRA convention.

Speculation started immediately. Key questions included :

  • Would the SB15 or SB47 continue to be sold?
  • Would the SBX be lighter / smaller / thinner than its predecessors?
  • Did the SBX fold as indicated in photos, or did the folding mechanism belong on the host weapon, such as the SIG MPX?
  • How would the new design impact the ability to use the brace as an improvised shouldering device?
  • Would the material of the brace be the same as the original?
  • Would it fit on a standard MILSPEC buffer tube?

Here are my quick first impressions and an attempt to answer some of the questions.

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Would the SB15 or SB47 continue to be sold?

According to my readers, SIG booth workers at the NRA convention stated the SB15 and SB47 braces would be going away. The instruction booklet that came with my SBX showed both the SB15 and the SBX, so I presume at least the SB15 will continue to be sold. I have an email out to SIG, and may call my salesperson later today to confirm.

Would the SBX be smaller / thinner than its predecessors?

The SBX brace is smaller than the SB15 brace, although the biggest dimensional difference is the lack of “flaps” as present on the SB15 and SB47 models. I don’t have an SB47 to compare it to, but here’s how the SBX stacks up against the original “AR” brace:

SBX SB15
Length 6.25″ (15.88 cm) 6.75″ (17.15 cm)
Height 6.25″ (15.88 cm) 7″ (17.78 cm)
Thickness 2.125″ (5.39 cm) 2.175″ (5.52 cm)

 DSC02164

DSC02163

Did the SBX fold as indicated in photos, or did the folding mechanism belong on the host weapon, such as the SIG MPX?

The SBX brace does not come with a folding mechanism. I predicted this months ago, but some Very Well Known Internet Gun Celebrities™ claimed that the SBX brace would ship with some sort of folder.

We now definitively know the SBX is just the brace.

How would the new design impact the ability to use the brace as an improvised shouldering device?

I will have to answer this after I train with the brace more, but in short I don’t think the marginally reduced profile of the SBX will affect shooting. Depending on what you’re looking for, this may be good or bad. I’ve seen the SB15 get hung up on people’s gear during class (and in my case, my beard). The SBX design is not so small or radically different to keep this from happening. On the plus side, if you use the SB15 as an improvised shouldering device then you should expect the same utility out of the SBX.

Would the material of the brace be the same as the original?

Yes, the SBX seems to be made out of the same material as the SBX and presumably the SB47. The rubbery material is “grippy” just like the original.

Would it fit on a standard MILSPEC buffer tube?

Yes, although as you can see in the video the brace is a little bit tighter than the SB15. I’m going to have to warm up the rubber and go after it with a mallet once I get home from work today.

Conclusions

I look forward to replacing the SB15 brace on my AR15 backpack pistol with the SBX. The slightly smaller dimensions and more sleek profile will only assist in bag deployment, and should not adversely effect the brace’s use. I know you all had additional questions about using the brace, but I won’t be able to accurately answer them until I get some trigger time.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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15 Comments on "SIG SBX First Impressions Review"

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  1. J.C. says:

    Quick question on length measurement. Did you measure the top (stopped by castle nut) or the bottom (part that goes under the castle nut) of the SB15 tube part? Your arm blocked the shot accidently. If you did measure the bottom, what is the length of the top? Thanks for the quick review, appreciate it

  2. Voodoo_Man says:

    Thanks for posting this. I am on the fence and will standby to hear what else you have to say about it.

  3. Cymond says:

    Thanks for this!

    The fact that the back is closed seems to offset the shorter length. The closed back means that it won’t slip down onto the tube, so they could take some of the length off the front. It also means all those buffer tubes with a ridge to stop the SB-15 will need to be redesigned somehow for the SB-X. I guess I’ll need a new tube!

    One request: could you weigh the SB-X before you install it, and then weight the SB-15 after you get it off the tube? I’m sure the SB-X is lighter, but I’m curious how much weight the new design cuts.

  4. Tristan says:

    What is the length of pull?

  5. Paul says:

    Just got my SBX in the mail for my first pistol build. Your vid on it sold me brother….I appreciate the comparison. In my experience, any shaving off of oz as well as lower profile is a plus! This SBX looks really solid, I am very optimistic on it. Got mine from Osagecountyguns.com for $119. Have you ran it yet with the SBX? Thanks again for the review.

    S/F

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      Hey there! I am glad you found the review helpful. I have only run the SBX in one course (due to the weather out here), and I couldn’t tell any difference in firing the SBX from the SB15. I am hopeful that the reduced profile means it won’t get stuck on my gear and my beard as easily during transitions 😀 Good luck with yours, and thanks for reading!

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