The SIG Sauer TREAD line of firearms was designed to provide quality at an affordable price point. Compared to many firearms on the market, the SIG TREAD line offers upgrades in their base models that would otherwise have to be added on competitor firearms. I purchased a TREAD pistol in the late summer of 2022 and wanted to use it as my base platform for a more customized pistol to my liking. I know, the TREAD is essentially supposed to be a “done” firearm with enough refinements to take to the range and go but I wanted to push it a bit further. One of the reasons I wanted to make this pistol slightly different was to make it feel more like my other rifles with respect to the handguard and suppressor modularity. What follows is a list of my modifications along with a rationale for each.
The stock TREAD pistol trigger is single stage polished and hard coated. It has a very predictable trigger press but compared to the Timney in my SIG MPX, it just doesn’t have the same feel. So I replaced it and proceeded to test fired it. The trigger is flat like my MPX and it has a very clean break and fast reset. Upgrade done.
An A2 birdcage comes stock on this pistol. That muzzle device is proven and it works well but it doesn’t work with my Surefire 5.56 RC2 suppressor. I needed either a flash suppressor or compensator that also worked as a suppressor mount. After talking with my contact at Surefire, I ended up with the Warcomp. This device is like the Goldilocks of muzzle devices. It has the open-tine construction like their other flash hiders and it also has ports that redirect gasses for mitigated recoil while shooting uncivilized…I mean, without a suppressor. Using the provided shims, I set up the Warcomp to have the indexing notch for my suppressor right at the 6 O’clock and the majority of the ports to the ejection port side.
Forend and M LOK Covers
This modification might get me some hate but I’m fine with hate. The TREAD pistol has a very distinct handguard. It has the unique TREAD logo nearest the junction with the receiver. My other rifles don’t have a handguard like this one and I wanted continuity between firearms. I purchased a BCM handguard from my friend Ben over at Tier1 Kinetics in UT as BCM is my handguard of choice. With the help of my local buddy and Sheriff Mike, we removed the TREAD handguard. SIG uses a proprietary barrel nut that can be removed by grinding off the center prong with a Dremel tool. It works like a charm and after a short while, the SIG forend was off and replaced. To match the forends on my other rifles, I used covers around the handguard and a picatinny rail cover on the top. That provides me the right amount of texture and comfort with a good C-clamp grip.
The SIG TREAD comes with an ambidextrous safety as well as an ambidextrous magazine release. The charging handle that comes with it is traditional to form and has the catch on the left-hand side of the receiver. Wanting to make the pistol ambidextrous, I opted for a Geissele Airborne charging handle. This would allow me to operate the charging handle bilaterally.
Optic and Mount
The charging handle on this pistol isn’t the only place where Geissele products appear. I wanted to keep the pistol lightweight and utilize a compact red dot optic. I could always add a magnifier if desired but just adding a quality red dot improves accuracy greatly. I’ve had a lot of experience with the Trijicon MRO and the red dot version was the optic chosen for this upgrade. Geissele provided me one of their Super Precision mounts that has a true co-witness and it mounts with incredible clamping pressure.
Backup Iron Sights
Back-up iron sights are useful if you train with them. Prior to putting on my MRO, I had a little fun sighting in a spare set of BCM BUIS from another AR. I took to the range we use in Spanish Fork, UT and shot at steel out to 100 yards and from different angles by walking a ridgeline that is above the bowl where our range is. These iron sights are excellent quality and work when batteries don’t. I know if for some reason my MRO isn’t bright enough or if it fails, I can rely on that front post and a rear peep sight.
I believe any firearm used for self-defense should have a weapon mounted light. I don’t like the idea of having to compromise my support hand by holding a light in it instead of maintaining a good grip on the forend. Sure, there are ways to accomplish using a handheld light with a long-gun and one should learn how to in courses like the low-light courses offered by SIG Academy but, a weapon-mounted light is a far better option. I decided on using a Surefire 3v scout light. It is compact, has a good output, and is durable in case it bounces around a bit on the side of my backpack or inside my vehicle. The 3V scout is mounted where my other lights are mounted and it can be activated with my thumb quite easily. I keep a spare CR123 battery in the hollow compartment of the pistol grip and put a little bit of grease on the lens of the light to make carbon buildup easy to clean off.
The SIG TREAD comes with a Shockwave Blade on the buffer tube. I’m more of a fan of the SBA3 from SB Tactical. Off with one, on with the other. I won’t say how to use it but I’ll say it is more comfortable to use in a lot of ways.
Like my “beater rifle” that I have the most amount of training with, I decided on a Frank Proctor Way of the Gun sling for this pistol. Proctor’s slings are minimalist and easy to adjust. Since this pistol would be carried into the backcountry and used inside my vehicle, I wanted something that could be stored easily without a lot of bulk. The sling also easily mounted through the SB Tactical brace and around the forend.
There is nothing wrong with the SIG TREAD pistol as it comes from the factory. It makes an excellent host for upgrades or it can be used as is. That is the benefit of the AR platform. It is like an adult LEGOS set that you can customize. I didn’t swap out the barrel or the receiver or the bolt carrier group or the buffer tube and a few other parts. Could I add more to this and continue the swap process, absolutely. For now, this pistol will become an excellent travel companion and it will be legal in most places where my concealed carry licenses have reciprocity. This isn’t my first SIG Sauer pistol and it won’t be my last. I’ve never been disappointed in SIG quality and this TREAD is surely high on my list of favorite firearms they’ve come out with.