Sig Cross Bolt Action Rifle Review [2020]

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Sig has just announced their first bolt-action rifle, the Sig Cross, and Gun University has had exclusive access to this new rifle to bring your our review of the Sig Cross.

We were first invited to New Hampshire for an early sneak peek at the Cross rifle and for my input and thoughts about the platform based on my rifle experience. Then, Sig brought me on a Colorado Elk hunt using the new Cross rifle.

We’ve put this rifle through its paces in real-world conditions and have been anxious to bring you our thoughts about this new product from Sig in this Sig Cross review.

Sig Sauer Cross

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Shootability: A
Reliability: B+
Accuracy: A+
Ergonomics: A
Value: A+

Final Grade: A+

Sig Cross Specs

Operating SystemBolt ActionBolt ActionBolt Action
Calibers277 Sig Fury308Win6.5Creedmoor
Barrel Length16 in16 in18 in
Threads5/8 – 24, taper5/8 – 24, taper5/8 – 24, taper
Weight6.5 lbs6.2 lbs6.8 lbs
Length36.5 in36.5 in38.5 in
Twist Rate1:8.51:101:8
Mag TypeAICS StyleAICS StyleAICS Style

sig cross buttstockThe concept of this rifle platform, as we see it, is this: provide a lightweight and small precision rifle platform that is easily adjustable and modular making it suitable for both hunting and precision rifle work. I think the platform is awesome (I’m getting ahead of my review below) and am excited to see this be what we expect on future offerings by others as well.

Clearly chassis have become incredibly popular hosts for precision rifle actions (there’s over 100 available on Brownell’s alone). However, this style of rifle avoids the extra parts, weight, and potential for inconsistent mating of the two-part chassis and receiver system and instead makes the receiver into the chassis. This saves weight, cost, and removes potential for inconsistencies.

However, much of the potential chassis features remain: folding stocks with adjustable combs (cheek rests) and length of pull, AR-style components such as grips, safeties, and hand guards, plenty of rail space for mounting optics, and detachable magazines.

These new platforms also introduce another AR-style feature: interchangeable barrels with barrel extensions and interchangeable bolt-heads. What does this mean? Easy barrel changes by the user without headspace issues! The barrel and bolt head can come from the factory ready to go.

So, what do I think about these platforms generally and Sig’s new Cross rifle specifically? Read on…

 

Sig Sauer Cross Features

1. INTEGRAL RECEIVER CHASSIS W/DETACHABLE MAG
Lightweight, rigid, and modular.

2. AR-STYLE CONTROLS
Ergonomic and familiar.

3. FOLDING ADJUSTABLE STOCK
Easy to fit the shooter and small for packing.

4. AR-STYLE HANDGUARD AND BARREL SYSTEM
Mounting of accessories and caliber changes.

Sig Cross Review – Our Take

I think that there are two good questions to explore in this Sig Cross bolt-action rifle review:

  1. First, does the lightweight and modular receiver/chassis bolt-action platform make for a good rifle?
  2. Second, as Sig’s take on this platform, what grade does the Cross rifle earn?

The first question is easy to answer: Yes, the lightweight and modular receiver/chassis bolt-action platform in Q’s The Fix and now Sig’s Cross rifle is an AWESOME concept for rifles.

In fact, there is a great chance that this is going to be a new trend and you’ll see more soon.

What did I think about Sig’s new Cross bolt-action rifle?

cross rifle by sigBefore I start my answer/review of the Sig Cross, first a disclosure: the rifle I had to test over a few range trips and one Colorado elk hunt was a prototype rifle. Thankfully, Sig sent me a rifle with their concept and then asked for feedback and suggestions well before they finalized the design.

Unfortunately, too many manufacturers will reach out to me for my thoughts and as soon as I give them, I’m often met with “well, it’s too late because this is the design that is going into production now.” It never made sense to me that some ask for feedback after it’s too late to do anything with the feedback.

Thankfully, Sig sent a prototype first with plenty of time and room for improvements. Because I returned the prototype and haven’t yet received a final production model, we’ll have to see whether they took my suggestions in the final version of the Cross.

This also means that some criticisms I had of the Cross rifle may have nothing to do with the final version and would therefore be unfair to list here because they may have nothing to do with Sig Cross rifle’s available in the marketplace. For example, a few parts were 3D printed as examples.

If I do list something that may only exist on my prototype version of the rifle (again, I don’t know what’s on the final version until they send me one), I’ll note it as such.

sig cross hunting

 

Ok, here we go…

It’s easiest to summarize the Sig Cross rifle this way: it is a compact, ergonomic, lightweight, and accurate rifle.

In an effort to organize my thoughts, I’ll work my way from the rear of the rifle to the front.

Buttstock

Sig Sauer CrossThe Sig Cross has a skeletonized-design aluminum adjustable folding buttstock. They really executed this well.

Often, folding buttstocks have a weakness, their folding mechanism is either weak, too difficult to operate, and/or it isn’t solid. None of these are true about Sig’s Cross.

On the prototype I tested, the buttstock did not lock closed – this was one of the feedback items I gave them: I thought it would be nice to have the buttstock lock in the closed position and Sig made the change for production rifles. If I haven’t mentioned it already, I’m still impressed that a manufacturer asked for feedback, took the feedback, and made changes.

cross rifle sigThe length of the buttstock adjusts easily and solidly. Good work. However, the great work is in the adjustable comb (cheekpiece). With the exception of a few adjustable buttstocks that have positive click adjustments (like Magpul’s PRS AR stock), most adjustable cheekpieces eventually slip and lose their setting. This is because the design of these stocks often includes a friction knob that comes loose.

Sig fixed this problem with a cam/lever that help with leverage and tension. It looks over designed and it works great.

There are three things about the adjustable comb that I didn’t like. I was wrong about one of the things and Sig fixed the other two! Sweet.

The one thing that I was wrong about was something I had never seen in an adjustable comb: springs that push the cheekpiece up once the tension is removed. It was frustrating at first when I didn’t understand why it was there.

sig bolt actionI checked my final adjustments and realized that I needed to lower the comb a tiny amount. So, I turned the rifle on its side, unlocked the lever to move the comb down and, to my surprise (and frustration), the comb shot out to its full extension because of the spring tension. I thought, “why in the world would they ADD parts that make it impossible to make fine tuned adjustments?”

Here’s where my change in understanding changed how I felt about this feature. Sig made a new way to adjust (as far as I know) combs: If you unlock the lever and place your head on the comb, you can raise or lower your head as needed for proper alignment and then lock the comb in place. The springs, that I thought were a bad idea, are actually a great idea because it allows the comb to raise itself as you raise your head. Pretty cool idea.

The second issue I had was that the cheek rest was not as far forward as it could have been – there was easily an inch between the front edge and the rear of the bolt fully extended. This means that I couldn’t get my big head as far forward as I’d like. Thankfully, Sig listened and fixed this.

The third issue was with the shape of the cheek rest – it was a symmetrical half circle. Sure, this works, but a different shape would have been better for head position (and not slipping off). Again, Sig fixed this!

 

Receiver

The one-piece receiver/chassis/magwell is lightweight and allows for excellent accuracy.

The prototype version I had included an ejection port cover but the production version will not. This is the one change that I wish Sig didn’t make. I really liked this feature, however, some thought that it could be too noisy when hunting. I disagree.

Any standard AR grip should work and the safety is an ambidextrous AR-style safety.

The magazine well accepts short-action AICS/Magpul PMAG AC magazines. A gripe about the rifle I had: the mag release in the front of the trigger guard was difficult to operate. Sig told me that they would be changing the design – I’m eager to see what the final version looks like.

The trigger is awesome! I didn’t like how easily the adjustment screw was moved but, guess what… Sig listened and changed it. The trigger is a two-stage crisp trigger that appears to be a very safe design.

sig rifle review

 

Bolt

The bolt accepts interchangeable bolt heads for different calibers. Currently Sig is going to offer the rifle in their new cartridge, 277 Sig Fury, 308 Win, and 6.5 Creedmoor.

The rifle I had included a large bolt handle that I liked but it was large enough that it was easy to get caught on things in the woods. The production model has a smaller bolt handle and the handle I used is an available upgrade.

The mechanics of the bolt include a small roller bearing to help reduce cocking force needed because of the shorter than normal bolt-throw. The bolt’s head has two small ears on each side that ride upon part of the receiver to help guide the bolt and reduce binding. The version I had included camo coating on the receiver that drug a bit on the bolt. This wasn’t desirable. However, once the coating wore down, the bolt was smooth again and Sig has tackled this issue.

sig bolt rifle

The receiver also has a groove wherein the bottom of the bolt rides for alignment. I had no problem with this, however, one of the hunters on our Colorado elk hunt experienced an issue where the groove filled with debris and made it so the bolt couldn’t be operated until the groove was cleaned out. This was not ideal, obviously, but yet another great example of Sig asking for actual feedback early on: Sig changed the groove dimensions to prevent this from happening again.

 

Hand-guard

The hand-guard is an AR-style hand-guard with M-Lok attachments. This is nice to see/use but it isn’t exactly novel (it is the new standard… or it should be).

What is cool is that they have mounting options close to the receiver for mounting to tactical style tripod mounts.

Tiny gripe: the aluminum hand-guard and receiver make the rifle cold to carry while hunting (even with gloves).

 

Barrel

The barrel is made by Sig and is a nice blend of accuracy and lightweight enough to carry easily while hunting.

I’ll admit, the rifle is so lightweight that it is sometimes difficult to hold stable for precision work – but it’s not impossible. It isn’t as stable as a super heavy barrel target rifle. But, it makes this rifle a great lightweight all-around rifle.

The barrels come with their own extension so that headspace is built in for easy caliber changes. The barrel attaches to the receiver just like an AR barrel.

The barrel also includes a threaded barrel and taper for postiive suppressor alignment. The Cross also includes a washer that negates the taper if you’d rather have a 90 degree shoulder.

 

sig sauer cross bolt rifle

 

Conclusion

I think (emphasis THINK because I haven’t had my hands on the final version yet) that Sig has a winner here. The platform is clearly a winner and the new future of these hybrid tactical/target/hunting rifles. Sig is also coming in at a lower price point than what’s currently available in the same category. We were told to expect a street-price at around $1,600.

I will be getting one of these for a hunting rifle – I love how light, small, and accurate it is. When I folded the buttstock, I could easily store the rifle along the side of my pack and it was awesome to not have it stick above the top of my pack – finally able to carry a rifle on my pack without getting stuck on vines and branches.

If you’d like updates on news about this rifle or availability dates, make sure you subscribe to notifications above or below.

For some more views of the Sig Cross rifle, here’s a video of me using it to walk through how to zero Sig’s BDX scope:

 

 

 

Sig Cross Pros and Cons

Easy caliber changes

Lightweight and Compact

Very Accurate

Easy to use in alternate shooting positions

Aluminum body makes for a cold rifle to carry while hunting

Pistol grips on bolt-action rifles are not my preference

Report card

ShootabilityVery easy to shoot and operate – Perfect for hunting, but not as stable as a dedicated target rifle.

A

ReliabilityVery reliable  feeding from the magazine. However, small issue with single feed (should be solved)

B+

AccuracyInsanely accurate. I put together some great groups at 600 yards despite being a compact and lightweight rifle.

A+

ErgonomicsIt’s the mix of an AR and a bolt gun. Easy to use.

A

ValueTons of great features at a very reasonable price.

A+

Final Grade: A+

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0 Comments

  • Anonymous
    Posted December 18, 2019 7:28 am

    3.5

  • Ryan Cleckner
    Posted December 18, 2019 12:17 pm

    5

  • Anonymous
    Posted December 18, 2019 1:08 pm

    4.5

  • Anonymous
    Posted December 18, 2019 3:47 pm

    5

  • Jon Wardell
    Posted December 19, 2019 8:35 am

    I would be interested in seeing a head to head comparison between the Sig Cross and some other similar rifles, such as the Tikka Tac A1, Christensen MSR, Ruger precision rifle and Q the Fix . Another factor to consider will be the quality control of the final Sig Cross. Will it have issues when final production rifles are available as have been seen with some manufacturers?

    • J Siegel
      Posted December 19, 2019 11:53 am

      Agree with Jon. Can you do a good Tika TAC-A1 vs. Sig Cross review? Maybe add in a few others here’s mentioned. You could approach it as a buyer’s guide.

    • Taylor LeBlanc
      Posted January 13, 2020 1:47 pm

      The Q Fix is the only thing in this category. The other rifles are just barreled actions in a chassis or stock.

  • Alexander L Davis
    Posted December 21, 2019 6:25 am

    I am curious if the barrel extension is industry standard or proprietary? Would be nice if the new bolt guns on the market had interchangeable barrels. Such as putting a .277 Fury barrel on a Daniel Defense Delta 5.

  • Taylor
    Posted January 2, 2020 10:30 am

    Ryan, do you think that the .277 will catch on? Especially if the Army decides to go a different route? Seems to me like this super kick ass gun is best enjoyed in 6.5, with the potential to “upgrade” to 6.8 if Sig’s confidence proves well founded.

    • Ryan Cleckner
      Posted January 2, 2020 12:28 pm

      I think the round might catch on – especially I the Army adopts it. But, I definitely want one in 6.5 Creedmoor.

  • Al Hupp
    Posted January 2, 2020 1:43 pm

    Ryan,

    I guess I am under a false impression that the .308 round works best with a minimum of 18″ of barrel length. I was at first surprised/disappointed to see the Cross only offered with a 16″ barrel yet you cited good accuracy out to 600 yards. That’s outstanding for such a short barrel!

    What are your thoughts on my perceptions of barrel lengths with regards to the .308 round?

  • DOn Wok
    Posted January 4, 2020 5:45 pm

    Any idea whether the handguard will be interchangeable with standard AR handguards?

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