Sig Cross Bolt Action Rifle Review [2021]

by Ryan Cleckner

January 6, 2021

12 comments

4.9
(28)

11/25 UPDATE: Sig Sauer Issues a Safety Recall for Cross Bolt-Action Rifles.

According to Sig’s safety recall of all Cross bolt-action rifles, “consumers should immediately discontinue use of the rifle” because Sig has learned that the rifle can “exhibit a delayed discharge after the trigger [is] pulled.”

To learn more about the Cross recall, including how to register for the recall process, please see the details at sigsauer.com/crossrecall

Here is a video demonstrating the issue:

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 Cross Specs

  • Operating System Bolt Action
  • Caliber 277 Sig Fury
  • Barrel Length 16 in
  • Threads 5/8 – 24, taper
  • Weight 6.5 lbs
  • Length 36.5 in
  • Twist Rate 1:8.5
  • Mag Type AICS Style

Sig Cross Background

The 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

SIg-Sauer-Cross-Bolt-Rifle-features-Gun-University
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?

Before 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.

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

The 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.

The 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.

I 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.

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.

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 positive suppressor alignment. The Cross also includes a washer that negates the taper if you’d rather have a 90 degree shoulder.

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

Shootability

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

A
Reliability

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

B+
Accuracy

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

A+
Ergonomics

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

A
Value

Tons of great features at a very reasonable price.

A+

Our Grade

A

Reviewed by Ryan Cleckner

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Because the Sig CrossBolt Action is brand new to the market, your probably in line to get one like many others including myself, Here is some items I recommend you get with this gun so you’re ready when it comes. Some of these items you might already have, but if you don’t, now’s the time to grab them.

Also, there are some accessories you can add to your new Sig Cross Bolt Action. Here are some you should think about:

Best Sights for the Sig Cross Bolt Action Rifle

Sig’s Cross Bolt Action Rifle is an amazing lightweight hunting rifle. But what’s a hunting rifle without a decent optic? Thankfully, Sig’s also put together an amazing optics set sure to impress.

If you’re looking for a great scope for the Sig Cross, no need to look further than Sig’s very own Sierra3 BDX. It provides a clear second focal reticle with ¼ MOA adjustments. And the Sierra BDX isn’t just a top-notch scope either. It takes your shooting to another level with its smartphone integration and app. We like this particular version of the Sierra because it comes with the KILO2400 rangefinder. CHECK PRICE

How to Care for Your Sig Cross Bolt Action Rifle

If you just got this stellar firearm, you need to take care of it properly. It’s a shame when some individuals will get something this nice and don’t keep up with it. Do yourself and your pocketbook a favor and clean your gun. Below is a video that will help explain how to clean your rifle and our recommended cleaning kit from GloryFire.

Important Links And Manuals For Your Sig Cross Bolt Action Rifle

At the time of writing this, the Sig Cross is not yet available for purchase. But if you’re looking to read up a bit more on this rifle, check out what SIG has to say.

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About Ryan Cleckner

Ryan is a former special operations sniper (1/75 Ranger) and current firearms attorney, firearms industry executive, university lecturer, and bestselling author of the Long Range Shooting Handbook.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you Ryan, I enjoyed your article. Any thoughts on when they will release this to the public? Also, do you know if they’ll open horizon to other calibers such as 300 Win Mag or 7mm Rem? Regardless, I’d love to get this in .308 for a deer rifle and then proceed with my build for elk in the 300 or 7mm.

  2. Hello Ryan, do you think the short barrel makes the gun too loud to use in hunting situation? I think there will be occasions that hunters don’t have time to put on ear protection.

    1. Ryan, which caliber will you choose for your rifle? In previous podcasts you’ve mentioned that 6.5 creedmoor gets it mojo from its velocity, and therefore barrel length is critical. At 18” it’s a bit shorter than the 22” you’ve mentioned. Is it still the best choice here for western game? What do you think of the new .277 fury?

      1. Great question and something I’m wondering about myself. I’m going with 6.5 CM for uniformity of cartridges.

    1. I have a SIG Cross; just picked it up (from Bass Pro Shops) yesterday. LOP is adjustable from 12.75″ to 14.75″. Also, the buttpad will go up or down about an inch, and can also tilt left or right. The height adjustment is super-simple, via a button detent that enables the pad to slide up or down to preset positions. The tilt feature requires that you loosen a couple of screws that are installed in oval slots. (I don’t think the rifle includes a wrench for these, but maybe it’s stashed somewhere, like in the pistol grip with a bottom that appears removable but which I have not yet been able to remove. Annoying…)

      Last but not least, SIG has been advertising the Cross as being < 6.5 lbs. That might me true for the 16" .308 version, but the 18" 6.5 Creedmoor version weighs 7 lbs 1 ounce, as measured on a scale that is accurate to 1/10 oz. The .277 Fury will weigh more than the .308 but less than the 6.5 CM. SIG should do a better job clarifying this in their marketing efforts, because 9 ounces more than the claimed weight is a big deal (talking the 6.5 CM here) when they are emphasizing the weight as the major feature.

  3. Yes Sig seems to have a reputation of leaving out small details. For example they allow the consumer to do the field testing. Smile.

  4. Thank you for the review, I have been waiting for a more “current”one. I am hesitant to purchase one yet due to the fact that I am waiting on the new changes to be made. Has sig gave you any sort of update on when they expect production post improvements? Thanks!

  5. It is now 4-7-21 and I bought a Sig Cross. It is coming from Texas to California. I hope by now they have fixed the trigger problem. Did they ever get back to you with a description of the problem?

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