I’m a big fan of all firearms, but somehow word got out that I may be partial to precision rifles. With that in mind, I was particularly excited to get an assignment on a new bolt-action rifle from SIG Sauer at the 2019 Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous. That’s right, you heard correctly: a bolt-action rifle made completely by SIG Sauer, officially named the SIG Cross.
SIG Sauer is more than a firearms company; it’s an engineering and development company. SIG has more than 80 engineers. With all that brain power, and resources to back it, SIG can enter just about any segment it wants to, and nearly be assured a success every time; that comes from designing an exciting and well-built end product. The all-new SIG Cross certainly fits the bill, as it performs maybe better than originally intended.
SIG Cross Bolt-Action Rifle Details
As SIG’s Patrick Hanley told our friends at Tactical-Life.com, “Cross” has a specific meaning. SIG designed the gun as a hybrid, designed around a precision platform it looks like a precision rifle, yet performs just as well as a hunting rifle.
The Cross is a bolt-action rifle, built on a lightweight and very strong one-piece receiver. It’s best to think of it as a marriage of a MCX upper and lower in to one unit, redesigned as a bolt action instead of a semi-auto. The lineage is clearly visible. This type of design allows for controls familiar to an MCX/AR-15 platform; it has an ambi thumb safety selector, user swappable pistol grips, and a skeletonized folding stock.
And while it would be easier to make the magazine an SR25 compatible version, SIG took the high road and made it AICS compatible. This moves improves feeding and allows for longer cartridges to be mag-fed.
The Cross is modular at worst. If you’re a fan of user configurability, then you may be looking at your next bolt action. The barrels utilize an AR-15 type barrel extension, which makes it lighter. the head spacing is also accomplished this way. Different lengths, calibers and profiles, will be part of the Cross-adaptability landscape. Both versions I’ve piloted were 6.5 Creedmoor.
Also, for you hunters on the move, the Cross folds down to just a mere 25 inches. So what you have is a backpack gun with ballistics that can take down elk and other large North American game.
The bolt body is robust and the floating bolt head aids in its excellent accuracy. There are three lugs that are further reinforced for some upcoming cartridges that are sure to put a smile on everyone’s face. The throw is also a short 60 degrees; it’s smooth and interruption-free, just the way a good bolt action should be. The angled bolt handle features large, oversized knob that is comfortable and effective. I’ve never understood the “minimalist” knobs, especially if you have large or gloved hands. You need to “run” the bolt, but I digress.
The receiver features a direct attach Picatinny rail. While 8-inch versions are available now, a full length version will be available in the future. Zero and 20 MOA cants are also available. The handguard is a 14.75-inch M-LOK attachment type, and the full-length rail will run across it, which leaves options for night vision or other attachments.
The skeletonized folding stock borrows parts from the MCX line, but features a fully adjustable butt with plenty of travel in the length of pull, as well as comb height areas. Also, adjusting is easy, utilizing a tensioning knob and button for the LOP and a well-executed lever for the comb height, which is spring assisted. So when you move the lever the piece won’t fall down, forcing you to hold an awkward position while you fight to properly adjust.
Barrels will eventually be plentiful. However, a fairly light profile version will initially be available for the Cross’ hunting promotional efforts. My test sample had an 18-inch 6.5 Creedmoor barrel affixed. SIG threaded and tapered it to work with its line of muzzle devices and suppressors. It also features a tapered shoulder adapter for those using direct thread cans. I threaded a SIG SRD-762 Ti suppressor for testing.
SIG Cross Testing
This is a solid 1/2 minute rifle with a consistent shooter at the helm. I fired double three-shot groups at .18 and .29 inches with SIG’s 130 gr. Elite Hunter Expansion Tips. Average velocity was 2,743 fps. Then the five-shot groups were .44 inch, .62 inch, and .72 inch. I must add that the last two groups both had four rounds under 0.3 inches with one having four consecutive rounds at 0.22 inches. I manage to blow a good group whenever I can, cause hey, this is America.
In Idaho I shot the Cross to 1,000 yards with ease, never having laid hands or eyes on the platform. That was promising but the 100-yard results show a consistency that I didn’t think was likely in such a small, lightweight package. Lastly, the whole thing with SIG suppressor and SIG Sierra 3 BDX 6.5-20×52 optic weighed a whopping 10.2 pounds — that’s insane.
The prototype I had was solid, so I’ll be excited to see how final production units look and feel. I hate when new prototype products are this good and you don’t really know how the production units will pan out. But if things only improve, which I have no reason to believe otherwise, the SIG Cross will be an extremely formidable bolt-action rifle option, and perhaps a class-leader, especially with a street price expected to be around $1,600. Time will tell and until a left-handed version makes its debut, I’ll be saving my pennies for a purchase. For more information, please visit SIGSauer.com.
SIG Cross Specs (based on prototype; subject to change)
- Weight: 6.2 pounds
- Length: 25 inches (folded)
- Trigger: 2-stage adjustable match trigger (2.5-4.5 pounds)
- Grip Type: SIG AR-style grip
- Barrel Type: Stainless match grade medium contour barrel
- Barrel Length: .308 and .277 SIG Fury will be 16 inches; and 6.5 Creedmoor will be 18 inches