SIG SAUER’s CROSS: Where Hunting and Precision Collide
By Hook & Barrel Staff
With hunting still a favorite pastime for shooting enthusiasts from sea to shining sea, and the tide rising to record heights in the precision shooting arena, especially longer range challenges, it was high time for the birth of a true crossover, and SIG SAUER has delivered big with the Cross. As its name implies, the Cross is intended as a true hybrid hunting and precision rifle, but it’s also oh-so-much more. As intersecting products and technologies go, the Cross is a perfectly refined example of next-generation AR development and design… with a bolt-action rather than a semi-auto-gas or piston-operated system. Perhaps the best way to showcase the marriage of these awesome attributes is with respect to fit, form, and function.
FIT & FORM
Like many premium precision rifles, feel speaks volumes. There is no denying the warm and fuzzy feelings we get when we feel the heft of a match-grade barrel and the textured finish of the precision-machined chassis it sits in. Of course, most of our long-range rigs are, well, on the long side, too—take, for example, a precision rifle with a 26-in. barrel and 8-inch suppressor. You get the idea. While it doesn’t look like any of my hunting rifles or long-range rigs, we do get that same feeling from the SIG SAUER Cross without the weight or length—a match-worthy barrel, premium finish, and precision-machined components. Honestly, I don’t see or feel a single component of the rifle that suggests SIG took any shortcuts in the Cross. What it lacks in weight and length, it makes up for in badassery everywhere else.
As a short list of features, the SIG SAUER Cross boasts a SIG Precision chassis and folding Stock; stainless steel, threaded, match-grade barrel; two-stage match trigger; polymer AR-style grip; and a precision-machined, M-LOK-style, alloy handguard. We tested the 6.5 Creedmoor Cross Model 65-18B-FLC with a First Lite Cipher ArmaKote finish; however, the Cross is currently available in five additional models: two each chambered in .277 Fury and .308 (in black and FLC finish options) and another 6.5 Creedmoor in black. The .308 and .277 Fury models feature 16-in. barrels and 6.5 Creedmoor rigs come standard with 18-in. barrels.
To close out fit and form here, it’s worth noting the Cross features AR-style controls but with a bolt-action. The bolt knob was nicely sized to mitigate snagging or uncomfortable carry via a sling, and the short bolt-throw makes for both pleasant cycling and more rapid follow-up shots. The Creedmoor we tested weighed 6.8 pounds, and overall length was 38.5 inches. Folded, it measures 27 inches. The trigger is adjustable from 2.5-4.5 lbs.—the trigger on our test rig broke crisply between 2.5-3 lbs., on average at 2.75 lbs. according to my Wheeler Trigger Gauge. With several of us shooting the SIG Cross during a range event at the iconic Triple C Shooting Range, the stock’s LOP and comb-height adjustability were more than welcomed—all adjustments were quick and on-the-fly easy.
Before our final range day at Triple C, we had the opportunity to run the SIG Cross at our official Hook & Barrel Testing facility deep in the heart of the Kiamichi Mountains, near Honobia, in Southeast Oklahoma. Our Cross experience began on a mild Saturday morning with a beginning temperature at 70 degrees Fahrenheit and manageable wind consistently blowing at 10 mph and gusting to 15 mph from 9 o’clock. In the world of precision shooting, conditions like ours are average at worst. With an accurate wind call, we expected good, repeatable results.
The SIG Cross we tested included a SIG SAUER BDX riflescope and rangefinder combination. Used correctly, the rangefinder and optic are wirelessly connected. The distance to a target detected by the rangefinder is transferred to the BDX Riflescope where the holdover is calculated and a precise point of aim rendered in the form of an illuminated reticle-dot on the vertical axis.
After setting up targets at 100 and 650 yards, it was time to shoot. We loaded the Cross’ AICS magazine with Winchester’s 125-grain XP Deer Season ammo and settled down on the rifle. The Cross’ trigger broke cleanly at 11:52 a.m. The cold-bore shot hit paper, and with quick turret adjustments on the SIG BDX riflescope, we hammered out a .75-inch group (sub ¾-MOA) at 100 yards and called it good!
With zeroing done at 100 yards, we shifted gears to 650 yards. Shooting from ridge to ridge and dealing navigating through both a 10-mph 9 o’clock wind, gusting to 15 mph, and swirling winds rising from the deep draw between the shooter and target. We connected repeatedly and ended the day with a 6-inch group, but we weren’t done yet. A week later, we were at the famed Triple C Range in Cresson, Texas. After double-checking zero we headed straight for 800 yards. A quick dope check mirrored the automatic drop given by the BDX riflescope/rangefinder combo and, using Winchester’s 125-grain Deer Season XP ammo, we landed a 3-inch five-shot group!
The SIG Cross is a big win for SIG SAUER and for enthusiasts with penchants for both hunting and precision shooting—size, weight, adjustability, and overall, shootability all work together for an exceptionally fluid, comfortable shooting experience on the range and on the hunt. The light weight makes it a comfortable carry, and the Cross even folds compact enough to carry in a larger pack, in an average-size duffle-style bag, or even better, strapped to the side of my 5.11 Tactical bag. Honestly, it’s the same length as my 5.11 bag, thus a great way to carry without the worry of snagging.