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Sig Sauer Cross: Hunting, Competiton, & Long Range [Detailed Review]

PART HUNTING RIFLE, PART LONG RANGE RIFLE

With over a year of shooting the SIG Cross for fun and competition, I’ve had a long time to really evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the rifle. It might not be what you expected, but I think most modern hunters would appreciate the Cross for what it is. And what it isn’t.

From the high desert of California to the mountains of Washington, this is my experience and review of the Cross.

SPECS

In addition to what comes in the box, I've added a Bushnell Match Pro ED 5-30×56 scope, Area 419 Hellfire Pro muzzle brake, MKM bubble level, Kestrel HUD, and sometimes an Area 419 ARCA rail. Total weight as I have my SIG Cross set up is 11.8 pounds

SIG Cross Specs

MODELCross .308 WinCross 6.5 Creedmoor
CALIBER308 Win6.5 Creedmoor
BARREL LENGTH16 in (406 mm)18 in (457 mm)
MAGS INCLUDED(1) 5rd Polymer Mag(1) 5rd Polymer Mag
MAG TYPEAICSAICS
ACTION TYPEBoltBolt
STOCK TYPESIG Precision StockSIG Precision Stock
BARREL MATERIALStainless SteelStainless Steel
TRIGGER TYPE2-Stage Match2-Stage Match
TWIST RATE1:101:8
FOREND TYPEAlloyAlloy
GRIP TYPEPolymerPolymer
RECEIVER FINISHBlack AnodizedBlack Anodized
OVERALL LENGTH36.5 in (927 mm)38.5 in (977.9 mm)
OVERALL WIDTH2.9 in (74 mm)2.9 in (74 mm)
HEIGHT8 in (203.2 mm)8 in (203.2 mm)
THREADS5/8 in – 245/8 in – 24
ACCESSORY RAILM-LOKM-LOK
OPERATING SYSTEMBolt-ActionBolt-Action
WEIGHT6.5 lb (2.94 kg)6.8 lb (3.08 kg)

SAFETY RECALL

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room – while the Cross was released in 2020, it was quickly recalled due to a major problem with the safety. As NutNFancy found out on YouTube, the first wave of Cross rifles had the ability to fire with the safety on “safe.” That is, obviously, very not good.

The Cross was recalled and fixed quickly. It took a few months, but SIG sorted it out and got the rifles fixed.

Since then, the Cross has had a perfect safety record with no issues. I only mention this because you should know the history in case someone asks.

I’ve had a SIG Cross for over a year and have never had a problem.

PRS, NRL: HUNTER, PLINKING, AND MORE

I first shot a Cross way back at SHOT 2020 at the SIG Range Day Event. From then on, I was bugging SIG to let me get my hands on a production model to play with. Eventually, I finally was able to buy one at a discount. 

Since then, I’ve spent some major time with this rifle. I’ve shot PRS-style matches, a 2-day NRL: Hunter match, a whole lot of plinking at the range, and more. By my count, I have just over 1,000 rounds down the pipe.

In that time, this rifle has been rained on, hiked with through the desert dust, knocked over at least 5 times, and dropped in the mud once.

I’ve cleaned the barrel exactly once, I’ve shot hand loads and factory ammo, and I’ve re-lubed and wiped down the bolt maybe 4 times.

Basically, I have not babied this rifle at all. For a precision rifle, I’ve basically abused it.

Through all of that, this rifle has never failed me and has performed outstandingly well. The only issue I ever had was when I crammed 11 rounds into a 10-round magazine and when I had a bad primer fail to fire a handload. Both of those have nothing to do with the Cross.

That is some impressive fortitude for a firearm. While we’d like to pretend that all rifles can could the same, we know the truth is different. 

WHAT THE CROSS EXCELS AT

This is a hunting rifle. A really good, lightweight, modern-feeling hunting rifle. 

For a hunting rifle, I love the Cross. Lightweight, easy to carry, and plenty accurate. The Cross comes in two flavors, 18” for 6.5 Creedmoor and 16” for .308 Win.

The shorter barrel saves a ton of weight and makes it a lot easier to navigate brush with. But that same short barrel also cuts down on your muzzle velocity.

With factory ammo in my 6.5 Creedmoor Cross, I normally get about 2,600 FPS. My handloads of 140gr ELDM run 2544 for target shooting. With 143gr ELDX, I bump up the spicy level a little to hit 2590 FPS.

For game within a reasonable range of about 400 yards, that’s more than enough hitting with about 1,375 ft.lbf at 2,089 FPS.

Hogs, deer, elk at shorter ranges, and everything in between the SIG Cross can harvest with confidence.

This is also a wonderful rifle to take to the range. While it’s lightweight, it’s not so light that you can’t plink with it half the day. I recommend a nice big brake like the Area 419 Hellfire Match, but even with a bare muzzle, you won’t get too beat up.

If you have a suppressor for it, that’s even better.

The trigger is two stage, but fairly light at about 3 pounds. More importantly, it is very crisp with a well defined wall that breaks extremely smoothly and consistently.

Not the smoothest bolt on a factory rifle I've ever felt, but it smoothed out a lot with use and feels good to run quickly. The bolt handle felt a little odd to me at first, but it ever got in the way, snagged on any gear, and is easy to use when you need to work the bolt in a hurry.

I don't love the magazine release, but for a hunting rifle it makes sense.

The folding stock is awesome. Really helps the Cross pack down for travel, keeps the bolt handle protected when it is folded, and it still feels really stock and stable when folded out.

One thing to know is that the screw that locks the stock onto the rifle WILL walk out with use. Throw some Loctite on that screw and tighten it down hard as soon as you bring your Cross home from the gun store. After I put some Loctite on it, I've never had an issue since.

WHAT THE CROSS IS NOT

SIG markets the Cross as a long range rifle, and I find that… not entirely true. This is a really good hunting rifle, but a kind of “meh” long range precision rifle.

Don’t get me wrong, the Cross can shoot. I’ve made impacts on the clock and off of props out to 950 yards.

But lightweight rifles being great for hunting also makes them not amazing for long range precision shooting.

Sure, I’ve taken it to PRS and done okay with it – but my 22-pound rifle that is actually built for PRS does a whole lot better.

NRL: Hunter is a beast of its own and is actually a match where the SIG Cross does pretty well. If you want to push yourself and your gear to see what you can really do, I highly recommend an NRL: Hunter match. It’s two days and a whole lot of fun.

ACCURACY, AMMO, & HANDLOADS

Something that might be a bit frustrating for people is that the Cross is really picky about ammo. Almost every Cross owner I’ve met has said the same thing, it likes one or two kinds of ammo and nothing else. 

Normally, Hornady ELDM and ELDX are pretty safe bets. SIG Elite Hunter ammo is also a flavor that the Cross likes (normally.)

Lower-grade ammo can be really hit-and-miss with most of it missing. My rifle likes 140gr Hornady American Gunner pretty well but hates Sellier & Bellot 140gr.

With great factory ammo, I shoot about 1.2 MOA 10-shot groups. Note I said 10-shot groups, these aren’t cherry-picked 3-round groups – this is a real representation of the rifle’s accuracy. 

Most of my match shooting has been using handloads. With barely any load development, I’ve been getting .70 MOA using 140gr ELDM bullets, H4350 powder, and Alpha Precision brass.

LOOSE ROUNDS

A SIG Cross isn’t a cheap rifle, but it is a good rifle. While I wouldn’t call this the best long range rifle ever built, I would call it an outstanding hunting rifle with longer legs than most of us will ever need. 

If you want to take it to some long range shooting, you absolutely can do it. 

I’ve got a lot of rounds down range with my Cross, and I love it. I strongly recommend it, and I look forward to shooting it more in the future. 

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