The Sig Cross: An incredible gun, but it has flaws

If an AR-15 and a traditional bolt-action hunting rifle had a baby, it’d probably look something like a Sig Cross. The Cross has a pistol grip, folding stock, and fore-end that looks a lot like the styling of an AR-15. Yet, the Cross is actually a traditional bolt-action rifle with a short barrel and no stock.

I bought one of the first copies of the (post-recall) Sig Cross to hit the market and have been shooting it ever since. When I initially reviewed it, I found it to be an accurate rifle with many advantages, but I was nonplussed about some of its quirks. Over time, however, this has become one of my most-used rifles and I’ve fallen in love. The Sig Cross is one of the best hunting rifles on the market.

The Sig Cross had extremely high hopes and plenty of hype upon release as the next generation hunting and backcountry rifle of our time. With features that support packability and adjustability, this seemed like the rifle to own for years to come. Unfortunately with recalls coming soon after release doubt was quickly growing for this platform and in many shooters’ perspectives a tainted future.

Stock Features

The features that the Sig Cross brings to the table are what makes this rifle instantly stand alone in many people’s eyes. With a fully adjustable length of pull and comb height, it is essentially possible for anyone to shoot this rifle with ease and comfort.

Another built-in feature in the stock is the ability to collapse over the receiver making this rifle extremely packable for backcountry hunters. When in the folded position Sig designed the folded stock to also act as a bolt lock to keep the bolt handle down for transport.

Many people looking at the Cross for the first time will assume that it is some kind of clone of an “AR” style receiver or at least a chassis system. However, the Sig Cross is actually a one-piece receiver that helps with miss alignments and aid accuracy.

Another feature that is rather uncommon to see in a factory-built hunting rifle is the fact that the Cross’s trigger is a two-stage trigger. I personally prefer this style of trigger and the one on my rifle performs well with good take-up and crisp back wall.

Barrels and Calibers

The Sig Cross is offered in two standard cartridges being the 308 and the 6.5 Creedmoor. Sig also offers the Cross in Sig’s own 277 Fury cartridge that only Sig builds ammunition for. The 308 and 277 Fury both have a compact 16-inch barrel while the 6.5 Creedmoor has a slightly longer 18-inch barrel.

Besides the two standard cartridges offered for the Cross the .277 Sig Fury cartridge is a hybrid cartridge that sports the stainless steel case head. This helps with higher pressure loads and is unique to Sig although with ammo shortages being drawn out over some time now this cartridge can be hard to acquire.

Sig has also stated that the end-user is able to change barrels using an “AR” style barrel wrench which may be of some interest if future calibers are ever introduced.

Accuracy

This is where some inconsistencies begin to emerge for different rifles and shooters. My personal Cross has performed exceptionally well with groups being .4 and .6 of an inch with suitable ammunition. However, the Cross can be fussy when it comes to ammo brands so many different types may need to be bought before finding the one that matches up best with your personal copy.

MY LOAD RECIPE: I saw the best groups in my Sig Cross by handloading it with a 143 grain ELD-X bullet using 41.2 grains of H4350 at a COAL of 2.78″, which produced a speed of 2,668fps. This has consistently produce 0.4″ groups out of this gun. It’s one of the most accurate rifles I have when shooting this load.

Being fussy with factory ammunition can be mitigated by hand-loaders that are willing to tweak loads to best fit their personal copies of the Sig Cross.

I have also found that my Sig Cross shoots better while suppressed. Not only does it ever so slightly increase the muzzle velocity of my bullet suppressors often can tune barrel harmonics and aid in accuracy.

I will also note that even with ammunition that the rifle didn’t particularly like I never experienced any “flyers” while shooting groups of different ammunition. The groups may have grown out to a size of 1.4 inches but the rifle never threw a round wild and unpredictable.

Concerns About Safety

Upon release, the Sig Cross underwent a rather sudden recall with very few copies actually out on the market. The most severe issue is that the Cross could potentially discharge by simply bumping the bolt! The NutnFancy Youtube channel released a video showing this shocking and dangerous error.

To be even more clear on this issue the rifle in mention wasn’t dropped or slammed but gently bumped causing a dangerous discharge. This issue has been addressed by Sig with a recall in 2020, and now all copies of the Sig Cross being sold have been fixed.

But unfortunately, there is another safety issue with the Sig Cross which Sig has yet to fix with a recall. When flipping the safety from fire to safe, the safety frequently gets stuck between the two modes–making it unclear what mode the rifle is in.

Frankly, I’m angry that Sig released this gun with a MASSIVE safety issue, recalled it, and then sent it out again but now with a safety issue that is present on my gun (it developed after I made my video review) as well as several other Sig Cross owners who I’ve talked to.

Yet, no new recall from Sig. A gun that doesn’t make it clear if it is in safety or firing mode is an unsafe gun.

Though my Cross rifle never had problems with accidental discharge, I am not happy with Sig’s approach to safety on this rifle.

An unfortunate trend happening in the industry is the offering of limited cartridge options. This really puts a damper on the Cross and gives it a half-hearted feeling of “take it or leave it”. With no additional cartridges being mentioned by Sig at this moment in time.

My Sig Cross

To restate the specs on my personal Cross rifle I own the standard black Cross chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor with the factory spec 18-inch barrel. I have a rather inexpensive scope on this rifle that only costs around $200. The best grouping out of this rifle so far is a nice .4 of an inch using Barns match ammo for my best groups. The Cross retails for around the $1600 range.

The Sig Cross is advertised at a weight of 6.5 to 6.8 pounds and feels very balanced in the hand perhaps to the fact that it isn’t overly long.

I personally love my Cross rifle and it has given me virtually no issue with accuracy or operation (other than the safety issue). The adjustability in the stock is what makes this rifle stand out to me and makes me want to continue to shoot this rifle time and time again.

It does appear however that depending on your personal copy of the Sig Cross your experience may be like mine where overall it is very positive or it can be a nightmare. This is where I believe the overall design of this rifle will be the next step in the hunting community although Sig’s Cross isn’t the rifle to take us there. Quality control and constancy lot to lot is a must and unfortunately with recalls due to major safety factors the Cross has a tarnished history.

Should You Buy a Sig Cross?

Well, to me, that depends. If you want an extremely portable, adjustable, accurate, lightweight hunting rifle chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor or .308 Winchester, it’s a great option.

HOWEVER, this gun was released with a massive problem where it could discharge without the trigger being pulled. Now, it’s released again post-recall but the safety indicator does not clearly show what mode it is in as it frequently gets stuck in the middle. In my mind, that’s a serious safety issue and should be recalled.

If you’re willing to fix that issue on your copy of the gun or look past it, then the Sig Cross is one of the best rifles on the market.

I know what you’re thinking. Wait… look past a SAFETY ISSUE? I agree. And that’s why I can’t recommend it yet. As soon as Sig fixes that issue, I’d change my recommendation to being extremely excited about this gun. But not yet.

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14 Comments

  1. Hey Jim,

    If I buy a cross in 6.5cm is all that is required for a caliber swap to .308 a barrel swap?

    Thanks,

    Tom

  2. Chris Goody says:

    Hey Jim,

    I just saw your video on the Kodiak trip and wondered what scope you ended up using on the Cross. I’m pretty sure I spied a Gold Ring on the bell, but couldn’t be sure!

      1. Francisco says:

        Just purchased the cross in 6.5 Wondering if you have a link for the mounting rings for scope.

  3. Ross Morton says:

    Any insight on comparing the Cross to Christensen MPR? MPR is more expensive but also offers 6.5 PRC chambering along with others.

  4. I see that Sig now offers a Precision Rifle version for the Cross. Curious if they fixed any issues. If they offer it in the 6.8 Wesren or 6.5 PRC, I will likely purchase. Prefer 6.8 but that is unlikely given a Winchester round. I have heard of people changing the 308 barrel with a 7mm-08 barrel.

  5. What bipod set up are you running on your sig cross?

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      Most of the time, I’m using the MDT Ckyepod on the Cross. It’s ridiculously expensive, but awesome.

  6. Hey Jim,

    What factory ammo would you recommend out of the box? Trying to narrow down my selection before tracking each brand/weight etc. down

    Thanks!

  7. Hey Jim, love the channel and really intrigued by the information you have put out on the sig cross. I have been on the fence with this rifle for about 6 months now. I have mainly been hesitant due to the fact that for the price point the cross is listed at I could have a really good head start on a custom rifle in a chassis system that would fit a similar purpose that I am looking for out of the sig cross rifle.

    I am a hand loader and I saw your load information was wondering if you would provide more info on your case trim length, brand of brass, and primer choice you used to get those velocities out of that short of a barrel.

    Final question is this the rifle you would have your son shoot if you guys went on an elk hunt?
    I understand its not the best option and not my first choice of rifle for elk hunting but generally interested if this is what you would have a “younger” child or maybe your wife shoot to help mitigate flinch with recoil in order to make an accurate shot. I have seen video’s on YouTube with people shooting bear, moose, and other large game animals but wondering if this would be your first choice for someone that couldn’t handle much more recoil than a 6.5 cred.

  8. Adam Major says:

    Im currently working on my load recipe for my 6.5 cross. I was interested in yours. How sure are you on the coal you put at 2.78 because I cant get mine anywhere near that. Would appreciate any info you have for load recipes for this rifle thanks.

    1. Jim Harmer says:

      Yes that’s correct. Just went out and measured my loads to make sure. Saami is 2.7 to 2.825 for the Creedmoor, so that shouldn’t be hard to achieve.

  9. Good review Jim! Thank you for the insight. I purchased one for this year and it has already started filling tags (and my freezer)! Great rifle, can’t wait to suppress it! Question: on a .308 16inch barrel…how far is too far for larger animals (elk, moose)?