Sig Cross PRS Review: Modern Modular Rifle Precision
SIG has just introduced a fantastic new rifle for practical long-range rifle competitions, the Cross-Precision Rifle System – or Cross-PRS.
Again, SIG Sauer proves it has its fingers on the pulse of the shooting world. Seeing the overwhelming popularity of precision tactical rifle matches, Sig has designed the Cross-PRS to fit within the $2,500 cap of the “Production Division” of the Precision Rifle Series. Let’s see how the Cross holds up to the PRS treatment.
The original Cross was built as the ultimate back-country hunting rifle. It is lightweight and compact but doesn’t skimp on any of the most modern rifle design elements. The Cross weighs in at 6.8 pounds.
The Cross-PRS is basically their Cross rifle with heavy contour 24-inch barrel for increased velocity and accuracy over longer strings of fire, a beefed up buttstock to balance out the barrel, and an extended Arca compatible forend for improved versatility in unorthodox shooting position common in PRS/NRL-style matches.
The added features allow Cross-PRS to come in at 14.2 pounds, which is what long-range rifle shooters like because weight helps mitigate recoil and increases stability. With a SIG scope and my Ckypod bipod, my test rig weighed over 18 pounds, which is a great weight for a precision match rifle. Combined with my Area419 muzzle brake, the recoil was very tame, and I had no problem spotting my hits even on unstable barricades.
Function & Action
The heart of a rifle is the action. The Cross is built on an integrated receiver and chassis, meaning that the action, chassis, and receiver are all one piece. This makes for a simpler and lighter overall package.
The bolt is a three-lug, 60-degree throw design with an offset bolt handle for optics clearance. The bolt lift is surprisingly light for a three-lug. It comes with interchangeable, floating bolt heads. Combined with a simple barrel install, that should make caliber changes no problem.
My favorite new design element on the Cross-PRS specific receiver is the safety. It’s shaped as a thumb rest for right-handed shooters that like to float the thumb on the right side. It’s a genius idea, and it works very well. I don’t know if it can be converted for lefties though.
Rounding out the receiver are a 20-MOA extended scope rail, AR-15 compatible grip, and ambidextrous paddle magazine release. Magazine compatibility can be a failure point on bolt-action rifles. The SIG mag release is not adjustable. I found the factory included Magpul ACIS pattern mag and American Rifle Company magazines worked flawlessly. I had some trouble with fitment and feeding with Accurate, MDT, and Ruger mags.
The Cross-PRS has an adjustable two-stage match trigger that can go from 2.5 - 4.5 pounds for pull weight. I was able to adjust mine down to 2 pounds. It has a nice, fairly flat trigger shoe with a slight bow. The only weird quirk is that there is a lot of overtravel after the break.
PRS shooters are notorious trigger snobs, so they might turn their noses up at this nuance. Personally, I would have liked the option of changing the trigger to my favorite TriggerTech trigger, but it’s really splitting hairs at this point. The factory trigger is more than adequate to make precision shots at 1,000 yards and beyond.
The stock is another very well-designed component. They added weight to the rear and a steel bag rider. This not only adds a good base for which to manipulate a rear support bag, but it also makes for a well-balanced rifle. The center of gravity is just in front of the magazine well. This is ideal for mitigating recoil while on an obstacle.
I also love the adjustment mechanisms to fit the rifle to the shooter. Length of pull, butt pad height and cheek rest are toolless, making it super easy to adjust the platform on the fly or when transitioning from shooter to shooter. The cheek rest adjustment is probably my favorite. The rest is under spring tension so when unlocked the rest moves with your face. When it’s in the right place, just lock down the position. It couldn’t be easier.
The last element of the stock is the folder. This feature both collapses the rifle into a small package for transport and gets the stock out of the way when removing the bolt for maintenance. Personally, I liked the fact that the hinge swung the buttstock to the right, capturing the bolt handle.
However, a few shooters who tried the rifle didn’t like the placement of the folding mechanism because it interfered with their method of bolt manipulation. I didn’t have any problems though and I was quickly able to run the bolt fast.
The final feature of this new version of the Cross is the extended MLOK forend with integrated Arca Swiss rail on the bottom. Arca has become the accessory standard for attaching bipods, tripods, plates and bags for precision rifle matches. The addition of it on this rifle makes it a very versatile chassis. The combination of a GrayOps Mini Pro plate on a positional support bag is my favorite.
Accuracy & Barrel
The most important component of a precision rifle is its barrel. This SIG offers a 24-inch, stainless, heavy contour 5R barrel. The barrel measures .90” in diameter at the muzzle end. Two calibers are available from the factory: .308 and 6.5 Creedmoor, but the aftermarket is expanding on that selection.
I tested 4 different types of ammunition: Federal Gold Medal Berger 130gr OTM, Norma Golden Target Match 143gr, Hornady American Gunner 140gr BTHP, and SIG Sauer Marksman Elite 140gr OTM. Not surprisingly, the SIG ammo performed the best, but they all did fairly well. None of the ammo would hold you back at a match.
Federal Gold Medal Berger 130-Grain OTM
Average Velocity: 2,835 ft/s (15-shot average)
Standard Deviation: 22.8
Extreme Spread: 73
100-Yard Group: 1.179 inches (1.126 MOA)
300-Yard Group: 2.402 inches (.765 MOA)
Norma Golden Target Match 143 Grain
Average Velocity: 2,835 ft/s (15-shot average)
Standard Deviation: 20.5
Extreme Spread: 62
100-Yard Group: 1.017 inches (.972 MOA)
300-Yard Group: 1.888 inches (.601 MOA)
Hornady American Gunner 140-Grain BTHP
Average Velocity: 2,657 ft/s (15-shot average)
Standard Deviation: 21.4
Extreme Spread: 97
100-Yard Group: 1.218 inches (1.16 MOA)
300-Yard Group: 3.392 inches (1.07 MOA)
SIG Sauer Marksman Elite 140-Grain OTM
Average Velocity: 2,835 ft/s (15-shot average)
Standard Deviation: 11.2
Extreme Spread: 34
100-Yard Group: 0.885 inches (.846 MOA)
300-Yard Group: 1.321 inches (.420 MOA)
As you can see, this barrel can produce excellent accuracy even after long strings of fire because of the heavy profile. Accuracy was excellent for a mass-produced barrel of this type. I personally shot the gun out to 600 yards. That, combined with my chronograph data and the group at 100 and 300 yards, makes me confident stating that this rifle will perform out past 1,000 yards. That’s more than adequate to win any match it was designed for if the shooter does their part.
The barrel is changeable, and I’ve heard it’s fairly simple, but I did not attempt it. It uses a barrel-extension design like an AR15, so a barrel vice and headspace gauges should not be needed. Replacement SIG factory barrels are difficult to source, but there are a few companies starting to produce custom barrel for the Cross series. I’m sure as the popularity increases more barrel and caliber options will appear.
My only complaint about the barrel was that the 5/8x24 tpi muzzle threads were a bit long. I had to install a spacer on my Area419 muzzle brake for it to fit properly. Not a big deal, but a little strange. There were no problems switching between the brake and my SilencerCo Harvester suppressor.
The final part of the system was the SIG ammo. As stated earlier, it performed the best out of all the ammo I tested. SIG seems to load this ammo in house and even makes most, if not all of the components. While I haven’t reloaded the brass yet, I was very impressed with the precision of the rounds.
SIG also sent their Tango6 5-30x56mm tactical scope. This is a 34mm tubed scope with a whopping 12 mils of elevation per turret rotation and 23.2 mils of elevation overall. It also features great feeling clicks, a zero stop, and locking turrets. The glass was clear and free of distortions. In terms of features and glass quality, it is very competitive with the other scopes in $2,500 price range. It’s price also allows it to qualify under the PRS Production Division rules.
The Tango6 scope also has one very novel feature, the LevelPlex Digital Anti-Cant System. This system lights up indicators inside the scope on either side of the reticle to show when your scope is not level. It was very intuitive and easy to use. Just remember to turn it off when you finish using it. I ended up leaving it on a few times and running the battery down.
Overall, I was impressed with its performance. If I had to nitpick, I would say the eye box is a bit small and the reticle was a bit confusing to me. Other small stones I could throw are that I also didn’t like the zero setting and zero stop adjustments. They both worked fine, but I hate having to work with multiple small hex screws.
In conclusion, I was super impressed with the entire SIG Precision Rifle System, including not only the Cross-PRS rifle but also the integration of the scope and ammunition. SIG really has become a one-stop shop of all things tactical and long range at a relatively affordable price.