SIG Sauer CROSS TRAX & Magnum Bolt-Action Rifles

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SIG surprised many with the introduction of the CROSS bolt-action platform in 2020. The company owns a reputation for personal defense, law enforcement, and military products after all. But the Cross debuted not as a tactical product in nature. The CROSS blends a hunting rifle with aspects of a precision bolt gun.

SIG Sauer Cross Trax & Magnum Rifles

To date, the CROSS line up exists of four different models from the original CROSS—TRAX, Magnum, STX, and PRS. Each emphasizing different parts of the original rifle–lighter in weight, more emphasis on accuracy for PRS-style shooting activities, or increased power via cartridge expansion. The two analyzed for this article are the yin & yang of the CROSS series—the CROSS Magnum and CROSS TRAX.  

The Yin–Cross Magnum

SIG’s CROSS Magnum is a different beast from initial offering. The CROSS Magnum is a “long action” variant chambered in powerhouse .300 Win Mag. You can bet different calibers are in the works taking advantage of the new action length, including .300 PRC and .338 Lapua.  

SIG machines the CROSS receiver, making it more in line with a barrel, versus sitting under the barrel. The system minimizes barrel whip/harmonics. It features tight-tolerance bore/groove rifling dimensions, minimum headspace, and a trued chamber. A full-diameter bolt body makes the CROSS Magnum smooth to operate. The rear interfacing surfaces of the bolt lugs are angled/tapered, not square as is more traditional approach. This is to facilitate locking the bolt into place like an artillery breach when turned into place. The bolt head, pinned into the bolt body, exhibits just a bit of play, enabling the locking lugs to find equal bearing when closed. A stout extractor dovetails into the rightmost lug. It reliably removes fired cases from the chamber. The ejector is a spring-loaded plunger throwing brass clear of the receiver.   

Cross Magnum Details

The medium contour, 24-inch, 1:9 twist, 5R rifling, stainless steel free-floated barrel resides within a full-length ARCA railed handguard. The SIG CROSS Magnum in .300 Win Mag with 24-inch barrel weighs in at only 8.9 pounds. Many will raise an eyebrow at this considering it great for carry, yet too underweight for comfort considering recoil associated with .300 Win Mag. The threaded muzzle features an impressively effective radial muzzle brake.

Claims of recoil reduction often go ignored here, due to subjectiveness. However, SIG’s claim of 45% reduction actually seems understated. Combined with creating a solid shooting position, the CROSS Magnum’s ergonomics and muzzle allow for spotting your own impacts on steel. The Match trigger is a pleasant experience with slight two-stage take up and 3-pound break. The PRS-style grip and right-side thumb safety rest is another revelation for those unfamiliar with this setup.  

The ergonomics and adjustability of the folding CROSS Magnum buttstock allows for a comfortable, repeatable cheekweld combined with hand placement conducive to pulling the Match-Grade “Flat” trigger precisely straight rearward. This stems from the custom fitting made possible by the SIG stock. CROSS’s skeletal aluminum buttstock is fully configurable for cheek rest height, length of pull and buttpad height. The forward angle PRS-style grip and right-side thumb rest safety also come into play here. The CROSS Magnum uses detachable AICS-style, six-round detachable magazines.

SIG CROSS Magnum

SIG Party

I mounted a SIG Tango 6 3-18×44 optic to the CROSS Magnum via a one-piece SIG base. The SIG’s versatile six-times zoom system provides a larger field of view at close ranges and better target acquisition at long ranges. The front focal plane reticle design allows the reticle size to increase or decrease with magnification changes. A MOA DEV L reticle offers fine center with holdover and hold off patterns, allowing for fast target engagement at all ranges and effective at any magnification. The SIG SAUER Tango 6 3-18×44 proved a good fit for the long-range-capable .300 Win Mag CROSS Magnum.

The rifle test included attaching a SIG SLH 7.62 suppressor. A SIG SLH QD muzzle brake device replaced the radial brake for certain aspects of the T&E. The ability to wield a suppressed CROSS is a valued option. 

Thankfully, .300 Win Mag ammunition options are not in short supply. Examples of .300 Win Mag used for testing the CROSS Magnum consisted of SIG Sauer Elite Hunter 180-grain CET and Elite Copper 165-grain HT grain, Black Hills Ammunition 190-grain Match, Federal Premium 180-grain Accubond, and Hornady 180-grain SST & 178-grain ELD-X loadings. The thought process is simple; if these loads do not produce accuracy nothing will. None of the loads tested disappointed, providing MOA accuracy with three-round and five-round groups; a great compliment to both ammunition and CROSS Magnum rifle. The logistic advantage of a rifle that is not finicky cannot be overemphasized. 

SIG CROSS TRAX folded.

The Yang–Cross Trax

The CROSS TRAX chambered in .308 Win takes the CROSS to a minimalist extreme, shaving .5-.8 pounds off the already feathery CROSS. The TRAX weighs in at 6.1 pounds. This is done via 11.5-inch lightweight handguard around a 16-inch barrel, foldable Leg Bone minimalist stock, RATTLER grip and low-profile bolt knob. The heart of the TRAX is still the CROSS receiver. The monolithic CROSS’s action is incredibly rigid—but also light thanks to one-piece receiver eliminating the need for bedding and action screws. The CROSS receiver interacts directly with trigger, bolt, AICS magazine and barrel mounting; think AR without upper and lower distinctions. This is a change from typical bolt-action methods that serves to minimize many of the accuracy-robbing causes associated with typical bolt actions, while also contributing to ruggedness afield.

Cross Trax Details

The CROSS bolt, especially the Magnum’s, is a three-lug hunk of metal within the aluminum receiver. Three locking lugs give it a 60-degree handle lift—one of the shortest on the market. Scopes can be mounted low due to the minimal bolt lift.  The short throw combined with smooth operation makes for one slick bolt action. The locking lugs being same diameter as bolt body translates into no raceway being needed as compared to Mauser-style lugs that protrude outside the bolt’s diameter. This adds to the CROSS’s rigidity since there is no need to remove material from the receiver to create a raceway. Rigidity is a must for consistent accuracy.   

SIG’s CROSS TRAX is tailor made for pursuing game in rugged/steep terrain. Its accuracy is also conducive for hunting from stands or ground blinds with shots across wide clear cut clearings, yet still svelte handling for spot/stalk techniques.  Most do not realize that even with the relatively short ranges involved in thick timber hunting, pinpoint accuracy is crucial to find shooting lane. The CROSS TRAX is easily carried in the hand, ready to go to when quarry is spotted.    

Support Staff

Testing the TRAX included mounting a Dead Air Sandman-S via a KeyMo muzzle brake. The muzzle brake added considerable value when shooting the 6-pound TRAX, especially extended sessions from the bench. The Sandman-S offers 30-32dB reduction making firing with supersonic ammunition tolerable without hearing protection.  The mounted Sandman-S is a muzzle brake and flash hider in its own right once mounted.   

A Trijicon Accupoint 2.5-12x42MM optic was mated to SIG TRAX with 30mm Talley rings. The Trijicon Accupoint offers versatility with its wide power range while minimizing weight/bulk with the reasonable objective size. The 42mm objective gives you less weight and a lower mounting profile with outstanding glass clarity. The Trijicon Accupoint is one of the best valued scopes on the market.  

SIG Sauer Elite Hunter 165-grain and 150-grain Elite Copper HT ammunition provided the testing fodder. Establishing an accuracy baselines also called for using SIG 168-grain Match ammo. No ammunition tested produced greater than 1.25-inch groups at 100 yards.  The CROSS feeds from standard AICS-pattern magazines with a Magpul five-rounder arriving with the rifle. The CROSS magazine has a proprietary sled follower for optimized single-round loading through the ejection port if a user needs to load in this style.   

Accuracy with SIG CROSS TRAX.

Range Time

The two CROSS rifles were initially sighted in at Echo Valley Training Center’s (EVTC) Range #2 with a 100-yard zero. Firing various loads from the bench determined base accuracy levels. After the bench work, shooting consisted of using bipod or tripod at clay pigeons arrayed between 125 to 340 yards at EVTC. The 4.33-inch clay pigeon targets were acquired as quickly as possible and rounds sent downrange. Other range work consisted of shooting B-27 man-targets out to 650 yards on EVTC’s Known Distance Range.  SIG CROSS accuracy combined with premium ammunition and clear optics enabled center mass shots with ease.  

Each CROSS exhibited outstanding handling characteristics when carrying and engaging targets from standing or kneeling position. The CROSS Magnum handled more sveltely than its listed 8.9 pounds empty weight suggests. This is a credit to the Magnum’s ergonomics. The CROSS TRAX has great feel thanks to squatty compactness. The TRAX’s pistol grip gives it superior overall carry qualities with one handed carry very feasible. When the CROSS TRAX is brought up to the shoulder there is no searching for target—the scope is where it needs to be.   

This is the Way

SIG is known for its innovative approaches in weapon design. Much of this stems from SIG’s background of responding to impromptu military solicitation, especially from SOCOM forces. The desirable characteristics for a precision bolt-action rifle are cold bore zero retention, accuracy, extended effective range, reliability, and handling. Many will contend that accurate, well-handling rifles like the SIG CROSS Magnum and TRAX are the epitome of modern bolt action design. This evaluation would tend to agree.  

For more info, visit sigsauer.com.

SIG Sauer Cross Trax Specs

  • CALIBER: .308Win
  • BARREL: 16 inch stainless steel 1:10RH twist 
  • OA LENGTH: 35 inches
  • WEIGHT: 6.1 pounds
  • CAPACITY: Detachable AICS, Magpul 5 round magazine with proprietary follower included with rifle
  • MSRP: $1529

PERFORMANCE: SIG SAUER CROSS TRAX .308 Win

Load Velocity Average 100-Yard Average Best Group
SIG Sauer Elite 165-grain CET 2,718 fps .8125 inch .625 inch
SIG Sauer Elite 168-grain OTM 2,572 fps .875 inch .75 inch
SIG Sauer Elite 150-grain HT 2,790 fps 1.25 inches 1 inch
Three, three-shot groups. Caldwell Chronograph used.

SIG Sauer Cross Magnum Specs

  • CALIBER: .300WinMag
  • BARREL: 24-inch stainless steel 5R Rifling 
  • OA LENGTH: 45.2 inches
  • WEIGHT: 8.9 pounds
  • CAPACITY: Detachable AICS-style 6-round magazine
  • MSRP: $2729

PERFORMANCE: SIG SAUER CROSS Magnum

Load Velocity Average 100-Yard Average Best Group
SIG Sauer Elite 180-grain CET 2,911 fps .875 inch .8125 inch
SIG Sauer Elite 165-grain HT 3,082 fps 1.25 inches 1 inch
Hornady 180-grain SST 3,027 fps 1 inch .75 inch
Three, three-shot groups. Caldwell Chronograph used.

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