May 22, 2023
By Guns and Ammo Staff
Sig SAUER’s Cross was a design meant to be the “do everything” rifle. Introduced in December 2019, the original model weighed 6.2 pounds, had a short 16- or 18-inch barrel, and was chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Winchester. (SIG Sauer’s .277 Fury cartridge was also announced as a chamber option, but Guns & Ammo staff has yet to see a sample.) The Cross has a one-piece, modular, aluminum receiver that houses the trigger group and magazine well. The barrel, handguard, and folding buttstock are also attached to it.
In May 2022, the Cross-PRS model was announced. Obviously, it was developed for the competitive rifleshooting scene. It has a longer, 24-inch heavy barrel and a specialized adjustable stock assembly. The handguard is also different for the PRS model to accommodate the positional shooting styles required for hitting multiple targets quickly. Before getting into the “new,” reviewing the basic layout of the Cross is helpful to better understand what makes the Cross-PRS special.
The aluminum receiver ws designed around a three-lug bolt that locks into a barrel extension attached to the barrel. The barrel and barrel extension are similar to that of an AR-pattern rifle, i.e., the barrel and barrel extension contain all the pressure from firing. This allows the receiver material to be made of lightweight aluminum. The barrel and barrel extension slip inside the receiver and are held in place by a barrel nut. The handguard attaches to the receiver by way of six screws, in pairs, at the 12-, 4-, and 8-o’clock positions.
Where the original Cross handguard measured 15 inches long and was octagonal, the Cross-PRS handguard is 18 inches and flat on the bottom. The flat handguard bottom allowed SIG Sauer’s engineers to include a steel Arca rail that runs the full length of the handguard. Putting the Arca rail along the bottom of the handguard means that competitive shooters can quickly reposition bipods and tripods while on the clock. Multiple shooting positions are often a requirement for any single competitive shooting stage, so getting supporting gear where it needs to be quickly is essential. The recreational shooter benefits from the convenience of easily attaching a bipod or tripod exactly where they want. The handguard also accepts M-Lok attachments.
The 24-inch heavy contour stainless-steel barrel is also new on the Cross-PRS. The heavier barrel adds weight to the front of the rifle, which reduces felt recoil and does a good job of soaking up heat from extended firing strings. The muzzle is threaded 5⁄8-24 to accommodate just about any muzzle device the shooter desires.
Where the original Cross rifle had a aluminum scope rail that extended over the handguard, the Cross-PRS has a steel scope base with a 20-minute-of-angle (MOA) bias. The bias in the mount gives the shooter additional elevation adjustment once the scope is zeroed.
The one-piece receiver has a new two-stage match trigger that is lighter than the original, too. Guns & Ammo’s Tom Beckstrand tested the Cross-PRS at a two-day Precision Rifle Series match and had nothing but a good experience with the trigger. Having two stages helped to stage the trigger for tiny targets, and the 2.2-pound let-off helped prevent pulling the rifle off-target when firing.
Also new for the Cross-PRS is an ambidextrous safety selector that doubles as a thumb rest when keeping the firing-hand thumb on the same side of the rifle as the firing hand. The selector works like the one found on AR-pattern rifles. Not wrapping the thumb around the pistol grip might look odd to traditional rifle shooters, but it does help prevent unwanted hand and rifle movement when shooting the rifle in a hurry.
The magazine release on the Cross-PRS is also special to this rifle. The original Cross had a magazine release that was recessed into the triggerguard where it stays out of the way until needed. Since the Cross is a general-use rifle, this was an excellent approach to the magazine release. The Cross-PRS has a larger paddle release that protrudes away from both sides of the triggerguard.
The buttstock on the Cross-PRS retains all of the adjustability of the earlier model. The buttpad adjusts for height with the press of a button. This is important when spending a day shooting in the prone because non-adjustable buttpads have the tendency to only contact the shooter’s shoulder at the very top of the pad. Using only a small portion of the pad can make long range sessions painful because all of the rifle’s recoil is concentrated in one spot. Slide the buttpad up from the ground and contact with the shoulder increases significantly, eliminating this issue.
The Cross-PRS also keeps the adjustable length of pull and adjustable comb height systems. The length of pull adjusts using a wing nut that maintains tension on the large flat adjustment bar. There’s enough surface area holding the length of pull in place that the nut doesn’t need a lot of tension to prevent slippage. The adjustable comb is spring-loaded, so loosening the lever holding the comb in place allows it to extend to its maximum height. This is a useful feature, because all the shooter needs to do is place his head on the comb and move it until a full field of view is visible through the scope. Then, rotate the lever back into the locked position.
New for the Cross-PRS are the steel (instead of aluminum) buttstock body and an angled steel bag rider attached to the stock’s toe. The application of steel in these areas is all about adding weight to the rifle and helping prevent the rifle from getting too muzzle-heavy. Where the regular Cross weighs 61/2 pounds, the Cross-PRS weighs 14 pounds, due mostly to the barrel and additional steel in the stock design.
The Cross-PRS was an easy rifle to shoot, even through a couple hundred rounds during two days of a rifle competition. The changes that SIG Sauer made to tune the Cross for competition shooting are both relevant and well-executed.
SIG Sauer Cross-PRS
- Type: Bolt-action
- Cartridge: 6.5 Creedmoor (tested)
- Capacity: 5 rds. or 10 rds. (AICS mag)
- Barrel: 24 in.; 1:8-in. twist
- Overall Length: 44.5 in. (extended)
- Weight: 14 lbs., 3 oz.
- Stock: Folding, adjustable, steel
- Grip: SIG Sauer PRS
- Length of Pull: 11.75 in. (collapsed); 14 in. (extended)
- Finish: Cerakote Elite, Concrete
- Trigger: 2 lbs., 3 oz.; two stage
- Safety: Two-position selector
- MSRP: $2,499
- Manufacturer: SIG Sauer, 603-610-3000, sigsauer.com
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