Gun Review: SIG SAUER Cross Magnum Rifle in 300 Win Mag

SIG SAUER Cross Magnum 300 Win Mag rifle

The SIG SAUER Cross is consistently one of the best-selling bolt action rifles on the market. SIG has steadily diversified this line with multiple models and a series of partnership with other brands. Late in 2023, they took a big risk, listened to a relatively small but vocal section of their fan base, and released the SIG Cross Magnum, in .300 Winchester Magnum.

What you’re getting here is essentially a precision competition style rifle with a lighter weight barrel that’s appropriate for hunting. With the exception of the chambering, the SIG Cross Magnum is a truly modern hunting rifle, capable of taking full advantage of magnum powered ballistics and the modern gear associated with long range shooting and hunting.

The Cross Magnum’s receiver is a plus-sized version of the original short action Cross. Other than its size and coyote brown anodized finish, everything is the same here. That’s true for the bolt itself as well.

SIG SAUER Cross Magnum 300 Win Mag rifle
SIG Cross short action bolt (L), SIG Cross Magnum bolt (R)

A giant bolt body behind a bolt head with three lugs, a single claw, and a single plunger ejector. These features have proven to be extremely reliable and performed well in the original short action version, (I’m at over 3,000 rounds and three continents on one of them so far) and there’s no reason to change those for the magnum chambered version.

The trigger is also the same as the previous versions. The fairly thin, barely curved shoe pulls in two stages, with a teeny tiny bit of squish if you’re slow and looking for it. This particular rifle’s pull measured 2 lbs. 4.0 oz., averaged over three pulls from my Lyman Digital Trigger scale, with .4 oz. of extreme spread.

So the guts are the same, but just about everything else is a little different than the original short action hunting model. The Cross Magnum does, however, share a lot of the same features with the later-released PRS version.

SIG SAUER Cross Magnum 300 Win Mag rifle

The barrel is a 24-inch medium contour stainless steel tube with 5R rifling. SIG includes a mild muzzle brake at the end of the threaded muzzle. The brake does a fine job reducing recoil, but a silencer is always a better option. I ran most of this review with a SilencerCo  Omega 300 attached to the Cross Magnum.

SIG SAUER Cross Magnum 300 Win Mag rifle

Like the PRS model, the Cross Magnum includes a full-length ARCA rail and 360 degree M-Lok compatible slots along the entire hand guard. The balance point of the rifle is just in front of the receiver/magazine well, but the full length ARCA rail allows you to easily slide the gun anywhere along the forend’s length while using a tripod or bipod.

The flat surface also sits well on a bag or shooting rest. The only drawback is that it doesn’t fit as well in the hand. Of course, the M-Lok slots mean you can put Picatinny rails just about anywhere.

SIG SAUER Cross Magnum 300 Win Mag rifle

Also included is a PRS style grip. It’s more vertical than most traditional hunting rifle grips, again a nod to the idea that this gun will be shot mostly from a rest or a tripod, not off-hand. My only complaint there is that it’s hollow without any storage compartment. The foam ear plugs I put in all of those compartments have saved my ears more than once.

Like SIG’s previous models, replacing it with an extremely wide range of other grips is simple, should you so choose.

SIG SAUER Cross Magnum 300 Win Mag rifle

Again, just like the PRS version, SIG has included the thumb-rest safety on the Cross Magnum. This particular feature was very well thought out. Not only is this an ambidextrous, but once the shooter switches the rifle to fire, they don’t have to move the thumb at all to rest it on the right side of the receiver.

The PRS style grip and safety, when put together, allow the shooter a great hand position, encouraging the shooter to pull straight back into the grip while reducing any left to right movement the shooter might otherwise muscle into the gun. When it comes to input into the gun for precise shots, less is more.

Another difference is the magazine included. The short action Cross models feature the Magpul “Cross” polymer magazine, which is now just their standard polymer short action magazine.

SIG SAUER Cross Magnum 300 Win Mag rifle

The Cross Magnum includes a sturdy metal magazine from Accurate Mag (their 3.850″, 3.750″ Cartridge Overall Length version). This is an ideal magazine, whose construction and reputation are both as solid as they can be. That Cartridge Overall Length means it will fit even the superior .300PRC. The only downside is that additional magazines are usually about $80.

The original short action Cross has the best tooless adjustable stock I’ve found on any rifle yet. In seconds you can change the position of the recoil pad up and down, the comb height or length of pull. That’s great for keeping the same length of pull throughout the seasons with heavy winter clothing, and it’s even better when teaching someone else to shoot.

SIG SAUER Cross Magnum 300 Win Mag rifle

Although those features have remained the same, the Cross Magnum improves on this design further by adding a simple push button release to the folding mechanism. Not only is it easier to operate, but the folding mechanism now mates up against even more flat space for a sturdier lock-up.

On the shorter versions of short action Cross, the folding stock has had very little use for me, but that’s not the case on the magnum chambered version. That 24″ barrel plus the muzzle brake make for a pretty long rifle. The folding stock now allows it to fit in just about any common hard case, with room to spare for ammo and gear.

When the rifle initially came out, some folks complained about its weight. Some complained it was too light for a .300 Winchester Magnum chambered rifle. The Cross Magnum is by no means a featherweight, but it’s right where it should be for a hunting rifle.

Some complained the new rifle is too heavy. At 8.9 lbs. with the magazine, the SIG SAUER Cross Magnum weights 4 oz. more than a new maple stocked Winchester Model 70 so chambered. There’s half a cup of coffee between them. And the weight of that Model 70 (praise its name) doesn’t include a detachable magazine or scope bases, both of which are included on the SIG. It’s light enough to carry all day, but not so light that you can’t keep your eye in the glass, or hate to shoot it.

You’ll want to shoot it.

My first experience with the rifle was at The Ranch TX shooting club. Within the first box of ammunition I was ringing 19″ silhouettes at 1,000 yards from the prone, and that includes sighting in the gun. I’ve put another 400 rounds through the gun since then. Half of those were various commercial rounds and half were my own handloads.

From starting loads to max pressure loads, I never had an issue of any kind. The Cross Magnum never failed to smoothly chamber any round.  The magazine never failed to lock firmly in place or drop with the press of the paddle release. The gun never failed to fire.  I cleaned and lubed the gun prior to shooting it the first time, and I didn’t clean or lube it again until it was time for pics for this review.

Those groups were good to excellent. Remington’s relatively inexpensive and easy-to-find 150gr Core-Lokt soft point round produced five-round groups that averaged 1.2 inches. A more weight-appropriate for the caliber bullet, Winchester’s 180gr Copper Impact round printed at 1.1 inches. Things got considerably better with heavier bullets, where the 300WM really shines.

Federal’s 200 grain Terminal Ascent Round produced .9-inch groups, with a single digit extreme spread from the chronograph. I’ve seen the effect of this round on African game, including Kudu at just over 500 yards and it performed exceptionally well. The most precise round of the bunch was Hornady’s 200gr EDL-X, producing .8-inch groups. All groups were five-round groups, averaged over four shot strings, at 100 yards, from a Caldwell Stinger shooting rest, untimed. The optic used for all group shooting was the SIG SAUER Tango-DMR 3-18x44mm at 18X magnification.

That kind of precision from a store-bought gun and a store-bought round allows any competent marksman to take full advantage of the magnum chambering. At extended ranges, well beyond 500 yards, the SIG Cross Magnum is capable of taking any game in North America and anything on the Dark Continent, save the largest of the dangerous game.

Immediately after my first range day with the Cross Magnum I called SIG and bought this T&E model. I did this despite the fact that I abhor the obsolete .300WM cartridge, the only chambering the Cross Magnum is currently offered in. But I’m sure that deficiency will be remedied soon and better chamberings like 300PRC will be on the way, either by SIG or aftermarket barrel manufacturers.

Page 94 of the operator’s manual describes the barrel swap. It’s the same as the original short action Cross models. Having swapped barrels in the short action a few times now, the manual makes it seem a bit more complex than it actually is. Aftermarket barrel makers will certainly be churning out stainless steel and carbon fiber wrapped barrels in the original caliber and others soon. Personally, I’m hoping for a carbon fiber wrapped tube in 7mm PRC.

SIG SAUER Cross Magnum 300 Win Mag rifle

Short action chamberings dominate the rifle market, with standard and magnum-length actions making up a fraction of the bolt action rifles sold. You wouldn’t know that, though, from the social media and online critics.

Any time a short action rifle is released, the first thing we hear is “Make a .30-06!” or “When’s the 300WM coming out?” The reality is that, for all the people asking for a long action chambering, very few will actually purchase one. That makes the Cross Magnum a bit of a risk for SIG. They know it will sell, but they’s just no way the Cross Magnum will reach sales numbers anywhere close to their short action models. And yet SIG still chose to tool up and make the Cross Magnum.

The original Cross was a bit of a crossover rifle (hence the name). It was a hunting rifle you could run matches with…kind of. The Cross Magnum is the actual fulfillment of that goal.

SIG’s chosen all the right features for the hunter who wants the capability of delivering significant ballistic authority on game or match targets at extended ranges. When people ask me for that one rifle and they want to include elk-sized game, the SIG Cross Magnum is at the top of my list.

Specifications: SIG SAUER Cross Magnum Rifle

CALIBER: 300 Winchester Magnum
MAG TYPE: 6 round AICS steel magazine
STOCK TYPE: SIG Precision Stock
BARREL MATERIAL: Stainless Steel
BARREL LENGTH: 24″ (Medium Contour)
RIFLING: 5R 1/9 twist rate
TRIGGER TYPE: 2-Stage Match
GRIP: Sig PRS Style Polymer
HANDGUARD: ARCA bottom rail and MLok Compatible
RECEIVER FINISH: Anodized Brown Coyote
HEIGHT: 7.25″
THREADS? 5/8-24
WEIGHT: 8.9lbs with magazine

MSRP: $2,499.99 (found online for $2,499.99)

Capable of a high degree of precision, the SIG Cross Magnum’s weight and balance are ideal for the hunt. Like its predecessors, the magnum version is extremely versatile, both as-delivered and through the aftermarket and SIG’s own options.

The rifle is perfectly reliable. It’s not cheap, but it’s still a good value.

SIG has produced exactly the rifle that hunters who can take advantage of its features wanted. It’s much harder for me to justify a custom chassis gun with the SIG Cross Magnum on the market. It’s that good. I had to take something off for it only being available in a single chambering that’s been eclipsed by better cartridges.


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