Gun Review: SIG SAUER Cross Trax Rifle in .308 Winchester

SIG SAUER Cross Trax Rifle review
SIG SAUER Cross Trax (image courtesy JWT for Shooting News Weekly)

When the SIG SAUER Cross rifle came out a few years ago, the public howled. Some (like me) howled because they loved it. Others howled because it wasn’t big enough. Some howled because it was too big.

Over the last six months, SIG accommodated us all, first with the SIG Cross Magnum in .300WM, and now with their newest, lightest model, the SIG Cross Trax, in .308 Winchester.

SIG SAUER Cross Trax Rifle review
SIG Cross Magnum (top) and Cross Trax (bottom) (Image Courtesy JWT for Shooting News Weekly)

The 6.1 lb Trax will certainly be one of the most popular rifles of 2024, and for good reason. A huge part of SIG’s fan base has been asking for exactly this rifle. Like every model after the original Cross, (there are five now) it’s specialized. The Trax is built for the hunter who demands a high level of precision in a very low weight, highly compact rifle.

SIG SAUER Cross Trax Rifle review
Image courtesy JWT for Shooting News Weekly

The Trax’s weight savings doesn’t come from the barrel. This appears to be the exact same barrel that’s used on the original Cross in .308 Win. It’s a 16-inch stainless steel barrel with a 1/10 twist.

Just like the original Cross, the muzzle is tapered and ends in 5/8-24 threads. Since it’s the same .308 caliber barrel used in the original, the rifle includes the same genius collar that allows for suppressors or muzzle devices with or without a tapered mating surface.

A 16-inch barreled .308 Winchester rifle absolutely begs for a silencer. That short length puts the blast closer to your ear and more hot gasses are still burning and making noise as they leave the barrel, as compared to traditional 20 or 24-inch barrel lengths, so it’s a lot louder. A silencer fixes that.

Of course, that barrel length also means that even larger silencers, like the AB Suppressor Raptor model I used for this review, don’t add too much overall length to the gun. Even with the silencer attached, the gun remains well balanced and extremely handy.

SIG SAUER Cross Trax Rifle review
Image courtesy JWT for Shooting News Weekly

Compared with the original short-action Cross model, the biggest change is the stock. The Trax stock retains the same folding feature with a very solid lockup at extension. But the Trax replaces the multiple adjustments of the original model with a much more simplified stock with no user adjustments.

I found it to be a little short in length of pull and the cheek riser is a little bit low, but I’m a notorious face-smasher and a good bit taller than most. If you mount a reflex optic on a low mount, you’ll likely find it’s just perfect for fast shots while still allowing you to keep your face up for situational awareness.

SIG SAUER Cross Trax Rifle review
Image courtesy JWT for Shooting News Weekly

You’ll also find an abbreviated forend with M-LOK attachments around the entire circumference. This allows the shooter to mount just about anything, anywhere. Optics, bipods, lights, an ARCA rail (you should add an ARCA rail) and Picatinny rail sections are easy to put wherever you like.

If you want to go super simple and super light, you could mount a Pic rail piece up top nearest the muzzle and mount a front sight there and the rear on the rear rail. Heck, if you were nervous you count mount flip-up irons as backup sights.

There are a couple little things as well that sleek down and lighten up the Trax.

SIG SAUER Cross Trax Rifle review
Image courtesy JWT for Shooting News Weekly

The grip itself is shorter and less vertical, speaking to the idea that this gun is built a bit more for off-hand and impromptu shots than the previous short-action version. There’s also no storage compartment in it.

Finally, although the bolt itself is the same as previous models, the bolt knob on the Trax is smaller and shorter. I’ve had my Cross in some of the thickest west African jungles as well as South Texas thornbush and it never got caught on anything, but the nod to an even more sleek design is appreciated.

SIG SAUER Cross Trax Rifle review
Image courtesy JWT for Shooting News Weekly

Unsurprisingly, I had no issues with reliability of any kind. No magazine, either metal or the single polymer magazine supplied by SIG failed to lock into the magazine well or failed to drop when (and only when) the paddle release was pressed. No round failed to fire and no round failed to extract and eject, including max-pressure commercial and hand-loaded rounds from 125 to 175 grains in weight.

I now have about 4,000 rounds through different Cross rifles and haven’t had a single rifle-induced malfunction with any of them.

The SIG SAUER Cross Trax displays very good, but not exceptional precision. The least accurate round I shot was Winchester’s 168gr Match cartridge, averaging 1.3″ five-round groups over four shot strings. That really surprised me as it’s usually a solid performer and didn’t match what the rifle was capable of with other offerings.

IMI’s hot M118LR (175SMK) round printed lovely, extremely consistent .8″ groups. Winchester’s inexpensive and very solid hunting round (though rarely the most accurate over distance), the 150gr SuperX Power Point, scored at 1″ on the dot. Hornady’s reduced recoil 125gr SST matched the IMI M118LR round.

All accuracy measurements were taken on a fouled bore, untimed, with the rifle in Caldwell Stinger Shooting rest. The distance was 100 yards, with a SIG SAUER Whiskey 6 optic at 18X.

SIG SAUER Cross Trax Rifle review
Image courtesy JWT for Shooting News Weekly

If this was a 9-pound rifle, that level of precision wouldn’t impress me. But it’s not. It’s a barely 6-pound rifle. As Bryan Litz has proven, as much as half of any rifle’s inherent precision is due to its weight. I take that as the reason the Cross Trax in .308 Winchester didn’t quite match the precision I’ve seen with the heavier original Cross rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor. Still, MOA or better for most rounds will allow a competent marksman to put shots on target well beyond the terminal ballistic limits required to ethically take game.

From the western mountain mule deer hunter, to the densest of the Carolina black bear thickets, you’ll see this rifle in the field. January sales numbers are out, and the Trax is a huge hit. That’s no surprise. It’s hard to find a major production rifle this light and compact that still gets high marks in reliability and precision, and none of them deliver this level of modularity.

SIG SAUER Cross Trax Rifle review
Image courtesy JWT for Shooting News Weekly

Specifications: SIG SAUER Cross Trax 

HEIGHT: 7.1 in
THREADS: 5/8″-24
MSRP: $1,529

If you’re looking for a very compact, ultra-portable, lightweight hunting rifle, the SIG SAUER Cross Trax should be very high on your list. It’s at the top of mine. Unfortunately, you might have to wait a bit, as distributors are showing that it’s on everyone else’s list, too.

3 Responses

    1. There’s a whole lot of differences, and the Sig came first. But the Pork Sword is even modular and adaptable. I’ve got one now that I’m about to take to Africa and I am super stoked. It is extremely versatile and I’ll be using it in three countries from game as small as one of the tiniest antelope all the way up to Cape Buffalo.

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