Those familiar with airguns probably already know something about the Swiss-German-American conglomerate SIG SAUER coming to the table in a big way just three short years ago with their Advanced Sport Pellet (ASP) line. SIG made a full commitment to produce high quality, fully functioning replicas of their world-famous firearms. That commitment hasn’t waned and they have gone whole hog by introducing their SIGAIR division and are now bringing all airgun production in-house to their New Hampshire plant.
If you are familiar with SIGAIR products, you may know about the ASP20 break-barrel rifle, SIG’s first foray into the break-barrel realm. As usual with a new product introduction, there is a lot of build-up and hype and this air rifle really lives up to the hype. Purpose built from the ground up, being designed and built entirely in the U.S., engineers from SIG’s firearms division helped on it and the final product utilizes a trigger that came out of SIG firearm technology. It is a magnum class air rifle generating 23 foot-pounds of energy and one parameter the engineers were tasked with was making the cocking force more like a non-magnum break-barrel. The goal was accomplished with their proprietary GuideLight mechanism. The cocking force averages about 33 pounds as opposed to 40 or more in other magnums. Another unique feature came out of the mandate to make the lockup more solid and prevent barrel droop – an inherent break-barrel problem. The result was a keystone shaped design to the breech with tapered wings on each side of the receiver. They come together to form a solid lock-up like no other. To further aid accuracy, both parts are drilled for the pivot pin as one unit. SIG still wasn’t done. The MatchLite trigger used in the ASP20 is optimized at the factory to a three to four-pound pull. My sample averaged slightly under that at two pounds, 11.9 ounces out of the box. It is still user-adjustable and the tools are provided with the rifle. The trigger is straight with a smooth face, reminiscent of the trend in modern long-range precision rifles.
On top of all this, the finish on the ASP20 is the same matte-back Nitron as used on SIG firearms. The wood stocked model tested would best be described as striking; finished in a grey color that compliments the matte-black. The fit and finish were some of the best you’ll find with laser stippling in all the right places. The ambidextrous stock also features a straight pistol grip. It is a bit heavy at nine pounds without optics, but balances so well it doesn’t feel that heavy in the hands.
SIG is striving to be a “complete solution provider”, that is, supply the marketplace with the entire package from ammunition to training (through the SIG SAUER Academy) and everything in between. If their name is on it, then they control the quality all the way through. To this end, SIG sells their own branded pellets and CO2, targets, safety gear and the Whiskey3 ASP 4-12x44mm airgun scope. This gun is meant to be scoped as it only comes with a section of picatinny rail and no iron sights.
It performed as expected with excellent accuracy using everything from lightweight alloys to pellets weighing 34 grains, only requiring adjustment to holdunder or holdover. Of course, SIG pellets are recommended and the rifle liked their Wraith Pb pellets the best.
Being a magnum springer, the kick was strong and it is somewhat loud even with a suppressor permanently mounted on the muzzle. It was not obnoxious, nor does it require hearing protection if shooting outdoors.
Warranted for five years, the ASP20 carries an MSRP of $429.99 in wood. Check it out over at the AofA website.