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Sig Sauer ASP20 Magnum .22 Field Review

Several weeks ago we received the New SIG Sauer ASP20 Magnum break barrel rifle in .22 caliber. This rifle has gained a ton of attention since the last Shot Show and was one I really wanted to field use. The ASP20 was shipped to us directly from the SIG Sauer facility in Newington, New Hampshire. This rifle is produced in the same manufacturing facility as their firearms and has incorporated some of that engineering into it. Designing the ASP20 was a collaboration between both the SIG Air and Firearms divisions. Together they wanted to create an accurate, powerful and fun to shoot Air Rifle.


 

 

SPECS

Caliber 0.22″ (5.5mm)
Max Velocity 841 fps
Muzzle Energy 23 ft/lbs
Loudness 3-Medium
Barrel Length 13.8″
Overall Length 45.6″
Shot Capacity 1
Cocking Effort 33
Barrel Rifled
Front Sight none
Rear Sight none
Scopeable Weaver/Picatinny
Trigger Two-stage adjustable
Buttplate Rubber
Suggested for Small game hunting/target practice
Trigger Pull 2.5 lbs
Action Break barrel
Safety Manual
Powerplant Gas-piston
Function Single-shot
Body Type Rifle
Fixed/adj. power Fixed
Weight 8.5 lbs

DETAILS

Introducing the most advanced break barrel system in the marketplace, engineered and produced by SIG in Newington, New Hampshire. The common misconception among many is that high muzzle velocity makes for a better air rifle. In actuality, foot-pound muzzle energy is a more accurate gauge of the power of air rifles than the speed at which a projectile comes out of the barrel. Down-range accuracy and retained energy are better with a heavier projectile leaving the barrel at subsonic speed rather than an impractically-lightweight projectile leaving the barrel at a supersonic speed of 1400+ feet per second. This .22 Caliber suppressed single-shot, Advanced Sport Pellet (ASP) air rifle delivers down-range power and accuracy with the lightest cocking effort in its class, making it ideal for hunting small to medium game.

The rifle came packaged very well and included a small allen wrench, trigger adjustment tool and users manual. I cleaned the barrel and mounted a Leapers UTG 3-12×44 scope onto the very sturdy picatinny top rail. This rifle is a magnum and have found that the UTG usually stands up pretty well to the recoil these guns produce. The picatinny rail is directly welded to the top of the receiver and looks to be a great solid mounting point for a variety of optics.

Next I took a look at the ASP20’s built in moderator that affixed to the front of the 13.8″ rifled barrel. This moderator is approximately 5.5″ long and does in fact house some sort of baffle type inserts to quiet the report.

The rifle has an ambidextrous safety that’s located on both sides of the rifle just above the trigger area. I have immediately concluded that I like this design as it’s simple and very easy to use with my index finger from either side of the rifle. The ASP20 has a matchlight trigger that’s adjustable two ways and is adjustable from 2.5 up to 4.0 lbs. The second stage is easily adjustable to customize to each shooters preference.

To adjust the trigger we are able to use the provided tool that’s simply inserted into a port located at the rear of the receiver.

The ASP20 comes from the factory set to about 3.0 lbs and can be lightened up by inserting the tool, pressing down and turning counterclockwise to lighten and clockwise to raise. The second stage is easily adjusted as well and have found to be a great feature to customize the rifle to my own preference. The adjustments are easily outlined in the users manual and had found that I liked the rifle set to 2.5 lbs.

SIG Sauer has incorporated a Glidelight cocking mechanism to aid in bringing the cocking force down by around 30% compared to others producing the same power levels.

One of the more obvious features of the rifle is the Wedge Lock System, this is a new design that promotes accuracy and solves barrel droop problems. Over extended use some break barrels will experience barrel droop as well as shifts in accuracy that caused by poor barrel alignment and in extreme cases bending.

After taking a closer look at this breech area I can see that a great deal of quality has been put into the barrel system. The quality of the machine work and weld joints makes me proud that it’s made in the USA. The barrel and cocking links look very sturdy, I even tried to flex the barrel to see if any movement could be felt. The weight of this rifle is a pretty standard weight of 8.5 lbs and has a good solid feel to it. This model is made from beech wood and has been given a very dark brown stain, almost black. I will be the first to say I wish they had gone lighter on the stain as to cover such beautiful wood grain. The darker color of the stock shows scratches and pressure dents much more than a lighter color would.

The shape of the stock is very tactical and has very well placed checkering that makes the gun hold very well. The rubber buttpad is very plush and definatley aids in cradling the rifle against the shoulder.


Our next course of action was to head out to the range for a full day of testing and break in. I had not shot a gas ram break barrel in a long time so was very eager to get some practice in. SIG Sauer was kind enough to send two tins of branded pellets to be able to test in the rifle.

They had provided some 14.66gr CruxPB as well as the 21.14gr WraithPB pellets. These pellets looked to be very similar to H&N brand and possibly could be rebranded, nonetheless very nice quality. I tested both through the chronograph as well as doing some groups at 30 and 50 yards to test the accuracy. I really like how SIG Sauer has not followed other companies by claiming high velocity numbers. They obviously have done some homework and figured out that Airguns generally achieve the best accuracy at subsonic velocities. The SIG Sauer puts out up to 23 FPE that definitely enters it into the magnum category for Gas Rams. After the rifle is broken in I believe the numbers should settle in, this is what I achieved over 10 shots out of the box using the 14.66gr CruxPB’s.

I tested the heavier 21.14gr Wraith PB’s and found them to be going much to slow in the high 600’s, they faired to be very accurate but I didn’t like the loopy trajectory beyond 30 yards. The ASP20 is a joy to shoot, very solid THUMP when fired as well as having recoil that was easily manageable.

Cocking the rifle was very easy considering how much power it has, I would say it’s at least half of what my Diana 350 magnum was.

Moving along I set up the RX Target System at 30 yards to practice on some 1.2″ kill zones, great for hunting practice. At 30 yards the ASP20 had no problem smashing down the paddles with authority.

Next we moved along to the 50 yard target that proved not easy for someone not proficient at using a break barrel rifle. I found that being able to adjust the trigger to my own preference really aided in making this rifle a whole lot more enjoyable to shoot. The trigger blade felt great as well as giving me a lot more predictability and control. After some practice I was feeling pretty confident with the rifle and was able to find a good hold that was comfortable for me.

I was having a great time with the rifle and was able to achieve a 5 shot group that could be covered with my thumb. I think with some more practice I could have definitely done better as well as to stretch the gun out further. For hunting I can see this gun being ideal considering the power it puts out. The rest of the day was spent practicing my offhand skills as to ready myself for a short hunt the following day.

This rifle has definitely passed the accuracy portion of my review with flying colors. The ASP20 has some great features, I have to say the safety and the easily adjustable trigger are my favorites sofar.


The following day I packed the Jeep to head several hours South to a familiar location to hunt the California Ground Squirrel.

This area has many rocks, fallen trees and miles of pastures that offer excellent cover for the many Ground Squirrels that call this place home. Much of this area has been heavily impacted by the damage these varmints cause.

Early Spring is usually the best time to hunt ground squirrels, although they are fairly active on most warm days throughout the year. Marley and I unpacked the Jeep and wasted no time setting out from camp to a few known areas.

Within about 10 minutes I could hear the distant bark of a Ground Squirrel sunning himself up in some large rock outcroppings. Marley and I slowly made our way under a large Oak tree where I was able to spot one at 40 yards up on a rock.

I made the shot a bit low and sent it right into it’s shoulder with a loud echoing THWACK!!! Sounded like a catchers mitt. Marley and I took a short break under the Oak tree to film part of the enclosed video, this area is really pretty this time of year.

After a short bit of time filming we hiked up into the rocks that proved to be quite difficult carrying the rifle and all my camera gear. The ASP20 carries very nice, the checkering really became apparent when my hands had become so sweaty from hiking. “I really enjoy field use because I can always find things about a rifle that simply will never be found from a bench review.” Marley and I made our way over the mountain that led us back down a small animal trail onto the valley floor. This area had more large rock outcroppings that hopefully would give us some better opportunities. The day was a bit overcast so the squirrels were simply not very active in the usual spots. As we slowly walked a small cattle trail I finally spotted one at 55 yards moving around on some rocks. The Squirrel was partially obstructed by a bush but I was still able to make a good headshot that put it down with authority.

Marley was quick to recover the Ground Squirrel, not an easy task as it was wedged between two rocks.

By 2:30pm the wind was starting to pick up and it was time for Marley and I to head several miles back to the Jeep. This was a great little hunt, I wish we had some more action but I was just pleased to be out with a great Airgun and my little companion. Marley and I headed several hours back home where I would get to spend the next week editing and finishing up this review.


I spent some great time with the SIG Sauer ASP20 and am honored that they allowed me the opportunity to field use it. Over the past several weeks I have learned a lot about this great American Made rifle and can only hope this review may help others looking to buy one. As usual I will enclose my final honest opinion of this rifle along with the review in video form. Remember, the best Airgun is the one you’re shooting!!


      PROS

  • Powerful
  • Accurate
  • Easy to cock
  • Trigger (easily adjustable)
  • Very well made (strong)
  • Checkering
  • Weaver/Picatinny rail
  • Quiet

 

      CONS

  • Stocks finish (dark color shows scratches and pressure dents easy)


 

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New Rapid Air Weapons HM1000x Field Review

Several weeks ago I received the new Rapid Air Weapons HM1000x in .25 from Pyramyd Air for a comprehensive field review. I was excited to do this review as it would be the first RAW that I would have the privilege of field using. Rapid Air Weapons is known for building precision USA Made rifles that have been proven accurate by shooters all over the world. The HM1000 was shipped to me in a nice hard case and included one 12 shot rotary magazine, O’Ring kit and users manual.


RAW HM1000x PCP Air Rifle with Tan Laminate LRT Stock

  • Tan laminate LRT (Long Range Target) stock
  • Lothar Walther polygonal rifled barrel
  • Left- or right-hand actions available
  • MADE IN THE USA
  • Fully adjustable, match-grade trigger
  • 950 FPS (.22), 900 FPS (.25)
  • Fill pressure: 250 BAR (approx. 3,625 PSI)
  • Male quick-connect fill fitting
  • Easy access trigger spring adjustment
  • Overall length: 45.37”
  • Fully regulated
  • Precision side-lever cocking mechanism
  • 480cc carbon fiber air bottle
  • 12-shot rotary magazine
  • Fully moderated, carbon fiber-wrapped barrel w/offset shroud
  • 50 FPE (.22), 60 FPE (.25)
  • Includes one magazine

Thanks to a partnership between Tennessee-based Rapid Air Weapons (RAW) and AirForce Airguns out of Texas, one of airgunning’s most sought-after pre-charged pneumatic air rifles is now available without much of a wait. The RAW HM1000x LRT (Long Range Target) PCP air rifle achieves the kind of precision, reliability and consistency that have come to characterize RAW’s high-quality airguns. Each rifle is hand built and individually tested before leaving the factory and is billed by RAW as “the most accurate pre-charged pneumatic air rifle made in the USA… capable of sub 1-inch groups out to 100 yards. The HM1000x’s LRT’s factory high-power tune produces muzzle energies of up to 50 foot-pounds (in .22, using JSB 25.39-grain pellets) and 60 foot-pounds (in .25, using JSB King Heavy 33.95-grain pellets). Its fully regulated PCP power plant ensures consistent performance from the first shot to the last and the 480cc carbon fiber bottle packs enough capacity to put up to 50 rounds downrange per fill.

It uses a 12-shot rotary magazine and features an adjustable, match-grade target trigger with an added safety catch. The fully moderated Lothar Walther polygonal rifled barrel, allows backyard plinkers to shoot without worrying about loud reports bothering neighbors and the offset muzzle shroud eliminates the need for taller scope mounts.

The RAW HM1000x LRT integrates all of this industry-leading hardware into a high-end, laminate stock with a cheek rest and rubber butt pad that are each height-adjustable to enhance accuracy and control. The pistol grip and stock are checkered, with the forend incorporating five M-Lok slots for mounting accessories like bipods and Q.D. attachments. The forestock of the RAW HM1000x LRT is flat underneath to provide bench shooters with an ultra-stable point of contact. Designed for everyone from serious plinkers and hunters to field target and benchrest competitors demanding the highest levels of performance, the RAW HM1000x LRT delivers the accuracy, consistency and precision that serious shooters demand.


Looking over the rifle and learning some of the features that were included I could hardly wait to get this rifle down to the 100 yard range and to configure it for my several days of hunting. The RAW has a Lothar Walther Polygonal barrel, this barrel has no choke and should except shooting slugs very well. Beyond the barrel this rifle can produce a good amount of power in .25 and can easily be configured to a conservative 60 FPE. The rifles stock is outfitted with a nice slot that allows us to adjust the hammer spring tension located at the rear of the receiver.

This is a great feature that allows the shooter to really fine tune this rifle for the specifics of the pellets or slugs they might be using. The rifle comes pre tuned to 60 fpe using 33gr JSB’s but can be tuned up or down with a chronograph using the hammer adjuster. Clockwise for more power, counter clockwise for less. The HM1000x is regulated and one of the main components that makes this rifle so accurate. The regulator is located just inside the front of the breech where the bottle threads into. To remove the action from the stock to make visit to some of the hidden components it’s first necessary to remove the 480cc carbon fiber bottle. To pull the action from the stock the bottle needs to be removed first to to prevent damage to the stock. The bottle can be removed while it’s under pressure and will give a “pop” sound when it’s near the end of the threads.

Once the bottle is removed we can now loosen the allen bolt from the bottom of the stock to view other components such as the regulator and trigger assembly.

The HM1000x is fitted with a regulator that’s factory set between 140/160 BAR. I easily removed it from the gun for sake of looking it over and to show its a good quality component.

The regulator simply allows only a set amount of pressure into the plenum that gives good consistent fps numbers. This regulator uses a belleville stack that just establishes a pressure that holds open the valve seat until the pressure in the plenum overcomes it and pushes a spool to the seat that will halt air flow. The amount by which you can increase or decrease the pressure is by adding or subtracting the washers. This is a much more advanced adjustment and should never need to be bothered with by the end user. Each one of these regulators is set personally by Martin at Rapid Air Weapons and looks to be very well made and trouble free unit. While I had the stock removed it was a good time to look over the match grade trigger that’s fully adjustable 4 ways.

The trigger on the HM1000x is definitely and important key component that helps to make this rifle easier to shoot accurately. The 6oz was a bit lighter than I’m used to but nonetheless this would prove to be one of my favorite parts of the rifle. The users manual included a diagram that easily explains the 4 available adjustments to the trigger.


The following day I packed the Jeep and headed out to the 100 yard range for a day of quality shooting time.

Today I would be getting the gun ready for my several days of hunting so I would be shooting some new 34gr Nielsen Specialty Ammo slugs as well as the 25.39gr JSB’s. I didn’t waste any time setting up the chronograph to run some shot strings as well as to sight in my Hawke Vantage 3-12×44 SF Scope. I spent a good hour sighting the gun in and practicing on some targets at 100 yards. The Nielsen Specialty Ammo 34gr slugs shot very well out of the HM1000x and even in the wind were very predictable. These were putting out near 64 FPE in the rifle, very impressive and accurate!!

NSA 34gr 12 shots at 100 yards RAW HM1000x .25

The RAW HM1000x comes with a 12 shot rotary magazine that loads from the left side of the rifle and has plenty of room for a variety of pellets and slugs.

The side-lever on the rifle is very robust and well made, has no slop or play and opens and closes very smoothly. The probe on this rifle is large and designed to load and seat each pellet/slug with extreme precision. Small details like this are no doubt important keys to extreme accuracy. Next we would try out the 25.39gr JSB’s, these were a bit lighter and proved to be going way to fast through the chronograph. Ideally the 33gr JSB’s would have been a better choice but unfortunately I didn’t have any on hand at the time. I used the hammer spring adjustment and turned down the gun till they reached speed of 950 giving a bit over 50 FPE. After shooting some groups I found they shot very well but not as predictable as the slugs were in the swirling winds out to 100 yards.

HM1000x 25.39gr JSB’s 12 shots at 100 yards

The accuracy of the Rapid Air Weapons HM1000s .25 is definitely impressive with not only pellets but slugs. I was excited as it’s very rare to find a rifle that’s capable of shooting both so well at longer ranges. The ability to fine tune this rifle by the user to the specifics of a variety of pellets and slugs makes it an extremely versatile Airgun. My time at the bench was well spent but now it was time for the RAW to make it’s way into a hunting environment. That evening I packed up the Jeep with all my gear for our several days adventure into the remote mountains.


The following morning Marley and I headed several hours South to a familiar remote location where we would be spending the next two days. This area is very remote and has one of the best natural habitats for the California Ground Squirrels. The recent rains have brought California a super bloom of flowers and an amount of green I haven’t seen in years.

The day was partially cloudy with the sunshine coming in and out, still very beautiful with all the bright yellow flowers. Marley and I pulled into our camp that was nestled in a canyon surrounded by many Oak trees and small creeks. I unpacked some of my gear and we wasted no time getting out into the field in search of the many Ground Squirrels that call this place home.

The area we were headed to was about a mile South from camp and offered some amazing hiking through some rolling pastures. We came up on several large rock outcroppings that had several Ground Squirrels moving about atop them. Marley and I sat down and within a minute or two I was able to spot my first victim of the day. This one was at 116 yards sitting high up on a giant boulder, he was staying pretty still and left me with a good headshot.

After making a successful shot and capturing it on video we headed a bit further to an area that was much greener. The yellow flowers were so bright that they were near blinding, pretty amazing picturesque view.

Marley and I sat on a small bluff overlooking a creek and many rocks and fallen trees. We spotted quite a few busy Ground Squirrels moving about at around 60 yards.

The RAW HM1000x has plenty of power to whallop down these Ground Squirrels with ease at ranges out to 130 yards. We spent the next several hours here putting down quite a few of them. The area was one of the best hunting spots I have been to for Ground Squirrels, on a sunny hot day I’m sure we could have gotten even more. Marley and I took a break down in the creek as the clouds moved overhead.

The temperature was in the high 60’s so the ground squirrels were not as active as they would be on warmer days. Marley and I continued our hike and decided to move higher up into the rocks where we were able to overlook a good portion of the valley floor.

The Ground Squirrels can be very difficult to spot in this type of terrain, they can usually be found high up in the rocks where they like to sun themselves.

The Hawke Vantage 3-12×44 SF is a great scope for this type of hunting, the side focus is definitely a step up from the standard model AO scopes and makes focusing much quicker. The 3-12×44 works very well for hunting at closer ranges offering a good wide field of view, at longer ranges the 1/2 mill-dots are perfect for most applications. This scope is one of my favorites because it’s lightweight and has great glass for the money along with smooth turret adjusters. I added a sun-shade and some good quality medium rings that mounted very solid the the HM1000x. For hunting situations it’s imperative to have a good mounting system to hold the scopes zero under heavy field conditions. Expect to see some thorough scope reviews coming very soon!

By this time it was 5:00pm and we had a two mile hike back to our camp where I still had to set up the tent and get situated for the night ahead. The HM1000x had treated me well on the first day of hunting and had already allowed me to learn a few things about it away from the bench. Sofar my favorite things about it were the power, trigger and great shot count. One of the things I really noticed was the noise levels, on a scale from 1 to 5 of loudness this ones a 4. I was not to concerned about the sound level though due to the fact the gun had so much power that I was able to shoot from far distances out beyond 130+ yards. My experience is what may be loud to the shooter is usually not heard at all 100 yards downrange.


Back at camp I set up the tent and made dinner along with digging a fire pit to keep us warm through the night. That night the wind picked up as well as giving us a short sprinkle around 10:00pm, thankfully it wasn’t really very cold.


The next morning Marley and I woke up around 7:30 to start out the day. The morning was a bit cold and had some clouds rolling overhead giving us moments of warmth from the morning sunshine.

I was quick to get the rifle situated by loading it’s magazine with the 34gr NSA slugs. The magazine is very large and easy to load, 12 shots is a good number to keep busy for awhile before reloading.


QUICK TIP

I always like to leave both my Air Tank and gun out in the sun before filling, this keeps the pressures up. Sometimes if our Air tank is a bit low we can use the sun to build pressure, sometimes several hundred PSI. In field situations this can sometimes come in handy and has helped me on numerous occasions.

The HM1000x is very easy to fill, no probes or funky fill devices to lose or break. A simple foster fill has never let me down and the one on the RAW is as trouble free as they come.

The foster fitting has a nice little dust cap that pops on and off with ease to help keep the field debris out. The carbon fiber bottle fills to just over 3,625psi and provides enough air to keep most varmint hunters in the field all day long with 50 shots. (NOTE) The gauge on the RAW only goes to 230 BAR but the gun is able to fill to 250 BAR. Apparently RAW uses the same gauge for both the CF and aluminum bottles.   


Marley and I headed out to a few areas we had scouted the day before that looked to be very promising with Ground Squirrels.

The first area was fairly flat and had several Ground Squirrels scurrying around through the rocks and fallen trees. Within a few minutes I was able to spot one just behind a small rock, they really blend in well and are sometimes impossible to see.

Marley was quick to retrieve this one from the rocks that was put down with a mean headshot.

We continued on and soon spotted another high up in some rocks at 70 yards away, this area is getting busy.

Moving along up over the mountain we came back down into a creekbed where I was able to take several more Ground Squirrels with the furthest out to 92 yards.

The HM1000x shoots very well offhand and from the sitting position, I really like the flat bottom of the forearm. The guns weight is balanced very well and considering it’s length is very manageable. The checkering on the grip and forearm area give enough to use from a variety of holds. I will say I felt this stock was not something that would handle a drop well, I was a bit careful with the gun but still used it as intended. Over the past few days I have carried the rifle without a sling and found it to be pretty lightweight, never felt uncomfortable. If this was mine I would definitely have added a sling but since it would be getting returned I did not want to drill out the buttstock for a swivel stud. Marley and I spent the next few hours moving to several different areas with a total of 24 kills over the day. The HM1000x was a powerhouse and worked flawlessly coupled with the NSA slugs. Our time was near up so we headed back to camp to pack up and head down the long dirt road to home. My time spent with this fine American Made rifle was well spent and more than a pleasure. I really appreciate Pyramyd Air for sponsoring this trip and allowing me the opportunity to bring my experience to you. I will enclose my final honest opinion of this rifle along with the review in video form.


      PROS

  • Powerful (60+FPE)
  • Adjustable (easy to fine tune)
  • Great trigger
  • Great weight
  • Good shot count
  • Accurate (works well with both pellets and slugs)
  • Easy to work on
  • Convenient safety

      CONS

  • Loud (does have 60FPE though)
  • Bit long (would like to see shorter moderator)
  • Delicate Stock (handle with care)
  • Needs gauge that goes to 250 BAR

This rifle has been thoroughly field tested and is one of the most accurate long range Airguns that I have used for hunting. The fact that it can shoot both slugs and pellets so well is very rare to find, I was happy to see that Airforce has committed to keeping this rifles legacy alive with quality. This PCP is definitely on the high end of rifles but has proven itself time over to be one of the best.



 

 

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