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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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