The Sig Sauer Virtus AR Air Rifle

Sig Sauer Virtus Unboxing Review by American Airgunner

Sig Sauer’s highly anticipated AR platform air rifle is finally here and ready to rock and roll. The Sig Sauer Virtus rifle is based on their rock solid MCX platform to produce a reliable, dependable, and accurate air rifle for today’s air gunner. Unboxing the Virtus rifle, and putting it through its initial paces, American Airgunner has some key takeaways and first impressions of this fantastic new rifle.

Unboxing the Sig Sauer Virtus

Fit and Feel

First impressions can be critical, and the Virtus does not disappoint. This rifle is a Sig! Built with quality machining, perfect component fit, and the 7.5 pound weight of a quality firearm, it’s obvious from the start that the Virtus is a quality weapon. Balanced and ergonomic, the rifle feels good in the hand, is made to go to the shoulder, and is easy to aim.

Sig Sauer Virtus Specs

Sig paid attention to detail and built the Virtus with an abundance of standard options. 

  • PCP (Pre Charged Pneumatic)  This rifle operates from a high pressure (3,000 psi) regulated air tank. Offering around 200 shots per charge, and consistent pressure for accuracy, the MCX Virtus PCP doubles the muzzle energy from classic CO2 models. 
  • Caliber & Velocity  The Virtus is chambered in the popular .22 caliber, offering some flexibility with pellet weights and options. The Virtus is based on 11-12 ft/lb of energy, coupling the PCP regulator with pellet weight, and the muzzle velocity runs between 500 fps up to 700 fps depending on projectile weight.  
  • Sights and Accessories  Sig’s standard, rock solid, adjustable flip up sights come standard on the Virtus air rifle, and provide accurate target acquisition. M-Lok attachment points, and a top picatinny rail provide trigger forward access points for any variety of accessories, including optics, lasers, flashlights, bipods, and sling attachments. 
  • Rapid Pellet Magazine (RPM)  The RPM developed by Sig Sauer is a 30 round belt-fed pellet magazine, which is capable of delivering 30 rounds in 3.5 seconds. The RPM detachable mag has proven to be reliable and trouble free. 
  • Semi-Automatic Action  The Sig Virtus is built on Sig’s unfailing trigger group to operate the semi-auto action, providing the feel of a centerfire rifle with the convenience and versatility of an air rifle.

 

Putting the Sig Sauer Virtus Through Its Paces

  • Charging the PCP tank from zero pounds of pressure to 3,000 pounds took just under 5 minutes with a high pressure air compressor, allowing for up to 200 shots on a fully charged tank. 
  • The RPM magazine’s simple, yet robust, design makes it easy to load. The magazine locks into the rifle’s action solid and sturdy, and it’s ready to roll.  
  • Accuracy is quickly apparent when you put the Virtus to work. Balanced, quick to the target, and solid to the shoulder, the Virtus is a pleasure to shoot. Plinking one shot at a time, or rapid-fire semi-auto magazine dumps both provide reliable accuracy on target. 

 

Final Thoughts on the Sig Sauer Virtus Air Rifle

Sig Sauer has done a fantastic job creating an air rifle line that stands up to the Sig name. By developing the Virtus air rifle on the proven Sig MCX platform, the new air rifle offers tested performance and accuracy to the modern air gunner.  

The Virtus will really shine for anyone wanting to put in more time at the range, practice economical shooting discipline, or develop trigger finesse and dexterity. While it’s a practical rifle for the range, the Virtus could easily fill the niche of an awesome varmint rifle for camp or the ranch too. American Airgunner’s initial impressions of the Sig Sauer Virtus air rifle can be summed up as…impressive! 

ALL NEW Sig Sauer Virtus PCP Airgun Testing

Sig Sauer’s New PCP Airgun | MCX Virtus PCP Air Rifle

 

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At the 2019 SHOT Show in Las Vegas Nevada, Rossi discusses the all new lineup of Sig Sauer Airguns with the vice president of the Air division for Sig Sauer, Joe Houston. The new lineup contains the Sig Sauer MCX Virtus, a semi-automatic .22 Cal PCP. The Virtus uses the SIG rapid pellet 30 round magazine making it an ideal tool for target training and hunting varmints.

Rossi meets up with Ed Schultz at the Sig Sauer Range Day even to check out the Virtus PCP in more detail and to test it out himself. Besides having a bold appearance different to any other PCP on the market, Rossi is blown away by the balance and accuracy of this new PCP Airgun.

The Umarex SA10 with David Higginbotham

The Umarex SA10 is a semi-auto air gun that fires either BBs or pellets with features that make it look like a custom gun.
Remember, safety first. Engage your brain for touching or handling any gun, even an airgun. Do not show an airgun in public.

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The Gauntlet: Game-Changing PCP Performance For 1/3 the PCP Price

Nothing beats the convenience of a pre-charged pneumatic. There’s no pumping. No barrels to muscle over to compress a spring. Fill up the tank, and you’re ready to rock. But who can afford them?

Just about everyone, now. The Gauntlet provides reliable performance and uncompromising accuracy with a retail price under $300.

Let’s break down the features. The baseline numbers will be guided by caliber. The Gauntlet is available in .22 and .177. I’ve shot both, now, and have insight into each.

The Gauntlet’s consistency is provided by regulated airflow. This holds true for shots all the way to the very end of the charge. Umarex is averaging 1200 FPS for .177 alloy pellets. The .22s run over 900 FPS and hit harder. I know, none of you are going to shoot alloy pellets out of the Gauntlet.

That consistency results in equally consistent shot placement. Accuracy is solid. The Gauntlet isn’t equipped with iron sights, and it doesn’t come with a scope, so how you decide to top it will be up to you. The Gauntlet has an 11mm rail that makes mounting optics easy.

The single-stage trigger is adjustable. This one I’ve adjusted and was breaking just over 2 pounds and the break was clean. Though it isn’t a pistol grip, the grip angle is similar. It is an excellent feel for a rifle that weighs in at 8.5 pounds.

The rifle itself is 46.74” long. 28.5” of that is an integrally suppressed barrel. The system is ingenious. The sleeve that covers the barrel is about the diameter of a typical rifle barrel. Inside that protective sleeve is an even thinner rifled barrel. There’s enough air space between the two to quiet this rifle down. Plus is has a mono core baffle system. It is much more than hearing safe, and the .177 I had (especially on the open range) was as quiet as a suppressed bolt-action rimfire running subsonic rounds. The sound of the pellet striking a steel spinner was louder than the shot itself.

The gun’s 13 cubic inch tank (tucked below the barrel) will hold 3,000 psi of pressure. With the .177, that equates to 70 plus shots.

Once loaded up, the 10 shot magazine slides into the action in front of the bolt. A cut out shows how many more pellets are available and can be seen easily from the right side of the gun.

For those that want some greater insurance for accurate performance, the magazine can be replaced by a single-shot sled, which came with the rifle.

When you look at these features and the practical performance, all in one package, the Gauntlet is a stand-out. It helps that it looks good, too. The rifle has some subtle sweeps in the frame that make it more attractive than some PCP guns.

When you consider that the sticker price is going to be under $300, you can see just how daunting the Gauntlet must be to those selling comparable rifles at three times the price.

 

David Higginbotham is a writer and educator who lives in Arkansas. After years of writing and consulting in the firearms industry, he’s coming back to his roots with air guns.

The Colt Peacemaker

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Growing up watching Bonanza, Gun Smoke, Big Valley and John Wayne movies, I’ve had a fascination with the six shooters and lever action rifles. Decades ago airgun manufacturers designed and sold Cowboy style replica air pistols. Over time these models faded away when Westerns became less popular.

Colt Peacemaker_1Upon receiving a 2015 Umarex USA catalog in late 2014, I was stunned to see an airgun replica of the Colt Single Action Army (also known as the Peacemaker). My first thought was “There’s now a companion piece to my Walther Lever Action pellet rifle!” Our sample Peacemaker arrived on December 31st, 2014. It was an incredible honor as I read a note from Justin Biddle, Director of Marketing at Umarex USA saying “You and Tom Gaylord got the first two production samples, yours nickel, his blued.”

Upon opening the colorful box and handling the Peacemaker, I estimated that with its size and quality, the airgun would probably retail around $200. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned the MSRP was $150. As an announcer once said at the beginning of the Lone Ranger show “Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear” as we take a quick look at this replica of the classic Colt Single Action Army. Not only does this airgun replica look and feel like its firearm counterpart, it functions in many of the same ways!

Colt Peacemaker_2After loading a BB into the primer end of each simulated metallic cartridge, they are loaded into the air pistol by swinging out the loading gate. With the Colt on half-cock the cylinder is manually rotated clockwise to load each cartridge into the cylinder. After each cartridge is spent, the functioning ejector rod can be used to remove the cartridge from the cylinder.

One departure from the original Colt Peacemaker’s design is the addition of a safety located in the front of the trigger guard. The safety is simple to operate and does not really detract from styling. Powered by CO2, the 12 gram capsule is housed in the grip frame. Also built into the inside of the grip is an Allen wrench for conveniently installing or removing the CO2 capsule.

On a cool 65 degree day, the Colt produced a initial velocity of just over 400 fps.  By shot 42, the velocity was at 367. An average of 372 fps was achieved during the test session. Firing the 6 shots from the Peacemaker can be accomplished quickly. The air pistol has the traditional front and rear sight and begs to be used as a point and shooter.

While loading BBs into each cartridge takes longer than actually firing them, I was happy to learn that extra cartridges will be available in the future. Just imagine having the bullet loops in your holsters belt filled with pre-loaded air pistol cartridges.

After several months of use, the air pistol  functions and looks just as well as it did when I opened the box. There is now minor wear marks that will be found on the cylinder after the hundreds of shots, but that only adds to it character.

Colt Peacemaker_3On New Years day 2015, after of watching the Lone Ranger with my son Ben, we started a campfire in the back yard, cooked sausages and eggs on a cast iron pan. After our meal we spent quality time shooting cans with the Peacemaker. Maybe that will be our new New Year’s tradition.

You may want to pick up one of these CO2 powered replica Peacemakers to introduce the younger generation to the elegance and functioning of a single action revolver. The youngsters may even learn a little history of the old west. And perhaps you’ll be able to start your own traditions too.

by Tim Smith (A single action guy in a semi-automatic world)

Umarex Airgun Review New Rifled Barrel Pellet-firing Colt Peacemaker

The SAA pellet cartridges are about the size of .32-30 Winchester round. The gun has the same balance in the hand as a .45 Colt with a 5-1/2 inch barrel.

In 1955 Colt re-introduced its famous 1873 Single Action Army revolver. It was a welcomed reprise of “The Gun That Won The West” and Colt has never looked back, still manufacturing the legendary Peacemaker since 1873 – with a brief hiatus caused by the demands of WWII that kept the Single Action out of the lineup until 1955.

Over the decades there have been many variations of the Peacemaker but never a BB cartridge loading CO2 model, that is until Colt and Umarex teamed up to build an authentic .177 caliber Single Action in 2015. The gun is accurate in almost every detail, right down to the Colt patent dates and Rampant Colt emblem on the left side of frame. When I first saw this air pistol last year I was not only amazed at the engineering that had gone into making this all-metal six-shooter, but how all of the famous Colt features had been incorporated right down to the loading gate, ejector housing, hammer, trigger guard, and grip contours. It’s as close to the real deal as you can get without loading .45 Colt cartridges.

One of few noteworthy differences between a .45 Colt SAA and the airgun is the addition of a manual safety discretely just forward of the triggerguard. Also note the authentic-looking transverse cylinder pin release.

At about 33 ounces it’s a little lighter than a .45 Caliber 5-1/2 inch barrel length Colt Peacemaker, but the Colt Umarex SAA has the same looks except for the addition of a manual safety discretely hidden under the fame and just forward of the trigger guard. The nickel version is a dandy of a gun that will open up whole new avenues for Cowboy Action Shooters to practice quick draw and shooting from the hip, pistol handling and target shooting at close range without the expense or cleanup of black powder or smokeless powder .45 Colt rounds or wax bullets. Dimensionally, the BB gun is dead on. The rebounding hammer feels different, lighter, as there is no actual Colt-style mainspring and the hammer sits slightly back from the frame at rest. Cocking the gun follows normal single action operation by rotating the cylinder to the next chamber. There is a CO2 capsule stored inside the grip to power the .177 pellet downrange at an average of 410 feet per second. Unlike some of the BB cartridges in use, the Colt models load the BB or pellet into the base of the cartridge where the primer would usually go. The brass BB and silver pellet cartridges authentic, though not .45 Colt in size, more like a .32-20 Winchester round, which Single Actions were chambered for beginning in 1884. The gun fits any SAA holster, and even has to be oiled and cleaned (moderately after every 1,000 rounds) with an available Umarex cleaning kit.

Raising the bar

The new nickel finished SAA pellet model comes fitted with black panel grips and a Colt Peacemaker Rampant Colt inset emblem. In all respects other than what comes out of the recessed .45 Colt muzzle, the pellet model looks identical to the .177 caliber BB models, which is to say very much like a nickel plated smokeless powder frame Colt Single Action Army revolver design. The 1892 smokeless powder frame design introduced the transverse cylinder latch under the barrel to release the cylinder pin for disassembly.

Skinning the no-smoke wagon

The Umarex Colt Peacemaker 4.5mm pellet gun fits all standard SAA holsters. (Fringe holster by .45Maker)

This is one sharp looking revolver and with the 5-1/2 inch barrel it fits any Colt SAA holster from hand tooled belt holsters to shoulder rigs. Just as in the Old West, holsters were a matter of choice or more often what was available at the gun shop or local saddlery. To test the new pellet model Umarex Colt Peacemaker I dropped it into a one-off copy of a famous fringed holster pictured in the book Packing Iron. The copy of the holster was handmade by Javier Garcia of .45Maker (801-628-7219). To do a few Cowboy Action shooting drills with the pellet gun I set up silhouette targets at the SASS (Single Action Shooting Society) pistol distance of 10 yards and fired Duelist style, which is one handed. A CO2 pellet gun with a rifled barrel is definitely good out to 10 yards. I also set up a few tin cans to do some Old West target shooting!

Ammo choice was RWS Meisterkugeln, a traditional 4.5mm wad cutter target grade pellet. Purchasing at least a dozen extra cartridges is a good idea for faster reloading. Pellet cartridges run around $10 for a set of six.

Taking my best gunfighter stance I did a quick draw for the first six shots just to see where I was hitting on the silhouette target. I put six pellets into the center of the target. Going to aimed shots six rounds grouped in the 10 and X rings at 1.75 inches. I repeated this a few more times with average six round groups measuring under 2-inches. Then I went after the tin cans, knocking them down in order and “kicking the cans”around the top of an old whiskey barrel (see the accompanying video gun test).

You can also practice drawing, re-holstering, and a little fancy gun handling with the Umarex Colt Peacemaker and shoot to your heart’s content for just pennies. The nickel finished, rifled barrel six-shooter has a suggested retail of just $179.99. For more information visit umarexusa.com.

by Dennis Adler