Sig ASP20 rifle with Whiskey3 ASP 4-12X44 scope: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig ASP20
Sig ASP20 breakbarrel rifle.

This report covers:

  • ASP20
  • Two calibers
  • Wood stock or synthetic stock?
  • First impression
  • What about wood?
  • And synthetic?
  • Description
  • Trigger
  • Safety
  • Whose gun is it?
  • Summary

It’s here! The Sig ASP20 breakbarrel rifle with the Whiskey3 4-12X44 scope arrived at my house Friday evening, and I already have an independent opinion to share. I will get to that in a bit.

ASP20

ASP stands for Advanced Sport Pellet—the original name of SIGAIR — the Sig Sauer group that’s responsible for airguns. The number 20 indicates the foot-pounds of energy that can be expected from a .177 caliber version of the rifle. Obviously this power varies by pellet, but it gives you a ballpark to consider.

Two calibers

The rifle is offered in both .177 and .22 calibers and in the larger caliber the expected output climbs to 23 foot pounds. I asked for the .22 caliber to test because at this power lever I feel it would be the smoothest of the two. Ed Schultz of SIGAIR agrees with that.

Wood stock or synthetic stock?

The ASP20 comes in both wood and synthetic stocks. When I first saw the rifle at this year’s SHOT Show I thought the stock was synthetic, but it was wood. My experience has been if a stock is sleek and slender it’s synthetic. If it’s wood it tends to be too thick at the wrist and through the forearm. Not the ASP20 stock, though. The wood stock is very slender in all the right places, plus the laser carving on both the pistol grip and forearm is finely detailed and very coarse to the touch.

Sig ASP20 laser carving
The stock is carved by a laser on both sides of the forearm and pistol grip. The texture is rough, so it grabs the hands well.

When I hold the rifle to my shoulder, everything feels right. The stock and controls are 100 percent ambidextrous and the fit is so good that the rifle feels custom-tailored for me. I thought it was just a fluke that it fit me me, but on Sunday evening I showed the rifle to Larry, a friend from my church who has been eagerly awaiting the arrival of this rifle. He is two inches shorter than me and probably 75 pounds lighter at least. Larry is not a diehard airgunner, so he represents the general public a lot more than me. He owns a Gamo breakbarrel of some type, so I watch and listened closely when he hefted the ASP20 for the first time.

First impression

When he cocked the rifle he said it felt smooth and well-made. Then, after his first shot, he looked at me with a big smile. Apparently I had told him the truth about how great the rifle feels and as soon as it’s available with the scope bundled, he plans to buy one!

He was impressed by the smoothness and lightness of the trigger and the lack of vibration when it fired. We were in a tiny suburban backyard and the gun was as quiet as it needs to be.

But here is the big deal. Larry is a cabinetmaker of the first order. When I told him a couple months ago that I wanted to buy an oak mission-style Morris chair, he asked me why I didn’t just make one. Okay, Stradivarius, I’ll build a fiddle. Where do you buy your cigar boxes?

So, when I pointed out that this stock was wood and not synthetic, Larry was surprised. Forget what I said about it before — it fooled someone who really knows wood!

What about wood?

This wood stock feels dead solid. There is no hollowness to the butt. And Sig tells me it only adds about 8 ounces to the weight of the rifle, which for my scoped specimen is 9 lbs. 12 oz. The unscoped rifle weighs 8 lbs. 8 oz. (roughly, as the wood stocks will have slight variations from the varying density of the wood), so the Whiskey3 4-12X44 scope and mounts must weigh 20 oz.

And synthetic?

The Pyramyd Air site shows the weight of the unscoped rifle with synthetic stock at the same 8 lbs. 8 oz, but that’s just a placeholder, as they haven’t had a gun to weigh yet. The synthetic stock has been in its own separate development program, and I want to point out one other thing. When you look at the picture of the synthetic stock online, it looks like it has an adjustable cheekpiece. That is just a line on the stock. The cheekpiece does not adjust — yet. Sig has every intention of offering a stock with an adjustable cheekpiece in the future, which is why the line is there, but they first have to get the basic synthetic stock into production. I believe they are there now, so we should see the adjustable cheekpiece sometime next year. These people do not shoot from the hip, so they will take whatever time it takes to make it right.

The butt is capped by a soft black rubber pad that sticks tight against the shoulder. It also prevents the rifle from slipping when it’s stood up in the corner.

Description

The ASP20 I’m testing is a single shot breakbarrel powered by a gas piston. It is remarkably easy to cock in spite of the impressive power. I will measure the effort in the velocity test, but one that was well broken in by Sig was cocking at 33-34 lbs. I expect this brand new rifle to be a couple pounds higher, simply because it’s new.

The rifle is 45.6-inches long and has a 13-7/8-inch pull. The barrel is 13.8 inches and is capped with a fat silencer that has active technology (that means this one really works).

There are no sights, but a Picatinney rail is permanently attached to the top rear of the spring tube, to serve as a scope base. So you will need to use scope rings that come with either Weaver or Picatinney bases. My test rifle came with a Whiskey3 scope already mounted on what looks like either low or medium scope rings. That’s the scope I plan to test. And that will be a report within a report, as this scope is just as novel in its own way as the rifle! I have a lot more to say about it, but not today.

Trigger

The Matchlite trigger that’s in the ASP20 is fully adjustable. The length of the first stage can be changed, and even eliminated if desired. The pull weight of stage two adjusts from 2.5 to 3.5 lbs. in 2-ounce increments. You may remember when I did the 4-part Sig Day report that I told you the trigger adjusts within a “box” of high and low limits. Here is a reminder of that.

Sig ASP20 trigger graphic
Sig’s Matchlite trigger is a brand-new design that works very well! Graphic provided by Sig.

Sig ASP20 trigger box
The adjustments on Sig’s Matchlite trigger work inside the bounds of safety. You get a light trigger that the lawyers are okay with.

The trigger pull weight adjustment screw bottoms out when turned to the limit in one direction and turns without effect when it reaches the other limit. Between those two limits you have full control to set the pull weight where it best suits you.

The other adjustment is the length of the stage one pull. If you don’t want a 2-stage trigger, stage one can be adjusted out. If you want a long first stage you can have that. And you are limited in both directions to a safe operation.

The trigger blade is a straight bar of glass-filled polymer. Yes, it’s synthetic. But the job it does doesn’t involve any major strain and, as I showed you in August, Sig went to the trouble of balancing it!

Sig ASP20 balanced trigger-blade
Sig went to the trouble to balance the trigger blade. Your adjustments are smooth and positive.

Safety

Last thing on the trigger. The anti-beartrap device is to prevent the breech closing on your fingers while loading. Even though it works as advertised, still hold onto the muzzle so if the gun were to fire you could prevent the barrel from closing. It’s just extra insurance.

The safety switch is manual. The shooter decides when to put it on and take it off. This is a radical departure from most airgun triggers that assume the shooters are incapable of independent thought.

Sig ASP20 safety
The safety slide is located on both sides of the stock and either switch sets or releases it. It is manual so it only comes on when you put it on.

Whose gun is it?

Let me clear something up. Sig gave every writer who attended their special airgun day back in August an ASP with a Whiskey3 scope — the writer’s choice of caliber and stocks. Yeah, I know — but somebody’s got to do it. What can I say?

I just want you to know that even if they had not given me this rifle I would have bought it. I think by now you know that about me — if it’s good I buy it.

And I would have bought the scope, too. In fact, while we were shooting the ASP20s on the range at the end of our tour I turned around and tried to place an order for the scope. They asked me whether I had read the certificate they gave each of us that morning. My certificate told me I was getting a rifle. I thought it was a loaner. The certificate says the rifle and scope are both complimentary — as in mine to keep.

That said, I will still tell you all that happens. The good and the bad, if there is any. I have already shot one of these quite a bit and I haven’t seen any bad yet, plus you need to know I have been shooting this one all the while I’m writing this report. So far, so good.

Summary

There is more to tell about the ASP20, and I’m not going to get it all into this first report. I also still have to describe the Whiskey3 scope to you.

42 thoughts on “Sig ASP20 rifle with Whiskey3 ASP 4-12X44 scope: Part 1

  1. B.B.,

    Now we are getting to the actual examination instead of an overview. This rifle combo will certainly be looked over with a fine-toothed comb. Could you possibly enlighten us as to why the scope is labeled Whiskey3?

    Siraniko




  2. B.B.,

    Looking forwards to more. I was surprised on the weight. Because I like/love a cheek riser, I would be waiting. That trigger looks to have a bunch of (coiled with arms) springs inside. Interesting. I like the more vertical pistol grip area. Butt pad spacers to up the LOP? Maybe a nice thought/add-on.

    Good day to one and all,….. Chris


  3. B.B.

    Hallelujah, it is finally here! Just to be clear, you can adjust the trigger pull weight completely independently of the first stage travel? So one adjustment does not effect the other?
    My only “Goldie Locks” comment is I wish it were a pound lighter…….
    Very much looking forward to the other reports, just in time for Christmas.

    -Y


  4. BB,

    I told you that you were forbidden to do this report! I am trying real hard not to invite any new residences to RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns for awhile and I seriously doubt Kathy will be conspiring with you for a Christmas present this year.

    This one is going to be a hard one for any serious airgun shooter to resist as your friend Larry can testify. I am glad that someone has finally focused on improving the break barrel rather than just redressing it.


  5. Hi B.B. is the silencer removable? I am really intrigued by this gun but living in Canada any silencer is considered a prohibited device. If the silencer can be removed entirely or if the baffles inside could be removed it would be much easier to get one of these rifles into the great white north and comply with our far more restrictive laws on airguns ( all airguns are considered firearms but the licensing requirements are waived if the velocity is under 500 fps so the legislative loophole that allows silencers on airguns in the states doesn’t work up here)


  6. B.B.,
    This is quite a package. This is the first break barrel I have noticed that is bundled with such a premium scope. Checking to buy just the scope and found it priced north of $250.
    Gerald



      • B.B.,

        350 is pretty respectable. It must have something to offer.150 for a 350 scope seems pretty unreal. I can see them doing that to get the name out on the market and some street cred built up,…. but I can not see them staying with that kind of deal forever. That is some real good incentive to consider the combo.

        It is kind of funny in a way in that I might desire the scope more than the rifle it comes on! 😉 Quite the opposite of a cheap scope on a rifle we want,… that we are used to see being offered.

        Chris


  7. Thanks, hopefully they have good news for me … the power issue is less of a problem as most canadians involved in shooting sports also have a firearms license. I have personally imported a high power air rifle from the states and had no problems whatsoever. I did it in person at a border crossing I just showed them the specs of the rifle and my firearm license and they sent me on my way after checking the computer system to make sure that the model I was importing was not prohibited in Canada


  8. SIG is known for its excellent quality. I would like to see a version that was a repeater similar to the Gamo Swarm. I have one of those it being my first air rifle with a gas spring. I really like it. The accuracy is good with the right pellet, it is pellet sensitive (Shoots RWS Super H-Points well). I expect that this rifle will work very well.

    Mike


  9. BB,

    The truth is I will really have no trouble at all not buying this air rifle. The reason is I am going to wait for the synthetic stock, maybe even the adjustable cheek rest version. Sooner or later though, I know one of these will be living at RRHFWA.

    Now if one with a wood stock just happened to find it’s way to the door of RRHFWA in the near future, I would be happy to invite it in. 😉



  10. I’m paying close attention to this report. Synthetic stock .22 for a dedicated, all weather hunter/pester under any conditions is my criteria. Hopefully the wait isn’t too long!


  11. B.B.,

    Being sort of a, “I have to like the looks” of what I am getting,…. kind of guy,….. I can live with everything from the pistol grip forwards. On back,…. not so much.

    Q: Could you please enlighten us on to why this butt area strays so far from a traditional style? Is there a function/fit/rest-ability reason?

    That said,… I have seen this style when considering an 6 position adjustable butt/stock for the M-rod in the RAI stock.

    Chris



      • B.B.,

        Ok. Maybe?,… elaborate a bit deeper for those that might find it,…… ? If you can explain advantages to that design,… then that might boost sales. Only a gut feeling,…. but I think that the novice air gun community might find it a bit,….? If they (SIG) had a reason for the chosen design and the “touted” benefits/purpose,…. then that might go a ways to smoothing the “bump” over. Me? Novice,.. or not so novice,… (I) wonder.

        Perhaps something in the next installment?

        Chris


        • B.B.,

          As an (after thought),….. SIG did not choose that design for no reason. There has to be a “reason”. It is certainly not conventional by any means in the usual offerings. In fact,… it is a distraction. It is not what you expect to see. Not “sexy”. Not “curvy”. More,… “blocky”. So,…. why?

          From the way you have described SIG,….. they are not one to throw out a gimmick, to gain sales. They seem to be about pure function and getting it right.

          Chris


          • Chris USA,

            Hear is a link: https://sigsauer.de/ssg3000/

            It has been said; picture is worth a thousand words!

            Could it be that SIGAIR is hard at work trying to do this type of fully adjustable stock without a costly total redesign for an air rifle??? They obviously can’t spend what the SSG3000 stock costs or else the Wisky 3 scope discount will look like peanuts!

            The target stocks on the SSG3000s don’t look like a Patrol SSG 3000 STOCK but if you watch ground pounders walking with a rifle on a single point sling you may get the idea of one way that divot in the stock can help…

            Just my salty opinion…

            shootski




    • Chris,

      Yes, there is an “oddness” to the design, but once in-hand I think it would grow on you quickly. It did me, when I got to handle it last summer. It feels better than it looks, and I think it also looks better in-person than in the pictures.

      Jim



  12. Dang. I was going to get an Aspen next week, but might hold off and see how this shoots. Also the Aspen manual lists .25 as an option. So I figure that’s coming and .25 would suit me better in a PCP.



  13. B.B.,

    Please tell me you’re not taking Thanksgiving off — you’re going to crank out the next installment of this report quickly, aren’t you?

    Your remarks about the stock are exactly in line with my thoughts when I got my hands on the ASP at the TX airgun show last summer. I really thought they had the synthetic stocked version there — but it was beech.

    I just got an email alert a few minutes ago that the wood version is now available at P.A. If only the scope were out….

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

    Jim M.


  14. BB,

    I hear you are having “fun” today. Hope to see you back here soon!

    I had a procedure done 3 months ago and I’m just starting to get normal feeling in my shoulder. In fact, the procedure (rotator cuff injury) is what motivated me to get a PCP. The doctor told me not to lift more than a coffee cup with my right arm. That made it really hard to lift and cock a heavy Benjamin Summit Nitro 2, so i started looking at Stormriders and now I have one.


    • Fats,

      You are close. The latest is found at the top/right under “recent articles”. Top one. I do believe the “home” works as well, as someone stated. Looking forwards to hearing more from you. Sorry you have had such difficulty with your rifle. Those kind of issues are unacceptable in my book.

      Chris


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