Sig Virtus PCP
Sig Virtus PCP air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight in
  • Today’s test
  • H&N Baracuda 15
  • H&N Baracuda Match with 5.50mm heads
  • RWS Superdom
  • Redemption
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today we begin to test the accuracy of the Sig Virtus precharged pneumatic (PCP) rifle. I found the test results interesting; I hope you do too.

The test

This will be an accuracy test from 10 meters. The rifle will be rested directly on a sandbag and I will attempt to use the back-up iron sights (BUIS). You may recall that the first Virtus iron sights would not sight in to hit a target at 10 meters. The rifle shot too low. Hopefully that has changed.

I will shoot 10-shot groups and we know that the Virtus gets lots of shots per 3,000 psi fill. In Part 6 we saw a total of about 160 good shots from this rifle.

Sight in

Because of the previous rifle’s experience, where the iron sights shot far too low to be useable, I started sighting this one in at 12 feet. Normally if I’m using the sights that come with the airgun I start at 10 meters, but the Virtus is an exception.

The first shot hit the target 2.6-inches below the aimpoint! That result told me this rifle’s sights were probably not going to be adjustable at 10 meters. But I tried anyway. I tried and tried to adjust them, but the closest I came at 10 meters was the shot hitting 1.4-inches below the aim point. Well, it’s an improvement over the last rifle. When its sights were adjusted as high as they would go that rifle still hit two inches low at 10 meters.

Shame on you, Sig! What are the sights for if not to hit the target? Do you include them because you think they look cool? A rifle is supposed to hit its target! I know you make mostly handguns and the ones you make are very good, but long guns have to work as designed. Come on, guys!

Off came the BUIS and I installed a UTG Micro Reflex dot sight. Why? Well, because it has a HUGE range of adjustment that this Virtus desperately needs, and also because it is the most reliable dot sight I own. I was back on target in five minutes, so no time lost.

Today’s test

Let me tell you that this Virtus is on trial today. The last time I tested a Virtus the results were not that good — 10-meter groups in the three-quarter-inch range. If I don’t see any better today I’m done. But this Virtus is more powerful than the first one, and that seems to be a significant difference. So I will give it the benefit of the doubt this time. And now you appreciate why the poor performance of the sights is such a problem for me.

H&N Baracuda 15

First to be tested was the H&N Baracuda 15 pellet. We have seen that this pellet can be highly accurate in some airguns in recent tests. But in the Virtus, the Baracuda 15 isn’t that accurate. Ten pellets landed in a group that measures 0.896-inches between centers at 10 meters.

Virtus Baracuda 15 group
Ten H&N Baracuda 15 pellets went into 0.896-inches at 10 meters.

That wasn’t a good start. Remember — this Virtus is on trial today.

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H&N Baracuda Match with 5.50mm heads

Next to be tried were 10 H&N Baracuda Match pellets with 5.50 mm heads. They made a 0.809-inch group at 10 meters. It’s better but still nothing to get excited about. And notice how far to the right of the bullseye it landed!

Virtus Baracuda Match group
Switching to the H&N Baracuda Match pellet moved the impact point to the right. Ten pellets are in 0.809-inches at 10 meters.

RWS Superdome

The last pellet I tried was the RWS Superdome. These sometimes surprise me and they certainly did today! Ten of them went into a group that measures 0.417-inches between centers at 10 meters. Now THAT is a group! And there are ten pellets in that roundish group, so it isn’t a mistake. This Virtus can shoot — it just needs the right pellets. And these moved even farther to the right and also down just a bit.

Virtus Superdome group
The Sig Virtus put 10 RWS Superdomes into this 0.417-inch group at 10 meters.

Redemption

Okay — this Virtus has just redeemed itself. Why do I say that? Because shooting with a dot sight is just as difficult as shooting with open sights and, although the Virtus open sights are worthless, the rifle isn’t. It can shoot. It has earned the right to be tested with a scope. That was my plan all along, so today’s “test” was more of a trial than a real test.

Discussion

The Sig Virtus is a tactical-looking precharged pneumatic air rifle. Is that good? In my opinion, that’s the worst of all worlds. Sig has offered up a “toy” that is supposed to be cool, yet it comes with good power, lots of shots per fill and also lots of pellets inside the magazine. Now we see that it’s also accurate.

This air rifle exists at a price point that makes it affordable to many shooters. For that reason alone I have to test it.

What I’m hoping is the Virtus will be accurate at 25 yards, once it’s scoped. And then it becomes an air rifle that serious hunters can appreciate, despite the tactical form.

I’m not cutting Sig any slack on this one. They may have developed the ASP20, but they abandoned it, so the Virtus has to stand on its own performance. As a maker of air rifles, Sig hasn’t got anything to fall back on like they have with handguns.

Summary

This test will continue. I hope to find some other pellets that are also good in this Virtus, plus I am curious to see how it fares at 25 yards. I bet some of you are, too. Stay tuned!