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Air Guns Sig Virtus PCP air rifle: Part Seven

Sig Virtus PCP air rifle: Part Seven

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.

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

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.


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.


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.


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!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

26 thoughts on “Sig Virtus PCP air rifle: Part Seven”

  1. BB,

    This air rifle probably mimics the real one so well it also mimics the droop which became pronounced with the relatively low velocity of pellets compared to PB propelled bullets.


  2. On the rifle I own, the sights adjust to point of impact at 12 yards-no problem. And it is accurate with a number of pellets. It appears to have been designed to be a fun gun with the bonus of being a capable small game rifle. It will serve in both applications. Can’t beat the price point compared to most other PCP’s. Build quality and reliability are excellent.

  3. As I am sure most have realized by now, I do not care much for the Mattelomatic. I do understand why many would like this PCP to do well though.

    So far I would say this thing has missed the boat, but many cannot use open sights anyway, so I guess Sig does have a chance at some form of redemption..

    It is a good thing BB is testing this thing and not yours truly.

  4. RidgeRunner, Your use of “Mattleomatic” and “Tacticool” is just a little confusing to me. If I understand it, Mattelomatic refers only to the M16, while Tacticool seems to include a broader range of tactical firearm (machine gun) design, that would include a heat shield over the barrel, a more vertical grip and an adjustable tactical butt stock. I can’t tell you where Mattelomatic ends and Tacticool starts ;). Would you help me on this?

    • Will S
      Perhaps I can help.
      Mattelomatic is a derogatory term that is used to describe an airgun that appears to be a cheaply made toy. Something that would be made by the likes of the Mattel Toy Company. Something that might be made of plastic and come in a bubble wrap package sold in a big box store that resembles a rapid firing military firearm or assault weapon and usually shoots BB’s rapidly. Usually intended for plinking and fun shooting.

      Now Tacticool or Tac-T-Kool refers to a Tactical Looking Airgun that looks “Cool” . One that is well made and thoughtfully modified or designed to look like or mimic a real military firearm. It does not necessarily need to be full-auto or even semi-auto but it helps in keeping with the function of a real military type firearm.
      Someone with disdain for any airgun that resembles any military firearm, especially ones with a pistol grip may refer to them all as a “Mattelomatic”
      On the other hand, someone who appreciates airguns that resemble military firearms may describe them all as “Tacticool” .
      There is no fine line to differentiate the two. They are just “Airgun slang” .

      If you do a blog search, above, for “Collecting Airguns” and then click on “Modifications and refinishing 5” scroll down and you will see three examples of Tacticool Airguns. Click on the pics to enlarge. They are all mine. Including the one from Chris USA.

  5. I look forward to the re-test. I do not enjoy the look-a-likes myself but I know many do. At least this one runs on HPA instead of CO2. It also seems to be well made. It ought to make tin cans bounce across the yard and put a grin on peoples faces. I expect that is what it was made for. I doubt the developers had any intention of creating a benchrest or hunting gun when they designed this. Maybe the way to test this gun is to get a couple of guys that are not airgunners to see who can knock their tin can furthest on a 30 round belt and too measure the smiles on their faces.
    See you guys Saturday!

    • What a suggestion DavidEnoch, “…measure the smiles…”.

      Of course nigh-on impossible, yet I still like the idea, and would much prefer units of smiles to rating-points out of ten, -stars out of 5, -percentages or whatever.

      Besides, you also made me… 🙂

      • B.B.,

        Are the SIG BUIS synthetic or metal?
        I replace or get Magpul MBUS PRO front and rear for any platform that I have a need for a iron back up and can instal them on. They do cost half of the PA price for the Virtus PCP.
        Front and rear are (tool less) adjustable for elevation and the rear for windage. The front sight post has optional replacements in various shapes and sizes. Regardless of DROOP I have never had issues with inability to get on target.
        There are any number of other quality BUIS so everyone has a chance to find the best for their requirements and budget.


  6. B.B. and readership. I just got an email notification that P.A. has the Perfect Ten-77 Combo back in stock. What a great way to get introduced to airguns. ALMOST everything you need is here: airgun, CO2, pellets, target, and pellgun oil. I would throw in 2 pairs of safety glasses to really round it out. If it had an adjustable stock for younger shooters, it just might be truly perfect. This should be the kit (or something similar) that is in every big box sporting goods section. Even better if it was a 362 (no CO2 to buy) or a youth-sized and powered break barrel.

  7. BB,

    The Virtus has great potential as a fun gun, but the unusable iron sights would be a deal-breaker for many. One shouldn’t have to go to the hassle and expense of finding and buying a suitable set of aftermarket BUIS to hit a target at 10m.

    What killed the SIG ASP20 anyway? Were sales disappointing because of price point PCPs stealing its thunder and diehard springer enthusiasts being reluctant to fork out for a new break-barrel model from a manufacturer with no track record of air rifles?

    • Bob,

      What killed the ASP20 more than anything was success. Sig won a major contract with the U.S. military, plus numerous contracts with law enforcement around the world. They make handguns and airguns just weren’t their cup of tea.


  8. BB-

    I think today’s subject gun goes hand in hand with yesterdays blog topic. Sig’s reliance on government contracts for handgun and long gun sales is wagging the dog. I’m sure the conversation goes something like this. ‘Our AR sales are crucial to our profitability. How can we leverage that? Let’s toss the airsoft and airgun clone fellas a bone. Maybe we can get some non-lethal training dollars added to our contracts.’

    Unfortunately, once the accuracy requirement gets smaller than the ‘A Zone’ the included sights aren’t up to the job. This is where unthinking fidelity to the firearm original doesn’t cut it. High lines of sight and hyper short range target shooting don’t, and never can square up. It is simple geometry.

    So, for the purchase price, it seems this PCP offers the user a lot of features in a close enough package. Expecting benchrest accuracy too, is an unrealistic cherry on top.

  9. Bob M.
    Thank you for taking the time to answer my question about the slang terms, “Mattellomatic” and “Tacticool.” Actually, it was an excellent answer and I thought the modified M-rods that you and Chris did in the Collecting Airguns post were very cool indeed! Nice work and thanks again!

    • Will S
      Glad I could help, part of what we do here. And thank you for the kind words in reply.

      I’m not positive but I think the term “Tacticool” originated in the young person Airsoft community or perhaps the paint ball teams as their “Markers” became more military looking.
      “Mattelomatic” may have originated right here in the Airgun community. Perhaps by someone who is a member of this blog held in high esteem for his contributions and knowledge, but is firmly convinced that traditional old style airguns are the only ones that mater because of their superior craftmanship and traditional good looks looks.. He may not be wrong there. A lot can be said for the good old style airguns of the past and those produced today that follow the tradition.
      May just be his way of getting us to see the light and agree with him. Heck I’m convinced, but technological advances intrigue me. I’ve worked with them my whole career. From cable controlled DC-3 aircraft to Boeing 767’s and it’s happening to airguns as well.

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