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Sig ASP20 rifle with Whiskey3 ASP 4-12X44 scope: Part 8

Sig ASP20
Sig ASP20 breakbarrel rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

This report covers:

  • Getting reacquainted with an old friend
  • The test
  • Air Arms 16-grain
  • The trigger
  • H&N Sniper Magnum
  • JTS Dead Center
  • JSB Jumbo Monster Redesigned
  • H&N Baracuda 15
  • H&N Slugs 0.218mm
  • H&N Baracuda 18
  • Baracuda Hunter Extreme
  • Summary

Today we look at an old friend — my .22-caliber ASP20 from Sig. It’s been a minute since I last wrote about this breakbarrel air rifle. After it was removed from the market I thought my interest was over, but it remains one of my most accurate spring-piston rifles. Since I have several .22-caliber pellets that haven’t been tested in it, I thought — what the heck.

Getting reacquainted with an old friend

Today isn’t a serious test, as I haven’t really shot this rifle seriously for 4 years. So I’m just shaking hands and showing off the new pellets my friend hasn’t seen yet. Oh, and by the way, does he still have my video of The Ten Commandments that he borrowed years ago? Yes, he does and I forgot that it’s on a VHS cassette that I no longer can play.

The test

I want to test a lot of pellets so I’m shooting 5-shot groups today. I’m shooting from 10 meters because, as I said, I’m reacquainting myself with the rifle. I’m shooting off a sandbag with the rifle resting directly on the bag. I reviewed the past 6 tests  (from 2018 and -19) and discovered that the rifle likes to rest on a bag, though it also likes the artillery hold. With all the shooting I plan to do today bag-resting is easiest. I rest the forward part of the forearm on the bag. That’s a note to myself for the next time.

The most accurate pellet last time was the 16-grain dome from Air Arms. So that’s the one I’ll start with.

The rifle still has the Whiskey3 ASP 4-12X44 scope mounted. I did not adjust the zero throughout the test. Let’s go!

Air Arms 16-grain

As I said the Air Arms 16-grain dome was first up. They landed at the  bottom center of the bull in a group that measures 0.17-inches between centers. That’s good for a trime comparison coin, but after all — this is an ASP20. And, Ed Shultz, is there any way you can speak to Crosman about trying to bring this rifle back? We want it again if it’s made just as good as the first time!

ASP20 AA 16grn
The ASP20 put 5 Air Arms 16-grain domes into a 0.17-inch group at 10 meters.

The trigger

The trigger isn’t quite as nice as I remembered, but it is very crisp.

Shop SIG Sauer Airguns

H&N Sniper Magnum

The second pellet I tested was the H&N Sniper Magnum that now seems to be obsolete. In the ASP20 five went into 0.181-inches at 10 meters. That’s good for another trime!

ASP20 Sniper Magnum
The ASP20 put five H&N Sniper Magnum pellets into a 0.181-inch group at 10 meters.

JTS Dead Center

The third pellet I tried was the JTS Dead Center dome. The ASP20 put five into 0.181-inches at ten meters. Yes I am aware that it’s the same size as the previous group

The ASP20 put five JTS domes into the same 0.181-inches as the previous Sniper Magnums.

JSB Jumbo Monster Redesigned

Next up was the JSB Jumbo Monster Redesigned dome. This pellet weighs 25.39 grains and the ASP20 has no business shooting it. It’s way too heavy for a 23 foot-pound rifle. It was the least accurate pellet in today’s test, but since this is an ASP20 that means we get a 0.247-inch group between centers at 10 meters.

ASP20 JSB Jumbo Monster Redesigned
Five JSB Jumbo Monster Redesigned domes made a 0.247-inch group that was the largest of today’s test.

H&N Baracuda 15

Next to be tested was the H&N Baracuda 15 dome. The ASP20 put five of them into 0.123-inches at 10 meters. It is the smallest group of the test and wins the coveted gold dollar comparison coin.

ASP20 Baracuda 15
Five H&N Baracuda 15s went into 0.123-inches at 10 meters. It’s the smallest group of the test.

H&N Slugs 0.218mm

Next I shot five H&N Slugs with a body diameter of 0.218-inches. Like the JSB Jumbo Monsters this is another projectile that’s not well-suited to the ASP20 because of the low velocity. I thought they probably wouldn’t spin fast enough to stabilize, but they did pretty good at 10 meters. Five went into a group that measures 0.228-inches between centers.

ASP20 HN Slug 218
Five H&N Slugs with 0.218-inch diameter bodies went into a 0.228-inch group at 10 meters.

H&N Baracuda 18

The next pellet was an anomaly. The first shot of the H&N Baracuda 18 landed far to the left of where the next four went. If you look back at the image of the Slugs you’ll see they are coated in a waxy substance that I think rubbed off in the bore. These five shots are in 0.469-inches because of that one shot. The other four pellets are in 0.124-inches. I know I said that the 0.247-inch group of the Monster Extremes is the largest group of the test, and I did so because I’m not considering this group. That first shot was just off for some reason.

ASP20 Baracuda 18 1
This first group of H&N Baracuda 18s is anomalous because of that first shot. It measures 0.469-inches between centers, with 4 in 0.124-inches. I’m calling this one a fluke.

So I shot a second group. This time 5 Baracuda 18s went into 0.187-inches at 10 meters. I consider this group representative of what this pellet can do in the ASP20.

ASP20 Baracuda 18-2
That’s more like it. On the second try five H&N Baracuda 18 pellets made a 0.187-inch group at 10 meters.

Baracuda Hunter Extreme

The last pellet I tested was the H&N Baracuda Hunter Extreme. Five went into 0.19-inches at 10 meters.

ASP20 Baracuda Hunter Extreme
Five H&N Hunter Extremes made a 0.19-inch group at 10 meters.


There you have it. That’s 8 pellets tested with super results. Most of the pellets loaded hard and the Monster Jumbos were the hardest. The slugs went in easy.

Five of the nine groups earned a trime comparison coin and one earned the gold dollar. I always knew the ASP20 was a superb air rifle and this get-acquainted test proves it. Next time I’ll shoot from farther back and with fewer pellets but more shots in each group!

57 thoughts on “Sig ASP20 rifle with Whiskey3 ASP 4-12X44 scope: Part 8”

  1. Wonderful shooting from the two of you. I am wondering if you could please include a velocity test along the way and see how your gas spring is holding up over time. Clearly the accurracy is still there….

  2. B. B.
    Great performance after being apart for four years. Please do that velocity test R. G. asked for. I also want to know how it was stored over the years. There’s a story about the gas spring Dianas failing if they are not stored barrel down.
    I look forward for your comments because they might affect the way I store my HW 90. Thanks in advance.

    • I do not own a gas sproinger. I would like to own an HW 90, but the average run of the mill gas sproinger I would not give a plugged nickel for.

      You can tune a metal spring, but with most gas springs you get what you get. Now if someone was to market tunable gas springs like the HW 90 or the old Theobens, I would be the first in line.

      You do need to keep in mind though that I do not care for the Mattelomatic either. To each his own, I guess.

      • R. R
        The HW 90 I own is an older one with the “Theoben” inscription on the barrel. So you understand why I ask for advice on how to store it.
        About Mattelomatics, I know your opinion and fully respect it, as most of your airgun related ones, though I like to tease you sometimes. It’s in my nature to do that with characters I feel close.

        • Bill,

          That’s OK. The teasing and contradictions help to keep my feet on the ground.

          If I owned an HW90, I would have to get a pump, gauge and all of the barrels for it. I would then play around with it until I found the best pellet and pressure for each barrel.

          I for one do not think storing it upside down will help any. If the gas is going to leak out, it will do such no matter which way is up.

          I do not know if the newer HW90s have that inscription on them, but I suspect there are a few collectors out there who would really like to get their hands on your particular HW90. I know there are some who for some reason value a Santa Rosa Beeman very highly.

          • R.R
            Now you got my attention. The newer ones have the inscriptions laser etched but I am not sure if the “Theoben” name appears anymore. It seems that I have an older (more “original”?) generation. A fortune is waiting. (lol)
            I also got with it a shock absorbers’ pump with an appropriate filling probe so I can adjust pressure or refill it. Regarding barrels, since I used to have a 0.17 now I can experiment with the.22.

            • Bill,

              Theoben originally made the gas spring for the HW90. After Theoben went away, I think that Weihrauch took over making the gas springs.

              A common problem with the Theoben air rifles was that people would overfill the gas springs in an attempt to up the velocity and power. What they would end up doing was melting the piston seal. I do hope you have a gauge so as not to over pressure the gas spring.

              I myself have been wanting to try out the .20 caliber. It seems to be becoming a popular caliber again and more pellet choices have recently been made.

              Is your Theoben marked HW 90 more valuable than a regular one? If you find someone who is into Theoben and Weihrauch and has lot of money.

              Here is a decent article about tuning the HW 90.

  3. Tom,

    I sure hope that the velocity did not suffer from the gas ram not being used after all these years.


    PS: This report covers 1st paragraph 2nd sentence: “It’s been a minute (really?) since I last wrote about this breakbarrel air rifle.”

    Section JTS Dead Center 2nd sentence: “The ASP20 put five into 0.181-inches at tern (ten) meters.”

    • Bob M,

      What do you mean, no explanation? It is really quite simple to figure out. There was not enough profit with the ASP20 to continue with it. The ASP20 was a fairly expensive break barrel sproinger. It was competing with sproingers that were one fourth of its price. Yes, it was far more accurate, but the general population did not know that. I have met powder burners who thought Gamo was the top of the heap. They also believed the marketeering hype.

      Sig Sauer was/is making money hand over fist with their firearms and needed the people and space to make them. The ASP20 was not a big seller. The market for it is too small. Many here do not own one and we know what a shooter it is.

  4. It is a shame that Sig quit making this air rifle. I was warming up to it. This kind of performance might have influenced others to do better with their sproingers. Yes, and if cows could fly, we would all be wearing very wide brimmed hats.

    • Wonder how many were made – and sold? This may be a “state secret?” Seems, anecdotally, SIG sold all they made. Maybe not. What does Sgt. Schultz-FM know? Nothing!

      • FM,

        I too know nothing.

        As for owning one now? I have a feeling that if one was for sale now, the price would be ridiculous. I have seen a Santa Rosa Beeman R7 at an airgun show selling for more than a brand new one cost. That dude probably went home with it. I hope he did anyway.

  5. B.B.

    What the heck happened to SIG? They spend all the R and D money on making the most exciting new Break Barrel airgun in the last 20-30 years and then cancel it after what less than a year on the market? I feel like Charlie Brown when Lucy pulls the football away!
    Then they produce a firearm pistol that slips off it’s sear at any trigger pull weight. Certainly somebody higher up in the organization really screwed up!
    First Walther pulled out, then FWB and SIG. Will the cheap PP PCP’s rule the world while quality springers are all cancelled? Talk some sense to them please!!!!


      • Yes, I do!
        Hector Medina suggested that gas ram springers should be stored with the ram’s piston facing down. The theory is that the oil inside lubricates the o-ring around the piston stem and thus enables longevity.
        Ever since then, I have been looking for a trombone shaped gun case that would make this easy to do.


        • I can’t see that the gas spring should be bothered by the direction of its storage. Consider that the gas ram is not unlike the rams on the lift gates of many cars. They go for years without consideration of orientation. Of course, some fail, as all mechanical systems are wont to do from time to time.

          If the lubrication thing is real, then the failure might be due to a lack of movement not its static position. The movement of the piston in the cylinder and against the seals would be the thing that spread the micro film of lubricant at the touch points.

          That’s my guess and I’m stickin’ to it for want of actual engineering knowledge! My Hatan 135 was converted to the gas ram and it sits stock down and muzzle up in the arms locker. It does not seem affected by the orientation – to date.

    • Yogi-

      SIG is firmly locked onto the .gov teat and is milking the contracts for all they are worth, even if it means putting out substandard items. Ordinary consumer grade stuff (ASP 20) gets pushed out of the way.

    • Yogi,

      You’ve brought up a few very good points/questions.

      Sig spent a lot of money on R and D, but after their serious air guns (ASP Super Target and ASP20) didn’t gring in much money, they might have viewed continuing with them to be throwing good money after bad.

      The allegedly dangerous 320, well, I don’t know much about powder-burners, but didn’t Sig make their reputation with DA/SA metal pistols, not striker-fired plastic ones? Maybe they were too far out of their wheelhouse.

      I also am definitely concerned about the future of high quality sporter springers. Diana, Weihrauch and Air Arms plus some Hatsans are all that are left. Am I missing any others? Maybe it is time to put together one’s core collection of the great classics from the last third of the 20th Century while it is still relatively inexpensive to do so.


      • Michael,

        “…not striker-fired plastic ones?” I and my family own any number of SIG products, to include P320s and they don’t have/never did the reported (but never proven issues of hitting guns with a hand tool hammer at specific angles and points on the P320) that were answered with with an upgrade to even allow the hammer blows!


        • shootski,

          I am no expert on Sig Sauer pistols. Was I wrong regarding the design and materials of the P320? I thought it had a striker fired action and plastic body. No? I also thought the well-regarded Sig Sauer P226 is a metal DA/SA pistol.

          I know nothing about hammers striking pistols, just what the Milwaukee Police Department is reporting: the pistols firing untouched, in officers’ holsters, multiple times:

          “The Milwaukee Police Department reported on Sept. 10 that an officer’s holstered gun fired ‘inadvertently’ as he searched a vehicle and injured another officer nearby.

          It’s the third time since July 2020 that a Milwaukee police officer’s gun fired without the trigger being pulled, according to Andrew Wagner, president of the Milwaukee Police Association.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sept 26, 2022)

          “A Washington Post/The Trace investigation found dozens of reports of the handguns firing without a trigger pull.” (https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/milwaukee-police-said-theyre-afraid-150313388.html)

          “The [MPD] union counts at least four “accidental discharges” since [the first one], and every single sworn officer has one of these weapons. That’s more than 1,600 guns.

          . . .

          There are at least 19 open lawsuits filed against Sig Sauer just in federal court across the country and US territories. All but three claim injuries from being shot by a P320. Ten of those suits involved active or retired law enforcement officers; two from the same police department in Massachusetts and two federal agents.

          Sig Sauer said they fixed the problem in 2017 with a voluntary upgrade. The lawsuits claim Sig Sauer knew that their product was defective and the upgrade didn’t fix the problem.” (https://www.fox6now.com/news/why-milwaukee-police-sig-sauer-guns-accidentally-going-off, Bill Miston, September 13, 2022)

          I have no idea if this is mass hysteria, mass negligence, or if there is a design flaw in the weapon. I am simply reporting what is out there from reputable media reporting experiences claimed by the MPD and others. I have no dog in this race (although I do own a Sig Sauer Super Target air pistol, which in my experience is excellent).


          • Michael,

            Yes they are striker based actions.

            None of our P320 have major components that are plastic.

            Interesting that most guns have had reported accidental discharges. As Medical Doctors are frequently quoted as say: “All patients Lie.”
            I find it interesting that there are clusters in the reporting in certain police departments. There are far more departments that have not had accidental discharges; in my opinion that indicates a training issue.

            I do everything possible to ensure that i am ultra careful anytime i do Administrative Actions with any weapon. Experience and eduction indicates that is the riskiest time when handling weapons.


            • shootski,

              I agree with you that malfunctions being reported in greater concentrations suggests training problems in that department’s system. Much less likely is it could point to a problem with specific lots of the firearm. The MPD should conduct a study of the number of malfunctions prior to their adopting the Sig P320. If they had a lot of unintended discharges with Glocks or M&Ps, too, well . . .

              As you know, perception might as well be reality. Therefore, predictably, few if any officers in the department, reportedly feel confident with Sig now. A large number of them leave their service pistols at the precinct when they clock out because they don’t trust them in their homes. And that is the sort of thing that cannot be remedied without a complete move to a different brand. The lack of trust might be unjustified, but that can’t change such strong feelings.


              • Michael,

                Unfortunately your response just makes me question my belief that humans are becoming less rational with every passing week.
                Sadly the solution(s) for that malady is not well understood.


                • shootski,

                  I hear you and understand your frustration. I do belief that humans are becoming less rational as time goes by, and it seems to be at an accelerating pace. In about one week a 16-year-old is shot in the head for ringing a doorbell, two cheerleaders are shot dead for pulling their car into the wrong driveway, and a six year old is hit in the face with bullet fragments and her father shot (reportedly in the back) because she went into a neighbor’s yard to retrieve a ball. In the same week a diverse group of teenagers rampage in the Loop, vandalizing and looting stores. Not long ago a sizeable group of trained police officers in Texas cowered, paralyzed in fear as they listened to schoolchildren scream as they were shot to death over something like an hour by a single gunman.

                  There are many strong, logical arguments that Homo Sapiens are indeed de-evolving, actual genetic science models that are devised considering the social, cultural, and reproduction norms of humanity.

                  Unfortunately, the phenomenon of one’s perception becoming as compelling (or more so) than the actual truth is ages-old. If the reality is the Sig Sauer P320 of 2023 is a fine, safe, reliable firearm, but the perception it is unsafe persists, countering that effectively is very difficult. DEVO turns out to have been correct (perhaps).

                  It is practically impossible to prove a negative (e.g. It is NOT unsafe). How can one prove absolutely that any gun will not accidentally discharge in a properly fitted holster? Have 100,000 of them hanging from robots designed to move like the hip of a police officer? 100,000 is too small of a sample, some will argue. 1,000,000 of them?

                  Perhaps the simplest and easiest method is to alter the cosmetics slightly and the mechanism even more slightly and introduce it as an entirely new model, the “Sig Sauer LE420” or something. Unfortunately, that would be an expensive solution.

                  I feel bad for both Sig Sauer (provided the pistols are safe) AND the Milwaukee Police Department (regardless). There are no winners here.


  6. B.B.,
    All I can say is “Wow! I hope Ed picks up the gauntlet.”
    What a great rifle; what a shame that it’s no longer being made.
    I love the accuracy and consistency of this gun with a wide range of pellets.
    As for VHS tapes…I recently saw an article where a young woman was talking about her collection of items that belong in a museum, by which she meant CDs and DVDs (forget VHS, LOL! =>).
    I tried to find it for you; I think it may have been a reddit post. Anyway, all the Baby Boomers (like me!) who read it make comments to her like, “thanks a lot for making me feel so old!”

    “These young whipper-snappers!”…says the man with hundreds of DVDs in his cabinet. Hahaha! 🙂
    Blessings to you,

  7. BB

    I’m still hoping that former ASP20 technicians at Sig will start a repair & buy/sell business for these rifles. But I have no idea if there were enough rifles sold to justify it. I want my rifle to last for future generations.

    Thanks for testing the slug. I’m wondering if it delivers the tightest groups at some longer distance.


    • Decksniper,

      Travis at AD did a Slugfest with a number of “affordable” airguns a while back mostly low to mid power PCPs of course but one of the two break barrel air rifles he shot was a .22 caliber SIG ASP20; it didn’t have the worst groups of the bunch. He chose the H&N 21grain .218 for the SIG. He managed 1+” at 35 yards.
      I still haven’t had the time to get to boolits (slugs) in my .22 caliber. I agree with Travis and his conclusion that although the boolits seemed to be stable to 35 yards (reading the targets) that the power just isn’t there to shoot much farther in .22 and expect stability. But haven’t seen it for myself so eventually i will get around to trying at 50+ yards in .22.
      Surprisingly i think the .177 ASP20 is relatively much more powerful and can at least reach out to 70 yards with .177 boolits (slugs.). I had fun shooting the JSB Knock Out in .177 but only the lightest. I wish i had used the LabRadar but didn’t; i just wanted to get sub MOA groups to stick a finger in the eye of all those that kept saying springers couldn’t shoot (boolits) slugs at all.
      Obviously i prefer shooting Boolits from Very Powerful PCP airguns far more than from any Spring Piston…even the SIG ASP20.


      • Shootski

        I didn’t see your reply until now and only now because I was reading older posts. No email was received. Since I have the ASP20 in .177 your comments about your .177 encourages me to see what it can do at distances past my 25 yard limit at home. I already have the Knock Out slugs and have gotten okay but not great groups at 25 yards. Looks like I need to make a trip to the rifle range. Time to shoot some powder burners anyway.


  8. B.B. and Readership,

    Thanks for getting reacquainted with your .22 caliber SIG ASP-20. I hope your gas spring really didn’t lose any pressure and am looking forward to your velocity testing.
    As you probably remember I bought a .177 in a wood stock an a .22 caliber in a synthetic stock. The two SIGs were among the last examples that were purchased. I also bought two additional WHISKEY 3 ASP scope long after the rifles had all been apparently sold.
    There is a great deal of hearsay to be found on the Internet Forums about SIG AIR and the parent company that is at a minimum uncorroborated and at worst NOT fashioned out of whole cloth; to be charitable. The same (dis)information continues to be repeated until many consider it to be truth.
    Even among your readership this phrase appeared: “SIG is firmly locked onto the .gov teat and is milking the contracts for all they are worth, even if it means putting out substandard items.” Yes Yogi how do you explain and backup that statement with facts? You realize you could be charged with libel: Libel is a method of defamation expressed by print, writing, pictures, signs, effigies, or any communication embodied in physical form that is injurious to a person’s reputation, exposes a person to public hatred, contempt or ridicule, or injures a person in his/her business or profession. SIG is a Corporation and is considered a “Person” under US and most other Nation’s Laws.
    Be careful what you write even in a friendly environment like this Blog of Tom’s.
    I will say if SIG built substandard stuff how did they build the ASP20 on their first try and why is SIG so often the provider OF CHOICE by Special Forces like the US Navy SEAL Teams?

    Just saying… don’t BLOW SMOKE!


    PS: Yogi you were quoted only because your comment was illustrative in today’s replys and not to pick on you personally.

  9. BB,
    Oh how I wish these were still around. I haven’t forgotten Sig for it. On the firearm side, I will not buy a Sig because of this. Yes I’m that strong about it (or hard headed). That all said, that gun can shoot! Just a suggestion, back up to 50 yards or more. I think this gun can prove break barrels can reach out.


  10. Tom, interesting you found “the slugs went in easy” into the ASP20 breech. Maybe the waxy coating helps. The Nielsen .218 slugs loaded pretty hard in the .22 Maximus when this here critter tried them. The slugs do not seem to have a coating of any kind. Thought they did not do badly at 23 yards, in terms of grouping – believe they coulda done better but blame FM for that failure. These are 31.2 grain slugs. Have found the JSB Straton Jumbo Monster and the Ultra Shock Heavy, both 25.39 grain perform decently in “Max.” The design seems to be something between a pellet and a slug – have nicknamed them “plugs” based on that observation, the Ultra Shocks being the more “pluggy” looking of the two. Or so it seems to FM’s jaundiced, untrained eyes.

    Looking forward to the velocity test – recall you mentioned loss of speed with your ASP20 at some point. Hope it was just a false alarm. One more FM thoughtless thought for the day: maybe blog posts and discussions like this motivate “someone” to come up with an even better version of this fine airgun. Never say never!

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