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Review: Sig Sauer SSG 3000 .308 bolt gun

21036 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Old_Painless
Rowlock's Random Reviews - Sig SSG 3000

I've been hankering after a good long-range bolt gun for a while, and originally I planned to get a Remington 700 and tinker with it. But since the trigger recall they've been very thin on the ground, and one of my local neighborhood stores happened to have the Sig in stock. After getting hands on it for a few minutes I was convinced, and came back the same afternoon to fill out the necessary paperwork.

Sunday was a range day, so I took it out to get the scope zeroed in and chuck a few rounds. Here are my first impressions.

The rig:

  • Sig Sauer SSG 3000 24" Patrol rifle in .308 Winchester (7.62x51 NATO)
    - 23.5 inch barrel, 1:11 twist rate, free floated, factory flash hider on a standard 5/8x24 thread
    - Heavy aluminum-bedded polymer stock with adjustable cheek riser
  • Vortex Razor HD 6-20x50mm scope
  • Atlas bipod

First thing you'll notice is the weight. Coming in at 12 lbs without a scope or magazine, this is a heavy rifle compared to the 700. Almost twice the weight in fact. In a two-point sling it can be carried without too much trouble, but it's definitely not designed to be shot standing up without support. Firing off-hand would likely result in poor accuracy due to the sheer mass, and would become a chore very quickly. Shooting from a supported position is the order of the day.

The trigger group is very good right out of the box. I'd call it excellent. It comes from the factory with a 3.5 lb pull. The trigger itself is highly adjustable, allowing you to customize weight, take-up length, reset length, and even the positioning of the trigger fore and aft for different sized hands. Feel is light and very smooth, and the break is crisp like glass. I feel no need at all to modify this trigger with aftermarket parts.

The receiver has an integral M1913 picatinny rail up top. It's machined at zero MOA, so there is no built-in rise for extreme long distance optics. If you needed a 20 MOA base for example, you would have to use some kind of adapter. I don't require that much elevation adjustment, so I mounted the scope directly with a set of medium-plus Vortex matched 35mm rings. This gives a tube center height of about an inch above the rail, and about as low a mount to the barrel as I would comfortably want with a 50mm objective lens. Initially the rings were positioned at either end of the rail, but after some adjustment it became clear that I needed a bit more eye relief for the relatively long Vortex scope. So I moved the rear ring up about two inches and shuffled the scope as far forward as it would sit in that configuration without interfering with the turrets. This seemed about perfect, and allowed me to center my head on the adjustable cheek piece. The picture up top shows the scope position before adjustment.

The polymer stock is very comfortable in practice. It's heavy, solid, and very rigid thanks to the metal bedding block which runs the length of the action and up the forearm. Not at all like some of the cheap "tupperware" stocks that black tactical rifles sometimes wear these days. There are three sling studs, one in rear and two up front, mounted on the bottom center line of the stock. The front studs are positioned to allow the use of a bipod plate and sling simultaneously. Flush quick-detach cups are also provided on both the left and right faces of the stock, fore and aft, and are positioned well for comfortable carry. The rifle lays flat against the body using these cups, as tested with the Viking Tactics sling from my AR carbine, and does not move excessively.

I added a Weaver picatinny adapter on the front sling stud, so that I could directly mount an Atlas QD bipod. The adapter works great, is easily installed, and feels rock solid. If you prefer a Harris pod, then Sig offer an adapter plate from the factory or there are any number of mounts available from third parties. The cheek riser is easily adjusted, comfortable, and locks solidly in place. It's not padded in any way, but that suits me fine. With the low scope mounting position, I only needed to use the first detent. Lots more adjustment is available if you want to fit an angled rail adapter, or use higher rings for any reason.

The stock is adjustable for length of pull using spacers, and is equipped with a thick but firm rubber recoil pad. Between the pad and the sheer mass of the gun, the felt recoil is kept relatively light. It shoves as one would expect from a .308, but is not punishing and would be comfortable to shoot all day without any difficulty.

The rifle ships with a single 5-round steel box magazine, which drops free cleanly with a press of a button directly in front of the mag well. The magazine is very long - probably interchangeable with several longer calibers - and would easily feed custom loads with longer bullets if desired. Feeding was entirely reliable with cheap MagTech ammo, as I would expect from a bolt action.

The action is smooth, and has a positive lock. Bolt throw is fairly shallow at 60 degrees. The bolt is held in the action by the safety switch. Putting the rifle on safe prevents the bolt from being either opened or closed. Switching to fire unlocks the action. If you switch to safe with the bolt open and extended, you can remove it straight from the back of the rifle. As usual, removing the bolt also requires that the cheek riser is dropped all the way to the lowest position.

This outing was relatively brief, so I only had the chance to get the scope on paper and zeroed at 50 yards. Next time out I will take it to the 100 yard range, and if it's not too busy, the 200. However, this time at least, after zeroing the rifle was shooting to point of aim very reliably. 100 yard target pictures to follow on Saturday hopefully, but my gut feeling is that this is definitely a shooter. I'll probably also be entering it into the 1 MOA All Day Challenge over at if anyone follows that thread.

Overall, from first impressions, I am very pleased with this rifle so far. Really looking forward to seeing what it can do at respectable distances. At the moment the only modification I am considering is the DPMS "Jerry Miculek" muzzle brake. I'll get that fitted before taking it out again this weekend, and run a side-by-side.

Here is my friend Sierra running the rifle at 50 yards. She's an excellent shotgunner and small game hunter, but has little experience with large caliber rifles. She found the Sig to be very manageable and fun to shoot as an introduction to the .308 platform.

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Interesting rifle. I look forward to your range report. Thanks.
I think you'll probably be very impressed if you do a side-by-side comparison of commercial loads and loads which you have personally hand tweaked for this rifle. I've seen groups regularly shrink to 60% of their initial size or less. If you care about accuracy, this is a good way to bump up performance.
Range Report

Had a chance to head out to the 100-yard range today, and several hours later, we have some results.

Again, shooting from a bench today, bipod up front and a small sandbag at the rear. Sunny clear weather, about 85 degrees, with a moderate wind from 11 o'clock gusting between 4 and 10 mph.

The rifle continues to be very comfortable in use, and shows very friendly levels of recoil for its caliber. I shot about 80 rounds today in total, including the rest of the box of Magtech plinking ammo (on steel, not pictured here), without any discomfort or ill effects at all.

Several different brands of ammunition had their moment in the sun, with extremely variable degrees of success, including a few surprises. First up, a box of relatively inexpensive Federal American Eagle, with a 168 grain OTM bullet.

1.105 MOA average from four 5-shot groups. Not bad for the price point. Let's see whether we can do any better.

Here are my experimental hand loads. 168 grain Hornady A-Max bullets over a light load of 39.6 grains Alliant Reloader 15 powder. Just one load spec in this instance, since I only had a handful of spent brass to play with. Today's little outing also helped a lot on that front.

1.06 MOA average from three groups, with the best at 0.744 MOA. Not a bad starting point for load development. I'll be iterating on these over the next few weeks, now that I have a lot more brass available. As you can see, the impact point was significantly high with these hand loads. Maybe 3 MOA above point of aim, compared to the zero I obtained with Magtech and American Eagle. More on that below.

Finally some premium commercial loads, with a surprise.

The lower two groups are Black Hills Match loads, using a 168 grain boat tail hollow point. These fellas have an excellent reputation, and a price point to match, coming in at over $33 for 20 rounds off the shelf locally. Probably available cheaper online, but I wanted to shoot some today, so I ate the extra few bucks. I've got more to try, but these two groups really weren't all that great, compared especially to the Federal on the same paper. 1.658 MOA average, and like my hand loads (also a 168 grain boat tail) they were hitting high. Not quite as far up as the reloads, but a good minute of pie plate above the point of aim.

The top two groups are Federal Gold Medal Match, throwing a 175 grain Sierra Matchking boat-tailed hollow point bullet. I'm a big fan of the Matchking, I've yet to meet a rifle in which it doesn't give pleasant results. No exception here. An average of 0.735 MOA, and hitting very close to the point of aim. I really want to find a box of these bullets somewhere and work up some hand loads, if that's how much the rifle likes them in commercial ammo to start with. Definitely a project for the future, once I've got the 168 A-Max shooting as well as I can manage.

Overall a few surprises, but the rifle is definitely a shooter despite the slightly gusty conditions. I'm very much looking forward to getting to know the rifle better, and it's likely going to be the first platform on which I learn load development and the finer point of reloading for accuracy.

Still to come, I have a DPMS "Jerry Miculek" muzzle brake that I'll probably fit this week, and go shoot the rest of the Federal and Black Hills ammunition for comparison. I'll post again here with the results of that experiment too.

But for now, as Old Painless so rightly says, it's fun to shoot stuff. :)
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Nice job.

If you can find some, my favorite powder and load for the .308 is a near-max charge of Accuracy Arms AA-2495 and the Sierra 2200M, 168 grain BTHP moly coated bullet.
Thank you sir. I'll keep an eye out for those components getting in stock somewhere - seems like the vast majority of places are back ordered at the moment, but hopefully supply will catch up some time soon.
Awesome review, very detailed. I'm not sure how I feel about something this heavy though. In either case, don't have enough funds to buy a new rifle anytime soon :cry:
I had a quick question.. The weaver picatinny you used, was it 48328. ... ny_system/

I just bought the rifle the other week and picked up a atlas bipod and can't find something that fits with out altering it, which I prefer not to.

Thanks for the info!
I'd also like to know the exact model of Weaver Piccatiny rail adapter you used, I went with a BT17 adapter from Accu-shot for an Atlas BT10, but i'm going in blind. Sig couldn't even give me dialed info on the front two mounting studs on this rifle! I was able to gleam this, the studs are at a ~2" separation and the stock is flat between them.
Also, based on mounting the 50mm Razor on this rifle, what height rings would you recommend for a 56mm (the Gen II Razor) if you thought your objective was a little close for comfort to the barrel?
Last question, anyone know of any secrets on obtaining a single additional 5 round mag for this rifle? I can't find them anywhere! Ever since we got caught snooping on our German friends, certain things have had to stop being imported, I've heard this product type is among them, any thoughs...?
Re: WEAVER RAIL on Review: Sig Sauer SSG 3000 .308 bolt gun

Does anyone else have some success about using the the Weaver Rail 48328 adaptor in order to put an Atlas bipod on the SSG 3000?

I tried using an Ultimate Arms swivel to rail adaptor and just as it got tight either the threads on the swivel screw got stripped or the rifle's threads got messed up or both. Too annoyed to look at it at the moment...
Nice looking rifle and good shooting.

Glad to see you shooting the target for the One MOA All Day Long Contest. ;)
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