Skip to main content

Review: Sig Sauer Elite Performance

Review: Sig Sauer Elite Performance

I knew Sig Sauer manufactured handgun ammunition, but a South African safari was my first exposure to their hunting ammo so I set out to get familiar with it, inside and out, especially on the shooting range.

Sig Sauer entered the ammo manufacturing business in 2013, primarily to support their firearm-manufacturing process, according to Brad Criner, Sig Sauer’s director of brand management and business development.

Sig was not satisfied with the availability or quality of ammo they were using in research and development and in testing and evaluating their pistols and rifles, he said, so they brought engineers on board to develop their own. Handgun ammo was first, Criner said, and their “first win was the development of the patented V-Crown bullet.”

The next two years were spent developing manufacturing equipment and processes and in 2017 the operation had expanded in Jacksonville, Ark., and was off and rolling, branching into rifle ammo and component brass manufacturing.


In Africa I planned to hunt kudu, zebra and warthogs. Kudu and zebra are large-bodied and -boned animals, warthogs not so much, but everything in the predatory world of Africa clings tenaciously to life so I chose a classic caliber that has been downing African game for decades, 308 Winchester. I wanted a classic-looking rifle to match, and found it in the nicely wood-stocked Mossberg Patriot Revere with the lines and looks of a rifle at home in Africa. I topped it with a Sig Sauer SIERRA3BDX 3.5-10x42 riflescope.


Sig’s focus for the past 18 months has been developing hunting ammunition, both tipped and solid-copper, Criner said. The result has been Sig’s three lines of Elite ammunition, Tipped Hunter, Tipped Varmint & Predator and Copper Hunting, in calibers ranging from 223 through 300 Win. Mag.

Criner outlined each, starting with the newest, Elite Tipped Hunter developed for medium to large game. These feature nickel-plated brass cases, black-plated copper-jacketed bullets with lead cores and translucent yellow tips. Criner’s pitch: “This high-performance ammo offers the serious hunter un-matched consistency and long-range flat shooting while not sacrificing devastating on-target performance.”

Elite Varmint & Predator ammo features a yellow-tipped, lead-core bullet designed for explosive, fast take-down of long-range varmints and predators, Criner said. They are continually expanding in available calibers, now in 223, 22-250, 243 and 300 Blackout, he said.

Sig partnered with Sierra for designing and manufacturing the Tipped Hunter and Varmint & Predator bullets, Criner said. Elite Copper Hunting ammo features a proprietary solid-copper monolithic bullet, made by a Sig partner in Arkansas, designed for deep penetration and energy transfer (1.8-times expansion) on large game.


I took solid copper to Africa, after a lot of bench work (and shooting-stick work) at the range. I always start by researching the stats to get an idea what I’m dealing with. So, Sig says the 150-grain bullet comes out of the barrel at 2,900 fps, with muzzle energy of 2,801 foot-pounds, dropping respectively, to 2,669 and 2,372 at 100 yards; 2,449 and 1,997 at 200 yards and 2,239 and 1,670 at 300 yards. I like to know I can shoot farther than 300 yards, and practice accordingly, but I’d like to think I can work into that range under most circumstances. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into in Africa, but I figured 300 yards was a decent distance to get comfortable with. Zeroed at 100 yards, the bullet will drop 1.9 inches at 200 yards; 9.6 inches at 300.

I found it performing pretty much as advertised, and I was using my Sig Sauer BDX scope which showed me holdover at various ranges past the 100-yard zero. I finished by consistently clanging a 400-yard gong and throwing a few at a 600-yard-plus gong, more as a test of ammo, rifle and scope than any plans to take long-range shots in Africa.

Sig is after consistency, Criner said, making another pitch. “Great performance starts with great brass,” Criner said. “Many of our manufacturing associates are hunters, handloaders and re-loaders” and they developed processes and equipment, with exacting controls, “to ensure we are building the most consistent, easy loading, extended-life brass available.  Our necks are softer and more consistent, our heads are harder.  Our primer pockets have nearly perfect concentricity and no burrs.” He said they also take extra steps to ensure all washes and lubricants are removed from the inside of the case to prevent even the slightest powder contamination.


Quality is assured by redundant, trackable quality checks, he said. “Our lot control is traceable throughout the process to each work cell in the operation,” he said.  “We set high standards and quality checks that are monitored and tracked from the first cell to the last.  Any deviation shuts the line down and the issue is corrected immediately.  We do not wait until the end of the process to check quality control.  This process ensures we fix issues when & where they occur.”

All this, he said, results in “lowering costs, increasing lot to lot consistency and all but eliminating the chance of sub-par product getting packed.”

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Venison Cheeseburger Bites Recipe

Venison Cheeseburger Bites Recipe

If you're tired of the same old jalapeno and cream cheese poppers, here's a completely different take on the popular party appetizer. Easy to make, and incredibly delicious, these mini cheeseburgers, wrapped in bacon, make the perfect one-bite-fits-all snack for your next tailgate party or hunting camp.

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

Smith & Wesson's Tony Miele and host Kevin Steele track an African lion across the Kalahari for the ultimate handgun showdown with the King of the Beasts.

Best Whitetail Shot Placement with a Rifle

Best Whitetail Shot Placement with a Rifle

Craig Boddington breaks down where hunters should aim on a whitetail that provides the best possible margin for error.

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Have a freezer full of ground elk venison from your fall hunting trips? Never fear, the folks at Camp Chef have a great SHOT Show recipe that is lean and mean, easy to prepare, and a crowd-pleasing favorite!

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Hunters may not have as much influence on buck movement and behavior as we think. Deciphering New Deer Data for Rut Success Whitetail

Deciphering New Deer Data for Rut Success

Jeff Johnston

Hunters may not have as much influence on buck movement and behavior as we think.

We're deciphering new deer data for rut success.Daylight Deer Movement During the Rut Whitetail

Daylight Deer Movement During the Rut

Jeff Johnston

We're deciphering new deer data for rut success.

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these guns.Which Firearm Is Best for Bear Defense? Survival

Which Firearm Is Best for Bear Defense?

Larry Case - July 11, 2018

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these...

Mossberg's accurate Patriot Predator is the most affordable way to harness the power of the 6.5 PRC.Mossberg Patriot Predator 6.5 PRC: Rifle Review Guns

Mossberg Patriot Predator 6.5 PRC: Rifle Review

Brad Fitzpatrick - June 26, 2020

Mossberg's accurate Patriot Predator is the most affordable way to harness the power of the...

See More Trending Articles

More Ammo

When OSG senior digital editor Lynn Burkhead visited with JJ Reich of Federal Premium Ammunition at.224 Valkyrie Offers Predator and Deer Hunters New Long-Range Option Ammo

.224 Valkyrie Offers Predator and Deer Hunters New Long-Range Option

Lynn Burkhead - January 24, 2018

When OSG senior digital editor Lynn Burkhead visited with JJ Reich of Federal Premium...

Check out these top choices for building out your ammo reloading bench.Best Reloading Supplies for Rolling Your Own Ammo

Best Reloading Supplies for Rolling Your Own

David Draper - April 19, 2019

Check out these top choices for building out your ammo reloading bench.

We have had many new cartridge designs in the last three decades, from the revival if the .416-inch4 Lost Classic Hunting Rifle Cartridges Ammo

4 Lost Classic Hunting Rifle Cartridges

Phil Massaro

We have had many new cartridge designs in the last three decades, from the revival if the...

The 6.5 Creedmoor is the most popular cartridge in hunting, but medium bores are still deadly as ever.Medium-Bore Cartridges for Big-Game Hunting Ammo

Medium-Bore Cartridges for Big-Game Hunting

Keith Wood

The 6.5 Creedmoor is the most popular cartridge in hunting, but medium bores are still deadly...

See More Ammo

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Petersen's Hunting App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now