A few months back, we started a reliability test on the SIG MCX Virtus. The operating system is so unique and different on the Virtus, we were really curious about how well it would actually run over time. We tossed down the gauntlet of attempting to run it 2000 rounds suppressed, without a drop of lube. This would be on top of the 500 I already put through it for the initial review. SIG not only told us it would pass with flying colors, they provided the ammo to do so.
For those unfamiliar, 2k with a suppressor on is a high bar. Being a former CQB instructor for Special Forces, we had ample opportunity to see this in training. An M-4 will really start to gum up at around 500 rounds suppressed, and by 1000 is completely unreliable. The Army issue suppressors also start to get carbon locked to the muzzle around 500, often requiring a torch to get them free again. 1000 rounds also tends to be about the limit before accuracy falls completely apart. Often you can take a 2 MOA gun, clean the can, and drop back to 1 MOA instantly. So these were all testable items both with the SIG VIRTUS and with the SIG SRD556 direct thread suppressor.
I really wasn’t sure going into this if the VIRTUS would take it. But I am happy to report now that it has, setting, in my opinion, a new high water mark in reliability. First, the VIRTUS never once wavered from ½ MOA accuracy. That was probably the most shocking part. From day one to day 120, the gun is still incredibly accurate. The SIG suppressor division deserves an open bar and a bonus, they have batted one out of the park. The taper lock system also seems to be a very real advance in suppressor technology. I took the can off by hand today, at the end of the test. That is simply amazing.
For reliability, the Virtus never even had a hiccup. All the lube burned off around 1000 rounds. I could tell because it stopped bleeding carbon between the upper and lower. But it never even slowed down. It is like the operating system found a maximum saturation of carbon, and nothing else would stick. There is a layer burned onto all the moving parts, but not nearly as thick as I would have anticipated. And nothing seems to have really changed from about 1200 rounds forward. If we had another 18,000 rounds, I would bet dollars to donuts the Virtus would continue all the way to the prescribed 20,000 rounds before replacement parts are prescribed.
I was skeptical of the VIRTUS, but I can now say it is a champion. SIG set out to offer a military rifle far beyond anything available, and they have succeeded. I would gladly choose the VIRTUS as my weapon if I were going back into harms way today. If you like spending more time shooting your guns than cleaning them, this is the rifle for you.
Learn more about the Sig Virtus click Here.