Exclusive! SHOT Show Interview With Joe Huston, General Manager of the SIG SAUER Airgun Business
HAM Publisher Stephen Archer is at the 2018 SHOT Show, of course. He sat down with Joe Huston, the General Manager of the SIG SAUER airgun business at the massive SIG booth. Here Joe gives us his “inside look” at the new SIG ASP – Advanced Sport Pellet – airgun products being launched at the show.
Hard Air Magazine: Joe, it’s great to see you again. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me about the exciting new SIG SAUER airgun models here at the show! There’s obviously a ton of interest at the booth.
Joe Huston: It’s great to see you again, too, Steve. Yes, we’re overwhelmed with interest. This is huge for the SIG SAUER airgun business!
Hard Air Magazine: Of course, everyone’s looking at the new ASP20 break barrel air rifle. What’s the most important feature about this gun, from your perspective?
Joe Huston: I’m most excited about the fact that the ASP20 is the first SIG SAUER airgun to be entirely designed and built here in America! We’ve used many of the design principles and materials commonly used in regular SIG firearms, but in an airgun. Everyone knows the legendary durability and reliability of SIG firearms, now we’re making that available in an air rifle for the first time.
Hard Air Magazine: So the gun is being manufactured in the US?
Joe Huston: Yes, the gun is built here in the US using parts primarily made here in America.
We’re using many of the high-end CNC machines you saw last year when you visited our factory in New Hampshire. Then they were producing firearms parts. Now they’ll be pumping out airgun parts, too. And we’ve invested heavily in high-tech automated welding technology to really deliver on that durability and reliability promise!
Hard Air Magazine: Including the barrels?
Joe Huston: Yes, we make outstanding firearms barrels. Now we’re producing outstanding SIG SAUER airgun barrels too. I’m convinced that you’ll be impressed with the accuracy when you review the new ASP20! But, of course, there’s no point in an accurate barrel if the lockup isn’t rock solid. So we’ve ensured consistent accuracy with our patented breech locking system.
Hard Air Magazine: That sounds great. How soon can the HAM team get our hands on one?
Joe Huston: We’re planning for availability around April 2018. You’ll be one of the first on the list!
Hard Air Magazine: I’ve read about all the new technology in the ASP20. What are the highlights in your opinion?
Joe Huston: The GlideLite cocking system and the ASP MatchLite trigger, without a doubt.
Hard Air Magazine: Tell me more…
Joe Huston: Magnum break barrel air rifles need a ton of effort to cock. That’s a problem for many people. Our proprietary GlideLite cocking mechanism in the ASP20 makes it much easier to cock than other break barrels of comparable power. We’re less than 35lbs of cocking effort with the ASP20, the other guys are all at 48 – 52 Lbs – despite what their sales specifications might say.
Joe Huston: And the ASP MatchLite trigger really is smooth! We have some real trigger experts at SIG SAUER and they had to be satisfied with the quality – it’s part of our World-class development process. And, of course, it has the unique ability to be adjusted to break at any one of eight different pull weights between two and a half and four pounds.
Hard Air Magazine: Who do you see as the main customers for the ASP20?
Joe Huston: Lots of airgunners are attracted to the simplicity of the break barrel air rifle. They’re going to appreciate all the new technology in this gun. Of course, the ASP20 is ideal for hunters, too. They’ll love the downrange energy. And the low cocking effort means that plinkers can enjoy long shooting sessions without feeling like they’ve had a workout at the gym just cocking the gun!
Hard Air Magazine: Joe, I know time’s pressing, can you say a few words about the new CO2 pistols in the SIG SAUER airgun range?
Joe Huston: You bet! There are two new blowback pistols, the X-Five and the 1911 We The People. The X-Five pellet pistol is a CO2 version of the popular X-Five firearm. This will be an outstanding training tool for owners of the firearm, as well as a great plinker. It’s available in black and nickel finishes and has a twenty-round Rapid Pellet Magazine.
Joe Huston: The 1911 We The People firearm has been hugely popular as a tribute to the US Constitution. It makes a great patriotic statement that people love. Now there’s a SIG SAUER airgun version, too! This one’s a BB firing pistol. It’s hard to tell it apart from the firearm, as you can see…
Hard Air Magazine: Joe, thanks for giving HAM readers your personal take on the new SIG SAUER airgun products. I for one, can’t wait to get testing these new guns!
Joe Huston: Thanks Steve, see you again soon!