Victrix Pugio Review

As a follower of all things precision rifles, I have kept a watchful eye on Victrix rifles over the years and especially the super compact Victrix Pugio. The concept is designed more with folks that jump out of planes in mind, but I too can admire a well-made rifle when I see one. Designed for the tactically minded, how could a tactical rifle lover not be interested in Pugio. The Italian firearms company Victrix have designed this short barrel .308 to be incredibly user friendly by incorporating some of the best features I have ever used in a precision rifle.

I had this rifle on loan for a couple of months and although I didn’t climb up any ladders with it strapped to my back or have to worry about a parachute getting in the way I did put it through its paces as best I could.

Victrix Pugio

Victrix Armaments

Victrix are an Italian company known for offering a range of high end and well thought out sporting and tactical rifles. Their rifles are rare to see at the range here in Aus but they absolutely turn heads on the firing line when one turns up. From all the lessons in dynamic long range shooting sports Victrix haven taken on all the technical, functional and ergonomic advice.  They are continually developing rifles for the sporting and tactical world. The professional range of rifles are designed for military and law enforcement with each variant in the range offering up something different for specific users. Most notably the caliber selections available and barrel lengths as listed below.

Victrix ModelBarrel Length

Victrix have run with an ancient Roman theme naming their rifles, and the Pugio takes its name from the short dagger Roman soldiers carried back then attached to their belt.

Pugio on the hip of a Roman legionary


At the price point you want to know you are getting what you pay for and ill start out by saying my Sako TRG 22 A1 started to feel jealous next to the Victix Pugio. I had the dark olive drab green variant but it also comes in medium flat brown and a dark grey.

Victrix Pugio and Sako TRG

Tactical rifles pack weight and the bare rifle weighs in at 5.7 kg/12.5lb. When you add the optic, rings, bipod and a full magazine it can start adding up. Luckily one neat feature Victrix have included to help mitigate some of the weight, is the detachable carry handle on the underside of the chassis. I never knew I needed a carry handle on my precision rifle until now. My TRG weights around the same as the Pugio and I often transport it short distances by picking it up from under the chassis. With the Pugio I could just carry it around by the handle. Its a lot more user friendly.

Victrix Pugio

I didn’t have a folding stock version as its too short to possess in my state but its overall length fully extended is under a meter coming in at 96cm/37.7”. On the folding stock model it’s even more compact coming in at 71cm/27.9”. The chassis comes with everything you want in a precision rifle plus some extras. It has horizontal and vertical butt-pad adjustment, cheek height adjustment and even a retractable monopod that’s hidden away in the chassis.

The octagonal foreend is covered with M-LOK slots and has a full length 20 MOA picatinny rail on top. Underneath there is also a picatinny rail for mounting a bipod. The Victrix Pugio shipped with a single stack 7 round magazine. It’s a plastic magazine that feeds well and additional magazines can be purchased.


There’s a lot to like about this rifle but this would have to be my favorite part. Chambered in .308 it’s a super smooth short action. The bolt has three lugs and built for hard work in the field by including ice/dirt grooves built into the bolt. This is the smoothest bolt I have ever used and its achieved through their use of tuning with the finish on electro-discharge and grinding machinery. But one cannot survive on the bolt alone, luckily as part of the rifle system the Pugio packs a wild trigger.

Trigger & Safety

From the first shot sighting it in, I was taken by surprise how clean the break was on the trigger. Preferring a lighter trigger it was incredibly satisfying to use. Running it through the trigger weight gauge it came out at s little over a pound. Victrix use their professional dual-stage trigger which is also convertible to a single stage trigger. Comparing the trigger to my TRG, its very difficult to differentiate between the two, both being incredibly high quality and smooth. The clean break at each pull reminds you why the rifle has the price tag that it does. The safety is located in the traditional spot on the right near the bolt, its intuitive and has a nice positive click between positions.


Enclosed in the chassis is the short 16” barrel. I immediately noticed how thick the barrel is on the rifle when opening the transport case. For dynamic shooting scenarios and tactical use, you can quickly send successive rounds down range and the thicker barrel wont heat up as fast as a thinner barrel. This in turn has less of an effect on accuracy compared to a light barrel. The 1:10 twist is a good match for the .308 and caters to the heavier projectiles delivering more energy to the target. The barrel is a lapped match-grade button rifled barrel in AISI 416R. The muzzle is threaded with a M18x1mm thread. A heavy duty detachable muzzle brake is included with a 3 forward canted chambers.

Victrix Pugio In The Field

Using the familiar Steiner T6Xi 5-30×56 with the SCR2 reticle, it was held steadily in place in a SPUHR quick release system. For the bipod a BT Inc Atlas did its job well, fixing to the picatinny rail under the chassis. The system was already sighted in when I picked it up so a couple of rounds down range at 100m to confirm point of impact and I was ready to push it out.

Victrix Pugio

Rifles at this price point offer out of the box precision and that’s exactly how I test them out. Once zeroed I dialed the scope up and started sending rounds. I shot the Pugio with the muzzebrake on and off to see the difference. With the brake off its fairly standard recoil for a .308, but with the brake on it significantly reduces the recoil. The break is large and does its job really well reducing the felt recoil. I could easily shoot this rifle all day.

Victrix Pugio

The Victrix Pugio comes with a heavy duty Explorer Case, my guess here is as its primarily for military and law enforcement, the use of a sturdy case coming standard helps with transport and protection for the system. It sure upstages the basic cardboard box my TRG came in. There is also a user manual and welcome kit in the case that contains a notebook, stickers and a patch.


As it sits, this is my favourite precision rifle I have used for obvious reasons. I for one, have fallen head over heels for the Victrix Pugio, not only is it a beautifully crafted rifle, it’s also a beast in the field. Being the first Victrix I have spent more than just a few shots with, the reliability and comfortable function make this a hard rifle to put down. The great aesthetics in a modern performance rifle make the Pugio an easy choice for dynamic shooting, if I ever need to jump out of a plane with a rifle I’d take the Pugio.

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