We the Peo­ple

Phill Price tries a very spe­cial 1911 from SIG

Airgun World - - Contents -

Phill Price tries out a Colt 1911 from SIG Sauer, with an ex­tra-spe­cial trig­ger

The Colt 1911 holds a near myth­i­cal place in the hearts of many hand­gun shoot­ers around the world. The orig­i­nal de­sign was in­cred­i­bly clever and even to this day is one of the more re­spected ac­tions you can buy. Be­cause of this, it’s been cus­tomised a mil­lion times to be­come ev­ery­thing from hard-work­ing ser­vice arms, to fancy things that live in glass cab­i­nets which will never be fired. Amer­i­cans, in par­tic­u­lar, love this gun and SIG Sauer has a new CO2 ver­sion that screams pa­tri­o­tism. It’s called ‘We the peo­ple’ in­vok­ing the pream­ble to the Amer­i­can con­sti­tu­tion in which the right to bear arms was es­tab­lished.

It’s easy to as­sume that this gun is like many other 1911 CO2 repli­cas in a fancy set of clothes, but it’s much more than that. The first thing that strikes you is the ‘weath­ered’ fin­ish that gives the pis­tol a bat­tle-worn ap­peal. Next, the cast-metal grip pan­els grab you with each dis­play­ing 25 raised stars that add up to the 50 states of the Amer­i­can union, but don’t let that make you think that this gun is an old-fash­ioned one with noth­ing to of­fer but looks. All the mod­ern fea­tures a com­bat pis­tol needs have been fit­ted to make a highperformance, very mod­ern gun.

CLAS­SIC 1911 SHAPE

When you lift the pis­tol from its box, you im­me­di­ately no­tice just how heavy it is and at 2.2lbs it feels like a cen­tre­fire hand­gun straight away. The grip shape and an­gle are so fa­mil­iar to 1911 fans and, for me, the pis­tol comes to the aim as nat­u­rally and in­stinc­tively as I could wish. The grip is slen­der by mod­ern stan­dards, which goes back to the car­tridge the gun was de­vel­oped for – the .45ACP (Auto Colt Pis­tol) was fat com­pared to the more com­mon 9mm so was stacked in a sin­gle, straight col­umn. To­day, you more com­monly find 9mm guns with dou­ble-stack mag­a­zines that carry many more rounds, but make for a wide grip. Some peo­ple like that whilst oth­ers, like me, feel the clas­sic 1911 shape is the best. In a very nice touch, the front of the grip

“This is with­out doubt one of the best CO2 pis­tol trig­gers I’ve ever used”

is che­quered, as is the back strap, a fea­ture only found on ex­pen­sive cus­tom guns and one that adds a great deal to the feel, es­pe­cially when shoot­ing at speed.

COM­PLETELY AU­THEN­TIC

The 1911 has an un­usual fea­ture in the form of the grip safety. This is a sec­tion of the grip that moves for­ward as you take your grip, and with­out it de­pressed the gun will not fire. Cus­tom ver­sions of this have an ex­tended ‘beaver tail’ that per­forms two jobs. Firstly, it helps to po­si­tion the web of your hand cor­rectly on the grip, even when you draw the pis­tol quickly from the hol­ster. Se­condly, it elim­i­nates ‘ham­mer bite’ which is when the web of your hand is placed be­tween the top of the beaver tail and the ham­mer. As the slide cy­cles, it drives the ham­mer back to cock it and if you leave some skin in the way it gets pinched and hurts like hell. The longer grip safety pre­vents this from hap­pen­ing, which is a very good thing.

Above this we find a smart, ambidextrous safety lever and in front of that an ex­tended slide re­lease. Again, these are the fea­tures we want from a cus­tomised hand­gun be­cause they aid proper han­dling and in­crease speed. Just like the real thing, when the last shot has been stripped from the mag­a­zine, the slide locks back. This is the clear­est in­di­ca­tion that you need to load a fresh mag­a­zine. A quick press of the re­lease but­ton drops the mag­a­zine free so that you can slam an­other into its place. If you then thumb the slide re­lease lever, the gun will go into bat­tery, cocked and ready to fire. This func­tion­al­ity is ex­actly the same as the firearm and is com­pletely au­then­tic.

SOME­THING SPE­CIAL

The fea­ture that makes this gun stand out most for me is the ac­tion of the trig­ger. It slides di­rectly back­wards like the firearm, rather than swing­ing from a pivot at the top, the way most CO2 repli­cas do. This al­lows the use of a skele­tonised trig­ger blade which looks great and, bet­ter still, de­liv­ers a su­perb feel and break. This is with­out doubt one of the best CO2 pis­tol trig­gers I’ve ever used. Like the real thing, the trig­ger is sin­gle-ac­tion only mean­ing that you must cock the ham­mer for the first shot, af­ter which the rear­ward move­ment of the slide cocks it for each suc­ces­sive shot.

The blow-back is nice and punchy with a re­ally quick cy­cle that makes dou­ble-taps great fun. This is helped by the ex­cel­lent com­bat sights that are bright and clear even in low light. I was pleased to find that it cy­cled my favourite cop­per-coated lead BBs per­fectly, al­though they did shoot low com­pared to steel BBs, which al­lowed me to shoot this pis­tol at my gun club where steel BBs are banned.

I’ve tested a lot of CO2 pis­tols in my time and I can hon­estly say that this is re­ally some­thing spe­cial in terms of its han­dling and per­for­mance. The looks won’t ap­peal to ev­ery­body, but the way it shoots most cer­tainly will. I

It shot well with both steel- and cop­per­coated lead BBs.

The han­dling was clas­sic 1911 and spot on for my tastes.

The dis­tressed fin­ish ap­pealed to many of my club­mates.

The mag’ holds 17BBs and a 12 gramme CO2 cap­sule. The ex­tended beaver tail po­si­tioned my hand per­fectly. The pop­u­lar two-handed com­bat hold suits this pis­tol per­fectly.

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