Why the Sig Sauer M17 ASP Won

Why the Sig Sauer M17 ASP Won

M17 4.5mm vs. M17 9mm – The Real World Test

By Dennis Adler

Yes, the final choice was mine, but it was the best choice among a field of excellent competitors and one of the rare instances where the CO2 model could actually go up against its centerfire counterpart. For a comparison test with the 9mm Sig Sauer M17, I wore a UTG tactical vest to carry one of the guns. Here I have the centerfire pistol in my right hand and the CO2 model in my left. A spare CO2 pellet magazine is also in the holster’s mag pouch. This is currently the only way to securely carry a spare CO2 pellet magazine for the M17.

Of all the new CO2 models introduced this year, why did the Sig Sauer M17 ASP rise to the top to be chosen as 2018’s Replica Air Pistol of the Year? The five distinct categories of comparison and the points system used left it tied with the Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE 1911 and Umarex Heckler & Koch USP, a solid three-way that was broken by the extra one point given to the M17 for Technology of Design. But there is more to the technology side than just a CO2 pellet magazine, which is definitely a game changer for blowback action pellet firing pistols; there is also the capability of the M17 to be an honest real world training substitute for the 9mm centerfire pistol. read more


Replica Air Pistol of the Year Part 7

Replica Air Pistol of the Year Part 7

What it takes to become 2018’s Top Gun

By Dennis Adler

If you don’t think this was a good year for new CO2 pistols, (and I know some of you have been disappointed by guns that didn’t come out or did and are not yet available), but this trio makes 2018 a pretty good year for new blowback action CO2 models that meet up to the standard of training guns. The Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE, Sig Sauer P320 M17 and Umarex HK USP deliver everything you expect and some things you didn’t. All three are winners in my book.

We find ourselves with three CO2 models tied for the title of Replica Air Pistol of the Year and it is as diverse and well defined a representation of three distinctly different types of blowback action semi-auto pistols as possible, spanning more than a century of firearms design. First, a very traditional SAO (single action only) Colt-style Model 1911, with a few modern improvements such as white dot combat sights, ambidextrous thumb safeties, and a custom finish. But the Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE is also the most authentic 1911 CO2 model made, an exact copy of Sig Sauer’s .45 ACP WE THE PEOPLE 1911. It is our standard bearer for design integrity. read more


Replica Air Pistol of the Year Part 6

Replica Air Pistol of the Year Part 6

What it takes to become 2018’s Top Gun

By Dennis Adler

The Sig experience is an emersion in technology as much as it is one of authenticity, accuracy, and performance. Sig Sauer’s up-and-coming Airgun Division has devoted several years to evolving their designs to arrive at two superb pellet-firing, blowback action CO2 models that are designed for different purposes, target pistol accuracy and training pistol superiority. The 2018 X-Five ASP delivers on 10 meter accuracy and high 20-round capacity for a pellet-firing model, while the P320 M17 ASP delivers not only the same high capacity but groundbreaking new features in the 4.5mm semi-auto pellet pistol market. 

We have come down to the two guns that some readers have predicted would be this year’s winner. But we have learned from the preceding eight guns that the point system allows very little latitude. Some favorites have fallen by the wayside on the simple fact that they cannot be field stripped. If you are looking at authenticity as a guideline for the best overall model, it needs to be capable of duplicating as many features of its centerfire counterpart as possible, field stripping is one of them, it is among the most basic of skills learned in handgun training. Even though it is not an essential part of a quality CO2 blowback action pistol (which can be cleared of a stuck BB or pellet without full disassembly) it is a feature that says “this gun has been built to the highest standards of authenticity.” Only a handful of the 10 guns for 2018 meet that standard, but it is not the sole defining quality for being chosen as Replica Air Pistol of the Year. read more


Replica Air Pistol of the Year Part 4

Replica Air Pistol of the Year Part 4

What it takes to become 2018’s Top Gun

By Dennis Adler

The mettle of their metal, the alloy construction of both the new Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE 1911 (left) and ASG CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow makes them a little lighter than their centerfire counterparts, but the accuracy of design, fit and finish (particularly with the unique weathered finish on the Sig Sauer), and authentic short-recoil, locked-breech designs make them two of the most authentic CO2 blowback action models on the market.

This has been an impressive year for new blowback action models and this is where the toughest competition for Replica Air Pistol of the Year emerges with guns like the Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE 1911 and ASG’s CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow; air pistols that not only visually correspond to their centerfire counterparts but match handling, operation and ability to be field stripped. These are two examples (but not the only two this year) where manufacturers went the distance to get everything as accurate as possible. Why do this for a CO2 BB pistol? Like the highly regarded Umarex S&W M&P40, the new Shadow SP-01 and Sig Sauer 1911 are more than great air pistols, they are so well matched to their centerfire counterparts that they are perfect training guns that allow total familiarization with the firearm right up to pulling the trigger. And there, all that is lacking is heavy recoil from the velocity of a centerfire cartridge, the high dB rating of a live round vs. the low dB rating of a CO2 pistol, and accuracy beyond the optimal 21 to 25 foot range of a .177 caliber steel BB. Thus the CZ Shadow (and competition-style Shadow Blue) and Sig’s custom 1911 WE THE PEOPLE are the first to square off against each other. read more


Replica Air Pistol of the Year Part 1

Replica Air Pistol of the Year Part 1

What it takes to become 2018’s Top Gun

By Dennis Adler

Each year since I began writing the Airgun Experience I have selected one new model as my Air Pistol of the Year. For 2018, given the variety of new air pistols and satisfying, though not overwhelming number of models introduced, the focus has specifically turned to CO2 air pistols that are based on actual centerfire handgun models, whether new (like the Sig Sauer M17) or older (like the HK USP) so long as the air pistol is new. I am also establishing an updated point system based on five comparative categories with values from 1 to 10 points for each. This is going to separate out a number of guns simply because of their various features, or lack thereof. The gun chosen as Replica Air Pistol of the Year will be based solely on total points earned. read more


Sig Sauer X-Five ASP Silver Competition Part 3

Sig Sauer X-Five ASP Silver Competition Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

The Silver Standard for blowback action 4.5mm target pistols

By Dennis Adler

The X-Five ASP in either the original Black finish or new Silver finish delivers good 10-meter accuracy. While the period of time separating these two models is short, the Silver seems to have upped the game slightly with a lighter feeling trigger, although the two CO2 models have the same internal components. This leads to the question of slight variations from one gun to another and how or if that will influence accuracy.

Picking up where we left off with the Sig Sauer Match Ballistic alloy pellets clocking an average of 401 fps, the next round up is H&N Sport Match Green alloy wadcutters which also weigh 5.25 gr. With a fresh CO2 loaded the high velocity with H&N was 425 fps, the low 398 fps and an average for 10 shots of 404 fps. Switching to the heavier RWS Meisterkugeln 7.0 gr. lead wadcutters, the average velocity dropped to 358 fps with a high of 381 fps and a low of 347 fps for 10 shots. The X-Five ASP shot an average of 44 fps slower with lead wadcutters. read more


Sig Sauer X-Five ASP Silver Competition Part 2

Sig Sauer X-Five ASP Silver Competition Part 2 Part 1

The Silver Standard for blowback action 4.5mm target pistols

By Dennis Adler

This is what happens when you make a good gun better. Sometimes all it takes is a change in color, from the first Sig Sauer X-Five ASP’s Nitron-like black finish to a brushed stainless steel look. It’s the same gun, but much more visually appealing. But is there more to it than that?

Sig Sauer’s airgun division has its eye on multiple markets from CO2 powered BB models like the WE THE PEOPLE 1911, to pellet-firing training guns like the new M17 ASP, and as far reaching as target pistols such as the X-Five ASP and ASP20 breakbarrel pellet rifle. The X-Five falls into its own classification within the Sig lineup as the only current pellet-firing target model (with adjustable rear sight) to use the 20-round rotary Rapid Pellet Magazine (RPM).

Like the earlier X-Five the new ASP Silver is slightly larger than the P226 it is based on and is a tough gun to holster. It does, however, fit nicely into a Galco Quick Slide made for the P226 Rail gun. The front sight does not catch on the lip of the holster when drawing the gun.

After a long look at the X-Five ASP, it comes down to the loading and shooting. This is a two step process, loading the CO2 into the grip frame by opening the backstrap panel. This is done by pulling down on the latch (arrow) and letting it swing all the way back to expose the channel and cam-operated CO2 quick loading and piercing system. After the CO2 you load the magazine (and it is a good idea to buy at least two extras, they come in a set of two).

As a dedicated target pistol the X-Five ASP Silver uses the centerfire X-Five-type SAO (single action only) trigger. This almost vertical trigger design was used on the centerfire X-Five competition pistols, but this style trigger is not unique to target pistols or to Sig Sauer. Vertical triggers have been used on everything from semi-auto target pistols to custom Ruger LCP .380 personal defense pistols. One of the early designers of the skeletonized vertical trigger for the LCP, and other pistols, is Eric Galloway. His design for the LCP as a customized model was also adapted by Sturm, Ruger for a limited edition model that has since become known as the “Red Trigger Ruger” which was the best of the original LCP model .380 ACP pistols. read more