M17 Reboot Part 4

M17 Reboot Part 4

Sig Sauer Reflex Sight at 10 yards

By Dennis Adler

The outdoor shoot at 10 yards went well except for fairly steady crosswinds. Even so, and hitting a little off the mark, the M17 ASP and Sig Sauer reflex sight combo put shots close within the A-Zone of an IPSC silhouette target.

This is the practical accuracy range for the M17 ASP fitted with the Sig Sauer M17/M18 Low Profile Reflex Sight. As shown in the earlier installments the sight is easy to mount to the M17 slide and once attached and sighted in the gun becomes a far more accurate pellet pistol. My initial tests (sighting in and targets) were done at 21 feet (7 yards) and now I am going outdoors to do a complete range test from holster draw to shooting a 10-round string at 10 yards (30 feet).  The added 9 feet of distance should not make much difference for the M17 ASP in terms of velocity; the rapid shooting at 1-second intervals will likely have some affect on velocity but not significantly for 10 shots. read more


M17 Reboot Part 3

M17 Reboot Part 3

Down to business with the Sig Sauer Reflex Sight

By Dennis Adler

It’s a whole new gun when you add the Sig Sauer Low Profile Reflex Sight to the M17 ASP. It goes from a combat pistol to something closer to a target pistol.

The Sig Sauer P320/M17 ASP was not a tack driver during any of its previous range tests, but it was good enough for its intended purpose as a fixed sight military handgun for close quarter to medium range use. Yes, the 9mm M17/M18 models are far more accurate than the 4.5mm CO2 model which is intended as a training gun and for general sport shooting. The M17 ASP is a darn good gun as designed and can keep groups tight at 10 meters, but it’s no target pistol. But can it be, now that the airgun is equipped with a dedicated Sig Sauer design Low Profile Reflex Sight mounted to the slide? read more


M17 Reboot Part 2

M17 Reboot Part 2

Un-boxing and mounting the Sig Sauer Reflex Sight

By Dennis Adler

As none of you have this yet, we are going to share this airgun experience step-by-step. So think of this installment on the M17 Reboot as a still frame video. With the new M17/M18 Low Profile Reflex Sight in hand (the mention of the M18 unfortunately does not hint at a forthcoming M18 CO2 model but rather that this sight comes with a mounting base for the M18 Air Soft model as well), I am going to un-box and follow the directions to install the Sig reflex sight on an M17 ASP.

It’s a box full of little wonders from Sig Air. Included are the Low Profile Reflex Sight with dust cover (shown on the sight), two mounting plates, tools, instruction manual and a lens cloth. The only extra tool needed is a small Phillips head screwdriver.

What comes in the box? read more


M17 Reboot Part 1

M17 Reboot Part 1

Sig Sauer ups its game with optics

By Dennis Adler

The Sig Sauer P320/M17 ASP is the CO2 pistol that broke the barrier between BB and pellet pistols with the first self-contained CO2 pellet magazine. It is not a perfect design in overall operation, but it is a 1:1 gun for exterior appearance and basic handling. And as Sig Sauer’s Sig Air Division intended, it is an ideal training substitute for its 9mm counterpart. It is also the first CO2 pellet model to employ in its original design a removable optics plate. And that is where we left the M17 almost a year ago waiting for the next step. That time has come.

Sig Sauer is starting from a position of strength with the P320/M17 ASP, because it is still the only blowback action CO2 pellet pistol on the market with a self-contained CO2 pellet magazine, and it is also the only CO2 version of the exact pistol being carried today as the new standard issue U.S. military sidearm. To be fair, there are other handguns in use by U.S. military with CO2 counterparts, and the Marine Corps are opting for Sig’s compact M18 version, (which is not yet offered as a CO2 model, only Air Soft), but the majority of U.S. service branches are already carrying or will be carrying the M17. This is not news and the CO2 version has already proven itself, walking away with 2018’s Replica Air Pistol of the Year title. Even so, Sig Air knew there was still work to be done on the M17 ASP and has not rested on its laurels. This announcement is late but the option that the P320/M17 ASP needed most, the slide optics mount and red dot sight are finally here, and here is where we begin, with a look back at the CO2 model and where this new feature will take it. read more


Young Gun, Old Gun

Young Gun, Old Gun

The design of a firearm

is still based around a simple principle

By Dennis Adler

I am reminded every time I put a montage of CO2 models like this together, that we have at hand a remarkable variety of firearms designs. Some, like the early 20th century Mauser M712 would be almost out of reach for the majority of collectors as a centerfire pistol, first because of the value, and second in still being a Class III weapon after almost 90 years. Others have simply gone up in value exponentially because of their rarity, like original Colt Peacemakers and WWII pistols like the P.08 Luger, while most of what you see here remain the mainstream guns of the 21st century, such as the latest Ruger 10/22 carbine,the Glock 17, S&W M&P40, and Sig Sauer P320/M17. As real firearms this would be quite an expensive group of guns.

I am paraphrasing the legendary William B. Ruger, Sr., when I say that all gun designs serve the same purpose, to fire a projectile, but what the gun fires and how it fires it, will dictate the design of the gun. Case in point, John M. Browning designed .32 ACP and .380 ACP cartridges and he designed the guns to fire them in 1903 and 1908, respectively. Bill Ruger, Sr. was something of a modern day J.M. Browning and what I learned from my time around him in the 1990s, while I was writing a short biography of his life, visiting his factories, talking with his engineers and staff, and having quiet, introspective dinners with him discussing firearms history, was that great design, and the fundamental breakthroughs that come with them, become the paradigm for all that follows. I understood than as I do now, that with few exceptions, every single action revolver, regardless of manufacturer (including the c. 1953 Ruger Single Six and c. 1955 Ruger Blackhawk), is descended from Samuel Colt’s original revolver designs, even though Colt had died years before the Peacemaker was designed. Ruger’s point being that no matter how different, regardless of the ammunition it fires; however large or small the pistol may be, the fundamentals of its design began with Colt. Bill knew this when he designed the original “Old Model” Single Six .22 revolver, and all the Ruger-designed and built single actions that followed. Were it not for Sam Colt… read more


Best entry-level CO2 pocket pistol Part 2

Best entry-level CO2 pocket pistol Part 2

Another “Tale of the Tape”

By Dennis Adler

This is an interesting comparison for me because I have actually done this with the centerfire guns, so I have a somewhat unique perspective on how the PPS and P365 compare as personal defense handguns, and how well their CO2 counterparts can fill in as very affordable understudies for handling and CCW practice. In Combat Handguns we call this head-to-head type of comparison “The Tale of the Tape” and I am going to write this up in much the same way so that the guns speak for themselves and the best choice is clearly evident, though in CH articles I have had a couple of coin tosses over the years. You might want to have some pocket change ready. read more


Best entry-level CO2 pocket pistol Part 1

Best entry-level CO2 pocket pistol Part 1

It’s not the one you think it is

By Dennis Adler

Both entry-level blowback action CO2 air pistols, the Umarex Walther PPS M2 relies on older but still highly efficient operation with a separate CO2 and stick magazine, while the newer Sig Sauer P365 is smaller and uses a groundbreaking self-contained CO2 BB magazine. Both guns sell for within a few dollars of each other.

Pocket pistols are not as big a deal with airgun enthusiasts as they are with folks who carry a handgun for personal protection, even though the first blowback action CO2 pistol, the Walther PPK/S, was regarded as a pocket pistol. To be fair, the pocket pistol label has never really belonged to the PPK/S but rather the c. 1930 PPK, which is a smaller pistol. That’s splitting hairs these days because the PPK is larger than many contemporary pocket pistols, some of which are in larger calibers, too. read more