Drafting a new framework for blowback action 1911s
By Dennis Adler
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
With these words, the Constitution of the United States was adopted on September 17, 1787. Built upon the principals of the Declaration of Independence and forged out of America’s seven-year long war of independence from 1776 to 1783, “We the People” is perhaps the most defining three words in American history, and are requisite to the creation of not one but two significant Model 1911 pistols from Sig Sauer. The WE THE PEOPLE Model 1911 in .45 ACP and 4.5mm (.177 caliber) are a matching set, making this the most authentic to a centerfire 1911 model of any CO2 blowback action pistol built thus far. This is high praise for a new model that has just been removed from its box and remains untested.
What Sig Sauer has achieved
There are other blowback action 1911 models with self-contained CO2 BB magazines on the market, but this is the first Sig Sauer model. Yes there are other Sig Sauer licensed models, but this is not a licensed CO2 model, this is a Sig Sauer product and that brings a lot more to the table right out of the box.
More than being another CO2 powered blowback action model, the Sig 1911 is at once a breakthrough design and a 1:1 duplicate of the Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE 1911 chambered in .45 ACP. It is, in fact, so close that unless you take note of the caliber stamped on the left side of the frame, or see the recessed 4.5mm (.177 caliber) barrel inside the rifled .45 ACP muzzle, from the left side the two guns are almost indistinguishable. From the right side the same is true physically, but aesthetically, the difference is revealed by the air pistol Warning on the frame (which was not on the prototype used for the comparison photos at the beginning of this article, sorry to break the news). Even still, the attention to every detail is evident in the CO2 model’s construction.
The WE THE PEOPLE airgun is true to the centerfire model in all its operating features including ambidextrous thumb safeties of the early 1911 style. The models (.45 ACP and 4.5mm) also have the early flat checkered mainspring housing preferred on competition and tactical models, and matching skeletonized hammers and competition-style triggers. Both share low profile white dot sights (the .45 ACP model with tritium night sights), and a unique distressed finish.
What this CO2 model delivers is proof that everything, “everything” can be done if a manufacturer puts forth the effort. What exactly do I mean by that? Take a close look at the slides. The Sig models (.45 ACP and 4.5mm) have SIG SAUER 1911 and 1776 engraved on the left side, and WE THE PEOPLE on the right. The airgun does not use a white lettered etching to emulate the centerfire model but the same depth and detail as the slide on the .45 ACP model. The trigger design is not similar to the centerfire model it is identical, (though not adjustable). The polished slide stop, ambidextrous thumb safeties, hammer and palmswell grip safety are matching, as is the size, shape and dovetailed fit of the front and rear sights. And last there are the stars of the Sig models, literally 50 stars, 25 on each aluminum grip panel, and thirteen stars in a circle for the original Thirteen Colonies (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia), engraved into the top of the slide. This is as perfect as a 1911 CO2 model can come (except for the Warning information on the right side of the slide) to being a flawless understudy to a matching .45 ACP model. They make an impressive pair.
Sig Sauer has almost done this twice before with the Spartan and Max Michel 1911 models but was not yet ready to take the next step with full accuracy (i.e. not using stick magazines and making compromises between the CO2 and centerfire model’s designs), until now. The WE THE PEOPLE is a body of work that resets the standard for building blowback action 1911 models. It can be done.
In Part 2 we get into the mechanical details, fit and finish.