PREVIEW: Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Drafting a new framework for blowback action 1911s

By Dennis Adler

With one new model, Sig Sauer has reestablished the level of authenticity that can be achieved with a CO2 blowback action Model 1911. The “We the People” is part of a benchmark new design from Sig Sauer inspired by our nation’s rich patriotic history and the role the Model 1911 has played for more than a century. According to Sig Sauer, “This pistol serves as a fitting tribute to both the Second Amendment and the most storied handgun in history.”

“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.

One and the same at a glance but the Sig Sauer 1911 at the top is a .45 ACP model. The matching blowback action CO2 version of the new WE THE PEOPLE commemorative model is a remarkable duplicate that can become part of an historic pair of 1911 models. The two semi-autos share every feature.

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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.

WE THE PEOPLE is also engraved on the right side of the slide, as it is on the .45 ACP model. The distressed finish was chosen to underscore the long history of the legendary Model 1911. The Sig Sauer CO2 model (which is shown at the bottom) is a prototype without the Warning information on the frame.

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 Sig Sauer CO2 model has the caliber, proof mark and serial number on the lower front of the slide. The most noteworthy feature is the use of engraving for SIG SAUER 1911 and 1776 on the left side of the slide, which is identical to the engraving on the .45 ACP model.

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.

WE THE PEOPLE is engraved on the right side of the slide. At this point I am not certain if this is a stamping when the slide is manufactured or actual machine engraving, but it is far more detailed than other CO2 models. 

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.

Previous Sig Sauer 1911 models were less accurate in design and operation, while the WE THE PEOPLE 1911 becomes the first Sig Sauer model (as opposed to Sig Sauer licensed models not sold by Sig Sauer) to utilize a correctly-sized, self-contained CO2 BB magazine. This is the same magazine used in the Swiss Arms and Tanfoglio 1911 models, and they are interchangeable, and thus readily available (though without the distressed finish).

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.

From the rear the authenticity of this CO2 model comes to bear with the precise aluminum star grip design, ambidextrous thumb safeties and low profile white dot combat sights. These are identical to the .45 ACP model in design except for the tritium night sight inserts. Also note the raised palmswell grip safety and fine checkered flat mainspring housing. The front strap is also finely checked to match.

In Part 2 we get into the mechanical details, fit and finish. 

5 thoughts on “PREVIEW: Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE Part 1”

    • Just spoke to the folks at Sig Sauer and the CO2 model is not going to be a limited edition but part of the Sig Sauer CO2 model line to be joined by several other new pistols this summer. I also found out that the SIG SAUER 1911 1776 and WE THE PEOPLE are part of the slide manufacturing process. This shows that manufacturers can make some impressive designs without sending the MSRP through the ceiling. Sig Sauer has done an impressive job here.

    • This piece is silly. Yes I am a strong supporter of the 2nd however this thing is hmm rather over the top. Oh for your info. my wonderful Remi RAC CO2 is just perfect as are several other 1911 CO2’s in my use. My real world KIMBER 1911 acp would trample this Sig 1911 acp bar none.

      • I dont know that you can call this silly when it is an exact copy of the centerfire Sig Sauer model and as close as any 1911 air pistol has come to that ideal. Over the top, well that would be an opinion to share with Sig Sauer. Commemorative guns usually are a bit over the top, that’s the nature of commemorative firearms. Not sure how the Kimber, a fine, high quality 1911 would come out against some of Sig’s 1911 models, would be an interesting comparison. Might suggest that one to Combat Handguns magazine. You need to accept these special models, centerfire, rimfire or CO2 in the spirit they are intended, to celebrate, commemorate, or in some way be a special version of an existing firearm. That’s not silly to collectors and enthusiasts. What model Kimber do you have? Regarding the Remington, not a bad CO2 model but not as authentic as the new Sig. That’s just a fact, not a condemnation of the Remi RAC CO2.

      • Not a big fan of commemorative pistols , but this one should herald in standard versions that appear to be well made pistols . In the firearms world Sig is thriving , and Remington has one foot in the grave , and the other on a banana peel. Last man standing wins

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