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

Drafting a new framework for blowback action 1911s

By Dennis Adler

The new Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE 1911 is nothing short of a reckoning for blowback action CO2 models, delivering top performance, high velocity, superior fit and finish, fully operating features, and superb accuracy; it is everything you could want in a 1911 training gun. And if you like the distressed finish, exceptional alloy grips and finely checkered frontstrap and flat mainspring housing, there is simply nothing else in its class. Considering that the majority of blowback action 1911 models are all based on the same platform (and built in the same factories, regardless of brand name), the added attention to Sig Sauer’s build, valving for higher velocity, excellent white dot sights, and target trigger, take this 1911 to the head of the class.

There are a number of reasons to buy a blowback action 1911 CO2 pistol and one of them is for training. Other obvious reasons are that you like airguns, like Colt pistols, the Model 1911, or it is just a cool looking historic gun. I like them for all those reasons but right now, until someone outdoes Sig Sauer, I like the new WE THE PEOPLE better than any other blowback action CO2 Model 1911. I know, special edition guns with unusual finishes, custom grips, and some form of custom engraving isn’t for everyone, but aside from the distinctive 50 star grips on the Sig Sauer, most of the embellishments on the slide are pretty low key, more a component of the gun’s distressed finish, than something that stands out and shouts “look at me!” Subtlety can be very effective and this finish makes a quiet statement.

The author with the CO2 version of the Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE and Sig Sauer Max Michel 9mm target model (holstered).

The Sig’s weight and balance in the hand are really close to the .45 ACP WE THE PEOPLE and offers all the features of the actual factory custom 1911 target model. Frankly, I like the star pattern grips and the overall grip design of the gun with its fine checkering on the flat mainspring housing and frontstrap. The pistol also feels more secure in the hand because the overall grip width is 1/8th of an inch narrower than a pistol with standard checkered black or brown plastic grips, and your fingers simply do not move on the checkered frontstrap. You have a more solid grip on this pistol than most others. Granted there is no appreciable recoil to be concerned with, just the sharp movement of the slide coming back and slamming closed with each shot. That’s an essential for learning to handle a 1911 and reacquire the sights. More importantly, it just feels “more real” in the hand and I have a Sig Sauer 1911 for comparison.

With an ambient temperature in the mid 70s, the Sig CO2 model performed flawlessly delivering the best 5-shot group of any 1911 CO2 blowback action model I have ever tested.

Find a Hawke Scope

The CO2 model specs out with an overall length of 8.5 inches and weight of 35.2 ounces. The .45 ACP WE THE PEOPLE has an overall length of 8.7 inches and weight of 41.6 ounces. Frame size (and 6.5 inch sight radius), grip type, and low profile sight design are identical. Average trigger pull on the .45 ACP model is 5.6 pounds, on the CO2 model the hammer falls at 5.7 pounds average. Take up is 0.187 inches with moderate stacking and a crisp break. Trigger reset takes about 0.175 inches, so a full release of the trigger is not necessary to fire again; another plus for the Sig.

Loading up and shooting downrange

The self-contained CO2 BB magazine is one of the easiest I have found thus far to load with a locking follower and a heavy follower spring to keep the .177 caliber steel rounds running as fast as you can pull the trigger.

The Sig magazine has a heavy follower spring (shown compressed) and a locking follower that leaves the loading port wide open to pour BBs right in without having to hold the follower back. This is different than the Umarex Colt and Swiss Arms magazines which do not have a round loading port above the follower lock. The Sig design is derived directly from the Tanfoglio magazine. (Colt and Swiss Arms mags fit the Sig but load differently).
A loaded Sig or Tanfoglio magazine has a capacity of 17 rounds in a staggered column.

The WE THE PEOPLE is touted by Sig Sauer as delivering a velocity of “up to 340 fps” and with a fresh Sig Sauer 12 gr. CO2 cartridge in the magazine the pistol clocked a high of 338 fps, and an average of 329 fps for 10 consecutive rounds (fired at 30 second intervals to avoid over cooling the gun). Better than half way through the shooting test, velocity was still clocking 325 fps. For the best target of the day, shot from a distance of 21 feet, the Sig punched 10 consecutive rounds into 1.25 inches all in the 10 ring between 1 o’clock and 3 o’clock, (yes, another red bullseye has been spared!) and with a best five rounds, almost overlapping, at 2 o’clock measuring 0.437 inches.

From 21 feet using a Weaver stance and two-handed hold, the Sig Sauer CO2 model punched 10 rounds at just over an inch with the best five, almost all overlapping, to score a new best group from a blowback action 1911 of 0.437 inches. I shot POA at the 6 o’clock position with no corrections and the gun hit just a little right of center.

Whether you like Sig’s proprietary distressed finish or not, or the patriotic design of the slide and grips, (and remember they make a .45 ACP version that looks exactly the same), the new Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE CO2 model has just thrown down the gauntlet. Everyone else will have to try harder from this point forward.

9 thoughts on “PREVIEW: Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE Part 3”

  1. Is the heavier trigger pull related to the pistols ability to shoot harder than the other c02 1911’s? I think it’s great that they are getting this model to shoot a little harder but I was surprised that the trigger pull is closer to 6 pounds than the typical 2.5-3 pound range. Great that they added the loading port, so far only the 27 round Tanfoglio magazine has one.

    • I have seen heavier triggers on air pistols with lower fps averages, so no I don’t think that has anything to do with trigger pull, especially on an SAO. Sig’s goal is to get the CO2 model as close to the centerfire model as possible. This is not a heavy trigger in comparison. Competition pistols can have very light 2.5 3 pound triggers, but around 5.5 pounds is common for semi-autos. The Sig has a very good, very consistent trigger pull.

  2. The heavier trigger is more in line with a real world firearm . I have several co2 blowback pistols trigger pulls between 2and three pounds. None of my 1911s are that low. Crisp but the lightest is a 1911 Colt set up for Target at just around 4 lbs. A Commander at just under 5 and a Series 70 Government at about the same. Can go lighter on target , but not for a carry/ defense 1911. The higher velocity is probably a factor in accuracy over longer distances. With Dust Devils hitting over 350 fps could probably see good accuracy out to30 feet. I would like to see more airguns retuned for 10 percent fewer shots at 10 percent higher velocity.The Sig is now the lead dog on the sled. For the other manufacturers the view will be the same if they don’t move up to lead dog status

  3. Good to know, was curious if there was a mechanical relation in the air gun design. I know some air gunners modify the hammer strike on their air guns to hit the valve harder for slightly more fps but for me, I rather purchase a harder hitting air gun then fix whats not broken. This model clearly has leading merits in performance, now we’ll see what other companies respond with in the months to come.

    • Unfortunately no, it is a dovetailed rear sight but it is also a fixed sight by virture of the hex-head set screw which locks the sight at center. However, it may be possible to replace it with an adjustable rear sight. I am looking into that.

      • I can’t believe I just found this awesome detailed review just last night! I read your hex scew rear sight comment and looked at mine under a good eye loupe and the screw looked to be molded in to me. (I do have an injection molding background for what it’s worth) So I tried an allen wrench lightly and it sure felt mushy like plastic so I stopped and rexamining under the loupe, and the hex showed white deformed spots at the corners. (easily “fixed” with a sharpie) I wonder if it’s possible that they changed it and now glue the rear sight on? I could be wrong but had no desire to force it further. I might mention that I bought mine at Cabelas (having a gift card) and it came in a cheap clamshell clear package but with a second magazine
        Did yours? But everything else seems the same to me so far.

        • James:
          It is likely Sig makes a special combo package for Cabelas to retail. Big chains sometimes get combinations and packaging that other retailers don’t. The extra magazine seems like a real bonus. As for the rear sight, I have never tried to remove the hex head set screw. Looked like it wasn’t molded-in but since your comment I put mine under a higher magnification Agfa Lupe and it may well be. I do know it was not intended to be removed or adjusted for windage, but it looked like it was secured by an actual hex head screw. As molded-in pieces go, this one got past me.

  4. Makes sense. I was hoping it might be removable as after I get used to its performance, (so I’ll know if I screw something up!) there’s a chance I may take it apart and look into modeling some of the plastic parts and having them machined/3D printed in metal. The parts will likely cost more than the base gun but I like having unique one-offs. I recently finished a working, 1/5th scale, Harley EVO engine for a rare 1986 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic Connoisseur’s Edition diecast. Does it make financial sense? No. But it will be the only one… 😉

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