Drafting a new framework for blowback action 1911s
By Dennis Adler
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 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.
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 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.
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.