Sig Sauer P250 ASP
Built for training and ready for the 10 meter target range
By Dennis Adler
Introduced in 2008, the original DAO, cartridge-firing Sig Sauer P250 was specifically designed to address the future needs of the military, law enforcement, and civilian shooters around the world. Offered in 9mm, .40S&W and .45ACP, the P250’s innovative construction pioneered Sig Sauer’s current series of modular designs that enable users to interchange the frame, barrel and magazine for three different platforms; subcompact, compact, and full size, by moving the fire control housing from one frame to another. This also allows a change in caliber from 9mm to .40S&W or .45 ACP all with the same serialized fire control housing (technically “the gun”). This model formed the basis for the new Sig Sauer P250 ASP (Advanced Sport Pellet) blowback action pellet gun, which is a near one-to-one match to the full size P250 model, and designed to provide hands-on experience with a comparably styled handgun. This is more so in terms of trigger pull, sighting, and operating the magazine release, than in the overall operation of a cartridge-firing P250 model.
The Sig Sauer P250 ASP is also a DAO (double action only) design and is offered in two finishes, all black or two tone with an OD green frame and black slide. The 4.5mm pellet gun uses a reversible dual 8-round magazine (for a total of 16 shots in one magazine). When Sig Sauer says “comparably styled handgun” the P250 ASP has the weight, balance, trigger design, sights, and general operation of the cartridge-firing models; the only things missing are a few semi-auto operating features.
In comparative size the overall length of a 9mm model is 8.0 inches, height 5.5 inches and width 1.4 inches. The ASP is 8.0 inches in length, slightly taller at 5.75 inches (top of the rear sight to the base of the magazine well), and 1.4 inches in width. The P250 averages 29.4 ounces; the ASP pellet gun weighs in just slightly lighter at 25.5 ounces. Double action trigger pull on a 9mm averages 6.5 pounds and the ASP 6.35 pounds, once again making it excellent for training exercises. The P250 ASP pellet gun is, of course, a little different in operation.
The ASP has two separate systems, first a reversible 8+8 rotary pellet magazine, which means internally the airgun functions more like a revolver with the magazine rotating around the chamber, but it also has a blowback action slide that re-cocks the hammer after each shot is fired, just like a cartridge-firing P250. The second is the CO2, which goes into a separate chamber accessed by removing the one-piece floorplate and backstrap. The screw to tighten and seat the CO2 cartridge is built into the base of the CO2 chamber. The drawback here is that the use of a full-size Sig Sauer magazine containing the CO2 and pellets is not possible, (this doesn’t exist by the way; that combination is only available for BB firing models like the Sig Sauer P226 X-Five). As a result, you cannot practice reloading or tactical reloads with the pellet gun.
Two other noteworthy issues I have with the P250 pellet gun are that the slide is not designed to lock back after the last round has been fired, (although it will manually stay back resting on the top edge of the hammer). The second is the slide release lever, which while accurate in size and design, is non-functional. Other features are also just cosmetic; the ejection port, for example, is only a molded-in outline on the slide.
On the plus side, and important for training, the magazine release and thumb safety do operate identically to the cartridge model, and the frame has the same integral Picatinny rail for mounting tactical lights and lasers. Overall, it is an excellent platform for learning the basic handling of a P250, and being a pellet gun with a 5-inch rifled steel barrel, it can also achieve higher velocities and greater accuracy than blowback action, smoothbore BB guns. Another plus for the ASP is the use of white dot sights similar to those on the cartridge-firing P250, which makes targeting easier and again adds to the learning experience. The P250 (and P226) ASP blowback action air pistols are designed and engineered for that purpose, as well as the fun of sport shooting with pellet guns.
Built to perform
The ASP models are built to exacting performance standards and the design was put through rigorous testing before being approved to bear the Sig Sauer name. The polymer and alloy P250 (and P226) ASP designs were “life-tested” with 15,000 shots to ensure that professionals who train with these airguns experience exceptional performance and true hands-on operation. In that respect I would have to agree with Sig Sauer, this is a true hands-on gun for learning the operation of the P250. Having tested the 9mm versions in the past I can vouch for the feel of this gun in the hand, the trigger pull and sighting characteristics. Would I like a slide that locks back and the commensurate need for a working slide release, absolutely, and that may come some day as technology improves, but in comparison to earlier makes of pellet gun doppelgangers (like the Beretta 92FS and Walther P99), the Sig is one quantum leap ahead with its blowback action and magazine loading, albeit a rotary stick magazine. The ASP also fits a number of production holsters made for the P250, so even learning carry, drawing, and re-holstering procedures are possible with the airgun. That’s a lot of “hands-on” for well under $100.
As a 10 meter pellet gun the ASP is satisfying to shoot. Average velocity with lightweight 5.25 gr. Sig Sauer Match Ballistic Alloy wadcutter pellets was 458 fps and even without the recoil and sound of a 9mm pistol going off, the ASP is very close to the real gun in feel, sighting, and trigger pull. Fired offhand at 10 meters, my best 8-round groups averaged 1.5 inches, with a best five rounds at 0.95 inches in the X.
Sig Sauer summed up the P250 ASP by stating, “The popular self-defense, centerfire P250 is mirrored in ASP from full blowback metal slide to steel rifled barrel with a few built-in performance advantages – low audible profile, practice space versatility and radically less expensive ammunition. With the P250 ASP you can train until a quick, accurate response is second nature.” The gun speaks for itself.