Sig Sauer Super Target Part 2
A Sig P210 influence and a classic single shot pneumatic
By Dennis Adler
The reason for the strong P210 influence in the Super Target’s design dates back to the original 9mm Sig P210, which was developed in 1947! The designation for the new pistol was SP 47/8 and in 1949 it became the standard sidearm of the Swiss Army. The gun was later renamed the Sig P210 and it has been in production in one for or another for more than 70 years.
One of the most revered armsmakers in the world, Sig was established in Neuhausen, Switzerland in 1860. The acronym stands for Schweizerische Industrie-Gesellschaft (Swiss Industrial Co.), which started out building wagons and ventured into longarms in 1864, with the Prelaz-Burnand rifle. The company remained an independent armsmaker until 2000. Sig Arms was established to import Sig models into the U.S. almost 20 years ago, after corporate mergers beginning in the 1970s, brought Hämmerli Target Arms from Lenzburg, Switzerland (one of the leading manufacturers of Field Target and Competition air rifles), and J.P. Sauer & Sohn, GmbH, of Eckernförde, West Germany, known worldwide for their hunting rifles under the Sig umbrella. In 2000, another merger combined Sig with Mauser, SAN Swiss Arms AG, and led to the establishment of Sig Arms in the U.S, (which became Sig Sauer in 2007).
The parent company in Germany is now comprised of Mauser, J.P Sauer & Sohn, Sig-Sauer Inc., Sig-Sauer GmbH, and Swiss Arms. (Hämmerli was purchased by Walther in 2015). Remarkably, despite all the changes in ownership and brand names over the years, Sig’s impressive history has remained intact, and the P210 and P210 variations are still among the best semi-auto pistols made. This is the significance of the P210’s very recognizable slide design on the new Super Target. (The current 9mm Sig Sauer P210 Target model pictured, sells for $1,699).
There are obvious comparisons between the Super Target and the FAS 6004 built in Italy by Chiappa. To build the ASP Super Target, Sig was looking for a company that could complement its stringent manufacturing standards and produce a single stroke pneumatic bearing the Sig Sauer name. As Sig’s initial entry into the single stroke pneumatic target pistol field, Chiappa’s reputation made them an ideal choice, and the Super Target was not intended to be a competitive product to the FAS 6004. The FAS is more of a dedicated entry level 10-meter competition pistol design, while the Super Target is geared toward target shooting and has a pistol grip design and angle that feels very close to the 9mm Sig P210 Target.
There are major differences between the FAS and Sig designs, beginning with the use of a hammer as the slide (charging handle) release, rather than using a left side release like the FAS. Using a hammer makes releasing the Super Target’s slide totally ambidextrous; it is also a function of Sig’s desire to have a hammer on the Super Target to solidify the look of the P210. The overall design of the slide, including front and rear serrations and the high rear sight platform, are all done to preserve the P210 Target model influence throughout the design.
Internally, the Sig’s trigger mechanism is the same as the FAS, which is an excellent adjustable design. However, compared to the FAS, the Sig’s trigger sits much further back and comes from Sig set at the factory at an average pull above 2 pounds (2 pounds, 7.9 ounces on this test gun). The first stage take up is adjusted as short as possible for a crisp 0.125 inch take up in the second stage to break the shot.
For the barrel, Sig went with Chiappa’s excellent button rifled steel barrel used in the FAS and other Chiappa models, once again, a proven design. They also used the same adjustable rear sight. The front sight is more like the P210 and squares up nicely in the rear U notch. The gun weighs 40 ounces, just slightly more than a P210 (36.9 ounces) and a solid 6.5 ounces more than the FAS 6400, which has a very angular taper to the slide design (reducing mass and weight), whereas the Sig has a traditional slide to resemble the P210 Target.
There is a difference in the Super Target’s breech design, which was one of SIG AIR’s changes that slowed the release date until Sig’s engineers had exactly what they wanted. Access to the back of the barrel is improved to make it easier to seat a pellet by enlarging the cutout, the breech chamber has a smoother bevel, and the rifling at the breech is tapered allowing the pellet to meet less resistance as it enters the barrel. With the pellet positioned as close to the valve as possible, when the gun is fired the valve stem is held open so it dumps the whole charge to achieve maximum velocity.
The upshot is that this not only makes loading easier and provides the highest velocity, but also assures the use of alloy pellets. As you may recall from the FAS 6400 review last year, the pistol did not do well with alloy pellets, the Sig Sauer does, including the now out of production (but still available in stores) Match Ballistic 5.25 gr. alloy wadcutters. The Sig does well with Meisterkugeln and just about any wadcutter pellet, but you will need alloy pellets to hit that 400 fps mark.
Sig’s outlook for the ASP Super Target is to expand the brand’s airgun line into single shot target pistols on the heels of the successful ASP20 Gas-Piston Breakbarrel air rifle. It seems that Sig has a handle on single shots as well as semi-autos. The company has already made impressive inroads with blowback action CO2 BB and pellet pistols, and CO2 powered semi-auto rifles based on centerfire models. The ASP Super Target is intended for dedicated target shooters who want precision and a means to fine tune their skills for competition.
As Ed Schultz, Engineering Manager for SIG AIR, explains, “Its target practice, but its with a gun that is more accurate and with grips that allow right hand, left hand or two-handed holds [rather than 10-meter pistols that are often designed for one dominant hand]. It gives you the experience of an entry level competition pellet pistol, even if you might not aspire to be an Olympic shooter. There’s a lot to be learned from training just for accuracy.”
In Part 3 we will see what the Super Target delivers.