Sig Sauer Super Target Part 2

Sig Sauer Super Target Part 2

A Sig P210 influence and a classic single shot pneumatic

By Dennis Adler

The Sig P210 has been around in one form or another for over 70 years, an enduring and distinctive design that has been hailed for decades as one of the most accurate semi-auto pistols in the world. In 2011, I test this example of the then new Sig Sauer Legend P210 and found it to be one of the most accurate semi-autos I have ever tested.

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 current Sig Sauer P210 Target is the top of the line and features the front and rear slide serrations, and trademark slide profile (achieved by the slide running inside the frame rails rather than over them). Take note of the sights, hammer and beavertail on the 9mm pistol.

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).

You can see the very strong influence the P210 Target has on the slide, grip, and backstrap design of the ASP Super Target. Even without the Sig Sauer name on the side, the P210 profile is instantly recognizable.

The build

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.

While using some of the same components as the FAS 6004, the Sig is its own gun in almost every respect. The 7.5 inch, 4.5mm button rifled steel barrels are the same, as are the rear sights and trigger design.

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.

The Super Target has four adjustment screws. No 1, at the front of the triggerguard is the trigger weight adjustment which will increase or decrease the pull weight of the trigger. It is set at the factory at just over 2 pounds. The test gun averaged 2 pounds, 7.9 ounces. Screw 2, topmost on the trigger, adjusts how far forward or backward the trigger sits within the triggerguard. The factory has it set almost all the way back (as pictured). Screws 3 and 4 are the first and second stage adjustments; screw 3 lengthens or shortens the drop point of the trigger, and Sig has it set to the shortest position, screw 4 sets the release and again Sig has it down to a total pull of 0.125 inches to fire.

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.

To open the slide, pull back on the hammer, after which you can lift the slide straight up. In the photo at right it is shown with the slide just sitting on top of the valve housing.

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.

A single stroke forward cocks the action (you can hear it click part way and if you stop and close the slide, the action is cocked to dry fire) and draws air into the cylinder; it is then compressed as the slide is pushed closed and the piston driven home. Unlike most single stroke pneumatics, which can require up to 30 pounds or more force to close, the effort required to close the slide on the Super Target is about half or even a little less than other pistols of similar design. (This is also a feature of the FAS 6004).

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.

In this close-up you can see the hook on the hammer which locks over the bar on the slide just under the rear sight.

Here you can see how well designed the barrel breech and seal are for the Super Target. All of the edges are beveled and the rear of the barrel breech is tapered to allow the head of the pellet to enter smoothly. This is the kind of precision Sig Sauer is talking about in making a single stroke pneumatic that is best in class for entry level target shooting.

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 has provided ample room to get your thumb and forefinger into place and easily load a pellet into the barrel.

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.

The ASP Super Target is well balanced in the hand and feels very much like its famous centerfire ancestor, the P210.

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. 

12 thoughts on “Sig Sauer Super Target Part 2

  1. Nice breakdown and explanation’s Dennis, looking forward to some Targets…
    I went back and read your review of the FAS 6004 and highly recommend others do also, excellent pictures showing Pellet loading, Charging or Cocking and overall of 10 Meter Entry Level shooting, Good work…
    Chuck



  2. “The FAS is more of a dedicated entry level 10-meter competition pistol design, while the Super Target is geared toward target shooing …”

    First Comment: shooting, not shooing

    Second Comment:
    I know it seems obvious to you, but you are talking about a subtle difference between 10 meter competition shooting and target shooting, so I have to ask for an explanation. Why is 10 meter competition shooting not the same as “target shooting?” In both cases you are likely shooting the same paper target, so apart from the quality / price of the airgun, what’s the difference? Can’t the Super Target be used in the same 10 meter competition shooting event even if the Super Target will not have the same competitive advantage as more expensive competition airguns?


    • Charles…Shoo..I hate when that happens! All fixed, thanks for the catch. Much appreciated.

      As to the second comment, yes, it is a fine distinction because the Super Target is just as capable for 10 meter practice as the FAS, or the Air Venturi V10, or HW75, but among those four, two are considered more dedicated 10-meter entry-level guns while the HW75 and new Sig are more target shooting oriented in their design, primarilly via the target pistol-style grips vs. the 10-meter pistol-style grips. It is more semantics than anything else because they are all close to being equals as single shot pistols. Even Sig Sauer regards the ASP Super Target as an entry-level 10-meter pistol. More than anything, it is just another choice, but one that promises Sig Sauer quality and styling as an advantage. We will see how that plays out in the velocity and accuracy testing. Thanks again for catching the typo.

      Dennis



        • Charles:

          Well, it isn’t really a fair comparison between a single shot, single-stroke pneumatic with a 7-1/2 inch rifled steel barrel against a magazine fed, smoothbore, CO2 powered, blowback action BB pistol, but having said that, I think at 21 feet, fired off hand, I would give the Gold Custom even odds of delivering as tight a group with BBs as one of the single shot pellet pistols. At 10 meters though, the pellet pistols would have it hands down. The Gold Custom, for all its style and realistic fuction, up against a dedicated target pistol like the Sig at 10 meters, would be like comparing the Sig Super Target to a Feinwerkbau P8X PCP 10-meter Air Pistol. Different class of pistols. Personally, if I had to pick only one, I would still buy a Tanfoglio Gold Custom for the combination of a blowback action pistol and proven accuracy at 21 feet.

          Dennis


  3. I want to add, for Charles clarification,Target Shooting vs 10 Meter shooting…
    First off 10 Meter is an Olympic Event… Single shot, Open sighting, Standing, One handed. 10M only, Timed, Special grips PCP….
    Target shooting, in General, allows Bench Rested, Sitting, Two handed, Sights ie Red Dots, Lasers, Scopes, and Varying distances etc, etc….
    FAS 6004 & Sig Super Target both considered Entry Level for 10 Meter Competition by their Manufactures, however 10M does not limit the shooters to a specificate type of hand gun….Personally I consider 10M more of a Shooters skill level than his type of Hand gun, I read where a guy using a High End CO2 was very competitive in a 10M shoot….


  4. FWIW….I have found several Sig P210 Target Grips on Ebay that would add to the Sig Super Target ASP Qualification as an Entry Level or Better Hand Gun as opposed to the grips that come with the gun….
    The Target shooting Accuracy at 10M, as delivered by Dennis who is an Excellent shot BTW, will tell the tale re the Barrel and its accuracy for 10M…


  5. Mentioning the ASP rifle in the text I came up to a dangerous thought. What if SIG made a gas piston single shot powerful PISTOL to fight the HW45? I for one look for something like this. Benjamin Trail pistol is not up to the task.


    • Sig Air is, IMO, all about making Money $$$$$$ and this is the background motivation for the Sig Air Super Target…Personally I would like to see a Sig Air P210 Super Target, CO2 with 4 Way Adjustable Trigger, Target Grips and 11mm Top Rail or Groove…it would not be considered Entry Level 10M because of the CO2 feature & Top Groove but it would be a Great Target Pistol alternative and be a $$$$$$ maker for Sig Air. & I will not charge Sig Air for the Advice…..

      Chuck


      • I may seem persistent but SIG could be the opponent HW never actually had. 5 to 6 fpe from a single shot gas powered pistol would be much appreciated by shooters all around the world. Still not seeking for royalties…


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