Sig Sauer X-Five ASP Silver Competition Part 1
The Silver Standard for blowback action 4.5mm target pistols
By Dennis Adler
Earlier this year Sig Sauer began delivering yet another benchmark CO2 pistol, the X-Five ASP with the standard matte Nitron-look black finish seen on so many handguns. But the actual centerfire competition (X-Five Match) models of the P226 X-Five were brushed stainless (except for the X-Five Tactical with a black Nitron slide and black anodized aluminum frame). The P226 X-Five Series models were produced from 2005 to 2012 including the X-Five Competition, X-Five All Around and Tactical models and as P226 X Series All Around, Classic, Entry, Match, X Open, Super Match, and Tactical in 2014. The current 9mm and .40 S&W X-Five Series are based on the P320.
The blowback action 4.5mm X-Five
The X-Five ASP is copied from the X-Five Match designed for IPSC shooting, combined with the hammer of the X-Five Tactical. The Match used a brushed stainless finish which is duplicated on the latest X-Five ASP, as well as polymer X pattern checkered grips. The Match pistols did not have the P226 decocking lever (the X-Five All Around used the decocker). The Match used an extended frame and slide, 5-inch barrel and flat single action trigger, flared magwell, deep undercut triggerguard, and adjustable rear sights. All of these features are duplicated on the ASP which has a 5-inch rifled steel barrel.
Internally this is a combination of the P226 ASP and P320 ASP, the latter relating to the X-Five ASP using a P320-style 20-shot rotary Rapid Pellet Magazine (RPM). This also means the CO2 is loaded into the pistol grip separately from the pellet magazine, and this is another hybrid design combining features that were first developed in 2016 for the P226 ASP. The Sig Sauer patented cam-operated CO2 quick loading and piercing system uses a hinged backstrap that opens to allow inserting the CO2 into the grip frame channel. The CO2 is automatically seated and pierced when the backstrap is pressed closed making this one of the fastest air pistols to load.
On the down side (there is almost always a downside when you have a pellet-firing semi-auto design) Sig Sauer’s efficiency of design dictates that there are non-functioning parts to the X-Five ASP and a molded-in slide and barrel lug interface that lacks any detail beyond an edge. Sig changed this with the M17, but the X-Five ASP came first. Sig Sauer has also held steadfastly to a non-functional slide release, which, while looking exactly as it should, is fixed in place since the slide cannot lock back with the rotary pellet magazine design. This is also true for the M17. However, the ambidextrous thumb safeties are fully functional on both guns.
While authenticity of design is always a big issue in my book, the X-Five ASP is a dedicated target pistol and the rifled steel barrel makes the X-Five model ideal for target shooting at 10 meters. This is more important for the ASP than having 100 percent accurate operating features.
The X-Five is a large handgun and just slightly wider than the P226 ASP by 0.0625 inches and 0.687 inches longer overall (it is also 0.375 inches taller). As a result it will not fit a standard P226 holster. The X-Five ASP weighs in at 44 ounces, just 2.7 ounces shy of the 9mm X Series pistol. In size, the X-Five ASP has an overall length of 8.7 inches, height of 5.94 inches (base of magwell to top of rear sight) and a slide width of 1.0 inches. Width at the edges of the ambidextrous safeties is 1.625 inches. Sight radius is a very lengthy 7.06 inches with a flat surface matte black rear sight and white dot blade front sight.