Sig Sauer X-Five ASP Silver Competition Part 2

Sig Sauer X-Five ASP Silver Competition Part 2 Part 1

The Silver Standard for blowback action 4.5mm target pistols

By Dennis Adler

This is what happens when you make a good gun better. Sometimes all it takes is a change in color, from the first Sig Sauer X-Five ASP’s Nitron-like black finish to a brushed stainless steel look. It’s the same gun, but much more visually appealing. But is there more to it than that?

Sig Sauer’s airgun division has its eye on multiple markets from CO2 powered BB models like the WE THE PEOPLE 1911, to pellet-firing training guns like the new M17 ASP, and as far reaching as target pistols such as the X-Five ASP and ASP20 breakbarrel pellet rifle. The X-Five falls into its own classification within the Sig lineup as the only current pellet-firing target model (with adjustable rear sight) to use the 20-round rotary Rapid Pellet Magazine (RPM).

Like the earlier X-Five the new ASP Silver is slightly larger than the P226 it is based on and is a tough gun to holster. It does, however, fit nicely into a Galco Quick Slide made for the P226 Rail gun. The front sight does not catch on the lip of the holster when drawing the gun.

After a long look at the X-Five ASP, it comes down to the loading and shooting. This is a two step process, loading the CO2 into the grip frame by opening the backstrap panel. This is done by pulling down on the latch (arrow) and letting it swing all the way back to expose the channel and cam-operated CO2 quick loading and piercing system. After the CO2 you load the magazine (and it is a good idea to buy at least two extras, they come in a set of two).

As a dedicated target pistol the X-Five ASP Silver uses the centerfire X-Five-type SAO (single action only) trigger. This almost vertical trigger design was used on the centerfire X-Five competition pistols, but this style trigger is not unique to target pistols or to Sig Sauer. Vertical triggers have been used on everything from semi-auto target pistols to custom Ruger LCP .380 personal defense pistols. One of the early designers of the skeletonized vertical trigger for the LCP, and other pistols, is Eric Galloway. His design for the LCP as a customized model was also adapted by Sturm, Ruger for a limited edition model that has since become known as the “Red Trigger Ruger” which was the best of the original LCP model .380 ACP pistols.

The 20-round rotary pellet magazine is equally easy to load. Just open the back panel; it is actually marked Back so you know which side is hinged and which way the pellets load. Skirt side up and into the paired chambers, you rotate the linked belt counterclockwise (it moves either way but I found counterclockwise easier). Be sure to watch for the metal links between the paired chambers pushing out at the top where there is an opening on either side. I use my index fingers to keep things moving smoothly at the top and my thumbs to rotate the filled chambers. The CO2 slips into the channel and when you close the backstrap it automatically seats and pierces the CO2 cartridge.

As Galloway explained it back in 2013 when he developed the first LCP trigger modifications, “The vertical trigger creates a change in trigger dynamics. The reason,” says Galloway “is to increase leverage on the trigger and reduce the bite during recoil from the pointy recurve at the bottom of the standard trigger [on centerfire guns with heavy recoil]. By almost flattening out the trigger we change the trigger finger interface so you get more leverage.” This does not noticeably change the weight of the trigger pull just the way it feels. In general, the trigger feels lighter, stacking becomes less evident, and the trigger pull seems shorter.

The loading system for the X-Five ASP is the same one developed for the P226 ASP which also has the same hammer and general design as the X-Five with the exception of the decocking system and safety design unique to the P226 X Series models.

This is the theory behind the SAO trigger used on the X-Five ASP as opposed to the traditional curved DA/SA trigger used on the P226 ASP pellet pistols. In comparison with the P226 ASP (which is essentially the same platform as the X-Five but with the earlier 8+8 rotary magazine and the standard decocking lever).

Average trigger pull on the X-Five ASP Silver measured 5 pounds, 10 ounces with 0.625 inches of take up, very light resistance and a final pull of 0.187 inches with light resistance and a clean break. Single action pull on the P226 ASP averages 4 pounds, 10 ounces with a long 0.75 inches take up, a click, and then light resistance for 0.187 inches to a smooth break. So which trigger is better, the longer, lighter DA/SA trigger in single action or the shorter, slightly heavier SAO target trigger? For me, I find the DA/SA trigger a little easier, but having said that, the shorter take up and leverage of the X-Five target trigger makes it a smoother, more consistent pistol to fire. I also compared the trigger pull from my earlier review of the P226 X-Five ASP Black, which had a different feel to the trigger. I don’t know whether this constitutes an inconsistency in manufacturing or an improvement in the trigger with the latest X-Five ASP models, but the Silver trigger is smoother.

The biggest difference is the trigger system on the X-Five ASP, which is based on the SAO competition Match triggers used on the 9mm and .40 S&W X-Series models. You can see how the shape, almost vertical, changes the way in which the trigger finger engages the trigger shoe. The take up is also shorter and a little smoother, but the DA/SA P226 trigger, in single action, is actually one pound lighter.

Speed of pellets

To wrap up Part 2, I’m going to chronograph the X-Five ASP Silver with Sig Sauer Match Ballistic alloy pellets (and you may have noticed Sig Sauer CO2 in the pistol grip), so this first shooting test is all Sig.

Average velocity for the 5.25 gr. alloy wadcutters was 401 fps with a high of 425 fps, and a low of 392 fps for 10 shots. Factory rating for the X-Five ASP is up to 430 fps. Saturday, I’ll run H&N Sport alloy wadcutters and Meisterkugeln Professional Line 7.0 gr. wadcutters through the traps (as I did with the X-Five ASP Black in May) and then head to the 10-meter range.

2 thoughts on “Sig Sauer X-Five ASP Silver Competition Part 2

  1. Dennis,

    “So which trigger is better, the longer, lighter DA/SA trigger in single action or the shorter, slightly heavier SAO target trigger? For me, I find the DA/SA trigger a little easier, but having said that, the shorter take up and leverage of the X-Five target trigger makes it a smoother,”

    I was wondering how much of this difference between the triggers is related to the difference in pellet magazines and the mechanisms used to advance the pellets in the magazines. In the 8X8 magazines, there is a single slot giving access to a ratchet gear at the center of the 8 pellet disk. In the X-Five magazine, there are two small windows accessed by two levers that advance the belt. Maybe the belt mechanism is just inherently smoother than the older 8X8 mechanism.


    • Very good point! They are different trigger and pellet mechanisms, so yes there has to be a lot to that, and since the two designs are not equal, it is hard to make an effective judgment. However, if you compare the X-Five ASP to the P320 ASP, which has the identical magazine system (although the base pad designs of the magazines are very different) the vertical SAO trigger on the X-Five ASP runs smoother than the DAO trigger on the P320, and since they are the same internal mechanism, and pulling the trigger advances the rotary magazine, the trigger shape does make a difference in how smoothly it operates. In regards to my original comparison between the P226 ASP and the X-Five, I still lean toward the X-Five’s vertical trigger for overall ease of firing. It is a very small distinction, but any advantage a trigger can provide is a plus.


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