Umarex G19X vs. Sig Sauer M17 Part 3
BBs vs. pellets at comparable velocities!
By Dennis Adler
This is something you don’t expect in a blowback action CO2 BB pistol, velocities that are comparable to a CO2 pellet pistol. Of course, neither of these are your run of the mill BB or pellet pistols, the Sig M17 ASP is the only blowback action air pistol with a self-contained CO2 pellet magazine and the Glock 19X is one of only two blowback action BB pistols with self-contained CO2 BB magazines that consistently send .177 caliber steel BBs downrange at well over 350 fps. This makes the Glock 19X (and Third Gen Glock 17) capable of shooting at the same distances and with comparable accuracy to a pellet firing semi-auto pistol. The operative word here is “capable.” But is the Glock actually going to rival the M17 ASP?
Speed and Accuracy
Let’s begin by reviewing the average velocities from the M17 ASP using Sig Sauer 5.25 gr. Match Ballistic alloy wadcutters, and the G19X with 5.1 gr. Umarex steel BBs. The Sig shooting Sig averages 358 fps. The Umarex G19X shooting Umarex averages 376 fps (significantly greater than other blowback action CO2 pistols).
Taking into consideration the 0.15 gr. weight advantage for the BBs over alloy pellets, versus the advantage of a rifled steel barrel and wadcutter pellets, it’s almost a wash when you realize there’s only an 18 fps variation in average velocity, which makes these two pretty darn close to equal. What will make the important difference is how well the Glock’s smoothbore barrel can deliver tight groups against the Sig’s rifled barrel at the 10 yard training distance.
In terms of handling, I have found the slightly larger and brighter white dot sights on the G19X to be easier to put on target, despite the shorter overall sight radius, (6.5 inches for the Sig and 6.0 inches for the G19X). The Glock sights are also closer to POA/POI with a 6 o’clock hold than the Sig, which hits just a little below of POA at 10 meters. We are only talking slight POI corrections for either gun.
While this next part is truly subjective, being based on an individual’s preferences for grip design, the grip angle on the M17 and G19X are almost identical, however, the Sig has a much wider grip than the Glock, and that is what makes one more comfortable than the other, depending upon the user. The Glock 19X, which has the small backstrap as standard, is a little more comfortable and secure in my hands than the M17, but again, that’s me. The centerfire M17 was designed to be suitable to a variety of hand sizes by changing frames, while the Glock Gen5-based G19X changes backstrap panels (however, not on the CO2 models).
Slinging alloy and steel at 10 yards
This is the final proof of the G19X against the M17 ASP. The Sig delivered a best 10 rounds at 1.68 inches, with five shots closely grouped at 0.875 inches. This was the best of five targets which averaged between 1.68 inches to 1.75 inches for 10 shots fired at 1-second intervals using a Weaver stance and two-handed hold. The Sig’s slide has a decent sense of recoil, though not as snappy as the Glock 19X. None of my tests with the M17 have shown overly impressive accuracy, which would be 1-inch or smaller groups. The best 10-shot group from 10 yards with the Umarex Glock was no better, with a best spread of 1.8 inches and a five-shot group clustered into 0.93 inches. The Glock is, however, more consistent from shot to shot, and while I was not trying to shoot paired groups the gun did, in fact, group all but two rounds into pairs.
The M17 is not a target pistol and neither is the G19X, but for training guns and general shooting accuracy, the BB pistol is just about an equal match to the pellet pistol; one does not have a clear advantage over the other except that BBs cost less than pellets, and the G19X magazines fit standard 9mm Glock 17 mag pouches.
For 1:1 training, both CO2 semi-autos are good choices, the M17 if you have a 9mm M17 or P320, and the G19X if you own any Glock, period. And that’s still the key factor with Umarex Glock models. If you like Glocks, buy the Glock 19X. The difference in velocity and accuracy at training distances of 7 yards to 10 yards is negligible, making this one time where pellets don’t beat BBs. And you can thank Umarex and Glock for that achievement.
Next week we are going to set our sights on the new Ruger 10/22, equipped with the Mantis 3-9x32AO scope.
A word about safety
Blowback action airguns provide the look, feel and operation of their cartridge-firing counterparts and this is one reason why they have become so popular. Airguns in general all look like guns, blowback action models more so, and it is important to remember that the vast majority of people can’t tell an airgun from a cartridge gun. Never brandish an airgun in public. Always, and I can never stress this enough, always treat an airgun as you would a cartridge gun. The same manual of operation and safety should always apply.