X-Five Origins Part 2

X-Five Origins Part 2 Part 1 Part 3

Sig Sauer builds a P226 ASP competition model

By Dennis Adler

The new Sig Sauer X-Five ASP is a hand filling blowback action CO2 model. Built to fire 4.5mm lead or alloy pellets, the gun has a 5-inch rifled steel barrel. The barrel recess is 0.25 inches from the muzzle. Standard features include an oversized beavertail, manual hammer (that can be cocked or de-cocked), and ambidextrous thumb safeties.

The new Sig Sauer X-Five ASP is a significant variation of the Sig Sauer P226 ASP, making it a dedicated competition version based on the 9mm X-Five. This version had an SAO trigger, extended frame and slide for a 5-inch barrel length, ambidextrous thumb safeties, extended magwell, and low profile adjustable sights. The new Sig Sauer CO2 pellet model also closely resembles the P226 X Match, which was only produced in 2014.

You may have noticed that I have switched the designation for the new Sig Sauer CO2 model from ASP X-Five as I had it in Part 1 to X-Five ASP, and the latter is how it is being marketed. The two-tone version with natural steel finish (alloy) frame and slide and black X grips, will be added shortly, but both models are otherwise identical.

This is a large handgun with an overall length of 8.7 inches and weight of 44 ounces (empty). It is available in the black finish (pictured) and in the two-tone version below.
The two-tone model is the better looking of the two in my opinion and features a natural steel finish (alloy) slide and frame, black trigger, faux takedown lever and slide release, a black hammer, sights, magazine release, and black X grips.

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Handling and operation

I have to admit a certain level of prejudice for this Sig Sauer CO2 model because it checks a couple of boxes that neither the original P226 ASP nor last year’s P320 ASP managed. First, I prefer hammer-fired guns over striker-fired models because I like a pistol I can de-cock (and yes there are some striker fired models that can be de-cocked) but there is still something to be said for a hammer at the back of the slide! I like the X-Five ASP’s hammer design; it is small yet easy to thumb back and has enough knurling on the spur for a solid thumb hold to de-cock the gun. I also like the very crisp, though long pull SAO trigger on this new model, extended beavertail, undercut triggerguard, and of course, the adjustable sights. At first glance there is actually nothing about this new Sig model not to like, especially the use of the P320 CO2 model’s 20-shot rotary Rapid Pellet Magazine (RPM) over the old-style reversible 8+8 rotary stick magazine used for the P226 ASP models.

The X-Five ASP uses a SAO target trigger based on the X-Five competition pistols. Combined with the fully functional hammer the gun can be manually cocked and de-cocked for firing with the single action trigger. Also note the X pattern checkered grips and flared magwell.
Both X-Five ASP models use a windage and elevation adjustable low-profile rear sight based on the 9mm X-Series competition pistols, and a white dot front blade. Following Sig Sauer P-Series airgun design, the ejection port is again a molded-in part of the slide on the X-Five ASP.

There are only a few things about the new Sig Sauer X-Five ASP pellet model that are a little off putting. First, and this is just the nature of the design because this is a very large handgun, the X-Five ASP is just slightly wider than the P226 ASP by 0.0625 inches and 0.687 inches longer overall (it is also 0.375 inches taller). This doesn’t sound like much but with the longer slide and dustcover rail this model will not fit into a standard P226 holster.

The ambidextrous thumb safeties are fully functional and have a very solid click when engaged or released. You can also see the small checkered panel that continues the X pattern around the grip and the release lever used to open the backstrap for loading CO2.

Sig Sauer also has held steadfastly to its 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; one hurdle that the designers have yet to clear. And lastly the use of a one-piece slide with an integral (molded in) ejection port, so there is no visual means of checking the chamber. This is an ASP design feature on all of the P-Series pistols. On the very serious plus side, are fully-functioning ambidextrous thumb safeties and an excellent magazine release (unfortunately good news only for right-handed shooters).

Another small but fine detail is the use of special Torx head star pattern screws to attach the grips. Here you can also see the checkered rectangular section of the frontstrap.

I did mention that this is a big gun, and it weighs in at a solid 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.

With its long slide and 5-inch barrel the sight radius on the X-Five ASP is a lengthy 7.06 inches with a flat surface, matte black adjustable rear sight and a white dot blade front sight.

As a dedicated target pistol the X-Five ASP uses the centerfire X-Five-type SAO (single action only) trigger design rather than the DA/SA P226 trigger. The SAO trigger was used on the centerfire X-Five Competition, X-Five Tactical, and X-Series Classic, Entry, X Match, X Match Open and X Super Match 9mm and .40 S&W models.

Among authentic features that are nicely incorporated is the X Grip, a hard plastic grip with a distinctive X checkered pattern. The backstrap is smooth with a checkered panel just below the beavertail (this is also where Sig places the backstrap release for loading the CO2) and the frontstrap has an inset checkered panel at the point where the strong hand fingers wrap around the grip. The triggerguard, as previously noted is deeply undercut which allows a higher hand position on the grip. This lowers the gun in the hand and lowers the bore axis (keep the bore of the gun closer to the top of the shooter’s hand). The grips on the X-Five ASP are also big and the magwell flare is almost below the base of my hand, so this grip will be great for shooters with large hands, but it’s a lot of real estate for smaller hands to cover. (The Sig Sauer P226 is regarded as having a high bore axis, so the undercut triggerguard is a noteworthy modification).

Combining features from the earlier P226 ASP and the P320 ASP, the X-Five uses the P226 gripstrap loading design which automatically seats and pierces the CO2 when it is pressed closed. From the P320 design, the X-Five utilizes the newer 20-round rotary Rapid Pellet Magazine (RPM), shown with lightweight 5.25 gr. Sig Sauer 4.5mm Match Ballistic alloy pellets.

As a training and pellet-firing target pistol the X-Five ASP brings a lot to the game, which Joseph Huston, Vice President and General Manager of the Sig Sauer Airgun Division explained as being “…an outstanding training tool… for more flexibility as to where you can shoot, such as your back yard, and more and more professionals are buying airguns for this very reason. Airguns are also perfect for teaching beginners firearms safety and the fundamentals of shooting.”

In Saturday’s Part 3 conclusion we will run the numbers for trigger pull, velocity and accuracy at 10 meters for this exciting new Sig Sauer CO2 model.

4 thoughts on “X-Five Origins Part 2”

  1. Until a 1911 pellet pistol like a Gold cup comes along, this I about as real as it gets. if the integral co2/mag can be adapted to this type of pistol , that will be the holy grail. I too like a conventional hammer pistol. In da/sa . I still like the old S&W 39 pattern pistols like the 3913/14. If this the go pistol gets in the 400 plus fps range and is accurate, will be a go to pistol.

    • Well I am far from an air pistol engineer, but it seems reasonable that if the system works with the forthcoming Sig M17, it could be applied to a 1911 platform pellet firing pistol or any other design. It is just a matter of whether or not Sig Sauer wants to build more variations. If they do, it won’t be until after the M17 pipeline has been filled. Eventually a full size 1911 blowback action, magazine fed 1911 pellet model will be built, it is a logical progression since Sig builds 1911s. The WE THE PEOPLE needs a pellet-firing counterpart.

  2. So the P320 magazines fit as is into this pistol? I ask because it looks like these magazines have a larger base. The fully adjustable rear sight adds points to this pistol for me.

    • Yes, the base pads are not the same, the X-Five has a full base pad to fill out the magwell. The P320 magazines fit but leave an open space. Until Sig releases extra X-Five magazines, if you have P320 mags they will at least work.

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