SIG Sauer P226 X5 BB pistol: Part 1
by B.B. Pelletier
Blog reader Rob was the instigator of this test of the SIG Sauer P226 X5 BB pistol. He commented in the second report on the GSG 92 that this pistol was superior in all ways and asked me to test it. He elaborated to say that he shot his pistol at 25 feet instead of the recommended (for BB pistols) 15 feet.
Rob is from Canada, where this pistol is also called the Open. That name does not carry over to the guns being sold in the U.S., but Rob assured me that the gun under test today is the one he is talking about.
Well, I’m a sucker for an accurate gun of almost any kind, so I took him at his word and today I’ll begin the test. I’m skeptical about the claimed accuracy but will be delighted to be proved wrong, as the world always has room for more accurate guns.
I read the owner reports on the gun, and one of them said he had heard that the compensator was supposed to be removable (the Pyramyd Air website makes no mention of that, so I suppose he read it elsewhere), but he could not figure out how to remove it. Well, I had it off within one minute of opening the box. It’s held in place by a simple Allen screw in the bottom. Once off, though, it reveals an ugly threaded adapter that I don’t want to show, so I installed the comp again.
Pyramyd Air warns that the owner’s manual says the gun has a BAX Hop-Up adjustment and it doesn’t. This is one more case of an airsoft maker building a real BB gun that shoots steel BBs and not editing their airsoft manual. Hop-Up applies only to airsoft guns that shoot balls the Asians call BBs, but which are really 6mm plastic balls. Real BB guns that shoot real steel BBs (sized 0.171-0.173 inches) do not have Hop-Up. This is confusing to buyers and new shooters who are not aware of the discrepancy, and I wish the Asian manufacturers would get it right, but I suppose that’s never going to happen.
Lots of value
The best thing Rob did for me was to stress that this version of the pistol comes with a rail for optical sights, which I don’t use on handguns, but he also mentioned that only this version also has the adjustable open sights. When I checked both this and what I will refer to as the standard version of the P226 X5 on the Pyramyd Air website, I was surprised to find that he’s right. For just ten dollars more, you get an adjustable rear sight! The rail can be removed easily enough and, in fact, doesn’t even come installed on the gun when you get it, so there are no worries about taking off parts. Just take the gun from the box and shoot it. The rear sight adjusts in both directions, and the adjustments are fine, precise little clicks. A thin-bladed screwdriver is needed for both adjustments, as the screws have very fine and shallow slots.
The trigger is something I simply cannot overlook on a gun that is supposed to be accurate. It is two-stage, with stage one being very light and ending at an almost imperceptible stage two. Stage two is also light, and you can see the trigger moving, though I can just barely feel it move with my trigger finger — and I’m used to the fine triggers on 10-meter target pistols! What I’m saying is that this is one of the finest air-pistol triggers I’ve ever seen — especially on a gun costing under $500.
The gun is mostly metal on the outside, with the result that the weight is quite heavy. Pyramyd Air lists it as 2.66 pounds (2 lbs., 10.56 ozs.), but I weighed mine without the sight rail and found it weighed 2 lbs. 15 ozs. That’s 47 ounces, or eight ounces more than an M1911 firearm weighs! This is a heavy handgun!
All the controls work as they should, and the pistol can easily be disassembled by flipping up the disassembly latch. The safety is ambidextrous, with levers on both sides of the frame conveniently located for your thumb to operate.
There’s blowback, which means the slide comes back to cock the hammer for the next shot and also to impart a feeling of recoil to the pistol. I’ll have more to say about that in later reports.
Both the BB magazine and the CO2 cartridge that powers the gun reside in the drop-free magazine of this pistol, making it a heavy component. The mag holds 18 BBs plus the CO2 cartridge that one reviewer said gives three complete magazines of shots. That would be 54 shots (3 x 18), which is very good, considering the gas also has to operate the slide in blowback. Rob mentioned that his gun shot considerably faster than the rated velocity of 300 f.p.s., so I’ll be testing for that, as well.
Everything considered, I have to say that I’m impressed with what came out of the package. But that was not the question, was it? The question was: Is this pistol really that much more accurate than the other similar BB pistols on today’s market? I’ve provided test targets with every BB pistol I’ve tested to-date; and when I get a claim like Rob is making for this one, I go back and look at all the evidence. When I tested the GSG 92, I did that and found that the Umarex Makarov has been the most accurate BB pistol that I’ve tested to this date. Not the most realistic, perhaps, though it’s pretty good there, as well, but without question the most accurate. That’s the standard this BB pistol will have to better if I’m to declare it to be the most accurate BB pistol I’ve ever tested.
It should be an interesting test!