by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig Sauer Max Michel BB pistol
Max Michel 1911 BB pistol from Sig Sauer.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Loading the CO2 cartridge
  • Daisy BBs
  • Sig BBs
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • Sig CO2 cartridge
  • Blowback is heavy
  • Trigger pull
  • Overall evaluation

Today we look at the velocity of the Sig Sauer Max Michel 1911 blowback BB pistol. Let’s get right to it.

Loading the CO2 cartridge

The CO2 cartridge loads differently than any I have encountered. Remove the left grip panel and pull up on bottom of the flat mainspring housing to unlatch, then swing the housing out of the grip and down under the grip. Now the large end of the cartridge must be inserted into the grip first. There are two flanges at the bottom of the hole in the grip that are too small for the cartridge to pas through, so the large end has to be inserted above them and then dropped inside the grip. That’s the first departure from the norm, but there is one more.

The mainspring housing is now swung back into position, but it stops when the piercing pin contacts the small end of the cartridge. You must squeeze the housing back into place. When you do this a roller bearing on the mechanism forces the cartridge up against the piercing pin, completing the procedure. This is one time where reading the manual will definitely help. I lost a little gas while I learned how to do this the first time.

Daisy BBs

The first BBs I loaded were Daisy Premium Grade BBs. The first shot went out at 397 f.p.s. They averaged 375 f.p.s. for 10 shots. I waited 10-15 seconds between every shot, but the velocity dropped in a straight line. Shot 9 was the slowest, at 361 f.p.s. So the spread for 10 shots was 36 f.p.s.

Sig BBs

Sig sent me a plastic bag of BBs with the pistol. They also sent a package of 15 CO2 cartridges, so I think they also plan to market BBs under their name and the packaging was just not ready when they sent me the gun. I loaded 10 Sig BBs next and continued the velocity test. Once again I waited 10-15 seconds between shots. These BBs averaged 381 f.p.s., with a low of 360 (last shot) and a high of 404 f.p.s. (first shot). The spread was 44 f.p.s.

Hornady Black Diamond BBs

The last BB I tested was the Hornady Black Diamond BB. On the first try these BBs averaged 350 f.p;.s. but that was because the CO2 was exhausted. The low was 305 f.p.s. and the high was 397 f.p.s. — again with a 10-15 second delay between shots. But I knew that was not an accurate test. so I exhausted the gas, getting a total of 46 shots from the gun before the gas pressure was no powerful enough to cycle the slide for the blowback. Then I installed a fresh cartridge.

Sig CO2 cartridge

The second cartridge I installed went better because I now understood the slightly strange procedure for piercing the cartridge. No gas was lost this time. And this one was a Sig cartridge. This I retested the Hornady Black Diamond BBs. This time they averaged 408 f.p.s. with a low of 386 f.p.s. and a high of 427 f.p.s. That’s a 41 f.p.s. spread.

After the first test I started seeing how many shots I could get from the cartridge by shooting and then waiting 5 minutes or more between shots. Shot number 37 was a Hornady BB at 395 f.p.s. After that shot the velocity started dropping. Shot number 40 was 381 f.p.s. Shot 45 was 327 f.p.s. Then I waited 2 hours before shot number 46, which went out at 315 f.p.s. The gun was clearly out of gas at this point. It went to 55 shots before the slide would no longer cycle the gun.

That’s 46 shots total on the first CO2 cartridge and 55 shots on the second one. This pistol uses a lot of gas to cycle that heavy slide.

Blowback is heavy

The slide is all metal and heavy so the blowback impulse is also heavy. The feeling is not unlike a .22 rimfire pistol when it’s fired.

Trigger pull

The trigger feels like a two-stage trigger, but that seems to be slop in the trigger linkage. Of course the hammer must be cocked for the trigger to work, so it’s really a single stage. The trigger breaks at a rather heavy 6 lbs. 6 oz. and there is some creep in the pull.

Overall evaluation

I hadn’t expected the gas consumption to be so high. A shooter will go through a lot of cartridges with this pistol. The trigger seems heavy for a competition gun.

The blowback does seem very realistic. It’s the most realistic blowback I have seen in many years of testing.

The next test will tell all. Accuracy trumps everything!