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Education / Training Sig Sauer Max Michel 1911 blowback BB pistol: Part 3

Sig Sauer Max Michel 1911 blowback BB pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

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

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Sig answers
  • The test
  • Daisy Premium Grade BBs
  • Recoil!
  • Slide hold-open works
  • Sig BBs
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • Evaluation

Sig answers

Today is accuracy day for the Sig Sauer Max Michel 1911 blowback BB pistol. I have heard on my last report about the shot count from Ed Schultz at Sig. He was surprised my pistol got so few shots per CO2 cartridge. His experience has been an average of 77 shots per cartridge, so my test pistol is definitely running on the low end. To be fair, it was a pre-production sample they sent me more than a month ago. The production models may be more refined.

He also mentioned that this pistol was not meant for competition. That’s understood, since there is no action p[istol competition for a BB pistol like this one. Sig would do well to start one, though. It would give buyers a reason to purchase a BB gun like this.

This pistol is for training, with all the controls in the correct places and operating the same way as the firearm — save for the manual safety that we have already discussed. I think we all understand what a BB pistol can do, so the only thing that remains to be seen is the accuracy of this one. It’s it’s accurate, then the training can be beneficial. We aren’t looking for bullseye accuracy — just the ability to put all the shots relatively close together and also close to where the sights are aiming.

The test

I shot the pistol at 5 meters at a bullseye target. I was seated and I rested the front frame of the pistol on the UTG Monopod. I used a 6 o’clock hold on the bullseye. The shots were fired at least 10 seconds apart. Let’s see what happened.

Daisy Premium Grade BBs

First up were Daisy Premium Grade BBs. Ten of them went into as group that measures 1.434-inches between centers at 5 meters. Eight of the shots are in 1.051-inches. The group is well-centered on the target, which tells me the sights are right on. Also, the group is fairly round.
Sig Max Michel BB pistol Daisy group
Ten Daisy BBs went into 1.434-inches at 5 meters, with 8 in 1.051-inches.


I can now comment much better on the recoil of this pistol. It is quite strong and will force the shooter to reacquire the target after each shot. That’s exactly what a trainer like this should do, and this Max Michel pistol does it well. No, the recoil is not as powerful as a .45 ACP, but it is much more powerful than the recoil of my Chiappa M1911 .22 rimfire pistol.

Slide hold-open works

The slide holds open after the last BB is fired. That tells you it’s time to reload. There is no guessing. This is no small achievement, because the gun has to sense there are no more BBs in the magazine to be able to do this. A firearm uses a lip on the magazine follower for this function, and I think the BB gun uses the follower button that sticks out to the left side of the magazine. Whatever the case, it works fine.

Sig BBs

Next up were the Sig BBs that came with the gun. Ten of them went into 1.835-inches at 5 meters. This group was also well-centered on the bull, but it was elongated on the vertical axis.

Sig Sauer Max Michel BB pistol Sig group
Ten Sig BBs went into 1.835-inches at 5 meters. This group is elongated vertically.

Hornady Black Diamond BBs

The last BB I tried was the Hornady Black Diamond BB. This one put 10 into 1.697-inches, or about midway between the Daisy and Sig BBs. This BB also landed slightly to the left of the aim point, and was the only BB to do so.

Sig Sauer Max Michel BB pistol Hornady group
Ten Hornady Black Diamond BBs went into 1.697-inches at 5 meters. This group is both elongated vertically and slight left of the am point.

The Daisy BBs shot the best overall, giving both the smallest group and the roundest one, as well. They also shot to the point of aim, so they are the BB to beat.


Now that I’ve had a chance to test the Max Michel BB pistol thoroughly I can give you my opinion. This pistol has several things going for it. The feel of the handgun and its controls is very authentic. And the recoil is impressive for a BB gun. The heavy metal slide accounts for that. The recoil really threw my sights off target when the gun fired, which is exactly how you want to train for the firearm.

I was surprised that the pistol shot to the point of aim. That doesn’t happen often, and since the sights don’t adjust, it’s a very good thing!

I like the pistol, overall. I think it does a good job of being the trainer it’s supposed to be.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

28 thoughts on “Sig Sauer Max Michel 1911 blowback BB pistol: Part 3”

  1. It’s good to see Sig continuing to dip their toes into the airgun waters.

    Their .177 MCX/MPX has been good to them, they say they can’t make them fast enough.
    They say they have scrapped all ideas for that platform in other calibers though.

    This certainly is a nice looking pistol.

    If they keep at it, they will come up with another winner.

    • BB and the group. I would be concerned about the strong blow back. Not only because it uses more c02. but because of the mechanical forces imposed on the pot metal parts. With several failures of blow back bb pistols of different styles, I am convinced that a heavy slide will eventually self destruct the pistol . Recently the slide broke into two pieces on my Sig Sauer P-226 X5 Open, That was a wonderful fun pistol to shoot, but I had less then 1000 shots with it. This old guy can not afford to keep buying pistols that self destruct.
      It was a nice review by the way.

  2. On a vintage note, is anyone here familiar with the Benjamin 252?

    It’s a .22 co2 pistol that uses 8 gram vo2 cartridges.

    I have a question about where a particular part goes..

  3. Off subject but airgun related.

    I mentioned I got a Maximus and was going to change it around a bit. Here’s a short video of it. I’ll tell more details later. Goto get going to work. But yes it’s tethered and yes it’s shooting hard with a regulated 1200 psi from the 3000 psi 13 cubic inch HPA Air Venturi bottle.

    And BB I’m not trying to steal the show just thought it be interesting for people to see what can be done with a Maximus or Discovery. The pistol is cool. And glad you answered the question about the blowback. I like that. Now what’s on my mind is that will other guns they produce hit at aim point. Especially if the sights don’t adjust.

      • RR
        All can be reversed very easily. Two bolts and the trigger assembly and 1399 stock comes off. 2 bolts and Maximus trigger is back on. One bolt and the original synthetic stock is back on. Then one screw to reattach the rear sight. And the front sight snaps back on. Then in hook the tethered bottle and it’s back to factory specs.

        Oh and how about this. 800 fps with jsb15.89’s at the regulated 1200 psi. It now has right at double the air volume with the Air Venturi bottle. So it should get I bet 60 shots out of a 3000 psi fill on the bottle.

        Just think how a Marauder could be tuned with that tethered regulated 1200 psi bottle.

        • GF1,

          That is quite respectable performance. Now if it will group well…

          At the 1ALSOIFS this past Saturday, Marty2 was shooting his HM1000X in .30 and his TM1000X in .177 with a tethered, regulated buddy bottle set at 2800 PSI. That pressure would probably work with mine although for max shot count I fill to 3300 PSI. I am getting 18-20 shots before it comes off of the regulator.

          I am warning you, do not buy one of these things. When you shoot a 5 shot group at 100 yards where you pull one of the shots and it is still a 1 inch CTC group, it is hard to work up the enthusiasm to shoot anything else.

          • RR
            I’m going to respond here on the test tonight and I’m over and out.

            The gun is accurate. Ended up sighting out at 50 yards to get my holds to work out for a 100 yards and in at the closer 60 yards and in. Well I should say after I got the spring tension set up to my liking. Shot 10 shot groups and got a consistent .750″ at 50 yards. Ain’t got good data out at 100 yards yet but it will hit a corn cob 4 out of 5 shots with a 3-1/2 mildot hold over.

            Now for the cool part the shot count. I believe if I remember right the Maximus is suppose to get 20 shots out of the box in .22 caliber. Well here we go. I got 69 shots before the gauge on the bottle went below 1200 psi. And thats no typo. 69 shots tethered. And it still shot a .750″ ten shot group when it came off the regulator at 1200 psi.

            Well here’s one more thing to think about before I go. I’m willing to bet that I could fill the Maximus to 2000 psi. Then hook up the tethered bottle. The gun would shoot from 2000 psi down to 1200 psi. With 20 shots as stated then the regulated 1200 psi bottle would start supplying the gun. I’m thinking that over 80 usable shots could be made if the gun and regulated bottle was used that way.

            So yes happy with it. Oh and I have to add. Have heard some people mention that the Maximus is hard to cock. They thought even possible coil bind from to long of a striker spring. Nope that’s not it. Crosman put a heavier spring in the Maximus compared to the Disco striker spring. My .25 caliber Marauder feels the same when cocked. Like coil bind. I have a heavier spring in it than stock.

            Well that’s all for now. Sorry BB. Had to put the info out where everyone can see. Where else but on the blog. Airgun stuff ya know.

            • And when I said this at the beginning of this reply I meant the spring tension on the trigger pull.

              “Well I should say after I got the spring tension set up to my liking.”

            • Gunfun1,

              Just when I thought that the striker spring was heavy enough they put a heavier one? Thanks for the information. Have to find time to shoot my Discovery more.


                • Gunfun1,

                  Yes I do. Made before there was a Maximus. Still haven’t chronied it. Seems accurate enough in my limited 20 meter backyard. Planning to limit the output to 20 fpe at the muzzle.


                  • Siraniko
                    Nice I don’t remember you saying anything about it. But good.

                    The Maximus that you see I posted today. Well I made the same gun years ago out of a Discovery a little after they came out. Didn’t have it tethered. Wasn’t even thinking about tethering or anything yet back then. But I do know now it works nice.

            • GF1,

              It is shooting about as I expected from all I have heard and read. It really is not that bad and would make an excellent little tree rat popper that would be easy to carry all day in the woods.

              Tethering is great on the bench, but is kind of awkward when strolling through the woods. Most people would just top off periodically, but since this one has been stripped down the additional weight of the buddy bottle would not be that much. You could take some duct tape and tape it up under the reservoir and it could do double duty as the fore stock. 😉

              • RR
                Already looking at getting a fitting and taking the gauge out of the air resivoir of the Maximus and taking the hose off the bottle and attaching the bottle where the gauge was. It would be similar to how Lloyd attached the double tube on the Mrod kit he did for me. Then I will secure the tube with a clamp. That way no hose no more and more solidly attached.

                But what would be nice with that is I could fill the gun to what ever psi that I want through the guns foster fill fitting. And the bottle has its own foster fitting to fill it up with and a gauge mounted on the bottle. And just a note the gauge on the bottle wouldn’t move until the guns air pressure drops to 1200 psi. And the cool thing is I could use or not use the bottle by either opening or closing the valve knob. Would be a very versatile gun as far as air supply would go.

                Anyway not bad for a $156 and free shipping from the sale Crosman had. I should of bought 2 for that price. Another one in .177 caliber. Oh well happy with this one is what matters right now anyway. 🙂

                  • Siraniko
                    I will post a short video of it. But first got to figure out what pieces I need. Might end up with a short flex hose running from the bottle to where the gauge is mounted to the gun.

                    If not done right could end up with a slow leak from inside the air tube. If you get uneven pressure on the port where the gauge would screw in. Like if you put pressure fore or aft it could make the 2 o-rings in there not seal right to the air resivoir tube. So the bottle would need to be secured parallel to the air tube so as to not cock the fitting in the gauge port. So a short hose connecting the bottle to the gun would be better. That way mounting the bottle doesn’t have to be as precise. So that’s probably the way I’ll go.

                    But will post a short video of what I end up with.

                  • Siraniko
                    Didn’t get a .177 Maximus yet.

                    But here’s a short video of the bottle mounted and the bi-pod off. Hi. Was too muzzle heavy after mounting the bottle. But the gun rest real natural on my bag.

                    Oh and best group to date is a .450″ group at 50 yards. This gun is absalutly amazing. I thing the true 2 stage adjustable trigger grip assembly from the 1720T helped tremendously plus the constant regulated air pressure the gun gets fed from the tethered bottle. Plus the trigger adjust for pull pressure. I lightened up the pull and the gun got better.

                    Anyway here’s the video of the gun now. It’s short so keep your eyes open.

                • GF1,

                  That is a screamin’ deal there that, like the one I made on the Tomahawk, allows you to tinker and not feel bad if things do not turn out exactly like you had hoped. It is also quite enjoyable to see what you can pull off.

      • Siraniko
        I got the Maximus yesterday. Came home from work and filled the gun to 1200 psi by my Shoebox compressor gauge and shot it over the chrony. Got 804 fps on that shot. Then filled the gun to 1200 psi and shot again. Did that for 5 shots. Lowest reading was 798 fps.

        What I was doing was verifying that the gun would shoot a respectable fps at that 1200 psi fill. So after that was established I took the stock of and started changing the trigger assembly then mounted the scope and bi-pod legs to the scope mount. It was dark by then so didn’t get to sight the gun in.

        That’s what I plan to do when I get home this afternoon. Sight the gun at 40 yards I believe is what I figure I will need compared to my Talon SS. I shoot the Talon SS at a 100 yards and in with pretty much the same velocity as the Maximus and with the same JSB 15.89 pellets. That’s how I plan on using the Maximus also. The Maximus will pretty well be a bench gun.

  4. B.B.,

    Thanks very much for this report — I think one of these is in my future. My Christmas stocking is already spoken for, but I have a birthday only a bit more than a month after Christmas, so maybe I’ll get one as a present.


  5. I get 80 shots for a cartridge of CO2 in my Walther Nighthawk and the cartridge hisses powerfully when I remove it. Since this pistol is such an authentic trainer, it would be a good idea to make it into a legitimate competition pistol. I read about a Japanese guy who was an airsoft pistol champ. He came to America and after a month of practice, he was winning action pistol competitions with firearms. Translating shooting skills from the vastly cheaper and more convenient airgun world to firearms is one of my big goals.

    My log shows 150,000 shots fired since I took up airgunning 10 years ago. My shooting rate has fallen somewhat in the past few years. In part, it is because I have been dry-firing firearms for more effective practice. In part, other things have gotten in the way. It doesn’t look like I’m on course to get a million shots in my lifetime which was once a goal, but there is plenty of shooting to enjoy.

    B.B., thanks for the info about case trimming. It seems like my .010 standard was not so great after all, but just adequate. I’ll have to throw out a bunch of cases, but I’m secure in the new knowledge.


  6. Hi BB et all..
    Well, I’ m just about completely healed from the carpal tunnel surgery 4 weeks ago and it’s sure nice to have that behind me till next March when I go back to have the same surgery on my left hand. No shooting yet, at least a few more weeks to be on the safe side of things!!
    A couple of weeks ago, while shopping in a big box store in Cowtown (I won’t give them any gratis adverts but let’s just say it’s a Canadian Legend (in their minds) of hardware stores). I was in the Hunting Dept. and saw an air rifle that I thought I would never see for sale here. It came home with me!!
    It is an airgun but by Canada law it must be treated the same, in all respects, as a firearm.
    The gun is a Super Magnum Springer, a Hatsan Torpedo 155 underlever in .177 calibre rated ( by Hatsan I believe) at 1250 fps with a 7.9gn. lead pellet.
    I read your review of the .22 gas ram version of this gun (which wasn’t very good) and am keeping my fingers crossed that this .177 springer will perform way better than the .22.
    Quality of construction of this rifle is excellent. The Turkish walnut stock is just beautiful and the metal parts are nicely blued.
    I won’t be able to shoot the rifle till mid December or the new year. I don’t think the specs are realistic so we shall see then if they are or aren’t.
    Until then it gives me time to order in some heavier pellets as shooting at the rated specs puts the 8gn. range of pellets supersonic and I was wondering, BB, if you could recommend some pellets in the 10gn. or heavier range that I could use to baseline the gun.

    • Dave,

      Congratulations on the surgery! What a relief it must be to be free from pain again.

      H&N Baracudas are udea for your rifle, as are JSB 10.3 grain Exacts. I’d try both of them first and remember the Baracudas come in di8fferent head sizes. I’d get the largest I could to start with.


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