We The People BB pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

We The People pistol
We The People commemorative BB pistol from Sig.

This report covers:

  • Texas Airgun Show
  • E Pleb Nista
  • Description
  • Sig 1911s
  • Grip safety
  • Night sights
  • Controls
  • Field strip
  • Manual
  • Realism
  • The plan

Texas Airgun Show

Well, it happened a year later than I predicted, but it happened. The Texas Airgun Shot has sold out all the spaces in the hall, they have filled all the spaces on the porches outside the hall and now they are starting to fill a large tent outside the building. What this means is there will be more dealers than ever before and that means more airguns that we have never seen! I predicted this would happen last year, but the hurricane stopped all traffic from south Texas, and it also kept a lot of others away, even though it didn’t come close to where the show was being held.

This year the prizes for the raffle and the door prize are greater than ever. We are having to create ways to give away all the things manufacturers are donating. Also there will be airguns on the public ranges that have never been seen by the general public. Umarex is supposed to bring their new .50 caliber Hammer big bore for the public to shoot and AirForce will have several RAW rifles along with their Texan and TexanSS on the public range. I have shot both the Hammer and the RAW rifles and I can tell you it will be a thrill for those who take the opportunity. The Texans you have read about in this blog. On to today!

E Pleb Nista

Today’s airgun is a commemorative 1911 BB pistol from Sig called We The People. It is a CO2-powered BB pistol that offers full blowback of the all-metal slide, so the recoil will be there. The pistol comes with a realistic-looking weathered finish. There is more to say, but right now I am offering extra credit to the first person who can correctly explain the title of this paragraph, and relate it to today’s report.

Description

The We The People pistol copies Sig’s rendition of a 1911 firearm pistol. It is not identical to the Colt design, and the most significant departure is the external extractor that is seen behind the ejection port in the slide. You can see it in the image at the top of this report.

Sig 1911s

Sig produces a line of 1911-style firearms, including a We The People version. That pistol is made of stainless steel with the same distressed finish that you see on the BB pistol. The grips are aluminum with 50 stars (25 on each side) for the 50 United States. On the left side of the frame they have engraved 1776 and on the right side the first words of the preamble of the U.S. Constitution — “We the people.” That is a big clue to the question posed in the first paragraph.

Grip safety

You will pay over $1,400 for the .45 caliber Sig firearm, so $100 for the BB pistol seems inexpensive. Yet even at this low price the gun comes with a working grip safety. The 1911 is famous for all the safety features it has, and the grip safety is one of them. The grip safety must be depressed in order for the gun to fire when the trigger is squeezed, and the best way to do that is to have the gun in your hand. In later years (1970s?) it was discovered that some people’s hands were not able to reliably depress the grip safety far enough for the gun to fire, so aftermarket designers put a raised projection that’s known as a “speed bump” on the safety. The extra height of the bump ensures the safety will get depressed.

We The People pistol grip safety
The grip safety has a speed bump (arrow).

Night sights

The Sig firearm comes with tritium-equipped night sights that glow in the dark. I have them on my 1911 from Wilson Combat and they really do work. The radioactive tritium gas in the three dots (two in the rear and one up front) allows them to glow in absolute darkness for about 25 years.

The BB pistol does not have night sights. You wouldn’t expect a hundred-dollar pistol to have a set of hundred-dollar sights! It does, however, have three white dots that represent the night sights on the firearm. When you sight you put all three dots in a straight line under your target.

Controls

All the controls work. Besides the grip safety there is the slide release, the magazine release and the manual safety, which on this pistol is ambidextrous. That’s another big feature, because ambidextrous safeties are not universal on BB and pellet guns. And this one is wide enough for your thumb, which on the firearm helps control the recoil.

The magazine release drops the mag straight down from the grip frame for both loading the BBs and for installing a fresh CO2 cartridge. The BB mag is in the front of the mag assembly and the follower stays down while you reload! That’s another positive feature of this pistol.

We The People pistol drop free mag
Push the release button behind the trigger and the mag drops out.

We The People pistol magazine
The magazine holds both the BBs and the CO2 cartridge.

We The People pistol follower down
The magazine follower stays down on its own.

Field strip

Someone who knows airgunners is advising Sig how to source their airguns, because this pistol can be fully field stripped. I know that’s not unique in the world of BB pistols, but it’s also not universal. Sig even put the instructions for field stripping right in the manual, for those who haven’t been trained. Other manufacturers aren’t paying attention to details like this that make or break their sales in the airgun world.

We The People pistol field stripped
The pistol comes apart as quick and easy as a 1911 firearm. Yes there are more parts here, but the crucial ones are all represented.

Manual

I want to say one more thing about the manual. It’s all in English! No combing through arcane languages to find the words you can read. Everything in the manual is written for you! It feels like 1960 again! That’s a big deal to me, because it shows the manufacturer cares about the customer.

Realism

This pistol weighs 2 lbs. 4.5 oz. with a CO2 cartridge installed. My loaded 1911 weighs 2 lbs. 8.4 oz. The difference is almost insignificant. I’m saying this pistol feels like a firearm.

I know 1911s and this one is very close to the firearm. I haven’t mentioned this yet, but I’m planning on a special series on using airguns as trainers for defense firearms. We have had lookalike airguns for a long time, but until recently they haven’t been completely faithful to the firearms they copied. Now they are.

You know about the ASG CZ75 SP-01 Shadow BB pistol I’m testing. And perhaps you remember me mention that I’m buying the firearm to go along with that test. CZ USA has not answered any of my emails or phone messages, so I just bought the gun outright on Gun Broker. Sig, on the other hand, has bent over backwards to supply me with a Sig P365 firearm and BB pistol. I don’t have them yet, but Sig tells me they are coming soon.

It would be a little too cheeky for me to get a We The People 1911 firearm from Sig just for this test, but I have many 1911s that I can press into service. Perhaps a genuine 1918 Colt from my collection would be most appropriate?

The plan

When I have these three airguns fully tested, along with their representative firearms, I plan on writing a feature article for Firearms News on the feasibility of using airguns for self defense training. We have talked about this for years, and many who haven’t actually looked into it think it’s already possible. Now, I’m going to do it!

These guns weigh almost the same, handle the same and fit in the same holsters as the firearms they copy. In fact I plan on using the Sig 365 9mm pistol for my primary concealed carry weapon, which means it’s going in an ankle holster! The BB pistol will, too.

I plan to shoot at defense targets with both firearms and BB guns. I’ll scale the range and target size down for the BB guns, but the point will be to see how much training value these guns really offer. That should be an interesting report!

69 thoughts on “We The People BB pistol: Part 1

  1. E plebnista. See old Star Trek episode Old Glory. To recite the words without understanding the meaning. In this case We The People. As a nation we have forgot that the government is to serve the people not the people serve the government. We are no longer the home of the free and the land of the brave. We are the home of the politically correct and the land of the medioca.

    BB, if to political, please delete.

    Thanks, Jim




    • Jim, you nailed it; too many young people with whom I work have no sense of history! They think socialism is “cool,” while they are clueless about the Cold War we fought to keep Communism out of our country. I’m thinking about becoming a history teacher when I retire…but I’m not sure any schools would want to hire me (i.e. to speak the truth about our great country!). Thank you.
      take care,
      dave



        • Kevin,

          I see your Maggie Thatcher, and I raise you a Winston Churchill: “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”

          Oh, just one more, by Smedley Butler: “I served in all commissioned ranks from a second Lieutenant to a Major General. And during that time, I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.

          Michael


      • Socialism and communism are two different things. One can be pro-socialism and anti-communism. I well remember the cold war with Russia. MY dad, who worked at Boeing, was offered a job working on the Minuteman missile silos all over the mid west. I was in third grade when we left Seattle and moved to, in order, Great Falls Montana, Rapid City South Dakota, Parshall North Dakota, and, finally, Warrensburg Missouri. “Duck and cover.”, and all that.



    • That completely defeated my Star Trek knowledge. Incidentally, I see from Google that the episode was called Omega Glory. Anyway, it is another stunning example of Hodgkin’s Theory of Parallel Planet development, and the weightlifters they recruited for the Yang tribe are pretty impressive. It is also a case of William Shatner showing the histrionic chops that led to the record he released with Leonard Nimoy with Nimoy singing surprisingly good renditions of country western songs like Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town and Shatner doing recitations of Beatle’s songs. One of the Amazon reviews of this record said: “Never in my life have I heard anything as ridiculous as this record. I laughed non-stop for 45 minutes and almost suffocated.”

      Anyway, that is an impressive rendition of the 1911. Distressed is the word for that finish which looks like it has been through the entire Pacific War. I’ve found that the speed bump is an absolute necessity if you are going to hook the thumb over the manual safety and even then I can’t always make it work. Another way around the grip safety is the method of the Texas Rangers in the 1930s which was to tie it down with a rawhide thong. I’m very much looking forward to the test of the CZ SP-01. But a word of warning. I found the factory trigger unsatisfactory, and the somewhat expensive trigger job to be well worth it.

      Thanks for the good wishes for my arm. Shootski, the only methods I’ve seen for working the slide of a semi-auto are pretty far out like pushing it on a kydex holster or on your belt or clothing or even kicking it with your foot. I think I’ll wait this one out. I believe my first shots will be with my IZH61 whose light weight is perfect for starting up.

      Matt61


      • Matt SixOne,

        I guess I have been blessed with a perfect 1911 hand(s) I have never had a problem, ever, with and without a speed bump on the grip safety of various 1911.

        Wow! Kicking the slide, that’s a new one for me! I’ll need to practice that maybe, after some serious thinking about the training danger-benefit tradeoffs! There are modified rear sights/slides that facilitate furniture and other surface slide racking one handed. But unless you are talking self-defense and not just plinking and target shooting my wish is for your completely recovery soonest!

        shootski


        • Yeah, that was a new one to me too. I saw it on a DVD with Vladimir Vasiliev, Russian super-commando. He was holding a Berretta 92 hanging down in his right hand, then he just kicked backwards with his right foot and worked the slide perfectly. But the man is a physical genius.

          Matt61


          • Matt&Shootski,
            I got to carry a 1911 as my duty pistol in the military and had to qualify with one. The ones we shot at the range would barely keep all the shots on a full sized silhouette at 25 yards. It was not until years later that I learned of the militaries acceptable level of accuracy. By then I was committed to not owning one of those inaccurate 1911’s. This is why I have not been interested in the powder burning version. I got a Sig 220 instead.
            Gerald


            • My civilian model 1911xxx shoots just fine, and is reliable. It’s a Colt model. However, when a bad guy smashes through my door at night (already happened once- I was only 22 and it was Nov 1st 1976), I’ll probably grab my old Charter Arms Bulldog Pug in .44 special. I think the .45acp and .44 special are in the same ball park. The Pug is the only firearm I keep loaded all the time.





  2. BB
    Very generous with pics today. Enjoy the close ups and break down.

    I have the Sig 1911 with the lower rail, skeletonized trigger and wrap around grip cover and it has absolutely no white print on it except for the decorative SIG SAUER 1911 logo and .45ACP. It was definitely a reason I chose it over others. Both made in Taiwan. Wish they would get their act together and stop highlighting all the info on these. Especially a commemorative version that’s meant to look old. It ruins it.

    Attach a plastic flag or something to the trigger guard with all that warning and manufacturer info on it instead. They could even say “It’s against the law to remove this label” and absolutely nobody would. That way we will all be saved from ourselves, forever and ever.


  3. B.B.,

    While not my cup of tea,.. very impressive. Even the magazine is distressed on the part that can’t be seen when installed. Like you said, attention to the details. The stripped down picture is fascinating all by itself.

    Good Day to you and to all,…. Chris


  4. BB,

    As Chris said, this is not my cup of tea, but I am quite impressed with the construction of it. It would likely feel right at home in my hand.


  5. B.B.,

    Looks like Ed Schultz is heavily influencing Sig’s entry into the airgun field. What struck me most is that they took out the additional safety in the safety (https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2017/08/sig-sauer-spartan-bb-pistol-part-1/) which I think got a lot of attention and contributed to decreased sales. The sourcing of a base air pistol that can be taken apart and the plain English manual could also probably attributed to him. Crosman really ought to be watching their backs. Next thing you know Sig will be offering spare parts and a Custom Shop.

    Siraniko



    • Siraniko,

      The Spartan is made by a company in Japan, as is the Daisy/Winchester Model 11 and some others. All of these use the stick magazine and mostly are cosmetic differences. The palm safety’s are purely cosmetic and they all have that annoying safety in the safety.

      The We The People 1911 is made in Taiwan by KWC. There are several variations on the base model as well. They are use the drop magazine that contains the co2 cartridge and the bb’s. Plus the safety’s work authentically.

      ~ken


      • Kenholmz,

        That’s why B.B. remarked that somebody had been advising them where to source this pistol. It was definitely done right, down to the fine details including the instructions. I think this will be the a Gold Standard for the 1911 lookalikes for now.

        Siraniko


        • Siraniko,

          You are absolutely right. I am glad Sig Sauer and the KWS distributor have made peace with each other. A little over a year ago Sig Sauer sued Cybergun for breach of contract.
          Have a good weekend.

          ~ken




      • BB
        I know. And believe me I like these type of action replica guns. They get the job done for what they are. I like air soft guns just for that reason too.

        I just wish they could stretch out a little farther in distance. I would really like to see some action replica guns like this that would shoot pellets. Maybe just so they could be accurate a little farther out.

        That way the gun could be related to a firearm pistol training distance. And come to think about it. Which isn’t that much of a farther distances. They usually practice in the 10-50 yard distance for the most part.

        Just me again. But it’s what I would like to see.


      • BB.,

        During my most recent concealed carry course our Utah instructor covered actual engagement distances and stressed the knife wielding assailant(s) senario. The point made was that most occurred at those lower distances you gave and we all need to practice our draw, presentation and shoot decision skills more to be able to defeat the cutting edge/stabbing implement wielding aggressor! Not to speak of the actual shooter senarios down to full contact engagements.

        His parting shot was that if we didn’t we needed to pray we always just needed to deal with video game/Hollywood movie trained assailants.

        The ambi thumb safety is nice! I found most of the replicas can’t be fitted with them. Most folks don’t train weak hand!

        One question…actually two: Are the sights adjustable/removable? Will you be testing with frangible bbs?

        shootski


  6. Thought I would mention this.

    Just checked and the Fortitude got pushed back to the 27th of this month. Was suppose to be available the 5th of this month if I remember right.

    Figured that was going to happen.

    And nothing on the Sortie-tact yet that I’m still interested in.



  7. The Texas Airgun Show will be giving away (3!) of the SIG We The People BB Pistols. Just one more reason to come on out and have a great day looking at, shooting, buying and selling airguns.
    Jeff


  8. B.B.,

    This is an interesting addition to the KWC 1911 group. I notice one thing about the drop down magazine. It appears to be the same one for my Colt Commander, the Tanfaglio Witness and others. I have no problems locking the spring loader to the keeper, but mine doesn’t have the drilled section, just above the keeper, that creates a hole to drop the bb’s into. I have even thought of drilling that hole for myself, but without the proper equipment I would just be minus one magazine.

    ~ken


  9. BB

    I have a question that has nothing to do with the topic. I can’t find any report to reply to. Here goes.
    Why do some air rifles need to be warmed up to get expected accuracy? Latent tension in barrel manufacturing comes to mind but heat may hurt rather than help relieve tension.

    Decksniper


    • Decksniper
      My thought is more with the power plant.

      Like spring guns and the piston seal. And some pcp’s need the valve knocked. Multi-pumps and the valve and piston. Then Co2 guns with the Co2 transfer.

      But I’m sure the barrel has something to do with it too. Especially heat and sizing.


      • Gunfun1

        Expect a chrono would help pin point power plant issues with velocity variation. I just don’t have a good place for one. Also the M8 is the only rifle I have that wouldn’t do an inch or better at 25 yards. Hoping it too will if I can confirm the 10 shot group. I did get another sub one inch group but only after several attempts. When you say sizing, are you referring to lead sizing in lands and grooves?

        Decksniper


    • Decksniper,

      The topic has been discussed many times over the years. The only thing that has ever made sense to me is lubricant redistibution; especially now that we have three very popular powerplants with examples occasionally exibiting the same first shot(s) inaccuracy. I think the cooling of the expanding gas (CO2 obviously expected) negates any heating of the barrel by friction. The chamber of a spring/gas piston airguns may be heated but slow shot cycle would probably negate that avenue.
      Wonder if there would be a at to isolate all the first shot variables to find out!

      shootski


      • Shootski

        I get the first shot flier most everytime with some exceptions. I usually just aim at some harmless place for the first pellet, especially if using peep sights and not seeing the POI. But 10 or even 20 shots before settling down is my M8.

        Thanks,
        Decksniper


        • Decksniper
          The M8 I had was terrible for breech lock up consistency.

          At first it was pretty accurate. But as I got more time on it. It got worse. You could wiggle the barrel after it locked up. And if I remember right the reason I got rid of it was because there was no way to tighten it up like on Weirauch break barrels.

          Does the breech move on your M8?


          • Gunfun1

            My M8 barrel lockup is tight so far. The lockup design may inevitably cause it to fail in time. No way to tighten it.
            I am just driven to get this rifle to reach its potential. I need to also say I really put the TIAT on and inside the spring coil. It is so quiet my kitties snore sleeping next to it. That likely slowed down the fps but the drop at 25 yards is only normal and vertical stringing is not a problem.

            Decksniper

            Decksniper


            • Decksniper
              So the tiat helped quiet it. Did it slow down the bump?

              And come to think about it I did cut the spring in mine to zero preload. That did help it accuracy wise for a while till the barrel started getting loose.


  10. Pretty windy today so after I finished detailing my truck (a two day job) I finished my shooting bench by covering the table with an old army blanket. Should wear like iron, I also semi permanently attached the dumb end of the measuring tape to the front of the bench.



      • Micheal
        I used an old chargrill brand double grill frame. I did have to tack weld all the connections to get it ridged enough. It even has a hitch so I can pull it around the yard with my mower.
        Carl



    • Carl,

      The rifle in the rest looks very “familiar”,… just sayin’. 😉

      Nice set up. That is a good pic and loaded with ideas. Comfy chair is nice. I use markers in the woods that can be seen at 100 yards. For the yard, I use those roofing? nails that have the orange plastic washers on them. Stick them in the ground and you can mow right over them, but still see them to place out a target at a fixed range. In my case,.. up to 31 yards. Beyond that, is woods.



        • Jim,

          I did. And the LGU. Both went to good homes. Both to regular poster’s right here.

          Bottom line,.. they were not getting shot much. They deserved better as they are both fine springers.

          While not intended, I started to “just look” at the upper end stuff/brands for something ambi. as I shoot left. PCP. Not as easy as you might think for an (all) true ambi..

          Check out the Daystate Red Wolf Serri Rosso. In .25 high power. That is the latest (and last?) toy in the stable.

          Good to hear from you,… take care,… Chris




  11. Chris
    Yes the finest gun I own thanks to you! I have 50 yds shooting inside the barn 20 inside the rest outside but when the wind is from a southern direction the doors create a Venturi effect really accelerating the wind so no shooting today. It’s was just too hot to go outside.
    Carl



  12. I hate to get off subject by getting back to subject. A good way to build an airgun library is to search the classified sections of airgun forums. I have acquired quite a few. Blue book 1-5. American airguns by James House. Also a couple of others. Don’t forget airgun magazines such as Airgun Hobbiest. One of the UK mags is available at “Books a million”.


  13. TJ,

    “I hate to get off subject,…. but by getting back to subject”,….. well said. I mean really,.. we need (someone) here to keep us all “on track” after all. The good Lord knows that it goes off track often enough. Then again,… that may be a good thing? Maybe?

    Good library building tips,… Chris


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