Sig Air M17 ProForce airsoft pistol: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig M17 Proforce airsoft pistol
Sig M17 ProForce airsoft pistol.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • SIG ProForce M17
  • The test
  • The BBs I tested
  • Today’s test
  • First up — Sig BBs
  • TSD 0.20-gram BBs
  • Valken Infinity 0.25-gram BB
  • Hand-held
  • Proof of the pudding
  • Summary

I haven’t written a lot about airsoft in the recent past, but this report has turned out to be a pivotal one. Today I will show you proof of the claims I have made about the potential for airsoft accuracy.

SIG ProForce M17

This is about the SigAir ProForce M17 airsoft pistol. It has a retail price of $180, so it’s more than a toy. This pistol is a serious one for serious users, which for a pistol like this are skirmishers first, followed by action pistol competitors. And, lest we forget, it’s also a fine training tool for anyone who carries the firearm. I think you’ll see support for all of that today.

The test

In Part 4 I tested the pistol at 10 meters using the CO2 magazine that comes with it. We saw accuracy as good as 5 shots in about two inches, which Sig confirmed was their expectation. But I have shot a lot of higher-level airsoft in the past and, if there is one thing I know for sure, a gun that’s powered by both CO2 and green gas will usually be the most accurate with green gas. CO2 is just too powerful for the finest accuracy. However, having said that, two inches at 10 meters is more than enough to satisfy this pistol’s performance requirements.

The BBs I tested

I also told you in Part 4 that at the slower velocities green gas achieves we might see a change in the BBs this pistol prefers. From the Part 3 test we had narrowed it down to the Infinity 0.25-gram biodegradable BB and the Valken Accelerate 0.25-gram BB that is also biodegradable. But in Part 4 when I started adjusting the Hop-Up, the Accelerate BB fell by the wayside — leaving the Infinity BB as the clear front runner.

Today I selected the unbranded 0.20-gram BBs SigAir sent with the test pistol, and the 0.20-gram TSD Tactical BBs. At the lower velocity from green gas I wanted to see whether either of these BBs would shine. I also selected the 0.25-gram Valken Infinity BB and the Valken 0.25-gram Accelerate BB, simply to see whether they were still accurate at the lower velocity. I say lower, but in the Part 2 velocity test the 0.25-gram BBs were still shooting at 310+ f.p.s. That’s not really slow in the world of airsoft pistols.

Today’s test

Today I shot the pistol from a bench at 10 meters. I began with the bottom of the pistol grip resting on the sandbag, but I did change holds as the test progressed. I will tell you when that happened.

I charged the green gas magazine with gas after every 10 shots to keep velocity constant, however I discovered something important. I had been charging with the magazine laying on a table and that was giving me a lot of gas blow-by. I felt I was wasting as much gas as I was using. When I picked up the magazine in one hand and held the green gas can in the other my seal became more effective and the blow-by was reduced. There may be more than 10 effective shots on green gas when you fill the mag this way.

First up — Sig BBs

First to be tested were Sig’s unbranded 0.20-gram BBs. On CO2 eight out of ten of these went into a 2.452-inch group at 10 meters. I wasn’t adjusting the Hop-Up when I shot that group, and it was hitting high on the target paper. That other two BBs hit off the paper. In this test I just shot 5 BBs and they landed in a 1.903-inch group at 10 meters — not that much better than the CO2 group that had more shots. This may not be the best BB for this particular pistol.

Sig BB group
The ProForce M17 put 5 Sig 0.20-gram BBs in 1.903-inches at 10 meters.

TSD 0.20-gram BBs

Next I shot 5 TSD 0.20-gram Tactical BBs at the target. The first five missed the target altogether, so I reloaded and shot a second five. I thought they were landing too high, so I held under and indeed they were. A couple nicked the top edge of the target paper.

Once I knew that I adjusted the Hop-Up to lower the rounds, but they still weren’t landing on the paper. I dialed the Hop-Up as low as it would go and even the third set of 5 BBs missed the target paper altogether. At that point I abandoned the TSD BB for this pistol.

Valken Infinity 0.25-gram BB

The next BB I tried was the 0.25-gram Infinity biodegradable BB from Valken. The first 5 I shot gave a group that measured over 2-inches between centers, and that’s when I decided to try a different hold. The first five also landed high on the target, so I adjusted the Hop-Up back down a bit.

Hand-held

This time I held the pistol in two hands in a modified tactical grip, with the left or off hand pressing the pistol back into the right hand. My left arm rested on the sandbag for stability, but the gun was ahead of the bag and didn’t touch it. And here it is, guys! Five shots landed in 0.8-inches at 10 meters. Now, THAT is what an accurate airsoft pistol can do!

Infinity BB group 1
This, ladies and gentlemen, is what an accurate airsoft pistol can do! Five Valken Infinity biodegradable 0.25-gram BBs went into 0.80-inches at 10 meters. This isn’t the 5 meters at which we shoot BB guns. This is a full 10 meters, which is 33 feet.

Proof of the pudding

When I saw that group I decided not to test the other Valken BB. The Infinity is the BB for this pistol for both CO2 and green gas. I was tiring from firing a lot of shots by this point in the test, but I had to know that this tiny group wasn’t just a fluke. It is only 5 shots, after all. I had to know if this group was representative.

Since the last group hit a little low on the target I adjusted the Hop-Up back up about 1/6 turn. And that moved the center of the next group up by 3-3/4-inches at 10 meters. So — with this BB the Hop-Up adjustment is super responsive!

The second group measures 1.21-inches between centers. That is larger than the last one, but it’s still quite small when SigAir says to expect 2-inch five-shot groups. Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have discovered the best BB for the M17, and it’s the best with both power sources, which makes it even better.

Infinity BB group 2
The second time I tried a 5-shot group with the Infinity BBs five went into 1.21-inches at 10 meters. This is the BB for this pistol!

Summary

I gave the SigAir ProForce M17 airsoft pistol a very thorough test and discovered a lot of things. First of all, it is super realistic. And that is exactly what a skirmisher or someone using it to train with wants. The heft, the look and even the weight are all spot on. For those who live in areas where it is impossible to own the Sig firearm, this is as close as you can get — which is exactly the point of the whole airsoft industry!

Next let’s talk about the trigger. I own the Sig P320 M17 9mm firearm and can tell you that the trigger on this pistol is better than the one on that handgun! The two are very close, but the edge definitely goes to this airsoft gun.

While SigAir recommends 0.20-gram BBs for this pistol, I found that this one I’m testing works better with 0.25-gram BBs, and that was with both gasses. Specifically, I found that Falken Infinity 0.25-gram biodegradable BBs worked the best.

Infinity BBs
Just so you know — these are the BBs that did the best in all my tests.

In today’s test I discovered that the M17 likes to be hand held. I had tried that previously, but not the way I tried it today. Today’s hold was more of a tactical hold and it was rock-solid.

The Hop-Up on this pistol really works well! Over the years I have used all kinds of Hop-Up mechanisms. Some control the flight of the BB in all directions, and the guns that do that usually shoot their BBs to the left or right until they are adjusted. The Hop-Up in the ProForce M17 works to raise or lower the strike of the BB. There is a tiny bit of left and right movement as you adjust up and down, but it is so small that it doesn’t look intentional. The pistol shoots pretty close to center anyhow, so up and down are all you need. Just remember what I said if you get one — this Hop-Up is really sensitive.

As far as gasses go I think SigAir got it right. For skirmishing, where you want a lot of shots with decent accuracy, CO2 is more desirable. For training you also want a realistic number of shots and the M17 mag duplicates the number of cartridges held by a standard mag in the firearm. Therefore CO2 is the gas most people will want most of the time. The slight accuracy edge of green gas will not matter to either discipline, so use the gun straight out of the box and forget about the green gas mag.

On the other hand, for action pistol shooting, where accuracy is more important, go with the green gas mag. Get additional mags so you can swap during a match course and I think you can count on 15 good shots if you take my advice about using your hands to hold the gun when filling.

If airsoft intrigues you, this is a good pistol to watch!

34 thoughts on “Sig Air M17 ProForce airsoft pistol: Part 5


  1. BB,

    I have to admit, that is decent accuracy.

    A friend of mine is into paintball and tells me of incredible accuracy at considerable ranges with some of their guns.

    I myself am not into the lookalikes or skirmishing, but I can see why some enjoy such.

    Fun Shoot at Lloyd’s this Saturday. It will be a little chilly but it should be a great time anyway.



    • GF1,

      I have a thick cardboard box. On the target side I cut a large square hole that the target goes over. I tape the target to the box. The back of the box is still solid, but some of thew BBs go though after awhile. So there is a second identical box behind the first one and it’s stuffed with brown shipping paper.

      I use kitty litter boxes that are always on hand.

      B.B.


      • BB
        The reason I ask is some air soft guns don’t make enough power to make it through the target paper and a backer. Even card board backing.

        So I was wondering how you was able to get I guess what I’ll say is accurate groups. If the paper flexes and such if there is not a solid backer behind the target it might not be the true group size. Depending on that maybe the groups could be better with the right backer. Or worse.


        • Gunfun1,

          I use a big Cheerios box, notch the sides to hang a old hand towel on a dowel down inside. My CO2 powered Tangfolio 1911 has no problem punching 25gram through the target paper, front of the box, and the hanging towel stops them cold. My wife will place the box(s) around the house and shuts off the lights and goes to the bedroom. I use a red (preserves Night Vision) lens 900CP Instant on/Strobe weak-hand-held flashlight to search for and shoot them. Wish I could get some Tritium Sights/Dot Sight in GREEN on an AirSoft but haven’t found any manufacturers informed enough to offer the option(s)…are you listening SIGAir?

          shootski


          • Shootski
            Yep know what your saying. But sort of inline of what I’m talking about.

            Here this first. My target backer for my pellet and rimfire rifles is finished wrapped with black Gorilla tape. And I pull it tight when I’m putting it on.

            So that leaves a nice solid backing for my target paper to go on. When I shoot my target paper it’s nice and flat and stretched tight over the Gorilla tape. That target papers not moving.

            So what I’m getting at is if a air soft target is draped over a opening or even cardboard the target paper might flex around. And that would have to do something to the group you shot.

            As far as BB’s good group and the one he shot afterwards was good. To me they aren’t very consistent. If a gun is good it won’t have variances. I myself would be shooting alot more groups before I could say what that pistol is really doing. And back on the subject I’m talking about. Did how the target paper was attached make a difference in group size?


            • Gunfun1,

              I agree that just clipping or stapling a paper target to a backerboard might effect the measured group size. I think B.B.s groups (the two groups of 5 with his pick Airsoft round) are not nearly enough to show a bankable Probability Of Containment (POC) ellipses. But it does show enough accuracy for the typical use of the SIGAir M17 Trainer. I guess if you want to compete with the Airsoft M17 you would be doing all the testing that Gunfun1 (respectfully intended; RidgeRunner might say anally…) typically does with EVERYTHING, Lol!

              I expect to hear from RR for the above….

              shootski


              • Shootski
                I guess what it all comes down to is I want to know how accurate a gun is and if it can do that repeatedly for how I intend to use it.

                In this case. Eliminate the variable of I think I’ll say, a (flexing) target.

                What this is all stemming from is I had some note book paper draped from strings attached to the top corners of the paper hanging from the ceiling in the basement at my other house. So basically the paper would move or (flex) when it was hit by the airsoft ball.

                I went as far as bench resting the pistol down there at about 12 yards. The pistol would shoot different size groups depending on what location I was aiming at on the paper. The group’s grew if I aimed at the bottom of the paper. The group’s shrunk when I aimed at the top of the paper. Especially if I shot close to where the string that hung the target was attached. So that’s what I was getting at today. Oh and to note there was multiple pieces of paper hanging up and it was like a mini indoor fast action course set up. The papers were hanging at different heights and locations. Another thing I did with my daughters and wife when the kids were younger. It was fun time for them. Little did they know what ole dad was up to. 🙂

                And this is me. In the end I want to know how a specific gun shoots in different circumstances. And target placement would definitely come into play. Maybe I’m being to anal right now. Hey what can I say. All in the name of accuracy. 🙂



                • Chris USA,

                  I read it with interest. He is into some heavy speculation. Of course the entire field of low velocity is ripe with speculation by many practitioners. My take without getting all scientific is that with Mass increase you can go with lower RPS (Rotations Per Second) and with length you need more RPS to stabilize. Pellets are all over the place as far as aerodynamics, SD (Sectional Density,) Form Factor, CG (Center of Gravity,) CM (Center of Mass [further broken down to dynamic as well as static]) and finally CP (Center of Pressure [which is also different in the dynamic depending on velocity]) whereas a sphere is a sphere is a sphere. I think any equating of Diabolo pellets with Round Ball is a stretch too far. I think the physical effects of the air on a shape traveling through it is effected not only by the scale of it as well as the velocity of said object. In a nutshell I think smallbore Diabolo pellets have not been studied well (scientifically) or very much until very recently and the manufacturers who are doing are very closely guarding their findings.

                  You recall; I continue to learn!

                  shootski



  2. $180…?!
    How many rounds will it produce before it coughs up the jewels? 50K? It is a Sig after all..
    Does it get repaired or does it get replaced I wonder. Does a real one produce those tight
    patterns? My Broom handel Mauser replica shoots as well and is still going strong and it rips out full auto too,
    but the ergonomics suck. Good suger high tho. The Izzy 46m is looking real nice right now. I love the ergo’s of the cocking handel on that one, good for right or left handed shooters.
    Nice shooting, as usual B.B.
    Rob



    • 1stblue,

      “How many rounds will it produce before it coughs up the jewels? 50K? It is a Sig after all..”

      The way I understand it most of the JEWELS are contained in the magazine so you buy a replacement.

      “Does it get repaired or does it get replaced I wonder.”
      See above answer.

      “Does a real one produce those tight patterns?”
      B.B. will need to answer that on how he does with his Firearm M17…I suspect at 10 meters he can do better with the firearm especially now that he will use a two-handed hold!!!!

      As tight as the ones you can shoot with the airsoft…after all we are talking ONLY 10 meters…not barn doors at 100, Lol!!!

      shootski


      • shootski,

        Back when I competed I could out-shoot the guys who held two-handed. I can’t do that anymore. Wah!

        I haven’t shot the P320 M17 enough yet to tell you what sort of groups I can get. I did manage to knock down a row of 6-inch steel plates at 15 yards though!

        B.B.


        • B.B.,

          “Wah!”

          I know the feeling all too well!
          But with age, I have learned, we just need to be sly, devious and hold with two hands to put them in their places!

          You got the Ladies and Gentlemen in the body but you need to add Ladies to the HAND HELD photograph Caption! Don’t upset and neglect your women readership; you know they are out there! More and more of them are getting trained at the range I shoot at!

          shootski


  3. B.B.,

    I have always read that heavier Airsoft “BBs” are more accurate than lighter ones. One theory is that in order to be heavier, they are manufactured to have fewer and smaller gaps inside them. Theoretically, that would reduce imbalances in the sphere and make them spin and fly more true.

    Because this is a CO2 pistol, it should be able to launch .30g, .32g and .36g ammo without breaking a sweat. It would be very interesting to see how it shoots with, say, WE or Swiss Arms .36g “BBs.”

    Michael



      • B.B.,

        8^D

        I have read tales (perhaps tall, perhaps of, uh, accurate height) of very high-end airsoft rifles being remarkably accurate at pretty long distances with the heaviest of airsoft “BBs.” So, I thought, why not see what they might do for the accuracy of a fine quality high-velocity CO2 airsoft pistol at shorter distances? I’ve purchased a few springer airsoft pistols and have been pleased with the accuracy of a couple of them at 15 – 20 feet, but I’ve never had the opportunity to try out a CO2 one with the heavy ammo they can handle.

        Michael


  4. B.B.
    Since good design is timeless, can a banned airgun be rebranded in another country and then
    imported here? Seems like there’s a market for a classic like the IZH 46. Free market forces say that
    the cost of labor precludes manufacture of such a pistol today anywhere except a third world country,
    like California, or China I suppose.
    Ha Ha.
    Rob


    • Rob,

      You mean “knock off” the design? The problem is, you can’t also knock off the quality of the workmanship or of the barrel, and those things are what makes the pistol.

      It would be like a wedding cake made by the three stooges. 😉

      B.B.



  5. I hate to speak for someone else, but what I thought Rob was asking was whether the izzy could be shipped to another country and then rebranded so that it could then be legally imported here. I suppose that if it could, it would already be happening.
    ed


    • Ed,

      He might have been, but that could run afoul of our State Department. If they found out about it they might let a few in, then shut them down, fine the importer and leave the rebrander stuck with guns they couldn’t sell here after all their rework.

      B.B.


  6. B.B. and readership,

    I was watching the news and got fed up listening to the misinformation so I looked in on Shooting Sports Illustrated and found this gem: https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2019/10/4/a-short-history-of-pistol-shooting-techniques/
    I kept on thinking while reading that it was interesting but the timeline of the author was somehow off. Obviously one or more of my fellow readers of the pics felt similarly. If you shoot pistols you may find the first few comments more interesting than the article!

    A good Shoot House or Shoot Town with a SIGAir M17 AirSoft is a step closer for training before stepping in harm’s way.

    shootski


  7. B.B.,
    Are the grip modules interchangeable between the firearm and the airsoft? I use a small sized grip module on my real steel m17 and would like to get the airsoft m17 to help with training. If i can put a firearm grip module on the airsoft gun, it would make the training even closer to the real deal. Thanks.


Leave a Reply