If we can find a gun whose history is almost useless to write about anymore, it is the SA Colt 1911 pistol. It came from the kitchen of design genius John Moses Browning.
One of the most sophisticated clones of this pistol was produced by the Swiss-German gunmaker SIG Sauer and was a significant commercial success.
And because SIG also sells air and CO2 weapons, it was only a matter of time before this CO2 version of its pistol appeared on the market. And even in an attractive limited design that recalls the founding of the USA.
SIG SAUER 1911 PISTOL = SLIDE with surprise
I approached the 1911 pistol like any other replica. That is, until I pulled the slide back. Most replicas like this have a fixed barrel. But this 1911 has a barrel that is seemingly movable, as well as a original.
After the shot, when the slide is thrown back, it carries the "locked" smoothbore, or rather just its jacket, along its approx. 6 mm path. When it drops out of the locking ribs, the whole system is disconnected.
When the slide moves forward and the muzzle picks up a BB from the magazine and slides it into the chamber of the fixed barrel, the casing is locked into the ribs again by the action of the slide. This gives a perfect illusion of the mechanics as we know from real fire arm.
The pistol body with roughened front and back of the grip is an intricately shaped cast of non-magnetic metal. It hides a container of the same material with guide grooves for the slide.
At the rear, above the beavertail palm safety, is a hammer with a lightened, roughened thumb stud. This is operated only in SA mode, by a moon-shaped trigger blade moving in a small trigger guard.
The blade itself, labeled "Skeletonized Trigger", allows for smooth triggering at any position of the index finger on it. On the back of the trigger guard we find the magazine release button. This is designed for the thumb of the right hand only. The safety on the rear of the body is already ambidextrous.
On the underside (or inside – depends on the point of view) of the handle is the magazine well. This holds the magazine system. It consists of a cartridge compartment, an overflow valve and a BBs magazine with a feeder. The slide, moving in the outer grooves of the body, carries the entire recoil mechanism.
These provide the "lock", slide and drop of the barrel. On the outside, the distinctive fingerboard grooves with imitation of the extractor on the right side with the greatly enlarged ejection window looks stunnigly good. The fixed sights, both foresight and backsight, have a point of aim pattern accentuated by white dots.
WE THE PEOPLE AND ABOVE US THE STARRY FLAG
The finish and decoration of the pistol are in this starry spirit. Its surface has a grey-black patina. Exceptions are the barrel collar, chamber, sight and all controls. These are in black semi-gloss. On the left side of the slide is the inscription SIG SAUER 1911 with the date 1776. This is the year the United States declared its independence from Great Britain on July 4. That these were the 13 colonies at the time is indicated by the circle of the same number of stars in front of the fixed visor.
On the right side we find the inscription "WE THE PEOPLE", which are the first words of the preamble of the Constitution of the United States of America. The metal gun handle refer to the Stars and Stripes flag. Each side of the handle bears 25 five-pointed stars, giving the total of the present number of states in the union.
Other less decorative and fortunately bland markings are on the left side of the body. These are the calibre, the usual F in a pentagon, and the serial number. On the right side, the standard safety notice and the manufacturer's name, "MADE IN TAIWAN". This is where SIG Sauer has some of its air guns assembled.
Sig 1911 in our video:
THE ILLUSION IS ALMOST PERFECT
In the introduction we have already described the perfect function of the slide with a short backward movement of the barrel. The realistic disassembly of the weapon must be praised as well. The magazine is ejected from the handle, therefore is pistol incapable of firing. Then move the slide backwards to a position where the disassembly pin/bolt catch can be slid out of the body via the recess located under the first seven sign "1776".
Slide itself move forward out of the guide grooves. Then squeeze the recoil spring support under the barrel mouth and, after turning, release and disassemble the barrel sleeve. This releases the spring that secures the barrel "shroud". Of course, this is not present in a real fire arm.
Release the guide with the return spring and through the slide forehead move out the casing/barrel with the drop control system. Being a curious creature, I unscrewed the four Allen screws and removed the calipers. This allowed a view of the combined leaf spring and trigger pull, bypassing the magazine well on both sides. So again, almost exactly the same as a real original.
THE SHOOTING OF THE SIG 1911 IS THE REAL ICING ON THE CAKE
It can be practiced virtually anywhere. As long as we don't endanger anyone or anything outside the target, of course. First, we slide the magazine out of the handle. Insert the CO2 cartridge into the space inside and tighten it with the included Allen key. The same can be done with the hammer stretched and the gun locked. Then pull the spring-loaded bullet feeder downwards and tilt it slightly forward to secure it in the lower position.
Insert 17 BBs into the magazine well and release the feeder. This makes the gun operational and we can turn off the safety. Pull the slide back and fire. The slide front will lift the BB into the chamber and the hollow transition will seal the chamber. If the palm safety is properly squeezed, the trigger will release the hammer. It strikes the valve and drives the pellet out of the barrel. At the same time, the gas pressure throws the slide back, "unlocks" the barrel. The slide pulls the hammer on the way back. On the return path, it slides another round in and locks the barrel. All this happens at 55 mm length – considerably longer than most similar replicas.
SOLID AMOUNT OF ROUNDS
The recoil caused by the movement of the mass of the slide is significant and it has a proper metallic sound effect. After the magazine is emptied, the slide remains trapped in the rear position by the firing mechanism.
It can be released either by pushing the lever downwards or by pulling the slide backwards after inserting a loaded magazine. Firing can also be momentarily interrupted with the drawn hammer by moving the safety to the locked position.
The effective range for fire at the target is 5-7 m. Over that distance, accuracy drops significantly. Not to mention the fact that the aiming point has to be transferred. But the gun is designed for fun shooting. Plinking targets can be dealt with up to 12 meters.
Only one thing to watch out for with a pistol. And that is how many times you pull the slide backwards when the magazine is loaded, that is how many pellets are fed into the barrel. But it's a smooth bore pellet gun. So, if the BBs don't go through the barrel on their own, they can be easily ejected. With this particular gun, it was possible to fire over 70 rounds per 12g CO2 cartridge. Considering how much extra work the gas has to do, that's a really decent capacity.
SIG 1911 CO2
Weight: 1 035 g
Barrel length: 130 mm
Width x length x height: 38 x 218 x 137 mm
Ammunition: BBs/4.5 mm
Capacity: 17 rounds
SIG 1911 .45
Weight: 1,179 g
Barrel length: 127 mm
Width x length x height: 36 x 221 x 140 mm
Ammunition: .45 Auto Capacity: 7+1 rounds