Gun test: Sig Sauer 1911 Spartan
- Credit: Archant
Tim Finley tests a fast-firing favourite - the Sig Sauer 1911 Spartan
The subject of this month’s review is the Sig Sauer 1911 Spartan CO2 pistol, made under the firm’s own banner in Japan. It oozes quality from the outset, and not only does it look good, it performs, too. My favourite pistol has always been the 1911, and the fact that this Sig Sauer is based on that model doesn’t make this a biased review.
The 1911 Spartan is a full-metal, blow-back, C02, .4.5mm, BB-firing pistol, based upon the ‘real’ pistol and looks exactly like it. The bronzed frame really makes the gun stand out – they call it an ‘oil-rubbed finish’ and it really pops - and the Spartan theme is carried out all over the Sig. The grips have the idealised Spartan helmet logo on each side, along with the words ‘Molon Labe’ (‘Come and take them’), also carried on the left-hand side of the top slide. The phrase dates back to the Spartan wars, when Xerxes, the Persian king, wrote to the Spartan king, Leonidas, ‘Hand over your arms’. The king sent back the message ‘Come and take them’, but enough of the history lessons.
The 1911 takes the industry standard, 12 gramme CO2 bulb, housed in the grip, of course, and the design of the C02 charging system on this pistol is the easiest I have ever used. The lower section of the back strap on the grip is pulled up from the base. This action flips off the left-hand grip panel, so the back strap is then hinged down fully to allow a bulb to be inserted. With the palm of the hand on the strap, it is closed back into the grip – job done – the cam system is very simple. The magazine release catch is operated from the left-hand side, and as with all 1911s you cannot reach it with the thumb of your firing hand if you are right-handed. It was designed by John Browning as a combat pistol and the US Army didn’t want magazines dropping out in the heat of battle, hence the button is not directly under the thumb. Your grip on the pistol has to be changed in order to drop the magazine, or use the supporting/other hand. The plastic magazine has a spring-loaded catch, which can be locked back, and 16 4.5mm steel BBs loaded in via a circular gate. At the very top of the magazine is a tiny magnet to hold the top-most BB in place, and the base of the magazine is formed to look like the base of the real magazine.
The gun has two safety systems, again from the original US Army remit in 1911. There is a manual safety catch on the left rear, which you push up to take it off ‘fire’; the small red dot will then be covered up.
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There is also a beaver-tail working grip safety, under the hammer on the backstrap. In order to fire the gun, this grip safety has to be pressed in. On the right-hand side is what looks like a safety catch, but it is non-functional.
Over the chronograph, the gun ran 4.6 grain BBs at 370 fps – that’s 1.39 ft.lbs – and you get three magazines’ worth of shots before the power drops to a level where the slide does not cock the hammer. The trigger is not double-action, so it will not fire just by pulling back on the trigger. You have to pull back and cock the hammer manually, or in a more cool fashion, rack the slide. Unlike a lot of so-called 1911 CO2 pistols, the Sig’s trigger actually works like a 1911, i.e. it slides backwards. It’s also a skeletonised blade, the same as the real gun.
Trigger weight is a manageable 3kg. The blow-back really kicks, and when the magazine is empty, the slide locks to the rear, meaning it’s a last shot, hold-open system. All these features make the Sig Sauer 1911 Spartan very realistic indeed.
The sights are fixed with a sight base of 164mm. It has white dots inset into the sights, and these have a cone-shaped indent moulded into the centre to pick up and reflect the daylight available. The sights may be fixed, but they lined up very well. Accuracy is also good, with aimed shots coming within 25mm at six yards, but as the gas runs down on the third magazine, it will shoot lower. It’s a weighty pistol coming in at 1kg, and if you want to accessorise it with a light or laser, the Picatinny rail in front of the trigger lets you do that.
The Sig Sauer 1911 Spartan is one of the finest CO2 pistols I have shot, and that is reflected in the price. For those after the real deal, this is it!
Thanks to Ryan at Highland Outdoors Ltd for help in production of this article.
Distributor: Highland Outdoors Ltd
Model: SIG SAUER 1911 Spartan
Action: Blow-back pistol
Capacity: 16 4.5mm steel BBs
Overall length: 219mm
Barrel length: 130mm
Calibre: .177 (4.5mm)
Sights: Open (sight base 164mm)
Trigger weight: 3kg single-action
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