Sig 1911 Traditional Compact Range Report

| August 2, 2011 | 2 Comments

Picked up my new SIG 1911 Traditional Compact today. Bought it off Gunbroker Wednesday from Osage County Guns in MO. The total price with shipping, 3% for credit card, and transfer fee at my FFL was $892.73. It’s an early gun (as are all at this point), number 206.

First impression out of the box – the finishing is a bit rougher than I expected. The slide/frame fit is very good but there’s marks and rough areas here and there – on the barrel bushing, the under the cuts on the front of the slide, the grip safety, slide stop, plug for extractor hole. I don’t know about other parts but the last three listed are obviously MIM. None of this is horrid but it is noticeable, looks like a good bead blasting would clean it all up and make it look much better, IMO an $1100 (MSRP) gun should look better. Hell, a $900 (what I paid) gun should look better. For the record, I’m comparing it to the other 1911s I have that I carry/shoot the most – Springfield parkerized Loaded .45acp (duty gun), S&W 9mm 1911 Pro Series (former duty gun), Fusion 9mm CCO (off duty gun that the SIG is replacing). Obviously the S&W and Fusion are more expensive than the SIG but the S.A. is in the same price range and is better finished by far.

I have to comment on the thumb safety. It is nicely fitted, not too tight but clicks on and off positively and smoothly. I like the look and the feel of it. It is, however, rather short and narrow compared to the extended safeties you see on so many guns these days. It isn’t as tiny as an old GI style but folks that ride the safety when shooting might have a little trouble with it. I don’t shoot that way so it isn’t an issue for me.

It is a true CCO size gun – Commander barrel/slide and Officer frame, which I think makes the perfect 1911 for carry. It feels very good in the hand, the checkering is nice and it has the right “heft”. It weighs 33.6oz empty (no mag) and 41.7oz loaded with 8 Ranger T 230gr JHP. Compare that with my full size Loaded at 38.2oz empty (no mag) and 47.5oz loaded with 9 of the same rounds. That makes it about 1/2lb heavier than my alloy framed Fusion CCO but the real world difference is not excessive or noticeable on your hip. With a good belt and holster it carries much more comfortably than a full size steel 1911.

Here’s some pics, I didn’t focus on anything particular, just got some shots to give an overall impression.

Comes with two 7rd stainless mags

Everything is well put together, you can see the slide/frame fit here. Also the checkering in the MSH and the front strap is very well done. Also, the Trijicon night sights are a very nice touch, they’re very bright and sharp.

You can see the checkering well here. The double diamond grips are really nice and fit perfectly. However, I have a thing for Gritty Grips from DuraGrips (I have them on my Springfield and my Fusion, they’re great!!!!), so these will be replaced shortly.

Here’s some pics of the gun disassembled. It was obviously fired at the factory.

After being thoroughly cleaned and relubed (I use M-Pro7) it was ready to shoot.
In my Kramer Scabbard. The mag holder is from Kytex

I put 186 rounds through it using 6 different mags – 2 stainless factory 7rd, 2 blued Metalform 6rd, 2 stainless Chip McCormick 7rd. I shot the following ammo:
50 Tulammo steel case 230gr FMJ
50 Blazer aluminum case 230gr FMJ
50 Israeli surplus brass case 230gr FMJ
25 Winchester Ranger T 230gr JHP +P (my carry load)
11 Hornady XTP 230gr JHP +P

I’m happy to say that I had no failures to fire, no failures to feed, no failures to eject. All empties were thrown clear, back and to the right.
While the gun ran great I did have numerous failures to lock open after the last round. The follower would jump the slide stop so that the mags would hang up and I’d have to pull them out. These failures occurred with all the mags I used so I attribute it to a too tight slide stop that hopefully will improve with use.

The trigger wasn’t bad, a little bit of creep but it broke clean wthout excessive overtravel. Reset was short and clean. The feel improved some after shooting. I’d guess the pull weight at around 6lbs, definitely heavier than my other 1911s which are all in the 4-4.5lb range.

I was very impressed with the accuracy and “shootability” of the gun. The weight that comes with the stainless frame helps with recoil and it was easy to control, even with +P loads.

Here are some sample groups/targets-
These are the first 15rds, fired off hand from 10yds.

Another 15rds, off hand from 5yds.

2 double taps, 1 triple tap, from 3yds. I’m a helluva shot up close.

21rds/5yds, 3 mags as fast as I could shoot and reload.

Here it is hot and dirty-

Overall, I’m very pleased with the gun’s performance and will have no qualms carrying it. It is very accurate and controllable, reliably feeds a variety of ammo from a variety of mags. Like I said, I think that the failure to lock back issue is related to the slide stop since it was common to all the different mags. I am disappointed with the finish issues, while the gun is a looker (all business) the final product should look better for the money, lots of less expensive guns are better finished. These are things I’ll be speaking to SIG about.

Now, one last thing, and I saved it for last because I didn’t want to taint anyone’s impression. On initial inspection, once I had cleaned the gun, I found a small crack in the slide below the extractor-

Because it is small and in an area that isn’t overly stressed I chose to go ahead and shoot the gun in spite of the flaw. This pic was taken after the gun was shot. I don’t know that the crack is worse, I think it is more noticeable because of the lighting-

This doesn’t change my impression of the gun’s performance, stuff happens and the crack didn’t affect how the gun shot. Would I prefer it wasn’t there? Of course, because it means the gun has to go back to the factory, but this creates an opportunity to see how SIG handles such issues. I will also bring up my concerns with the finish and failure to lock back and see what they do with that as well. I’ve gotten great service from Springfield and S&W in the past and expect the same from SIG. I’ll let you all know what happens.

Oh yeah, would I buy it again after giving it a going over and shooting it? Hell yes. In spite of the little flaws, it’s still a lot of gun for the money.
Written and posting authorized by WC145 over at the

Status Update
I spoke to the SIG LE/MIL rep on Monday 8/1 an explained the issues with the gun. He emailed me a UPS overnight return label and I sent the gun back yesterday with a letter outlining the problems I wanted tended to ? the crack in the slide, the slide lock failures, the poor finish (machining and casting marks), and the trigger creep, weight, and overtravel. The rep said it should take about two weeks for the gun to be repaired, a week or two less than their normal time frame because they put a rush on LE guns.
The gun arrived there this morning and now the wait begins.

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2 Comments on "Sig 1911 Traditional Compact Range Report"

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  1. John says:

    Hi! Great review! I was going to try to look up your sales order but instead figured I’d leave a comment. I appreciate your positive review of your purchase with us and your range report is quite thorough! If you’re in the market for an item that we have for sale down the road, please contact me directly and I’ll see if I can extend some additional discounts to you – if you pick up a Kimber, Sig, or Springfield, I’d love to feature your range report on our website, with credit back to your blog of course.

  2. David Selander says:

    V ery thorough report. I am interested in how Sig Sauer deals with the issues you have with this particular gun as I am planning to buy the same thing to carry off-duty very soon. Please let me know how things work out with the Traditional Compact.

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