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Choosing The Best 1911 Blowback Air Pistol

If you’re shooting BB pistols at home to pass that new-found spare time, you may want to shoot a gun with string, realistic blowback. So let’s take a look at how you can choose the best 1911 blowback air pistol.

As we know, the primary method of power for replica BB pistols is the 12 Gram CO2 cartridge. These BB guns typically have either blowback or non-blowback actions.

It’s the blowback effect that forces the slide back and creates a realistic recoil effect. Non-blowback pistols don’t have this degree of realism. Many people feel that blowback pistols must be better, but this depends on what you want…

In HAM’s testing experience, yes, blowback BB pistols are definitely more realistic to shoot. Particularly when the CO2 cartridge is new. However they also offer less shots per CO2 cartridge and they’re generally less accurate than non-blowback models. You can read why this is the case in this HAM analysis.

Today let’s look at our choice for the best 1911 blowback air pistol…

Our three choices are all excellent replicas of 1911-type centerfire pistols. They all earned great scores in their HAM test reviews. They all offer outstanding realism. Yet there are some differences, as we’ll see!

So in alphabetical order for our choice of best 1911 blowback air pistol, we have:

1. Colt Commander

2. SIG Spartan/Max Michel

3. SIG We The People BB Gun


Colt Commander

Choosing The Best 1911 Blowback Air Pistol

The Colt Commander CO2 BB pistol is all about blowback!

This gun gave one of the strongest blowback actions we’ve tested at HAM. The slide travel is very long and realistic and the shot count good. But it’s purchased at the cost of a relatively low FPS and a lot of CO2 leakage.

This is a highly-realistic replica of the Colt 1911A1 firearm. As such it will be an ideal training and practice tool for owners of the firearm. It’s also great fun for plinking at soda cans at ranges of 6 Feet or so.

The Colt Commander CO2 BB pistol gained a coveted HAM Gold Award for its performance on test.

We LikeWe Don't Like
Strong blowback actionLow FPS
Good shot countGas leak from blowback
Incredible realismCombat grade accuracy
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Colt Commander CO2 BB Pistol

SIG Spartan/Max Michel

The Spartan and Max Michel are different-looking versions of the same gun. HAM tested the Max Michel, the Spartan is the one which is currently for sale. Either way, this is a HAM Gold Award-winning airgun!

Choosing The Best 1911 Blowback Air Pistol

Although all are realistic 1911 replicas, the Spartan/Max Michel actually offer a different internal design to the Colt Commander and SIG We The People BB Gun. All are blowbacks, however the Spartan/Max Michel offers a shorter slide travel than the other two models. (It’s also the only one without a drop-free magazine.

Here’s how the performance differs…

The Spartan/Max Michel was clearly the most accurate of these three 1911 replicas. It also gave the highest shot count and the highest FPS. That’s the trade-off for the shorter (and therefore marginally less realistic) slide travel.

We LikeWe Don't Like
AccurateShort length slide blowback
High shot countNo drop-free mag
High FPSNot much else...

Below, the Spartan and Max Michel really are identical except for appearance and the Spartan’s skeletonized trigger.

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Sig Sauer 1911 Spartan Full Metal Blowback CO2 BB Pistol 0.177

SIG 1911 We The People BB Gun

Choosing The Best 1911 Blowback Air Pistol

The SIG SAUER 1911 We The People CO2 BB Gun gives SIG lovers another choice of best 1911 blowback air pistol.

If you want ultimate realism, this is it. If you want on-target accuracy and shot count, the Spartan/Max Michel model delivers that. Of course, you could always buy both! The low price of these BB guns makes that a perfectly practical possibility…

The 89% score is absolutely top HAM Silver Award marks for an air pistol of this price. Just a little more accuracy would make the SIG SAUER 1911 We The People CO2 BB Gun an easy Gold Award winner.

In HAM Publisher Stephen Archer’s personal opinion is that this is the best SIG SAUER ASP pistol to date. He’ll sacrifice a little accuracy and shot count for that additional realism. Check out the full review here.

Below. Which is the centerfire We The People and which is the BB gun? It’s almost impossible to tell!

Choosing The Best 1911 Blowback Air Pistol

We LikeWe Don't Like
Strong blowbackCombat grade accuracy
Great realismLow shot count
Its $1,385 less than the centerfire model!Not much else...
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SIG SAUER 1911 We The People BB Gun

What’s the best 1911 blowback air pistol for me?

All three BB pistols earned great reviews in HAM testing. So any one of them would be an outstanding choice.

As for price, there’s very little in it. The Colt Commander is slightly the most expensive at a Street Price of $109.99. The SIG We The People BB Gun is selling at $99.95, the Spartan at $95.95.

If you prioritize accuracy and shot count, take the Spartan. If it’s maximum blowback you’re after, the Commander or We The People BB Gun are very closely matched. This SIG gives less shots per fill but higher FPS than the Colt.

It’s great to have choices!

SAFETY FIRST. With all BB-firing airguns, it’s mandatory to wear shooting glasses at all times, even if just watching. Also do not shoot at hard surfaces or water. BBs tend to bounce off these surfaces and may hit you, or something other than what you intended. If in doubt, don’t pull the trigger! Pellets generally do not bounce back in the same way and are the correct choice for hard targets. Due to the realistic appearance of these products, handle them as you would a firearm. Do not display in public or in any place where they could be mistaken for cartridge firearms.