SIG SAUER P320 M17 Air Pistol Test Review
Jan 11, 2019
Supplied by SIG SAUER.
Excellent CO2 loading
Test gun shot slow
Long, heavy trigger
Not much else
VALUE FOR MONEY
At a Street Price of $120 – less one cent – the SIG SAUER P320 M17 air pistol is priced a little above the average CO2-powered replica. However there are reasons for this which will be understood by most customers. HAM feels this price is right for such a realistic pellet-firing air pistol.
It’s clear that any pellet-firing air pistol will cost more to manufacture than a BB-shooting model. This is due to the additional complexity involved in the magazine and pellet-feed compared to a BB pistol, plus a rifled barrel. SIG’s BB-firing CO2-powered air pistols generally retail for about $100, so it’s not an unreasonable price premium.
SIG Air is one of the few manufacturers producing pellet-firing replicas and this capability will make it a “no-brainer” purchase for some. The fact that it’s such a CO2-powered version of the M17 will make it a must have for many more!
The 12-month warranty is strong positive, too, as many other replica pistols have just 3 months warranty coverage. A longer warranty has to be paid for somehow, too…
|HAM Test Rating||89%|
|Value For Money||Great blowback action, very realistic pellet-shooting pistol.|
|Firearm it Copies||SIG SAUER M17 Commemorative|
|Best Pellet Tested||RWS Hobby|
|Street Price at Time of Test||$129.99.|
|Ammo Type||.177 caliber pellets.|
|Power Source||1 x 12 Gram CO2 cartridge.|
|Useful Shots per Fill||Up to 80.|
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SIG SAUER M17 Pellet Pistol
REALISM – LOOK AND FEEL
Let’s be clear. The SIG Air P320 M17 air pistol is a remarkably realistic version of the US Army P320 M17 service pistol. Length, width, height and weight are all identical – or almost – to the centerfire original.
HAM Tester Doug Wall commented “Very realistic in size, looks and weight.” in his testing notes.
SIG sets high standards throughout the organization and its products. It’s clear that this is the most realistic pellet pistol that they have introduced to date. It’s thus ideally-suited for the training role that the company sees as a key value proposition for its airgun products.
The overall appearance of the sights is very realistic. However, it’s true that that sights do not offer the night vision capability of the military firearm. However, that’s a very small difference and one that’s expected in a CO2 replica.
The P320 M17 air pistol features a fully-functional ambidextrous manual safety – a first for a SIG Air pistol and an exact match to the firearm.
There’s also a functioning takedown lever. Unlike previous SIG pellet pistols, the M17 can be field-stripped, which will please many people.
The drop-free magazine release is not ambidextrous. But, again, this is a relatively small difference from the centerfire M17.
ACCURACY AND POINT OF IMPACT
The P320 M17 air pistol tested by HAM showed very good accuracy. The gun was certainly “minute of soda can” accurate at 6 Yards.
However, there was a clear tendency for the pellets to strike slightly to the right of the bull. This was not an issue at 6 Yards, however the group dropped down and to the right on the 10 yard target, as we can see below.
Accuracy was quite consistent with all the standard HAM test pellets. The RWS Hobbys performed marginally best in the P320 M17 air pistol tested by HAM and so these were shot at the longer, 10 yards range.
Although to pellets struck low and right at 10 yards, they were still within the “minute of soda can” – just not exactly in the right place! Overall, this was a very creditable performance and the owner could clearly learn to aim off at 10 Yards range if required. The fixed sights – normal on CO2 replica pistols – do not allow for correction, of course.
One alternative would be to mount a small laser on the Picatinny rail and make aim corrections using that. This is a Leapers UTG LS200 Red Sub-Compact laser. As you can see, it fits onto the P320 M17 air pistol very conveniently.
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
SIG claims that the P320 M17 air pistol is a perfect tool for M17 firearm owners to practice with and stresses the similarity to the firearm. HAM agrees.
The manufacturer also claims a Muzzle Velocity of “up to 430 FPS” – depending on temperature and other environmental considerations. Unfortunately, the maximum FPS achieved by the P320 M17 air pistol tested by HAM was just 310 FPS, with 5.56 Grain alloy pellets.
Now it’s true that this was recorded in our cool – 62 degree F – test range. It’s also true that the Muzzle Velocity for CO2-powered airguns varies by about 2 FPS per degree F temperature change. However, even if the range temperature had been 92 degrees F, the test gun would have only achieved a maximum of 370 FPS. That’s the 310 FPS at 62 degrees + (30 degrees difference x 2 FPS) = 370 FPS.
Actually, a maximum of 370 FPS would still be a pretty good muzzle velocity for a CO2-powered air pistol. But it’s still 60 FPS short of the claim.
Is that a big deal? For most people who plan to use the P320 M17 air pistol for practice and punching holes in paper, the answer is “no”.
The SIG P320 M17 air pistol tested by HAM was consistently accurate with all of our standard test pellets. Furthermore, trigger pull weight – although rather heavy – also demonstrated good consistency around its 9.5 Lb average.
Muzzle Velocity varied more with different pellets than we find with a BB-firing air pistol. However this is entirely understandable as the weight of the pellets used varies far more than the difference between various types of BB.
The point of impact on the target was also very consistent for all the pellet types.
The average Standard Deviation – the shot-to-shot variation in a string, was higher than average, however. The overall average SD was 21.92 FPS in HAM testing.
REALISM – TRIGGER AND ACTION
The SIG P320 M17 air pistol offers a very realistic-feeling blowback, particularly with a new, full, CO2 cartridge. Felt recoil is surprisingly strong, another big improvement over previous SIG non-blowback pellet pistols.
One complaint is that the slide does not hold back after the last pellet has been fired. This is not unknown among CO2-powered replica firearms, however.
The trigger is double-action only and has a rather long pull. The pull weight of the test gun was rather heavy at an average of 9 Lbs 8 Oz.
Both pull weight and length are clearly related to the pellet feed mechanism. It is the trigger pull which advances the next pellet into battery for firing, rather than the slide recoil. However, the pull itself felt consistent and predictable.
In HAM testing, the SIG P320 M17 air pistol gave just over 60 shots before the Muzzle velocity fell below 200 FPS. This is around average for a CO2-powered air pistol with strong blowback.
However, HAM Tester kept firing and eventually achieved 80 shots before the gas was completely exhausted. That’s a very good count for a blowback air pistol, although the FPS for the final magazine’s contents was very low.
|Pellet||Average Muzzle Velocity||Average Muzzle Energy||Accuracy|
|H&N Field Target Trophy Green 5.56 Grain||310 FPS||1.19 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|RWS Meisterkugeln Pistol 7.0 Grain||291 FPS||1.32 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|RWS Hobby 7.0 Grain||264 FPS||1.09 Ft/Lbs||Excellent. Best Tested.|
|Crosman Premier HP 7.9 Grain||246 FPS||1.06 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy 8.64 Grain||249 FPS||1.19 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
Overall appearance and quality of finish of the SIG P320 M17 air pistol tested by HAM were excellent!
The extended magazine allows for the high pellet capacity and matches the long magazines to be found on the SIG M17-Comemorative firearm.
Fit and finish are outstanding. The plastic-molded frame is very well done and the mold seam lines are close to invisible. The obligatory warning messages are molded into the frame, rather than being printed. This makes them less distracting than white-printed text and further adds to the overall realism of this air pistol.
BUYING AND OWNING
The SIG P320 M17 air pistol is widely available from online airgun dealers. It’s also carried by many big box sporting goods stores. So it’s easy to buy.
The CO2-loading system employed in the P320 M17 air pistol is – in the HAM Team’s opinion – the best there is at the present time.
SIG’s cam lever system is simple, easy and quick. There’s no screws to turn and no unsightly levers hanging down below the magazine. There’s no need for an Allen (hex) wrench either and no issues if that wrench were to become lost.
Incorporating the cam lever system into the magazine itself is also a significant operational improvement compared to having it located in the frame, as with some previous SIG models.
As with any replica air pistol – both BB- and pellet-firing, loading the ammo is actually the longest task of preparing the P320 M17 air pistol for shooting. But the new, 20-pellet magazine is really quite convenient to load. It also has no need for the owner to hold down a spring-loaded follower, as can become tedious with some BB pistols.
There’s a comprehensive and well-illustrated owner’s manual that’s provided in multiple different languages.
SAFETY FIRST. Due to the realistic appearance of this product, handle it as you would a firearm. Do not display it in public or in any place where it could be mistaken for a cartridge firearm.
6 YARD TEST TARGETS
10 YARD TEST TARGET
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SIG SAUER M17 Pellet Pistol
This entire article including scoring, test targets etc is Copyright Hard Air Magazine and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the publisher.