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Sig Sauer Co2 Air rifle and pistol range

Sig Sauer Co2 Air rifle and pistol range

It was at IWA 2015 that I first saw SIG SAUER’s new optics and CO2 guns from their Electro Optics’ and Advanced Sport Pellet Airgun Lines. I had a chance to go hands on at last years Tackle & Gun show and now have the SIG P250 and P226 ASP pistols and MPX carbine on test.

GIVE GAS A CHANCE!

CO2 propulsion systems will vary in their ability to do the job, as they are affected by temperature, and can be a solid, liquid or gas, all of which enhances or limits efficiency. Meaning velocity, accuracy and effective range will vary; for example when cold, it gets thicker causing a reduction in speed and when hotter it’s on full pressure and gives maximum performance. On the plus side, the power source is compact, so allowing for some realistic looking and handing designs, which will appeal to many shooters no matter what their primary poison!

So let’s start with the handguns! Few can fail to recognise the SIG P226, which has been with us since the 1980s and an iconic pistol in its own right! I used to own a real one back before the ban and it was a nice piece. The P250 is more modern and configured more like the Heckler Koch USP; though I prefer the 226! Both guns show a number of similarities, as well as differences from each other, as well as the other equipment in their class.

UP YOUR BUTT!

Power comes from the ubiquitous 12-gram bulb that fits in the butt; of the two, the 226 clearly uses a more efficient system. The rear of the back strap shows a catch, which when operated, allows the strap to hinge down, revealing the chamber and you just pop it in (nose first) so it seats, then snap the strap shut were it automatically seals and pierces. The 250 is more basic; pull off the base/back strap of the grip to reveal a large screw handle, this is undone, the 12-gram inserted and screwed up to seal and pierce.

Feed uses two, 8-round cylinders with one placed at each end of a dummy magazine body. Yes, you get 16-rounds on-gun but have to swap it out after 8-shots and turn it round, this is a similar system used by AGS on one of their earlier air rifles. Though both pistols show full controls, all are dummy; except for the mag button (top left) of the grip and the de-cocker. The 226 has a flip-up/down lever, left on the grip and the 250 a sliding catch on the frame above the grip. When actuated, they drop the hammer but stop it from hitting the firing pin inside.

Guns offer both single and double-action (S/A & D/A) operation for the first shot. So you can either thumb cock the hammer S/A, then press the trigger, or simply squeeze the trigger with the hammer down, where it will move back then drop forward to fire D/A. After this, they revert to S/A operation, as the slide cycles back and forward as a real semi-auto pistol to re-cock. They however do not hold open after the last shot.

FEATURES

Both guns have rifled, 5” steel barrels and are designed to shoot .177” lead pellets, as opposed to metal BBs. The 226 tube extends ½” past the slide and is threaded for a moderator, but the 250 does not offer this facility. Weight-wise, the 226 is heavier as it has an all metal build, whereas the 250 has a polymer frame and is considerably lighter; of the two, the 226 gets my vote as it feels right! Sights are basic, with a three dot (white) system – two either side of the rear U-notch and one in the blade up front. Though set in dovetails, they do not appear to be adjustable for windage.

Grips are chequered plastic, with the 226’s being more aggressive and the 250s, if anything a bit too smooth! Trigger guards are large and with a squared off front strap for an easy supporting hand finger position. Forward on the frame are sections of Picatinny rail, so lights & lasers are not a problem.

Both de-cockers are just that and should not be considered as safeties, as they are not easy to operate instinctively. Best way to shoot from a holster would be a D/A first shot. Trigger pulls were not too bad, with a typically long and mushy D/A break and a long/light take up with a decent enough break in S/A. At 10m, accuracy was acceptable, with S/A shots going into 1-2” easily. Over the chrono, I was getting an average of 300 fps/2 ft/lbs of energy. It was a cold day and I was shooting outdoors, so I reckon that would go up considerably in warmer conditions.

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At first, I was not that struck on the magazine system but it is what it is and does give 16-rounds on gun, certainly better than those with just an 8-shot cylinder. Also, changes are slick, as the clip drops into your hand and is simply reversed and slid back in. On that point, the mag sits high in the grip and needs to be pushed up about ½ to engage, otherwise it will not feed. Truth is, you soon learn any gun’s little idiosyncrasies and cope with them!

RPM

The MP rifles are just that bit different and I will state from the first they are not semiautomatic, so the AMTA (Airgun Manufacturers Trade Association) does not need to get hot under the collar. They are a revolver system like the pistols, though with a linked, 30-round belt (Rapid Pellet Magazine) contained within a body, as opposed to a cylinder!

The look is M16, as can be seen, with an aluminium body and polymer furniture with a free-float forend and fixed-length, L-shaped butt. The grip features a storage trap, which is a useful place to carry the pellet seater prod and the sight adjuster (included). With the exception of the ambi safety catch, T-handle and the mag release on the right rear of the mag well, all other controls are dummies.

Power comes from an 88-gram CO2 cartridge, that screws into the rear of the action, which is accessed by removing the butt by pressing in on the button on the right of the stock. There’s a full length Picatinny rail on top, with two shorter sections on the sides, which can be positioned as required. A hand stop is located at the end of the forend, which is useful on the short-barrelled version for obvious reasons.

LONG OR SHORT?

There are two versions; the MPX is an 8” barrelled shorty, with flip-up iron sights and the MCX with an 18” barrel, longer forend and dummy moderator. The website shows this one as having a forward assist and a case deflector; doubtless non-functioning. I had the former on test! There’s a fair bit of weight to the MPX and it feels good in the shoulder, though I would prefer the longer MCX!

Operation is easy; screw in the cartridge and clip the butt back on, slap in the magazine, cycle the action using the T-handle and shoot. Over the chrono, the rifle was producing 350 fps/2.5 ft/lbs, which is low compared to the quoted 600 fps. But again, I put it down to the cold day, so would feel that this figure is achievable in warmer conditions! Accuracy was good, with 1-1.5” groups at 25-yards with iron sights, doubtless things would improve with an optic on top and SIG have some suitable glass and red dots in their range!

LOAD!

Filling the magazine is a bit of a chore! The belt has to be removed by lifting a hinged cover in the dummy mag and is filled with the lugs facing upwards and the white end of the chamber to the left with the metal hinged section (grey) to the right. Pellets are pushed in, and then seated with a prod (supplied), flat-nosed types are best and SIG recommend some of their own-brand for the job. It’s a bit fiddly and takes time. Once done, you feed the belt back in until it forms a circle, and then close the hatch and you’re ready to rock.

The MP makes a ‘blart’ sound every time it fires, with gushes of CO2 coming out and is pleasing to shoot and I can see the attraction to a lot of people! The trigger gives a very short take-up, followed by a long and firm pull and needs a bit of learning. I would say that neither the pistols nor rifles are for anything else but fun plinking and action-type shooting and in that they offer a lot and are well priced for what they are. Guns are offered in the choice of black or FDE (flat dark earth). Pistols are .177” only, but the MPX and MCX are in .177 and .22”, there are package options on optics too as indicated.

PRICES:
P250 £99.99, P226 £123.99, spare mags £27.99
MPX (black) no scope £261.99
MCX (black) no scope £296.99
MPX (black) with SIG 20R Red Dot £361.98
MCX (FDE) with 1-4x24 SIG scope £390.99
Spare magazines £49.99

CONTACT:
Highland Outdoors Ltd, 0845 099 0252, (nearest stockist) www.highlandoutdoors.co.uk

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