Some say John Moses Browning was born with an angel whispering in his ear. The man had great status not only as a designer and inventor but as a man of great honesty. Perhaps his most important contribution to firearms development was the Browning machine gun, particularly in the fast firing version for aircraft use. But he is remembered best among the shooting public for the 1911 handgun. The machine gun is a weapon of war while the handgun is personal.
We are able to own and use the handgun, but few of us will own a Browning machine gun. I am a fan, and a student, of the 1911. There are modern pistols that share the operation and manual of arms of the original but not the metallurgy and material. The Tokyo Bullet Train and the 19th Century Old Faithful are both trains but that is about the extent of the resemblance. So it is with the SIG TACOPS and the earlier 1911 pistols. The modern SIG TACOPS are arguably among the finest service grade 1911 handguns ever built.
The TACOPS shares the basic geometry of the 1911. The low-bore centerline, straight to the rear trigger compression, and ideally shaped grip are parts of the golden ratio that shooters appreciate. Trigger compression is smooth and breaks at a crisp five pounds. The slide lock safety allows a very fast and accurate first shot while making certain the slide doesn’t move when holstering the handgun. The grip safety locks the trigger until depressed about half way into its travel.
Both the slide lock safety and grip safety fall under the hand readily on drawing the handgun. Neither limits speed in deployment. The SIG is manufactured in America. The slide features a subtle restyling to give the pistol a SIG-like appearance in the field of 1911 handguns.The grips are the proven Ergo grips. A note of caution: be careful when choosing a holster; it’s always safest to order the SIG specific holster.
My affinity for this all black tactical pistol came about in an unusual fashion. An assignment to test the SIG against a top quality 1911 was an eye opener. I owned a rather expensive and by any standard great shooting 1911. The borrowed SIG TACOPS simply did the business better—in my opinion. I reluctantly sent the SIG back but when the opportunity presented itself, I cheerfully became the proud owner of my own SIG TACOPS.
As a writer and professional reviewer, I test many handguns during the course of a year. I confirm reliability first and then consider accuracy. There are subjective features. Most of the handguns are ordinary but good enough for the intended purpose. Only a few are dogs. Very few impress as this handgun has. When a pistol reaches a certain price point you do not forget the effort involved in obtaining the piece. The TACOPS was well worth its price.
The finish is a workmanlike black phosphate. The combination of black grips and black finish is 100% tactical. All controls exhibited a positive indent. The Novak sights give the trained shooter every advantage to hit the target. If you want a rail gun, the SIG offers a first quality 1911 with a heritage of excellence behind it. Overall, there is little to nothing to fault in this handgun.
The rail adds weight to an already heavy handgun. If you want a lighter handgun, get the SIG Scorpion. If you want a service grade .45 with a light rail the TACOPS is the ticket. I have used the rail gun with a variety of lights with excellent results, however, the SIG rail seems a bit larger than some, requiring some adjustment. At present the Viridian light fits my needs.
When beginning any review, I first field strip and examine the pistol, then lubricate it according to specifications. Since this is a personal handgun geared toward personal defense, and destined to fit the bill as a go anywhere do anything handgun, I wished it function well with my favorite defense loads. The pistol also had to perform well with handloads or I would not be doing a lot of practice.
A standard handload using the Hornady 185-grain XTP over enough WW 231 powder for 1,000 fps gave excellent results. This pistol has proven fast from leather, tractable, with good transverse between targets, and due to the weight, grip, and low bore axis, the pistol simply hangs on target and delivers. During these drills, I used the supplied range holster. It isn’t service grade but works satisfactorily for non-critical use. Switching to factory loads, I fired the Winchester M1911 230-grain JHP. Offered in 50-round boxes for economy, this load offers rapid expansion. The Winchester PDX 230-grain JHP is a bonded core load with a balance of expansion and penetration favoring penetration.
I also fired a magazine each of the Hornady American Gunner 185-grain XTP and the Hornady 200-grain XTP. This is a good all around loading breaking 975 fps from the TACOPS. The 200-grain XTP is respected for its penetration and accuracy, and this load also exhibited good function. Firing from the benchrest for accuracy and to properly set the sights, the pistol exhibited 5-shot groups of less than 2-inches at 15 yards. The SIG TACOPS is good enough to ride with.
Are you a SIG fan? 1911 fan? How does the SIG TACOPS rank on your list? Share your opinion in the comment section.