The brand new SIG SAUER M17 CO2 air pistol has landed with Highland Outdoors and is now available.

The United States military has an extremely distinguished list of service pistols dating back to the very early nineteenth century. Flintlocks, cap and ball revolvers, single action revolvers and double action revolvers all saw service with the U.S. military up to the turn of the twentieth century before the arrival of the semi-automatic pistol. The first of these was the Colt M1911 which was superseded in 1924 by the M1911A1. In 1985 the Beretta M9 entered service, just pipping the SIG SAUER P226 to the finish post. There are several other handguns used by elements of the US military such as the SIG SAUER P229, the Glock 19 and the Heckler & Koch MK23; all of which are used by Special Forces.

When the US military announced that they were requesting proposals for a new Modular Handgun System (MHS) it was anticipated that this would be the next U.S. Military side arm. Proposals needed to be submitted after January 2015 and as you would expect many of the big names threw their hats into the ring for what became one of the most competitive and fiercely fought processes ever seen in military history.

The winner of that process was SIG SAUER who put forward the SIG SAUER M17 MHS (Modular Handgun System), a modified versionof the  P320. The M17 entered service last year, 2017, and is a striker-fired 9mm pistol available with a 17 round magazine or an extended 21 round magazine.

SIG SAUER have been very quick to produce and release a stunning CO2 replica of, arguably, one of the most eagerly anticipated handguns in the last couple of years. Of course, being a SIG it’s not made under license by someone else; it’s made in SIG’s own air division facility and is a perfect replica of the actual firearm. If it says SIG, it is a SIG!

sig sauer m17 co2 air pistol

The pistol frame is a very high quality polymer. The grip has fairly aggressive stippling on the front strap, sides and the back strap, but it doesn’t feel overly abrasive on the hand. There is also a picatinny rail on the front underside of the frame for accessories, such as a laser or pistol light. The trigger guard is nice and wide and the trigger itself is very contoured; which is ideal if you’re shooting this pistol with gloves on.

The slide is full metal with front and rear serrations, depending on your preferred method of racking the slide. The sights are fixed and have three white dots for quick target acquisition and just in front of the rear sight is a dummy black plate that on the firearm is removable and allows the owner to mount a red dot sight.

Because of the rotary style magazine the M17 doesn’t lock the slide to the rear after the last round, therefore the ambidextrous slide release is non-functioning. The manual safety catch is fully functional and fully ambidextrous. When the pistol is in a safe condition you will notice that you can still pull the trigger and it will sound as if the gun is being dried fired, but the hammer is not travelling all the way forward to fire the gun.

Probably the main feature, and one of the coolest features, that sets the M17 apart from all other CO2 pistols on the market at the moment is the magazine assembly. The M17 has a full sized magazine that houses both the CO2 capsule and the 20 round rotary magazine. There is the option of buying additional rotary magazines if you want spares, or you can buy the complete magazine assembly. What this means is that you can drop a spent magazine and insert a new one, just as you would with the firearm, adding to the realism.

sig sauer m17 co2 air pistol

Something else that adds more realism is the fact that the M17 can be fully field stripped. On the left-hand side of the frame is the operational take down lever. Here are the steps to strip down the M17.

  1. Pull the slide back very slightly, until the crescent shaped notch aligns with the front edge of the take down lever.
  2. Push the take down lever 90 degrees down and pull the slide fully to the rear.
  3. Lift the rear of the slide up and push all the way forward to remove it from the frame.
  4. Press the barrel release button to remove the barrel and now the spring can also be removed.

To re-assemble the pistol simply perform the same process, but in reverse.

sig sauer m17 co2 air pistol

Being a .177 pellet pistol rather than a steel bb pistol it has a fully rifled steel barrel.

The M17 has a very nice trigger pull and very similar to that of the P226 X5 that I tested earlier in the year. Despite being very mechanical the trigger pull is smooth. Let me explain why I refer to the trigger pull as “mechanical”. Not only does pulling the trigger fire the gun, it also rotates the magazine to index the next pellet. So, where you would have a two stage trigger and the trigger would break after taking up the first stage; with this pistol the first stage rotates and indexes the pellet before the trigger breaks and fires the pistol. It’s essential that after firing you fully release the trigger before each shot.

I mentioned earlier that the barrel is rifled and will be much more accurate than a smooth bore steel bb pistol. The accuracy test I carried out was at a distance of 8 metres and the results speak for themselves. The gas blow back system is crisp and snappy, delivering some nice felt recoil.

sig sauer m17 air pistol

sig sauer m17 co2 air pistol

2018 has seen some very impressive replica pistols come out of SIG SAUER’s air division. The 1911 We The People and the P226 X5 come very highly recommended and M17 tops off what has been an excellent year for SIG SAUER replica CO2 pistols.

sig sauer m17 co2 air pistol

To summarise on the M17, it has excellent build quality, a good number of shots per capsule, realistic blow back action, a 20 round rotary magazine. A magazine assembly that allows for realistic mag changes. It’s fully field strippable, again adding to the realism and on top off all that it’s very accurate. The SIG SAUER M17 is packed with features that are just not available on any other CO2 pistol currently on the market and it’s not made under license. Remember, if it says SIG it is a SIG!

All US military service pistols have their own page in the firearms history books and the M17 now has its page. Likewise the CO2 version will also have its own page as the first to offer this type of magazine assembly and be fully field strippable.

The SIG SAUER M17 CO2 Air Pistol retails for £199 and to find your local dealer go to the Highland Outdoors website.