The SIG Sauer P226 X5 Air Pistol
It’s a SIG Sauer P226, but not as we know it!
I’ve recently tested the new SIG 1911 We The People and when Highland Outdoors sent it down to me they also sent another new gun, the SIG Sauer P226 X5. The SIG X-Series of pistols are competition specific versions of the P226 and they’re available in a number of configurations with different barrel lengths. There’s an X-Short, X5 and X6. The number in the name indicating the length of the barrel. SIG Sauer will, hopefully, soon be releasing the X5 as a 4.5mm (.177 cal.) CO2 air pistol.
The first thing that you notice about the X5 is the shear size of it. This is a big handgun! It absolutely dwarfed the Glock 17 that was laying on the desk next to it. With its considerable size comes a considerable weight. The X5 has a full alloy frame and slide and weighs in at an impressive 2.7 lbs which is actually a fraction heavier than a standard “real steel” P226 which comes in at 2.6 lbs.
Let’s look at the features on this gun! On the slide there are both forward and rear cocking serrations. As mentioned before, the X-Series are competitions guns, so it’s good to see that SIG have included an adjustable rear sight with the front sight having a nice white dot. On the underside of the frame is a picatinny accessory rail for those who want to attach a light or laser.
The X5 has a blowback action, but it doesn’t lock back after the final shot, because of this the slide release catch, which is just in front of the safety catch on the left hand side is non-operational and then forward of that on the same side is the non-operational take down lever.
SIG make the X-series available in both single and double-action. The airgun version is single action only. You can spot this very quickly by the absence of the de-cocking lever that you would normally find on a standard P226 pistol.
There is an ambidextrous safety catch which is firm and very positive, something that’s important with a gun designed to be carried cocked and locked. It has an extended beaver tail so you can get the web of your hand nice and high on the grip. The X5 has plastic grips with a “X” shaped checkered pattern on them and there is some nice aggressive checkering on the front strap. This big pistol also has a big fat, contoured, erganomic grip and is very comfortable in the hand with palm swells on each side and a nice swell on the back. The “real steel” X5 would house a double stack magazine chambered in 19x9mm or 14x.40 S&W. Because this is a competition pistol another nice feature is the flared magazine well.
The magazine itself is made of plastic and has a flip down back panel that when open reveals a 20 round rotary belt magazine, thus giving you the same capacity as the 9mm version of this pistol. There’s no way of incorrectly loading this magazine as it clear says on one side “This side towards target”. The X5 has a CO2 operating system and something that I really do like is where the 12g CO2 capsule is housed. With a lot of pistols you need to remove one of the grip panels to insert the CO2 capsule and then tighten an alan screw to piece it. Not with the X5! There is a flip down door on the back of the grip. Below the beaver tail is a catch that when pressed down opens the back of the grip. Insert and seat the CO2 capsule and push the door closed until it clips shut. I should stress that you do need to apply quite a bit of pressure to pierce the capsule. Your pistol is now ready to shoot.
Because the gun is single action you will need to cock the hammer before taking the first shot and the blowback action will cock the gun there after. The X5 has a rifled barrel and is able to shoot .177 pellets as well as steel BBs.
Because of the amount of work that the trigger has to put in before a shot can be discharged there is a very long trigger pull. However, it is easy to get used to. To me it felt like a very long two stage trigger with the first take up being the rotation of the magazine and indexing of the pellet before the second stage that fired the gun.
With a target placed out at 6 metres I fired a full magazine straight out of the box from a free standing position. I was using 8.64 grain FT pellets (.177). The X5 has a responsive blowback, even if it’s not as punchy as a pistol with a full steel slide. I was impressed with the grouping, with all shots inside what would have been a 2 inch circle. With some sight adjustment this pistol, with its rifled barrel will easily group within the 7-10 rings.
• Operating System: CO2
• Calibre: .177 cal
• Muzzle Velocity: up to 430 fps
• Trigger Weight: 5.5 lbs
• Accessory Rail: Picatinny
• Sights: Adjustable
• Magazines Included: x1 20rd pellet mag
• Overall Length: 8.7 in
• Weight: 2.7 lbs
The Sig Sauer P226 X5 is a great gun in the hand. Very big; very heavy; With this gun having a rifled barrel and therefore being able to fire .177 pellets you get the added value of improved accuracy, so if you want to try and be a little more precise on some targets you can have a good go at getting some tighter groups than you would with the BBs. As a gun for plinking in the garden, or if you have the room to set up a run and gun course of fire, the Sig Sauer P226 X5 will be a pistol that is going to be great fun to shoot. At the moment I don’t have any information about when this pistol will be available. The gun that I had was a pre-production sample only, but hopefully we will get to see the X5 in the shops before the end of 2018.
For more information on where to find your local Highland Outdoors retailer visit their website.