If you read Part I you know that the M17 semi-auto CO2 pellet pistol is one awesome replica of the SIG SAUER sidearm adopted by the U.S. Army in 2017. This is the follow up as to how it performed.
First, the pistol is substantial at 2 pounds. The fit and finish are excellent with stippling on the grip replicating the firearm. The controls and trigger are metal and there is a short M1913 accessory rail on the dust cover. An ambidextrous safety disengages the hammer and while it was stiff to engage, it was easy to disengage. The front sight appears as if it is drift adjustable, but upon field-stripping the pistol and looking on the underside of the slide the front sight is actually pinned in place. The rear sight is also not adjustable.
As with many replica pistols, the CO2 cartridge and ammunition are contained in the drop-free magazine. Differences between the M17 and other replicas are the Rapid Pellet Magazine (RPM) belt-feed system, the cam lever piercing system and the valve not being part of the magazine assembly. Replicas I’m familiar with have the valve assembly included in the drop-free magazine and no gas is lost each time you drop the magazine. However, the M17 has the valve assembly attached to the frame and the magazine incorporates a self-sealing valve where a tiny amount of gas escapes each time the magazine is released. The system works well and I experienced no leaks. The cam lever piercing system worked flawlessly. No guesswork on how tight to turn a thumbscrew or hex wrench is a welcome advancement in technology. (A caveat: the manual suggests wearing gloves when installing cartridges due to the frostbite hazard. I concur because of an experience when the cam lever slipped from my grip after piercing the tip but before the lever was completely closed. All the gas escaped at once and luckily no harm was done.) The RPM system worked well and other than wishing for younger, more nimble fingers to aid in loading .177 pellets into the belt, reloading goes pretty smoothly. At a mile above sea level I was getting between 4 and 5 full magazines of twenty pellets from one cartridge. That equates to around 90 shots before velocity drops off significantly.
The trigger has a long double-action-only pull at a pleasant 6 pounds, 11 ounces. Also, the trigger does not have a short reset. If this model was incorporated to augment skills of the firearm user, that limitation would have to be taken into account. Keeping in mind this is a modestly priced CO2 replica, some accommodations would necessarily be required.
Experimenting with lightweight alloy pellets the highest velocity achieved was 377fps using SIG Match Ballistic Alloy (5.25grs.) and Predator GTO’s (5.5grs.). Accuracy was lacking so moving to lead pellets helped somewhat. H&N Excites Plinking and Econ pellets weighing 7.3 and 7.45 grains respectively, gave velocities in the 300fps range. Crosman pointed pellets at 7.5grs. shot well as did Rifle Brand Premium Series flatheads at 8.18grs. but this sample gun tended to shoot low. Not that you’d go after prey with these replica pistols, but long pellets such as Predator Polymags will not fit the RPM magazines.
This pistol will sell internationally so the manual contains instructions in 5 languages. I also mistakenly referred to black & white photos in Part I when all the photos are actually color.
The M17 was fun, easy to shoot and quiet so for a one-to-one replica of a new U.S. military sidearm it doesn’t get much better for plinkers and collectors. Oh wait; maybe it does. I understand a SIG ROMEO1 reflex optic mounting plate is coming in the near future! I want to thank SIG Air for providing the M17 gratis. To get your hands on one reach out to my friends at www.airgunsofarizona.com.