Lots Of Calibers — Plenty Of Accuracy!
By John Taffin
I first encountered the name “SIG” in Jeff Cooper’s first book, Fighting Handguns way back in 1958. Cooper was really just getting started and already pushing the .45 ACP 1911, however he spoke highly of the Swiss made SIG 9mm. In the 1970’s SIG united with Sauer & Sohn of Germany and then in 1975 SIG Sauer began producing the P220 semi-auto pistol. By 1985 SIGArms was importing the P220 into this country. The project was successful enough by 1990 a new manufacturing facility was built in New Hampshire. In 2007 SIGArms became SIG Sauer. As this is written I have completed my first test of a SIG Sauer pistol, the 10mm Hunter and that article is now in sister publication Guns magazine, the July 2016 issue.
I was most impressed with this first experience with a SIG product and that has now expanded into testing their new line of ammunition. SIG has now moved into a new manufacturing facility in Arkansas and is producing both rifle and handgun ammunition. I have been currently testing their Elite Performance Ammunition for handgunners.
SIG .45 ACP in a Smith & Wesson and Kimber 1911. John
found the ammo to be remarkably consistent and accurate.
SIG Sauer offers both V-Crown and Full Metal Jacket versions of their new Elite Performance Ammunition, and says of the V-Crown offerings: “SIG V-Crown defensive rounds combine perfect material specification and fine-tuned design innovation, including a stacked hollow point cavity, to deliver exceptional on-target energy with maximum weight retention and optimal expansion for ultimate stopping power.” Tests in ballistic gelatin carried out by others have proved this statement to be true.
SIG HP Elite Performance Ammunition is offered in 9mm, .357 SIG, .38 Super +P, .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .40 S&W, 10mm and .45 ACP (all of which are offered in FMJ versions) as well as hollow points in .44 Special, .44 Magnum and .45 Colt.
My first test with the 10mm for the article in Guns, using the SIG Sauer 5″ Hunter was quite satisfying. The 180-grade JHP clocked out at 1,250 fps with a 5-shot group at 20 yards of 13/8″, while the accompanying FMJ version at the same muzzle velocity shot into 11/4″.
Ruger GP100’s and SIG .38 Special and .357 Magnum ammo results.
Just as with the auto loads, the revolver calibers were accurate.
I then switched to the .38 Super +P in both JHP and FMJ versions testing it through nine .38 Supers in both 1911 and Commander versions. In my sixgunnin’ heart the .38 Super is held in the same high esteem as the .44 Special sixgun. So I especially looked forward to testing this new line of .38 Super loads and I was not disappointed.
The most accurate 125-gr. FMJ loads came through the Colt Custom Stainless 1911 and the Springfield Armory Mil-Spec 1911 with both semi-autos putting five shots in 11/4″ and clocking out at 1,233 fps and 1,244 fps respectively. The 125-gr. JHP version shot exceptionally well with tight groups being commonplace, while my old Colt Commander grouped five shots into 7/8″. At one time Colt .38 Supers had a reputation for poor accuracy because of their head spacing, however this particular Commander was re-barreled by Bill Wilson several decades ago which solved the problem. Currently produced Colt .38 Supers are also properly head spaced on the mouth of the cartridge instead of the tiny rim.
SIG offers .45 ACP ammunition in 230 FMJ, and 180, 200 and 230
JHP’s, along with a broad cross section of other calibers.
The SIG 230 FMJ was tested in five standard 1911’s from Kimber, Remington, Ruger, Smith & Wesson and Springfield Armory as well as an Iver Johnson 6″ Long Slide. The most accurate loads came from the Ruger SR1911 with a 11/8″ group at 853 fps; the Kimber Target II Stainless, 856 fps, 13/8″; while the Remington R-1S Stainless acted like it was made purposely for SIG .45 ACP ammo with a muzzle velocity of 843 fps and an exceptional 3/4″ group. This held true throughout the testing of all for versions of .45 ACP, with an average group of 1″ for the Remington. It is very rare for a standard production pistol to perform so well with every type of ammunition.
Switching to the 230-gr. JHP .45 ACP saw both the Springfield Armory Range Officer and the Kimber Target II group into 13/8″ at 823 fps and 848 fps respectively, while the Remington did it again with a group of 3/4″ and a muzzle velocity of 842 fps. The SIG 200-gr. JHP proved to be exceptionally accurate with an average for all six different 1911’s of 13/8″.
The Iver Johnson Long slide and the Kimber Target II both grouped into 7/8″ with muzzle velocities of 948 fps and 923 fps respectively. If I were to choose one .45 ACP load from SIG for everyday carry and defensive use, this would be it.
Finally we come to the SIG 185 JHP. Remington took the honors again with a 1,016 fps muzzle velocity and a group of 11/8″ while the Springfield Armory Range Officer was right behind it with a group of 11/4″ and a muzzle velocity of 1,004 fps. Testing these four loads through six 1911’s has proven to me both the accuracy and consistency of SIG ammunition. An example of the consistency can be found when comparing the muzzle velocities.
In the five 5″ .45 autos, the 230 Hardball clocked out at a high of 860 fps, low of 843 fps, while the other three were 856 fps, 855 fps, and 853 fps — that is consistency!
Iver Johnson Long Slide and SIG 200 JHP’s shows amazing
potential, even as a hunting combo.
Both of these are available in JHP and FMJ versions, with all bullets weighing 125 grains. The .357 Magnum 125 JHP is rated as one of the top stoppers when it comes to self-defense. I also use the 125 JHP as my turkey load; it works perfectly for head shots with a scope-sighted .357 Magnum sixgun. My pocket J-Frame is loaded with 125 .38 Special JHP’s.
Through my old (circa 1948) S&W 61/2″ 38/44 Outdoorsman, the .38 Special FMJ clocked out at 836 fps with a group of 7/8″ while both the 6″ S&W K-38 and the Ruger GP100 grouped into 1″ with muzzle velocities of 850 fps and 870 fps respectively.
Switching to the .38 Special +P load through a pair of 6″ GP100’s resulted in groups of 1″ and 11/4″, with muzzle velocities of 976 and 992 fps.
Using .357 Magnum loads saw the 125 JHP load through a 6″ GP100 group at 13/8″ with the muzzle velocity of 1,479 fps, while the full metal jacketed version shrunk the group to 11/8″ and muzzle velocity of 1,462 fps.
SIG 10 mm through a SIG Sauer 5″ Hunter. A perfect
marriage of gun and ammo!
I only briefly tested the .45 Colt ammunition consisting of the same 230-gr. JHP bullet used in the .45 ACP ammunition. This was fired through a Cimarron 71/2″ Model P which put five shots in 11/2″ while giving a reading on the clock of 900 fps. This would be a good everyday packin’ load for most situations for which the .45 Colt is applicable.
One positive thing the “ammo shortage” of the past eight years has accomplished is to spur on gun manufacturers to also produce ammunition. The SIG Sauer brand is a very welcome addition.
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