After taking a detailed look inside the Sig TacOps 1911, it was time to hit the range and see how all those nice looking parts did together.
Running some mixed ball and JHP through the gun yielded nothing of note, as it fed reliably and functioned with a variety of magazines. What was of interest was that the ejection pattern was fairly wide and somewhat erratic, with empties flying over my head on some shots. When running the extractor function test, a test protocol in which the gun must be able to extract and eject without a magazine in place, the Sig was unable to finish it without a failure. The photo below shows a typical result from the test.
Before you jump up and down, I would ask you to please read the linked article about the extractor function test. I will note that the Sig did function during normal firing, but to my trained eye, it was apparent that the ejection pattern was not optimal. The reason for this failure is that the Sig’s external extractor, essentially the same as the Caspian design from which their slides originated, has the claw placed a little bit too high relative to the breech face. This causes the case rim to be pulled off the claw when the barrel links down, leaving very little for the claw to hold until the case head hits the ejector. There is not much fixing this, and you are pretty much stuck with it. I detailed the advantages and disadvantages of the external extractor in a 1911 in several earlier blog posts:
So what does this mean? So you say your Sig 1911 works great and you have never had an issue? Cool. But shoot it again and have someone else watch the ejection pattern and tell me what you see. Run the extractor test and see what you get. Folks are constantly arguing that they’d never fire their 1911 without the magazine, so who cares about what the test shows? The test is just that – a test, and not a drill. Through our experience, we have seen that it is a very solid metric for predicting extractor function in a 1911. A 1911 that passes that test will typically have a long service cycle with proper extraction and ejection. A 1911 that fails the test may or may not function well when fired normally, but pretty much every gun that fails to properly extract and eject during normal firing also fails the extractor test. You figure it out.
WIth the above sidebar out of the way, here are my final thoughts on the Sig TacOps:
- Great build and small parts quality at the price point, which is around $1000-1100.
- Feeds and fires well during normal range use.
- Sub-optimal extractor design will require diligent monitoring of all related parts to favor its function – keep the chamber and breech face clean and smooth, make sure the claw is clean and intact, replace the extractor and spring if ejection pattern deteriorates further.
- Use convex follower magazines like the Wilson 7rd, which will reduce the likelihood that a spent case will be dragged through the feed lips should the extractor slip off the rim.
Due solely to the less than optimal extractor design and its accompanying functional issues, I do not recommend the Sig for service applications. There is no easy fix for the extractor setup, and users will be better served choosing a different 1911 for duty use.