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More than 100 years after God delivered His pistol design to John Moses Browning, the 1911 semi-automatic pistol is still as popular as Moran Atias at a pool party. Not to miss a trick, SIG SAUER is churning out several versions of the venerable handgun. The 1911 Nitron is the gunmaker’s “standard” model (i.e., the one with the fewest bells and whistles). As a SIG fanboy, I had no qualms about exploiting my position at TTAG for some serious trigger time. What I discovered may astound you . . .

From the moment you open the box, you realize that this isn’t just a carbon copy of John Moses Browning’s masterpiece. The SIG SAUER Nitron looks like the love child of a USGI 1911 and a P226 — coincidentally my two favorite handguns.

Externally, the Nitron’s all very 1911-esque. The slide has some standard SIG SAUER modeling on it; the horizontal ledge along the slide’s reminiscent of their P series handguns. Everything else could have been designed in . . . wait for it . . . 1911.

SIG’s made some minor mods: a skeletonized hammer, beavertail grip safety, external extractor and an adjustable trigger. All of which you’d expect to find on a gun that retails for around a grand. Missing from the “Greatest Hits” of high priced 1911s: a bull barrel. SIG opted instead for a precision machined barrel bushing.

There’s a Novak-like cut in the Nitron’s slide that allows for some better options in the rear sight department (e.g., target sights). SIG’s done the right thing, installing some first rate night sights. They’re as bright as an Oxford scholar — for now, that is. Unlike Bill Clinton’s appeal to the Democratic base, tritium decays. With a half life of 12 years you’ll need to replace them sometime before the Obama tax cuts expire.

The insides are where everything goes all SIGgy. The Nitron boasts a firing pin safety similar to the one in the P226, which keeps the thing from going forward unless the trigger is depressed. There’s also a strange protrusion at the back of the slide. I have no idea what it does, other than getting in the way of re-assembling the gun. I wasn’t able to take a good picture of it, but rest assured it’s quite annoying and not standard for a 1911.

The Nitron has the overall look and feel of an extremely well-polished piece of machinery. It has the same soft finish as the P226, which is as pleasurable to handle as Ferrari shift knob (back when they used to have them). The Nitron’s aggressively checkered front and backstraps make the grip grippy, without sacrificing the gun’s ergonomic sensuality.

The acid test, though, is how well the gun shoots. And the answer is mixed, to say the least.

When the gun runs, it’s a beautiful thing. Thanks to the five-inch barrel, the Nitron’s recoil is manageable if not enjoyable. The trigger is absolutely positively excellent, combining a short take-up with a fine, glass-like break. It’s as accurate as you wanna be; I could pop eight rounds very nearly through the same hole at 10 yards all day long.

But (and as a SIG fanboy, this hurts me to say it) the gun doesn’t run. I’ve tested a lot of guns in my tenure here at TTAG. None of them have had as many malfunctions as I’ve had with the SIG SAUER 1911 Nitron.

All of the failures were either failure-to-chamber or failure-to-feed. In 1911s, FTC and FTF issues usually indicate a bad magazine. Nope. I tested the handgun with the two standard-issue factory mags. Both had failures in equal proportions. So I grabbed some of the fullsize Wilson Combat magazines I had lying around and ran them. Same results. \

I tried changing the ammunition, switching from Winchester White Box 45 ACP to Hornady’s 230gr 45 ACP. Same issues. Some other reviews have mentioned that hollow point rounds failed to feed in the Nitron. I didn’t even attempt it given the terrible round nose performance.

Could it be the shooter, then? I may not be the best shot in the world, but after tens of thousands of rounds downrange this year with my own handguns (including a 1911) and not a single malfunction I’d think that I at least was shooting it properly. Nevertheless, I handed the SIG Nitron 1911 to a green shooter as well as a seasoned veteran. They experience the same malfunctions.

The progression is predictable. For about the first magazine after the gun has been stripped, cleaned and lubed, the gun is fine. Usually. There were one or two times where the gun would malf straight away, but for the most part it ran fine. Then, after loading the second magazine, it started to have issues stripping rounds from the magazine.

My theory: the internal components’ tolerances might be a little too tight. Tight tolerances make for accurate guns, but as Mikhail Kalashnikov has taught us, tight tolerances also lead to malfunctions. An accumulation of grime from firing the gun adds friction to the operating parts and decreases the available force to slip the rim of the brass under the heavy external extractor — which would exactly explain the problems I experienced.

When I contacted SIG SAUER to tell them about the “challenges,” they said I was the only person having these problems. So it’s entirely possible that I just got a lemon and everyone else is having a grand old time with their super-reliable 1911 handguns. But this wouldn’t be The Truth About Guns if I didn’t truthfully and accurately report exactly how this gun ran. Or, in this case, didn’t run.

SIG SAUER is sending me another 1911 Nitron to test, a different flavor this time. Watch this space.

Caliber:              45 ACP
Barrel:                5″
Overall:              8.65″
Weight:              40.3 oz
Capacity:           8 +1
Price:                 $835 (Bud’s)

Ratings (out of five stars):
All ratings are relative to other similar guns, and the final score IS NOT calculated from the constituent scores.

Accuracy: * * * * *
What you’d expect from SIG.

Ergonomics (Handling): * * * *
The grippy panels will be a little too grippy for some, but I’m used to them from my Wilson Combat 1911.

Ergonomics (Firing): * * * * *
Crisp clean break of the trigger, reasonable recoil and easy-to-see sights. The holy grail.

Reliability: *
It ran . . . sometimes. When it felt like it.

Customization: * * * *
The gun takes standard 1911 parts for the most part, like the barrel and the safety, so you can upgrade if you want. The Novak cut on the slide also makes installing aftermarket sights much easier. But there’s a model with a 1913 rail on the bottom of the gun, and honestly I’d much prefer that.

Overall Rating: * *
I can’t go a hair above two stars due to the reliability issue I experienced. Everything else about the gun is great, except the fact that it sometimes refuses to work.

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  1. “When I contacted SIG Sauer to tell them about the issues, they said that I was the only person having these problems.”

    When someone tells you that it’s safe to assume that, at the very least, ten other people are also experiencing problems and they just don’t give a ****.

    By the way, how many more 1911 reviews is TTAG going to do? The reason I ask is because my great grandpa’s reanimated corpse doesn’t think six or seven is enough.

    • Yeah, run, don’t walk away from Sig 1911s.
      I’ve had two- the 1911C3 and the RCS. While both were commander-size, I could not get either to run worth a crap. I originally bought the RCS and when it had the problems, I returned it to the dealer expecting a bad gun. Then in picked up a new C3 for a good deal and had issues with it as well. Sig had a special deal going so I sent the pistol back to them for a fluff & buff, recut of the feed ramp, etc and it didn’t help the pistol one whit of good. Of course Sig said that it ran fine for them but while I could go 90% of the time and not have too many issues with FMJ, loading any JHP killed the pistol. The only JHP that would load was Golden Sabres, and only because of their closed “mouth”. To top it off, with the square-topped non-milspec slide your selection of holsters that would work are pared down to a very select few. So, no more Sig 1911s for me.

    • Sig has had my 1911 Fastback Nightmare 5″ for almost 9 weeks after FTF / FTC issues. I swapped ammo, much in the same way you described. This was my first experience with a 1911 and Sig just dropped down several notches in my estimation. I am a Lean / Six Sigma Blackbelt and have a few notions about quality control and the lack of to allow a firearm out of the facility with suck horrendous reliability.

      • Just tell the guy who breaks into your home to hold on while you fire off 500 rounds to break the gun in. Seriously, if it would fire better after 500 rounds of break in, I’d be happy, even though the time and expense involved would be a hardship. So far, I’ve managed more like 200, and I do think it has been improving somewhat.

        • when I bought my nitride sig cheap .45 I noticed how tight the round was in battery,i took an 1800 grit emory paper and cleaned the breech face up a bit,now it shoots everything I put in any magazine I choose,i also repolished the barrel ring and rethroated the pistol,i remember having to do this to all the colt o models I have ever shot , I also put a fill length guide rod and a 22 lb match spring inside the slide ,I use a heavy synthetic grease in everything I shoot because it stops wear ,now all my sig 1911’s run deep wide and continuously .I was never a fan of flat springs in most of my sigs so I changed them to n.m 22lb regular colt springs.

      • Sean,

        I’m a SIG fan-atic who loves SIGs, owns SIGS, and shoots my SIGs (three P226’s and an R556 Classic) frequently… I love them all, and they have all been flawless.
        HOWEVER…! The complaints that I read and some of the design and manufacturing decisions the company makes give me reason for pause. They are taking the same evolutionary path as Motorola… “Me Too!”… they have started letting a fickle market lead them around by the nose, instead of making the finest product available, proving the value of their products, settling for third place-volume, and maintaining an up-scale, loyal following that appreciates good quality triggers, excellent accuracy, smooth operation, easy disassembly, “To hell and back reliability” and supports good margins.

        From boutique manufacturer with die-hard loyalty from the likes of the US Navy SEALS, SpecOps, Secret Service, and other organizations that direct the course of human history… to McDonald’s Hamburgers’ high-volume mentality customer satisfaction-level quality products… they are losing their way, and their reputation…

        As an unemployed engineer with a 30 year career that spans Machinery Design, Tooling Engineering, Automation Design, Manufacturing Engineering, Vendor Development, and Project Management, I have applied to 4 separate Manufacturing Engineering positions with SIG… I’m still unemployed (going on 4 years now)…

        PLEASE… try your luck with them!

        But, just remember, all the control charts, LEAN practices, 5S’s, DFA, FMEA, FEA, and 6-Sigma in the world can’t fix a BAD DESIGN made from incompatible materials (like stainless steel with a running-slip-fit on aluminum, hard coated, or not…).

    • I had the same problem as Mike B several years back. I had a GSR 1911 Nitron and I experienced stove pipes, mis-feeds and the like. I couldn’t believe it…I called SigSauer, I sent it back to SigSauer…twice…needed to be broken in…My previous experience was 226 and 220 and they had flawless performance. I finally sold it at a gun show. I later got a Sig 1911 SS Carry and did not experience the problems…my new Sig M11/A1 flawless performance even for this novice.
      Paul H, Navarre FL

      • Here’s an update I sent it back to Sig for both the FTC and FTL issues. They “fixed” it and returned it within about a week, stating they polished the feed port and replaced the slide lock. I immediately took it to the range and put 8 clips through it. No more FTL’s, but 4 FTC’s. I then brought it home and cleaned it, and took it back to the range putting 150 rounds through it (3 different ammo manufacturers). I had 2 FTC’s and no FTL’s. The FTC’s were both with the factory mags, and I had none with Wilson Combat mags. I’m now trying to figure out if I should put a few hundred more rounds through it or send it back. I’ll probably shoot it a bit more and see if it’s just a long break in period. If not, she’ll go back for more work.

        I will say the folks at Sig have been great. The gun’s accuracy is amazing and it’s a joy to shoot. I like it better than my 220 which I had an accuracy issue with which was also fixed, for free, by the factory.

        I guess we’ve grown to expect to live in a perfect world. It’s not. Sometimes we’ve got to work on it (and send guns back to the factory). Thank God we’ve got the ability to buy pistols, shoot them, and complain about it!

    • My 1911R45SSS was just sent into Sig today….I gave them the serial number and they sent me a label. FTF…the first round get jamed halfway in the barrel wit the next round pressuring to go up. Magazine is impossible
      to drop and the slide locks back…

    • The Thing about “Nobody Else Has Had This Problem. ” is an utterance that makes certain high-level custom pistolsmiths go juramentado. The very familiar-looking Michael B. nails it with his comment..

  2. “is still as popular as Moran Atias at a pool party”

    Now Nick has caught Robert’s writing contagion to include a link in his post to a hot model. You guys are certainly re-writing the standard for gun reviews. If I ever write a post here I’m going to include a link to a hot fetish model or two. Maybe.

    • I’m 100% certain that Nick didn’t include that, it was “edited in.” He may have gone as far as writing “…still as popular as {insert hot model link here}…” and let RF fill in the rest, or the entire sentence may be an RF construction. Who knows? Who cares? I come to this site for the completely irrelevant babe insertions, don’t you? Doesn’t everyone?

        • I imagine it was ironic, i.e. humor with a point. If I’m correct in that assumption, then my comment was meant to agree with and reinforce yours, by way of “educating” you versus taking a direct shot at the true intended target.

          Of course, when you have to explain the joke, it doesn’t work. 🙂

  3. This is what I like about TTAG. Thanks for the honest reporting. I hope for Sig’s sake that it’s an anomaly but it’s still a bit disconcerting.

    • I bought a P226, twice. One was a regular version, the other was a TacOps. Both didn’t like running dirty, and the TacOps would lock-back after last round was fired only with stock mags. I bought some +2 MecGar mags and they all sat just a tad lower than stock mags for some reason. Besides, their finishes suck, especially on the barrel. I still find a P220 carry very tempting, but I think I’ll pass.

      • Sad to hear your P226 didn’t work out… I love the gun, personally. If you don’t mind me asking, what was the year/make of yours?

        Mine is a West German made from the 80s. Runs like a dream, though at some point, I’ll probably get night sights, springs replaced, and re-finished.

        • The plain P226 was from 2010 (German frame); the Tacops was from 2011 (I think 100% US made). I kept both guns stock at all times. Somebody on this forum compared Sig to Taurus. I wouldn’t go that far, but the new Sigs are too much hype, not enough substance. Sorry, but I expected more from a $1k gun. I really wanted to like those guns.

  4. JMB got EVERYTHING right in 1911. After being used in umteen wars and gunfights now is not the time to mess with perfection.

  5. External extractor on a 1911?? Wonder if that could be part of the problem! Never have worked on a Sig 1911, but all the 1911’s I have built and repaired were true to original internal extractors which are easy to tune/adjust.
    Just curious if the external could be all or part of the problem.

  6. The TRUTH indeed. As a fellow SIG fan (SIG P226 ’til I die!), it hurt to read this review… but I applaud Nick for speaking the truth. I don’t have a nice 1911 in my personal collection yet, but it looks like this offering by SIG won’t be on my wishlist until the problems are fixed or Nick actually gets to test a model that works.

    Extra bonus points for the pretty pictures and video link.

    Bravo, TTAG… these are the kind of the hard-hitting reviews I like.

  7. Having only FTC or FTF makes me wonder if the recoil spring is not heavy enough. I would be curious if replacing the spring would make the reliability better.

    • Your dead on. I have the Sig 1911 Tacops changed out that spring never happened again. It has been well over 1000 rds since.

  8. Man, that’s a shame. I have a “Tac Ops” 1911 that runs perfectly. Best of luck in getting the kinks worked out.

  9. Polish the feed ramp? Tune the extractor? Change the recoil spring on a brand new gun? There is no reason a 900-1000 dollar gun should not run out of the box.

    My $500 Glock has never had a malfunction no matter what I do to it.

    I guess I just don’t understand the fascination with these century old paper weights. (Yes I own a Kimber Eclipse Pro II, and its just as big a turd as this Sig seems to be.)

    • that’s like saying if you buy a car you shouldnt modify it with after-market parts… just because it cost a lot? fact is that once fine-tuned they run better than a block…

      • Maybe, but I would still expect that car, in stock condition, to perform its basic functions.

        It’s the difference between oh hey, this car runs great but let’s make some upgrades to make this car run better! and oh hey, I just bought this car off the lot, brand new, but the brakes aren’t functioning and I think the transmission’s shot! Let’s piss away even more money to get it running the way it was supposed to from the start!

    • I can’t give up on the 1911 models for all the wrong reasons; mostly LOOKS (Yeah, I admit it – they just look to me like what a handgun should look like, absolutely fabulous in a display case.) and tradition, which is nearly the same as looks. But I do have a positive note. I got a Colt 1991 Series w/ Series 80 Firing System, Model 01991 5 inch barrel. Not a single jam of any kind straight out of the box. Have only fired 200 rounds, so I guess I’ll be hearing that they fall apart after 201 rounds, but so far, so good.

  10. Loooove SIGs, especially the luminous P226. Hate 1911s. Sorry to see that SIG’s P/1911 love child is a dog. But the question is why a great manufacturer like SIG would try to update such an antique, dead-end platform in the first place.

    As much as I dislike 1911s, even I have to admit that JMB got it as right as it could be a hundred years ago. F^ck!ing with the design isn’t going to make it better.

  11. Ouch. My SIG fanaticism bone hurts now. Hopefully that was just a lemon, but I do have to say that my wife’s 238 doesn’t like to feed all the time either. It may take a trip back to the factory if it surpasses the break in period with the same issues.

    • The p238 hates being dirty. Keep it clean with a firm wrist that little fella will tear one big hole in paper it BG. I personally have never had an issue with a sig. But I was shooting a buddy’s 238 and he was getting stove pipes one after another and he handed it to me with a fresh mag and I didn’t have one issue…
      Another buddy has a sig 1911 and that one shoots real nice and he hasn’t had any malfunctions yet. But thanks Nick we all appreciate you and the others at ttag. Regardless of how jealous we all are

  12. I had the EXACT same problems when their second generation (attempt) at 1911s came out a few years ago. Could not get through one magazine (of varied manufacture) of ammo (also of varied manufacture) without some malfunction. Went back to Sig twice – still horrible. I shared the experience with a friend who bought one and he swore Sigs were great. He bought one and it had to go back right away too. It was so bad with the first run, they recalled them all. So bad with the second run that they were overwhelmed with the returns. I was hoping the third time was the charm. Since our experience with Sig 1911s, we have changed their motto in our circle to “To hell with reliability.”

  13. I have a friend that owns a 4 inch Sig 1911, it will not run with hollow points at all. My S&W E Series 1911 on the other hand eats anything but launches brass a mile. Might need new recoil spring.

  14. I like SIGs, but I just don’t get 1911s. I just always assumed it was a generational thing. They’re nice, sure. Will I eventually own one (or two)? Most likely. Some of them are absolutely gorgeous. But I’ve never found a 1911 that I liked better than something else for the same job.

    I know a little bit about cars, and I guess I equate 1911s with MGs. That’s MG the car, not machine guns. MGs are neat little cars, and if you are of a mind to tinker with them and figure out the individual foibles of your car, they can be truly fantastic. But they’re finicky and quirky and can be (Can be? ROFL. Have you ever had one? ARE.) difficult to deal with on a daily basis. That to me sounds much like what I understand about 1911s. Each one has its own personality, and they seem to be very sensitive to how they’re run (wet, dry, dirty, clean), how they’re maintained, and sometimes, just what day it is. If yours isn’t running right, you can find literally dozens of opinions on what you can do to make it run correctly. Not better; correctly. I prefer things that run, first time, every time, without having to be coddled or scolded or tweaked.

    • When you decide to buy a 1911 one day just purchase a low-end Springfield and if you have problems with it (you probably won’t) they’ll bend over backwards to make it right.

  15. I have a Sigma 9mm that I got for 300 bucks, new. It’s never choked on any of the varied ammo I’ve fed it.

    For 850 bucks it should work right out of the box no matter what brand it is. And if you contact the company to tell them thier 850 dollar gun don’t run right they should be bending over backwards to make it right. Not giving you a shrug and “oh well”.

    • +100.
      I had a Sigma .40 that ran like a champ on any ammo but traded it for a Taurus Mill Pro .40!! The Sigma(SW40VE) was just too big to carry concealed for the way I dress, jeans and tshirts most of the time.
      I currently own 2 1911’s right now and wouldn’t trade them for anything else unless I find that “one born every minute” that has a Nighthawk 1911 they would trade for mine! 😉
      I have had the Taurus Mill Pro in 9mm, .40SW and .45acp!! All three ran like a champ on any ammo, hand loads included, I fed them, but just never got to like the grip/ergonomics of polymer guns.
      Neither of my 1911’s are “High Dollar” I guess. An ATI FX Titan .45acp and an Auto Ordinance Commemarative 100 year 1911. Both are shot on a weekly basis and eat everything I feed them without a hiccup.
      Hell I sold my Springfield lightweight champion 1911 an got the ATI because it will outshoot the Springfield.
      Just my opinion.

  16. Well I know for a fact that Sig is lying saying that this is the only 1911 that they have had problems with. Sig makes great guns, just not 1911s. Their 1911s are jamamatics. It surprised me they cannot manufacture a design that is over 100 years old, but they can’t. Not consistently anyway. There are so many good choices in 1911s that there is absolutely no reason to buy one from a manufacturer that can’t put one together. A WWII era Remington Rand is reliable whereas with a Sig it is a coin toss if you will get a good one or not. That says a lot. A typewriter company can make the gun well but a gun manufacturer can’t!

    The bottom line is if you buy a Sig 1911 you take a chance. Sig should have stayed out of the 1911 business.

    • Except it couldn’t. 1911s are just too damn lucrative.

      Ironic, considering SIG already makes a fine .45 ACP – the P220.

  17. How, how, how do you send a firearm to a reviewer without running at least five hundred rounds through it beforehand? That’s some serious beginner shit in their PR department.

  18. I have an RCS Nitron with about 2500 rounds through it. I have failure to feed problems often. It’s not an every magazine occurrence, but definitely enough to be annoying. Usually I can palm smack the back of the slide to get it running, but not always. I am going to send it off to Sig and have them polish the feed ramp and put a full power spring in. We will see if that does the trick. I am running 47OXC mags so I don’t think they are the issue.

    Oh and the RCS is a very loose slide to frame fit.

  19. further evidence that reliable, working 1911s cant:

    1.) be mass produced
    2.) have a external extractor

    They were engineered as a hand-crafted gun with a internal extractor. any derivative that veers away from the original design will unsurprisingly fail.

  20. Ok I have at thing for 1911’s. It isn’t like my only gun and don’t want others but it has it’s place. The design has been around for ever, and it is pretty solid, in many ways. I love the MP line of full sized for defensive guns, and certainly SIG has a place for their P226.
    As much as folks are saying, polish this or change that.. This seems like it might be a systemic issue of some sort. And for $850.00 it should work and work reliably right out of the box no problem. The fact that it seems this is not an isolated incident, makes me wonder. There are amateur “Home Bobby” gun smiths who are building some really nice looking 1911 clones which run great! A major arms manufacturer really needs to make sure their guns run perfect all the time, every time. I hope they get the kinks worked out.

    • You’re absolutely right! For $850 it should work right out of the box. None of this polish this or that and it will be fine. With a 1911 there are so many brands available that work out of the box why would someone take a chance with a Sig? Yeah, I am sure some are fine. In fact I know some are fine but then I know the one that was tested is not the only one that wouldn’t run no matter what Sig says.

      I went through the same sort crap with Benelli. They claimed that they never had a problem with the gun before despite us sending them back two of them! Two identical Cordoba models that would jam time after time. I think that is just what the customer service department is instructed to say in these companies. “We’ve never had a problem with these guns before.” Yeah sure. The Benellis were fixed but I had to do it myself. In Benelli’s defense they were made to alter the shotgun design by USFW so it could not be loaded with a round on the carrier making it capable of holding 4 rounds instead of three. It is pretty easy to put it back to original specs which makes it a far more reliable gun. Benellis, when they first came out, had a rep as the most reliable auto shotgun around. Not now, well unless you bring it back to original specs.

      I don’t know what the exact problem is with Sig 1911s and don’t care really because there are so many other choices out there that are reliable.

  21. Ok – here is my two cents. I have yet to own a 1911, but I have been tempted to buy one, especially with Christmas coming up. I have heard that if you are in the market for one, you should stick with – Springfield Armory, Colt, and maybe Kimber. I believe you should stay away from companies who “just got into” the 1911 market because everyone else has. Oh, and unless you want a 2nd mortgage on your house to buy that Wilson Combat 1911, stick with the companies who have been making 1911’s for years and years . . . and years.

    That – or buy a Glock and be done with it.

    I do not necessarily know what I am talking about when it comes to 1911’s, since I don’t own one but FWIW:

    You seem to be paying more than what you are really getting;
    You have to break these 1911’s in – 500 round minimum before they “run right”;
    If you want aftermarket parts, you need a gunsmith/machinist to be able to fit them to your 1911
    If you are used to a glock or revolver, RF made the point that you must train yourself to use the new system or your brain might think in your DGU situation, that you are holding your Glock instead of what you really have in your hand – 1911.

    Sigh, but some are very pretty and I would still, maybe, someday, like to own one.

    • DO NOT buy a Kimber. Whomever told you that they’re a good company that makes good products is a liar or an idiot. Go with Springfield or Colt.

      • I have a 4″ Kimber SE that has never hiccuped and I’ve run it with every kind of ammo out there, including my lead reloads. Never an FTE, FT anything. That and the trigger is awsome, sights are too. This is one of their bull barrel 4″ pistols and I love it.

    • Ok..well first off I have owned 6 or 7 1911’s and have never had to run 500 rds thru them before they ran right. The 2 I have now ran like they should right out of the box and are still running like a champ. Considering neither one was over $600 I am well pleased, the compact(3.18″bbl) 1911 is my everyday carry gun and I trust it without hesitation.
      I do own revolvers, and smaller semi auto’s and still love my 1911’s the most.
      As far as replacing parts/upgrading 1911’s all you really need is a good disassembly/reassembly manual, a good gunsmith’s book that deals with 1911’s only(series70,80,etc) and a little common sense mechanical skill and you can build a good 1911. You just have to invest the time to learn the system, which is true with any firearms platform, if you intend to do any parts replacement yourself.
      My toolkit for working on 1911’s is fairly small as I can hold all of the tools I need to work on one in two hands.
      Of course your chosen platform is what you are most comfortable with. Just as an aside my ccw 1911 has an ambi safety I installed myself in about an hour, and when drawing right or left handed my thumb naturally lays right on the safety as soon as I get a grip on it.
      Hopefully one day you will give the platform a try, and they are available in other calibers besides .45acp if recoil could be a problem.

    • buy a custom or semi-custom and be done with it.

      the only 1911s i own are ones that have been assembled by craftsmen, not unskilled labor.

      nighthawk, ed brown, wilson, and les baer to name a few. yes theyre expensive. thats what happens when you buy hand crafted firearms.

      • That is very good advice. Really it is worth a little more money to get a Wilson, Baer, Brown or Nighthawk. If you are patient and shop around you can pick one up used for little more than a new production brand. A friend of mine just bought a used Les Baer Premier II for $1100. It shows a little holster wear but big deal. He has given it to me test shoot. I already know how it will shoot without firing it. Beautifully. All Baers do or they fix them. Well this was one of the accurized versions that came with the test target if you want to call a piece of cardboard a target. Still I know it will shoot and man is made well. Even the magazine. I can’t figure that out. I don’t see a weld or seam on it. They really didn’t make a magazine from a block of stainless did they? It’s nice whatever.

        I will have to get a high end 1911 for myself someday but first I would have to sell of some other guns in my safe. I try to keep my inventory to under 50 guns but it is approaching that again. Yeah, I know. It’s ridiculous. Wait! Ridiculous to have so many guns or ridiculous to limit the number? Hmmm.

        • in my opinion, the 1911 game is like the battle rifle game. if you are on a budget, then you will be disappointed.

          If you have a less than 1000 dollar budget, buy a glock…or any other polymer.

          • Not necessarily true about a $1000 budget. Although the ATI and the Taurus PT 1911’s are under a grand both are very good guns for the money.
            The average on the Taurus I have seen around here is $650 to $800 for the two tone.
            The ATI Fx Titan Officers Model(3.18″ match grade bull barrel, match grade trigger) is around $500 to $550.
            There are good 1911’s out there for less than a grand if you just look around and ask about them from people you know that own 1911’s, ask your local gun shop also what they have or can get in the model you want for less than a grand.
            I will say, and this is just from personal experience, stay away from the Kimbers and Rugers at whatever price, the Springfield Range Officer runs just over a grand here with tax but a very well setup pistol.
            It really comes down to your personal choice and what you want it for,ie: concealed carry, house gun, car gun,etc.
            Look around,check around, ask around and then decide.

    • True if you have the $1000+ and can get the Series70 ones. Not a real fan of the Series80 1911’s.
      Never a Kimber or Sig, have had very good luck with Taurus, Auto Ordinance,ATI(series70 and my favorite), or Nighthawk if you have the cash for them. I excluded Wilson Combat not because of price but the way they treated a potential customer, and someone who has used a lot of their parts, purchased from them, to build,repair or tune up other 1911’s.
      On the other hand when I get the income saved up to buy/build a top shelf Series70 1911 it will be a Nighthawk Custom and nothing else.

    • My unit uses Serpa as do the Marines here. I’ve never noticed a plbroem with drawing and firing on target and no ND. I realize I’m one person on the internet saying this, but I feel like maybe if you took a few times to train just drawing your weapon from a holster before you go live on it you would be able to notice a plbroem in your draw. For instance Hey i just drew my pistol and noticed that my finger is in the trigger guard before I’m on target. How can I prevent this? After everything that I have done to prevent this in a safe enviroment I still can’t get it right maybe this holster isn’t for me.’ There the end.

  22. “My theory: the internal components’ tolerances might be a little too tight. Tight tolerances make for accurate guns, but as Mikhail Kalashnikov has taught us, tight tolerances also lead to malfunctions. ”

    No no no! Tight tolerances mean its closer to specified size (more exact to the print’s dimensions), and more expensive. You mean that the clearances are too tight as a result of a large tolerance range and by luck of the draw you got a MMC issue here. Barrel slightly large OD, small bore on the slide or something like that.

  23. If you haven’t noticed it yet, in the video, you are losing your support hand grip on the pistol when it recoils. Even on those shots where you aren’t relaxing your grip as the gun fires, you are re-gripping the gun between shots (wiggling your fingers of your support hand). All of those things are indicators that you should be gripping the gun a lot harder with your support hand, since you are basically holding it one handed when the slide goes forward. Your grip should be solid enough that a still picture taken immediately before the gun fires, and another one taken the instant the sights come back to where they started after recoil completes look exactly the same.

    Before you place all blame on the gun itself, I would have another shooter run it and see if similar problems occur, or experiment with increasing and decreasing support hand grip pressure, making sure you aren’t dragging your thumbs on the slide (can’t see what’s happening on the other side of the pistol in the video.)

    If I was ROing you at a match, I would warn you that your trigger finger really should be higher on the pistol, at least on the frame, instead of resting on the trigger guard, when its in the “off the trigger” position. Where you are putting it in that video basically offers little to no protection against a negligent discharge, were you to be surprised, or stumble while moving during a course of fire, because your finger is mostly unsupported and only resting on the trigger guard. At a minimum it should be flat against the frame, with 100% of the finger higher than the trigger guard. That’s the generally accepted standard – some schools advocate an even higher trigger finger position (touching the ejection port on the slide).

    • I am not sure what you’re saying. Are you saying that the jams are caused by poor form or you just don’t like the way he is holding the pistol? If you think holding the pistol wrong causes the jams he has had, well I absolutely do not agree. He said several people shot the gun and had the same problems. I have heard this holding it wrong excuse a lot. When I had issues with a Benelli shotgun I was told that I probably didn’t have it firmly against my shoulder! This despite the fact I used to shoot over 30K rounds through a shotgun a year. I know what I am doing with a shotgun. Also I have had my bird boy in Argentina shoot a Benelli one handed, shooting all five rounds without a failure. He did it several times and hit most of the doves too. That whole holding it wrong is an excuse for a gun that isn’t working correctly…well most of the time anyway.

      Oh, you will see it over and over these so called experts saying that a Benelli will not cycle unless it is firmly against the shoulder. Where do they get their information. Well from reading other idiots. They repeat the same misinformation over and over and think it is true. If you don’t believe me look it up. You will find people that say exactly that. Have they tested it? Of course not or they would know it isn’t true. It’s another gun myth, kind of like the $20 bill in the empty chamber of an SAA. Sounds good so repeat it over and over.

      Oh, the 1911 was designed to be mainly a cavalry weapon and thus shot one handed, one hand being needed to control the mount. They work one handed, at least a decent one does.

      • The jams could be caused by his grip. I’ve seen it happen many, many times with student guns and had it happen myself, most often when shooting one handed. Instead of keeping constant grip pressure on the pistol before, during and after recoil, some people tighten their grip as they press the trigger and then relax it as soon as the gun starts to recoil. The other common failure mode is pressing in, on the slide, with one or both thumbs, causing the slide to drag and not cycle at full velocity.

        The failures could also be caused by the mag sitting too low (placement of the hole that locks to the mag release could be off on the magazine body), could be the feed lips on the magazine, many possible mechanical causes. It’s best to be 100% sure it’s not the operator before blaming the gun, and based on what’s in the video, there are grip issues that might be the cause that should be addressed as part of the troubleshooting process.

        • Did you notice the part where Nick said (and Jim B reiterated) that he handed it off to a couple other shooters, one experienced, one not, and they all had the exact same issues?

          • I missed that part. The grip issues I observed in the video are still technique problems that need fixing whether they are causing the gun malfunctions or not. If the malfunction is independent of the shooter, the next step I would do is run a Wilson or a Tripp 1911 magazine in it, with Federal 230 gr ball, and see what happens. If the malfunctions keep occurring using those components then I would blame the gun.

        • I agree about the hold. I sold one of the pistols I built to a friend and he broke the ejector the first time he shot it. It was a Colt Officer model, series 80 stainless, that I had used for Action pistol matches and never had a problem. I watched him when he shot it and also one of my full-size 1911’s and he was definitely limp wristing it. When I tried to explain that to him and what happens when you limp wrist a 3.5″ 1911 (or any short pistol for that matter), he got offended. I fixed the gun for him and eventually traded him one of my 5″ 1911 builds straight over for it. I’m still shooting it and it works fine. Some 1911’s won’t work without a firm grip and that’s probably because they’re a little tighter, springs are different, whatever. Your hold on a 1911 that has been built tight is important, especially those short ones.

    • After reading your review, i went back and watched the video. I think you are 100% correct.It seems to me that for a guy that says he shoots as much as he says he does, he does a lot of things wrong.One other thing I noticed when he reloaded he did a kind of half ass job releasing the slide when it didn’t feed. I have had this same pistol, only with the 4.25 in. barrel for a couple of years, maybe 1000 rds. through it, and have had zero malfunctions., I can’t say the same for the Kimber I had before that.

  24. I think I’ll stick with Browning’s better design; my 15 year old CZ has never had a FTF with many thousands of rounds through it. It also remains one of the most accurate guns I own.

  25. I’m sad to hear about your issues with this gun. I have a Sig RCS (CCO; Commander slide on an Officer frame) and have 0 FTF/FTE in almost 2000 rounds and two cleanings.

    Incidentally I have an Advantage Arms .22 Conversion (Commander size) and do experience FTF/FTE with it, as you would generally expect of such a conversion. It also makes the gun filthy, but I have had no issues running 200+ .22 through it and then another 100+ .45 with not a single .45 failure.

    Anecdotal evidence at best, but then again so is this review.

  26. if you buy any modern 1911 you get every bit of misery you deserve and then some…
    gave up on 1911’s years ago when only 2 out of over a dozen pistols were functional from NIB…
    even a highpoint or an RG has a better chance at reliability than a modern 1911…

  27. This review does not match up with previous reviews I have read on this gun. I’m thinking you just got a lemon.

  28. Watched the video, you have a pretty awful shooting form – back to school for you :).

    Did you disassemble, clean and lube the pistol before you first shot it? Did you do a function test? One of your failures on the video resulted from slingshot charging the gun. Have you tried the slide release? Your slingshots are too fast and not clean.

    Both malfunctions I saw can be easily be caused by crud in the chamber. I had your same problems happen to me with a brand new .357 Sig barrel I bought for my Glock. It finally jammed so bad I had to take it to the armorer at the premises. He said the chamber was full of crud. After cleaning the chamber and barrel it has run 100% since – now over 600 rounds. That was the only time I have not cleaned a new barrel before shooting it. Also, new 1911s have to be run greasy wet.

    Did you even look through the barrel before shooting the gun the first time?


  29. That’s too bad. My Sig XO 1911 hasn’t failed to feed, fire, or eject anything in 500 rounds so far. Love it.

    • Same here. A buddy got an XO (TacPac) and, after shooting it, I ran out and got the same package. I had a VERY bad experience with a Colt Officer’s Model in the 80’s and I enjoyed his XO so much it really shocked me. My cousin went with me to the range for the first shooting and was so enamored HE went out and bought an XO TacPac (He is such a Glock fanboy it surprises me to hear him say it’s already his favorite pistol!). None of us are having unusual feeding or ejection problems in the first 200 rounds or so. We are all experiencing terrific groups with our guns. The only slightly odd thing is the two newest fail to lock open after the last round once in a while. Could there be some different design features between the models? From the pictures, it looks to me like our barrels are thicker but that could be an illusion. Maybe some production flaw was corrected after this review? I have a hard time believing Sig would let a problem continue on for an extended period of time.

  30. I own one… Nitron with the rail.

    I’ve fed about 1000 rounds through it so far, from bottom dollar plinking ammo (bottom dollar as you can go for .45) and not so bottom dollar quality defensive ammo and the gun ran like a sweing machine; non-stop, smooth, and accurate.

  31. I have the XO and the 1911F from SIG and neither weapon has had a problem. I did clean it as soon as I got it(it’s not a polymer pistol) and it does need more lubrication than most. The F is the most accurate handgun I own with XO being 2nd. The tolerances are tight on the SIGs (1911’s and the P series) but i’ve never had a problem with any of them.

  32. Thanks for the write-up, Nick. Over the past weekend, I picked up the exact gun you tested (luckily, I guess, before reading your review). I just got home from shooting nearly a full, 50-round box of Federal FMJ, before shooting a handful of Hornady TAPs, before finishing off the Federals. I didn’t have a single malfunction. It shot accurately and smoothly. I’m very pleased with it and plan to carry it after I take it with me to a few more “break in” trips to the range.

    That’s not to say things won’t go south later, but I’m thinking you may have just received a unit with issues.

  33. Everyone turns out a lemon every now and again but it is not a reason to run away from ALL Sig 1911’s. I would agree the first GSR line had extractor and magazine issues but Sig has come a long way in fixing these issues. I did a Sig TTT review and had the exact opposite experience.

    What I have found though with any 1911 for me is a high grip hold and some wilson grease on the rails and they all run flawlessly. Though I must say you make me cry when I see you just racking that thing to death on an empty chamber I wonder how many times you performed that routine which is possible to cause problems and will absolutely ruin a trigger job.

    Springfield Armory’s 1911 manual says this on the issue:
    Notice: The slide of a 1911-A1 pistol should never
    be released on an empty chamber; especially one
    which has had an action job. Releasing the slide on
    an empty chamber causes damage to the breech
    face on the barrel and undue stress on all action
    parts, including the hammer and the sear. This will
    ruin the action job performed on your pistol.

  34. I had the same failures to feed out of a Sig Scorpion full-size. The slide stop was bad on it, which appears to have mitigated the problem with the slide locking back after the last round but I would go with the tolerances as a main issue.

    Did you install a buffer in the Sig? One that sits right at the barrel lug at the rear of the recoil spring? It’s a small, usually plastic device that often helps with wear and tear on a gun long term but I found that my Sig did NOT like. It ran a lot better without it but with all the finickyness the Scorpion gave me she will find a better home somewhere else.

  35. I bought the Sig Sauer 1911 Fastback (commander size) Nitron in August. It is awesome! 600 various rounds to date (ball and hollow point) including dirty Precision reloads, without one FTC, FTL, or jam. It is well made, crisp trigger, easy to field strip, and flat out beautiful to look at. I very much appreciate the review and comments from my fellow shooters, but I wouldn’t hesitate recommending this gun to anyone.

  36. Sig needs to end the use of flat-cut recoil springs in their 1911s and P238s.These were my last two Sigs and neither has had one round through them with a standard Sig recoil spring.My Tac-Ops has run flawlessly using a Wolff 18.5# spring and the P238 is perfect with a 12# spring.Just my experience.

  37. Shot my brand new Sig Nightmare carry commander model last Thursday for the first time …. ran 50 rds of Walmart WWB and 100rds of my own target reloads down the pipe flawlessly. A variety of magazines were used i.e. Wilson 47d, ETM, Baer, Metalform, vintage USGI, Sig factory mag and Colt factory 7 and 8rd magazines….not one single issue. This Sig commander shot more accurate than my full size BaerPII and Kimber CII.

  38. OK, so I can cross SIG M1911’s off my list.
    That leaves just about 20 other makers to evaluate.
    No wonder everyone’s buying GLOCKS!

  39. i own sig 1911 nitron with rail.have run over 1000 rounds through weapon and NEVER had failure with any ammo i feed her. odd review.

    • Novice user – spent a fortune on Sig 1911 Carry Nitron and P238, mostly because I like the looks and never remotely considered the possibility that guns that expensive would not be somewhat reliable. Have been to the range only once so far and had a few jams with the P238, but the 1911 is basically useless. Looks like they’ll make nice decorations, but I wanted something for self defense. In spite of the fact that I paid a lot of money for these guns, have very little extra money and I can’t remember ever being this disappointed and depressed.

      • Sorry to hear about your issues. I have a P238 that’s never failed to go bang with whatever ammo I threw at it. Well, except for some cheap russian stuff with hard primers, but I’ve used many other lots of that same brand without a hitch, so I’m calling that a fluke.

  40. I believe if you sent that gun back they sent it to me. I have the exact same gun doing the exact same thing. I have guns i have tried to make malfunction and cant 4 of those are sigs including two p 220s, c3, and gsr. I think there is zero chance you are shooting it wrong.I have had nothing but good luck from sigs of all kinds. And just because i dont like a glock at all dont mean i am going to say they are horible guns like some of these sig haters. But i have had several glocks over the years and have had at least 12 to 15 ftf total But have shot more rounds than most even through glocks so 12 to 15 is not bad. Until this sig 1911 fastback i have had less than 10 from sigs which i shoot 3 times as much as any other gun. Never even one in either of my 220s and ith 4000 rounds and counting never even 1 in my gsr. But this fastback is kicking my but. I do a lot of work on 1911 pistols myself and thought this is going to be a nice little chalange. But i am so sick of this thing now i thik i am going to turn it into a 460 rowland.I think the man is right when he said fit of barrel to slide may have something to do with it also the guy who mentioned the extractor may be onto something.. But it is very hard to tune. this has made me really start to reconsider my 1911 position. I may now start buing springfield, colt or even s and w and dontlaugh at s and w i think i ve had less problems with s and w than any other gun. As far as the fastback goes i will lput the rowland kit in it an if that helps or solves the problem iwill keep it. If not i will sell it cheap or use it for parts and i payed a lot more than 800 for mine

  41. I bought a Tac Ops a couple months ago and never shot it before I put on a 460 rowland conversion with a ported barrel . It shot way low so I added an adjustable rear sight. Wow it eats everything I feed it an spits them all in the 9-10 ring at 20 yards. I reload all my own and use a col of 1.267″ . I have only put 200 rounds thru it so far but never once has it failed.

    • Jim, that sounds great for you since you seem knowledgable about guns. But frankly, I don’t think I should have to have gunsmith training or retrofit anything to make my $1,100 (or so) pistol shoot a few bullets. A 460 Rowland and a ported barrel? WTF??? 🙂

  42. I have been having failure to feed problems with my Sig 1911 tac ops. I was told to expect a few problems during break in but after 300-400 rounds I was still getting about a 10 percent failure rate. Sent it back to Sig. They polished the feed ramp and fired 40 rounds through it without failure. When I took it to the range, the failure rate was now around 50 percent. At this point I am thoroughly discussed with the 1911 tac ops, and Sig service as well.

  43. Just picked up my new 1911 Nitron 3 hours ago, and immediately went to the range to see what it would do. The good: It shot amazing groups at 7 yards and felt great in my hand. The bad: 3 FTC’s and multiple Failure to Locks in the 70 or so rounds I shot. The FTC’s were bad enough, FTL’s were the worst as the gun wouldn’t lock more than it would. THIS WAS WITH STOCK MAGS AND WILSON COMBAT MAGS! The gun is going back to Sig, as is my P220 that shoots low left for everyone who knows how to shoot and tries it. Sig, you’re breaking my heart!

    • Is there a timeframe for when a gun can be returned to Sig?
      Mine is over a year old. 😛 I’m afraid that I won’t be able
      to get a gun in Maryland to replace it. I bought and paid
      for another handgun 35 days ago and it’s still sitting at the
      gun shop waiting state police approval. I’m told the wait
      is now just about 40 days. I think they’re deliberately
      delaying to discourage purchase and hoping to enact more
      prohibitions in the meantime.

      • Sig Sauer offers a “Limited Lifetime Warranty.” So you should be good to send it back and have service done to it, providing it’s a defect. Not saying you mishandle or misuse your weapon(s), just saying what it says in the Sig owner’s manual.

  44. Did some research and hoping that a thorough cleaning and running the gun wet will help with the above problems. Seems to have helped others with similar issues. We’ll see…

  45. My father just picked-up a Sig 1911 full-size stainless. Lots of FTC problems with Speer Lawman round-nose FMJ. After an hour of many FTCs (1-4 pretty much every mag) we grabbed a box of Speer GoldDot; the Sig 1911 ate them all no problem. Sure felt like a tolerance issue to us…we’re hoping it will get over it after some more range work.

  46. I just picked up this handgun today (Sig Sauer 1911 Nitron) and had 0 issues whatsoever with it. Shooting Fiocchi 230 gr, put 50 rounds through it, did some “rapid fire,” and loaded it to capacity (8+1). Used both mags that came with the gun. Zero issues. I’m sorry to hear that several others have been having problems with it…and it does sound like possibly a tolerance issue to me. I’m going to put a lot more rounds through it this weekend so maybe the results will be different? Any update on this gun on your end? Did Sig ever send out a different handgun to test/review?

  47. Hi All,

    Just wanted to add my 2 cents. I have recently purchased a Sig Sauer 1911 TacOps handgun (with rail). I took the gun to the range and shot Winchester 230 grain ball with above average group results. I need to mention that the gun came with four (yes, four) stainless steel magazines. Apart from one single failure to lock the slide in retracted position after the last round was fired, I experienced absolutely no problems. I attribute this to mag follower rather than gun itself. After 230 ball, I shot some 200 grain jacketed, lighter loads, again made by Winchester. The gun performed well, no issues, stoppages or hickups, but the groups at the target kind of “opened up”, and they opened up a lot, say from 1.5″ that I shot with 230 grain to over 3″. The next time I went out, I brought some Fiocchi 200 grain JHPs. I loaded the first mag, raked the slide and boom. The gun shot all right, the next round seemed to chamber, but the slide did not close all the way. I cleared the stoppage and attempted at shooting the same round again. I got the same result! Anyway, the short of the long story is – I was unable to shoot ANY of the 200 gr JHPs out of ANY of the 4 magazines in my Sig Sauer TacOps 1911 pistol that day. Very disappointing. This gun should be able to digest anything you put into it in 45 ACP, regardless of weight or shape, as long as it’s a factory load, right?


  48. Does anybody out their know if the device sold at Brownells to disconnect the 1980’s series trigger will work on a Sig?

  49. My son has a new Sig 1911 and a 226. I have a SP2022 and a P250. I have to say we’ve had no problems with any of them and I believe they were all manufactured in Exeter. We shot the 1911 this past weekend for the first time. We ran 500 rounds of Sellier through it and not one FTF or FTE. I’m really surprised at all the posters who’ve had problems. I hope that doesn’t bode problems for us. I really liked the gun.

  50. Update on my Sig 1911 Nitron. I’ve gone through the break-in period now, 500+ rounds. Mine eats up 230 gr ball ammo, and 185 gr hollow points (standard pressure and +P). I had ONE failure to feed during the entire period, and that was in a session where I was shooting about 200 rounds, it malfunctioned around the 140-150 range, one round. It was after shooting some reloads and it was pretty dirty. Pulled the slide back, dropped it, and it kept going like a champ. It boggles me that people have had problems with them…

    Any update on Sig sending you another weapon to test?

  51. One would think that with over 100 years of refinement the 1911 type pistols would be 99.9 % reliable. However all you read in gun magazines and on the internet is jamming problems. This is despite modern precision manufacturing advances and high quality ammo. What gives.

  52. I bought my first hand gun, sig 1911 45 acp Nitron. did everything that I was told to do before taking it out strip and clean oil, took to the range with Federal 230 grain ball point with 4 sig clips, every clip had ejection issues!!!!, even had a guy standing next to me he looked at it and could not come up with a reason. I put 400 rounds that day and 100 with a rented Glock, no issues with the Glock but the sig would have issues 2 or 3 times per clip. I brought for home watched four videos on cleaning sigs. so its well cleaned with extra lube, which I dont like because I duck hunt and all off my shot guns have very little cause of the enviroment. Please I hate to think I have a 1200 gun for home protection and I can’t depend on it, I spent good Money so I could depend on a very good hand gun. Please could someone please advise, even tried my expensive hollow point

    Thank you Bill

    • Frankly I would seriously consider selling it. I would put up to 2000 total rounds throught it just to be sure. The reason I would put up to that many rounds is partly because it usually cost you to trade. If you do not have confidence in a gun, well that is self explanatory…

      • After reading alot of different web sites and there is a bigger percentage of those having issues with this gun. I Had a wilson combat black trigger on it along with a ambidextrous saftey.

        Left handed, and pissed
        Since I do not know that much about hand guns as I do shot guns. Any suggestions on a dependable hand gun, to bad because when it did shoot it was accurate

        Thanks Bill

        • Seriously? Break in a pistol with 500 to 2,000 rounds
          just to see if you can make it work like it’s supposed to?
          Isn’t most 45 ACP ammo at least 50 cents per round?
          So you blow away another $1,000 breaking it in?
          This is sooo wrong.

    • Well, 1911’s are a different monster altogether. Especially before they break-in , they tend to like more oil than people are accustomed to now of days. Also that’s another thing, they really need to break in. Personally, I’m boggled that so many people are having problems. Mine has functioned as perfectly as any other handgun could right out of the box and has reliably functioned with every type of ammo I’ve thrown at it. Perhaps reconsider oiling it, contact Sig regarding the perceived defective gun, or trade it in and get a Glock/XD or some other modernized, virtually zero maintenance handgun.

      I hope you don’t give up on it, though. 1911’s are really a joy to shoot.

      • I love shooting it, and my son Loves it. When it did shoot it was perfect on the bull or within a half inch and I have trimmers. I Admit I know nothing at all about hand guns, just shot gun and I like the point that I do not need alot of oil for dirt to cause issues and I shoot pump and Semi.I love the feel of Sig. and everything about it. But it needs to be dependable. I went to the gun store were I bought it and they told me to bring it in and they would look at it.

        He told me that the gun should not have any issues, so he well look at it and make sure I did not do something wrong when I cleaned it. but it’s not that difficult to break down, My bennelli has more issues than that as far as break down. Any way I am on here to learn and listen. I know nothing is perfect but I spent good money so if I needed to defend myself I need to have confidence on the weapon I have on me. And just for future reference. When I have the money, Kimber, Colt or Springfield for a more compact 45. I kn ow everyone has their favorites, maybe I shld just stick with glock but I didn’t like the feel of it and the way it ejected, one shell went down my shirt, I have no idea if it’s because I am lft handed, But thanks to all and I will let you know what the dealer says and after I shoot it again. Just here to learn and listen Thanks


        • Well Bill, there’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t much care for Glocks or XD’s either. They’re great guns, very reliable, but, like you, I’m not a big fan of the way they feel. I just hope that you can get the Sig sorted out, as I absolutely love mine. Kimbers are great 1911’s as well as Wilson Combat, I do know that Sig is pretty new to the 1911 world but at the same time, Sig is a top manufacturer so they know what they are doing.

          I wonder, though, how many people actually have problems with Sig 1911’s…people are more likely to speak out if they are unsatisfied vs satisfied.

      • FYI, my buddy who got the first one in our group, myself and my cousin all use FrogLube on our XO’s (no oil) and they are all performing wonderfully. I have a P220 from the 80’s, a P229 from about 2008, this XO and my cousin has just added a P938 to go with his XO and all of these are working great. It’s strange to me that so many are having trouble with theirs. That’s not to say Sig won’t find some production/design/spec flaw that will correct what these people are experiencing, the way they did with the Mosquito. You correct, we always hear more about the problems (mine always seem to be with Rugers) and I wonder how many of the total Sig 1911 buyers are having these troubles.

  53. I own 2 Sig 1911, A 5″ and a 4 1/4″. I guess I got 2 good ones. The 5″ was purchased in 2011 and the Nitron 3 weeks ago. Both run flawless with factory ammo, hollwo points as well as my under powered lead reloads.
    Sorry to hear you got a leamon.

    • reliability is garbage. all just luck of the draw with sig. I have to add that he’s definitely not the only person experiencing those problems. it’s largely due to poor parts quality.

      – industry insider

  54. Well I must be one of the lucky ones then. Just bought a SIG1911 (TacPac) manufactured this past June. I have only experienced two FTLs in 500 rounds fired. Three types of ammo and four brands of mags were used. I purposely let the pistol get very dirty to test reliability. No issues. If it truly is a crap shoot with SIG, I won big on this one. It runs and is more accurate than my other 1911, and all this despite the flat spring and external extractor. No “jamomatic” here. Great pistol worth the price.

    • Yup, me too, Lars. The Tacpac XO’s my cousin and I bought in August feed and extract without fail. Not to mention their incredible accuracy. Amazing! These things (at least the three we bought) have to be considered near the top of their class. Unlike the POS Colt I bought in the 80’s that put me off 1911’s for 30 years. See? Anyone can turn out a bad one.

  55. I love the way the novice shooter in the video re-grips the 1911 every other shot and leaves his finger on the trigger when he takes the pistol off the target. My Sig TacPac has 0 failures period in 2500 rounds. I would be suspect of your grip, you obviously are not comfortable holding a 1911 more than 2 rounds at a time.

    • Same here. While I hate to admit it in the context of this discussion, though, both mine and my cousin’s XO’s fail to lock open once in a while and with different magazines. If this condition persists I’ll be sending mine back to Sig for adjustment. Still, nothing like the disasters I had with a couple of Rugers I had to send back. The only thing wrong with my buddy’s, who got me started with the XO, is that the front sight was tapped a little to one side, no functioning problems at all. Tapped it back and perfection is achieved.

    • I don’t buy the “novice shooter” excuse. If it’s designed as a carry weapon to be used in critical situations, it should fire and cycle no matter what the grip is. A range perfect grip is not always possible in an emergency and a gun that finicky is best left home and used as a paper-weight.

  56. hey rick, I suspect the magazine follower is jumping the slide stop. if thats the case the magazine wont drop free after it happens. problem we had alot earlier this year. it will not fix itself.

  57. Strange. I have this same pistol and it runs beautifully. Never malfunctions. Love it. Maybe you got a lemon?

  58. Sig Match Elite way over 10k thru her. Can not remember a problem other than she does not like Tripp mags. Runs like a glock. Guess I got lucky.

  59. I have a 1911 Traditional Scorpion 5 inch. It has had the same issues as this weapon in the article. It wont feed a round completely and lock up. I have put well over 1k rounds in it. Every 2-3 rounds I have to smack the slide with my palm to completely put it in battery. The image of you holding it with it FTF is exactly what mine does. I have tried 5 different magazines and several different ammos. I have already sent it back to Sig once, in which they said they “re polished the feed ramp” and had no more malfunctions.


    Still does it. I am selling it first chance I get and replacing it with something actually reliable.

    • I got a Colt 45 ACP classic government model 1991 Series 80 A-1 and the thing doesn’t know how to jam or not feed. Perfect right out of the box.

  60. I recently bought a Sig 1911 Nightmare. I have taken it to the range 3 times, have put about 150-200 rounds through it each time, a mix of FMJ and JHP, factory mags and a Wilson Combat mag, and I have the exact same issues as above. So far I’m pretty disappointed. I’ve heard of break-in periods, but based on previous experiences with 1911s, this is ridiculous.

    • Just an update from my 11/2013 post: After a little additional polishing of the feed ramp with my Dremel, I put another 500+ rounds through it with NO FTL’s or FTF’s. The gun shoots like a dream, is accurate as hell, and I am very pleased. Don’t give up, send it back to Sig, and then enjoy!

    • Just an update on my Sig 1911 Nightmare – took it to the range for the fourth time. I put 170 rounds through it, mostly FMJ, a few JHP. I used American Eagle 230gr FMJ, and WWB 230gr FMJ, Blazer 230gr FMJ, and Remington Ultimate Defense 230gr JHP. I had only one FTF (actually, failure to return to battery). This was better than the three previous times at the range. I must say, every time I’ve shot it, it has gotten better. The first time I probably had about 10 FTFs out of 150 rounds. The third time I shot it, I had no FTF until after 150 rounds. The gun was very dirty at that point (was using primarily WWB – which seems to shoot very dirty). Maybe the next time It will run flawlessly…I hope so. Despite the FTFs, the pistol is very accurate and feels great in my hand (I have relatively small hands, and most of the P220’s, especially the Elite’s with a wood grip are too big for my hand to be comfortable). The other slight drawback is the larger frame that doesn’t fit into standard 1911 holsters. I got a custom made holster from G-Code They take a while (4-6 weeks) to send the holster, but I’m very pleased with the product quality and Fit. I highly recommend them for Sig 1911 holsters.

  61. Have a match elite and it is flawless. Have shot over 14k thu her and perfect. No break in time was needed. Shoot IDPA and USPSA with her.

    • I have over 10k through my Sig with a handful of failures due to my reloads. Sweetest handgun I’ve ever owned.

  62. Ok so here’s my story. I bought a Sig 1911 Max about three months ago. I run into problems right around 200+ rounds. Nonstop FTE and FTF, a little bump to the back of the slide knocks the pistol into battery but it murders my follow up shots. At first I thought it was my Auto Comp powder, then I thought well maybe my crimp isn’t right. After ANALyzing everything I realized it was neither. Sure, Auto-Comp isn’t the cleanest burning powder on the block but I ran into these same issues with all sorts of factory ammo. I agree it must be the tolerance of the barrel because after 200 rounds I field strip the pistol, take the barrel out and attempt to drop a round into the barrel. Guess what? It doesn’t drop in. So I’m on the fence, I put way too much money into my trigger-job and finally have everything tuned just the way I want it. I’m thinking, maybe I get an aftermarket barrel and file the extractor a couple of thousandths to give the rounds clearance. IDK!

  63. Well some people have mentioned his grip. The big thing about grip is not so much grip as when the gun is firing, you must not let the frame move. If you limp wrist the gun, even the mighty glock will misfeed. The frame must stay still so the slide can go back and forth. How do I know? I have a Kimber constantly mid feeding. One day at the range bought some bullets. They all misfed! Went to return bullets. Guy asks what gun? Kimber, s/b no problems…. Goes in with me, loads two mags and proceeds to fire all bullets perfectly. He showed me, can’t loosen grip,hold when gun fires! My “gun” now runs fine. Incidentally, manual says round nose 230 grain only-but a lot of other ammo runs fine…..

  64. I’ve got a Sig 1911 story that may or may not be of interest. I
    bought a Sig 1911 Ultra Compact, my first 1911. So far, I’ve had only
    one FTF and that was due to the clip not being fully seated in the gun. After that, I’ve had no problems with it functioning. It wasn’t until I went to clean it that a major problem revealed itself.

    Compared to my oldSig P220, the gun is a nightmare to dis/re-assemble. It came apart with no problems, but reassembling it was all but impossible. The first problem was, the barrel would not go back into the slide bushing. Both the bushing and the barrel edges are sharp 90 deg corners and the 30 deg angle the barrel must enter the bush hole at makes for an iffy proposition. My weak recently injured hand didn’t help. Neither did the fact the manual that comes with Ultra Compact is not the manual for that gun and the barrel bush is totally different for the UC model, the bush being the slide, itself. But, the worst was yet to come. The plunger lever, a piece of stamped steel, was at least .015 inch higher than the frame rails. This meant when I put the slide back on the frame, the plunger lever stuck up 1/64 inch too high and the back end of the slide would not clear it. I tried to force it, thinking the lever would depress, as it has a slight ramp to it. Wrong. It only put a nick in the soft stamped steel of the plunger lever and making it impossible to get the slide back on. This is unacceptable on a thousand dollar gun, so I sent it back to the factory.

    The conversations I had with at least three Sig support people, before shipping it back, was telling. They all knew about this problem. “Oh, yeah, that problem” was the standard response. I got suggestions to push the lever down with a screw driver or it’s not a problem once it wears down. But, none of these worked, as the nick in the lever had effectively rendered the gun impossible to re-assemble. I shipped it back in pieces.

    It was almost a month before I got the gun back. I was told they were sending me a new gun because the slide rails were damaged, which was nonsense. There was no mention of the plunger lever. I called them at about week three and was told they were awaiting sights. When I finally got the gun back, I immediately disassembled it. The plunger lever was lower than frame rails, as it should have been in the first place.

    I’ve since taken it to the range and had no further problems. I’ve
    only put about 100 rnds through it and have only shot the cheapest
    ball I can find. The only thing I dislike about the gun is the fatter
    grips, which are great for gripping this handfull of bark, but makes
    it all but impossible for me to reach the slide release without
    shifting my grip, and I have pretty big hands. I’m also not real
    happy with the documentation. Not only is the manual not the right
    one for my gun, but it’s terrible. The exploded parts diagram looks
    like it was drawn by someone off the short bus and Sig’s online
    assembly video is a Youtube video shot by some private citizen. Like, we would have done it ourself, but someone has already done a half arsed video, so here’s the link. Unbelievable!

    Frankly, I wish I still had my old P220.

  65. I’m hearing a lot of people that don’t know shit about guns it’s not the gun. The gun makers don’t make there own mag’s. 1911 sig’s are great guns just come with bad mag’s go get yourself 2 Wilson combat mags and shoot the gun and shut the fuck up you whiny bitches

    • I haven’t had any problems with my Sig factory magazines on my Sig 1911. The guy in the video is limp wristing the weapon. That is the problem with the reliability of his weapon. I haven’t had any malfunctions on mine, even during break-in and it is insanely accurate.

      • I find this whole “limp wrist” excuse nonsense. If you are carrying for personal protection it is entirely possible that in an extreme emergency you will not be able to deploy range perfect technique. You may be using your weak hand or have other debilitating factors. When you pull the trigger the gun should fire and cycle ever single time no matter how it’s held. If it is as temperamental as you suggest in your “limp wrist” comment it should be unloaded and kept at home as a paper weight.

  66. Likewise.

    I’ve not had any operational problems after Sig replaced the out-of-spec part. The single failure to feed was due to operator error, namely me! I failed to get the full mag properly seated in the gun, so when I released the slide back to battery, it hung on the top round. Entirely my fault. Cleared the round and re-inserted the mag properly and all was jake.

  67. One of the things that needs to be checked is the chamber. Remove the barrel and see if the ammo goes in and seats without being pushed in. If it does not with good quality factory ammo then the chamber is out of spec. The feedramp and the mouth should be smooth and chamferred. If it is not then the barrel needs some work. The extractor needs to grip the case well but not too tight. Unfortunately $200 worth of work with a good gunsmith can make the gun very reliable, but that is not the point. You are not buying a llama that usually needed all this work.

  68. It’s the grip at least 50% of it, that gun is bobbing around like buoy. I can make almost any gun do that if I hold it wrong. Also you need good mags, not the ones that come with the gun. That is 50 % of the problem right there. If you know how to check an extractor you can eliminate that in 5 minutes. After those 3, the gun should work, unless the ejector is broken.

  69. I have a sig 1911 nitron with rail and have never had a FTF or FTE. I have put about 600rds of FMJs from different companies and a box of Hornady critical defense HPs and have never had an issue and very accurate with all ammo, I’ve had mine for about a year now.

  70. Old thread but I have this exact gun except in fastback and it works as well as any of my other 1911s. It’s not like Sig doesn’t know how to make a gun. My two Kimbers had issues early on, it’s called a break in period, and Kimber has a 500 round break in period in their manual, Sig’s is similar. I think a lot of people use TTAG reviews to decide on what gun to buy so this review is damn near a snow job on Sig and I’m amazed they haven’t responded. The least this reviewer could do is give a more recent review, an update. I’ve even seen Nick give a bad review on a good gun and retract it later. All these people talking about external extractor, my gun has been at Sig for 9 weeks, I have the same issue. Nonsense! Many of these comments are a great example of the viscous cycle, the mob mentality the internet can have. Kudos to the few that stick up for Sig 1911s!

  71. The SR1911 Ruger is a more reliable weapon for much less money. I’ve shot thousands of rounds through mine with very few misfires… Buy one, you’ll love it !

  72. NO pistol that is positioned for self defense can come out of the box with these issues. If you read around, it’s easy to figure out that these newer Sigs have serious reliability issues. I bought a C3 last fall- after reading the reviews I decided to hope for the best and got one of these little jewels. Well. With ball ammo and the supplied, OEM magazines, it will lock back with FTF on the last round in the magazine, 80% of the time. round is loose and will fall out of you turn the pistol over. I got a trio of Chip McCormick magazines – those had the same issues, but about 50% of the time. So I bought two of Wilson Combat’s top-line magazines, and now it has worked perfectly ever since, for at least 500+ rounds. But that doubt is always in the back of my mind. It really bites to spend this kind of $ on a pistol that – as delivered- has such serious issues. How could they POSSIBLY not catch this during testing. Way too many people have had way too many problems with these pistols. Thank heavens that in my case, the Wilson mags cured the problem.

  73. I was checking out the Sig 1911 target for the last month….came acorss a Ruger Highly polished 1911, looked like it was made in packistan, the slide when cycled felt like it was pulling thru broken glass and bone. WHAT A PIECE OF SHIT.

    The ruger 1911 is crap.

  74. People who I know own the Sig Sauer 1911 pistols have the same feeding issues, tolerances on the 1911 are to tight.

  75. I purchased one of these Sigs about 2 1/2 years ago. I’ve fired over 10,000 rounds through the gun with 5 or 6 malfunctions. These were due to my reloads and not the weapon. This is without a doubt the sweetest auto pistol I’ve ever owned. At 7,000 rounds I returned it to Sig for inspection and a trigger job. The Sig tech sent me an email saying he showed the trigger to his supervisor and they agreed it was the finest they had seen and it couldn’t be improved. If I could only own 1 firearm it would be this gun.

  76. I have 8 – 1911’s [right now] in various configurations/sizes [Colt, S. Armory, Dan Wesson] and I have owned other brands too over the years. I always “tune” my 1911’s [new or used] when I get them; [flat firing pin stop plate, throating, ramp/rail polishing, extractor] and I’ve really never had any problems to speak of which were not the result of a bad mag or questionable ammo

    I’ve considered getting a Sig 1911, but I’ve found the traditional/standard/original 1911 version to be just fine and the “modified” Sig design seems to have “iffy” reviews on all their 1911 models.

    I think I’ll just stick with the old reliable version.

  77. Hi, I have 2 Sigs, a P238, and this exact same 1911 Nitron. I have NO problems with either one of these weapons. They have digested every type of ammo I have thrown at them. Jacketed, round nose, SWC’s,. Both weapons have never had a FTF, FTE. As well, the factory provided magazines have performed flawlessly. I have well over 2000 round through both guns and some brands are more accurate than others, but every round has gone bang when I pull the trigger. I currently have a second 45 acp on order, a 4.25 in Commander. Remember anybody can build a lemon, its the support they provide after the fact that shows how good a company they really are. I have no doubt they back up what they sell. Just remember NO-ONE can build a 100% perfect product. I could find fault with every 1911 on the market, But the Sig fits me well, for they money that I have to spend. I would like one them 3000 to 4000 dollar guns but cant afford one. I find the Sig the best value on the market for my money spent, and will work through any issues with Sig should they ever arise.

  78. Took my sig 1911 to the range today and experienced exactly the same problem. The gun would not chamber when 8 rounds were in the mag. Put 4 or 5 in and it would work. However all the spent brass had marks on them. After reading your article, I think I will go see my gunsmith.

  79. I last posted 09/13. At that time my round count was 10k+. In that time period I had less than 6 FTF’s and can’t recall ever having a FTE. First thousand rounds were factory ammo and nothing but my reloads after. Since that time I’ve fired another 3k. Not one incident of operation failure. I purchased 4 extra mags from Checkmate that have been flawless. June 2013 the pistol was sent to Sig for full service package. mag well upgrade, and trigger enhancement. This is the email I received from Sig: My gunsmith was working on your gun and checked it out for the Trigger Enhancement. His determination is that through your shooting the gun and maintenance it has been broken in really well and the trigger pull is actually very smooth right where it needs to be. Doing the trigger enhancement would basically be a waste of money, because it is already one of the best trigger pulls he has seen come in from a customer. He even showed it to the head of the custom shop who was most impressed. We are not going to be charging you for the Trigger enhancement because it wouldn’t be right. He did say that the Full Service Package was a good choice because of the round count

  80. I too heard of Sig 1911 QC issues from range buddies, which had kept me from buying any. But in 2014, I purchased 2 brand new Sigs to see if they had gotten better because I found a great deal. A stainless model and a nitron super target. The price was good, so I said what the heck. After about 500 rounds through each gun, I haven’t had a single failure. I have shot HP, remanufactured ammo and factory Federal. Will it replace my Glocks as a carry gun? Nope. But so far, I am happy with my Sig 1911s and will buy more if the price is right.

    TTAG, will Sig send you a newer production gun to try? When you type in Sig 1911, this is one of the first results, so this must be hurting Sig. Can’t believe they haven’t sent you one of the newer models.

  81. I have a sig 1911 45 acp stainless rail. Have never had a problem. Run probably a thousand rounds through it. It’s accurate and I love it. Will be buying more!

  82. I saved up a while planning on getting something else, and bought one cause I like 1911’s and I like sig, I didn’t do my research before hand, and swear it was making sad puppy eyes at me when I saw it in the gun case.

    I then came home with that new gun grin on my face, and decided I’d look into what other people thought about this wonderful gun (something I never do BTW). I stumbled across this thread first thing, and thought I was going to PUKE. I just kept reading and reading FTLs and FTCs over and over again. I almost called the gun store to ask if they would buy it back.

    BUT…. I decided I would go ahead and see how it shot. Slept a very restless night, and was the first one at the range. I got a box of 45 hardball, as I was walking to stall #5 I swear i heard some one say “dead man walking” and It sure felt like there was a priest behind me. I loaded the mag, and expected the slide to hang on the first round when i let it go… But nope, it chambered just like it should have. I lined up the shot, eased my finger to the trigger and gave it a little squeeze, I think there was a boom, but I was more focused on that beautiful piece of brass flying through the air that said in what must have been God’s own voice “you’re half way there, all is well.” The slide was fully closed, hammer back all the way. Tried it again, and AGAIN. The slide locked back, and my first thought was “here it is, JAMMED” but no stupid the mags empty. I took a look at my grouping on the target, and had to smile. I ended up blowing $120 bucks on 250 rounds of hardball, trying to choke it to death, no cleaning just making sure everything still moved freely and seated well, and it didn’t miss a beat.

    Maybe they had some problems when they first came out that they fixed, and maybe I didn’t get one that was built on friday, but I’m glad I bought mine before reading this, I would have hated to pass up one of the most accurate and best performing pistols I’ve ever used.

    I’m in love, I hope more people have the same truth that I did. Thanks Sig

    • Same here Brother, I went to my local gun store and saw the beautiful line of Sigs and took home the sig scorpion 1911

      Just like you I got home happy and all. Then I decided to watch review vids and saw the same thing. Failure to feed or go into battery. I felt bummed out, I thought I purchased a lemon.

      Went to the range the next day and sure enough, it malfunctioned. BUT it only happened twice with the 200 rounds I put through it so it didn’t bother me that bad. Other than that the gun does what it’s supposed to, so I was pleased.

      I won’t discourage anyone from buying sig 1911s because they can always be worked on. However, for the price you shouldn’t have the problems to begin with.

  83. Use grease on the rails, problem solved, I have never ran a 1911 with oil that doesn’t do that same thing, GREASE, GREASE, GREASE on RAILS.

    • grease on the rails ,reface the breech ,repolish the barrell
      ring ,do a throat job ,use 10 round Wilson mags and any ammo you choose except reloads in a new 1911,also adjust the trigger a bit (this is for a new nitride black .45 xo sig pistol)so far so good,it likes +p 230 grain jacketed hollow points ,at 42 ft shoots about an inch and a half) this pistol was made in 2018 I think they listened and fixed some problems.probably own and shoot 70 .45 acp pistols my traditional ss full size shoots as good as the new black nitride xo ,but my favorite is still a p210 legend ,built in the 70″s

  84. I, too, am glad I did not see this review before purchasing my Sig 1911 Nirton. I love it! I’ve put well over 1000 rounds through it and may have had 2 failures to extract in all that time. This was my runner up choice when the wait list for the SA Loaded was over 4 months last year. (was supposed to be for Christmas).

    This pistol is reliable and accurate. For a test, I set the 6″ target at 100 feet (indoor range). Fired 15 rounds. 12 of the 15 were in about a 4 inch group. 3 were an inch higher than I intended. Good enough to stop a bad guy, as they were all head shots.

    I would love to have read what the follow up was for this review.

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