When most people think of a 1911, they think of Colt or Springfield. Truth be told, SIG SAUER is America’s number one maker of 1911 handguns. The New Hampshire manufacturer has been cranking out John Moses Browning’s masterpiece as fast as their CNC machines can turn, in a stunning variety of models. While many favor the clean aesthetics of a bog standard 1911, SIG’s got something for shooters who demand a more refined and precise shooting experience: the Super Target.
The Super Target’s beautifully figured birch grips are the firearm’s most striking feature. The pistol’s laser-carved grips offer a compelling contrast to the gun’s gleaming slide and frame. The handle’s checkering is well-judged and precisely rendered. The SIG logo never looked so good as it does here in 3D. What’s more, the Super Target’s beauty is more than skin deep.
A typical 1911 focuses the recoil pulse into a few small pressure points. The Super Target’s grips wrap around the firearm, distributing the force of the recoil across the whole of your palm.
The Super Target’s grips are perfect for shooters with meaty mitts; I can wrap my entire hand around the gun. Shooters with smaller hands should try before they buy, to make sure they can get a proper grip on the .45 caliber firearm.
The lower edge of the Super Target’s grips stands slightly proud of the bottom of the frame. Standard 1911 magazines will fit, but competition shooters will immediately see that slamming a fresh mag home could be devilishly difficult. For that application at least, an extended baseplate mag need apply.
I find the rough edges of cheaper 1911’s endlessly annoying. A bit of quality time with a buffing wheel does wonders for shooting comfort. As you’d expect from a $1600 1911, your money buys you that extra love and attention here.
All of the Super Target’s controls balance smooth surfaces with aggressive design. The safety, for example, offers plenty of purchase for your thumb to flick the safety on and off in a hurry. But it’s not so rough that you need a set of welder’s gloves to avoid an end-of-the-day Band-Aid.
The Super Target’s two-tone hammer treatment is a treat. Eschewing the usual fully skeletonized approach, SIG SAUER lightened the hammer by removing some extra material, then added in a bit of black to highlight the attractive outline. Right answer.
That said, I have a bit of an issue with the SIG SAUER Super Taregt’s trigger.
The current state-of-the-art for adjustable 1911 triggers: a screw in the trigger blade. The shooter tightens or loosens the screw to adjust the overtravel to his or her liking.
On the downside, the design leaves a big hole in the trigger directly under your trigger finger. Shoot a standard 1911 long enough and the indent can leave a sore spot on the pad of your finger. When you’re looking for extreme precision, these things matter.
I appreciate the Super Target’s adjustable (and extremely crisp) trigger, and the ability to adjust it without breaking down the gun is nice. But I think I’d rather have to take the ten seconds to field strip the gun to adjust that trigger — something I’ll only do a couple times a year, tops — than to end each range session with a hot spot on the tip of my finger.
SIG SAUER — a company with a known weakness for over-the-top special editions — kept the Super Target simple. They finished the pistol’s stainless steel body in a bead-blasted matte. A highly polished pinstripe runs down the slide, interrupted halfway by a bright shiny round SIG logo. It’s enough bling to make the gun stand out without screaming “douchebag.”
The Super Target’s sights are tall enough to see over an attached suppressor (threaded barrel required). The rear sight is fully adjustable for both windage and elevation. The front sight blade sports a bright green fiber optic bead. It’s extremely easy to pick up the Super Target’s front sight no matter the weather or the lighting conditions.
Out on the range, the Super Target delivers groups that are almost boringly small. The combination of the five-inch long barrel and the wraparound grips makes recoil as manageable as a professionally trained Alsatian, and as pleasant to shoot as a thoroughbred race gun.
The $1600 SIG SAUER Super Target 1911 is an expensive gun. Yes, but Springfield’s Loaded 1911 (which doesn’t have the same quality fit or adjustable sights) runs $1,200-ish. And the big SIG gives the serious money 1911s — the Wilsons, Nighthawks and Ed Browns of this world — a decent run for their money.
Purists may howl, but I believe SIG SAUER has improved on a classic design — save the trigger adjustment hole and the fact that the Super Target won’t fit in standard 1911 holsters (due to the slide’s design). Nit picks, really. Money aside, the accurate, reliable and beautiful Super Target could well be the pinnacle of SIG SAUER’s 1911 line.
SPECIFICATIONS: SIG SAUER 1911 Stainless Super Target
Caliber: .45 Auto
Action Type: Semi-Auto
Frame size: Full-Size
Frame finish and frame and slide material: Stainless Steel
Trigger: Single Action Only
Trigger pull weight (factory setting): 5 lbs.
Barrel length: 5.0 in (127 mm)
Overall length: 8.7 in (221 mm)
Overall width: 1.4 in (36 mm)
Height: 5.5 in (140 mm)
Weight: 41.6 oz (1179 g)
RATINGS (out of five stars):
Fit and Finish * * * * *
Amazing. Beautiful and durable.
Function * * * * *
Accuracy * * * * *
More accurate than I am, for sure.
Overall Rating * * * * *
The perfect balance of accuracy, beauty, and value. Even the prophet JMB himself would approve.