The new US Military sidearm finally made its way to airsoft
Yes, we got our hands on one of these pistols and we´re excited about it. Definitive one of the hottest releases of the year regarding airsoft pistols by now! Those of you into re-enactment – MilSim or Battle display of US units have been waiting for it to complete your modern kit for sure. But was it worth the wait?
The SIG M17/P320 replaces the Beretta M9 after a long period of duty (over 30 years) with the US Armed Forces. Not only the Army had it, it was all over. In 2017 the US Military choose the winner of the new modular handgun system and SIG SAUER made it to the top with their M17/P320. Of course, Beretta had an upgraded model in the race too as well GLOCK Inc. with their G19X (read our review of the airsoft version >>HERE<<) but none of them could beat the SIG concept.
But back to the BB Blaster. Manufactured by VFC for SIR AIR PROFORCE, the company cooperates on that base with Vega Force Company. The M17/P320 model is available as a Green Gas and CO² powered version. We got our hands on the Green Gas model and here are the facts about this beauty!
Like on the previous released G19X and G17 Gen5 from VFC, the M17/P320 goes along with the quality and overall finish/look. It even raises the standard a bit higher in my opinion. Really well done job and that´s what we like! The video below provides a quick 360° view for your reference before we dive deeper into the review itself. Enjoy!
The model we got for airsoft use is actually the Gen2 of the SIG SAUER M17 and it is the military version not the civilian one which becomes an important thing for you reenactors/collectors that pay attention to such details.
But how can you identify it?
Up front at the SIG marking left side on the slide, the civilian version goes with: SIG SAUER P320 and a bit farther to the rear comes the M17 marking. The rear sight on the civilian version is a bit thicker and goes over the RMR base mount too.
The military version has a QR Code attached to the serial number, which is sad that SIG/VFC didn´t put it there too on the replica. I know, it is a small detail but it would be nice to have. If you look closer, you will find out that this area is actually cut-out in the frame and the serial number is engraved straight to the trigger unit. Why have they done this? Because the frame itself is replaceable and so, the number had to go straight on the trigger unit!
One last important thing that is missing regarding the markings is the MFR and part number from the frame. Little detail but much appreciated as seen from a collector’s point of few.
SIDE NOTE: I have seen some aftermarket- upgrade slides out there which have it engraved on it already.
Much different as on other pistols you know, SIG offers three full frames to the M17/P320 platform to fit your handshape for the best grip, and shooting performance just right. S / M / L comes in the package of the real deal.
Unfortunately, the airsoft gun does not offer this feature at the moment. Only the M frame is available. “You need to release some frames SIG”!!
As airsoft requires some additional markings and in some cases safety instructions, these and the “6mm BB F” marking can be found at the bottom of the trigger guard and rail system. I´m very happy that they have taken the afford to place it there and not on the slide or sideways on the frame to keep the look of this gun as real as possible. Thumbs up for that!
SAFETY / SLIDE CATCH LEVER & MAG-RELEASE
The safety and slide catch lever from the M17 are designed for both, left and right hand shooters and so is the mag-release.
Last one is adjusted for right hand shooters right out of the box but it can be easily changed for lefties. Just push it out, remove the pin inside and twist it to the other side and you´re good to go.
The attention to detail didn´t stop here. Workmanship of the mag is great. It feels looks- and grip very nice. You hold a solid weighted mag (285g) in your hand. As SIG AIR has decided to bring the “extended” 22 round magazine with the airsoft version, this mag sticks out at the bottom of the grip and holds just 22BBs like the real thing too. I know some guys out there don´t like the longer mag and prefer the short one. But so it is, you have to deal with it guys.
Perfect engraved cal. 9mm and round indicator markings round up the look. Only different thing here, the real mag does have “SIG SAUER” engraved right over the 9mm marking too.
If you order an CO² mag, the 9mm marking is missing (don´t know why) and the magazine is cut-out on the back for the cartridge. Talking about CO² use of the SIG AIR M17 really quick, the Green Gas and CO² version are exactly the same internals wise. It doesn´t matter which model you order, it´s just the type of power that you choose.
100% like on the real gun. Enjoy this short video of how it´s done with the SIG AIR M17.
NOTE: The gun is very oily straight out of the box. You may have to clean it a little bit before you run it the first time. Also, the trigger unit sits very tight in the frame as you may notice. Getting it back in sometimes doesn’t works the first time. I don´t see this as an issue at all, more like a sign of good workmanship like the whole gun itself. It doesn´t rattle like a baby toy!
I have to address that VFC really improved their game here! Like on the outside – the “trigger-box” or trigger unit of this pistol is great. All components are made out of steel only the trigger itself is aluminium.
A long life of this system is guaranteed I allow myself to say at this point of the review and time I got to play with it. Fingers crossed I´m not wrong… the community will charge me if so!
Spring Guide is made from Metal and Hop-Up rack-wheel plastic of course. Also improved, the Hop-Up system. As you know it from the Glock Series by VFC, integrated to the spring guide and access able from the outside. Major improvement – you don´t lose your “Hop” when you have to remove the slide or more specific the Spring Guide. VFC fixed that “small” issue with the M17/P320.
You can slide it off, clean, maintenance or just touch it because you love it, get it back on, and you´re good to go. Those who already run a Glock know what I´m talking about. A small tool to adjust the Hop-Up is also included but not needed at all from my point of view.
Outer/inner barrel unit is strong and solid made too and I think it won´t break “quick” once you treat it well. An “O” ring is attached to the barrel close to the bullet chamber to buffer the recoil a bit to prevent it from damage when it hit the slide.
That´s pretty much it as seen from the inside.
SHOOTS LIKE A SIG BECAUSE IT IS ONE!
That´s the slogan you find on the SIG AIR site once you look for their models. Well, yes and no I would say when it comes to the SIG AIR M17 as internal wise it´s a VFC! Nevertheless, shooting the M17 is fun and what you expect from a SIG gun. You hold a solid, strong, massive BIG gun in your hand (767g) that provides a good kick for a Green Gas powered pistol. The result as measured on a distance of 10m is for an “out of the box” gun very good.
To send down range some BBs for you, we used 0.25g RWA Precision Grades and RWA Green Gas for our shooting test. As you can see, the grouping from 10 shots is tight and just about 10cm spread from top to bottom and 3,5cm in wigth. I can live with that result.
Gas Efficiency you ask. We got to shoot two and a half full loaded mags with one gas charge before we noticed some power losses. One Magazine from three we got with it failed a bit and couldn´t hold up. The whole system itself seems to be sealed very well too. No leaking at all! I´m absolutely happy with that result and that also shows that VFC has improved their workmanship compared to the previous released Glock models. Not going to lie, the G19X is great, works fine for me and I love it but the M17 has taken it a step farther.
LET´S SUMMIT UP THEN
The SIG AIR PROFORCE M17/P320 is for those that run modern US Military loutouts or even collectors a must have gun! It looks great, it feels great and it even shoots/kicks great too. The overall workmanship is 10/10! Some small issues regarding missing markings could be fixed with new manufactured models if SIG AIR is listening to this feedback. In addition, the S and L frame as a spare part would be much appreciated in airsoft too. “We also have different hand shapes”…
The capability that the M17 can take both power options: Green Gas and CO² straightaway because the internals on both buying options are exactly the same is great and tbh a must nowadays.
The missing option to mount a RMR that is not from SIG SAUER right out of the box can be fixed with the GK Tactical RMR Mount Base which offers exactly that and replaces the front & rear sight too. If you like to run a SIG Optic, get a real one or wait for the soon to be released SIG AIR Reflex Sight 1×23 in mid-June as I remember it´s set for.
You get the SIG AIR M17/P320 from Gunfire as well both mags – Gas and CO² separately.