I hope many of you will be as excited about this announcement as I was Thursday. I was very pleased to have a conversation with Jeff Creamer, director of product management for Sig Sauer.
Before I pass along the particulars of the new Sig M11 A-1 let me tell you a very interesting story of how this pistol came to be.
As many of you are aware the military investigative services have been using the Sig P-228 since 1989. Not long ago Sig developed an upgraded replacement for the 228 that is based on the P-229. The new pistol was submitted to the DOD as the M11 A-1 and is still under consideration.The 228 will remain in production for the military for the time being.
The interesting part of the story for us is Sig has been listening to customers request for a compact P-229 type pistol without a rail. This has been a continuing request for some time. I would add myself to the list of Sig users desiring a P-229 pistol without the rail.
Sig realized they had such a pistol already created, tested and ready to go in the M11 A-1. The military’s loss (at least for now) turned out to be our gain with the release later this month of the upgraded M11 A-1! The number of pistols will be small at first but will ramp up quickly so that any customer that wants one will be able to purchase it without the wait some new guns experience when released. Sig’s intent is to add the M11 A-1 to the list of cataloged guns and will be available for a long time to come.
Now lets talk about the particulars of this new pistol. Is it a P-228 or a P-229? Well neither actually. All of the current “P” series pistols use a one piece stainless steel slide as does the new M11 A-1. The capacity of the 228 and 229 is 13 rounds of 9MM. The newer model P-229′s have a rail of course.
The M11 A-1 uses the slightly wider frame of the P-229 40 caliber and 357 Sig to accommodate an extra two rounds of 9MM for a total of 15 rounds. Of course there is no rail on this frame. Another very big plus is the trigger. The new pistol will come standard with the short, thin trigger (Short Reset Trigger) giving the user an improved reach.This is the same trigger currently used in the “Elite” series pistols.This trigger is referred to as the SRT or short reset trigger which reduces trigger travel by 60%. This is especially beneficial for those with smaller hands or those wearing gloves
The slide is made from one piece of stainless steel with the more traditional profile of earlier “P” series pistols. The slide serrations are also more aggressive providing a better grip when a shooters hands are damp or gloves are used. This was accomplished by using a “ball” milling process rather than the standard milling of the regular P-228 and P-229.
As with the military pistols the critical internals are phosphate coated to prevent rust and corrosion. Siglite night sights are standard as are three 15 round magazines.
There is more good news for new buyers of the M11 A-1 and that is you won’t have to wait for holster makers to catch up and create new holsters. An often aggravating circumstance. Any holster currently made for the non-railed 40 caliber/357 Sig P-229 will work just fine on this new pistol. This will certainly give the new owner plenty of choices in which holster they choose.
As far as grips are concerned any grip made for the P-228 or P-229 will fit the M11 A-1. After getting the news from Craig Sword, who owns Mil-Tac.com, you will be able to purchase G-10 grips as well. These will be available in a few months and I can’t wait to get a pair for my 1979 vintage P-225 and P-6! They will no doubt look great on the M11 A-1 as well. Hogue also has many different grip options in various materials for the M11 A-1.
There we have it. Sig listened to the customer base providing us with an upgraded pistol with a very good trigger and readily available accessories. With these internal upgrades and one piece stainless slide this should be a pistol that will serve you well for a very long time. It goes without saying I can’t wait to shoot one of these. I expect the usual Sig accuracy with the quality they are well known for. One last note: shipping begins prior to the end of the month!