Sig Legion vs. Slovenian “Sig” – Torture Test – FIGHT!

Its all too often common that the clones of various weapon systems (outside the original AR-15 and AK-47) are sub-standard to their inspiration. This is due to various reasons, the primary one being cost-cutting. However, there are times that the clone is not just a cheap duplicate, but an improvement over the base design. Surprisingly, the “better” weapon is the Rex Zero, a Sig Sauer inspired weapon manufactured in Slovenia.

Specifically, the weapon bests the Sig Sauer Legion P226 in a torture test by Tim at the Military Arms Channel. Using these two weapons as a baseline, Tim has created a new “torture” test procedure the he plans on following and that many may find a realistic representation of the conditions that most weapons would be expected to follow, not the obscene over-the-top “tests” that many have shown weapons going through (with the exception of the “Mud Tests” by InRange TV – mud can get all over weapons).

Tests consists of the following:

  1. Dunk in water
    1. Fire 10 rounds
  2. Press into sand flush (note – no burial), flip and press into sand flush.
    1. Fire 10 rounds.
  3. Press into dirt, flip and press into it again.
    1. Fire 10 rounds.
  4. Press into mud, flip and press into it again.
    1. Fire 10 rounds.

The Sig only made it to the dirt portion before having slide sluggishness which caused both failures to chamber and failures to eject. The Rex? Made it through without issue. Color me surprised.

Enjoy the test.

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • AK

    This wouldn’t surprise me, since the Sig is made with tight tolerances. To be fair, it would be reasonable to have inherent accuracy of the weapon as part of the judging criteria. Of course, in a practical military sidearm, this is not a primary concern. The Germans often fall prey to their precision thinking. Cue WW2 tank manufacturing time+cost vs Russian counterparts.

    • AC97

      He posted a video on Instagram shaking both of the pistols, and the Sig rattled more, so actually, the Sig has looser tolerances.

      It’s the same reason that the AR beat the AK in InRangeTV’s mud test: the key to preventing a gun from choking on stuff like mud is tighter tolerances, because it’s better to seal the system.

      • AK

        OK, didn’t see the video. But the issue of tolerances is a tricky one – take for example the FN FAL bolt carrier – it has very tight tolerances in the rails, which lead to problems in the desert, as the Israelis found out. The source of the rattle in the Sig may be something else than the slide, ie. trigger bar, etc. My personal P226 doesn’t have a rattle at all, so it could also be the individual example. Maybe the Rex Zero has some dirt mitigating design, such as frame cutouts?

        • JoelC

          This was my first thought. I don’t know how exact the copy is of sig design, but designs have come a long way since the P226 was originally designed. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Rex has some minor upgrades.

          • AK

            I analyzed the jam. On the video, it seemed that too much sand got into the rails on the Sig, which was not the case with the Rex Zero. If you look at the front end of the slide that rides on the frame rails on both guns, the Rex has square ends, while the Sig has scalloped ends, and those actually turn inside toward the frame. From the back, the guns are virtually identical in this respect, with square ends. This means that while the Rex is pushing the rails clean from both ends during a cycle, the Sig is forcing the dirt in the front to enter between the slide and the frame! This would also explain the accelerated wear pattern on the raised tabs that are present on the Sig and start about an inch from the front of the frame.

            Does anyone have insight into the original idea of those Sig slide cuts?

  • Petto

    That Sig 226 Legion is US made which is the main reason why it failed

    if he took the original Swiss made P226 that would be exact like the Rex Zero since Slovenian company properly cloned it

    Personally only good thing that Sig USA did is the P320 , not much else imho

    • iksnilol

      Sig USA: bringing dishonour since 1990.

      • Joshua

        Imo Sig USA has never been great.

        • iksnilol

          Indeed. Too bad to be honest.

    • Nebelwerfer

      The Swiss have never made the P226. The 220 is a Swiss design, but all the European P22x series guns were manufactured in Eckenförde, Germany.

    • we3

      MAC just released a test as above on the 320.

      It too fails just like the Legion.

      Sorry sig fan boys – “To hell and back reliability” apparently only means if its a nice warm dry sunny day.

      • Drew Coleman

        It seems that striker fired pistols have problems when submerged. The water retards the striker I guess?

        • we3

          To me it looked like the water was OK on both, but the mud incapacitated the 226/320

          Too little data (pistols) tested. If MAC keeps up testing pistols by next year we’ll have a better (larger) group for comparison.

          Will be interesting to see the “popular kids” tested.
          GLOCK, S&W, Springfield, Ruger: et all.

          Hey – there better to watch than knitting videos online.

        • Core

          Glock has an over the beach capability, it’s just a modified drain feature and a mod to the trigger (fire control) that allows for better reset submerged. It was invented by several companies, not sure who was first? But anyway I’ve seen Glocks explode in water testing, shooting lead from the poly barrels, and just in dry normal conditions. So far no one has made a field-able pistol that is truly amphibious, let alone mud capable. These tests are great in theory but in reality provide not much more than entertainment value.

      • DW

        P320 did way better than the Legion. Although light primer strike in mud tests have people concerned.

        • QuadGMoto

          He saw 3 light primer strikes. One of them occurred before they even started the test protocol. He also mentioned that Yager has also had a light primer strike with his copy of the same pistol.

          That would concern me more than its behavior when contaminated.

      • Tim Barrera

        Did you even watch the videos? 226 failed in dirt, 320 failed in mud and it was a failure to return to battery fully, which a tap resolved. P226 totally seized up. Totally different failures. Second off, as MAC does more of these tests with his new system, we will see probably 90% or more of the guns fail in the mud.

        • A Fascist Corgi

          While I find these sorts of tests interesting, it’s important for people to remember that 99.999% of us are not special operations troops crawling around in swamps with our firearms. The only thing that my self-defense firearms have to deal with is dust, lint, and dog hair.

          • Ergo

            that dog won’t hunt

      • AHill

        Well I mean hell could be called warm and it’s not really known to have a rainy season; I’ll concede it doesn’t have a sun but having fire on ALL THE THINGS seems to be a reasonable approximation of sun shine.

        So maybe their “Hell and back” saying isn’t exactly a lie?

      • Core

        After you shoot several thousand rounds through it in a weekend of CQC training it will run fine in the sand. Additionally the Legion is not the milspec model, which I would like to see tested, post 1000 rounds. This out of the box test is cool but not practical. The problem we had in the Navy with the M9 was they would get used so much that they would start dropping mags frequently. They also bound up and had stoppage issues when new and dry. When old they were excellent shooters but not exceptionally accurate. But when new the mag release was fine. So the SIG and other models like the USP offered more reliability. In the hands of a GI I would want to the loose tolerance model, as a dedicated gunfighter I would want a milspec SIG with a few thousand rounds down the pipe. As long as I can hit a playing card sized spot from across a room consistently it meets my requirements. But in any case you want to get 1000+ rounds downrange before you add it to your kit. Shiny new things have a tendency to break, they need to be tested and proven prior to being used in the field.

    • Harry’s Holsters

      He just tested the P320 and it didn’t end well. That’s one striker gun I’m not a fan of but only for ergos not reliability.

  • Wolfgar

    Two firearms designed and well built the same but one is more reliable. A great video would be explaining why.

    • That is easy, these tests are crap shoots. If it is ever repeated it will almost always get completely different results.

      Even when you increase the sample size you still have problems with inconsistent results. The Army saw that when they did the Extreme Dust Test series. Each of the three tests gave completely different results from the one before it. For example from EDT 2 to EDT 3 the M4 had over twice as many failures.

      • James Young

        Good point. He would need to at least repeat tests a dozen times before coming to a conclusion

        • Texas-Roll-Over

          And have at least 7 of each handgun, with varying levels of total ammo.

      • Bill

        An actual reliable, valid testing program is expensive, tedious, requires a sound knowledge of stats and methodology, and would be incredibly dull video.

  • Black Dots

    Meanwhile, in Slovenia…

    • john huscio

      Not enough tracksuits

    • Reef Blastbody

      As my bulging gun safe will attest, I’m no bigot. I know the Czechs, Slovaks, etcetera, all have long traditions of making firearms. I own numerous CZ handguns, a couple of Grand Powers, and an XD Tactical, and have a Rex Zero 1 that should reach my FFL any day now.

      • Black Dots

        It seems like a solid piece of kit. Hope it works out for ya!

      • iksnilol

        I can like have one .45 and one 9×19 pistol.

        Like, I like CZ due to commonality but the Grand Power is tempting, so is the Rex. Side by side review, maybe?

        • roguetechie

          I got grand powers early when they were stupid cheap!

          Probably some of the best pistols I’ve ever shot IMHO. I genuinely like shooting them and they work well.

          • iksnilol

            Same applies to CZs, that’s why my choice is so… hard.

            Like, on one hand: I can get a great pistol, on the other hand I can also get a great pistol.

            I’mma just have to try both I guess.

          • roguetechie

            Yes you are!

            My full size grand power is literally my favorite pistol. Plus, even though it isn’t something I’ll ever have as a capability on one of my pistols, have you seen the videos of their full auto versions? It’s pretty damn spectacular!

            Two of the things I’m saving up for currently are a colt all American 2000 and an old Steyr Hahn to get at least a partial cross section of rotating barrel pistol designs for my reference collection.

            I’m also considering doing a simple tube gun build that utilities rotating barrel short recoil. It’ll be ugly but functional and utilize lots of parts from the aftermarket ar15 parts ecosystem.

          • roguetechie

            Sorry for the double reply but I wanted to show you the inspiration for my weird rotating barrel short recoil pistol test mule.


            If nothing else it should inspire some very entertaining conversations at the range when I pull it out.

            “WTF IS THAT… can I try it?”

            It’s really kinda just a first step into exploring the design space in the pistol realm to see if anything worthwhile comes out of it…

            Plus as I get older I get more and more fascinated with the idea of making guns that are cheap durable functional and fun that still have the ability to be used for serious situations.

            Defense distributed calls it democratizing the firearms world, I call it keeping the barriers to entry for this hobby low. If cheap but good options existed and could be pointed to for people looking to get into the hobby that is good for all of us. Not to mention that simple diy efforts that allow a few bucks and many hours of sweat equity to produce a functional and decent piece is the type of thing that allows for more enthusiast engineering and gunsmith types to be cultivated and get their start.

            The days of retarded cheap imported parts kits are waning quickly, and my hope is that creating things like this can serve as passable replacements for them.

  • Bucho4Prez

    So what is the deal on the legality of cloning a firearm design? Are the patents associated with the 226 expired? I presume it is all above board as Sig would probably have sued them by now. Same goes for Walther and Canik.

    • QuadGMoto

      Eastern Block countries apparently don’t usually have intellectual property protection laws. (Patents) That’s why the CZ 75 is copied so much. I think that also allows them to copy stuff developed in other countries because there are no grounds to sue them on in the manufacturer’s country.

      On the other hand, if they’re being imported into the U.S., I could see them being sued under U.S. law to at least prevent their sale here, unless the patents on the P226 have expired.

      • FarmerB

        Rubbish. They are part of the EU and all that goes with it. And every trade treaty comes with this sort of baggage (of which the EU is party to many). If you don’t do IP rights, you don’t even get into the WTO.

        • iksnilol

          Yes, but the CZ-75 was made before they were part of the EU, before they had IP protections.

      • AK

        Actually, the main problem is the cost and difficulty in applying for protection in each country separately. Even within the EU, the process is still very arduous and non-uniform. I’m sure nobody is building a pirated CZ pistol in Czech Republic. It’s also cost-effective to only apply for patents in major sales regions, since that’s where the money is made.

    • Reef Blastbody

      One caveat to this: the Rex Zero 1 is not a clone of the P22X series, at least not a one for one copy. The safety is located where the SIGs decocker would be, the slide release on the Rex does double duty as the decocker, and has a mechanism that requires the user to release pressure on the slide release before it will allow you to decock the pistol.

      So, cosmetically speaking, it very much resembles the P226/P229 line, but the mechanicals are proprietary to AREX, thus no basis for SIG to sue them over patent infringement, if the patent is still in effect.

      • AK

        The Rex Zero 1 is the gun Sig should have built as a follow up on the P226. That combo slide release/decocker is pure genius. They could toss the safety, but at least it’s not in the way.
        And the hammer fired design has some merits in cold environments over any striker fired design that cannot be overlooked.

  • ostiariusalpha

    Step #1 – Get two striker-fired pistols, one off-the-shelf name-brand pistol and one no-name pistol that has been sent to you by the manufacturer with marine shields installed.

    Step #2 – Dunk them both in water, and the act shocked, SHOCKED!, that the name-brand without marine shield fails more.

    Step #3 – ???????

    Step #4 – Profit.

  • john huscio

    Exeter quality (control) strikes again!

  • John

    Meanwhile, a Glock CEO yawns and tosses another loaded G19 outside an airplane window at 15,000 feet into the ocean. It will be retrieved and test-fired when they get around to it, probably after the weekend. The pistol is expected to perfectly function and fire sub-MOA groups as usual.

    At the same time and halfway around the world, one thousand, nine hundred and eleven priests from the Church of Browning converge at their annual meeting to discuss the latest addendum to their platform, unite in their condemnation of the heresy of Kimber, and swap grip panels from summer to an autumn look. Life goes on.

    • iksnilol

      You had me going until you introduced the idea of a Glock firing sub moa.

      • Wzrd

        I was thinking the same thing

        • jonp

          No lie. Sub zero Glock? From 10ft maybe but then again you cant hit anything if your gun jambs

          • Core

            It’s ground-zero accurate only when exploding in your face..

    • Andy Kay

      Interestingly enough 2 weeks ago I took my friend’s father out shooting. He just bought a NIB glock 19. Evennfor a break in period, the number of malfunctions he had was astounding.

      • Jai S.

        Outside of my .22 LR’s, my Glock 34 4th Gen is the least reliable gun I own. Constant failures to eject. It has the latest extractor, and I’ve switched out every spring that could be the problem. It’s been emaculately cleaned and lubricated per Glock’a instructions.

        I finally installed an Apex Failure Resistant Extractor, and will be testing it next week.

        • Cea

          Gen 4 is the problem!

          • Doom

            outside of a bad batch of aguila and Brown bear 9mm I have never had a problem with my Gen 4 Glock 17.

          • Cea

            That may be, for you and a select few others. But you didn’t hear too much about any problems with Glocks in general, until the Gen 4’s hit the market. Sure there will always be issues with any gun/Gen. But you really started to hear complaints when the 4’s got out. That seems to be a reliably accurate statement whenever you compare Generations of Glock.
            Most people experience very few issues w/Gen 3’s (and 1 & 2), as compared to Gen 4.

          • Doom

            Id say it is the other way around, most people dont have any problems with Gen 4 Glocks and a few people have a lot of problems. If a lot of people had problems they would have done a complete recall like Remington got to do with the R1 or whatever their one gun was called.

        • Core

          Send it back in its original form and have them fix it.

  • A Fascist Corgi

    How did the SIG P226 pass the U.S. military trials back in the 1980s if it can’t pass tests like this?

    • Steve

      Simple. They didn’t have Ron Cohen on board to cut corners back then.

      • AK

        See my comment above, the problem very likely is (literally) “cut corners” on the Sig slide!

    • HollowTs

      They were German made. They had action blocks and carbon steel slides instead of milled stainless steel slides. But mostly they were made in Germany!

  • Harry’s Holsters

    Fun to watch! Makes me no less likely to buy a legion which is high on my list but it does make me want the Rex Zero 1 which I could have cared less about before.

  • tb556

    There must be some pretty ludicrous markup for them to try selling this gun built in Eastern Europe for $600 when you can buy a new CZ999 for under $300.

  • MPWS

    Just a casual observation: nobody seems to know what is meaning of word “tolerance”. Tolerance in manufacturing sense is provision for parts to be interchangeable. That means they have to be made within certain boundary limits to fit into assembly under all conditions. Higher tolerances, higher the cost; actually it works exponentially.
    What you have in mind is CLEARANCES, that is amount of space between parts. Too much clearance can be bad. Even worse is too little of it. Depends on application and – experience.
    In conclusion: you can have parts (and as result assemblies) which are made to tight tolerances and intentionally fitting with large clearance. This is not necessarily good. Opposite case is even worse as it leads invariably to seizure. You pick what you prefer.

    • AK

      My bad, that’s what I meant. I took a good look at the pistols and seems that the problem is not the clearances, but rather a feature of the slide design on the Sig. It is literally forcing dirt into the gap between slide and frame. See my comment above in this chain for details.

  • James

    Test was good proof that spend grand on well know firearm does grantee gone preform any better than one not.

    • Andy Kay

      Are you having a stroke?

  • Kelly Harbeson

    Man you sure know how to make us Sig fanboys cry.

  • Core

    I would be interested to see a comparison to a SIG milspec model. I’m guessing a milspec model will work well comparatively. I imagine the Legion is tight due to the manufacturers tolerances, being a premium model. Also wondering how a non milspec trigger might effect such a test? For anyone breaking a gun in, you should run it extremely wet or greased until it runs smoothly and then switch back to your preferred lube methods. In most cases you can’t just keep lubing and expects good results or not lube and expect results. Cleaning AND lubing is needed until the material “breaks in,” and potentially indefinitely. I’ve seen Glocks, 1911’s, and M9’s all run dry and malfunction and have stoppages. Tests like these are valuable because I think it illustrates the desire to develop a pistol or rifle that functions is adverse conditions, maybe even out of the box. I don’t think it’s even logical or acceptable to take a pistol out of the box and run it like this. I believe it’s practical to put 1000 rounds through it and then test it. From a combat perspective, I would not personally carry a rifle or pistol into battle with less than 500-1000 rounds through it and a detail strip and check for wear and tear. As a civilian I think this is more of an issue, and when I purchase a carry pistol or carbine, I purchase 500+ rounds to run it in, and become familiar with it. Similar models tend to shoot similar if you have the same sights, and it solves cross-platform training gaps. I would argue that if you are switching to a different platform, you could never gain 100% combat proficiency with less than 1000 rounds no matter how skilled you are. In reality it may take much more ammunition and training. As someone with EM medals in M9, SIG, and better proficiency in 1911, I appreciate the modern pistol designs and find most quality models to be very easy to master versus the older steel models due to the production design and level of craftsmanship involved. So despite my personal distaste for the ergonomics of Glocks, I recommend starting with a modern polymer combat style handgun for those who want to carry. I have found the XD to be extremely reliable and accurate, and have been told the Glocks are also reliable and accurate, but I’ve found the German designed polymer pistols from Walther, and HK to be a blend of quality craftsmanship, modern amenities, and consistent reliability and accuracy. Most of them are now made in US factories, or will soon be, and this is a win win. But having used SIG’s in the Navy, I would not be afraid of carrying a SIG to hell and back, and I would pay a premium for a SIG made by Americans in NH, break it in and not worry about line tests versus the broad data collected from real world operators in the field.