SIG 1911 Ultra – First Look

Initial impressions are positive. This is a nice, compact 1911 that should serve anyone looking for a concealed carry .45 Auto. I did my usual 20 initial test rounds just to make sure the gun functioned and there were no hiccups. (I liked the front strap checkering and the beaver-tail grip safety.) So, now we’ll tear into a full blow test and evaluation. Stay tuned for a feature article in an upcoming issue of Combat Handguns.



About gunwriter

Born and raised in the West Virginia hills, Richard literally grew up in the woods. He has chased coon hounds until daylight, waited out whitetails perched high in an oak, canoed the New River and hunted from the Montana Mountains to the Green Hills of Africa. During service in the Army and later as a municipal police officer and Special Agent with the railroad police, Richard obtained numerous certifications in small arms instruction. He has trained military personnel, law enforcement officers and civilians in the application of firearms for defensive, competitive and recreational use. Richard won the West Virginia Governor’s Twenty Award for law enforcement, the West Virginia National Guard State Pistol Competition and earned his Distinguished Medal with pistol. Badge turned in, Richard is now a contributing editor for several magazines. He was the compiling author of the book, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter and conceptualized and contributed to Selecting and Ordering a Custom Hunting Rifle. Richard also contributed a chapter to the John Velke book, The True Story of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. Richard has patents on a riflescope reticle and a revolutionary bullet testing media. A hillbilly at heart, Richard lives on Shadowland - his shooting range in West Virginia - with the most understanding wife in the world, their three kids and a very protective ridgeback hound.
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12 Responses to SIG 1911 Ultra – First Look

  1. Bill says:

    I realize you didn’t have a problem with it, but I’d be very curious to hear what Sig has to say as to why they decided to cut-out the top of the grip-safeties on all their 1911’s?

    Myself, I shoot with a very high-thumb, and that cut-out puts a 90° corner right into the base of my thumb.

    Mostly, I’m simply looking for what benefit it is they think they’re providing?


    • gunwriter says:


      I’m not exactly sure what “cut-out” you are describing. I shoot with a high thumb too but cannot seem to duplicate the issue you describe. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not disagreeing with you. I would appreciate a better explanation as this maybe something that needs included in a review of this handgun.



      • Bill says:

        If you grip the pistol, I’m talking about the area just above the web of your hand. By comparison, a S&A beavertail has a “full” uninterrupted curve. The Sig’s curve has two isometric cut-outs … one on each side. This would be very similar to taking a giant bite out of a whole pie. If one was to run his finger around the outside of the pie, it’d be smooth, until you get to the “bite”, where you’d find close to a 90° corner … on both sides of the “bite”. On the Sig grip-safety, the one corner is far less pronounced, as the normal curve is not otherwise perfectly round … and is not necessarily an issue. However, the other corner, about 1mm from where it meets the frame (and where the thumb-safety “pin” goes through) is nearly all of 90°.

        If that corner isn’t “rubbing” against any part of your hand, it wouldn’t be an issue. Most folks simply grip the pistol as though it were a P226, and would otherwise be unaware.

        However, I use the thumb-safety as a “rest” for my thumb, to help keep the muzzle down, during rapid fire (all fire, actually). This positioning, with my XXL hands, puts the joint at the base of my thumb squarely on this 90° corner.

        Again, I wasn’t so much concerned about my own woes. I realize I’m in the vast minority. But with Sig going, apparently, whole-hog with this “new” style grip-safety … as well as Ruger … I was very curious where this new “feature” was coming from? Will it make someone shoot more accurately? Faster? Is it actually more comfortable for someone, vs. the “traditional” S&A/Ed Brown beavertail?

        They must’ve had a reason to do this. It can’t be cheaper? It’s two extra operations. I’m asking if you’d be kind enough to contact someone “in the know” at Sig, and find out what benefit it is, they believe they’re providing.


      • gunwriter says:

        Ah, I understand now. You must have a larger thumb than I. I rest my thumb on the safety as well but its not an issue. I’ll contact SIG and see what they have to say.

        Thanks again!


      • STI was the first to offer this feature on their grip safeties back in the 1990s, but I believe some pistolsmiths made this modification on their own before that.

        If the edge is uncomfortable, round it off. It drives me batty that folks won’t consider modifing the OEM part, but are willing to pay a gunsmith to cut on a new replacement part in order to install it.

  2. Ben O. says:

    would you say it offered anything to a 220 fan, or just something for a die-hard 1911 ‘guy’ (considering compact and SA 220’s) PS: I used to want to do all the stuff you did, police and guns… nice job!

    • gunwriter says:

      Handguns are a serious personal thing. Kind of like shoes. They gotta fit and you need to like them for whatever reason. I like 1911s, particularity Commanders. If you like a P 220 then by all means stay with it. I don’t have enough experience with this new SIG to make a call either way but my first impression is that it is a well made, compact 1911 in .45 Auto.

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  4. Bill says:

    any word yet back from Sig on those grip-safeties?

    they’ve got a picture of their “Traditional Stainless Compact” with the “old” style … but the same pistol on Gunbroker is pictured with the “new” style … I thought this was a “new” gun … curious if they’re on their way “out”, or “in”?

    also wondering if the beavertail grip-safeties Caspian sells might be a drop-in replacement?


  5. Dana says:

    Looks nice,I have a full size sig 1911 now.I carried a P220 as a duty weapon before switching to a 1911. The 220 is a very good weapon although I prefer the 1911 along with my s&w 640 in ankle glove by galco.should I wait until this is in production awhile to avoid any type of recall?

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