1911 EMPEROR SCORPION.
The emperor scorpion…the largest, nastiest scorpion out there, from what I read.
Living in a non-desert area, I have no real-world experience with scorpions (but I bet a lot of you readers in desert areas have plenty of experience with the critters!).
Sig Sauer named their carry 1911 after the emperor scorpion, to give it a certain panache. I’ll take their word for it.
So, it was with certain expectations (knowing Sig quality overall) that I took on the assignment to review the Scorpion 1911.
I have owned Sig products, and have read (and written) several reviews of their guns. So, when I got my hands on the scorpion 1911, I was ready for just about anything.
It was with some excitement that I picked the 1911 up off the kitchen table and (after checking that it was clear), I snapped the trigger.
Once I dry-fired this gun, I was hooked. Loaned to me by our good family friend Glen, this is one 1911 I was anxious to try, as I’ve shown it before in my best .45 ACP pistol article.
Knowing as much as I do (and don’t) about 1911s, I knew this one would be special.
Not being an expert on the 1911 breed but, having owned several and knowing what I like, I took to this pistol like the proverbial duck to water.
A Bit About The Gun
Let’s get right into it… the gun itself. This particular serial-numbered Sig 1911 is evidently an older Commander-sized gun with 4.2-inch barrel, flat trigger and a full-size frame.
The closest model that Sig shows on its website is the same gun but with a normal, skeletonized trigger and a bobtail frame.
Its “official” name is the “Sig Sauer 1911CAR-45-SCPN 1911 Carry Scorpion 8+1 45ACP 4.2″, at least among a couple of resellers I checked.
This particular gun does not appear on Sig’s website, or at least I couldn’t find it. It is available, however, for sale online.
It also is available in its modern incarnation with the bobtail frame and normal trigger from most any Sig dealer.
The Company – Sig Sauer
I think most of us have heard of Sig Sauer, so I won’t bore you with a lot of details. They make a fairly extensive line of 1911s, though, and their guns are known to be good quality items, Clark.
It is imperative that anyone reviewing a Sig pistol of any stripe remind readers that the Sig P320 was adapted for military use as the M17/M18 in January of 2017. The M17 is the full-size version, with the M18 being a slightly more compact gun.
The military wanted, among a lot of other things, modularity and this Sig delivers. Replacing the frame is easy, what with the actual serial-numbered “gun” being the fire control housing that is inserted into whatever frame you want…full, compact and sub-compact sizes being available for purchase.
Optics are easily mounted on the military version, as are suppressors.
In addition to its recent coup with the military contract, Sig weapons are in use world-wide by many other military and law enforcement agencies, not to mention several dozen law enforcement and government agencies here in the United States.
So, with their military pistol and rifle experience, it comes as no surprise that they are in the 1911 business big-time, what with America’s military sidearm being the M1911 from 1911 to 1985.
The civilian market keeps the century-plus-old 1911 going, as well, in a big way. Sig caters to that market.
Sig and the 1911
The company introduced their series of 1911s with two pistols – a full size and a compact, called the “GSR” series. “GSR” stands for Granite Rail Series and is distinguished by, among other features, a “slabbier” slide (to coin a word) that was taller and more square than typical 1911 slides.
I think the expression used at the time was that the 1911s exhibited the “Sig Profile.” The gun resembled the Sig P226 a bit from the front.
But, the slide configuration made it harder to find a holster to fit it. Enter the Traditional series, 1911s that have slide contours more in keeping with the shape of John Browning’s original.
This made shooters happy, or at least more accepting of the Sig 1911.
SIG SAUER’s new Scorpion handgun takes the 1911 pistol a notch higher in performance and brings proven combat ability into the new century.
The Scorpion is a far different pistol than the blue steel and walnut 1911 handguns many of us deployed in the past.
The SIG looks different, performs differently and leaves little to be desired. It is definitely a 1911 to the marrow.
The new SIG features a rugged corrosion and wear-resistant Cerakote finish. Cerakote is a proven ceramic finish that is low maintenance, resists wear and requires little lubrication.
From pencil scratch testing to extreme salt spray testing, Cerakote has proven stable in long exposure to the elements. Heat tests did not damaged the finish up to 500 degrees.
Along with other modern features, the Scorpion integrates a light rail into the dust cover. Coupled with self-luminous iron sights (night sights) with tritium inserts, the pistol is well-appointed for use around the clock.
There are many features inherent in the design, a confluence of the best of SIG and 1911. Legendary SIG quality control, and the 1911’s combat proven design, is a good combination.
There are several versions of the Scorpion, including both 4.25- and 5-inch barrel variants. The shorter length was chosen for this review.
The pistol features what is often referred to as the Commander length barrel and slide with standard barrel bushing.
The fit of the barrel to the slide, the barrel to the barrel bushing, and the locking lugs to the slide are excellent.
Going to a shorter barrel length requires the pistol use a bushingless lockup without the barrel bushing. This is required of the shorter pistol to accommodate the more severe barrel tilt necessary for a short barrel 1911.
While a number of 4-inch barrel 1911 handguns have exhibited excellent reliability, the consensus is the Commander length, with a 4.25-inch barrel and shortened barrel bushing is the more reliable system. The barrel lugs fit into the slide mortise smoothly and snugly.
Tight tolerances mean superior accuracy. Good fitting means less eccentric wear in the long run.
The pistol is fitted with a set of grips designed by Hogue and termed Piranha grips. These grips are an interesting experience for one used to walnut or rubber.
They offer a comfortable yet abrasive grip in a groundbreaking design. The grips and the nicely checkered front strap make for excellent adhesion.
Despite aggressive checkering, the grip is not uncomfortable when firing full power loads and the pistol does not slip in the hand.
Bottom line—there is nothing better in the handgun world for adhesion and control than this combination.
The extended magazine well makes rapid ammunition replenishment much more efficient. Training will go smoother and as confidence in repeatable ability builds, so does combat proficiency.
The single greatest shortcoming of students in my training classes is a lack of familiarity with the handgun. Be familiar with the pistol.
The dust cover features an integral MIL STD 1913 rail for mounting combat lights or laser devices. The slide lock safety is an ambidextrous unit.
The slide lock safety bucks the trend as the levers are actually smaller than the norm rather than the common extended type.
The safety is crisp and indents in a positive manner. After use and evaluation, we find the size is no drawback for rapid manipulation and avoids s The grip safety is the popular beavertail design with memory groove.
The beavertail safety helps lead the hand into the proper firing grip on the draw. The beavertail releases its hold on the safety properly about halfway into its travel.
The memory groove is an asset for those of us that use the thumbs forward, two hand firing grip. Often this grip, while very stable and accuracy enhancing, causes the palm to rise off of the beavertail.
The memory groove beavertail safety helps in this regard. After looking over these features and handling the pistol, the first impression of the Scorpion is this is a service pistol without compromise.
Further evaluation and testing did not contradict this early impressionnagging the lever on the holster or garments when drawing from concealed carry. The upswept grip safety is a good design; well executed.