If you are a 1911 traditionalist, then you will like Sig Sauer’s Traditional Match Elite 1911 in the worst weather conditions. To ensure the pistol gives you a good purchase the front strap has crisp factory checkering, dark checkered custom wood grips and checkered mainspring housing. For ease of operation the TEM ships with extended ambidextrous controls. The safety and slide stop are sized to be easy to operate without being so large they snag clothing. These standard features that you would expect on a custom 1911, not a factory pistol.
To ensure you can operate the slide with wet or cold hands, there are front and rear cocking serrations. All of the sharp edges have been beveled so you don’t tear up your holsters or hands during clearing drills. Sig installs a rugged adjustable rear sight with two dots to match the single dot on the front post.
Unlike most 1911s, the TME completes the slide assembly with a short plug and flat wire recoil spring not a full length guide rod. Some will argue this being a poor system, because the spring kinks. In twenty plus years I have never seen a 1911 recoil spring kink or fail to operate properly, with the flat spring that should be virtually impossible. The short plug allows you to clear jams that you could not otherwise quickly clear. On more than one occasion because of old case failures, I have cleared a 1911 using a door or window frame. The short plug allows you to use the slide to gain this leverage and get the slide open; with a full length guide rod you cannot do this.
The TME ensures reliable case extraction by using a spring loaded external extractor. This has been a point of contention with purist for years. In non-45, 1911s; proper extractor tension is vital and this set-up ensures the extractor has consistent tension every time. In the short time I have been running this 1911 it has had several thousand rounds shot through it on a square range and in U.S.P.S.A. competition There have been zero failures to extract or feed properly. If this system works on Sig’s other duty weapons, there is no reason to poo poo it on their 1911s.
For testing, we used several offerings from Hornady, Remington and Sig’s Elite Performance line. The ammunition we used had bullet weights from 115 grains to 147 grains, it was full metal jacket, hollow points and frangible. From its first trip to the range the TME showed no preference for bullet weight or ojive design. Accuracy right of the box was point of aim, point of impact at 25 yards; with all bullet weights. Sig has taken its years of experience from building duty pistols and somehow put it in this 1911 and built a pistol that simply performs well. This pistol consistently fired sub-3” groups all day long. The best group was fired with Sig’s Elite Performance 124 grain hollow point and Remington’s 100gr Disintegrator frangible cartridge with groups averaging 2.25”, Hornady’s 125 grain HAP load was close at 2.5”.
To ensure the TEM fed ammunition reliably, Wilson Combat and Tripp Research 9mm-RG magazines were used. Both of these magazines hold ten rounds and have been proven to be 100% reliable. Tripp offers a weighted base pad to ensure their magazine falls free every time.
These pistols are practically perfect out of the box and with three changes. First for my over fifty eyes, I installed 0.100” fiber optic sights from Dawson Precision, the factory sight is a tritium dot that is great for CCW not so good for competition. It has been my experience this size sight gives me a fast accurate sight picture and is much easier to see than a wide white dot sight.
Next the factory grips were replaced with Hogue’s Extreme G10 Grips with Piranha texturing. The TME had the black Magrip kit with arched mainspring housing installed. This grip gives you a flush fitting magwell, so there is not a need to have one fitted. This is the slickest set of grips I have used on a 1911.
Recently I made the last change, have BDL Custom Finishes apply a Black Multicam “Battleworn” Cerakote finish to it. A lot of folks like stainless steel because it can handle bad weather conditions, but I find it to be boring. I thought the Black Multicam was ideal. It is stealthy, looks cool and Cerakote will enhance the weather resistance.
If you are looking for an out of the box match ready 1911 the Traditional Match Elite should be at the top of your list. With a MSRP of $1164.00 available in 38 Super, 9mm or 40S&W you won’t go wrong. You will find Sig’s Traditional Match elite will get you out to the range to shoot. It will help you shoot fast, shoot accurately and it ensure you have fun.