SIG Sauer is shipping two new models of 1911-type pistols that were announced earlier this year at SHOT Show, the Nickel Rail 1911 and the Stainless Match Elite 1911. While the Nickel Rail is a modern take on the timeless .45 ACP design, the new model Stainless Match Elite 1911 is chambered for .40 S&W.
The Nickel Rail 1911 is one two in a series of fighting .45s, with a rail-less Compact model to follow.
Likewise, the Stainless Match Elite 1911 is the first in a series. The new 1911 is Traditional-series pistol that SIG will also offer in 9mm Parabellum and .38 Super in addition to .40 S&W for competition shooting or fun at the range (for less than it costs to run a .45, at least in 9mm or .40).
The Nickel Rail is a full-size 1911 with an inclination towards self-defense, as a nightstand, duty or open-carry pistol. It has a five-inch barrel and an extended magwell and feeds from eight-round magazines for a capacity of 8+1.
The finish is not just cosmetic, it is a nickel PVD (physical vapor deposition) layer that is extremely durable and corrosion-resistant. The finish is on top of the stainless steel slide and frame. The frame has 20-line-per-inch (LPI) checkering on the frontstrap and the mainspring housing for a solid grip and sports custom Vector checkered machined polymer grips. Additionally the pistol has been lightly de-horned for a smooth draw and re-holster.
The grips are brown and grey laminate to blend in with the contrasting light brown nickel finish and black controls of the Nickel Rail 1911.
When the Nickel Compact 1911 becomes available, it will share much of the same features but without the rail and with a shorter grip and slide. The Compact will have a 7+1 capacity and a 4.2-inch barrel. It will have the same finish, de-horned edges and minimalist magwell as the larger 1911.
Both models of Nickel 1911s will come with low-profile night sights, factory. The larger railed model has an ambidextrous safety while the Compact does not, making it easier to carry concealed.
Like the Nickel Rail, the Stainless Match Elite 1911 is a full-size pistol but tailored for competition use. As .40 S&W is particularly popular in competitive shooting, it follows that SIG is leading with the Stainless Match Elite in that caliber before 9mm and .38 Super.
Designed for the races, the Stainless Match Elite has adjustable target sights and a natural stainless steel finish. The controls match the slide and frame and are also “white” steel.
Owing to its Traditional namesake, the Stainless Match Elite has standard right-handed controls and no magwell. It comes with custom checkered hardwood grips by Hogue although it does have some modern touches like a skeletonized, grooved trigger, combat hammer, extended beavertail safety with a memory bump and a slightly extended grip safety.
The Stainless Match Elite’s features are the same no matter what it is chambered for and the 9mm and .38 Super will have the same 20-LPI checkering on the frontstrap and mainspring housing as the new Nickel models. All three have a capacity of 10+1.
The yet-to-be-released Nickel Compact does not have a list price yet, but we know the MSRP for the Nickel Rail is $1,185 and $1,213 for the Stainless Match Elite. We expect the Nickel Compact will be right in there as well, with real-world prices likely in the $950 to $1,050 range.
SIG is developing a solid reputation with their more- and less-traditional 1911 pistols and these new models offer a lot to anyone looking to expand their collection of 1911s or pick up their first.