SIG Sauer P226 Air Pistol ~ Test & Review

by Dr. Jim and Mary Clary
SIG Sauer P226 Air Pistol ~ Test & Review

SIG Sauer P226 Air Pistol :
SIG Sauer P226 Air Pistol :
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

United States -( Over the past few years several airgun companies have marketed air pistols meant to simulate the real thing.

They looked real enough but never really mimicked regular pistols, either in their design, weight, or function. They were just toys for kids to play with. THEN, SIG SAUER entered the picture. Their P226 semi-automatic pistol was already one of the best and most reliable guns on the market, which is undoubtedly why the U.S. Navy SEALS selected it as their standard firearm. It was only logical that SIG SAUER chose the P226 as their template for a new air pistol.

SIG spent considerable time and resources (in house – not licensed) in the development of a P226 Advanced Sport Pellet (ASP) “clone” that would mimic the handling and function of their “regular” P226 firearm. Their purpose was to produce an inexpensive replica that could be used by military and police units for training, avoiding the expense of high-value training weapons as well as costly ammunition.

With the development of the P226 ASP air pistol, SIG succeeded well beyond their expectations. They did it…. they designed and produced a superb training tool for law enforcement as well as a very fine air gun for the civilian market. Unless you look very, very closely at this gun, you could easily mistake it for the “real thing.”

Design characteristics of the SIG Sauer P226 Air Pistol :

This is a classic double action/single action pistol. And, as with all double action triggers, it has a heavy pull (~9 lbs 3 oz)… but the single action breaks clean at just under 4 lbs…. which is comparable to the real thing.

Because we don’t like double action triggers, we simply “rack” the slide back, as we do with our 1911s, to cock it and start shooting…. but, that is just us.

Per the original, the 3-dot sights make it easy to acquire the target for accurate placement of the pellets. As evidence of that, the following Dirty Bird Splash Target was set out at 20 yards …. if Jim were a better shot, the group would be tighter, but given that the red bullseye is only 1″ in diameter, the “old man” didn’t do too bad.

16 Rounds at 20 yards with the SIG SAUER P226 ASP Air Pistol
16 Rounds at 20 yards with the SIG SAUER P226 ASP Air Pistol

The magazine release and decocker function much like the P226 centerfire pistol. Since there is no spent cartridge to “throw out,” there is no slide stop/release, but that in no way detracts from this gun.

The magazine is a stick-type similar to others on the market and holds 8 pellets on the top and 8 pellets on the bottom, for a total of 16. Just make sure that you insert the magazine properly…. SIG etched the back of the magazine to make sure that we do it correctly. Once inserted, the magazine feeds flawlessly and ejects quickly for reloading, without hanging up. That makes for rapid reloading.

SIG Sauer P226 Air Pistol Magazine loading: Illustration courtesy of SIG SAUER, Inc.
SIG Sauer P226 Air Pistol Magazine loading: Illustration courtesy of SIG SAUER, Inc. :

A unique and perhaps the finest feature of any air pistol on the market is the SIG cam lever loading system for the CO2 cartridge. No more tools, no nuts to tighten and no more wasted gas. Simply open the handle-chamber, “pop” in the cartridge, close the chamber and you are done. Finally, someone made it simple.

SIG Sauer P226 Air Pistol - Cam Lever Loader :
SIG Sauer P226 Air Pistol – Cam Lever Loader :

Depending on conditions and your individual gun, you should be able to get between 75 and 80 shots out of a CO2 cartridge. So, buy some extra magazines as soon as they become available.

And finally, we would like to address the velocity of the pellets. This pistol is NOT made for hunting. It is a training, plinking and fun gun, so do not be concerned that the velocity is only rated “up to 510 fps.” In fact, it is unlikely that you will achieve that given the effect of altitude and temperature on the pressure in the cartridge. At our altitude of 5,232 feet in New Mexico, we averaged 400-450 fps, depending on the temperature. However, the lower velocity does not affect the accuracy, as illustrated by our target.

SIG Sauer P226 Air Pistol Specifications:

  • Calibers: 0.177
  • Velocity:  up to 510 fps (our tests registered 400 – 450 fps)
  • Cam Lever Loading System for CO2 cartridge (no screws to tighten)
  • Magazine capacity (16) 8 x 2 rotary magazine
  • Overall Length: 8.25 in.
  • Overall Height: 5.25 in.
  • Overall Width: 1.25 in.
  • Barrel Length: 4.75 in. rifled
  • Weight:  2.4 lb loaded w 16 pellets
  • Blowback action
  • Fire Mode:  Semi-automatic
  • Trigger: Double Action/Single Action
  • Trigger Pull: DA 9 lb 3 oz pounds; SA 3 lb 13 oz. – which closely matches the P226 firearm
  • Sights: 3-Dot blades (2-dot on rear and 1-dot on front sight)
  • Picatinny Accessory Rail
  • MSRP:  $110.99

The P226 ASP is a well-made all metal gun with polymer grips. In fact, we are amazed that SIG can sell it for so little. It definitely has to be one of the best air pistol buys on the market today, if not the best. If you get one, you won’t regret it.

The best feature of the SIG Sauer P226 Air Pistol is that you can buy it online and have it shipped to your house on Amazon :

About Jim and Mary Clary:

Jim and Mary Clary have co-authored over three hundred and fifty articles, (and counting) on shooting and hunting. You can read many of them on AmmoLand News.

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Stephen Beller

Please reply!, So which is the most accurate( target practice pellet) at 10,25 or 50 yards? I know this is very subjective, but I would truly appreciate your opinion. Thank You, Stephen Beller


Its a training tool and if someone decides to run around wsving it at people…they deserve whats coming,thats where the “RESPONSIBILITY” part comes in,not a factories fault,that would be s parents fault for not educating a child or telling them NO for a change


WOW! I came to look at a co2 pistol review and it sure got political fast.All I can say is if someone is braking into your home in the middle of the night DO NOT call the trigger happy Police. CALL YOUR LIBERAL FRIENDS and ask them what you should do.I AM SURE THEY WILL BE RIGHT THERE TO SAVE YOUR ASS AND AND PROTECT YOUR FAMILY.


Hi does anyone know how to get a download of the sig sauer P226 air pistol manual


Excellent pistol with accuracy and power, take any gun out in public and start waving it at cops is going to put you in a world of hurt


I Like the Sig. I can’t always get to a range, and the cost for 45 minutes can be upwards to $100. I can now train in the basement and show my sons the safety of firearm use. We had 1″ to 3″ groups 25 feet and that’s fine. If I wanted to see sub 1″ groups I will use my CZ 30.06! Remember the Sig is for training and not for waving around the police! Every one just have fun and stay safe!!!!


Yes I too would like to know what kind of pellet s you used for tight grouping. Ret. Gunny.


Your accuracy results are best I’ve read about (1 inch at 20 yards). No other reviews come close. What pellet type did you use? Any mods to improve accuracy? Special grip hold /technique? Thanks.

Shiny Knife

Is it a exact copy of the real sig? Like share the same holster? I just ordered one and I’m looking for a holster for it..


Yes, it is an exact copy.


Hi, can you remember what sort of pellets you used in the test to achieve that grouping at 20 yds?


I quit using BB/pellet guns when I was 10 years old. Train with firearms not kid toys !

Richard L Jones

Say, Tex, I think that Merriweather Lewis would tend to Disagree

Wild Bill

L. Jones, General Patton would not disagree.

Richard L

Well, Wild Bill, I would have to agree as to what you wrote about General Patton but have you checked out Airforce Texan rifles?


Replica BB/pellet guns are just another way to divert people who only want to target shoot away from real guns.

Bob Elli

I’ll try that in the UK! Promise you’ll write when I’m banged up!

Richard Baldwin

I like the idea of using replica airsoft guns for training. Has anyone found a shot timer that would “hear” the shots from an airsoft or similar pellet gun? That, to me would be the perfect training tool. Training with minimal cost and sound, inside or outside, and timing yourself for proficiency.

Bob in Florida

We (my wife and I) have airsoft (and one B-B/pellet) guns to replicate our carry weapons. This incudes Glocks, S&W M&Ps, and Berettas. They don’t seem to be as exact a replica as the Sig Sauer (although close); but, are excellent training tools. The convenience (and low cost) of being able to train in our own backyard (with a 50-yd range laid out), any time we want, is invaluable.

I highly recommend, all who are able, invest in a replica of their carry firearms to boost their training capability.

ole Shoemaker

YES and when someone gets killed with this gun cause it is an exact replica, everyone will be screaming he only had a pellet gun. No s/he did not !!! S/he had an exact replica with no identifying difference and to me that is the manufacturers fault and seems like they are just asking for law suites. And personally, would not feel bad for them or defend them. If it is a training gun or a toy it should be blue or orange. Sometimes manufacturers just ask for problems and then whine when the get them……………….

Mark S

Thanks Gladys. Gutless wonders like you would have been chewed up and spit out when we had real men (and women) in the world. My parents bought me all kinds of BB guns when I was a kid. Nobody got killed, nobody thought twice about it until the gutless Mommy culture of helmet wearing kids and castrated men came along. Sure glad we didn’t have these pussies around when we had to win a couple World Wars.


Right on the Mark, Mark so sick of these wining Snowflakes !


Here we go, Hillary lost, get over it.


I purchased one of these guns. It looked and felt great but was very inaccurate. At 12 yards 5 shots were in a 5 inch circle. I tried 6 different pellets and they were all bad! I called Sig and the rep. said it was not designed to be accurate.
It was only supposed to be a practice gun for owners of P-226 pistols. I returned it since a gun that is not accurate is of no use to me! I would like to see how they got such an accurate target in this report.

Philip Diaz

Stop comparing “law enforcement” and “civilians.” Cops are civilians. They are not in the military though they strive to project the image. Some people even thank them “for their service.” More Americans have been killed by trigger happy cops than have died in Iraq and it’s escalating. So, please substitute the word “civilians” with “citizens” if you must make a comparison.


I surely agree with you . Trigger happy cops must be stopped , charged , and prosecuted THE SAME as if we use firearms for taking a life . All lives matter .


“Some people even thank them “for their service.” They are public servants, what is the matter with thanking them for doing their job?