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[Review] SIG Sauer Emperor Scorpion 1911

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 GSR
Sig GSR 1911, courtesy GunsAmerica
In the above photo, you can make out the square-ish slide at the front. This is not the rounded, svelte shape that Browning designed, but Sig got it a little closer to home when they introduced the Traditional 1911 series, of which the Scorpions are a part.

The Scorpion Carry 1911

The gun I was loaned to review looks like this…

Sig Sauer Scorpion 1911 gun left

Sig Sauer Scorpion 1911 gun right

Note the flat trigger and three slots on the dustcover.

The guns currently available from Sig show black G10 Hogue grip panels, while these are obviously colored in the FDE pattern. Let’s look at the components up close…

Other Details

Sig Sauer Scorpion 1911 field stripped
Field stripped for cleaning. Note typical short recoil spring guide rod and bushing.
Sig Sauer Scorpion 1911 bushing recoil spring
Aforementioned spring, rod and bushing, up close
Sig Sauer Scorpion 1911 frame left
Frame, left side.

Note cut-out above and in front of the plunger to prevent stress cracks, and hex-head grip screws. The flat trigger is evident. There is an overtravel screw in its face but it wasn’t needed…the trigger was excellent.

Sig Sauer Scorpion 1911 frame right
Frame, right side. Note the 3-slot rail on the bottom of the dustcover
Sig Sauer Scorpion 1911 rear sight
Novak-style rear sight with matching front sight, dovetailed. Sights are low-profile SIGLIGHT night sights

Sig Sauer Scorpion 1911 front sight

Sig Sauer Scorpion 1911 safety side
Thumb safety, ambidextrous.

Note how small it is – it won’t get snagged on anything, but it’s large enough to do the job. Here’s a view from the top…the safety sticks out about as far as the grips do…

Sig Sauer Scorpion 1911 safety top

Sig Sauer Scorpion 1911 barrel engraving
The barrel’s engraving.

The barrel’s feed ramp and the frame’s ramp were very well polished, probably more than necessary

Sig Sauer Scorpion 1911 slide left

Sig Sauer Scorpion 1911 slide right

The slide, left and right sides – note external extractor and forward slide serrations. Also, the slide is scalloped behind the ejection port to reduce brass bouncing off that part of the slide and landing in parts unknown

Sig Sauer Scorpion 1911 magazine
Magazine, 8-round.

The non-metallic baseplate won’t dent if it gets dropped on gravel. Also, the follower is flat. Most any 1911 mag should work…I have some Chip McCormick mags that work with almost every 1911 I’ve tried them with, so you don’t necessarily need to buy Sig’s mags, but you can be sure that the name-brand mags will be reliable.

OK…now we’ve seen the gun up close and personal. How about some specifications? Here are some, from Sig’s website and my direct observations and experiences…

Caliber:.45 ACP (also available in .357 Sig)
Overall Length:7.7 inches
Width:1.4 inches
Height:5.5 inches
Weight:35 ounces
Barrel:4.2 inches
Sight Radius:5.7 inches
Construction Material:Frame and slide, stainless steel
Finish:Frame and slide, Field Dark Earth PVD finish
Trigger:Flat face, adjustable overtravel via screw in trigger face. (I measured the trigger pull [average of ten pulls] at 2 pounds, 9.9 ounces with my Lyman digital trigger pull gauge. There was no take-up, a tiny bit of creep, and no overtravel)
Thumb Safety:Ambidextrous, low-profile, positive-engagement...easy-on and -off but very positive
Grips:Matching Field Dark Earth finish Hogue G-10 grip panels with very aggressive stippling
Hammer:Rowel, Commander-style
Beavertail:Extended, with memory bump
MSRP:I couldn’t find a manufacturer’s suggested retail price, but I saw it online for around $940
Warranty:Five years from date of manufacture to the original purchaser

So, now we know the specifics. But…how did it shoot?

Shooting The Scorpion

Shooting the Scorpion was a joy. With a trigger pull that averaged just under 3 pounds, the gun lent itself to accuracy. I shot the plain-jane 230-grain roundnose, and achieved this type of accuracy at typical combat-range distance… make sure to check out my article about good .45 ACP ammo.

target shot with the Sig 1911

(My home-made target’s black square is 4 inches, with each line an inch apart). So, you see what kind of accuracy is exhibited by the Scorpion Carry pistol. This was one of several loads I tried…my handloads tended to do a little better. I don’t believe I’d worry about accuracy issues with this pistol. Any standard self-defense or target load should be more than accurate when shot from this gun.

I did truly enjoy the trigger that this gun had. The trigger broke at (as I mention above) at under 3 pounds. This might be too light for some folks, but if you train with that trigger, you’ll learn how to control it (finger off until ready to fire). The safeties were a delight, as well. Being a lefty, I appreciated the right-side safety lever…I rested a thumb on it. The safeties’ lever was just enough to work well, but not too large to get in the way. I have a feeling that this gun is capable of more accuracy than I am. The sights would really prove themselves in a dusk shooting situation, with their tritium inserts. They were more than enough for the tasks at hand. The rear sight’s low profile would prevent snagging, another benefit.

Conclusion

So, how did I like the Scorpion? I liked it, a lot. Would I like to have one? Of course I would…who wouldn’t? This is a top-quality 1911 with all the right bells & whistles, in all the right places. Given Sig’s (and the .45’s) reputation, I think you could do a whole lot worse than this 1911. I don’t think you can beat this gun for whatever tactical or carry purpose you have in mind. Another plus of the re-designed rounder slide is that this gun should fit in most typical 1911 holsters.

Whether you get the gun in .45 or .357 Sig caliber (I just reviewed the Glock 32 in that caliber-it’s a thumper!), I don’t think you could go wrong. Since this gun is a typical 1911, just about any holster for that model should work, as should any accessory you already have. An added advantage is the rail on the dust cover – add a light or a laser easily.

If you want one of the best 1911s out there, check out the Sig line. This Scorpion Carry model is very popular – more than one reseller was out of stock on it – so that works in your favor as you decide which 1911 you will carry. The shorter, Commander-length barrel doesn’t hurt, either as you carry the gun concealed. The trigger, to my mind, is THE best feature of this particular gun, but you may like something else…that’s OK. Please check it out, and let us know what you think below.

As always, take time to get out and do some shooting, but remember – play it safe!

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Scott Marmaduke
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Scott Marmaduke

How far is “typical combat distance”? i am guessing somewhere between 5-15 yards?

Greg R
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Greg R

I own this gun and it’s my favorite 1911 crisp trigger finish is cool and it is deadly

Jhk
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Jhk

Finger off the trigger until ready to fire! Huh! In a fight, when folks are scared and excited, the finger might just start to be on the trigger when coming out of the holster,waistband, or wherever, you have your pistol secured! If the trigger is so light that you are afraid of an accidental discharge, I suggest you might want another pound or two for combat, or concealed carry! Target shooting and light triggers are fantastic! Combat situations and too light a trigger will get you, or someone in your party, SHOT! So careful about the light trigger and concealed… Read more »

Marc
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Marc

I bought one for my son a few years back and he loves it. I really liked it too…but couldn’t find another new one, so I bought the Sig Spartan carry, which is literally the same gun with aluminum grips and a magwell, also with Siglite night sights, front strap checkering etc. It is now my favorite 1911, and I own quite a few, including several Kimbers, and a Texas Edition full-size Sig 1911.

Marc
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Marc

Forgot to mention that it’s also very accurate, and I seemed to hit better with it than the full-size Kimber I was also shooting (back-to-back) that day.