I had originally intended to make a video about this pistol, but my CPU is now overheating whenever I ask it to process video. Until I can get that sorted out, here’s a (fairly) brief article.
The P226 X-Five Tactical can be looked at in one of two ways. First, you could say that it’s a P226 on steroids – and that’d be true. Second, you could say that it’s a “regular” X-Five that’s been “watered down” a little – and that would also be fairly true. But is that a bad thing? In my opinion, no, it isn’t.
The biggest differences between the X-Five Tactical and a regular P226R are the 5″ barrel and slide (hence the X-Five name) and the external safety which sends a loud and clear message that this is no “regular” P226. Instead, it’s designed to be carried cocked and locked, just like a 1911.
The biggest differences between the X-Five Tactical and its earlier (and more expensive) brother, the X-Five Competition, are the aluminum frame, night sights, accessory rail, lack of an extended magwell, and magazines.
Are these negatives? Well, more weight is fine for competition use, most IDPA/IPSC matches occur in broad daylight and do not require or even allow the use of weaponlights, extended/flared magwells aren’t a necessity on a double stack handgun, and while the higher capacity X-Five magazines are nice, they’re also hard to find and expensive. The X-Five Tactical, on the other hand, can easily use standard P226 magazines – definitely a bonus from a cost and availability standpoint.
In other words, the X-Five Tactical retains the features that would interest me, while discarding those which are of limited value outside the competition arena – with a corresponding reduction in price. Good deal? I think so.
The weapon offers an ambidextrous safety with very positive engagement/disengagement “clicks”. My only complaint is that its location is close enough to the slide release (yes, I just called it a slide release!!!) that resting your thumb atop the safety could cause the slide to not lock back when the last round is fired. This is a training issue to be aware of, not a serious problem with the weapon.
Notice the holes in front of and below the trigger guard – those are for pull weight and overtravel adjustments (which, apparently, do not apply to the Tactical). Even if they weren’t dummy holes, I’d leave them alone – first, it’s not my firearm, and second, the trigger is quite amazing as-is.
The best way to describe the X-Five’s trigger would be to say that it feels like clicking a mouse button – to include the incredibly short reset. This, of course, lends itself to very precise, accurate, and rapid fire. There are no excuses to be made when you’re shooting this handgun – if you miss, it’s not the fault of the weapon.
Speaking of accuracy and precision, here’s the test target. The outer blue circle (of the stamp) is 2″ – which is apparently the maximum allowable group size. Center to center, the 5 shot group is 1.6″. Considering that it was probably shot with standard ammunition, at 25 meters, that’s very impressive. Wikipedia says that X-Fives shoot 1″ at 25 yards before they leave the factory – this is clearly not true, but the weapon is still capable of great results in the right hands.
In terms of “shootability” – this is a fantastic handgun. I’m big on weight and balance for cars, airplanes and AR-15s, but I don’t always think about it with handguns. Sig clearly gave thought to weight and balance when they designed this weapon (All of the engineers who were supposed to pay attention to how the 229R balanced worked on this project instead). Combined with the phenomenal trigger, this makes the X-Five Tactical a handgun that you could, with very little instruction, have most new shooters proficient with in a very short period of time. There’s nothing about the way the weapon handles, shoots, or operates that “fights” with the shooter.
I’ll briefly touch on quality control – this firearm is made entirely in Germany, but even if it wasn’t stamped on the slide and laser engraved on the frame, you’d probably be able to tell. This is a big step up from the half German/half American pistols that have earned Sig a few black marks in recent years.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to make a video pretty soon – if not, I’ll just write articles for a while. Thanks for your time.