If nothing else, SIG Sauer’s Elite Performance ammunition will be a welcome new source for a commodity that’s been too hard to get for too long. I’m betting it goes further than that. If this new ammo line makes an nth of the market impact as SIG firearms, the result will be enthused shooters and a handsome return on investment. Leave it to the free-enterprise system to come to the rescue.
SIG is betting, too, that its gold-star reputation will attract a customer base that appreciates the elite accuracy and stopping power widely associated with its name. However, unlike firms that seek to leverage a successful brand by using it to cross-market related products, SIG isn’t just sticking its headstamp on cartridges loaded by some OEM supplier. Rather, the company went out and acquired a factory in Eubanks, Ky., where all the workers are now SIG employees. Clearly, this is a long-term commitment.
The initial offerings span today’s most popular personal-defense handgun loadings: .380 Auto/90 grs.; 9 mm Luger/124 grs.; .357 SIG/125 grs.; .40 S&W/165 grs.; and .45 Auto/200 grs. The cartridge brass is coated with “Techni-crom,” which SIG says increases lubricity to ensure fail-safe feeding and extraction. The key component is the proprietary V-Crown bullet, a hollow-point with a dual cavity design. Its cone-shaped nose depression extends to a long, thin channel into the core. According to SIG, this design produces, “ ... controlled, uniform expansion at all effective distances and velocities.”
We’re going to rely on ace ammo-performance analyst Richard Mann to provide a full T&E on Elite Performance ammunition in an upcoming American Rifleman article, but I can report being duly impressed during my own initial range session. We fired the 9 mm load in a Hi-Point carbine and it held 2” groups from sandbags at 50 yards. That gun has chronic extraction problems, but not so with the Elite Performance, which fed and ejected flawlessly. The same was true with two boxes of .45 Auto rounds we put through a brand-new M1911, and the accuracy at 15 yards was equally satisfying.