I suppose everyone knows the US military’s standard sidearm is the M9, which is also the Beretta 92FS pistol. A lot of people know the US Navy SEALs issue the Mk25 pistol, also known as the SIG SAUER P226. Fewer people are familiar with the M11 pistol, or that civilians can purchase an exact duplicate of the M11-A1.
The M11 pistol is better known in the civilian world as the SIG SAUER P228. The P228 is a slightly more compact version of the P226. While the standard troops are issued the M9 (if they are issued a pistol at all), some units carry the M11. The M11 is typically found in the hands of military criminal investigators. Probably the single largest unit issuing the M11 was the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which issued more than 2,000 of the pistols to its members.
Recently, SIG SAUER introduced the Mk25 to the civilian market. The elite nature of the Navy SEALs undoubtably has driven many sales of that handgun, as people want “what they carry.” With much less fanfare, SIG rolled out the M11-A1 to the buying public.
The M11-A1 is a traditional double-action/single-action pistol equipped with a decocker (no safety). Barrel length is 3.9″ and like the M9, it is chambered for the NATO-standard 9mm cartridge. Magazines hold 15 rounds.
With the magazine, but no ammo, the pistol weighs a hefty 32 ounces. The trigger is a SIG SRT (short reset trigger) for enhanced feel during shooting. The sights have tritium inserts for that “warm glow” in low light conditions.
Unlike the now-discontinued P228 pistols sold to civilians, the M11-A1 has the internal parts treated for additional corrosion resistance. Additionally, the gun has a MIL-STD UID label on the left side of the frame.
MSRP is $1,125, which seems like a lot for this pistol. But, if you want a true Mil-Spec M11, this is the only (legal) option.