SIG SAUER Ammunition Review: The New Kid in Town

I’ve had to fight for my life…too many times. It is for this reason that I review the SIG SAUER ammunition with all seriousness.

One fight was in a grocery store parking lot where a fugitive tried to stab me with a knife.

Another time it was in a tight hallway when I was trying to arrest a man for kidnapping and beating his ex-girlfriend.

A third time was in a dusty lot in the middle of a trailer park where I was attempting to control a suspect who had threatened his mother with a gun.

SIG SAUER ammunition review

Unfortunately, I could go on with many more incidents. Fortunately, I won every time.

Each time, the outcome was dependent on my training, decisions and equipment. That’s one of the reasons why I tend to have a fairly harsh view on training and gear that is marketed for self-defense or law enforcement use.

Without sounding too coarse, I simply won’t recommend a self-defense product or training class to you that I think is a waste of time or money.

Quick Takeaways

– good accuracy, even from short barrels
– completely reliable with a variety of handguns
– modest recoil
– hollow point loads largely unproven (so far)

SIG SAUER introduced a comprehensive line of ammunition several years ago. I suspiciously eye any new ammo that comes onto the market, and I have decided to only carry products that have a positive track record on the street.

When the new SIG Elite Performance V-Crown self-defense ammo made it to the store shelves, I did not recommend the ammo to anyone. Although it looked good on paper, it simply had no track record.

So, what’s my opinion now? Well, SIG was good enough to ship me some of their 9mm loads: a pair of hollow points and one of the ball load. I took them to the range, and this review details my findings including why I am cautiously optimistic about the rounds.

Table Of Contents

V-Crown

In 9mm, SIG offers three different 9mm hollow point rounds. All are standard pressure rounds and use the Sierra Bullets V-Crown projectile. Since late 2015, Sierra sells a limited number of these bullets for handloaders but does not offer the breadth of caliber and weight combinations that SIG loads in their ammo.

Sierra is widely regarded as being a top-notch bullet manufacturer. Some of the company’s offerings, such as the .308 168 grain Match King, have set the standard for performance in various categories. Sierra states the design delivers “…optimal weight retention and expansion at all effective distances…”

I had the chance to test both the 124 grain and 147 grain loads through a variety of pistols. All of the rounds functioned perfectly and showed good accuracy.

I recorded velocities as shown in the tables below. The data should give you a general idea of what you can expect from these rounds in your own pistols.

124 grain V-Crown

VelocityEnergy
Bersa BP9CC1,004 fps278 ft-lbs
CZ P-07 Duty1,062 fps311 ft-lbs
Diamondback AM21,033 fps294 ft-lbs
Glock 19, Gen 21,063 fps311 ft-lbs
Glock 19, Gen 41,057 fps308 ft-lbs
Glock 43982 fps266 ft-lbs
Kahr CM9957 fps252 ft-lbs
SCCY CPX-2973 fps261 ft-lbs
SIG SAUER Ultra Compact 19111,001 fps319 ft-lbs
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield989 fps269 ft-lbs
Performance measured with a Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph at an approximate distance of 15′ from the muzzle of the pistol. All measurements are an average of five shots.

Accuracy was very good with this load. Some of the best groups with this ammo came from the SIG 1911 Traditional Ultra Compact that I was also reviewing. This pairing turned in a best 5-shot group of 1.148″ at seven yards with an unsupported two-hand grip. At 15 yards, the group opened up to about double that: 2.210″.

SIG V-Crown 124 gr review

I shot a total of 100 rounds, and reliability in all guns was 100%. Additionally, this load was fairly mild, both in terms of recoil and velocity measurements. Recoil felt like a practice load.

Prior to going to the range, I examined the data collected by Lucky Gunner on the SIG SAUER ammunition and read they had a five-shot average of 1,072 fps from a 3.5″ barrel Smith & Wesson M&Pc. Based on that, I expected to see the load pass 1,100 fps from longer barreled guns like the Glock 19. Especially considering the factory specification states this load is running 1,165 fps at the muzzle.

Instead, I saw lower velocities across the board – even from longer barreled guns. According to Lucky Gunner, their chronograph was set up at 10′ and mine was at 9′. A negligible difference, but if anything, should have given a slight velocity increase to my own testing.

After returning from the range, I took a look at a video from TNOutdoors9 on YouTube where he tested the same SIG SAUER ammo. He reported a five-shot velocity average of 1,138 fps from a Glock 19 Gen4. That is significantly faster than the 1,057 I recorded from the same model handgun.

An elevation and barometric pressure difference may be playing a role here. I’m shooting at sea level, and I know both Lucky Gunner and TNOutdoors9 are a little higher up in the atmosphere. Should anyone wish to compare their results to mine, the barometric pressure was 30.1 inHg when I was shooting.

147 grain V-Crown

VelocityEnergy
Bersa BP9CC895 fps262 ft-lbs
CZ P-07 Duty934 fps285 ft-lbs
Diamondback AM2978 fps312 ft-lbs
Glock 19, Gen 2930 fps282 ft-lbs
Glock 19, Gen 4926 fps280 ft-lbs
Glock 43865 fps244 ft-lbs
Kahr CM9844 fps233 ft-lbs
SCCY CPX-2854 fps238 ft-lbs
SIG SAUER Ultra Compact 1911864 fps244 ft-lbs
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield863 fps243 ft-lbs
Performance measured with a Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph at an approximate distance of 15′ from the muzzle of the pistol. All measurements are an average of five shots.

Of the three loads I tested, the 147 grain V-Crown turned in the tightest groups. The best 7-yard group I shot – again 5 rounds, free standing – was only 0.7375″ across. At longer distances, the groups grew in size, but they remained smaller than the other loads tested.

SIG Elite Performance 147 gr JHP review

As with the lighter load above, this was a mild shooting round. Reliability was perfect with 100 rounds fired.

The factory spec on this round is 985 fps. Out of the CZ P-07 and Glock 19 pistols, the velocity came in about 50 fps under that. All of the remaining guns have shorter barrels and lower velocities: 844 – 895 fps.

FMJ

SIG’s Elite Performance FMJ round is a good round for practice and informal target shooting. It is available with a 115-grain bullet only, so it is not a perfect analog for the V-Crown rounds I test above. However, at 3-15 yards, I did not observe any obvious change in point of impact as compared to them.

115 grain FMJ

VelocityEnergy
Bersa BP9CC1,062 fps288 ft-lbs
CZ P-07 Duty1,115 fps318 ft-lbs
Glock 19, Gen 21,108 fps314 ft-lbs
Glock 431,050 fps282 ft-lbs
Kahr CM91,012 fps262 ft-lbs
SCCY CPX-21,018 fps265 ft-lbs
SIG SAUER Ultra Compact 19111,052 fps283 ft-lbs
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield1,050 fps282 ft-lbs
Performance measured with a Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph at an approximate distance of 15′ from the muzzle of the pistol. All measurements are an average of five shots.

This load proved to be both reliable and accurate across eight different pistols. I encountered no malfunctions of any kind with 150 rounds of the 115 gr FMJ load.

SIG SAUER Elite Performance ammo

For a practice load, this was a fairly accurate round as well. I managed a best of 1.4625″ at 7 yards: hand held, five-shot group. At 15 yards, my best group was slightly larger at 2.219″.

Final Thoughts

The SIG SAUER Elite Performance ammunition has only been on the market a few years now. That makes the ammo a relative newcomer to the industry. As such, there is little data available on it from ‘real world’ shootings. That is where the rubber meets the road – so to speak.

In November of 2015, SIG announced that the Hawaii Department of Public Safety updated their service pistols to the SIG P320 and chose V-Crown ammunition to run them. The SIG SAUER representative I spoke with was not aware of any shootings involving the V-Crown in Hawaii or elsewhere. SIG declined to share any information on which public safety agencies were issuing its ammunition.

At the end of the day, this ammunition is quality built and may be a very good defensive round. My only serious reservation with the ammunition is the lack of real-world examples of performance.

Until I see street performance results that suggest it is as good or better than what I carry now, I have to stick with the proven Federal HST and Speer Gold Dot rounds. As data comes in on the SIG rounds, I will happily include the rounds as a recommended load if the information is positive.

Keep in mind that the ammunition has several things going in its favor including flawless reliability in my test firearms and the bullet being designed by Sierra – one of the top bullet manufacturers. I am cautiously optimistic that these rounds will deliver if relied on.

Last update: July 12, 2021.

Disclosure

You deserve to know about any potential influences or biases that affect my reviews. Hence, I offer complete transparency.

SIG SAUER provided most of the ammunition I used in this review. All of the ammo was shipped to me free of charge for the specific purpose of being used in gun reviews and in a review on the ammunition itself.

No request was made by SIG, nor did I offer any promise, to provide a positive review of the ammunition. SIG did not pay me any money or offer any other consideration for me to write a review on their product. The company did not ask for, nor did I promise, any links to their site(s).

SIG is not an advertiser, nor are we in any talks for them to be one. I have no financial interest in SIG SAUER or any other firearms manufacturer.

After I wrote the article, I elected to send a draft copy to SIG for them to review for inaccuracies. The company representatives did not advise of any technical errors nor suggest I unfairly portrayed their product. No changes were made to the draft that was submitted to the company.

My goal is to serve you, the reader, with the best possible information. I do not charge any reader any money for this information, nor do I pepper you with popup ads, auto-playing videos or any other obnoxious ad system.

GunsHolstersAndGear.com is a for-profit website. I do not charge readers a dime to access the information I provide.

Some of the links on this page and site are affiliate links to companies like Amazon and Palmetto State Armory. These links take you to the products mentioned in the article. Should you decide to purchase something from one of those companies, I make a small commission.

The links do not change your purchase price. I do not get to see what any individual purchases.

I hope that covers all of the bases. If not, please leave a comment below.

7 replies on “SIG SAUER Ammunition Review: The New Kid in Town”

Nice informative review and thank you sir for you public service!
I am wondering how the rounds feed on the ramp & into the breach with the wide V-Crown bullet opening?
How did you find the propellant’s flash? The ammo is promoted to be optimized, low flash.
How do you rate the recoil of this round vs. a +P round?
Thx for your attention to my inquires.

I’ve had no issues with these rounds feeding in any rifle or pistol I’ve shot. Regarding the muzzle flash, it’s not anything I’ve noticed. Some loads – even in daytime – produce a noticeable flash, but these do not. Recoil seems about the same as other standard pressure ammunition. The one exception is the 124 gr 9mm load – this feels a bit stouter and the velocity numbers suggest it may be hotter than the other loads. I’d put it on par with other 124 gr +P loads like the HST and Gold Dot in terms of felt recoil.

I hope this helps.

-Richard

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