7 Most Common SIG M11-A1 Problems And How To Fix Them

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I’ve been out there, right in the field, testing the M11-A1. Indeed, it’s been a whirlwind of an experience, navigating the highs and lows that this firearm presented to me.

My hands-on experiences have led me to identify some common problems; oh yes! These aren’t just theoretical issues; they’re real, tangible, and experienced firsthand. I’ve had my bouts with a failure to extract, tricky triggers, and those darn magazine issues. Don’t even get me started on reliability issues, the darn thing not returning to battery, shooting problems, and the sliding issue.

I Am  here to walk you through these problems and provide tested, practical solutions. 

Table of Sig M11-A1 Problems

ProblemOne-line Solution
Failure To ExtractUse a heavier extractor spring to resolve this issue.
Trigger ProblemReplace the Short Reach Trigger with a standard or curved trigger.
Issues with the MagazineIncrease spring tension and use the correct cartridge to mitigate this.
Reliability IssuesRegular cleaning and using the correct ammunition can solve this problem.
Not Returning To BatteryEnsure the gun is well-lubricated and use high-quality ammunition.
Shooting ProblemsUse matching ammunition and clean the firing pin channel with a non-chlorinated brake cleaner.
Sliding IssueLubricate regularly and adjust the tension screw to prevent barrel from binding.

Top 7 SIG M11-A1 Problems & Solutions

1. Failure To Extract

I’ve had my fair share of experiences with ‘Failure to Extract.’ When I were out there, testing the M11-A1, it became evident quickly. 

It often felt as if the cartridge base couldn’t quite snuggle up against the breech face without the pesky front of the extractor nudging the top of the extractor groove in the brass. 

Annoying, to say the least. And to top it off, I noticed that the gun was sluggish with all types of ammo. Not a deal-breaker, but a thorn in the side, for sure.


So, how did I tackle this? I found that a simple fix was to use a heavier extractor spring. It may look like a regular outer spring with an extra coil, but let me tell you, it made a world of difference. 

FTEs usually occur when the brass moves slightly backward upon firing. This action leads the extractor groove’s top in the brass to clash with the extractor’s face, moving the extractor away.

The heavier spring I tested quickly and efficiently solved this misalignment issue. The more robust tension allowed the extractor to snap back into place before the slide could retreat, helping keep the brass from staying lodged in the chamber. 

2. Trigger Problem

If I thought the FTE was a kick in the teeth, the trigger issue I encountered with the M11-A1 was a punch in the gut. 

I quickly noticed some problems with the Short Reset Trigger (SRT), or more precisely, some of my models didn’t even seem to come with an SRT kit. Talk about a curveball!

When I tried shooting, the trigger was, to put it mildly, a pain in the finger. Quite literally. It felt like it bit into my fingers, causing discomfort and, even worse, leading to shooting failures. 

I noticed a lot of pinching issues that were a real downer. Plus, it didn’t generate a consistent 10 lb pull. It’s a bummer because I love the pistol, but this trigger issue? Not so much.


So, how to tackle this biting beast? I discovered that the “Short Reach Trigger” is an integral part of the Sig M11A1 (Trigger-7). 

my quick fix? Replace it with a standard trigger from Sig (Trigger-6), or get a straight or curved trigger from Armory Craft or GGI.

Switching to a standard trigger or the GrayGuns Intermediate Reach was a game changer. The pinching issue? Gone! It felt much more comfortable and made shooting a smoother experience. 

To get that elusive 10 lb pull, I swapped the hammer spring for a lighter one. The result was a much improved, bite-free trigger experience!

3. Issues with the Magazine

Now, let’s talk about the magazine. It had me scratching my heads quite a bit. I noticed that whether full or not, the magazine rattled around in the well quite a bit. It was less noticeable when full, but it was still there, making its presence felt like a distant drumbeat. 

The biggest issue seemed to be at the bottom of the magazine, near the end plate. It felt like the magazine was trying to shake itself free. 

Not exactly the kind of feature you want in a reliable firearm, right?


So, I decided to get my hands dirty and tackle this issue. I discovered that the rattle often goes away when the spring tension increases. 

Plus, I noticed the cartridges were stored in two stacks but fed into one, leaving some “dead space” for them to move about. 

To rectify this, I took the magazine apart, cleaned it thoroughly, and then compared the follower’s width to the base’s width. A minor adjustment, and voila! Problem solved!

I also noticed a difference when I switched from .380 rounds to 9mm rounds. The rattling seemed to diminish a bit.

Lastly, I learned a pro tip: SIG sometimes ships new guns with older stock magazines. So, call SIG, and they might swap out your rattling magazine. If all else fails, the new magazine springs from Wolf Springs turned out to be a fantastic fix.

4. Reliability Issues

When it comes to the M11-A1, one issue that I can’t ignore is reliability. Like all finely tuned machines, the M11-A1 requires regular TLC – cleaning, lubricating, you know, the drill. 

The problem starts when this maintenance gets neglected. Dirt, debris, and other nuisances start causing mischief, leading to malfunctions and stoppages. 

Quite the headache, isn’t it? Now, let’s add another wrench to the mix – incorrect ammunition. 


Alright, so how do I tackle these problems? Well, it’s simpler than you might think. For starters, regular disassembly and cleaning of the M11-A1 should be a ritual. 

Aim for once a month, more if you’re a heavy user. This helps keep the dirt and debris in check. Always, and I mean always, use the correct ammunition. 

Your M11-A1 will thank you. And don’t skimp on parts and components, either. High-quality parts ensure that your firearm runs smoothly and reliably.

5. Not Returning To Battery

While handling the M11-A1, I’ve noticed an issue you see on doing press checks, or when you’re just trying to chamber that first round with a full magazine, the gun won’t go into battery right away. 

You have to give it a little nudge, a gentle push to wake it up. Most of these issues crop up during the first 200 rounds or so. Kind of like a break-in phase, I guess.


Now let’s look at how to navigate these choppy waters. See, some guns are just a bit tighter than others, meaning when you do a press check, it might not go into battery fully. 

But remember, semi-automatic guns are designed to slide into the battery with the full force of the spring. To ensure this, using high-quality ammo is a must. 

Cheap ammo just tends to compound the problem. Another thing that can help is a well-lubricated gun, especially with the classic P series. 

6. Shooting Problems

Here’s a problem I’ve had the displeasure of meeting on some occasions. Sometimes the M11-A1 just doesn’t shoot. 

When it does decide to cooperate, hitting a 5-5″ target at about 35 yards can be a herculean task. And then there’s the stubborn hammer that refuses to move after several double-action failures. 

There’s also the risk of multiple misses in a single-action mode. To cap it all, sometimes the hammer won’t fall even when the trigger resets.


So, how to tackle this? The most common culprit may be a mismatch between the gun and the ammo. 

Finger wrapping too much while operating the SRT can also trip you up. 

Dry firing can cause the roll-pin to break but worry not. A non-chlorinated brake cleaner can clean the firing pin channel perfectly. After a good clean, let it dry and re-lubricate the rails. 

Checking the firing pin lock’s range of motion can be the final step in ensuring smooth operation. There you have it, these strategies should get your M11-A1 back in the game!

7. Sliding Issue

Alright, so here’s the deal. The SIG M11-A1 is a robust little number, but there’s a hitch I’ve encountered quite a bit: the sliding barrel issue. 

Quite a mouthful, isn’t it? But let’s break it down. The design of this handgun includes a rotating barrel. This in itself is not a problem. 

But here’s the catch – the rotating barrel can bind, leading to the gun jamming. This typically happens when you fire off a bunch of rounds in quick succession. If you’ve had some heated shooting sessions, you might have seen this issue crop up.


So, how to deal with this, you ask? Well, fret not; the solution is not as daunting as it seems. The magic trick here is lubrication.

Lubricate the barrel and slide to reduce friction and prevent the barrel from binding. Of course, cleanliness is key, so a regular, thorough clean of the barrel and slide comes highly recommended. 

Alongside this, there’s a handy little tension screw located just below the rear sight. Adjusting this guy can also help as it changes the tension on the barrel – a too-tight tension might be causing your barrel to bind and jam. 


Well, that wraps up my field experiences with the SIG M11-A1. I’ve had my highs, and oh boy, have I had my lows! Despite the flaws I faced, it’s important to remember the M11-A1’s unique charm. 

It’s a robust firearm with a design that’s reliable and compact, a joy to handle even with its… let’s say, minor speed bumps.

A critical element of its charm is the fact that every obstacle it presents is overcome by a solution, making it a constantly evolving piece of machinery. 


Is the SIG M11-A1 compact any good?

Absolutely, the SIG M11-A1, with its reliability, accuracy, and high magazine capacity, stands out as an excellent compact firearm.

What is the difference between the SIG M11-A1 and the P229?

The SIG M11-A1 lacks an accessory rail present in some P229s, and while P229 models may have varied capacity, M11-A1 has a standard 15 rounds.

How big is the Sig Sauer M11-A1?

The Sig Sauer M11-A1 has a compact frame with an overall length of 7.1 inches.

Does a SIG M11-A1 have safety?

Yes, the SIG M11-A1 is equipped with an automatic firing-pin safety lock, a double-action trigger, a decocking lever, and an external slide stop.

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I'm Micheal, an avid shooter and hunting enthusiast from Texas. I'm a recreational shooter who loves to spend time at the range and enjoy learning about new firearms and gears. I love to write about guns and share my passion for shooting with others.

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