Gun Review: SIG SAUER P250 9mm

As a kid, there was one toy I frequented more than anything with a barrel or trigger: LEGO® blocks. With these ingenious Danish creations, I was more than merely a defender of good and an avenger of evil; I was in control of literally everything. Pre-packaged kits for planes, trains, cars, municipal buildings or even spacecraft ultimately morphed into a custom-made (for me, by me) LEGO city nestled upon a discarded, three-tiered entertainment center. What made this possible?  No, Benjamin, not “plastics;” modularity made this possible. Enter the SIG SAUER P250.

The idea of modularity in firearms certainly isn’t new. In the strictest sense of the word, it refers to the nineteenth century innovation where parts created for one gun could be used in another (a helpful thing on the battlefield). But modularity within the same gun – taken to the extent where the entire grip frame is rendered nothing more than accessory itself – is a fairly new concept. The latest iteration: the SIG SAUER P250 semiautomatic pistol.

Available as a full-size, compact, or sub-compact model, the P250 is basically a firing mechanism (“Fire Control Assembly,” SIG calls it) which quickly and easily drops into one of several available polymer grip frames. Each grip frame is specially-sized for different shooter’s hands, and includes a cut-out “window” through which the firing mechanism’s serial number can be viewed.

Connoisseurs of combinatorics will be interested to learn that the full-sized model and the compact model each have three available grip frames, while the sub-compact gun makes do with only two. SIG renders the firing mechanism in four popular calibers (9mm, .357 Sig, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP). Along with the grip frame, only the magazine and barrel must be changed to jump from compact to sub-compact. Add the longer slide, and you can leap up to the full-sized model, as well. And so I leapt at the chance to sample the SIG several weeks back when a friend let me shoot his 9mm version.

No leaps are necessary when it comes to the gun’s physical description. The P250 typifies “modern autopistol” in a burst of genericism that not even Glock’s brickish silhouette can match. Yeah, the grip frame’s integral accessory rail and curved/textured front trigger guard both add a modicum of definition to an otherwise banal visage. But compared to other modern semi-autos, this SIG stands out about as much as a soccer mom in a Target check-out. And not a hot soccer mom, either. Just a nice-looking one with a pretty smile and a pleasant personality.

Personality, however, goes a long way (with guns as well as soccer moms). On the range, the P250 wins you over with double taps that warrant double takes back at the lady who looked so plain just a few minutes ago. Even with the largest of the three available grip frames fitted to my example, the small hands I’ve been cursed with clutched this SIG more positively and more confidently than any high-cap grip I’ve ever held.

Complimenting this tactile comfort was a magnificent double-action-only trigger. Much like Glock’s boom-button perfection, the P250’s trigger exhibited virtually no stacking. The absence of over-travel paired with quick, predictable reset rounded out the ergonomic delight.

Our test gun boasted an extended, threaded barrel. Combined with the gun’s discernible top-heaviness, the extra weight made for absolutely minimal muzzle flip and quick target reacquisition (the excellent three-dot sights didn’t hurt, either). With decent-quality factory ammo (SIG’s official company line is “no reloads, no hand loads”), the P250 didn’t miss a beat, delivering more tight groups than the LA branch of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Given its modularity, I halfway expected the P250 to be a compromised designed that felt and performed like a collection of similar-but-not-seamlessly-interacting parts which would produce decent-but-unimpressive results. Happily, I was wrong.

The SIG SAUER P250 did not – in my experience, anyway – fall into the frustrating gaps that lie between different shooter’s preferences. To the contrary, SIG appears to have anticipated these preferences exactly. Modular or not, fine engineering coupled with a final product that looks, feels, and shoots as good as the P250 will mitigate any complaint from the odd Goldilocks who doesn’t find the gun “just right” in one of its myriad configurations.

It looks like I might have a new favorite toy.

Specifications

Model: P250
Action type: Double Action Only
Caliber: 9mm Luger
Capacity: 17-round magazine
Barrel length: 4.7″
Overall length: 8.0″
Weight: 29.4 oz
Grips: Interchangeable polymer
Sights: Three-dot SIGLITE® night sights
Slide Finish: Nitron®
Frame Finish: Interchangeable polymer grip shell with stainless insert (various colors)
Current Value: $640-$712 (retail), depending on caliber and configuration

RATINGS (Out of five stars)

Style  * * *

No new ground here: If you love the look of modern autopistols, you’ll love the P250. If you don’t, you won’t.

Ergonomics (carry)  * * * *

Full-size, compact, or sub-compact, the P250 seems just as easily carried relative to its direct competitors. The fact that one firing mechanism can be convertible into each of these configurations widens its appeal in this category.

Ergonomics (firing)  * * * * *

Very SIG-like, which is to say, very good.  If anything, the modularity only makes it better by delivering a high degree of instantaneous customization.

Reliability  * * * * *

SIG says “To Hell and Back,” and plenty of folks will vouch for that reputation.

Customize This  * * * *

Double-edged sword here. The gun’s inherent modularity provides a bespoke weapon in seconds, all the various-sized grip-frames have an accessory rail, and there are several trigger and barrel options (this example’s was threaded) available from the factory. Still, it’s not a 1911, and outside of what the manufacturer offers, pickings seem slim. But it is a three-year-old design, and the availability of custom options will probably increase once the P250 has been on the market for a while (assuming it’s successful).

OVERALL RATING  * * * * *

It’s not all things to all people, but it’s a lot of things – a lot of the right things – to a lot of the people who want a gun like this. In other words, it hits the sweet spot on the target, and more than likely, the sweet spot in your collection.