Last week we reported that the NJ State Police are suing SIG SAUER because, according to the NJSP, the P229 handguns that SIG SAUER sold them were jam-o-matics. SIG SAUER has since responded and, according to their diagnosis, the problem here is exactly what we expected: NJ is too cheap to buy their troopers decent range ammo.

According to the lawsuit filed by the NJSP, SIG SAUER’s P229 handguns would fail to extract spent cartridges. After sending replacement extractors, extractor parts, and even barrels, the problem persisted. The NJSP then demanded that SIG SAUER provide the older P229 with a less robust extraction system, And those (predictably) failed as well.

We know that SIG SAUER function checks every firearm before it ships. And there is a conspicuous lack of widespread reports in the gun community of the P229 being an unreliable firearm (no matter what gunsmiths and armorers at The Trace would have you believe).

So it looked to us like the ammunition might be the root cause of this problem. Sufficiently crappy budget-priced ammo can cause these exact malfunctions no matter how well your handgun is designed. SIG SAUER, it seems, agrees.

Following delivery, the NJSP informed Sig Sauer that it was experiencing failures during qualification training with their training ammunition. Sig Sauer immediately began working with the NJSP to determine the cause of this failure and resolve the issue.

Sig Sauer’s investigation of the failure mode indicates a contributing factor may be a compatibility issue between this unique NJSP P229 and the specific training ammunition used by the NJSP. Importantly, these failures were limited to the training ammunition used by the NJSP, and the P229s functioned when using their duty ammunition.

What’s important to note here is that, according to SIG SAUER, the firearms functioned perfectly with the New Jersey officers’ duty ammunition. It was only the range training ammunition where the problems occurred. You’d think that would have been enough for the brass in the Garden State to diagnose the problem before making this a federal case.

According to their statement SIG SAUER is still working with the NJSP to resolve the issue. Given how incompetent the NJSP appears to have been here I can definitely believe that their legal department had no idea what was actually going on and may have…jumped the gun here. So to speak.

118 Responses to SIG SAUER to NJ State Police: Blame Your Cheap Ammo, Not Us

  1. Just one more point that police officers are not gun people whatsoever. Anyone that is a gun person would have realized as soon as they started shooting the duty ammo and it made the gun function correctly that the problem was with the practice range ammo. Doesn’t really take a rocket scientist to draw that conclusion. I would have sent the New Jersey state Troopers some full.metal.jacket Sig Sauer 45 ACP in 185 grain and be done with it. Tell those bozos not to buy the cheapest krapp available to you and you will not have problems. Maybe they can use that crap ammo two drill and train for failure to eject and feeds drills LOL. I mean come on what’s it like 50 bucks to go buy a couple boxes of ammunition and see which one is actually going to work.

    • This article is nonsense writer was prob paid by sig. Njsp did extensive testing with range and duty ammo. The sig had issues with both. Glock was fired over 10k times without being cleaned … no issues

        • Probably can’t cite any source at the moment. Too busy dealing with a Glock leg.

      • Quit making shit up….you have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about, you’re not a member of the NJSP Firearms team that’s involved in this situation so all you’re doing here is talking out of your ass.

      • Citation? What are your qualifications as an expert witness? What is the brand of practice ammo? What is the duty ammo?

        You know NOTHING, fool.

      • What kind of idiot fires their weapon 10k times without cleaning it? A lazy man does not maintain his tools.

        • It’s a Glock fanboi thing to brag about how long it’s been since you cleaned your weapon. Check out Glock Nation on FB sometime. 90% of the posts are about stippling and “pocket dumps”, along with endless threads like “I’ve put 10,000 rounds through my 19 since the last time I cleaned it, without a single misfire.”

      • I’ve had Sigs throughout my military career. 30,000 rounds respectively. In both desert and jungles with no issues. Glock on the other hand had issues from the beginning. So if NJSP having had issue’s and being the only one’s to have them. Seems that would scream not the firearm but other issue. Also there are other operational commands and units that use the Sig Sauer with no issues. Just saying.

      • Doubt it, Sig makes a superior product – that’s why they cost more. AZ DPS had the same problem (I was a firearms instructor for them) and it was the ammo. I’ll bet NJSP is using cheap reloads same as we did. Once we were funded to buy decent practice ammo – no more problems. The cops shoot whatever the department provides them. In the late 80s early 90s our practice ammo was given to us in bags of 50, lead round nose reloads that were absolutely filthy. We used nearly every Sig out there – the P220, P226 (which I carried on duty), P229, P239 (carried as a detective) and the P238 (backup). Other Sig’s could be used provided the armory inspected and approved them. Bad ammo won’t function in any handgun reliably. Thank God we never went to Glock’s.

      • Can you provide a citation of the extensive testing? Know NJ much better than I’d like to, I have zero confidence in anything they do, so a citation would be helpful.

    • Many cops are gun people. Who do you think handled this matter? Hundreds of NJSP Troopers who can shoot just as fine as you if not better, or just a few bureaucrats who never patrol on the roads of the Garden State?

    • Your generalized statement about cops not being gun guys is pathetic. I’m a cop and firearms instructor, sniper on a swat team and have completely run out of room in my gun safe. I guess I am not a gun guy…….My kids can outshoot most adults that would consider themselves gun guys. I will have to go to them for gun guy advice as they are not cops and are therefore gun guys. Issuing them .45 ammo to solve the problem I think a 229 proves you are not a gun guy. The 229 is not a .45 you moron.

      • Hugo Boss was the guy who started Hugo Boss clothing. It’s was and still is a German company. They started out focused on making uniforms and as such produced Nazi Party gear and uniforms. Hugo Boss himself was a Nazi Party member.

        As to what jwm is saying… well you can probably figure out the rest.

        • Ah. Thank you. I know of the clothing line, but not their history.

        • I’m too lazy to look it up but i believe the nazi era company is who the njsp got their uniform design from.

        • The photo DOES look like something out of late 1930’s Germany. Luftwaffe or Goering maybe.
          Probably good prep for NJ becoming the first official National Socialist state in the US.

      • Actually Norman Schwarzkopf Sr set up the NJSP and put together their training and uniform based off of the US Calvary.

        • This is correct. Of course, all government is fascism and all uniforms violate the NAP.

        • “all uniforms violate the NAP”

          Yes, it’s terrible how those self-animate uniforms chase people down and beat them without provocation.

        • Well Jim, going from left to right in the pic…the 1st guy is black, along with the 5th, 8th, and 18th. The 15th and 26th troopers are obscured but look like they very well could be black. Out of 26 troopers pictured, that’s a good 15-20% black troopers in the pic. Idk how that stacks up to race percentages throughout the state of NJ but there you go.

  2. Do other standard service pistols function with the same ammo?

    Rhetorical question here but I assume it’s one that will be important for the suit.

  3. Why do the NJSP even need guns? Guns cause good people to become evil and spread crime like they spread waterfalls of death.

    Just use kind words and unicorn farts to keep criminals from committing crimes.

    SIG isn’t known for building crap either, I’m not too surprised here

      • Exactly what’s the probability that a NJSP will encounter one of the ever fewer law abiding NJ gun owners (who jumped the through those hoops) committing a crime?

        Therefore it would be best if NJ only had 10% of their police equipped with firearms to respond to those rare incidents.

        That’s the only way to keep the children safe!

  4. Sig Sauer should boycott NJSP. So should other companies and force them I to a single supplier who charges them 3x the price.

    The state restricts it’s taxpayers so they should bear a price.

    • … which is in turn borne by those same taxpayers via increased state sales, income, property, etc. taxes.

      I’m not disagreeing with you, actually I think you’re on to something; but we need to keep in mind where the buck will actually stop: with the people who elected the politicians in the first place.

      • I remember “Progressives” telling us it’s patriotic to want to pay more taxes.
        Maybe we could tax Dems more?

        • You misunderstand the concept of liberal socialism. They want you and or the rich to pay for them and others of lesser means. They don’t want to pay for it themselves.

        • “You misunderstand the concept of liberal socialism. They want you and or the rich to pay for them and others of lesser means. They don’t want to pay for it themselves.”

          Yeah, I know that.
          How do I know? Because none of those who say it’s patriotic to pay more taxes actually do so. Instead, if they can afford it, they hire tax attorneys specifically to make sure they pay as little as possible.

      • Any seasoned shooter will tell you that shooting different ammo produces different results. You want consistent ammo to produce consistent results. Shooting different grain ammo gives different ballistics and might explain why most cops are horrible shots. We pay them shit then set them up to fail with shit range ammo way to go NJ politicians. Why not train them with quality ammo regularly so they can actually do there job? Must cost too much.

    • “what kind of range ammo are they using?”

      According to below, Speer 53651.

      Does Speer 53651 meet SAAMI spec?

      If no, it’s the NJSP’s responsibility to use training ammo that meets SAAMI spec.

      If yes, it seems to me that’s SIG’s responsibility. I have a hard time believing SIG would sell a gun that won’t eat baseline SAAMI spec gun food without indigestion.

      *Unless* Sig has a specific warning in the owner’s manual as to what ammo it won’t function with, as in, a minimum chamber pressure value…

      • Never tried their 124 stuff, but never had issue with the little bit of 147’s I’ve used from them in the same product line (Speer Lawman).

        If they’re jamming with that, there’s something not quite right.

      • I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating:
        It is impossible for any manufacturer to test its product with every lot of every product its product uses.
        As for SAAMI: From their website:

        “Q: How do I know if the ammunition I am purchasing is SAAMI “approved” or “certified”?
        A: SAAMI does not “approve” or “certify” firearms or ammunition products. SAAMI creates the
        voluntary standards for performance, dimensions, and other characteristics. In order to
        determine if a particular product was made in accordance with those voluntary standards,
        contact the manufacturer.”

        Just because an ammunition maker says its product meets SAAMI requirements doesn’t mean it does.

        • Absolutely correct Big Bill.
          And the standards for bullets and barrels are not in sync.

          There is some standards conflict that can lead to issues.
          So if you find an ammo that works well, stick with it.

      • Oddly enough, SAAMI spec for bullets conflicts a bit with SAAMI specs for barrels.
        Both can be “in spec” and have an issue.

        • “Oddly enough, SAAMI spec for bullets conflicts a bit with SAAMI specs for barrels.
          Both can be “in spec” and have an issue.”

          And who is to say either is “in spec”?
          Not SAAMI. They don’t certify or inspect, they only codify the specifications.
          So, saying the ammo in question is within SAAMI specs is something that should actually be checked, and not by looking at advertising.

  5. I expect the NJSP’s attitude is that if will go into the magazine, it should cycle through the gun. I am surprised they are going after Sig instead of the ammunition manufacturer. Does the stuff meet SAAMI specifications? Does it fail in other guns, too, or just Sigs? It’s possible that the individual or committee that selected the manufacturer, probably on the basis of lowest price, is trying to scapegoat Sig to avoid accepting responsibility for a bad choice.

  6. “… their legal department had no idea what was actually going on and may have…jumped the gun here. So to speak.”
    More like NJSP jumped the shark…so to speak…hahaha. Fuckin Clownshoes.

    • Agreed, but NJ has a problem with horrible spending habits. The state realized that are property tax value was based on unrealistic numbers so they revalued them. Then they raised the tax rate because they figured out that they still need the money the higher values. This is my state’s level of intelligence.

  7. “Once sig sauer found the empty boxes of monarch from academy in the dumpster behind the range they knew exactly what the issue was”

  8. This is the third and last time I will try to answer the questions. If people won’t read what I write, I cannot help them. I sold them the weapons and I sell them quite a bit of ammunition. I am the State Contractor for weapons and/or ammunition in a dozen States. They carry Speer 53618. Worked fine in the 228 and worked fine in the 229’s.

    They practice with the Speer 53651. Worked fine in the 228’s. Would not reliably cycle the 229’s. Neither would the Federal AE9AP. Neither are cheap.

    Sig identified the problem. They agreed to replace the slides. They replaced the first 200 slides. They worked flawlessly. Then there was a personality conflict between upper echelons of the NJSP and Sig and after the problem was fixed, someone went to Glock out of spite after the NJSP armorers were over-ruled.

    End of story.

    Thomas J. Morris III
    Major USMCR (retired)
    Member NJ/PA/OH Bars
    Instructor Gloucester Co. Police Academy (NJ) 26 years
    Eagle Point Gun/T.J.Morris & Son
    1707 Third Street
    Thorofare, NJ 08086
    PH 856-848-6945
    FX 856-384-2938

    • Interesting. Speer 53651 (aka Speer Lawman 9 mm 124 grain TMJ RN – DuckDuckGo is your friend!) is brass cased. Back before we switched the household to .45 ACP I used this in a CZ 75. I use their .45 ACP version, especially the Cleanfire variant, as practice ammo whenever I can find it and generally have had zero problems with it, in any gun.

      Thanks for taking the time to provide the info. I believe you when you say you’ve posted it elsewhere; for what it’s worth, I hadn’t seen your comments elsewhere, before reading them here.

      • You can buy the 53824 and 53826 and 53954 and 53880 as well as the 53885 CF Reduced Lead from Lucky Gunner. If they are out, they can have it in less than a week. Best regards, TJMIII

        • Thanks for the pointer.

          Apparently Speer also makes a .357 SIG in the Lawman line. I might need to check that out also.

    • Then there was a personality conflict between upper echelons of the NJSP and Sig …

      AKA somebody didn’t get their kickback. Sorry, it’s New Jersey. What do you expect?

    • Hello Thomas,

      Thanks for posting. I have a case of that exact Speer ammo (I matched the SKU number). It has been perfectly reliable in a 2013 production P226 using stock and Mec-Gar 18-round magazines and a 2014 production P229 using stock and Mec Gar P228 magazines. I’ve run almost a case and a half of it in the past two years between these two guns.

      I’m curious about the vintage of the P229’s the NJSP are using. When were they delivered?

    • I’d like to see TTAG follow up and verify the poster and the comments. Not that I have reason to distrust, but because we’re all dogs on the internet.

      Besides, with the way stories get buried, a lot of folks aren’t going to see this comment (he says it’s his third time, This is the first time I’ve seen it, and that’s only because Geoff said something about “according to below”). This would be a post worthy assertion.

      As for the assertion, I’ve got a couple boxes of Lawman in my safe. Ran fine through my G19, unlike the ultracheap Monarch Steel from Academy. Each box gives me a FTF or two. Bought four boxes, never will again. If the Sig is struggling with brass cases, I’m surprised.

      • I had the same problem with my Beretta PX4 Compact (9mm) when using monarch. When using the monarch in my PX4, which eats about anything after hundreds of rounds thus far, I’d get multiple FTF/FTEs. Bought this crap at Academy back when 9mm ammo was scarce, and since I’d just bought a Glock 17 from them, they let me have 3 boxes of the monarch. Won’t use the stuff now.

        As a side note, I shot the remaining 2 boxes thru my Glock 17, and they did cycle just fine. However, the ejection of the spent brass was all over the place.

    • Seems like no matter how you look at it. SIG tried to be helpful and fix the problem so there should be no reason to sue.

  9. Other manufactures of service/qualifying pistols should look at this lawsuit, look at the state/agencies involved, and make a decision whether they want to be the next sacrificial cow in the chute. Because, mark my words, there will be a “next lawsuit” against another arms manufacture if they step up to take Sig’s place here.

    Incompetence and stupidity of this magnitude should be punished by the vendor side of the market, because there’s no way to punish them in the legal system for bringing such a lawsuit.

    • Do you believe the NJSP bears some of the responsibility of trying different brands of training (and carry) ammo to determine what will function reliably? (Using the “Your miles may vary” logic.)

      It seem to me Sig is making a good faith effort here to rectify the situation, and the cops are being obstinate with an “Well, it always worked before” attitude…

  10. Lmao new jersey is a shit show of corrupt government, corrupt doctors judges cops not surprising to hear there suing one of the most reputable gun companies in the world. My sig works just fine and apparently sig is good enough for the best fighting force in the world the US army. But nj just cant seem to get it right. I have a feeling a group of curly haired funny hat wearing people are behind this whole diabolical plot to line there pockets with more un earned cash.

    • “a group of curly haired funny hat wearing people are behind this whole diabolical plot to line there pockets with more un earned cash.”

      Who exactly are you referring to?

    • My thought exactly. They remind me of the ‘fairy brigade’ at a gay rights parade.

      Joke: Woman gets pulled over on the Jersey turnpike. She roils down her window and asks “Did you pull me over to sell me tickets to the policeman’s ball?” Then she remembers “Oh, I forgot, the NJSP don’t have any balls.”

  11. Are you saying that “The Garden State” has more than just a few weeds in it? Break out the Agent Orange!

    • ” Break out the Agent Orange!”

      No need. Northern New Jersey is a giant chemical manufacturing district…

  12. The New Jersey legislature should (but won’t) realize this is why smartguns are a dumb idea. If New Jersey can’t even get an analogue 9mm to function, why would adding electronics to impede the firearm’s functionality make the user any more “safe” in a life threatening situation? …yet they’ve passed laws mandating “smartgun” implementation before the technology even exists. The stupidity would be hilarious if it weren’t so dangerous.

  13. Maybe they should replace them with Hi Point firearms. They (any less than 10 years old) will shoot anything and they are accurate. They are American made and you can get a rifle with every handgun purchased for about the same money.

    I said the same about Hyundai when the LAPD claimed they were chasing 4 big ex-cons at speeds of more than 100 mph(Rodney King). I think that we are paying way too much to supply our LEOs.

  14. Range ammo by definition is cheap ammo.
    That’s all I shoot at the range. Glocks function 99.9875% on so called cheap ammo. And so do many other guns.
    Please name this ammo and let’s all test it in our pistols.

    • It’s been named.
      The problem with any mass-manufactured item is they are made in lots. Your ammo, if purchased new, has lot number(s) on it. Each lot is supposed to be the same, but they have lot numbers because in practice (as opposed to theory) each lot can be different. That’s why recalls always reference lot numbers; because lots vary.
      If you buy the same ammo type the NJSP bought, will you get the same lot, and therefore the same ammo? Probably not. So whether or not it functions in *your* gun says nothing.

  15. According to the company that sold the NJSP’s ammo to them (above), they practice with the Speer 53651…

  16. I’d be happy to blame the NJ popo, but if the ammo is anywhere near normal a full size gun should eat it. There’d have to be something amazingly wrong with the ammo, like loaded only to 250 fpe, or has rebated rims somehow for me to take it as an excuse.

  17. No one from NJ should ever be allowed to comment, review or complain about any aspect of firearms.

    Ever.

  18. I shoot a lot of crappy ammo from my 229, and it has always been rather reliable regardless. I did have an issue with a batch of bad primers, but at the time, I didn’t think I could sue Sig Sauer over it. O f course, we are talking about government in New Jersey.. 😉

  19. I’ve had my P229 since the late 90’s. As stated earlier it has been literally bulletproof. Cheap ammo is just that. Come on people, these are our folks protecting US! Don’t scimp in the ammo. Penny wise and pound foolish. Sound familiar?

  20. Ruger SR series will not fire Winchester White Box reliably, so I use Federal for practice. I never considered suing. It’s not that hard…The Speer gets good reviews everywhere else. Just don’t use it an a new P229. Brilliant!

  21. Blaming the problem on crappy ammo is kind of lame. The definition of a good duty gun is one that will function well even in sub-optimal conditions. Strange there is no mention of whether they tried the same ammo with a different gun such as a Glock. That would seem to be an elementary baseline test.

    • Blaming the ammo isn’t lame if it’s the truth. Crappy ammo isn’t a poor condition, it’s crappy ammo. If a gun if built that runs fine, and then someone comes along and creates garbage ammo, then the problem is garbage ammo.

      And they’re supposed to go dig up some other model weapon to test it in that? Like they have Glocks lying around? What you’re asking for is unreasonable. If Sig P229 is well known for being a reliable weapon, and the NJSP are known to be using crappy range ammo, then the solution is simple. Buy decent ammo. You’re overcomplicating this.

  22. New Jersey getting paid off by a competing firearm manufacturing company who want to sow doubt about SIG’s army contract!

  23. After my recent experience with Walther and their terrible handguns and customer service my advice would be stay away from any German handgun. They are a expensive, finicky and unreliable as their cars. Of course it is the fault of the ammo, the Germans NEVER make mistakes. And they certainly would never make a mistake.

    I am sure the Sig is fine, fine product and can understand certain weapons being less accurate with certain ammo but until I owned a German handgun I never had an issue with any handgun firing any new, factory ammo.

      • Make that period into an ellipsis. “…except maybe a whole bunch of the CCP pistols. And many of the P22s. …you can expect poor performance of Walther handguns produced at the Umarex facility. Those are largely terrible. If they’re produced at one of Walther’s other factories, Walther pistols are fairly consistently of high quality.”

  24. So according to the NJSP, the Secret Service have chosen a bad sidearm? They use the P229…

    Crap ammo. That’s the issue. They could buy Glocks and put crap ammo in them and it’ll be the same result.

    New Jersey idiots.

  25. I would not be surprised to find they were using cheap steel cased ammo for their range practice. I have seen p320 and p250 not be able to reliably shoot steel cased 9mm ammo. Because it binds up in the magazines and doesn’t find into the gun correctly.

  26. A weak arm and wrist will cause the frame to move and reduce the slide velocity. Maybed they have a personell problem and not a gun or ammunition problem?

  27. I used Monark 9mm in six Glock model 19’s that I owned and used to train students.
    Never a problem!
    I purchased a Sig 229 in .40 caliber when they first were released for sale.
    Before Monark ammo was available.
    I used aluminum cased American made ammo, never a problem.
    Don’t know about NJ, so no comment.

  28. I have to chuckle at all the people trying to use this issue in some way to dis Glocks. What does Glock have to do with the issue being discussed? Id you can’t make an intelligent contribution to the conversation, then just be quiet.

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