How far do you feel comfortable shooting your pistol? Three yards? Seven? Twenty-five? What if I told you that it’s very possible to accurately shoot most standard caliber pistols out to ranges as far as 100 yards? Think I’m nuts? Think I’ve sniffed a bit too much gun powder today? I won’t dispute either of the preceding allegations, but I will tell you that you can consistently hit a chest-sized steel plate at distances of 100 yards or more using your standard pistol. To be honest, I didn’t think it was possible myself, but then I decided to give the SIG Sauer Academy’s half day Long Range Pistol Shooting Class a try . . .
I once read somewhere that no one finds their perfect gun right away. Inevitably we end up trying new ones and finding features or ergonomics that we prefer over our current set up. I thought I was done with this disease; I thought the days of my wife rolling her eyes over my long-winded explanations of why gun A should be traded for gun B were a thing of the past. If you can’t tell by now, I was wrong. The catalyst happened a few weeks ago when I taught a concealed weapons class where one of the students was utilizing a new SIG-Sauer P220. Upon taking the weapon from him to explain how the decocker worked, something clicked in my mind. At the range he let me shoot a magazine through it and I knew I was in serious trouble. Two weeks later I became a first-time SIG owner . . .
The new P290 serving wall duty at the SIG SAUER SHOT Show booth sure looks like a SIG. But it doesn’t feel like one. For fans of the brand, the P290′s slimness is startling. As is the sheer diddiness of the 20.5 ounce gun (three ounces heavier than the new Ruger LC9). As for the mouse gun’s nine-pound double-action-only trigger pull (video after the jump), let’s just say that the P290 tethered to the wall is a prototype. I hope. With Ruger’s LCP and now maybe LC9 tearing-up the charts, you can understand why SIG’s chasing sales within the increasingly crowded RSG (Really Small Gun) genre. But SIG’s got a big or should I say small problem: the P238.
SIG SAUER knows where the American Firearms market is headed: CCW. In 1997, the FBI conducted 2.7 million instant criminal background checks for Americans applying for a Concealed Carry Weapons permit. As various states liberalized concealed carry laws, the number soared. In ’08, the FBI’s CCW-related checks jumped to nine million. In ’09, it hit 14 million. This year, it’s going to be 20 million. If you’re a gunmaker that isn’t making guns for CCW, you’re watching the parade go by. To avoid that fate, SIG SAUER has just announced its P290 Sub-Compact 9mm pistol . . .
The moment the SIG SAUER P238 disappears into your hand you know it’s a beautiful piece, a diamond that’s not even slightly rough. The Colt Mustang clone has all the solidity and precision that’s typified the Swiss-born company’s products since SIGARMS set up shop stateside in 1985. That’s quite a feat, given the the P238 weighs just 15.2 ounces unloaded. The gun’s light enough to stash in a pocket, yet heavy enough to make it a perfectly controllable pistol.
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.
Imagine Sinatra in a satin charcoal Armani suit, sitting in a leather-lined smoking chair, puffing on a fat Cuban and sipping top-shelf whiskey. There’s your SIG P220 Elite. Sure, there are cheaper ways to get the same kicks. This SIG costs the thick end of a grand and does pretty much the same thing as weapons costing half as much. But would you really slum it if you didn’t have to? Who says you do? And here’s why you shouldn’t . . .
You know those T-shirts with really witty jokes on them? You read the shirt, you get the joke, you laugh (maybe) and then . . . the joke’s still there. The longer you look at the shirt, the less funny it seems. The best of the T-shirt humor breed have a zen-like quality; the humor lies deep within a philosophical conundrum. OK, I haven’t actually seen a T-shirt like that, but, like the sound of one hand clapping, I’m sure exists. Somewhere. On some level. Meanwhile, what are we to make of the $699 Sig Sauer P238 Liberty with its inlaid gold (yes gold) Liberty Bell? The ad copy gives us a clue . . .
A handgun is not a shotgun. A handgun doesn’t fire as much lead as a shotgun. A handgun is harder to aim than a shotgun. Provided the shotgun in question is loaded with double ought buck and fired from a relatively close distance, the disparity in lethality is so great that many security experts pose the following question: what’s the main purpose of a home defense handgun? To fight your way to your shotgun. This much is true: if you’re trying to stop someone from killing yourself or your loved ones using a handgun, you’re going to need to pull the trigger more than once. So you’ll need more than one bullet. But how many?
I’m not saying that the image used by Sig Sauer in this summer promotion is tacky. Nor do I believe that the recently confiscated Mexican drug lords’ gold-plated machine gun was to firearms aesthetics what bestiality is to veterinary science. Still, I’m not sure if I’d want to associate my guns with a SMART car. Sure, it looks like a bullet. But the SMART is about as cool as a pet rock. I reckon Sigs are the Lexus LX 570 of guns: expensive, restrained and comfortable enough for everyday commuting; yet possessing tremendous depth of character and unused capability. So where does that leave Glock? Smith & Wesson? Kahr Arms? And all the rest?