If great grand-pappy was a Doughboy and shot a pistol, it was probably a .45. When our grandfathers and fathers were doing the business at Omaha Beach, Inchon or Khe Sanh, they loved having their trusty .45s handy. We civilians are still shooting the same round today, so if any pistol cartridge can claim to be America’s own, it’s got to be the .45 ACP.
Grampa’s bullet delivery system was the 1911. While the 1911 has never fallen out of favor, even its most ardent supporters must acknowledge that the hundred year old platform is showing its age. Thus, the 1911 has been challenged for .45 caliber supremacy by more moddish pistols made in strange and distant lands with exotic names, like Porto Alegre, Uherský Brod, Karlovac and Springfield, Massachusetts. However, despite all the competition, two manufacturers continue to rule the modern .45 roost — Glock and SIG SAUER.
Glock claims to be “America’s Gun,” an assertion that the folks at SIG SAUER would dispute if they could speak English. In a replay of the Austro-Prussian War and hoping to provoke a border incident, I shot the Austrian pistol side by side and round for round against the Swiss-German pistol to try to determine, for myself if no one else, which gun from mitteleuropa does the better job of firing the cartridge from Middle America. The results will shock some, inflame others and put 1911 lovers to sleep. So, on with the show.
Checking Them Out, Side by Side
This comparison isn’t a matter of potato against potahto. This is an epic throwdown. As sportscasters are apt to say, these two pistols flat out don’t like each other. This is the Red Sox against the Yankees, Ali against Frazier and Mothra against Godzilla (without the singing Japanese midgets).
Both guns fire the same caliber, both dress in basic black and both guns use an adaptation of John Browning’s short-recoil, locked breech system. That’s it for points of convergence.
The differences twixt the G21 and the P220 are far more abundant. The G21 has a polymer frame; the SIG’s is alloy. The Glock carries thirteen rounds in its double-stack magazine, while the P220 loads eight cartridges stacked up like spoons. The Glock is a striker fired, DAO pistol. The SIG is a hammer fired, SA/DA pistol. The two pistols have about as much in common as Khloe and Lamar, and we know where that’s going.
More than any other functional factor, it’s the triggers that set these pistols apart from each other. Okay, sure, they both have them, but they work differently. Because it’s a DAO pistol, you’d expect that the Glock’s pull would be as long, tedious and heavy as the album version of “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” Well, it isn’t. The Glock’s short-ish trigger pull trips the sear at a gentle 5.5 pounds give or take a few ounces. But worry not about carrying the gun safely. Even if you tuck a Glock into your Thunderwear and testicle carry, the gun will not go boom unless someone or something presses the trigger. The someone is you; the something I leave to your imagination.
The SIG’s sublime SA pull is rated at an even more ultralight 4.5 pounds, which is probably too light for an SA pistol without a safety. But aha! SIG makes its feathery trigger as safe as a Nerf gun, without any safety, by means of a decocking lever that lowers the hammer. With the hammer down, it takes a 10 pound long-ish double-action pull to touch off the first spark. Subsequent shots are SA. And carry away, lads and lassies, because toting the P220 decocked is just as safe as carrying a revolver with its hammer down, which is a hundred times safer than not carrying at all. You will not go all Tex Grebner on your own ass with the P220 unless you do something really dumb, like carrying the pistol in Condition Zero.
There’s another difference between the two pistols that more subtle, but obvious once I looked. The barrel of the Glock is much thicker, and while I didn’t put either barrel on a scale, I’ll bet it’s heavier, too. That might equate to better long-term durability, but it might not. I just thought I’d mention it to keep y’all guessing.
Finally, there’s the acid test for all things that must be purchased, and that’s the price. Stretching our armament-buying dollar, the G21 Gen3 sells for a measly $500 or so of our hard-earned US American greenbacks. That’s not a lot to pay for a high quality, big-bore handgun. On the other hand, the SIG lists for a palpitation-inducing and wallet-emptying $993 bones. That’s a whole lot of scratch for a duty/service type pistol. I think it’s fair to say that the G21 is a gun for everyman, while the SIG P220 is a gun for everyman with a trust fund.
Capacity also favors the Glock by 13 to 8, so why the face-off? The Glock’s the clear winner, right? Not so fast. If the proof of the pudding is in the eating, then the proof of the pistol should be in the blowing up of, uh, stuff. So, to the range I went, armed with the two guns and enough ammo to storm Tora Bora. Man, I love my job.
Touch Testing the Triggers and Stocks
Both pistols are justifiably famous for their triggers. I found the G21’s trigger pull spongy and somewhat vague, but it’s still a good trigger. Interestingly, several hammer-fired DA pistols, such as the SIG Sauer P290, utilize a similar partial pre-cocking system lighten the trigger pull of hammer-fired pistols. Proof positive, I think, that in the world of guns there’s nothing so novel that another manufacturer can’t copy it.
SIG chose something different for the venerable P220, using the DA pull in lieu of a safety. I was expecting two different trigger pulls for the P220, depending on whether I was firing DA or SA. What I found instead was one trigger pull with two different weights and lengths. Both pulls were very intuitive, easy, smooth and crisp. The DA pull broke like the proverbial glass rod. The SA pull, being lighter, snapped like one of those skinny Alessi breadsticks that they serve up in the neighborhood trattoria. Yum! The SIG’s trigger isn’t just good or even very good. It’s great, in either mode.
As for the stocks, I placed one pistol atop the other to show how different the thicknesses are.
It’s a huge deal. The SIG is a single stack pistol with a handle that’s as sleek as Kathy Ireland. The Glock, being a double-stack pistol and, well, a Glock, has a handle about as comfortable as sharing a sleeping bag with Rosie O’Donnell. Guys with hands the size of oven mitts will love the Glock. Those of us who are less deformed will prefer the SIG.
Slide to Slide Shooting Comparison
I have never liked Glock’s goofy plastic sights, especially the rear with its inexplicable U-shaped highlight that does nothing to help form a sight picture. In contrast, the SIG sports conventional three dot sights. Lo and behold, in the low-light conditions of the indoor range, the Glock sights fore and aft remained highly visible, while the SIG’s rear dots tended toward obscurity and the front almost disappeared. I didn’t see that coming. Literally.
Peering down the barrel of the Glock, I formed the best sight picture that I could and slow-fired five rounds of hardball at five yards. The shots formed a lovely cloverleaf, all in the red. Take that, SIG.
From a previous expedition to the range, I knew that the SIG’s sights were maladjusted, aiming low and as far left as a Massachusetts Attorney General. I’d had the front sight drifted, but it wasn’t by enough to correlate point of aim with point of impact. I should have tapped the rear sights along with the front, but I didn’t, so sue me.
I compensated for the skewed sights by holding a couple of degrees to the right. I got a very nice four shot grouping, still left but very tight. Trying to hit dead center, I overcompensated on the last shot, hitting the red but losing contact with the group. When all was said and done, at five yards the Glock outperformed the SIG. Not by much to be sure, but the results on paper could not be denied.
Videos shot from the side revealed another telling point — the Glock exhibited less muzzle rise than the SIG.
Comparing the two pistols side by side, it was apparent that the Glock’s bore axis is slightly lower slightly than the SIG’s, which reduces muzzle rise somewhat. Glock achieves this by placing the barrel close tighter to the guide rod and by flattening out the top of the slide, which makes it work a little bit better but makes it look like the slide got a buzz cut. It’s butch, but ugly. Both pistols returned to point automatically, as they should. Still, once again, the Glock was marginally outpacing the SIG.
Both guns proved boringly accurate at five yards as I burned through a couple of million rounds of Winchester 230 grain ammo. Feeling confident in both pistols, I ran the target out to 25 yards. After watching the Glock kicking the SIG’s butt, I was expecting more of the same. What I got instead was a big dose of WTF.
Shooting offhand at a target that I could barely see in the range’s, uh, romantic lighting, I managed a 3.5” group with the SIG.
Naturally, I expected the G21 to top that easily. The Glock didn’t come close, barely managing an 8” group.
I imagine that shooting either pistol from a Ransom rest or sandbags would have shrunk these groups down by at least 50%, but the point is that the SIG was more accurate offhand than the Glock might have been if it was benched. That’s another thing that I didn’t see coming.
As an SD pistol, I awarded the red ribbon to the Glock by a razor thin margin. In truth, any BG on the wrong end of either gun would find himself drilled like Abu Dhabi. On the other hand, shooters of targets and plates might find the SIG more to their liking.
These are two outstanding pistols. They’re powerful, accurate and, like 18 year old Macallan’s, they satisfy shot after shot. I’d be very confident shooting either one of them in competition or in defense of hearth, home or heinie – especially my heinie. Still, to quote Connor MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod, there can be only one.
Independent of price, I’d choose the SIG. It’s an all-metal, German-made Swiss watch of a pistol. It felt better, looked better and had a better trigger than the G21.
Price dependant, I’d choose the Glock, because it’s a damn good shooter, as reliable as an old bluetick hound and let’s face it, there’s just no way that the P220 is worth almost twice the price of the G21.
And now, if you don’t mind, I’d like some syrup and whipped cream with my waffle.
Ok, both these Automatics are high quality (if you consider space aged plastic to be high quality), accurate and reliable. Well, so is my M1911. Why buiy a copy when you can get the original.
Oh yeah, as far Glock being America’s gun, I say BS. Glock is America’s gangbanger gun. America’s guns remain Colt, and S&W.
I love 1911’s too but your why buy a copy when you can get the original is flawed logic. Why buy a modern car with new designs when you could get a ford model T? Because things have advanced. Sure, you could trow a nice DOHC modern Direct Injected Engine into a model T and give it modern brakes and suspension but it’s core design is still a model T. To get a 1911 that I would trust as much as a Glock or a Sig out of the box, I would have to spend some serious bucks or have a 500 round break in period.
“a 500 round break in period”
You can also pronounce that, “2 hour getting-to-know-you range session with your new pistol”. Just sayin’.
Guns are simple mechanical devices. They have no equivalent to a duel overhead cam, 4 valves per cylinder, electronically fuel injected engine. Striker fired or hammer fired; “space aged polymer” or steel, are just flavors like chocolate and vanilla or pecan or raspberry.
Yeah, but that’s not true. Many improvements have been made since the 1911 was introduced. We have guns with far higher ammunition capacity, better recoil spring setups, different barrel lock ups, no barrel bushings, etc.
If you want to see the direction John Moses Browning was headed in, check out the Browning HiPower. It’s not much different from a ton of current semi-autos that are more modern than the 1911 is and, IMO, is a better gun.
… They have no equivalent to a duel overhead cam, …
I see what you did there.
Duty guns are purchased by the Government. Glocks are cheap. Glock didn’t become famous because PDs bought them. They became famous because they became the weapon of choice of gangbangers and drug dealers.
Duty guns are most definitely not purchased by the government, in fact, most law enforcement officers are responsible for purchasing their own weapon.
This is false! Glocks became famous because movie good guys carried them and falsely gave the impression that they were all plastic. Then tons of law enforcement agencies purchased them for their reliability, ease of use and price tag. Glock was the sexy “operator’s” gun, all the gun magazines wrote about them, so like all things, folks ran out a gobbled up what law enforcement & movie good guys carry, so they could live out their pipe dreams. This was no “gangbanger” gun because for the longest they were too expensive. Contrary to popular belief, the average “gangbanger” is a broke, insecure person, who had to gravitate to the pack because he lacks the courage to be a lone wolf or leader. The money guys or upper echelon guys may carry more expensive weapons but they rarely get involved in activities that could get them arrested, the low level wannabes do most of that and the only way most of the wannabes could own a Glock (average $500) is if they stole one. Remember, these types don’t prioritize the best, they may have about $500 of weed to smoke, maybe $150 in sneakers, $500 on a phone but they will hit a pawn shop for a used bulky Ruger 9mm or a cheapo Lorcin .380.
Another reason PDs bought Glocks was that Glock marketing bought PD’s old wheel guns for resale as part of the sales deal so the Glocks could be acquired for much less cash outlay. Also Glocks are lighter than the competition so if I had to carry one all day I might prefer a Glock if I thought I would rarely need to use it. Safety – recall the football player who shot himself in the leg with a Glock. The NY PD uses Glocks with DAO and a 10 # trigger pull so as accurate a throwing a brick.
That is the most ignorant thing I’ve heard today, but then again it’s still early. Yes, bangers occasionally have glocks and every rapper has a lyric about them but Glocks are the most commonly carried LE pistol in the US. I’ve always disliked Glock, not due to the weapons themselves. My disdain is due to the way that these Austrian Chevys swept the American market by forcing their product on cops by offering freebies and cheapies to the brass in exchange for orders. I’d say the most common pistol I’ve seen on bangers and deviants could be a toss up between Taurus revolvers and low end S&W polymer frames. Maybe one or two G17 or G19s per month.
WTF, why was my comment deleted?
It it’s any solace, I was not offended.
Me neither. But then again, I didn’t read it.
I am so done with 1911s. I have owned two, a Springfield Loaded for which
hollow points nose dived into the feed ramp and a Les Baer Commanche
that failed to go into battery about once every 50 rounds. Come to find out
Les doesn’t machine the Commanche frames to commander spec, it’s a
full sized frame with the dust cover cut down. The slide doesn’t travel back
near as much as a 5″ gun.
I’m sure they can be tuned to run well but that’s just it, why deal with a
two pound gun that holds 8 rounds that has to be tuned? I’m so happy I went to the G21. It’s just as accurate as the Baer at reasonable distances
and it just plain runs. I have to admit that I like 1911s on an emotional
basis but when it comes down to it I want an appliance.
Try a Ruger SR1911 – I’ve got about 1,000 rounds through mine and not a hiccup to report. Accurate, too.
Also, the 1911 depends on magazines. For hollowpoints, use magazines with “wadcutter” feed lips.
I’ve put 5000 rounds through my Milspec and I have had one FTF that was a magazine problem and a couple of stovepipes because I am sometimes a limp wristed shooter. Polymer framed guns are more prone to limp wristed stovepiping than traditional materials.
Nobody wants a 1911/Glock war. I do like 1911s and I will probably own one again. But, I tell you, I can’t get that Glock to fail. I tried to hold it as limp as possible and I can’t induce a failure.
It’s the old, “In theory, theory and practice are the same, in practice they are not.” Somebody smart said that.
Just think how many parts need to be in very close tolerance for a 1911 to link down properly. The link pin needs to be just the right length. I’m talking tolerance on the order of 0.001″ to do it right. The lower lugs of the barrel need to contact the frame in just the right way so that the portion closest to the barrel hits first without loading the pin. It is supposed to leave a bow tie mark on the frame if correct. Now lets look at the Glock. The cam on the barrel just has to hit the loading block and done. No tight tolerances required.
This is just one example of why the simple design of the Glock lends itself to production with a very low error rate. You can certainly tune the 1911 to work just great but the design requires many more parts to be fit just right. Just take the Les Baer that I had. If I needed to replace the frame it would be $1000 where a brand new pistol is about $1600. This is because of all the hand fitting that is required.
I could take a table of parts for 100 Glock pistols. I could grab any random combination of parts and it would produce a functioning pistol with no smithing required. I don’t get how 1911 aficionados don’t appreciate the beauty of this. In my mind, beauty is not just a finely tuned machine but also a design that doesn’t require fine tuning.
Now, shall we talk about extractors?
FYI my MIlspec is unmodified out of the box.
I get it, some run great. But, if your mil-spec breaks and you need to replace it I would wager that there is a much higher chance of picking up another one that doesn’t run great as compared to the Glock. Say you just want to replace the barrel, is it truly drop in or does it take a little careful filing here and there?
Just the variety of magazines with different follower designs kills me for 1911s. You have the McCormicks, the Wilsons, the Colts, etc. Why on earth are they not built to the same spec? Why do some guns like certain mags but not others? I no longer have to concern myself with such questions.
Get a Colt.
Glock is also America’s PoPo, Man power to tha 5-0, the heat, the fuzz, it do what it does. In other words, the police use Glocks quite a bit. Probably more that criminals.
I think the borderline racist implication that gangs use Glocks is a side affect of the fact that the ‘ock” sound rhymes with a number of English words and is therefore useful in rap music. For example, you don’t really “cock [a] Glock”
The cops use Glocks because the Departments buy them. At $500 a pop the savings are not small potatoes compared to a Colt, SiG or H&K. The Feds use SiGs because they feel they have unlimited budgets. If local Mounties used XDs you would see a decrease in the amount NDs caused by bored cops sitting around eating their donuts. (How’s that for profiling)
And yet the movies are full of people “cocking” their Glocks before confronting the Bad Guys. Or maybe the sound is racking the slide, though on screen nothing happens. Either way, an idiot director. Perhaps merely the sudden shift in stance to full alert is enough to produce a “schnick, schnick” sound. Funny, autocorrect made that “schtick”.
You don’t shoot much IDPA do you?
Nope. I always fail to do right.
“Oh yeah, as far Glock being America’s gun, I say BS. Glock is America’s gangbanger gun. America’s guns remain Colt, and S&W.”
Gangbanger gun, yeah right. Glock is america’s gun big boy. 65% of law enforcement that use Glock, US Special Forces, alongside federal agencies agree.
What US Special Forces use Glocks? The USAF doesn’t count.
Go to a USAF special ops school and then say they don’t count. I wasn’t the one suggesting that us specops community uses glocks, but I do know this — the numerous entities of the large socom community experiment with numerous duty pistols, and glocks have been included in those experiments for years, and SEALS have tested glocks. Just guessing, but I’d hardly be surprised if glocks weren’t used somewhere sometime. They have all kinds of specialized missions where they need to go sterile, and that typically mandates non-issued weaponry.
It is not because of their training I consider them insignificant, it is because of their numbers (they make up a small % of the USSOC family) and their role of assimilating into other units.
Yes SEALs and others tested Glocks, and they passed on them.
Traditionally when go sterile you either use the same firearms as the indigenous forces, but in some cases you will use those of another nation’s forces. So while there is a chance our other boys have used a Glock in the field it is very unlikely. I consider it unlikely that one of the USAF operators has either, since due to logistics and the great advantage of having the same equipment, ammo, mags, etc. as everyone else in the unit, they have most likely adopted what ever sidearm the rest of the unit they are attached to has. Considering most SOC groups use 45s would you want to be the one man using a 9mm? No ability to share mags, and worse yet you cannot even strip another’s mag for the rounds since they are not the same caliber. Even if you happen to be assigned to that one SEAL group that is apparently still using 9mm handguns you still can’t grab a mag from them since Sig P226 mags aren’t going to fit your Glock. I’ve worked with one CCT and trained with a couple PJs over the years and I have never, even at the range, seen them with a Glock.
Good points. No heartburn here. FWIW, years ago a seal told me the springs on the glock rusted easily in salt water. seems to me that’s an easy solve, but whatever. I’m not a guy who looks for the next shiny object to come out of the teams or otherwise, for several reasons, a big one being that there’s often so little transferability between specop needs and civvie needs.
That said, the glock strikes me as a perfect specops pistol. Durable as hell, reliable as the devil, intuitive handler, with plenty of options.
You cost me a grand. 🙂
Out of curiosity I called a USAF CRO (Combat Rescue Officer) I know and asked him. He laughed, he can’t remember the last time he used a Glock, he carries the Sig P226 most of the time, but occasionally a 1911. He said it was a command decision, and he’s authorized either. We got talking and I got convinced I should add a P226 9mm to my collection. (I was thinking about adding a duty sized 9mm anyway)
For one, Delta dumped 1911’s a few years ago and moved primarily to Glocks, 17’s but also some G30’s and G21’s, including extended magazines. The bosses got tired of the expense having to X-ray parts before missions. The legs got tired of the weight of metal guns, since a pistol isn’t a big part of mission success in the usual case, so they say. A pound of pistol cut is a pound of food, ammo, or electronics you can add.
Delta force use glock 17.
First, gangbangers almost always have some shitty old revolver, not like what you see on tv, second, the Glock is not a copy of a 1911. I have been in bad places with guns a few times and yes, have actually had to deploy a handgun, which sucks by the way. I have been issued all sorts of 1911”s and all sorts of Glocks. I will take 13 rounds over 7 any day of the week! Also the Glock is half the weight loaded, the Glock is far tougher and easier to carry. I never had to but I could find Glock parts all over the world. The 1911 is finicky, lacks firepower and is a pain in the ass to keep clean and working in mud or sand. You need punches screwdrivers and hammers to take apart a 1911, none of that nonsense for the Glock. The Glock does not care about sand, saltwater, dirt or abuse, plus it’s far far easier to carry! People who just have guns always chose 1911’s. People like me who shoot for a living choose the Glocks for the reasons I have stated. Firepower means EVERYTHING in a fight! Do not kid yourself !! This being said I own five 1911’s including a Ed Brown and Wilson Combat. They are much better looking and expensive. Save you’re cash and get the Glock it is a far superior platform. These facts are from real world experience, not from couch commandos.
Well, tdiinva,I don’t agree that the Glock was designed specifically for criminals.
I do believe that the Glock was designed for the Austrian military who demanded a very high level of performance which the Glock exceeded.
The Glock is some pretty reliable “tupperware”. I have carried duty pistols since 1986, S&W m-10s to Glock 22s. During my career as a Sheriff, we transitioned from the S&W 5906 to the Glock 22 and the qualifying scores with the Glock were vastly improved over the miserable little Smith.
That 5906 had the worst trigger of any pistol I have ever fired.
I think that to intimate that if it ain’t built in “Umerica”, it’s crap is ridiculous. My first love was a veteran 1911 and I still say that Browning got it absolutely right. We are very fortunate that the 1911 was such an excellent design. However, that excellence ensured that any and all production handguns, from anywhere, had to at least equal old slabsides or go out of business.
Even the venerable Smith & Wesson company has produced guns with miserable workmanship. [ Bangor Punta].
So, whatever the “homies” choose to pack, these days, keep holding your guns sideways. It gives me such a chuckle.
Well tdiinva, I’m a retired lawman and have carried pretty much everything from S&W model 10s to the Glock 22. Your assertion that Glock is somehow a criminals gun is ridiculous. More LEOs in North America carry a Glock than any other handgun.
I really love the old 1911, the way I love Bogart movies or ’55 Caddies. Having said that, a Lawman needs something utterly reliable when bad things happen.
The old 1911 is not “utterly reliable” and is prone to incompatible magazine issues,ammunition sensitivity and extractor problems.
A box stock Glock will exhibit none of these problems. I’m a fan of lots of neat handguns, including revolvers but, for carry use, I trust nothing but Glock.
It’s obvious that you have never had to carry a handgun for a living.
Nostalgia doesn’t win gunfights.
I love the 1911. But to quote someone who trains those who put themselves in harms way….”You show your friends your 1911, you show your enemies your Glock…”
..a gangbangers gun?? Ha! Hardly!! Life and machinery move on with advances- thats WHY A modern V8 mustang blows the socks off of a 62 ford fairlane. Have a kimber 1911 and afterMULIPLE PROBLEMS WITH IT( hammer cracked, finicky with ammo) I sold it and actually bought a glock 21 and glock 23.
Sorry buddy, keep dreaming and living in the 50s- should the SHTF, those glocks will keep cooking when that 1911 is in search of the last armorer on earth….
I agree with the real American pistols. Wasn’t it the Colt that won the west? I think America makes perfectly superior firearms.
Meh, I will shoot a Glock 21 off the shelf against any 1911 with any indoor range ammo round for round till its all gone. I have yet to see a colt 1911 get through a box of ammo without a malfunction. Glocks are ugly, well, not ugly just plane. im good with that.
Gangbangers are a lot more likely to use a Taurus, Ruger or (gasp) S&W than a Glock. Don’t believe me. Check actual data, most obviously, Chicago’s breakdown of guns seized by police. Glock is too expensive for gang-bangers. Of course, so are Colt and NEW S&Ws, as well as SIG, re: the article this comment thread is under. The guns used tend to be older ones floating around (stolen from somebody’s closet or “borrowed” from Uncle Tyrone). If purchased by a thug, they generally get the cheapest thing possible.
According to Chicago police statistics, a lot more Smith & Wessons are seized by police than Glocks.
This would include Uncle Tyrone’s .38 stolen from the closet, not necessary related to new gun sales.
Glock is actually pretty rare among gang bangers because it’s relatively expensive. Along with S&W, more prevalent options are Taurus and Ruger.
Shots of 18 year Macallan? For shame!
Nice writeup Ralph. Thanks for comparing the little details.
I’ll buy the Sig used, the Glock new and enjoy both. I wonder what the accuracy at 25 yards would be with different ammo, which I would guess you didn’t try many different types?
Could be. I shot the cheapest American made range ammo because I wanted to test the guns, not the ammo. But I didn’t handicap the race. I fed both guns the same stuff.
At five yards, the accuracy difference betweem WWB and, say, Wilson’s best target ammo would be negligible. At 25 yards, maybe not. The cone of death gets a lot wider the further out we shoot.
Take your polymer frame sissy pistol back to barbie land. Real men like all metal guns.
Seriously though, the glock IMO is “good enough” for 90% of shooting applications but for a little more scratch I will take the SIG any day. i would also like to mention you should do some shopping around for SIG’s next time, the near $1,000.00 price tag is on what I would call the high end of SIG retail prices. While the $500.00 is on the low end for the glock. If you wanted to average them out I would say while the Glock might set you back $550.00 on average the SIG 220 can be had for $850-$900.
@JSIII, I recently saw a new G21 online for $499 at a store that I would call competitive but not a discounter. FYI, because new Glocks can’t be dealer-sold or even dealer-transferred in MA, used G21s sell for $700, and that’s at a store that’s well known for deep discounts. Crazy, huh?
Great article Ralph, it kept me smiling the whole time and adresses THE question I’m sure all .45ers have asked.
THE question I’m sure all .45ers have asked.
You must mean “boxers or briefs.”
From the photos of the SIG P220 it shows it with the short trigger. Was it also equipped with a short reset trigger?
Somewhere, an FNP 45 is wondering why nobody invites it to parties.
It’s because FN won’t put out.
I was thinking that too, until I tried one. It’s not terrible, but way too chunky for someone with average hand size. The trigger is nothing special and afer firing it for some time it became very uncfomfortable to hold. I’m still shopping for a nice plastic .45. I’ve tried the G21, HK45, FNP45, XDM 45 and M&P 45. To my surprise, I shot the M&P the best. I really wanted to like the Glock and its larger mag capacity, but the M&P performed better for me. Yes, the trigger is gritty, but I was more accurate with it than all the other guns (all stock, no modifications).
It would be interesting to put the USP against these two. Yes, I am aware of the price difference. That’s what would make it interesting.
Aren’t USP’s usually priced in the same range as the comparable Sigs.
Street price? Maybe. I’ve seen USP’s quoted as high as $1200, though.
If we’re talking about a DA/SA USP then it loses to both because the trigger sucks ass.
Pics or it didn’t happen. 😉
Pics of an HK USP trigger sucking someone’s posterior? What?
yes they are 650-800 dollar range. and they’re worth every penny.
Gosh, for $993, I think I’d much rather have…you know…a 1911.
+1 LOL, this.
I like sigs, but I love this.
For $800 I can buy a SIG 1911 Ultra. And that’s WITH night sights.
Switzerland for the win, yo! Can’t beat the K31s quality to price ratio.
Agreed, I love my K31, K11.
FLAMED DELETED. If you wish to comment on TTAG’s editorial stance or style, please ping [email protected]. While I carefully consider all such comments, I consider them an unwelcome distraction from the writer’s work when posted underneath their article.
You sound OFWG
Go read Ralph’s review of the Desert Eagle, Bill. If you don’t laugh until you cry, go read thefirearmblog.com. It might be dull enough for you.
Oh, man– I’m laughing just thinking about the flaming porcupine.
No love for the XD/XDM series? I would thin, given your reference of the 1911, that the XD would warrant at least a passing mention, better yet a full review. Having shot both the glock 21 and the XD45 before I purchased I can say that the XD45 is superior, at least in my eyes.
The glock and the XD have basically the same finish quality, similar price, same mag capacity, same trigger style and the XD has the added benefit of an unobtrusive grip safety. The all metal sights of the XD are a plus, but the insanely tight front sight doesn’t help much.
I prefer the Glock 21. Points better and I have never had a feed problem. Both good pistols though.
Most of us civvie shooters take pretty good care of our shootin’ irons, so it’s probably not a huge factor, but IMO one of the prime advantages of the Glock is its near indestructibility. I’ll try to find the link to the site where the guy tried to “torture test” his G21 by, among other things, running it over with a large truck, burying it in the sand and then shooting it, “lubricating” it with an extremely abrasive compound, and dropping it out of an airplane at ~1000′ or so. He never could get it to break.
“IMO one of the prime advantages of the Glock is its near indestructibility.”
Challenge accepted. Whose Glock will I be breaking?
I see no point in reinventing the wheel:
Note to self: Never buy a used gun off THAT guy!
The Glock, being a double-stack pistol and, well, a Glock, has a handle about as comfortable as sharing a sleeping bag with Rosie O’Donnell.
I’m impressed with the effort you made to find an apt comparison for the G21 grip. Double-stack versus double-sack? I myself would not have been willing to hop in a sleeping bag with Rosie just to, uh, flesh out a gun-grip comparison, though I’m not surprised she was willing to join you. Above and beyond. Admirable.
(A heavier gun and lighter trigger make a difference at 25 yards, no? My 5-inch steel 1911’s are easy at 25 yards compared to the Glock. At 5 yards on defense, though, I’d rather have the Glock. And the cops can keep it for six months afterwards for all I care.)
I’m way too macho for R O’D.
Rosie is a bit too macho for ME!
I really never doubted that. Nice comparison review.
Ralph, there are a few things we need to talk about.
1. If you are taking “shots” of McCallans, I may very well show up at your house and kick your ass (but in a nice way) with my size 14 boots. Sip it and don’t be a twit. If you must take shots, go get some Evan Williams or something else that doesn’t cost a fortune. Nobody really thinks its cool to waste money on expensive booze that you can’t really taste and enjoy because you just tossed it down your throat like a college freshman.
2. If you can’t do better than an 8in group with a modern semi-auto (of practically Any brand) you should give up and take your ball home. Really. What is it with TTAG writers that get brand new pistols from reputable manufacturers and somehow manage to make basketball sized groups at 25yds?
If I shot an 8in group with a new G21 I certainly would not post pictures on the internet to advertise the fact that I am a rank amateur.
Now, go buy a case of ammo and call us when you can keep five shots under 4in at 25yds.
I’m glad we had this talk. I think there is hope for you because the rest of the review was decent.
You wouldn’t post a picture of your groupings FLAME DELETED
And yes, Don’t practice people. Quit and go home!
Well first off, I am somewhat of an asshole from time to time.
Since you called me out here is a group shot with a 20+yr old Ruger P85MKII (not known for being tack drivers). This was shot at 25yds (I think this was rested, not off hand but I honestly dont remember). I bought this gun used about four years ago and have put about 2000 rounds thru it. I have no idea how much it was used before it came into my possession. For reference, the playing card in the picture is 2.5 x 3.5 inches which makes this group about 5in x 3in:
The point was not that Ralph should quit and go home (although I did say that). Later on in my post I said he should go get a case of ammo and practice up.
I dunno if you have noticed, but there is quite a bit of sarcasm and snark on TTAG. Both from the writers (Farago…for instance) and from the A-hole peanut gallery (me and others).
But really. 8in at 25yds with a brand new G21? You have to be kidding. Is that a rapid-fire group?
Try it in a dark room, champ, and let me know how it works out. You can’t hit what you can’t see.
Yes, you did mention the “romantic” lighting. I don’t really like dark ranges myself. I guess I got spoiled early on with the first indoor range I ever shot on. They had serious lighting! You could get a tan walking down to change targets! (no mechanized target return)
I suppose it was obvious that the word “shots” was used simply for humor, as the word has several meanings. As for the ease of shooting a 4″ group with an unfamiliar light plastic pistol at 25 yards, I think that’s easy to say and difficult to do. To posit that it is a sign of inexpert pistol craft is over-the-top. Most LEO’s can’t achieve that grouping with their service pistol at qualification. And why should they?
I admit it, I got carried away and was unfairly harsh to Ralph. Sorry Ralph. I don’t really think he should quit, and he is not a “rank amateur” (that was over the top).
But, Ropingdown, I expect someone who writes for a gun magazine or blog to be able to shoot better than the average police officer.
You make a fair point that picking up an unfamiliar pistol and shooting for accuracy is difficult. Which is why I would expect a gun writer to take the time to get familiar with the tool in question before making statements about its accuracy. Maybe try some different ammo brands.
If you don’t do your due-diligence its easy to lead people to a wrong conclusion based on incomplete information. That is not particularly helpful if someone is trying to make an objective decision on how to spend their hard earned money.
For the record, my comment about Ralph taking whiskey shots was just teasing. I’m not going to show up at his place and try to kick him…because he’s Armed with couple of .45 Auto pistols and would likely use them if I did.
Ralph is a top marksman. FYI.
If I shot an 8in group with a new G21 I certainly would not post pictures on the internet to advertise the fact that I am a rank amateur.
While you do state it a bit more forcefully than I would, I agree with the general sentiment- why do so many firearm reviewers think we give a rat’s about how well they can shoot the thing? The firearm is exactly the same mechanically regardless of what hand you’re holding it in. If the group opens up, it is a flaw of your offhand technique, not a flaw with the firearm.
Put it in a rest for the accuracy test. If you don’t have a rest, get one. We want to know about the inherent accuracy of the design, not how well you can shoot the thing offhand (even if you’re doing a backflip while blindfolded).
That’s my only quibble in an otherwise decent review.
Well, that, and if TTAG is paying you well enough to do Macallan’s 18 by the shot, I might have to get in on this gig.
I didn’t put either pistol in a rest, and haven’t for any other review, because I want to see how the pistol will work without one. I’m not testing the rest, or the ammo. Just the gun.
And no, I don’t think you give a rat’s hat about how I shoot, nor should you. The review is about the gun, not the shooter.
Which doesn’t explain why I shot a much smaller group with the SIG under the same circumstances. But what I wonder about most is whether you’d still be complaining if the SIG/Glock results had been reversed.
The loyalty of Glock enthusiasts is commendable until it borders on the cultish.
It didn’t surprise me to see that at 25 yards a heavier pistol with a lighter trigger (the SA shots) will hold better groups shooting off-hand. You don’t think that explains it? Well then, maybe it doesn’t….
“The loyalty of Glock enthusiasts is commendable until it borders on the cultish.”
This. Platform worship, like caliber worship, tends to blind people.
What the two posts above say.
But what I wonder about most is whether you’d still be complaining if the SIG/Glock results had been reversed.
The reason for wanting a rest test is because it takes the human factors out of the equation. Individual ergonomics are so variable that how well it shoots in other people’s hands isn’t useful information.
For example: I have gorilla-sized mitts, the G21 is comfortable for me, and I can shoot it accurately. A friend of mine has small hands, and he has trouble keeping it on paper. But it also means that my assessment of a gun isn’t very useful to him, and vice versa.
With proper technique and sufficient practice, you will learn to shoot an accurate gun well. But no amount of practice can compensate for a bad design or poor manufacturing. So when I read a review, I mostly want to know which guns are crap designs or are poorly made. I don’t care in the slightest about the fanboy thing- variety is the spice of life, I think someone who only shoots one gun is missing out.
Great job as usual Ralph. I’ve always loved 1911’s and still do, but I’ve finally turned to the “Glock Side”. I got rid of the cheap sights and replaced them with Truglo’s TFO fiber and tritium sights and it made everything much easier.
I don’t agree with the comments from the peanut gallery (as others have called it) on the 1911 suggesting unreliability or needing to have a 500 round break in period, or that you must spend $993 dollars for reliability. I have tested the SR1911 extensively including with hollow points and no failures up to this point, I have also tested it in a ransom rest I am absolutely amazed by it’s accuracy. I also have a RIA 1911 that is my bump in the night pistol loaded with 185gr Hornady Critical Defense rounds. Basically saying I trust me and my families life to it, if I ever have to rely on it or fight my way to my long gun. The Glocks and other synthetic polymer type pistols have made great advancements so has the 1911. Just because the 1911 base design is 100 years old doesn’t mean it has just stood still, there are basic 1911’s on the market in the $500 dollar range that should be just as reliable out of the box as these two.
Again great article Ralph.
Personally I’m of the shoot what you like mentality. I pretty much want 1 of every gun because I change my mind constantly but every time someone reviews a .45 the 1911 guys come out and say “Why would you buy anything that isn’t a 1911?” and that thinking is just wrong. If the 1911 is your favorite gun, great but don’t knock everyone who might like something else. All that said, I really want a Ruger SR1911 and a Sig p220.
Thank, mr.revolverguy. FYI, I may be the last of a dying TTAG breed — I love revolvers. First loves, y’know? You never really get over them.
Oh, you’re not the only one. I have ONE semi auto in my safe (G23 converted to 9mm.) All the rest of my pistols are wheelguns. 😉
I don’t think they’re a dying breed. I’m in my 20’s, and thus the bulk of my (albeit small) collection consists of modern semi-autos such as those being tested here (I own a West German P220 and love it so much it’s probably unhealthy). However, the next one on the way is a slightly used S&W model 66-3, and I’m giddy as a kid at Christmas with anticipation. 🙂
nice article. i vote sig.
Technical point but aren’t DOA and striker fired two distinctly different things?
Don’t own a glock so can’t speak from experience but striker fired (i.e ‘partially cocked’) is in my mind more like an SA ( a la 1911) pistol than a true DOA, and therefore more prone to going “all tex grebner on your ass”. Would give me the heebie jeebies to carry one with a round in the chamber. To each his own though.
Also I’ve never understood the idea of putting a safety that you have to pull on top of the thingy you pull to make the gun go bang. Why bother? I’m not a gunsmith, am I missing some other internal function of the trigger safety? It prevents some object as thin, or thinner than the 1/2 trigger on either side of the safety blade from depressing the trigger? I suppose there are those times you might have left a pencil in your holster and forgot about it…
Nice article (funny too why do people have to hate?)
I vote sig
Technical point but arent DAO and striker fired distinctly different things?
Don’t own a Glock so really dont know but to me striker fired (“partially cocked” ) is much more like SA (a la 1911) than DOA and therefore more prone to go ” all tex grebner on your ass”.
Also I’ve never understood putting a safety you have to pull on the thingy you pull to make the gun go bang. Am I missing some other internal function of the trigger safety? Is it there to prevent some object that is as thin or thinner than the 1/2 trigger on ether side of the safety blade from depressing the trigger? I suppose there are those times you leave a pencil in your holster and forget…(?)
Both great guns, to each his own (sorry if i double posted)
Technical point but arent DAO and striker fired distinctly different things?
Yes, but the striker fired pistols of which I’m aware are all DAO, as are some hammer-fired pistols.
If you need more info, let me know and I’ll post an answer or request an “Ask Foghorn.”
The XD/XDm series are basically SAO. When ready to fire, the striker mechanism is 100% cocked, and pulling the trigger just releases it.
Not true. The XD/XDm series are basically SAO. All the trigger does is release the striker, nothing else.
Good catch, CarlosT. I’m sure there are others that I left out.
I think I’m showing the first signs of Oldtimers Disease.
No problem, Ralph. Sorry about the double post, by the way. I thought something had gone wrong, but I guess my first post got eaten because of the c-word.
Three things — first, most people’s doughboy grandpappies were as, or more, likely to be pulling the trigger on a revolver than the 1911.
Second….sigh….about 1911s….. let’s cut the crap — for serious work, 1911’s are so yesterday. I carried them, in the colt versions, big and small, tuned and untuned, and they simply are not as reliable, accurate nor efficient as a variety of modern pistols like glock, sig, hk, springfield, even ruger and sw, esp in m&p. There’s a reason that 1911s need so much tweaking and aftermarket parts. Reality check — the biggest appeal about the 1911 is romantic. It has a strong emotional appeal. Even to me. But when my life was on the line, 1911s were several spots down the list as my choice of combat pistols. And let’s forget that “it’s the gun of swat teams.” First, most of those teams chose 1911s years ago. Second, those 1911s are HIGHLY tuned and highly maintained. Third, specops, esp LE, operate heavily in a monkey see, monkey do environ. They “benchmark” off of what bigger or famous agencies do, whether that’s FBI or LAPD. Fourth, those special teams are migrating to modern pistol designs anyway.
Third, there’s little functional diff between the p220 and the g21. It’s mostly just a matter of personal preference. Both are highly reliable, accurate, durable, ergonomic gunfighting tools.
Lastly, about glock — I carried them, and no longer carry them lately, ONLY out of current personal carry preference toward revolver. But I respect the holy f*ck out of them. Glock is the most important pistol design of the 20th century, and most influential. Note: the 1911 was designed in the 19th century. Bash the Combat Tupperware all you want — but those guns run. And run. And run. And run. I’d bet my life on them in a NY minute. I only prefer sigs as my first choice because I carried and taught sigs for so damn long, not because they’re superior or not superior to glock
The M1911 replaced the revolver M1892 in 1911. The M1892 wasn’t made after 1908. The M1892 was issued to some Naval officers and maybe some Marines because there weren’t enough M1911s to go around. I’m not aware of the Army Doughboys being issued the M1892, only the M1911. But who knows. The US was in a make-do situation, so they made do.
I’ve never fired, or even held, an M1892. It shoots a .38 Long Colt. The .38LC is an old round but still made today.
Ralph: There were large numbers of both Colt and Smith M1917 DA revolvers chambered for .45ACP issued during and after The Great War, due to an insufficient supply of 1911’s. In the same way, there were large numbers of P17 Enfields in .30-06 carried by doughboys because the Springfield 1903 was also not available in sufficient numbers.
Martin, as a history nut of the first magnitude, I would so love to shoot any of those WW1 handguns!
Ralph for President!
Would I have to renounce my US citizenship? ‘Cause that would be a deal breaker.
Nope. You lose it automatically.
I’ll take the Sig over the Glock, in fact I did already. I have a 27yr old P225 that runs like a champ and feels great in my hands. The Glock I had felt so-so with a spongy trigger. The poly gins I own would never be missed where I would miss my 27yr old Sig dearly if something happened to it. I’ll gladly pay a little extra for something that I’ll keep for decades.
Meh. I still like my Croatian-made XD.
Yup, me too. I’m saving up for the XDm Compact .45. Love me those XDms.
Three words: Sig, Sig, and Sig.
I was issued a Glock at GPD. When I retired they let me keep it. If I have to fly somewhere I put it in my checked luggage because if it gets lost I really don’t care.
Sig, Sig, Sig.
apples or oranges….was this posted just to attract more hits from google searches?
Is that a trick question?
And this is why I love TTAG! Great read.
I’m a big time Glock supporter. I wouldn’t call myself a fan boy, but I do appreciate the simplicity of the design and the pure functionality of it. The G21 is a combat accurate pistol. It is capable of producing better than 8″ groups at 25 yards. I think in this case the ergonomics of the Glock fat frame were a detriment. Personally, I like the standard Glock frame. It fits my hand like a glove, so to speak.
Both pistols are fantastic. The real question revolves around the individual shooter as the grip size and ergonomics vary widely between a fat double stack and a skinny single stack.
All I know is I’ll take one of each please.
Yes and no. They are both awesome guns. However, the Sig is inherently more precise than the Glock. It just is. This “accuracy” test was not properly done. In any case, both guns will outshoot most shooters.
Ah, Ralph, TTAG’s King of Similes. . . Thanks for another great review!
Good, honest and clear review. Personally I have owned both guns and still have the Glock and traded the Sig away years ago. Really loved the Sig, great gun nothing bad to say but I wanted shot to shot consistency in the trigger pull. This is not a Sig specific issue I just don’t like trigger pulls that are DA then SA. One or the other but not both. I find it disruptive. Anyway great article, Thanks Ralph!
Personally, I’m a SIG man (no Freudian slip intended).
I’ve never fired a Glock, but I got a great deal on a new SIG P220 through an offer to the military.
My father was classified Expert Marksman with the Colt 1911s in WWII. He picked up a Walther P38 from a German artillery officer who happened to walk out of an alley when Dad had a rifle pointed in his direction. He’d picked up a Luger from some other German soldier. He preferred the Walther & left the Luger. He said that he always shot better with the Walther than a Colt 1911.
Even today it can put 50 rounds in a 4.5″ circle at 25 feet. Both guns shoot better than I do.
I tend to favor the grip and general handling of the SIG but I love the consistent trigger pull of the Glock. Since I can’t shoot either of them for crap, it’s a toss-up which is more accurate in my hands.
I have a P220 with Crimson Trace grips that will put 5 rounds in 3″ at 50 feet using a modified Weaver stance. I don’t use the DA — pulling the hammer from de-cocked to ready-to-rock on the draw. I prefer hammer guns to striker-fired. I’ve been called a Luddite , but my sense is that I am certain of the gun’s condition without ever diverting my eyes from the threat. I’ve shot Glocks , but never owned one , and would not be in a great hurry to trade in my Sig for one. As far as mag capacity is concerned , 8 rounds is probably seven more than you’ll need with a projectile like Hornady’s Critical Defense. A spare mag ain’t such a big deal , if you feel the need.
Glock’s are considered ” safe action ” never heard them referred as “DA ” anyway just purchased my first Sig today. P 239 in 40 cal. I’ll let you know how it compares to my G23 on Monday morning.
I always thought the best way to describe glock was “1 1/2 action,” cuz the striker is already partially cocked. Therefore, it’s not SA because the striker is not fully cocked, but it’s not DA cuz the striker is not fully laxed. Therfore, 1 1/2 action. Or 1.5 Action.
You are 100% correct that Glock does not have a double action trigger (or even a double action only trigger). It’s a striker fired trigger. People think that it’s more like a “double action only” trigger than like single action or double action, but there is no hammer, so no double action, no single action.
I am a guy with hands the size of oven mitts, the G21 fits my hands like a custom pistol… I love the G21
How about the Glock 21 vs Sig Sauer’s 1911 TacOps? I went from the Glock 23 to the TacOps and I noticed a huge difference in accuracy and control. I miss having the extra rounds (13 rounds vs 8 rounds), but I have become a better and more confident shooter with the Sig TacOps simply because I can handle it better and the sight system is better. I haven’t shot the Sig P220, but I’m looking at a P226 TacOps and even at a Glock 22. One thing, I have not had to make any adjustments or upgrades to my Sig, but… to put a Glock on par with my Sig I would have to make upgrades which would ultimately cost more (i.e. night sights, grip, trigger). The great thing about Glocks is that you can do all of the upgrades yourself so long as you have an eye for detail. But one thing that really got to me with Glocks was in a mag change. I’ve had mags in my Glock where I had to shake the gun to get them to fall or speed up their drop so I could reload. I have not had that problem ever with the Sig mags (P220 and TacOps mags are the same). I just push the mag release and throw in a new mag.
For my first 13 years on patrol, my department issued Sig p220’s. The Chief decided to issue Springfield XD tactical to the SWAT team, mainly because of the extra ammo capacity and I had to turn in my SIG. Fortunately, I was given the option to purchase my SIG from the department and took them up on the offer. Now my duty belt weighs twice as much and my right hip kills me from the extra weight. I’ll pay twice as much for a superior weapon any day of the week!
All of the female officers and a few week wrist-ed males on the department carry Glocks.
Girls like Glocks…Men Shoot Sigs…Nuff Said
Sadly Sig’s quality control is in the toilet. Due to cheapening of components, proliferation of BBQ guns, reduction of quality control.
First of all great review Ralph! Second in my opinion Sig over Glock, Sig wins hands down but that is just my preference. I own sig p226 9mm and sig p220 and love them both. My buddy owns a Glock 17 and Glock 21 and to him nothings better then his glocks. I’ve shot his Glocks almost as much as my sigs and him vice versa.I shoot the Sigs better, he shoots better with the Glocks.The question is would I trust a Glock with my life? Ya, if I forgot my Sig at home. The Glock just doesnt feel right, it feels force and uncomfortable. However, everyone likes what they like. He loves vanilla ice cream and I love mint chocolate chip. The beauty is we have 29 other flavors too choose from if we want.
First of all great review Ralph! Second in my opinion Sig wins hands down. I own sig p226 and sig p220 love them both. My buddy owns a Glock 17 and 21 to him nothing better. I’ve shot his Glocks almost as much as my sigs and him vice versa.I shoot the Sigs better, he shoots glock better.The question is would I trust a Glock with my life? Ya, if I forgot my Sig at home. The Glock just doesnt feel right, it feels force and uncomfortable. However, everyone likes what they like. He loves vanilla ice cream and I love mint chocolate chip. The beauty is we have 31 flavors too choose from.
I find it hard to believe that with the aftermarket for Austrian tupperware you couldn’t customize the Glock (for an extra $300-$400 or so) to outperform the Sig. Then again, I’ve never used either.
I eat SIG’s for lunch! What $500 dollar Glock? My G-21 with a set of Meprolights cost almost $700 dollars. Then there was the: trigger stop, the Wolff guide rod, the extended slide lock, the extended slide stop, 4.5# connector, aluminum slide cover, and custom-fitted Bar-Sto Precision barrel. With an additional 6 standard capacity magazines the total price approached $1300 dollars.
The 100% mirror-polish action job was free. (I did it myself.)
I’ll be frank! (I’m not Frank; but I will be, anyway.) My polymer frame pistol will still be tight and shooting when anybody else’s alloy frame pistol will be rattling on every shot.
It’s a good, very well written review, Ralph; but, I’ve got to ask you: Do you really need to aim at 5 yards? 😉
Good thing I didn’t see this before I bought that used Glock 21. But… haven’t shot a pistol in over 6 years … never pulled the trigger on a Glock. When I took mine out on the farm for some fam fire, I shot at 20 and 25 yards. At 25 yards it pulled a 4″ x 5″ group right of center. After wondering why I pulled right ( I always go high left when I am not on) I noticed the rear sight was off to the right. But the group itself was a chest beater. If my new/used 21 had come in any worse I would have tossed it in the creek….
The Glock is a fast food gun, slovenly and cheap but reliable.. The Sig is a five star chief selected prime rib add a short reset trigger and you will forget you ever heard about a Glock. Navy Seals Issues Sigs not Glocks… Secret Service issues Sigs not Glocks… Coast Guard, Homeland security…Sigs Starting to get the picture….
BTW Sig MK25 P226 tested to 3 million rounds – Never heard of a Glock making it that far…
I’m a little late to this party but if you’re implying that a single pistol (as opposed to a batch of test pistols) had 3 million rounds put through it then you are living in a dream world. Pistols usually disintegrate between 50 and 100 thousand rounds. 3 million? No. F*cking. Way.
Me like things that go bang. It’s fun to make big holes in stuff.
While not a connoisseur I do appreciate the sigp220 it is……mm mmm (mine is a super macth) Much too good for a slovenly, uncivilized so and so such as I.
However I also liked my G30 so much I got a second one.
All three are second hand, all three work flawlessly.
I was turned off .45s by a Colt officers Model’s utter unreliability.
But me likes makin big holes. So I found what works for me.
I also have a S&W 4506 that only makes on hole, but won’t feed reliably, workin on that right now. I guess have matured and become more patient.
Just got a Governor too, what’s life without whimsy….
I have had a g23, then a g19, and now a p229 in .40 s and dub. To put it into terms my friends and I brainstormed over pepsi max and goldfish (pizza flavored, b-words), “Glocks would be better than sigs if you were on the defensive, and sigs would be better for the more offensively minded ‘operators’.” For example, if you scouted a place you wished to raid, then sig all the way. You already know what to expect, and accuracy would trump capacity due to the previously established intel. Now on the other hand, if you were the defender, and unaware of what was coming and in what numbers, well then the less accurate yet higher mag capacity gun might seem preferable. But one thing is for sure, if it was a freaking beauty pageant, sig would equate to a jessica biel/miranda kerr and glock would be equivalent to a rosie o’donnell/peter from family guy/ that 100 year old lady from that tv show with all that plastic surgery, yeah you know who im talking bout.
This has been a great read for me! I have both Glock and a Sig P220. I also have a variety of other weapons each chosen for it’s own attributes, personalities and “looks.” Kind of like picking out women to date, and those to marry. There may have been one or two that I might choose to “throw under the bus.”
My engraved, nickel plated Colt, 1911 was produced in 1918 and shoots like a champ. I don’t shoot it much since it’s just too pretty and it’s always kept clean. My N frame, Smith & Wesson 629, 44 Mag revolver in stainless, ported rib, smithed 2 lb trigger, is the most reliable and accurate for me, handgun that I own but it is a revolver and only has 6 shots. I would only need more if I were attached by a gang of more than 6. The 629 is also a little large to stuff in my shorts! I do not want to change my gender.
Many years ago I purchased a Walther PPK, stainless with a serial number that starts with 007. It is one of my favorites since I can shoot the balls off of a fly at 25 yards. However, its no good for Zombies and crack addicts. Very reliable, feeds and ejects perfectly with whatever I feed it.
Then came the Glock 23, Gen 4 and the Sig, P220 Combat, TB in FDE. At the range they are 2 wonderful animals! Different and yet the same. Both feed and eject perfectly.
The Sig fits “MY” hand perfectly, feels balanced, is deadly accurate, and has a sophisticated, refined level of excellence in fit and finish. It only shoots 8 or 10 rounds but hopefully that will do the job…..
The Glock also fits “MY” hand nicely, not perfectly, but still a favorite. I see day light when looking between the slide and the frame. It looks like a brick though a “pretty” brick. Balanced, accurate and reliable to the T! Oh, 13 rounds in case I am a “sh**ty shot or I am being attacked by a large herd. There is even a 30 round magazine floating around out there. OK, I know the Glock 23 is not a 45 ACP like the Glock 21 but it is still the “same” concept and manufacturer. The Glocks are “cheap” or maybe I should say “value priced” compared to the Sig.
Let’s cut to the chase…..I don’t think that can be done.
The Walther PPK is incredible for a “little one.”
The Smith Model 629, 44 Mag is the ultimate if I am only need a few of shots, massive knock down, kill power and “totally” unquestionable reliability. What can break?
Glock 21 or 22, 23 or whatever. How can you go wrong? You can’t!!!!! I will trust my life any day of the week on one of these machines!
Sig P220 or 226. My choice, hands down, without question, with my life, with the lives of others, in the salt spray, the sand, the mud or multiple zombies. Just let me have plenty of magazines.
Texas Rangers just turned in their guns for a Sig 1911, go figure.
thanks for this write up!
FLAME DELETED – Please send all comments about TTAG’s editorial stance or style to [email protected]
A simply great article! Your sense of humour is sublime and I had a good chuckle…thanks.
Most modern firearms [that sell well] are pretty darn reliable as the competition for a market share is fierce. Remember, a firearm is a delivery system for a bullet.
At the end of the day, we are very fortunate to have a vast selection of handguns that are so close in quality, it boils down to what you can shoot well and how much you train. No cosmic blaster can replace training and good tactics.
Buy a decent piece, train with it and use the best ammo you can buy.
The Glock design is a masterpiece of modern manufacturing and, perhaps, the Sig is a bit old school. Both function beautifully.
Good shooting all.
I have been carrying .45acp guns for over 25 years. I have had a Glock 21, many 1911s, Taurus 24/7, but I have found no better or more accurate handgun in .45 than the Sig P220 family. From the P220 carry to the P220 Match Elite, they are super accurate and reliable, worth every penny IMO. You should do a review on the P220 Match Elite. You would like it better than 45y.o. Loch Nagar.
As a woman, i prefer a little more weight on a gun i can actually hold to a gun i can hold up longer but can’t get a good enough grip on to be comfortable firing.If I’m afraid of it jumping out of my hand cuz the grips so big i can’t hang onto it, i don’t want it.
glock is in no way more accurate than sig! this shoot off you had is becuase all you shoot is glock. you are a glock nut! i have both and its the complete opposite. i hate when people get on here and turn things around. i’ve done the same test and literaly the opposite. ask the real men at glock and the honest answer is p220 makes a tighter group. biased info!
If you are going to test precision, which is what a grouping shows, you need to pick a discernible point of aim (the bottom of the bullseye, for instance) and stay there. Trying to hit the center of the target by compensating with “Kentucky windage” is no way to test a firearm’s capabilities, and I suspect that the grouping for the Sig would have been as good or better than the Glock had you done this.
Sry. That last comment was supposed to go to the writer. You are right. As I said in my last comment, this “accuracy test” was not only bad, it was fundamentally flawed. One MUST keep the same point of aim to test a firearm’s precision, period.
Wow, getting that article was actually unbearable. The comments were more well written. Seriously, turn the lame wittiness down about 99 percent. Therefore was able one paragraph of useful information there.
I’d choose the Glock any day. It runs, it is accurate ENOUGH, and it carries 5 more rounds. That is over 1.6X the firepower. Both platforms are proven, but its hard to argue with that kind of difference in capacity.
Came to the same conclusion when comparing the Glock 22 and the Sig P 226, in .40 S&W
+’s. More reliable; shoots anything without malfunctions, whereas my SIG 226 has stove-piped when shooting low-cost ammo like Blazer. The G22 is somewhat more recoil ergonomic manageable, due to that low bore axis, important with a snappy round like the .40 or .357 SIG. The G22 is lighter and slightly smaller than the P226, yet it has a slightly longer barrel. The G22 is cheaper; you can almost buy 2 for the price of one P226. And finally, modularity: if you carry a Glock 27 for backup, you can use the mags from the Glock 22 in it, if someone manages to take the larger duty gun from you.
The SIG P226 is more accurate, especially with high-quality ammo. The Sig has more robust, less fragile sights.
-‘s. The G22 is more susceptible to negligent discharges, which means anyone carrying it should be even more trigger finger management aware. The G22 has a blocky grip, which often requires a grooved sock to make it more comfortable and aesthetic. G22 precision and accuracy begins to deteriorate past 15 yds. SIG is not a modularized weapon system.
Which led me to conclude that Glock is a better choice for routine self-defense situations and line officer operations, while the SIG would find it’s niche in target shooting or SWAT or other tactical situations…but interestingly enough most SWAT units use a SA 1911 in .45 ACP.
Interesting as well how the US Marshal’s and FBI and most US Police use the Glock, while Secret Service, Air Marshal’s and USCG and USN use (or have used) the SIG.
I own a gen 3 glock 21 awesome gun shoots great a lot of friends with 9mm shot it better then their own guns first time out. I also own an gen 1 German made sig p220 takes a little getting adjusted too first time out bought both for 1k total price and can we at least agree 45acp is the most fun to shoot and just feels right no matter what delivery system you decide to use
Loved the post. I own the Sig. I’m like you, I don’t have a bear paw for a hand. Your humor was great and the article well written. I would recommend the post just because of the laughs it generated. Thank you.
I similarly compared a SIG 226 and a Glock 22 in .40 S&W. SIG minuses: two trigger pulls, more moving parts, a hammer that can snag, a slightly shorter barrel, a higher bore axis, it’s more likely to FTE in .40, it’s heavier to carry around all day, and it costs around twice as much as a Glock. Glock minuses: somewhat higher probability of ND’s, ka-booms, more jumpy in .40, takes more training and practice to get SIG level of safety and accuracy. What clinched the Glock 22 for me as a day to day duty weapon is magazine interchangability with a Glock 27 back-up gun. In a tactical situation where extremely high accuracy is called for a high end/ boutique 1911 is the ticket.
Not a word about the CZ 97 BD or CZ 97 B .45 ACP ? WHY?
Very good guns
I’m sure that your beautiful collections are safely tucked away in Fort Knoxian gun safes by you elite readers. I’m a utilitarian kinda guy and my Glock 21 fits my meathook hands, and needs, perfectly. I’ve never fired a Sig Sauer, but can attest to my 21’s ease at target re-acquisition – I practice by keeping (or trying to) a solid core tennis ball, really my Rottie’s chew toy, in the air for the full clip – of-course I’m never able to do it – perhaps I’ll next try a hot air balloon.
I’m a retired mechanical engineer and have never liked to use phenolic composites in high stress applications – period. Ever since I owned a Mustang II V6 with a composite camshaft gear – which ran ever so quietly (but tended to disintegrate at temperatures below +20F, unless you woke up at 4AM to crank it gently and allow it to warm-up until 7:45), when I left for work. I only used them in non-critical applications. So I also have a blued-steel Ruger GP-100 .357 with a 4″ barrel for whenever I’m in doubt.
I bought my 21 from a wholesaler who sent it to my local, but very rural gun shop about 12 years ago, after hearing Tommy Lee Jones tell Robert Downey Jr to buy one in “US Marshalls”. Tommy Lee referenced their ability to operate in an AK-47 environment, after dropping them into really nasty goo. I like that feature. While I care for my firearms, I’m not a fanatic about it. I clean ’em after I shoot ’em and hose them down with a good gun oil whenever I remember to between ball-killing sessions.
I rarely shoot my Ruger as all of my Lumbar disks have danced their last dance. As twisting is painful, I like my 21 because it expends most of its recoil energy in chambering the next round – it’s a comfortable AND FUN pistol to shoot.
I bought mine about 12 years ago, and even though I’m a GA native, I’m glad mine was made in Austria. I’m sure the Glock plant in Smyrna, GA, phased in the 21 frame after the more preferred calibers and frame sizes were up and running, and with all new production kinks (that invariably occur) worked out.
I read the accuracy reports and can only say that the wallop of a 230 gr .45 caliber bullet will cause the aggressor to have second thoughts even if I’ve missed my primary target by 4″ at 25 yards, especially with him knowing that my DAWG has 12 more bites left in her before I bring in the reserves. At 5 yards, if you can’t hit an aggressor anywhere, I’d consider a different method of self preservation.
The story about why Police Officers were issued .38s, instead of .45s, is that if you are hit by a .38 in the shoulder, leg or arm, it would cause a perp to become very compliant and cease his hostilities. The .45 would disarm him, literally. Colt .357 Pythons were issued to State Troopers Nationwide and to some Sheriff’s Deputies, as help might be some time in coming. Collateral damage is also a major concern – apartment walls are made from recycled something-or-other, and supplied by the Chinese – incapable of stopping even the sickliest housefly.
In today’s world of ultra-violent urban conflicts between Law Enforcement and the Bad Guys, I’d want the sex appeal that Ma Deuce provides (me and Sly Stallone), when i drape the cartridge belt over my shoulder as I step out of the SWAT-mobile.
The last thing I have to say, finally, is that while I’m an ardent supporter of our Second Amendment liberties, we, as responsible gun owners MUST do everything in our power to stop the random an mindless assassination of our Children and Grandchildren while they are in their classrooms, or merely walking down the street.
I don’t give a rat’s behind if those involved in gun thuggery kill off each other at a rate so high as to have ZPG become a reality. But to save the lives of the innocent is a sacred trust was given to us by whichever higher power we as individuals answer to.
Thanks for giving me the platform from which I can talk about the Glock .45ACP Frame 21 that was made specifically for me, and of the responsibilities we must assume as gun owners. It is our RIGHT to bear arms; it is our DUTY to ensure that that Right is not abused.
Regards to all.
Alright, I was really interested in the article, so I read on. I must say that if the sights were off on the SIG then the accuracy test wasn’t all that.
I did some trade work for a retired Deputy for a SIG P220 with the intent on trading it in for a 1911… Until I shot it. I bought the dirtiest nastiest ammo I could find, TulAmmo 230 grain. I wanted to see how it performed with crap ammo and see how well it shot. I was skeptical mainly because of the bore alignment to the tang didn’t seem like target reacquisition would be that great since the recoil would appear to be absorbed by the upward motion and not in a straight line through the radial. Anywho, I set up some 1 gallon water jugs at 25 yards and aimed center mass hitting my targets with ease. Sight alignment was nice and the trigger just blew me away. My brother asked to shoot it so I loaded up all the mags and handed it over. He went one handed, aimed and started popping of the blue caps from the jugs! When he finished, I was just standing there in awe at what I just seen. I had to know how accurate this thing was so I set up pie plates at 50 yards and unloaded each mag in 3 seconds and managed to hit the pie plates approximately 75% of the time; You should have seen the fish I caught earlier that day to (yeah, I might be stretching it a bit but the thing is accurate).
I never really cared for Glock as the angle of the grip forces me to push the gun further down than what I’m used to. While pushing the outward from my chest from “MY” natural stance the barrel to target alignment is too high for me; I’m sure with practice it could work but then if in a pinch I switched platforms it wouldn’t be optimal.
My point is this, each operator becomes proficient with their own tools and with what they are most comfortable with. It’s like martial arts, which one is better? It’s not the art that makes it good but the practitioner who masters it. 😉
Glock 19, my go to pistol of any price, any caliber, any where, any time…
I own a Glock 9mm which was my LE duty weapon for 4 years. I haven’t been a PO For 14 years so I didn’t need another hand gun…..but I really wanted one. I have always wanted a Sig .45 p220 because I’ve shot them before and they fit my smaller (female) hands so after getting my taxes back I decided to treat myself and bought the Sig, brand new, on sale for $739. I shot over 200 rounds today and fell in love. I realize the difference in caliber, heaviness yada yada but without dissing the Glock (too much), the Sig would be the overwhelming choice for me. You get what you pay for…spend the extra cash.
The only trying and I mean the only thing a modern 45 has over a 1911 is capacity and for the sig that is not even the case.my 1911 has been flawless since day 1 and is easily the most accurate pistol I own I guarantee it would outshoot a glock any day of the week.as for sights I think novaks are more than capable sights they come standard on most 1911 platforms today and most are easily upgraded to night sights if you choose.with this said I do love flocks and modern pistols and if I knew I would have to use my pistol to protect myself I would go with the glock and the extra 5-6 rounds you get with it but other than that 1 advantage the 1911 is still going strong and still today one of the best all around pistols you can own just because the design is old does not make it outdated,why do you think almost every modern pistol platform ever made takes its basic design ideas from the 1911?
I have both, and I love both.
Both are very accurate and reliable. What more can you ask for?
Well said, Ceapea!
I imagine if any of us were surrounded by hostiles, aiming to whack off our heads, we wouldn’t be persnickety about which one we’d pick up and start letting the big bore bark. Chances are, we’d have our hands on both of them and shot whichever was closest to our target.
But I do have a question for all of your pistol strummers – does the .45 Colt have more powder than the .45 ACP? I guess I could look it up – I’ve been intending to actually, but while in the midst of a bunch of aficionados, it’s easier just to ask you.
Ive been a glock fanboy for many years and have several. Rented a sig at the range the other day and fired it back to back with my glock, and wow, the sig felt MUCH nicer and was more accurate for off hand shooting. For me sig is now my first choice.
All I can say is if the navy seals use Sig’s, that’s proof enough for me.
Navy Seals also eat MRE’s, but I prefer Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse for my meals. All kidding aside, most specialty teams and special operators use tools specific for the job. The rest of the shooting population uses a different benchmark for acceptable tolerances when it comes to choosing a sidearm. Any military application of a sidearm is going to be utilized in combination with a main battle rifle (or equivalent). If your use of a pistol is completely secondary to your rifle/smg/shotgun, then look at what those military/paramilitary units carry. If you are a civilian firearms enthusiast and typically carry for protection, the Glock makes an excellent choice. I love the Sig and I love the Glock, just use them for slightly different needs;)
Glocks work period, that’s why I have several for 20+ years. I have carried for 43 years and seen every gun come and go except for Glock. The reason being they are reliable and run forever. 1911’s are for show and competition not for Duty guns. You need a polymer hi capacity 9mm or 40 for that period. The two that got popular were the first two to flood the market, Glock and M&P. The rest are playing catch up since it wasn’t just a fad. Now you have Sig and H&K, a little late to the race, making Striker fired guns, doesn’t that tell you something? Every manufacturer is trying to play catch up to glock, including the premium priced Sig and H$K, Walther, Ruger and anyone else who missed the first boat. Military and LEO, want hi cap, lightweight, reliable guns that can shoot all day without a Failure to feed or fire.
It’s that simple.
Why all of this excitement over these 2 pistols? We know that one or the other is going to replace the M9 Beretta. My guess would be the Glock 21 and it’s 13+1 capacity. Personally I don’t really see how it matters what caliber is used when things get up personal and close.
It sounded like you are putting the Glock 21 in the same categories as just another Saturday Night Special. It is not, plain and simple. By your rating standard, so is the AK-47.
The AK-47 has the distinction of being considered the most lethal firearm on the planet, but not because of it’s elegance – it is a mud ugly weapon. It is so crudely made that you can dump the parts of 10 working 47s (manufactured at 10 different sites) into a bucket, stir them really well, then pull the parts out randomly and re-assemble 10 working 47s. Infiltrate an enemy’s camp through a gooey bog, and it will come out shooting. That’s what makes it the standard terrorist weapon – not because of it’s balance or aesthetics.
But you are playing with a marked deck by saying “If you want a .45, just buy a Colt 1911.” When I bought mine, I could afford the Glock, but couldn’t afford the Colt. My Glock 21 was among the last few made in Austria, but that doesn’t imply that it’s better than any of those manufactured in Smyrna, GA. It has nearly twice the magazine capacity of the Colt, and costs 25% of it’s USA counterpart. But only costing 1/4 as much as the Colt doesn’t affect its dependability, or its lethality.
Of course I’d like to have the legendary Colt .45 ACP as the center piece of my collection of what would be a 3-piece arsenal; the two .45s and a Ruger .357. Neither of them would be classified as a Saturday Night Special, IMHO.
An AK is outdated its inaccurate and only as reliable as it’s mags, there’s new modern designs and calibers that put the AK in it’s place. AK’s fail and won’t run with mud in the action. Even with all the new B.S. accessories on the market no matter what you add their still slow and clunky. The 74 is a little faster but front end heavy and won’t run with a modern bullpup design or AR sbr in 300blk ACR MTAR AUG tavor scar you get the point much faster systems out there with better accuracy
There was a comment towards the top that talked about limp wristed shooters. For some reason my wife can’t shoot an automatic. She does not have the strength. So she carries a revolver for her protection. The point I wanted to make was, when she shot my G21 Gen4 it jammed on her because of her light grip. She fires my Colt 1911 and it fires perfect every time. She gets the biggest smile on her face from the power and feel of the gun. So I think there is something to be said about the “tired, old” 1911. It shoots when you pull the trigger. I carry my Glock in the winter because it weighs less and I have no issues with jams. My summer carry is the Glock 36 which also shoots very nicely.
A little late to the discussion, but I’d like to add something. I’ve owned 1911s (Colt, STI, RIA, Kimber, Remington), Glocks (G21 & G23), Sigs (P2022, P226, and P229), and fired other Glocks and Sigs. I think there are many good arguments here about the merits of each weapon (ie weight of the glock for the specops operators, the outdated factor of the 1911 coupled with the tools needed to break it down etc). I am not a specop operator who has so much necessary gear that every ounce matters. I am a civilian who carries concealed every day, and shoots for leisure and to keep my familiarity. What matters most to me are the factors which my life depends on: reliability, accuracy, magazine capacity, and concealability (is that a word)? That is why I carry a an STI 2011 Edge. It is the modern version of the 1911, and the only tool I need to take the slide completely apart is a paperclip. It holds 12 rounds (with the double stack magazine I use), shoots tighter groups at 25 yards than any Glock, Sig, or 1911 I have ever fired, and has little recoil due to the weight. It is extremely reliable, but it definitely is heavier and bigger than what most people would consider an ideal carry weapon. The .45 is still my favorite CCW round due to its tendency to not overpenetrate compared to some other popular calibers. If you are looking for a good service weapon, an every day carry, or a concealed carry if you have the right body type, consider a 2011 .45 pistol. I find them superior to 1911s and their modern competition.
Lol to compare anything with Glock requires making up stuff in order to be able to write anything. Straight up , the clock is a five times better gun , and when you account for price the Glock is 500 times better.
Lol to compare anything with Glock requires making up stuff in order to be able to write anything. Straight up , the Glock is a five times better gun , and when you account for price, the Glock is 500 times better.
This is another Glock Fan Boy reunion. $500 for a piece of plastic is not cheap, I would take a 1911 over a milk jug anyday of the week. grow up fan boys, you couch cops no nothing about quality pistols!!!!!!
I own a kimber tactical HD, which is my safe queen, and I love it but I wouldn’t use it for CCW. I own three p220’s (a combat, a carry Equinox and a regular carry which I carry IWB) the reason I chose the SIG over a G21 , which I was considering when I bought my first P220, was the grips. My hands aren’t small but they aren’t oven mitts either, I couldn’t get a good purchase on the glocks grips, where the sig fit like a glove. I have nothing against glocks I plan on buying a G43 in the next few months, but for a .45 I would choose the P220 all day. I also find myself extremely accurate with the SIG compared to the G21 which I think for me is due to the trigger on the SIg being more to my liking.
wow reading some of the posts here makes me remember why I do not like people. Some have no class
No argument from me. I own, and like, both – a G21 Gen4, and an older West German P220. Different guns, different shooting experience, and each really good in its own way.
And FWIW, I also own a 1911 and like it very much.
Is this a great country, or what!
Most of you folks appear to have contracted a severe case of cranial rectumitis. Glock, Sig, 1911’s, S&W M&P 2.0, H&K, CZ, Walther, Ruger and the list goes on and on including revolvers are all fine firearms. The only bad ones are the ones YOU can’t afford for whatever reason and/or can’t shoot worth a rat’s ass. Everyone is different as well are the various selection of firearms out there. Pick one ( or two ) and be happy with yourself. I’d like to have one of each but I don’t have the financial resources that AOC has nor do I wish to be associated with that deplorable bitch. So, my point is, stop puting YOUR gun on a pedestal and leave OTHERS to their own choices. I once had a Spingfield, plain Jane, no frills, 1911 that I paid only $350 for new and I’d put a pay check on the table that gun, not me, could shoot just as well or better as any I’ve read about so far and I still KICK MYSELF IN THE ASS FOR SELLING IT. In a pickle I’d be happy to have a BB gun beater to defend family and home if need be. I currently own a M&P 2.0 9mm compact and a 45 cal Sig P220 and could not be happier as they are both shooters in every way. They compliment each other quite well and I’ll never sell either. Whether my Sig and M&P pairity are superior to any one elses firearm lineup is definately questionable at best for sake of opinion but they work for me and that’s all that matters on my planet. Pick what works for you. Now critique THAT marriage and see if I give a shit.
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