The SIG P210 Carry is an interesting gun. When SIG SAUER first announced it, I thought, why? The new SIG P210s were pretty sweet and are very well made, accurate, and oh so fun to shoot. What is the purpose of a carry model?
Especially when you looked at the size, the capacity, and the price of the P210 Carry (about $1400) versus SIG’s ultra-popular P365 carry gun. Even so, after firing one briefly at the PSA Gathering event earlier this year, I wanted to know more, so I reached out and SIG sent me a loaner to test drive.
Breaking Down The P210 Carry
The original P210 was designed in 1949 and the P210 Carry still shows that it’s a product of that 1949 design. This includes being single-action only and hammer-fired. It’s a single stack that packs a mere eight rounds of 9mm in a gun roughly the same size as a GLOCK 19. SIG took a saw to the barrel and brought it down to 4.1 inches from the original’s 4.7 inches.
Along with the shorter barrel, SIG went with an alloy frame to lower the weight to 29 ounces. Still, this is a hefty all-metal gun.
Those beautiful wooden grips are gone, replaced here with a set of practical and slim Hogue G10 scales. SIG added a set of SIGLITE night sights to finish it off and further modernize it.
SIG’s new small gray boxes fine for small guns, but they’re annoying here as there’s hardly any room to fit the gun and its spare magazine. Inside you’ll also find the typical manuals, gun lock, etc. Nothing too crazy by any means. The magazines are the same as the current generation of P210 Classic pistols.
There is something to be said for single-stack magazines. The overall width of the SIG P210 Carry is similar to that of a GLOCK 19, but the grip feels more svelte and is shaped to better accommodate the hand. It’s not efficient per se, but it’s very comfortable.
A full-length grip fits my large hands perfectly without my pinky pinning in the magazine or dangling off the gun.
The big beavertail and well-crafted grip allow your hand to choke up on the gun nice and high. The safety is large and sweeps downward with ease, as well as offering a nice place to rest the thumb when shooting.
The slide lock lever certainly departs from SIG’s tradition of tiny slide locks placed just far enough to be eternally pinned down by your thumbs (or at least mine). The P210 Carry uses a great big slide release lever that is super easy to use.
At the Range
Let’s stop talking about it and start being about it. I grabbed a smattering of 9mm ammo including brass cased, steel cased, aluminum cased, and some JHPs mixed in among mostly FMJs. The P210 Carry loads easily enough, and I was excited to get to the range with it. After dry-firing the little fella, I was super excited about that single-action trigger.
I set up a B8 target, stepped back to 15 yards and slowly fired a magazine’s worth, striving to get a perfect sight picture and control. That resulted in an impressively tight group. It all fit within the ten ring, making it tighter than the 3.36-inch ring. This was my first magazine and it inspired me to reload and back up.
I stepped back to 25 and 40 yards using a 10-inch steel gong. That gong gets awfully small at 40 yards and the front sight seems awfully large (this isn’t a target sight). Even at 40 yards, though, I heard the ding a lot more than I heard the sound of silence. Of course, this was slow fire and I was letting the gong slow its swing between shots.
I tried my hand at a modified Dicken drill. I set up an ISPC steel silhouette and cut my time down to twelve seconds. I only had eight rounds instead of ten and didn’t have a holster, so I eliminated the draw and shortened the time.
After a few tries, I went eight for eight on the target, albeit I don’t have a marked A-zone to measure much accuracy besides minute of bad guy. This is a supremely accurate handgun helped greatly by its excellent ergonomics and a superbly crisp single-action trigger.
Recoil and Control
The Dicken drill also allowed me to test the gun’s ergos. Slow shooting isn’t a measure of control, but going against a timer certainly is. I found the SIG P210 Carry to be very easy to control. A 29-ounce 9mm with an ultra-low bore axis will be like that. The gun rose, and the sights settled consistently and quickly. Recoil was very minimal, and controlling the gun was very easy.
I pulled a classic El Presidente drill and scored an easy six seconds with all shots in the A-Zone. The key to keeping that time with a gun I had little experience with was my consistent control over it. I even had my wife and 11-year-old son try it out, and both found it pleasant and easy to shoot. It’s a gun I could hand to a beginner when they graduate from 22s.
The Big Why
Why not might be a better question. Admittedly micro compacts now offer the optimal mix of size and capacity that seem to blow old school guns like the P210 Carry out of the water. Still, the P210 Carry is much like a 1911 and plenty of people carry them every single day. The same goes for snub nose revolvers.
The P210 Carry isn’t necessarily “optimal” or high-tech, but it’s an excellent handgun that’s a very viable option for concealed carry.
The SIG P210 Carry certainly isn’t for everyone, but it is a very well-made, premium pistol that handles fairly well. There are a lot of people out there who want and value what the P210 does so well. The absurd degree of accuracy and control this gun offers is very nice. I can shoot this gun further, faster, and more accurately than my P365 and there is some real benefit to that.
Also, as always, it’s the Bill of Rights, not the Bill of Needs.
Specifications: SIG SAUER P210 Carry
Sights: SIGLITE night sights
Magazines: 2 8-round steel magazines
Overall length: 7.75 inches
Overall height: 5.63 inches
Overall width: 1.44 inches
Barrel length: 4.1 inches
Sight Radius: 5.6 inches
Weight (w/magazine): 29 oz.
Ratings (out of five stars):
Accuracy * * * * *
The SIG P210 is remarkably accurate and easy to reach out and touch a target with. The sights are great, albeit a little on the large side, and I feel like SIG could have made it red dot compatible and taken full advantage of that truly awesome trigger.
Control * * * * *
Much like the CZ 75, the P210 Carry emphasizes easy control and low recoil. It’s a gun you can keep on target with ease. There’s not a hint of snappiness to be found.
Ergonomics * * * * *
Everything is placed perfectly for easy access here. The svelte grip panels and smartly placed controls are worth imitating on other carry guns. To me, it excels beyond the standard set by the 1911.
Reliability * * * * *
I fired a variety of aluminum with mostly Remington brass cased FMJs and JHPs, some old Federal Aluminum and Winchester forged, and the gun just doesn’t care. It eats, ejects, and keeps on ticking.
Bang For Your Buck * * *
On the one hand, it’s a very well-made firearm that excels. But it also carries a price tag well over a grand which will makes it more of a specialty gun.
Overall * * * * ½
The SIG P210 Carry scores well in accuracy, ergonomics, reliability, and control. It certainly lives up to the high expectations set by the original P210. No, it’s not for everyone, but to me it’s the concealed carry equivalent of a BBQ gun. And a great one at that.