I’ve shot some very nice pistols doing this type of work. I have a pretty good idea of what to expect when it comes down to it, and there isn’t a lot separating most gun in terms of general performance. But by far, one of the smoothest, most accurate, and easiest-shooting 9mm pistols I’ve ever had the pleasure of shooting is the one we’re looking at today: the SIG SAUER P210 Target.
The thing is, the semi-auto P210 is a complete departure from the forward-thinking attitude of most modern SIG firearms. Instead of looking strictly to the future, the P210 takes the past and brings it into today with minimal added spice.
The original P210 has a long history (it began its life as a sidearm for the Swiss military) and is still in active service to this day with several European militaries. It’s a common semi-automatic handgun in Europe, where it has been made in several iterations, including target versions for various types of precision competitions. The P210, with its sleek lines, can almost be thought of as something like our 1911; a design honored by time and service that has always had a high degree of accuracy and many end uses.
The modern P210 Target from SIG SAUER isn’t quite the same as the Euro versions, but it’s damn close in terms of appearance and function. It is less similar to the military versions as it is to the target variants, mostly due to the adjustable sights and wide, funneled checkered walnut grip. Many military versions had simple plastic scale grips, just like most metal-framed military pistols.
I would put this gun somewhere in the middle ground as far as dedicated target pistols and service guns go. I suppose if you wanted to make it more ‘classic’, you could swap out the oversize grip for a military-style version. I’m not sure if surplus grips would fit, but it could probably be done. It should be noted that SIG also makes a version of this gun called the P210 Standard. It has a slightly more “military” appearance, but lacks adjustable sights.
The first thing that we will cover here is just who would want a P210 Target and what general purpose it serves. For starters, for target shooting, it is hella accurate. I have been greatly impressed by SIG’s M17 and P365 variants in the recent weeks and I began to think of them as the standard for 9mm accuracy in their respective size categories. The P210, though, is startlingly accurate, easily printing five-shot groups at 50 yards that measured a mere 2.5 inches off the bench. The mechanical precision here is amazing and it only gets better.
The semi-automatic P210 is a wonderfully shootable gun. Its design, with its five-inch barrel and long 6.7 inch sight radius, makes it very easy to get on target and keep it there.
Recoil is minimal and the cycle of the action is smooth. With its significant weight (36.9 oz) recoil impulse is about like shooting a .22LR. It just goes bang and lightly bounces back onto target. You’d think you had a muzzle brake mounted on the pistol based on how flat it shoots. This makes the P210 great for speed shooting where accuracy (not just hits) is a top priority.
The single action only target grade trigger is light, with a pull weight of a mere 3.5 pounds and breaks as crisply as proverbial glass with very short reset.
I realize that this is a modern rendition of a classic, so don’t jump on me. SIG could have made a variant that feeds from larger capacity magazines since we know that they can certainly pack an impressive number of rounds into the slender P365, but it would essentially be a different pistol at that point.
I tested the P210 semi-auto pistol with hundreds of rounds of various 9mm ammo for accuracy and velocity. I measured the velocity over an Oehler 35P chronograph at a distance of five feet from the muzzle. Accuracy is the average of five, five-shot groups at 25 yards from the benchrest.
Lehigh Defense 105gr CF+P————————-1361fps, 2.25″ (20 rounds)
Hornady 124gr Critical Duty +P———————1160fps, 2.25″ (100 rounds)
Black Hills 115gr TAC XP +P ————————-1203fps, 2.25″ (50 rounds)
Black Hills 125gr HB Subsonic————————958fps, 2.75″ (150 rounds)
Black Hills 100gr HB +P——————————1333fps, 1.75″ (150 rounds)
SIG SAUER 115gr FMJ——————————–1149fps, 3.25″ (300 rounds)
I fired 770 rounds through the P210 Target and had no malfunctions. I didn’t clean it or make any attempt to disassemble it prior to firing it at the range. All the ammo here was fired with little time between, so the gun got not only dirty, but hot.
It showed very little, if any, heat-related accuracy loss or any hint of sluggishness.
The most fun ammo to shoot was the 125gr HoneyBadger Subsonic. This ammo made the P210 so pleasing to fire that it hurt when it ran out. It was like they were meant to be together.
SIG SAUER’s P210 Target is simply a wonderful piece and it is definitely worth a look for the serious 9mm fan. The P210 shows just how good a job SIG does with their modern technology these days and how a company can honor history while satisfying modern demands.
Specifications: SIG SAUER 210 Target
Caliber: 9mm Luger
Capacity: 2, 8-rd mags included
Barrel Length: 5″ target grade
Overall Length: 8.4″
Weight: 36.9 oz
Operation: Semi-automatic, single action only
MSRP $1699 (street price around $1450)
Ratings (Out of Five Stars):
Accuracy * * * * *
This guns just shoots. Period. The adjustable rear sight, easily visible fiber optic front sight and long sight radius make target accuracy incredibly easy.
Reliability * * * * *
There were no reliability issues whatsoever.
Ergonomics * * * * *
The SIG P210 Target fits the hand very, very well (though the grip is on the thick side for small-handed shooters, especially when reaching the magazine release). The nitron-coated slide is slick and the excellent sights are adjustable.
Customize this * *
There isn’t much out there, but it’s not like you need it. This baby has it all.
Aesthetics * * * * *
This is a truly beautiful gun. The pistol’s appearance, with its clean, classic lines, combined with easy handling make it a shooter’s dream.
Overall * * * * *
While maybe not the most customizable pistol ever made, the SIG P210 is certainly a top-shelf gun. I loved my time with it and it is truly a joy to shoot.