Though I have fired thousands of rounds through SIG Sauer‘s various P-series guns, I have never owned one. The manual of arms, the view from behind, the balance, the general feel, and the trigger have never really “done it” for me. But if I could afford it, I’d buy a P220 Legion today.
SIG’s P220 Legion Full-Size is available in three flavors: the .45 ACP seen here, a 10mm with a longer slide and barrel, and a single action only (SAO) .45 ACP.
MSRP on the standard .45 and on the SAO .45 is $1,413. Which ain’t cheap. The going rate online is just $1,199, though. Then again that also isn’t cheap. But it sure feels like a bargain compared to the $1,904 MSRP they’re asking for the 10mm, so at least it has that going for it.
For the premium above the standard P220’s asking price the Legion buyer gets G10 grips, upgraded X-RAY 3 night sights, a slimmer “Elite” beaver tail, undercut trigger guard, more aggressive front strap checkering, a gray slide with front cocking serrations, low-profile controls, Legion engraving, some goodies like a soft case and challenge coin after warranty registration is completed, an extra magazine (three, eight round magazines are included), and an absolutely fantastic trigger. Possibly some extra attention in the fit and finish department, too.
But first, that trigger. Double action is a smooth 10 lbs. Thanks to relatively slim grips it’s a comfortable reach to that trigger, which feels better on the finger than your typical SIG trigger because it isn’t your typical SIG trigger. The P220 Legion receives an over-travel-adjustable unit from Grayguns.
Single action on this gun broke at around 4.5 lbs, but felt lighter due to a slightly rolling break versus that solid wall and glass rod-like, crisp snap. I’d prefer a crisper break but, for a DA/SA gun, the single action on the P220 Legion is truly excellent.
But none of the above praise touches on the best part of this trigger: the reset. With SIG’s SRT or Short-Reset Trigger system installed in combination with the over-travel adjustment of the Grayguns P-SAIT trigger bow, the reset is so darn short it’s difficult to even feel the trigger move forwards first. It’s so short that it seems you’ve done no more than reduce pressure on the bow when it resets. “Did it move forwards at all?” It’s that short.
Yes, it does move forward a millimeter or three before that reset click. Again I can nitpick here, as I’d much prefer a stronger “click” that’s more audible and much more tactile. But dang is that short reset fast!
Dan and I couldn’t help ourselves from dumping full magazines on target as fast as we possibly could. The trigger just screams for those sorts of shenanigans due to how little one has to move one’s finger. And the SIG P220 is controllable enough and absorbs recoil enough that keeping all of those rapid-fire hits well within a silhouette and mostly within paper plate size at 7 yards is a complete non-issue.
Firing slowly, offhand, I was able to produce good groups when I didn’t flinch. I haven’t been shooting pistols enough lately and all of a sudden I’ve developed a bit of recoil anticipation, which is exacerbated by a trigger with a rolling break instead of that crisp wall and snap I longingly mentioned earlier. Still, at 7 yards I managed to put three shots through the same hole and only screwed up two of them. I’m fairly certain this pistol was capable of putting those other two a lot closer.
At 15 yards it opened up as you might expect. Did I mention my right eye is in desperate need of vision correction? [ED: did your dog also eat your homework, Jeremy?] As for the tears below each hole in the target . . . I can’t really explain that.
I do know the G10 grip panels felt great. They’re grippier and more solid and have a higher quality, maybe “warmer” feel than most polymer. The texture on the Legion’s grips is just right. Grippy and secure without becoming uncomfortable, done in a classic checkering style.
Controls are P-series standard in function and placement, just lower profile than the SIG norm. Seen at the top of the grip panel are the de-cocker in front — press it downwards through a long sweep until it breaks like a trigger and the hammer drops — and the slide stop behind it. Considering one has to push the de-cocker straight down, I’d like it more if it were shaped more like the slide stop and offered a closer-to-horizontal, checkered surface to push down on.
A forged aluminum frame with long slide rails provides a solid feel and a tighter slide-to-frame fit than with most polymer pistols. The design of the recoil spring, solid steel guide rod, and barrel lug system is what I’d call “traditional.” The SIG P220 does have a firing pin block that prevents the possibility of firing without the trigger being depressed.
Overall the P220 Legion was extremely enjoyable to shoot. Fun, too, thanks to that ridiculously short trigger pull and crisp combat sights with generous light on either side of the front post.
My well-used loaner ran through a bunch of 230 gr Armscor FMJ plus a box of Remington hollow points without a hitch. The railed aluminum frame and right-sized grips with quality texture made for a controllable .45 ACP. I’m now really excited to shoot the 10mm P220! Though with its 8+1 rounds in one hand and my GLOCK 20SF’s 15+1 rounds in the other, the choice of which to carry isn’t an easy or straight-forward one.
While certainly not cheap, the SIG Sauer P220 Legion Full-Size is accurate, fast, reliable, and feature-rich. It’s a fantastic pistol.
Specifications: SIG Sauer P220 Legion Full-Size
Caliber: .45 ACP (as tested) and 10mm
Capacity: 8+1 rounds (3 magazines included)
Slide: Stainless steel, coated Legion Gray
Frame: “Alloy,” coated Legion Gray
Grips: Black G10
Weight: 30.4 ounces
Length: 7.7 inches
Height: 5.5 inches
Barrel Length: 4.4 inches
Sight Radius: 5.7 inches
MSRP: $1,413 ($1,904 in 10mm)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Reliability * * * * *
The SIG Sauer P220 has been in production since 1975, and it has earned its reputation for solid reliability. My loaner gave me no reason to question that.
Accuracy * * * *
With target sights instead of combat sights and a crisper Grayguns P-SAIT trigger break I would have shot tighter groups, as the P220’s mechanical accuracy exceeded my abilities on this day.
Ergonomics * * * *
Grip size and shape work very well for my hands. Shooters with smaller hands may have some difficulty reaching all of the controls and the trigger after being de-cocked may be a farther reach than ideal. I’d re-design the de-cocker lever. Yes, I know the rolled-top sheet metal de-cocker has served SIG well for decades, but they can do better.
Customize This * * * *
One benefit of a time-tested design is aftermarket support. There’s no shortage of replacement parts and accessories for the P220, including barrels, sights, grips, trigger work, magazines, controls, and more. Though, with the Legion, you’ve already paid for nice sights, a great trigger and upgraded grips so I doubt too many folks will go swapping them out.
On The Range * * * * *
This thing’s fun, but it’s deadly serious at the same time. It’s fast, accurate, and reliable. A heck of a .45. Or 10mm.
Overall * * * * 1/2
There’s a reason SIG is still making — and still selling! — this 44-year-old design. It’s a rock-solid gun and the Legion series upgrades take it to another level with an amazing trigger and great grips.