Sig Sauer P226 Review
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Gun Review: SIG SAUER P226

SIG SAUER P226 Review

Every firearms manufacturer has their signature handgun. For Ruger it’s the Mk. III. For H&K it’s the USP. For Glock it’s the 19. And for Sig Sauer, it’s their P226. Whenever I think of these companies an image of these firearms pops into my mind. But for me, the P226 is the greatest of them all.

The Sig P226 was the first handgun I ever bought. I had just turned 21, was already issued a concealed handgun license by the great state of Pennsylvania, and had some money to burn. Not too much money, though — starving college students have that problem. So I picked up a police trade-in P226, and at first glance it looked rough. The bluing was completely worn away on some parts, others had dents or dings in them. But despite the wear, the thing still ran like a champ. And there’s a reason for that.

Gun Review: SIG SAUER P226

In the 1980s, the U.S. military was looking for a replacement for the M1911A1 handguns that had been in service since World War One. The platform was still useful and deadly, but NATO was standardizing around the 9mm cartridge and the powers that be decided that 8 rounds wasn’t enough for their soldiers. They wanted a new gun.

Sig Sauer saw the opportunity to get in on some of the sweet government contract money that the U.S. was being thrown around and redesigned their existing service handgun that they had designed for the German military (the P220) as a double stacked 9mm and submitted it to the trials. Thus, the 226 was born.

When the dust cleared, only the P226 and Beretta’s 92FS remained standing over the corpses of FN, H&K, Colt and S&W’s entries. The 92FS was eventually chosen, it’s said, due to a lower cost of ownership, but the Navy SEALs and police departments nationwide dismissed the results and purchased P226es anyway.

Gun Review: SIG SAUER P226

The biggest difference between the P226 and the 92FS is plain to see — there’s no safety on the P226. There are only three controls: the slide stop, the magazine release and the decocker. The gun is meant to be carried with a round in the chamber and the hammer decocked. That converts the relatively light single action trigger to heavier double action that’s much less likely to be accidentally pulled.

The lack of a safety means that the P226 can be quickly drawn and employed if deadly force is required. The shooter doesn’t have to worry about flipping a mechanical safety on or off. As soon as it’s out of the holster it’s good to go.

Another nice safety feature on the gun is the fact that the hammer, when decocked, is nowhere near the firing pin.

Gun Review: SIG SAUER P226

On a gun like the 1911, the natural state for the hammer to be is flush against the firing pin. If the hammer is back, it’s under pressure from the spring to snap forward. With the P226, the natural state for the hammer is decocked and sitting just behind the firing pin (a few millimeters away, in fact) – not touching it. The spring isn’t under tension, and the hammer has no way of impacting the firing pin. When the hammer moves to strike the firing pin when the trigger is pulled, the hammer actually slingshots forward across the gap between the resting position and the firing pin, strikes the pin and snaps backwards again.

A secondary safety feature is actually built into the slide itself. The firing pin is held back and away from the primer of the cartridge by a spring, and locked in place using a locking bar built into the slide. When the trigger is pulled, a small lever rises up out of the frame to disengage the locking bar and allow the firing pin to move forwards. Without this safety disengaged, the firing pin wouldn’t move even if struck by the hammer.

This gap between the hammer and firing pin combined with the firing pin block safety means that not only is the gun drop safe from reasonable distances, but it actually requires enough force to bend some serious metal before the gun could possibly go off. More force than you’d expect when being dropped onto concrete from standing height, at least.

SIG tops off the battery of safety features by fashioning a hood on the back of the gun that protects the firing pin from anything coming in the sides.

Besides safety, the other area where this gun shines is how it fits my hand. I have gigantic manly hands, and not many handguns can properly fit these paws. This gun fills them perfectly, almost as if the handgun was designed to fill them.

The real test of a handgun, though, isn’t how pretty it looks or how well it fits your hand — it’s how well it fills the role you need it to. And for me, that role is competition shooting.

For the last three years I’ve been using my P226 in every 3-gun and USPSA competition, and in general it runs amazingly well. It does, however, have one or two rough spots.

Rough spot number one is the trigger. Sig has since fixed this issue, but the standard P226 trigger has a ton of overtravel and a very long reset. In other words, it’s slower to fire than other modern handguns. There’s now a trigger called the “Short Reset Trigger” or SRT that SIG has started installing on their guns (and will happily upgrade your existing P226 for a price), and it fixes every complaint I have about my trigger.

The other issue I have is with the slide stop. On a 1911 the slide stop is positioned far out of the way of the shooter, but with the P226 it’s right under your right thumb. This design feature, while making it easy to release the slide, has led to some interesting moments on the range when I’ve gone to TAP/RACK the gun only to find the chamber and magazine empty. My meaty thumb seems to be drawn to the slide stop and thoroughly enjoys resting on it, defeating its entire purpose for being.

The final flaw with the P226 is the reason I like it: its size. I carried this gun (concealed, IWB) for well over a year, and it was massively uncomfortable. It was like having a boat anchor in my pants, dragging them down. I actually had to buy my pants a size or two larger just to fit the thing inside. It’s one of the reasons I eventually switched to OWB carry, and I haven’t looked back.

Gun Review: SIG SAUER P226

This is not my original P226. That gun has been passed (well, sold) to a TTAG reader in Virginia. This P226 has much more sentimental value than the other one ever could have. It was made the year I was made, it was built in a country that no longer exists, it was imported down the street from where I took my first job in the real world and sold to me by a firefighter at my station back in Virginia. The gun is 24+ years old, but when I got it, it had only been fired a handful of times. It’s the perfect version of the perfect handgun.

Despite the small flaws, the P226 is a masterpiece of firearms engineering. It’s a beautiful firearm that fits my large hands well and performs perfectly in competition. If you’re looking for a DA/SA handgun with double stacked magazines this is your man.

Specifications: SIG SAUER P226

Caliber: 9mm
Barrel: 4.4″
Overall: 7.7″
Weight: 34.0 oz. empty
Capacity: 15+1
MSRP: $1087

Ratings (Out of Five Stars)
All ratings are relative to other similar guns, and the final score IS NOT calculated from the constituent scores.

Accuracy: * * * * *
I regularly get one ragged hole in my target at the range.

Ergonomics (Handling): * * * *
For me, it’s perfect. If you have small hands it may be a little less perfect. The only reason I knocked a star off was the damned slide stop.

Ergonomics (Firing): * * * * *
Besides the trigger issue I mentioned there’s nothing wrong with this gun. Nothing at all.

Reliability: * * * * *
SIG has a habit of making extremely reliable handguns. My first P226 was made in the 1980s but ran thousands of rounds a year without a single issue.

Customization: * * *
You can swap the trigger, the sights and the grip, but that’s about it.

Overall Rating: * * * * *
My ideal handgun. Except when it comes to concealed carry.

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  1. There is some controversy related to the Army service pistol trials to replace the 1911. It has been suggested that the Italians won due to an under the table agreement about being able to stage missles in their country. Personally, I don’t know. It was before my time. What I do know is that I would have preferred carrying a P226 over the M9. Not that the M9 was a bad pistol, the 226 is just better. Nice write up on a classic pistol that deserves a spot in everyone’s safe.

    • There was a DOA investigation and report on the whole thing. (Don’t know if I still have the link.) The final decision came to price: maintenance and parts cost was higher on the Sig compared to the Beretta, so Beretta got the nod because of the cost for the next 30+ years.

      Occam’s Razor is more convincing than conspiracy rumors about Italy threatening to close all their US bases if they didn’t win.

      • Applying Occam’s to military procurement would not be too smart.

        And this did occur exactly at the time of major problems with bases in Italy and lack of general NATO buying from Italian arms makers.

        It is a certainty that the bases were a part of the decision

      • It really bothers me that you, and most everyone else outside the sciences, don’t understand Occam’s Razor – and yet you try to use the term anyway. Using the Razor here is not convincing; it is not even appropriate. Occam’s Razor is meant for children and students. Nothing more.

        The general public has a completely incorrect view of Occam’s Razor. This is mostly due to the concept being continuously misused and misidentified in the media … movies, television shows, news shows, etc.

        Occam’s Razor, the so-called Law of Parsimony, is generally misunderstood and misapplied by the vast majority of persons who do not work or specialize in the sciences – physical or otherwise. Most people take the Razor to mean that “the simplest explanation that fits all the facts is the most likely one to be correct.” That is a far cry from its actual meaning. The Razor states that one should proceed to simpler theories until simplicity can be traded for greater explanatory power. The simplest available theory need not be most accurate. In short, in the process of researching and solving a problem, you should start with the simplest explanations because they are generally the easiest to deal with, measure, and disprove. It is in fact nothing more than a bit of a heuristic conceit; it is a learning gimmick. It is not considered to be a principle of logic nor an integrated part of the scientific method. If anything, it is inductive and generally circular in nature. It is nothing close to a natural law. It is in fact not a law of any kind. Other than giving students and novices a starting point, the value of the true Razor concept is rather limited.

        Even if we examine the general public’s perceived definition of the Razor in terms of workability – “the simplest explanation that fits all the facts is the most likely one to be correct,” this too is of no help because the concept is rarely true in the sciences (particularly physics) at all. It may occasionally be true in anything, but it is seldom of use in anything more complicated than the study of traffic patterns. The truth of this concept is usually covered very thoroughly by the “201” level of most any type of university science curriculum. So, whether we are talking about the perceived definition of the Razor or the actual definition, if either truly is used as a definitive indicator of an extant condition – the result is most likely wrong, or at best – suspect.

        Even when we move outside the arena of scientific endeavor, common sense and everyday experience should tell the average person that the simplest explanation is no more likely to be correct than is the most complicated explanation. My experience tells me that in this complicated world, the simplest explanation is usually dead wrong. But I’ve noticed that the simplest explanation usually sounds right and is far more convincing than any complicated explanation could ever hope to be.

        While it is always true that complex things are made up of a series of simple things, this does not mean that everything is effectively simple.

        Regardless, the Razor does not (ever) suggest that the simplest explanation is usually correct. It suggests that the simplest explanation is the best starting point for children, students, and novices – and anyone else who is either poorly trained or who lacks an understanding of the scientific method.

        That was point #1. #2 involves the author’s suggestion that he was a “starving college student.” If he had “money to burn” and could afford a P226, he was nothing close to a starving college student. I hate to hear whiners using that term so often when it does not apply to them. Doing so is a real disservice to those of us who actually struggled through college with either a poor or sometimes nonexistent diet.

        Observation #3 is that while the review is decent overall, it fails to mention what came out when a FOIA request to the GAO regarding its evaluation of the 1986 Pentagon contract award to Beretta for the M1911A1 replacement. The GAO review indicated that the deciding factor for the award was largely pricing, and it also indicated that the military testing process gave a small qualitative edge to the H&K entry – over both the Beretta and the the Sig.

        • Frustra fit per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora (“It is futile to do with more things that which can be done with fewer”) – William of Ockham

          The “razor” refers to shaving away the unnecessary things.

          It is futile to explain something using 9 paragraphs when it can be explained in two sentences.

        • Occam’s Razor
          “The principle (attributed to William of Occam) that in explaining a thing no more assumptions should be made than are necessary.” Oxford Dictionaries

  2. Size does, indeed, matter. My paws are on the bigger end of average, and most double-stack SIGs feel like 2x4s in my hands. The P250 is an exception, but it has almost nothing mechanical in common with its older siblings. Except its extreme accuracy and monotonous reliability.

  3. Interesting to read your comments about the slide release this morning. I’ve shot my P226 E2 in USPSA for a couple years. Rarely go to slide lock. Yesterday I shot an IDPA match where slide lock is much more common. About a third of the time it didn’t lock back. I’m heading to the range today to try to determine if it’s me riding the lever or weak/old magazine springs.

    • Same problem for me (no lockback on last round fired, but locks back when i cycle the slide manually w/ empty mag)_actually had a gunsmith replace with a slightly lighter spring- helped some. Just checked my sig- no way my finger(s) can get on the slide release while shooting- way to high and back to hit w/o trying. I have big hands too.

      Love the gun

      nutnfancy has some good vids about it

      • Same problem. Sig said it was my grip. I shot it left handed and video taped it. Same thing, very often no lock back on empty mag. Finally talked to a sig armorer who told me this is common. He replaced the slide lock lever and it never happened again.

      • Had the same problem about the slide not locking back after the last round. Replaced the mag with a used Sig mag made in Italy, no more problems, 500 rounds later.

    • I’ve had the issue myself, riding the release with my thumb, but it rarely affects competitive shooting. I mostly shoot IPSC, and if you’re standing there with an empty chamber, it usually means you screwed up the count when planning or shooting. It’s always better to change mags before you run completely out in that sport 😀

  4. I have one (in 40S&W) and love it.

    Having said that – you left out one small complaint that I have with the weapon: its high bore axis. Compared to other modern pistols – especially those that you mentioned in the first sentences as “signature” handguns – the higher axis of the p226 increases muzzle flip and perceived recoil. I have a much harder time bringing my P226 back on target for follow-on shots than I do with a USP 45 or a Glock 19. However, this could also be the .40 round.

    One thing about this weapon: the fit and finish are perfect. When you hold one or disassemble and check for machining marks, you can tell that this is first rate craftsmanship.

    • True dat. Our slo-mo video of 9mm muzzle flip really shows the difference between a 226, a Glock, and a Steyr M9; it’s dramatic.

  5. Nice write-up. It’s easy to neglect the guns that everyone already knows are great.

    I’m surprised you didn’t like the stock trigger. I love my p239’s trigger, and was under the impression that the general consensus was that SIG makes the best (non-1911) stock triggers out there.

  6. I have an Astra A-100 which mimics the Sig 226. Same controls and even same trigger issue but I am used to the trigger and don’t mind it. It’s not as good a gun as the Sig but it’s served me well and shoots good.

  7. Excellent review. You echo here some of my own impressions of double-stack SIGs. I love their fit and finish, reliability, even their utilitarian appearance. However, my hands just aren’t big enough to comfortably operate the controls. The single-stack .45s are looking pretty good to me, though.

  8. Great article! Love every bit….except…..I think the Glock flag ship is the Glock 17. I’ve owned 2 P226’s, 2 Glock 17’s and 1 Glock 19, never had a failure, never had a jam.

  9. I have pretty much average sized hands and with the aluminum grips, my P226 fits in them perfectly. And yep, this thing just runs and runs and runs.

  10. Music to my ears! I’ve had a P226 for several years, and despite its lack of glamour and a number of noticeable nicks resulting from its being my trail gun, I can’t bear the thought of ever selling it. Even talked myself out of swapping the basic Heine sights for some TruGlos. It’s dead-on accurate consistently, and shames some other top names when it comes to reliability. My love for the P226 has led to a number of other Sig purchases. Love the SRT on the P220 Carry, which has less recoil than a Browning Hi Power. But as to the 226, like you said, it’s a masterpiece.

  11. You should replace the slide catch lever with the X-Five lever. This moves the lever forward and away from your thumb without getting in the way of the decocking lever. It’s a real easy fix!

  12. For years I carried a 1911 at work. When I finally switched to the Sig P220 two years ago, I fell hard. Now I have the P220 + the P220 Carry and will buy a P229 this year. Don’t know why I waited so long to try the Sig, but overall there is no finer handgun made.

  13. If your slide is not locking back on the last round replace you magazine. I had 2 that would do this replacing magazine solved the issue.

  14. Your thinking in the ‘Overall Rating’ category is flawed. The Sig P226 is what it is, …a pistol that is larger and heavier than most of us want to use for extended concealed carry purposes. Sig makes other models that are more appropriate for concealed carry, like the P239, or their polymer framed pistols. You might try a P239 with a Crimson Trace laser grip. The 239 doesn’t hold as many rounds, but how many do you need when you can put the first round where you want it to go via the laser dot?

  15. I assume your current P226 is the much lusted triple serial number yada yada West German Sig P226?

      • Mine is. On the frame, slide and barrel. It has two proof marks and “JK”, meaining 1989. I purchased it at a gun store in Las Vegas in August of that year. And still have it. I did eventually send it to Sig for a re-bluing job (got left out in during a misty morning), and they installed new springs. But at least they were thoughtful enough to return the originals.
        Being a lefty was hardly any challenge at all as I found that I can easily reach the magazine release and de-cocker with my left index finger. Slide release requires shifting the gun in my hand, so I usually don’t do it. I find I can drop the mag, insert a fresh on with my right hand, and while its near the grip anyway, use it to release the slide with just a small rearward movement and go to a two-handed grip very fast and smoothly.
        I have a Sig 239 as well. Sometimes I shoot the smaller one better, other times the larger. But I really like the feel of the full size 226. Its a great gun and easy to get on target.

    • This is what I have as well…I paid ~$640 from Bud’s, although now they’re going for ~$660 NIB.

      You probably won’t find a better deal.

  16. I have a new p250 compact and glad I bought it love everything about it including the DOA trigger that non of my friends or family like definitely going to be buying more of the sig family with the bottom line of there handguns running flawless and accurately cant wait to see what the others can do

  17. I have a new p250 compact and glad I bought it love everything about it including the DAO trigger that non of my friends or family like definitely going to be buying more of the sig family with the bottom line of there handguns running flawless and accurately cant wait to see what the others can do

  18. I bought my P226 in 1989 shortly after an on duty shooting. At the time of the on duty shooting I was armed with a Smith& Wesson Model 66, I was shot by a murder suspect that was barricaded inside a residence and shot through a door with a Mac 11 machine pistol my injuries were minor. Shortly after that incident I, bought my P226. I will tell anyone looking for a quality weapon buy a Sig P226

  19. Nice review! I have never had the opertunity to shoot or even handle a SIG, but am now going to investigate this more. I’m sorta in the market for a 9mm to conceal carry. I have a 1st generation Glock 17, but that might be going to the Mrs. for her to carry.

    • Poaching your post but with news you can use-everyone I know owns a 226 or sold theirs and regrets it. Get yourself a 226. It is a big boy, so not the best for CCW, but like a 10/22 you gotta have one.

  20. It was my first purchase also circa 1986.
    It came in a gorgeous Yellow Box and had a Test Target in German from the Factory proof firing. It was the most accurate out of the box pistol I ever had.
    Foolishly sold it when I decided 9mm wasn’t hot enough and bought a P239 in 357 Sig.
    Wish I still had it

  21. It’s interesting to me that so many years later, the Army is fielding a compact version, the P228, as the M11 pistol. FM 3-23.35 (the Army’s pistol marksmanship field manual) from back in 2003 has this alongside the Beretta-made M9, and even our Nasty Guard unit is seeing the M11 (although we just traded in our muskets for M-16A2s). This was one of the reasons I ended up picking the P229 for my carry weapon; the controls are exactly the same as our service weapon. It’s a very nice pistol.

  22. I admire SIG’s . They seem well built and reliable. I just don’t like them. I hate the DA/SA system. The triggers never felt right to me. Too long, too heavy. And they cost drastically too much money new. A CZ-75 is a drastically better shooter, for half as much.

    • ahh no.

      i like CZs and adore the 85 combat, but the CZ trigger is horrid out of the box, while the p226 is nice and crisp in both actions……..i can constantly put rounds through one hole in the bullseye easily with the 226 and double taps are childs play…..the CZ (at least for me) takes much longer to be as shootable for me and is in fact heavier than the p226…………also i dont have much of a problem concealing it comfortably either (ive tried any number of galco IWBs with the gun and there was no issue with comfort)

      • They are both fine pistols. I find the CZ-P01 and the SP-01 to be a tad more accurate at distance and very easy to keep on target. The CZs also cycle through each and every time.

        My P-226 is a nicely refurbed German police model that I have found is prone to an occasional stovepipe or other cycling issue after around each 50 rounds through the chamber. It seems the tolerances are too close to allow for powder residue. Still an excellent shooter. I just make allowances for the cycling limitations and may go to a smoother cased ammo like Fiochi XTP HP to see if that helps.

        The 226 (and the P-229) also look very handsome in Rosewood grips.

  23. Thanks for the review. One thing that got me when I bought my first Sig were the Night Sights. At the time I don’t think any other major manufacturers were offering tritium sights. I turned into a Sig guy, I guess the way other guys became Glock guys or stayed 1911 guys. Sigs just shoot well and the new triggers are a big improvement.

  24. I am 22 years old and I’m a sig owner. I own a 2011 Sig p229. I love it. I also have my heart set on finding a good condition 1990 p226. I intend on it being sent in to be re-blued (if necessary) and a SRT trigger installed. But back to the post. I absoultely love this and think that it’s pretty much on the dot with how I feel about it (aside from the magazine release button issue). I carry my Sig everyday and I trust it with my life. I have friends with Walthers, Smith & Wessons, and even Glocks who don’t trust their gun like I do. I don’t mind S&W or Glocks, and I admit to their reliability too, but I don’t think I could feel anymore safe than with my Sig. H&K and Kimbers are nice, but I will forever live with a Sig

  25. I got my first SIG, an SP2022 in 9mm a month and a half ago. It is hands-down the finest pistol I have ever shot. Tight groups, great ergonomics, and it only cost me $425 after tax. And it looks and feels VERY much like the 226, but with a polymer frame. Some see the frame as a disadvantage, but not me. It cuts down on the “boat anchor” feeling that Nick described. My next SIG will hopefully be a 226 Elite.
    Great review. Now get on the SP2022 review!!! I have one you can use, if you feel like coming to KY.

  26. On a gun like the 1911, the natural state for the hammer to be is flush against the firing pin. If the hammer is back, it’s under pressure from the spring to snap forward. With the P226, the natural state for the hammer is decocked and sitting just behind the firing pin (a few millimeters away, in fact) – not touching it.

    Which is why as much as I like a 1911, I am not wild about carrying one.

    • The natural state for a 1911 hammer is “cocked and locked”, NOT resting on the firing pin! The thumb safety prevents the hammer from falling, but should it fall (force, incorrect tolerances, poor gunsmithing, etc), it will land on the half-notch.

  27. Great article. I own 2 P226s and love them both. Because of the size I prefer to carry my P228.

  28. My first firearm was my Sig P226 purchased ~15 years ago. I had just gotten divorced (ex-wife who was vehemently anti-gun) and practically ran to the local range/gun shop where I had been shooting to purchase it. Still a great gun and I’m thrilled to have it – shoots very well, is incredibly easy to take down and clean, and it very, very reliable.

  29. Great review.

    The 226 was the first auto I ever shot as a kid; it was my father’s who used it, and loved it as his carry gun for his protection while working his job as an urban pastor in the late 80s. I still remember him taking me to the range, showing me how to be safe, and properly shoot it. When he passed away from a cardiac arrest, my mother sold it… pre-ban 15 round mags and all. I didn’t have any say in it being only in 5th grade at the time.

    Now that I’m “grown up”, I’ve borrowed and shot the 226 plenty of times, and it’s always lived up to the warm memories I had of it as a kid. I love my mother (bless her heart for raising me), but *damn*… I wish she hadn’t sold my Dad’s 226. =(

    • Wow, I wrote this over a year ago?

      What a difference a year makes… I’m happy to report that I was able to track down my Dad’s P226. Turns out it was a West German-made P226, purchased used from a police officer. Still runs like a dream, and even better, I’m glad it’s back in the family. =)

  30. Great review, thanks. I’ve been considering one of these or a Beretta 92. I’d like to have extended time with each, but I don’t think that will be possible, so I’m leaning toward the Sig based on some experience with a borrowed 220.

  31. Although the model shown in the pictures above does not have it, the current Sig P226 does come with an accessory rail similar to other pistols in this category (see That might be worth an extra star on customization. On the negative side, many Sig pistols do tend to weigh more than other competitors in its class. Despite the weight and a slight premium in cost, I really like the platform.

  32. I bought a Mosquito… liked it. So I bought a P226… loved it. I’ve owned guns from every major manufacture (Glock, H&K, S&W, Berretta, Colt, Ruger, etc, etc, etc….) I don’t own any of them now. Since my first P226 I bought a P239, P229, another P226, Sig1911, another P239, P238, SP2022, and a SIG516. I’ve only sold 2 of them, and only as a favor to family members in need… I didn’t want them to have to compromise and buy something inferior. For me, no other gun even come close to a Sig for egonomics, accuracy, and reliabilty. SIG FOREVER!!!!!!

  33. My first SIG was the P220, shortly thereafter, the P226. It fits perfect in the hand. You know what they say? SIGs are like potato chips. You can’t just have one. Not that this is a problem.

  34. Ergonomics are in the eye (hand) of the beholder (fondler?).

    I really like the SIG DA/SA layout, but in between the thick grip and long trigger pull I cannot realistically use this gun in DA mode. I have small hands. (My EDC is an S&W 9c with small backstrap… a whole lot less chunky than the SIG.)

    Giving something a glowing review for ergos because it fits your above-average sized anatomy (ahem) is just a wee bit less than objective. That’d be like me giving it a 0/5 because I can’t reach the trigger without shifting my grip.

    I should note here that SIG offers a “short trigger” (basically a skinny trigger) as a retrofit. Having never been able to try one I don’t know if it would do the trick for me, but it’s out there.

    • Don´t forget the E2 grip replacement, if you have small hands… Haven´t found a person yet that CAN`T operate the DA trigger on a fullsize P226 / P228 / P229 with the E2 installed… Sometimes even without the “short trigger” installed…

  35. I LOVE my Sig’s!! I bought my first(a P228) in 2002. Since then I have purchased several more, P220, P226, P225(for my girlfirend), P230, P6, P238 and an waiting on my new 556R to be delivered to me. Other than my Sig’s I have 1 Kimber and 1 Kel-Tec. I have had friends that were looking for a pistol, once they shot one of my Sig’s that is what they ended up purchasing.

    • You’re on crack.

      Not to the fact that it’s expensive (for a handgun, it is fairly expensive) but it is worth every penny.

      If you think it’s too expensive, have fun with your hi points. You pay for what you get. It’s not a high end product with tons of buyers because it looks cool, it’s because it performs better than the rest.

      • nice troll.

        just because he doesn’t want to pay for a bmw m3 doesn’t mean he’s forced to buy a kia rio. false dichotomies like that just make your argument look idiotic.

        sigs are overpriced for what you get. there are many reasonably priced alternatives to the sig that aren’t hi points.

        • First, you misused troll. But good try.

          2ndly I realize that the comment I left doesn’t mean if he doesnt get a sig hes getting a Kia rio of guns. You are right, there are other cheaper guns that are good. Great even. But it is to say that it’s too expensive is not like buying a car in the price difference. A Kia and a Benz is a $50,000+ difference when a handgun is usually in the 200-$300 difference at most. The effort and craftsmanship in a sig is what you get. I personally wouldn’t buy a Mercedes Benz because a Chevy works fine by me, but it does go to say that the Benz has had more engineering, innovating, and effort put into it to make sure it’s more reliable. To say that Chevy doesn’t put effort would be an obvious lie, but it’s with respect to say that Mercedes Benz puts in a ton of time on a single product. Which I have nothing but respect and admiration for, and if possible I would opt for the Benz if I could ever afford it haha

          • Your benz would spend most of the time in the shop getting expensive repairs, like everyone else’s benz.

            there’s a saying in the auto repair industry. german overengineering means using 2x as many parts as are actually needed.

            Effort and craftsmanship might be synonymous with bling and pimp status but don’t always equal reliability or performance.

            the extremely poor slide stop design alone should be enough to give someone pause about a p226 purchase.

            or the stratospherically tall bore axis.

            firearms design and engineering has moved on considerably in the almost 30 years since the p226 was released. there are much better choices today than there were in 1984.

        • You realize that the p226/p229 is the primary hand gun of most special forces teams around the world, right? the finnish, candians, french, german, indian, iranian, irish…. The list goes on to the british SAS, US Homeland security, Us Coast Guard, the US Navy SEALS, the US Secret service, and hundreds of police forces around the world use it. It is not one of the most popular hand guns on the planet because it has a fan base or anything like that. Sigs are priced the way they are because they are one of the best handguns you can buy; if they weren’t accurate, reliable, and (most importantly) COST EFFECTIVE (that’s what governments mainly care about, after all) they would not be used by so many.

          The price point of the sig is reasonable. Most other service hand guns will cost a similar amount. Now you say “the glock is used as a service gun by the Israeli military and many others!” and I tell you that the glocks they use are heavily modified and not even close to the same gun that you buy at the local gun store for $600-800. The sig you buy, however, is nearly identical to the service models, if you buy the p226 navy or the p226 combat versions.

          Also note that not much has changed in firearm design over the last 50 years. The Colt 1911 was designed in… what year was it again? Oh right, 1911. MORE THAN 100 YEARS AGO… The ones that are purchased today are nearly identical. Same goes for the M16, issued more that 50 years ago, not a whole lot has changed in the design when compared to the M16/A4 still issued today. EXCEPT OF COURSE that many new alloys, anodizing methods, and composite plastics have been designed and employed, but the overall way the guns function has stayed nearly the same across the board.

          You’re just so incorrect/misinformed/making s*** up that it’s almost a joke.

      • I’ve owned 3 hi-points in the past that you wouldn’t want to drawl on!! But recently bought one im ashamed of. Just put a 600 buck downpayment on a p226 tacops when available. Cant wait to accually own my own quallity gun. But wish i kept the old pos hi-points to prove sometimes its just the shooter

    • Hmmm. I got my 1998 P226 which was barely used and (4) 15 rd mags for $450. Box, papers, everything. Best $450 I have spent on a firearm of this quality.

  36. I have had my P226 marked Made in West Germany Since 1988. And she shoots as fine as the day I bought it from the Rod and Gun at McNair Barracks!

  37. Was my first handgun purchase at the age of 21, as well. Mine was also a former police handgun complete with holster wear and a few nicks and scratches.

    I still have mine, though.

  38. I love my P226 TACOPS. I found a small custom holster maker in Ohio who makes holsters for these firearms and you would never know you were carrying a fully steel loaded with 20rnds firearm. I think they should be mentioned. Hidden Hybrid Holsters. The fit and finish is perfect and the price is very reasonable. Under $100.00.
    They also allow for certain lasers, lights or laser/lights.
    Point being, I love Sigs!

    • I’m checking them out, thanks for sharing. I just ordered a TacOps myself so it’s time to start shopping for leather. I like that their IWBs can also be used OWB.

  39. My first was a 226 .357 sig ,then a 220,then a springfield loaded(up the road) then a bunch of others including a GI springfield some 22s only thing I can afford to shoot now. The 220 amd 226 feel better ergonomicaly then the 1911 and the glock, got a 21, But the glock will eat crap and spit bullets and points perfectly. Once you grow up you get a sig 1911, in my humble opinion. When I pick up a 220 or a 226 nothing fits my hand better and they are well made guns. That’s why they make ford and chevy and toyota and mercedes and……. you get the point.

  40. I appreciate the detail you put into describing the hammer/firing pin function. I love the short reset on my dad’s P226 Platinum Elite… not to mention, it’s a good looking gun.

  41. I just purchased my second Sig, a P226 9mm tactical along with a 22L conversion kit. It is fantastic! My carry piece is a P239. Shooting the P226 is smooth and just plain fun! It really fits my hand and because it is a full size, it absorbs most of the recoil. I highly recommend the Sig P226. My son carries a Sig 1911 C3.

  42. The first handgun I bought was a P226. It ran great until I had an incident with an overpressure reload(stupid gun show reloads). Something broke inside, and my local shop sent it back to SIG. After it came back it wouldn’t reliably detonate CCI primers, so I sold it at a gun show.

    The P239 I had was flawless, but too heavy for me. Now my carry gun is a Kahr P9, but I will own another SIG in the future, I’m certain.

  43. My SIG 226 was my first handgun, purchased when I was 21. I’ve put over 5000 rounds through the thing with no issues whatsoever. I also have gigantic manly hands and it fits perfectly. I agree with you though, the thing is a tank and makes for insanely uncomfortable concealed carry. I eventually switched to a Glock 23 for concealed carry but my SIG still sees a lot of action at the range here in Northern Virginia.

  44. The more guns you own, the more pros and cons you see. A lot of the ergonomics depends on your stance. Glock points best using the squared off, knees bent, arms straight, ‘tactical’ (sorry) agressive stance. Glock I think has the best power to physical weight ratio. If you’re a stand up weaver stance guy, the M&P, Sig, 1911-ish grip angle is more comfortable. Hammer fired guns have a higher bore axis than striker fired guns, period – need room for that thing to swing. Springfield XD’s have a pretty nice trigger, but overall feel physically heavy, didn’t read the specs, but I bet they are heavier than comparable models. I love them all. Right now I have a Sig 226 e2 IWB appendix. Love the Beretta 96, carry it once in a while, but trigger is kind of heavy (for me) to be consistent with. Love messing with my M&P 40’s, but the one I have the sights finally tuned in (~maybe 6K rounds) is starting to choke on my reloads. Maybe just a bad mag or recoil spring…M&P’s just feel good in the hand. Love my glocks…just did a chop and stipple job on a gen 3 model 35. Like them all. We are all individuals – you might as well say that rocky road is the best ice cream, anybody that likes anything else is an idiot…it’s all about personal choice. If it is a reliable platform and you like it, enjoy it. Any quality piece shoots better than we do. I would suggest spend the extra money for good night sights, get it tuned in for you, so you can hit with it, and carry a gun big enough to hold onto. You can carry a pretty big ‘un IWB appendix and go unnoticed… (Clint Smith: supposed to comforting, not comfortable). So play nice, work together and let’s get some common sence back in Washington.

  45. Carried the M9 myself, and it did the job just fine. I have small to average hands and ironically I prefer a big honkin’ pistol. I had a 92FS , gave it to a buddy. I regret that. I’ll have to pick up another. That said, I like the 226 too! Both are very fine handguns. Can’t go wrong with either. However it doesn’t surprise me that the SIG ended up being more expensive in the long run. They are truly costly. Not sure they are ‘worth every penny’ as they have some pretty stiff competition from lot of companies that make excellent firearms(I once had a Ruger P89 that was faultless and cheap as hell), but they are fine guns. Great for the snobs out there. I don’t think the US military has suffered from choosing the Beretta over the SIG though. If it’s made well and goes bang it’s better than nothing.

  46. It’s not about snob appeal, it’s not about something is better than nothing, it’s not about cost. There are people who MAY use their pistol in the course of their work… Police, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps officers or soldiers… their “uniform/general issue” weapons are chosen by politicians.

    Then, there are people who WILL use their pistol to fight during the course of their jobs, whose jobs may change the course of human destiny, or for whom cost is not the over riding criteria when lives are at stake… Special Forces, Secret Service, CIA… they are the ones using SIGs.

  47. Just picked up a new P226 from my transfer agent. It is a beautiful fistful and I can’t wait to get it on a range.

    One beef. I about tore up my thumb loading the 15 round magazine and still only got thirteen rounds in it, even with a leather glove.

  48. With high hold, thumbs forward grip, the thumbs are usually resting against the frame of the gun, or, with a 1911, the strong hand thumb is riding on top of the safety. With the SIG you should rest your strong hand thumb on the back of your weak hand thumb, preventing it from riding the slide stop.

    Problem solved.

    It is worth working around the problem, because a SIG can be reloaded and returned to action just as quickly from lock-back as it can be loaded by swapping mags with one still in the chamber.

    The SIG’s ergos make for very natural and fast reloads from lock-back, but if you don’t adapt your grip to the slide stop position you can have problems with the slide not locking back on an empty mag.

  49. I picked-up the Sig p226 in 9mm today and what a sweet gun. I will be purchasing the .22lr conversion kit for some cheaper plinking and target practice. I have a question about what laser/light combos others are teaming up with their p226?

  50. Let’s leave the conspiracy theories on the idiocy that the greatest army in the world has been using for twenty years Beretta guns as a favor to Italy and read this:

    “The average reliability of all M9 pistols tested at Beretta U.S.A. is 17,500 rounds without a stoppage.
    • During one test of twelve pistols fired at Beretta U.S.A. before Army supervision, Beretta-made M9 pistols shot 168,000 rounds without a single malfunction.
    • The Beretta 9mm pistol was the most reliable of all pistols tested in the 1984 competition which resulted in the award of the M9 contract to Beretta.
    • Two-thirds of all M9 pistols endurance tested at Beretta U.S.A. fired 5,000 rounds without a single mal function or, at most, with only one malfunction.
    • The average durability of Beretta M9 slides is over 35,000 rounds, the point at which U.S. Army testing ceases.
    • The average durability of M9 frames is over 30,000 rounds. The average durability of M9 locking blocks is 22,000 rounds.”

    • I’ve gotta take issue with your comments regarding the durability of the M9 pistol. I’ve been in the U.S. Army for over 18 years with more than half of that in Special Operations. I have fired tens of thousands of rounds through the M9, the locking block will not last 22,000 rounds not even the gen 3 model with the flat sided plunger and the stress relieving radius in the locking lugs. The locking blocks will generally fail at between 5,000 and 10,000 rounds, and I change mine out at 5,000 rounds because if the locking block fails when I’m in the field the gun becomes a paperweight. Other issues with the design are the stupid safety/decocker, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a teammate shuck his pistol during training, have his pistol at position 4, squeeze the trigger all the way to the rear then look stupidly at his gun because nothing happened. One more thing, if you have small hands, you will have to learn to manipulate the pistol a little differently than people with larger hands. Just so you know I’m not beating up on you or the pistol, the M9 is quite accurate, and in fact, I find that I shoot better with an M9 than with a Glock 19. That being said, I’ll take the P226 any day over an M9.

  51. My SIG P226, Made in W. Germany, is a wonderful pistol, despite its size. I am a lefty, but find it easy enough to manipulate the controls with my left index finger.
    Other than some rust appearing as the bluing on the slide wore away, I have had no problems with this pistol in over 24 yrs. Accurate, reliable, and feels great in the hand.
    If my new SIG P239 approaches the performance of the P226, I will be very, very happy.

  52. Purchashed mine in 1983 at the Rod and Gun Club at Rhein-Main AB in Germany, never had a miss fire. 100% reliable. Will shoot any round accurately. My favorite of all time.

    • I am not sure on this particular firearm as there are many versions of 226 However on many of the Sigs R stands for Russian

        • Yes, seriously, but that’s mainly for Sig-Sauer rifles. The R usually signifies that the rifle uses AK mags and the russian ammo dimensions.

          Haven’t seen the “russian” tag on a pistol yet. There R probably stands for Rail.

  53. I completely agree with your assessment. My main complaint is the placement of the slide release. I have an M&P as well and I never have issues with contacting the slide release unintentionally.

    • Well, the grip profile should be pretty similar on all P226’es. I’ve got medium hands myself, and I don’t have any major problems gripping my P226 Tactical Operations. It’s got plastic wrap-around grips and stippling cut into the front strap..
      The TO is a bit special since it has a “fake” magwell in the grip plates, but if you find yourself with the wrong grip, there’s lots of manufacturers that do different ones.

  54. I fired the 226 for years and never had a misfire or jam. At the range NYC police had a few issues with their Glocks jamming

    Shame I did not have a 226 in the 1960’s while in the service instead of the colt

    Bigger hands the 226 feels perfect

  55. I am finished reading all reliable comment in this article. At first I ask myself “What was the great Pistol a man have ever made today?” Surprisingly a Sig Sauer with a very plain design and Appearance. Just like my firSt favorite brand of computer when I was a Technician. Out of a simple & plain desigm was a great performance that lasts. Please don’t laugh at me if I say the only pistol I’ve got was a P226 x-5 w/ baxs system. Its an air pistol with 101% quality. I saw this gun whenever I watch Action movies. I keep on pausing the player just to see the perfect gun used by the law enforcer. I wish to have a real copy of this collection though they sell it here in Ph for 45,000 Pesos. The most expensive amongst.

  56. When it came time for me to buy my first pistol I was on Lonmg Island in ahuge gun store and the minute I picked up the Sig 226 I said wrap it up

    On my way out of the door I noticed a Bernilli M-1 Shot gun and then a Saiger 7.62 x 39 Expensice day but all the firearms have proven anazing reliabilty with never a single jam or misfire

    At the range I noticed many of the glocks were jamming . Terrible feeling not knowing your only means of protection may or not may not fail

  57. Sig is NOT a quaility firearm. There customer service is the worst. Paid a 1000 bucks for 1911, never shot it just worked the slide and the frame was cutting into the slide. Sig was worthless, said until I shot it, they would not look at it, after I shot they said I have put 500 rounds, then they wanted me to pay for shipping, then they wanted pictures, then they wanted me send on the slide in since it was scratched, two weeks later they said they needed the frame. Two months later they said they are busy and I will get my gun back after they look at it and decide it is a warranty issue. Later they call and say my warranty is VOID since I polished the feed ramp and any modification to the gun without them doing for 200 bucks, voids the warranty.

    They suck on many levels – if you buy one of their Yugo’s you get what you get good luck, if it does not work when you need it, dead men don’t sue, and Sig knows it.

    Unethical, unprofessional and frauds…

    • I bought my 226 from a gun dealer who was selling the 226 for a police officer

      Now I fully understand why the police offer could not wait to dump the firearm

      The customer “service” is a non existent in my opinion

      I asked a question regarding my firearm after giving them the serial number and they sent me a 5 word sentence

      over $800 to get sig abuse

  58. I spent the better part of my life avoiding DA semi-autos. My pistol experience began in the U.S. Navy pulling sentry duty aboard our submarine and armed with a .45 M1911A1. The old .45s were not the most accurate due to age and use, but they never failed either. Even after embarking on a 17 year law enforcement career wedded to .38 special and .357 magnum Smith & Wesson and Ruger service revolvers, and ultimately .40 Glock 22s and 23s, I stayed hardwired to the 1911 design. For many years to the present day, I carried either my .45 Springfield Armory 1911A1 or my .45 Colt Officers ACP — depending on the weather and the amount of clothes I wore.

    In 2006, I deployed to western Iraq as a Defense Department specialist where I was armed with a 9mm M9 service pistol. I petitioned hard for a Sig, but that was not to be, and I could just as easily have been sent with nothing. Even after I arrived down range, the only pistols seen were M9s among U.S. personnel, and a number of new Glock 17s and what looked like Walther P99s in the hands of Iraqi Police. The M9 is really a pretty good weapon and now I will have to purchase a Beretta 92 — simply because that is the weapon that I went to war with (though I never fired a shot from it, except during training and qualification).

    While looking at a Beretta 92 at the gun counter at the AAFES near my home, I decided on a Sig P226/MK25 instead, one of the Navy contract guns that were cancelled and put out for civilian sales. I figure that the Beretta 92 can wait a while longer. The Sig came with three mags, and has a small silver “anchor” on the slide signifying that it was a Navy contract weapon. I “heard” that these weapons were built to strict quality standards, but I don’t know what that means. I hope to shoot it soon, but I need to find some 147 grain 9×19 subsonic ball ammo at a “reasonable” cost.

    • To get “reasonable” ammo your going to have to weait until treason trials for those guilty members of the senate and congress are over and they are forced to meet their maker by the military for trials that are 6 years over due IMHO

  59. It’s great to see a pistol inspire such passionate commentary! I’ve had my P226 since 1984 and will soon purchase another. With 10’s of thousands of rounds through it, I have never had a malfunction, I’ve had no problem from the barrel slide lock, it has always locked back after the last round in the magazine is fired and my very large hands feel very natural and comfortable on the grips, though both of my now-grown children and several girlfriends trained on it with no handling difficulties. I paid the extra to get it with the K-Kote finish and after 30 yrs of regular use, including hunting, regular target shooting and carry, it still looks like a new gun and has no evident wear. I am very impressed with its accuracy in 9MM. I owned a P229 in .40 and was never able to get close to matching the accuracy of the 9mm and eventually sold it. With the right round and the weapon’s ability to hit the same hole over and over, I no longer feel the extra firepower of the .40 is worth the cost of ammunition or apparent decrease in accuracy.

    I think the P-226 deserves to be judged based on what it is–quality applied engineering and materials that consistently stand the test of time in performance in the line of duty and overall durability. As far as complaints about cost of ownership, what difference does $200-$300 make over the span of 30 yrs, somewhere close to 100,000 rounds fired and dependability I do stake my life on?

    As a Mercedes mechanic for well over 25 yrs, I have to take a certain amount of offense at the comments made re: Mercedes, Sig and German engineering in general by at least one commentator. My comments are not to convince anyone to own a Mercedes, they are to stand up for the Sig. There are a far larger percentage of Mercedes still on the road of the number produced than any car ever made and I’m sure the same will hold true for P226’s down the road. I regularly see Mercedes with well over 1/2 million miles on them, parts are still easily gotten for models made from the 1960’s to present and the owners that have kept their cars are unanimously in love with them. It seems Sig owners have a similar passion. Having worked on most every brand of car made since I began work as a mechanic in 1972, I have never seen another brand of car require fewer repairs for the number of miles and years driven, nor any consistently cost less than the national average cost to own.

    I think it’s much the same with a firearm of the quality of the P226–they’re not for everyone, but if you want superior performance, durability, readily available parts and buy things like firearms and automobiles intending to keep them for the long haul, I can’t imagine any pistol I would recommend more. The P226 is simple, uses an economy of parts, is simple to take down to clean and with only basic maintenance, should last as long as anyone of us will–frankly much longer.

    FWW I’ve owned pistols by Colt (including my Gold Cup that required many trips to the gunsmith–traded on the P226), HK, Walther, Tanfoglio, Ruger, Smith and Wesson, Automag, and Berreta and am choosing to buy another Sig Sauer, perhaps 2. Of the many pistols that have come and gone since I began shooting, the P226 is the only one I still own and would never consider selling. I feel I’ve gotten almost unbelievable performance from the weapon and its never been to the gunsmith in all these years, nor needed any work. I’ve always felt it was an impressively accurate gun and put Accurizer target sights on it when I purchased it. The recent addition of a guide rod laser sight has impressed me even more and I get consistent groupings at 30 yards and beyond that match what I have long been able to do at 15 yards, regardless of ammo. I also recently acquired a .22 X-change conversion kit which further convinces me I made the correct decision years ago. I read mixed reviews about these .22 conversion kits, including whether it would even work on my W. German produced P226, but it is very precisely made, has so far caused no additional wear to the pistol’s frame and besides saving considerable $ for weekly range trips, is even more accurate than 9mm, which is a lot to ask.

    When I recently went to the gun store to look at other pistols, I discovered that all P226 pistols, regardless of cailber, use the same exact frame, so that one can order a P-226 in .22 (about $600) from the factory and order an extra slide, barrel & clip in 9mm, .40, or .357 Sig at the same time for an additional ~$250. So, for less than the cost of a P-226 in the larger calibers, I will own a versatile, multi-caliber weapon system that will perform superbly and last. Make your own decision, but for whatever my input is worth, buy a P226.

  60. I had a Beretta 92 and it kept smoke-stacking. Sold it. I had a Ruger 9mm, not a bad gun but accuracy sucked. Had a Ruger 45 auto, slide was loose as a goose, accuracy sucked. Now I have a Sig P226 and I love it. However while shooting once in a great while the mag falls out. I think I’m riding my thumb on the mag release while shooting, but I’m not sure. I love the gun, accuracy so-so. I’m saving up for a Kimber 45 though, but will probably still keep the Sig 9mm.

    • A couple things, try moving your thumb. if that does not work take it to a gun smith but first just try pulling on the Clip if it stays in place my guess would be your doing something in your shooting motion. Also shocked to hear about your Baretta. Ive had several and always found them reliable and accurate. Are you shooting reloads or cheap ammo. Finally on your Kimber. I won’t argue that they make a fine firearm but so you know if you have any issues with it, it has to usually go back to Kimber or an experianced gun smith Kimber does not use standard 1911 parts. i found out the hard way and expensive. You may want to stay with a sig or colt 1911,

  61. Here we go again: more sour grapes & conspiracy theories over the decision to choose the Beretta over the Sig. Beretta beat the Sig and every other pistol fair and square and rightfully got the contract. The M9 is the most rugged, reliable, pistol that ever served in the US military. Its puts the Sig and the 1911 to shame in every respect and will continue to be the chosen sidearm for the US military for years to come.

    • The Sig 226 is flawless BUT their reps SUCK when you have a question

      The reason the military went glock it was cheaper

  62. Your list of “signature firearms” at the start of the post had me scratching my head. When I think of Ruger, though the Luger-style .22s are how they got their start, I think of Blackhawks, Vaqueros and other revolvers. When I think of Glock, to the extent I can even picture the difference between their gun models, I picture the Glock 17. When I think of USP – well, I don’t think of USP. The guns you named for each manufacturer may represent those makers in your mind, and that’s fine, but they are not “iconic” guns per manufacturer in any broad or global sense.

  63. I have two Glocks, Two Beretta Px4’s. I love all of them. Saying that, I bought a P226 .40 last week used. Had it to the range once. This is a great gun. Little pricy but well worth it to me. I like it being heavier and it fits my hand great. Wasn’t looking at Sigs too much due to the price. I have shot my buddy’s Sigs (he has several models) and really liked them so when I came upon the used one I had to jump. Haven’t had it more than a week and I’m already looking for another. Man, was I missing out.

  64. While I don’t have personal knowledge of how the Government made their choice on what handgun they chose, I served for 3 years in the Army and I know they always go with the lowest bidder. While in some cases as in the M14 rifle and the M2 .50 cal machine gun it’s not always a bad thing, but in their choice of the M92 over the P226 it was. I carried the M92 in Iraq and it did not perform well. The open top of the slide allowed dirt, and water free access to the internal workings of the weapon. The finish was low quality and wore off quickly leading to rust in all areas. Also the trigger spring could very easily be knocked out be someone cleaning the inside of the magazine well. Since leaving the military I’ve bought a P226 and have found it reliable under any conditions. The finish is of a much higher quality and I have found no rust even after use in the rain. Field stripping is easier, and the parts and the overall platform is sturdier. There is also a better balance and feel of quality to all parts including magazines and even the weapon’s packaging. My Sig P226 is my home defense handgun and I trust it to fire every time I pick it up, even after long periods of sitting unused. Those Navy Seals where really on to something.

  65. Love the old style 226. First gun I bought after getting out of the USMC 11 years ago. Sold it like a dumbass. Picked up a police trade in beater (circa ’98 vintage) 2 years ago, just ’cause. Glad I did. I shoot glocks best, but don’t sleep on the 226. I’ve been out of the SiG loop for awhile, and it seems like a different company now, but the tried and true 226es are legendary and fantastic heaters. I will probably always keep mine around as a loaner/beater/spare/go to hell gun.

  66. As a Beretta 92FS in 9mm and Sig 226 in 40 cal owner, I would have to say sig over Beretta ANY DAY… Beretta is bulky, heavy, crappy finish with a 3 mile SA trigger. The sig is simple and built to a much higher standaed. Even the sight system on the Beretta is measly. In my Beretta manual it even states that it is a 5000 rd gun and the chrome lined barell needs replacing after. Hmmm.

  67. I have owned the Beretta PX4 storm in 40 caliber, HK usp 45, Beretta Special Duty 45 and on july 1st Im going to be buying my first Sig p226 !!! Well of the guns Ive owned so far, Ive been Impressed Most with the build quality of the HK, I also like that for a 45 it has a Very soft recoil with its Very beefy steel guide rod and recoil reduction springs, I also like the look of the gun Very much. The Beretta Special Duty 45 cost close to a grand and it came to me with a crooked front sight, so I had to send it back to the factory for a reinstallment, that just goes to show you how much there quality control Sucks !!!

  68. I had to read all these remarks as I was curious if anyone else loved their P-226 like I do. I was issued my 226 in 1994 and now own it. I qualified with it and practiced regularly for many years using everything from hot loads to trash ammo and it just wont jam. I have found that it is one of the higher quality West German ones. I love 1911’s, Glock’s, Smith.s, HK’s and Beretta’s. I have owned or been issued them all at one time or another with Police, Military and Security jobs. Trust me when I tell you that the P-226 is as fine a gun as any out there.

    • I absolutely adore the P226 in 9mm (never tried the 40).
      No bs Im the kind of guy that can outshoot 9 out of 10 shooters in a hillbilly State with both their own guns and my gun.
      At the end of the day the 9mm hate is retarded-I don’t think anybody would like getting hit by 340lbs of kinetic energy especially if its throwing hydras or xtps. People spend too much time complaining and less time dry firing, working tactics (corner clearing, stoppage drills, weak hand live fire, etc), and getting better. A guy zeroed in with a 226 (not hard to do it and the 92f are insanely accurate) is nothing to sneeze at. I like 45s too but they suck ass at 50 and 100yds I can hit a b27 with a glock 27 half of
      The time at 100 but its a real
      Chore and almost seems improbable with a glock 21 or 1911. The P226 and 92 as well as a 357 snw can hit at 100 like you’re at 25 and that’s pretty amazing IMO.
      I’m torn between the glock 17 and the p226-it’s like saying who’s prettier Claudia Schiffer or Heidi Klum. The answer- who knows? They’re both awesome and as much as I try to like a 1911 or HK- they both suck for me compared to the Sig and Glock- I guess I hate external controls. There’s just something special about a well maintained vintage Sig before they put those ergo grips on them (I love the checkered ones).
      People who don’t love Sigs just don’t get it-only it and the glock fascinate me.

  69. I own both a Ber92F and Sig P226. Bought the Beretta in 1986 in Frankfurt Germany. Bought it for duty carry as an army officer while in the field since the 1911 I was issued from US Army stock at the time was almost worn out and I did no trust it, besides it had been approved for issue in 1985 but I could not wait so bent the rules. I acquired my Sig P226 in 1992 in Miami, FL for duty carry as an INS inspector. Both are very accurate but the Sig is easier to shoot due to better ergonomics and better trigger pull; it also feels lighter. It is my favorite firearm. This weapon will last for decades if properly taken care of (mine continues to function very well) but my original SIG now shares duties with another SIG. If you want a practical weapon that is also a heirloom, a SIG P226 could be it since they come in all types of versions that will start at around $800.00 and go to $2500.00, your choice. I kept mine simple, it has worked well for over 20 years.

  70. So I was at my local gun show yesterday and one dealer had a new P226 MK25 9mm in desert tan with a custom Sig wood grip for $1000 out the door. I had to think about it (choking g down a grand) so I told them I needed to walk around to think about it for a few minutes. I then came accross a smoking deal. I found a lightly used P226 in amazing condition with almost zero holster wear. It had newer Sig Lite night sites and a picatinny rail. They said they originally had 4 of them and this was their last one but since it was in 40 caliber they would give me a smoking deal. And indeed they did. We haggled the price down to $470 so I snagged it up. It came with two 12 round mags and I bought one new one as well. When I got home I put my Streamlight TLR 1 HL light on it and began to drool. The balance and look was amazing. I haven’t had a Sig (besides a P250 and 2022) since the late 90s. I don’t know why I waited so long. Oh. And the dealer I got it from does professional cericoating and will do the complete gun in desert tan to look just like the MK25 I wanted (minus the Navy Seal anchor) for $140. I’m going to the range today to shoot it and I can’t wait.

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  72. They are great guns. Similar general features and quality as the S&W 59 and its descendants, and the 92FS and variants. Which will be your favorite is just personal preference.

    (The thing about guns, as opposed to (say) iPhones or TVs is that there are very few significant changes in technology year to year, and paradigm shifts don’t even happen once a decade. So this is an area where decades of experience help you separate real features from gimmicks etc. Not knocking, there’s nothing wrong with this particular review, but I kind of wondered about the Glock 19 being the first Glock you think of. For me, it’s the Glock 17. For Ruger, for me personally, it would be either a Mark II or a Vaquero (for a lot of people, it might be a Blackhawk or Security Six). For H&K, it’s … well, pretty much nothing, but if pressed, I’d say the MP5.)

    I passed up buying a P226 that said “Made in Herndon, VA” on the slide and am still kicking myself since I lived there. I moved there long after Sig stopped making guns there, but it still would have been an interesting conversation piece.

  73. Nick,
    Your best review by far, and I’m glad you updated it. But you’ve GOT to get over this huge ego you have where you’re the greatest, smartest, most experienced person you’ve ever met. You suck your own d*&^ in every review you write and it’s killing your reputation.
    So, overall great review but:

    1) If you’re a starving college student, by definition you can’t have “money to burn”. Stop pretending you had it “so hard”. Poor little baby.
    2) The army didn’t want a new handgun just because “8 rounds wasn’t enough”. The 1911s were OLD. Physically old, as well as heavy. We needed a new sidearm, and a NATO round just made sense when, at the time, NATO was a big deal–and 9mm pistols didn’t carry only 8 rounds, so .45 caliber magazines weren’t the problem. Or didn’t you do any research for this article?
    3) The SEALS and police departments didn’t “dismiss the results”. It’s just that THEIR requirements weren’t the same as the Army or other services. That’s a fallacy that you introduced, which implies that the SEALS and other agencies think they are “smarter” than everyone else. Only YOU are, in actuality, apparently. In your own mind.
    4) I would argue that the biggest difference “plain to see” between the 92F and the SIG P226 is NOT the lack of a safety, but the slide cutout on the Beretta. It’s clearly the most noticeable feature. Your mileage may vary.
    5) Looking at your photo, you don’t appear to have “gigantic manly hands”. But you do, in fact, appear, to have a gigantic belly. Less shooting and more treadmill may help. Cut out the salty snacks. Just my opinion.
    6) You state that there is “…nothing wrong with this gun. Nothing.” But you knock a star off for the “damn slide stop”. TAP/RACK is part of the FIRING SEQUENCE, albeit an abnormal firing sequence.
    7) You state that your “first P226” was made in the ’80s but fired thousands of rounds a year without a problem. How the HELL as a “starving college student” did you afford “thousands of rounds a year”?????? You had just turned 21!!!!

    It’s hyperbole, bragging, and out and out falsehoods like this which reduce you to a level 4 hack writer. And you’ll never be better until you realize that you’re a nothing nobody, and a Massad Ayoob you will NEVER be. Settle down, youngster.

    Other than that, good job.

  74. This must be one of the more moronic things I’ve ever seen in a gun article:

    (when comparing the sig 226 to the 92fs):
    “The lack of a safety means that the P226 can be quickly drawn and employed if deadly force is required. The shooter doesn’t have to worry about flipping a mechanical safety on or off. As soon as it’s out of the holster it’s good to go.”

    The 92fs is EXACTLY the same, it just has the option to put a safety on. If you de-cock it, and don’t put the safety on, then it’s identical to the Sig as far as the above statement goes. So that is not an advantage of the Sig at all, as the beretta can do the same AND has the option of safety.

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