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Our good friends over at The Trace are running a story this morning about SIG SAUER’s P229. Specifically, how the New Jersey police claim that it’s a jam-tastic pile of junk. The unspoken question is, “if SIG SAUER can’t make a P229 that doesn’t jam, how can their new P320 be good for the military?” Well, let’s take a look at the facts of the case and see what’s up.

The SIG SAUER P229 was designed and created in response to the need for a more compact version of the P226. Folks like the Navy Criminal Investigation Service wanted a gun that was just like the P226 used by Navy SEAL teams, but more compact so it could be concealed and carried while on the job.

To that end the P229 is a chopped down P226 with shorter barrel and nearly identical frame and grip.

The firearms experts at The Trace claim that the P229 had a “reputation for jamming,” citing a handful of forum posts by anonymous individuals on the internet as proof of a widespread and well known issue.

If that were the standard of evidence required in court cases Donald Trump would be in jail for treason and genocide by now. But I guess The Trace is comfortable using these posts this way since it fits their narrative of a “flawed from the start” firearm that New Jersey was “duped” into purchasing.

To be fair they did cite one of our own reviews where the writer noted the handgun had a tendency to jam if not properly maintained. Later in the same article (after The Trace’s pull quote) the reviewer stated that when maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations the firearm works flawlessly. But that part didn’t make it in The Trace’s post.

The New Jersey State Police chose the P229 in 2014 and started placing it in service. Almost immediately there were reports of “failures to extract” or “FTE” malfunctions. That’s a situation where the handgun is unable to remove the spent cartridge from the chamber of the firearm. This causes a subsequent round to be fed behind it, locking up the firearm and requiring the operator to clear the malfunction before the firearm will work.

There are three primary causes for a FTE. The first is a bad extractor or extractor spring, typically worn out after thousands of rounds of use and no longer able to grab the rim of the cartridge properly.

The second usual suspect is a rough chamber which applies too much friction between the chamber wall and the cartridge and won’t allow it to come free.

The third is using crappy ammunition — either the cartridge is too rough and will stick in the chamber, or the rim is too soft and will tear off before the extractor can apply enough force to remove it.

I’ve seen — and diagnosed — all three issues personally in my time working with firearms. The symptoms and ultimate solution are usually easy to see. It sounds like the New Jersey State Police didn’t have such an easy time with their guns. According to the documents, the NJ staties went back to SIG SAUER for troubleshooting.

The Trace claims that they were provided with “extractor pins,” by which they probably mean external extractors (the part that grips the rim of the case). The Trace claim that these “extractor pins” are designed to “push spent cartridges out of the gun” which (A) isn’t how extractors work and (B) isn’t how any common modern handgun works.

The guns continued to malfunction with the NJSP. SIG SAUER came down to diagnose the issue, validated that it was a problem, and provided replacement extractor springs as well. This did not solve the issue, and replacement barrels were sent. Again, this failed to solve the issue.

In 2015, the NJSP demanded that SIG SAUER replace the P229 Enhanced Elite with the older P229 Legacy.

One of the changes in the “Enhanced Elite” that SIG SAUER provided was an improved and more powerful extraction system for spent cartridges. The NJSP believed that the extraction system was the cause of the issues and demanded that their firearms be replaced. Naturally, replacing a better system with a worse one failed to solve the issue (who saw that one coming?).

SIG SAUER then attended a test firing of the new (old) guns. As expected, the guns failed to extract the spent cartridges.

At this point the NJSP gave up and demanded a refund. They’re now suing for an additional $857k to cover the cost of replacement holsters.

Throughout the filing the NJSP note that the handgun failed with their ammunition, but it is never discussed whether the handguns malfunctioned with standard off-the-shelf ammunition.

Police departments go through a substantial number of rounds every year. It makes sense that they would try to reduce this cost by buying cheaper ammunition for their practice range. Cheaper ammunition is typically of lower quality and may be more prone to jamming. One of the three probable causes of an FTE is bad ammunition, after all.

The Trace is quick to side with the NJSP and claim that the P229 is a piece of junk that’s prone to jamming.

I’ve fired thousands of rounds through P226 and P229 handguns and haven’t had the same experience. I’d love to find out more about the ammunition used in these tests, and I’m guessing that when using half-decent ammunition the NJ cops’ guns will function just fine (SIG SAUER function tests every single firearm before it leaves their facility).

The real issue here may be that the NJSP is too cheap to buy anything but steel cased “budget” ammo and would rather blame SIG SAUER for their woes than accept that they made a mistake and should spend a little more for brass cased rounds.

We’ll keep an eye on this story as it develops.

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  1. Come on guys. You just have to clean it once in awhile. It’s a machine after all.

    • Want an auto that doesn’t jam? easy…buy a Ruger. Want to support an American company and American jobs, easy…buy a Ruger. Trump didn’t bother to “Make America Great” as our military buys the Sig P320 by the container load.

      • Uh you realize Sig is an American company in every aspect correct? Meanwhile Beretta (the M9 being replaced) is Italian.

        • Geoff,

          Sig Sauer Inc. / Sigarms is a US company. It has no affiliation with the former Sig GmbH which is now owned by Swiss Arms. Sig USA is a US company that manufacturers and sells firearms in the United States. If they have any affiliation with Swiss Arms it might be in the form of some licensing agreement for the handgun designs originally manufactured and sold by Sig GmbH, which no longer holds any firearms manufacturing capabilities. I’m not sure how all that works to be honest. However, Sig USA designs and manufactures firearms like the MPX, MCX, AR’s, etc. as their own products that were designed and built by the US company.

          So, from what I can gather Sig USA is a 100% American company. It’s kind of like Springfield Armory; the only thing it has in common with the original Springfield Armory is the use of the name. The two companies have no affiliation (the original is now defunct).

        • Uh let’s see…..Beretta has a nice factory in Goodlettesville TN……… they moved out of communist Delaware(?)

          Get them some Glocks and call it a day!

          For the article? Steel cased ammo having a possible problem? Never had a problem with it extracting from anything I’ve owned. I will say I have had a feed problem with the Winchester Forged in a brand new PSA 9mm carbine. Not sure why yet. It fed everything else.

        • Sig USA may be an American company, but it’s one that sources parts and components for their pistols from around the world. As an armorer, I’ve received replacement parts that were made in Mexico, U.S., India and Israel. That isn’t 100% “Made in America” to me. (And where are those SIG magazines made?? Oh that’s right, they are made by MecGar, in Italy!)

      • I agree on that Ruger comment. I can mix several brands and types of ammo in a magazine in any of my numerous Rugers and NEVER have a malfunction. The only way to practice a malfunction is to randomly load a dud (spent primer, no powder) round. Henry, Ruger and Honor Defense are some of the very few 100% American Companies. I agree with Trump, make our own stuff.

        • The SR series will NOT reliably fire Winchester White Box. I sent my SR9C back to Phoenix for a trigger issue. They replaced the mag disconnect, trigger assembly, trigger bar reset, ejector, and barrel. Barrel? Less than 1,000 rounds fired, and they give me a brand new barrel? I love Ruger customer service, but the gun STILL won’t fire an entire mag of WWB. Hard primers are real.
          Eats everything else, though. Even lets me limp wrist it and still loads properly.

      • I’m with you, but American companies need to step it up and produce better products then. I want out men and women to have the best down range (I know I know the military wants the cheapest) but imo the p320 was a damn good choice.

      • Had mine for three years. Thousands of rounds thru it of factory loaded 9 mm 124 HP. Never a single malfunction. I use Federal and Speer. It’s reliable. Be sure to clean it–easily enough done with its simple take down mechanism. Can’t speak for NJSP, but if you use remanufactured or handoaded ammo you could be in for problems. My coaches told me to avoid remfctd or handoaded and stick with Federal or Speer, ideally nickel plated to lessen friction in the chambering/ extract/eject process. Excellent arm.

    • Leghorn what is your agenda?Sig Saur or or the impeachment of our President? Your just another journalist swamp dweller . Maybe you be replaced for dirty news .

      • Why oh why doesn’t everyone go with a block 19. I get the whole evolution thing, and that we need to spread the gun love around, but the old black boring Glock has almost 40 years of slow but steady tweaking until it is the flawless* machine it is today.


            • Glock has had numerous recalls (called up-grades). The first model 19’s did not work. Glock also in another recall had to change the passive firing pin safeties that did not work. Glock changed the length of the frame rails 3 times that I am aware of. Glock had slides crack and fall off on their early ported models. Glock had a massive recall last summer 2016 on one of its new models. I cannot remember why at the moment. Glock has also had a recall on trigger springs breaking. Now all that is just what I remember as I am have forgotten a host of other recalls over the years.

              And by the way its good the U.S. Military rejected the Glock because it has a much weaker ignition system that the Sig plasticky pistol that was chosen over it. The Glock is only cocked 67 per cent while the Sig is cocked 90 per cent. If you have ever had a high primered round factory or hand load the Glock has such a weak ignition system that I personally on more than one occasion tried firing off such a round 3 times in a row with no luck. On the other hand my hammer fired guns and my old fashioned early 20th century striker fired guns that are cocked 100 per cent always fired off such rounds.

              Now even if you should good ammo if the Glock is dirty or over lubed or a combination of both and then throw in a very cold pistol left in a car overnight and then you can begin to understand how critical a good ignition system is on a combat pistol especially one for the military which rules the Glock out altogether.

              And then there is the totally unsafe take down system. Even Cheetah the Chimpanzee could have designed a better and safer take down system. And remember anyone can sooner or later make a mistake and with the Glock its all too easy to end up shooting yourself with one.

              And remember the arrogant fools who point the finger at someone who makes a mistake taking down a Glock have 3 fingers pointed right back at themselves as anyone can have a split second of inattention or distraction and with the totally unsafe Glock you get no second chance. With a gun like the Beretta 92 you must lock back the slide to take it down and if you forgot to take out a round out of the chamber it comes flying out of the chamber when you pull the slide back so you do indeed get a second chance with safer designed pistols and only the biggest of fools would argue that the Beretta and guns like it with such a safer take down system maim and kill far fewer people.

              In conclusion I think even Cheetah the Monkey would say thumbs down on the Glock but of course he lived to be in his 80’s and out lived Jane and Tarzan because they carried Glocks. Ha, Ha.

    • Try to explain that concept in NJ, it would be like explaining String Theory to a caveman.

    • In response to the writer of the article and everyone posting on here saying it was a dirty gun or cheap ammo…sig inspected the guns and confirmed that is was an issue, do you think they would not have confirmed that it was one of those two?

    • If Police departments are having such a bad time with their Guns they should have their own armourer and get good reloadable brass ammo. That’s what other professional shooters do.

    • I’d like to know what kind of ammo they were using too. Some steel cased ammo is lacquer coated for long term storage. Its steel afteral and can potentially rust. Problem is that Russian lawyer can become sticky when heated up and help jam the case in the chamber

    • This is a real issue. I have this issue in my personal 229 Elite Dark. It is NOT caused by ammo, as it happens with all sorts of rounds, wwb, PMC, Fiocchi, Magtech, Federal defense ammo, and even Hornady 147 grain defensive loads. The result is exactly what the NJSP reported, which is the spent case is not extracted, leaving it in the chamber. The slide is racking all the way, cocking the pistol, and successfully picking up the next round from the mag, which is being jammed into the primer of the already fired round. Please note, the spent casing falls freely from the chamber once the magazine is removed. The casing is NOT getting stuck in any of the instances I have seen. When the round is fired, I believe that during the milliseconds when the action is opening, the barrel shifting downward places tension on the cartridge which overcomes the strength of the extractor and essentially “prys” the extractor from the case, leaving it in the chamber. Once that tension is gone, the casing rattles in the chamber and falls freely out. I can confirm 100% this is NOT ammo, and NOT stuck casings, this is a Sig mechanical fault. If a pistol will not reliably eat factory loaded, brass cased target ammo right out of the box, it is trash. This is the worst type of failure, because tap, rack, bang does not clear the jam. The only way to clear this jam is to lock the slide, drop the mag, clear the case, replace mag and drop slide. After monitoring dozens of forum posts on this issue, I have determined the only thing that permanently fixes this issue is when Sig replaces the entire slide…which confirms there is a fundamental issue in the dimensions of the slide / extractor pocket, otherwise they would just replace the extractor with a better part.

    • I’m surprised it hadn’t been suspected earlier. Did somebody find some Winchester Forged? Sometimes that steel case stuff can be a bear.

    • “sounds like no one at that PD knows a damn thing about guns, and that is TYPICAL.”

      There, fixed it for you.

    • Did ya miss the part where Sig replaced numerous parts of the gun and they still failed to extract when Sig tested them?

      Or do you just not read that far?

      • When SIG tested them with NJSP ammo.

        To me, it sounds like NJSP has a metric-poop-ton of crappy ammo, and is demanding that SIG find a way to make their pistols function with it. The main clue for me was when they went back to another (older) system that has worked just fine in the past, and it choked as well. Ammo problem, plain and simple. The cops just don’t want to admit that they bought and own a bunch of crap ammo, and SIG doesn’t want to admit that their pistols won’t eat any ammo, as that would hurt them in multiple markets.

      • “Did ya miss the part where Sig replaced numerous parts of the gun and they still failed to extract when Sig tested them?”

        I re-read the article, and I missed that.
        I saw several places where Sig tried a fix, and the NJSP still had problems, but I didn’t see where SIG had problems with the fixed,and cleaned, guns.
        It would seem to me that the real question is why the NJSP is having the problems, but few others are. I can not believe that the NJSP people fire all that many rounds through their service guns. Logic would indicate that there is something different with those guns used by the NJSP, whether it’s the guns themselves (hard to believe given the fixes Sig already did) or the way they are used/maintained, or the ammo used.
        I am interested in the outcome of any investigations done.

    • OR perhaps no one in NJ gov’t knows diddly squat about firearms? Or should be issued so much as pointy scissors.

    • Death by Fritos?

      A drop leg holster will ~ keep food crumbs from dropping on your weapon while eating in your unit.

      Sounds like NJ was looking for a typical (D) handout by means of governmental extortion.

    • Personally, based on past performance, my first reaction is to think the NJSP did something stupid. I base this on what went down when they tried to replace their P7s with S&W 99s. They requested a jillion stupid modifications of the platform S&W warned them was a bad idea and then got pissy and demanded a refund when they never worked right.

  2. My M11a1 only jams, just like the pick on the FB story, using shity freedom munitions

    • My 40SW 229 has never jammed. I use Freedom Munitions reloads almost exclusively in that pistol. I get that everyone has different experiences and that’s mine.

      • Out of 10 boxes of theirs I had 2 boxes that caused multiple FTF, FTE, double stacking and 2 squibs using 3 different mags. Just my experience (albeit more detailed)

        • I’ve personally seen some pretty glaring setback in FM reman 9mm and 5.56 in the past, and it wasn’t from rough s&h.

          And I recently learned about FM reman being identified as responsible (or highly suspect) for multiple kabooms of rifles and pistols, after having several of their reman 308 cases failing-to-extract in my CETME. That got my attention because even when it’s filthy and is being fed old/dirty 7.62NATO, it has never failed to violently extract and send cases into the ether.

      • I’m with you fairlane. I use Freedom Munitions almost exclusively, a mixture of new and reman, and have never, ever had problem of any sort. I’ve used it for 2 years now and run it through all my 9’s (Beretta, HK, Sig P226, Glock), my 40’s and 45’s. Also, I run it their 556 through my Spikes, Bushmaster and Sig rifles without a hitch.
        Absolutely love their products!

      • Mine has been excellent, through thousands of rounds of both new and reloaded ammo in various calibers (9mm, .38 spl, .357 mag, .45 ACP. .45 Colt, and .223). One example in particular was their .45 Colt RNFP. I had just acquired a SAA, and in its first trip to the range, ammo purchased through Lucky Gunner jammed up the pistol, as the cases would back out just enough to prevent the cylinder from rotating. I don’t recall the brand, it came in a plastic bag with a flag on it. (Happily, LG took the ammo back.) I had (and have had) no difficulties whatsoever with the Freedom Munitions ammo on that range trip.

    • Well, your gun is just picky. My cheap Rock Island runs every I have ever put in it from light bullet hp +p stuff, steal case, and cheap reloads. It has never jammed in 3000 rounds, but I keep it clean and oiled, so who knows.

    • My Sig P229 .40 has never once failed. My older P226 9mm never once failed. I do use premium ammunition though, such as Remington Golden Saber® 165gr brass jacketed Hollow points unless I’m at the range which then I use cheapo range ammo, but its still never once suffered a failure of any sort. I fell in the river a few weeks ago with my weapon holstered in the normal IWB appendix along with wallet, smart phone and remote start. I went the water up to my chest then walked to shore, so it was under water for about 45 seconds I’m guessing. After pouring the water out of the barrel and getting home and doing nothing else to the weapon, I fired my defense ammo out of it, the 12 + 1 and didn’t suffer a single failure. I will continue to rely on my Sig for my first line of defense. And yes it was had a major cleaning and drying afterwards.

      • You sir are a legend. Everybody else around here loses their gun after a boating accident.

        • Saving ones arms during a boating accident fails to meet Rahm’s exhortation to ‘never let a crisis go to waste’. However, we, the POTG, have never been very fast to adopt the tactics of the far left anyway.

      • That’s not fair to Leave us in suspense!

        What happened to the smartphone? Did you lose unopened naked snaps from a girlfriend? We have to know!

        • Surprisingly, the smartphone was not too bad. It must have gotten water in the earphone jack because that was giving me some sort of error on the screen about the earphone jack. I sucked out the hole with a shop vac and took the battery cover off and made sure there were not mass amounts of Spokane River water in it and it was fine. The remote start however needed some attention. While I was in the house shooting my gun at the inside target, the car was starting up and shutting off over and over because the remote start key fob was messing up. I had to open it up and dry it all out. This is the first time in decades I fell in with my gun on. Thankfully I didn’t ruin anything and it only cost me several hours of work.
          But I tell you what, it was like a cartoon where you take your gun and point it down and water pours out the barrel.
          That’s not something any of us want to see. I was like…oh no!

  3. Sounds like a way to finally punish the lawsuit-immune gun industry for all the violence they are directly responsible for.
    Well done New Jersey. Hope your police have better luck with smart gun reliability cuz I doubt anyone else will want to sell anything to you.

    • *eyeroll*
      Seriously, do you even engage your brain before you start punching keys? I mean it. Do you?

      If Sig is being sued (which you admit) then it’s obvious that they are NOT immune from lawsuits (which you claim they are.)
      And yet you pants-on-head-AFTER-you-shit-them-retarded lefties actually expect your pontifications to be treated with respect. Try to stop contradicting yourself in the same sentence, dumbass.

    • “Sounds like a way to finally punish the lawsuit-immune gun industry for all the violence they are directly responsible for.”

      First, the gun industry isn’t lawsuit-immune. If you’re going to post in public, learn what you’re posting about.
      Second, this suit has nothing to do with violence, but rather a claim of unsuitability for purpose. If you’re going to post in public, learn what you’re posting about.
      Third, “directly responsible” obviously doesn’t mean what you think it means. If you’re going to post in public, learn what you’re posting about.

    • Stu, it looks like you should have added a /sarc tag at the end. Some people just don’t get it.

  4. One of my friends is using his P229 as a “don’t clean it test”. Damn thing just keeps running several cases of ammo later. Anecdotal, yes. But still funny.

    Hey, he’s just that way. Has one of his ARs that he never cleans either. Just puts a bit of lube on the BCG rails. Filthy thing continues to run.

  5. Love my 229 but it does not like Winchester White Box. FTE nearly every mag, but digests everything else I run through it. I’m thinking a cheap practice ammo problem.

    • That Ammo selection might be the problem. Winchester White box 115 grain 9mm is the most common police practice Ammo. The military also uses it but Berettas and Glocks in military hands seem to have no issues

      • Maybe the NJSP should have just bought Glocks. The Sig Sauer is probably a better gun overall, but Glocks are pretty idiot proof (and ammo tolerant).

        • The German mfg Sigs were always very reliable. The “new” Sig Sauer “Classics” from Exeter seem streaky in reliability. I’ve put a whole lot of Winchester white box through a friend’s unmodified old p228 and various friends’ old p226s including some pretty crummy quality gun show reloads that were sold as seconds (buying crappy ammo on purpose allows for realistic clearance drills). I have seen a decline on the range in Sig quality since the Exeter guns especially with the p229s made in Exeter having slides being milled. CNC milling the slide added a little weight to the p229 9 mm pistols vs old-style p228s because the p229 was designed to handle the 9mm/.40/.357 ammo mix. I see more FTEs on the newer “classics” in all calibers except the p226. The original p228 was a stamped steel slide which was a chopped version of the stamped/folded/pinned p226; the p229 is a p228 with a milled slide not a stamped/folded/pinned slide. Perhaps the slight increase in the weight of the slide from CNC milling changed the physics of the classic Sig designs? I think a fun TTAG article would be a range comparison between old safe queen West German Sigs vs Exeter newly manufactured Sig classics. Or lightly used first generation Glocks vs 4th gen.

        • I loved my well-used Sig P245. Replaced it with a brand new P250, tried about 10 mags of factory 9mm, two or three FTE with every mag. Next was a surplus ex-German police Sig P225/P6 that is still my favorite most reliable 9mm CCW.

      • I have 3 Sigs p229,p226 and p2022 and I have never had an issue with any of them with FTE with any ammunition I’ve used.

  6. This is NJ we’re talking about. It’s surprising to me that the police even know which end of the gun to hold.

    • New Jersey. The armpit of the USA. The same New Jersey that arrested an old high school professor, for having a three hundred year old unloaded flint lock pistol in his car. Federal law says the flint lock is legal, as a curio, and not classified as a firearm. But not Dum ass NJ. So they arrested him. NJ doesn’t recognize pistol licenses from other States either. What morons.

  7. The only question I have as to “cheap ammo” is that Sig representatives, having visited NJ, would know exactly what they were using.

  8. No Other agency seems to have any issues !! it would appear that it is a NJSP issue … Ammo ?? Knowledge ??

  9. One of the forum posts that the Trace has decided to highlight is a post from the Firing Line… a post that is 17 years old!!!! Yes, they had to go back to the year 2000 to find some poor P229 owner that was having trouble with their gun.

    And more egregious yet, if the Trace bothered to go through the entire post, they would have seen that the P229 owner figured out the problem.

    What was the problem? Bad ammo. His P229 worked with certain ammo better than others.


    The New Jersey State Police needs to stop effing using Tula or Brown Bear. And the Trace needs to effing learn how to read through forum posts.

    • Oh, they know how. When I’m commenting on low-IQ websites, I pick and choose my citations, too, knowing the’ll never be checked. Readers of The Trace need to start checking facts on their own.

  10. Sig’s got a reputation for being a premium gun and has a price tag to match. If a Sig can’t do what a Glock can do, it’s not good enough- make all the arguments about cleaning and ammo you want.

  11. I will, for free, pickup all of the NJSP P229s at the New Jersey/Pennsylvania border and recycle them (i.e. – add them to my collection).

    I’ll bet ya that, after basic maintenance, I’ll be able to fire 1,000 rounds though each without any malfunctions.

    • Just make sure you stay just inside the PA state line LOL. An inch into New Jersey and instant felony, don’t expect good judgement and common sense to apply towards your arrest and subsequent prosecution. Entering NJ armed is akin to entering Mexico, not sure which is the bigger shithole armpit of North America.

  12. I’ve never owned, fired, or been in the presence of a 229, but I would trust it to run like it’s supposed to. Sounds like some basic maintenance would solve the issue, and if not, from the “issues” stated, they just need new extractors.

    • You’ve never fired a P229 but you feel comfortable commenting on a forum concerning its reliability? WTF. There are people on here seeking information about EDC that could be the difference between life and death and you’re speculating based on zero evidence. That’s ridiculous!

  13. They do not need firearms especially Automatic pistols, if they got too have firearms the old colt.44 dragoon should be mandated weapon!

  14. I have a 229 Combat. I haven’t had any issues, but haven’t put a whole lot of ammo through it. Only Speer 124 GD and their FMJ lawman. I’m sure other law enforcement departments use these pistols. If it’s Sigs issue not ammo they better do a recall and exchange the NJPD firearms or refund.

  15. Funny, I’ve hardly shot anything but steel-case Russian crap ammo through my SIG P250, and after more than 2000 rounds it still hasn’t had an FTE. Or a fail to feed. Or any failure at all, except for one round of Tulammo with a dead primer.

  16. First off this can be caused by ammunition but more than likely it’s caused by police officers not properly cleaning their firearm. Cops are not gun people I would say about 95% of all law enforcement are not gun people. They see their weapon on their belt as just another tool. I’ve personally seen weapons come into the shop from our local police department that have been carried for over three and a half years without cleaning. Luckily our local PD uses Glock 21 in 45 ACP and clocks 10-2 take more abuse dirt and grime than most other firearms because of their tolerances. I would have given the officers and instructional class on how to clean their weapon properly and use the right lubrication in it and that probably would have solved the problem. Nine times out of ten failure to eject or failure to extract is caused by a dirty chamber and the bullet the cartridge rather when it is trying to be extracted out of the chamber has to go against carbon that’s built up in there and it gets gritty and it doesn’t want to let the weapon cycle. Please do us a favor if your law enforcement officer take the time once a month to clean your service weapon thoroughly if you don’t know how to do it there’s a lot of local gun shops in your area that will do it for free like ours. I mean you don’t carry a flashlight with a dead battery in it why carry a pistol that’s so filthy it can’t even function correctly?

    • Considering this only seems to come up during qualifying you’re probably right about them not being gun people. They only shoot to qualify.

    • Did you not read where Sig came, tested, and still had problems? Do you think they tested with poor ammo and dirty firearms?

  17. Wow…the Chevy Truck advertisement… I mean “review” sure disappeared down the memory hole quick 😉

  18. I have fired tens of thousands of rounds thru my P229 and my P228 in competition and never once experienced a jam. The 229 was cleaned about every 1000 rounds, oiled lightly every 200 or so. It’s still my go to gun for home defense!!

  19. I read the complaint. Its happening with both their qualifications ammo and duty ammo. I wonder if they are going back and forth between lacquer or polymer steel and brass ammo?

  20. “The real issue here may be that the NJSP is too cheap to buy anything but steel cased “budget” ammo and would rather blame SIG SAUER for their woes than accept that they made a mistake and should spend a little more for brass cased rounds.”

    I would have to agree with this. Crap ammo is crap ammo.

  21. Knowing a little something about the NJSP from the 70’s and 80’s, all I can say is that Sig made a mistake when pursuing the NJSP (or any other LEO in the state of NJ) as a customer. Even if you came to me with a contract where I could charge $10K/each for a weapon to issue to the NJSP (or any other NJ LEO), I would refuse to equip them with so much as a pointed stick, a round rock and a bad idea. Their leadership is corrupt beyond redemption, their politicians doubly so, their beat cops are, at best, only marginally different from the NYPD is today.

    Sig probably failed to qualify the ammo that is being fed into their pistols. I’ve rarely, very rarely, heard, seen or witnessed the sorts of FTE’s they’re talking about here on a Sig – any Sig. There’s lots of things I could say about Sigs as guns, but the idea of them producing so many pistols with such a basic issue isn’t one of them.

    The central problem for Sig here is that they sent what sounds like an armorer to diagnose the problem, ostensibly by changing out parts. Sometimes, when you’re diagnosing problems with a firearm, you need to quit changing parts, go back to square one, test-fire the pistol in the original configuration, then sit down, put on your Optivisor, get some good lighting and start looking very carefully at the brass, the parts involved as you carefully disassemble the pistol in question, and start thinking very carefully about what the evidence is telling you.

  22. I had FTE / FTF issues with my 2008 P226 too, sent it to Sig – they claimed to polish the feed ramp. Still some FTE, so I changed out the magazine springs and feeders and it’s been flawless ever since. My Sig P229 Elite does have a number of differences and has been 100% reliable in 9mm, 357 Sig and 40S&W. from what I’ve read the P229 is overbuilt since it was designed to handle 40S&W versus the P226 was designed for 9mm. The author also missed the point that the other WELL DOCUMENTED CAUSE IS BAD MAGAZINES WITH WEAK SPRINGS AND MAG FEEDS. Sig produced crappy factory springs and feed ramps, which I replaced – and never had a single failure from that point forward. They should have looked at that too IMHO. The author is far from a Sig expert.

    • Huh. Wish I’d read that as I was writing my bit below. I’ll check the mag and springs on the 238 and see if it can handle some defense ammo and maybe stop keyholing at a higher velocity.

    • If this was happening in one or two possibly three guns I would say they got a couple of bad pistols but when that’s happening to every single gun they’re shooting either Sig Sauer s*** the bed or they’re using garbage Mo and not cleaning the weapons very good if at all.

  23. Truth is, I’m kind of burned out on SIG. I absolutely love their ergonomics and I mean love the look and feel, but at the end of the day, performance and quality matter. My dark elite in .40 shot okay for the first 100 rounds or so then started drifting literally everywhere. On closer inspection, the pins holding the leaves of the rear sight were loose. So loose, in fact, that they drifted out of the sides of the sight allowing the leaves to flop up and down without any control whatsoever. That went back to the factory. Came back, two weeks later same thing happened (a friend suggested loctite and I just glared at him). Back to the factory where it was all replaced again with a different sight type. Better now, but I’m annoyed that it spent the first six months being sent hither and yon for repairs.

    While that was going on, I got a little pocket 238 in .380. That one failed to feed with hollowpoint, only chambered FMJ. Was willing to accept that until I had that out at the range and a buddy noticed the targets looking a little ragged. He asked “is that keyholing?” and damned if it wasn’t.

    I’m not spending the time and the effort to try a bunch of other ammo or going back-and-forth with the factory again. As far as I’m concerned, when you go 0 for 2 with a manufacturer, it’s done. The ridiculousness with the Saint and other shenanigans are icing on a poo cake as far as I’m concerned. I believe they’ve grown too far too fast and aren’t paying attention to the fundamentals of quality work.

    • I hear this limp wristing quite a bit. I broke my right wrist and limp all my semi auto pistols and it hasn’t caused an issue. For a limp wrist to cause an issue it’s got to be really really limp like Caitlyn Jenner limp.

  24. Keep in mind that ammo spec weight can also be the culperate. 115 g although common is NOT the correct European specification for 9mm 124 g is correct. Sigs like hotter loads, steel guide rods and wet slides. Sig should take them all back, refurbish and resell as law enforcement used, that way they will get the respect and treatment they deserve. The US Secret Service and other military branches have been using P229’s for years without incident. Good enough to protect the president of the USA but NJSP can’t get them to work 😉

  25. So, equip the NJ cops with revolvers.

    Problem solved. Plus, they’ll shoot fewer innocent bystanders.

    • I knew a NJ State Trooper in the ’80’s, just before they switched to 9mm (S&W 559’s I think). They were carrying Ruger Security Six’s, SS, 6″. Heavy, solid MF’s. He told me at the time, he was sorry to see the Rugers go, as you could really “calm somebody down” with one of those. They would use it as a club A LOT more than ever shooting anybody with it. 9mm semis, not so much.

  26. Odd. It does seem like ammunition is the issue if they are having this problem across that many guns.

  27. We’re talking about New Jersey cops here.

    I’m guessing the problem is a combination of crap ammo, a failure to maintain the firearm and limp wristing while shooting, probably while screaming about needing a glass of wata down by the sho-ah.

    Or maybe Sig has produced a truly smart gun: one that doesn’t function in the hands of police state minions.

  28. I live in NJ, have a 229 Platinum Elite in 40 that has been run hard in several classes. I reload, i shoot 9mm out of a conversion barrel and NEVER had an issue. I got out before my Coast Guard brothers started using them. I’d say most Coasties own a Sig of their own. Even the best machines and tools need proper maintenance to perform. Uggh.

  29. I was an armorer for a medium sized PD for years and our issue sidearm was a 229 in .40 S&W. I serviced and maintained about 130 of these guns. Ours were the legacy slide models with the older extractors.

    They ran very well. We had some failures due to very poorly maintainance, which is sadly very common with police officers.

    I carried my 229 for 13 years and put approximately 20,000 rounds through it. I took it with me when I retired and tstill have it today.

    One common problem we had was broken extractors. It was the most common repair I had to make and we had some break in the first 500 rounds, though that wasn’t common.

    I think there are far better pistols for police duty use, but I’m skeptical of an entire department having lemon 229s. I suspect maintenance and poor ammunition to be the most likely culprits.

  30. My p229 legion has @3100 rds ran through it with only 2FTE (stupid reman ammo). I’ve ran even more through my p226 with no outrageous issues. I clean and maintain my weapons regularly, how can I expect them to work for me when I don’t care for them?

    • NJ cops should only be issued Water Pistols. Absolutely the most jack booted criminal cops in the whole country.

  31. I’m surprised by that. I don’t have a P229, but I do have a P228 I’ve had for quite a while but didn’t shoot much for several years. Its been my primary range gun for the last year and I shoot everything factory through it – 124gr German NATO spec, WWB, Wolf steel and brass, CCI Blazer, SD JHP – whatever is cheap and easy to get locally or order in bulk for target shooting or self-defense practice. The only malfunction in has to be over 3k rounds, was a failure to fire on a bad primer. I read early on that Sigs like to run “wet” so I have always made sure the rails are wiped off then properly lubricated even if I haven’t done a proper cleaning in a while. I think all my mags are Sig or Magtech.

    While they aren’t the same gun, they aren’t all that dissimilar. I’m surprised that the P229 would have such problems given it’s lineage of reliable handguns.

    • Refer to my earlier post about the difference between the manufacturing of the original p228 slide vs the p229 slide. Sig vs Glock perfection will not overcome bad ammo, bad maintenance, or bad technique. Remember also that we are responding to an article about a “The Trace” propaganda story.

      • Thanks for referring me to your upstream post. It wasn’t there when I first commented. You confirmed what I thought I knew about the P228/P229 heritage but I didn’t even think about the extra weight of the slide, beefed up for the .40/.357sig rounds, being the issue but it makes damn good common sense that it is a likely culprit.

        I did kind of pause at your reference to West German safe queen P228s. Am I supposed to be relegating mine to safe queen status instead of enjoying shooting it?

  32. “To hell and back reliability” (except with certain ammo) -riiiigggghhhhttttttttt

  33. Sig pistols have an uneven record when it comes to reliability. This can be attributed to their tight tolerances which make them finicky. This is why the Army is ultimately going to regret the choice of the P320. High round counts, mediocre maintenance and abuse by Private Snuffy are a recipe for failure. Glock should consider themselves lucky for being DQed because after 10 years of US Army abuse their reputation would be shot. The US military does what no other military does. They constantly deploy. A plastic handgun works fine for a garrison force but the we need something more durable. Both the 1911 and the M-9 are well suited for military use. They stood up to years of high use. Not many handguns will do that.

  34. I have a Sig P229 that would only Jam if you used Winchester in the white box. When I used any other rounds including handloads and cheap ammo it would always work. Maybe they’re using the crappy Winchester rounds.

  35. I just bought at Sig P238 because I wanted a super accurate .380 with no recoil. I had a box of Tula steel .380 which was the last steel .380 ammo I had around, and will be the last steel .380 I ever buy. The Sig had no FTE’s although there were a couple of non-fires due, I suspect, to the Russian primers.

  36. I live in nj unfortunately, the gun laws make it so only criminals have guns its out of control here. You can do five years for a bb gun, as it carries the same charge as a real firearm due to the graves act, nj state law requires you to have it registered just like a real firearm lol this goes all the way down to spring powered airsoft guns basically making any kind milsim games illegal. O btw do not come here with a slingshot either, its a felony charge here to posses one in the state of nj. NJ is the most corrupt place on the planet and they can put you in prison for j walking. Those who do not live here do not come here, good ol new jersey come on vacation leave on probation.

    • New Jerseystan is to avoided like the Plague. Don’t even drive thru this crap hole of a state. A cesspool is an upgrade compared to this place. I’m sure Russia is a better place to live.

  37. Well my BS detector is off the charts here and not just because it’s a The Trace story that needed to ask a few more questions.

    The list of longtime Sig P229 users is long, here’s just a few:
    Ontario Prov Police
    Turkey Special Forces
    UK Defense Ministry Police
    UK West Midlands Police
    US Army CID
    US Coast Guard
    US Homeland Security (TSA etc)
    US Federal Air Marshals
    US Secret Service
    US Military – various units, the P229 is designated the M11
    US VA Police
    US Postal Inspectors
    Delaware State Police
    Memphis Police
    Connecticut State PD – carried them for 17 years before switch to .45 via Sig P220 (229 not avail in .45)

    Bottom line this firearm is in widespread use and has been so since the 1990s. You have CTSP above, an agency that carried the model for nearly two decades. When they decided to switch to .45, what brand did they go with? Yeah they choose Sig Sauer’s P220. If the P229 series is so flawed then you don’t carry it for nearly 2 decades and stick with the same brand at your next upgrade.

    Something about this just doesn’t make sense. Okay, did they get a bad batch? Well one would think the replacement models NJ got would of cured that but it didn’t.

    Is it ammo related? Possibly, but you’d think the Sig rep would of caught that. Maybe he/she did, but NJ didn’t want to listen due to big investment in bulk ammo purchase? Maybe with the way NJ wipes it’s backside with the 2nd amendment Sig didn’t care enough to send their very best talent down? Who knows, more details on their practice and duty ammo would help. With budget cuts and the ammo supply shortage who knows what they are using.

    Is it maintenance related? Given what I’ve seen with how LE treats their weapons this is probably at least a partial factor. You’d think the Sig rep would of caught that. Maybe he/she did, but NJ didn’t want to listen to their advice. Helpful to remember that there are a lot of talented “gun guys” in LE, but most are not that gun savvy. Talk to gunsmiths and agency armorers and they’ll tell you a lot of duty guns do well to get cleaned and lubed once a year…usually right after qualification LOL.

    Yes it is helpful to remember this is New Jersey, not exactly a land rich in gun/shooting culture. Bet we’d be shocked at how many of the NJSP cadets never touched a handgun till the academy.

    Maybe this more about creating a problem since they don’t like their original choice. Lot of LE is not fond of the Sig DA/SA (lot of the LE 229s are DA only models) trigger, regret their choice, and this more internal politics and CYA than anything else. Maybe a pressure tactic to get Sig to give them a sweet deal on P320s?

    Who knows, it’s NJ so I guess anything is possible. Regardless this story just smells fishy to me.

    • I’m curious where they on Glocks before? I could see their troopers hating the P229’s trigger after being used to a striker fired gun. DA triggers are not easy for most shooters to master, you actually have to invest time and ammo into practice.

      Something tells me when more facts come out this may well be nothing more than sh#tty NJ agency politics trying to get out of a sidearm contract.

      Too many other agencies carrying this same gun for decades so what is so unique about New Jersey…oh wait that answers itself LOL. Then you add in this is a poorly researched story from The Trace, nuff said.

  38. Weird about the Ruger comments. They’re the only guns I’ve ever had jam (SR9 and the SR22 is massively pickey about ammo). Others have mentioned similar experiences to me.

    A SIG 229 was my first gun. I have thousands of rounds through it and can’t recall a single FTE except for one squib the other week (bad ammo) and one or two stovepipes when I was first learning. If I had to recommend one handgun to someone who wanted quality and reliability, it would be my first choice without even needing to think. I’ve run all types of brass case ammo through it, though never steel case.

    • My SR22 will fire any damn thing, same with the SR9C, 9E and everything else. If you want to talk ammo picky 22 handguns, here goes Walther P22, terrible; SIG Mosquito, worse than terrible; Beretta Neos, just bad.

    • I agree, Ruger auto pistols are the worst. I only have one, a MkIII that has been back to Ruger three times for any number of problems. And while they always provided a vague write up of services, never was it completely corrected. My brother in law rented a few different Ruger SA pistols at a range, to see if he wanted to buy one of them. Everyone of the Rugers were jam-o-matics! The other pistols tried that day were fine.
      I like a FEW of their revolvers. But not one single SA that they make.

  39. I think the problem is that everyone even remotely involved with New Jersey police are too limp wristed.
    I have two p229, one m11-a1, and one p228. They eat every ammo I have feed them with zero problems. The m11 had 1 fte in the first magazine when brand new but after that no problems. I clean them after every range trip and oil that action and grease the rails. Thousand or round through them, I trust them so much a p229 in 357 sig is my everyday carry

  40. There a 220 Sig in 45 auto

    They fired over 10,000 rounds in a nonstop gun test for Gun and Ammo mag.over 20 years ago.

    This gun never failed to fire, there was 2 fails to fire and both of them were ammo related.

    The testers abused this gun, no cleaning, no oil, and no maintenance at all.

    They even had to put the gun a bucket of every time the gun got to hot to hang onto.

    When it was over the barrel had so much copper fouling that it had reduced the bore size a lot
    to the point it was dangerous to fire.

    They cut the barrel in half length wise, the layers of copper had build up that the bore size was close
    40 cal and scary to think that it still firing with out problems.

    After it was over they cleaned, oiled the gun, fixed any broken or worn parts, replaced the barrel.

    Then the ran 2 more mags, in the gun, at fast as it would fire, with no problems at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sig make a tough gun

    New Jersey. makes stupid people that need to stay away from guns.

  41. I own several Sigs. I recently had my 30 something year old .45 p220’s extractor replaced after I can’t even begin to count how many rounds it had fired through it–high end ammo and cheap Russian steel cased stuff. Ditto for my p226 9mil. Never had those problems. They literally eat whatever you feed them.

  42. in order for the military to purchase any firearm, the majority has to be manufactured in the US. Sig Sauer USAis headquartered in Exter, NH. Beretta, HK, FNH, all have US headquarters and manufacturing facilities. i’ve never once had a single problem with any of my Sig’s, whether a personal or issued and used during deployments overseas

  43. The P-229 did not result from the Miltary asking for a smaller P-226. The request for a smaller version of the P226 is how the P-228(also know as the M-11) came about.

    The P-229 was developed to supplement the P-228 as a concealable police firearm, specifically designed to chamber larger hotter rounds. Namely the .40S&W and the .367SIG. The P-229 was designed around the one piece slide milled stainless steel slide, unlike the P-228 which has a two piece carbon steel forged slide.

    Since the original design and development, the P-229 has been chambered in the .40 SW, .357 SIG, and they have tried to streamline product and sell the P-229 as the P-228 replacement in regards to a compact 9mm.

    While there may be some of the usual screwballery in the US Government purchasing that allows the P-229 to be purchased in place of the P-228, the P-228 was the original firearm designated M-11 by the US Military.

    If there truly is problems, possible given SIG history over the last decade.It might be the attempt to streamline the 229 from two different sizes receivers (one designed for the large calibers magazines for .357 Sig and .40, and one for the smaller magazines for 9mm)( to one standard receiver, the changes might have caught up with them. Or more likely it might just be the usual awesome QC people have come to expect from some of the firearms manufacturers. Or just cheap ammo and poor maintenance.

  44. The Sig today is not the Sig that was made twenty-five years ago. Parts internally are sourced from all over the world (Mexico, India, U.S. & Israel) to lessen costs. It’s an inferior gun compared to the one made two decades ago. NJSP should have gone with Glock, an easier gun to troubleshoot and repair.

  45. For a website of this name, you should check your facts better.

    Going along with what ThomasM said:

    The P228 was sold to government as the M11. The P229 was created much later when the 40S&W became popular. At that point the P228 began being phased out of the commercial market since they were a simular size and the P229 could also be purchased in 9mm also later 357 Sig.

    Sig made a design change to the first P229 extractor that caused issues. The original P229 extractor did not have these issues. It is sometimes referred to as the Short vs Long extractor. The original Short extractor never had issues

  46. ‘The Truth About Guns’ is similiar to mushroom management. Keep them in the dark and feed them shit.

    This article is full of blatant falsehoods and bad information. The comments even more so. FYI…NJ has a large recreational gun culture with numerous outdoor ranges sponsoring a variety of competitive events. Yes, our laws are draconian, and in desperate need of reform, but it doesn’t deter the committed.

    Fact #1. Speer Lawman TMJ (training) vs. Speer LE Gold Dot (duty). Zero issues with the original P228, or other handguns from numerous manufacturers. Reliable ammunition with brass casings.

    Fact #2. Exhaustive attempts to fix the problem working directly with Sig over several years. Sig’s best and brightest from engineers to reputable shooters were befuddled.

    Thought. Maybe Sig should stick to the original recipe of making a few reliable outstanding handguns, instead of mass producing hundreds of models with outsourced parts.


  47. Sold my Sig 229 Legion. Replaced it with a C.Z. 97 D. Couldn’t see having a 1300.00 dollar gun that the PVD finish was flaking off of the frame. Never jammed but had a few too many quality issues for me.

  48. pity Trace didn’t research the process that selected the 229. It’s reasonable to expect that the NJ police held a competition that first selected the 229, then conducted extensive testing of the 229. Trace suggests that there were no issues until the pistols arrived. is that correct.
    Reading the Trace article about the 25 randomly selected pistols had 5 that failed to work. You can extrapolate that Sig is unindated with 229 owners returning their pistols. Certainly TTAG readers would be posting their own horror stories here on this thread. Yet, nothing.
    It would be informative to know what Sig found when they examined the returned pistols. Specifically, if using high quality ammunition solved the problem. Yet another omission by Trace.

  49. I’m seeing a common thread here: Winchester White Box isn’t the most reliable ammo out there. Instead, it seems to be among the least reliable.
    Anyone know what the NJSP was using?

      • @Thomas M, “Sigs should, should be able to function with any America name brand ammo.”
        Not arguing with that, but the reverse is also true: Any brand of ammo should work in any reasonably made gun that’s chambered for it.
        Asking any gun maker to buy a sampling of every lot of every brand of ammo (regardless of where it’s made) seem to be asking a lot.
        I had a Gold Wing that intensely disliked Shell gas after Shell changed it’s additive package. Was that Honda’s fault?

  50. I haven’t had any issues with my P226 MK25. It eats cheap ass Tula all day long without a hiccup.

  51. NJ bS,
    Over 8000 rounds in my p229, never a problem…
    Same with every other Sig I own, P232, MPX, etc….

  52. Greetings,

    They bought the guns through me. They carried CCI/Speer 53618 Gold Dot for duty and practiced with the CCI/Speer 53651 which were the same loads they carried/shot in the 228’s they replaced.

    Yes, I chopped up the 3,400 German made 228’s. It was required by the Contract. Yes, I almost cried.

    To the best of my knowledge and belief, the new weapons cycled the Gold Dot flawlessly. They did not like the 53651 ball. That is why they continued to carry them on duty. The problems were on the range, not on the street.

    I believe they did not like the Federal American Eagle AE9AP any better than the 53651.

    No, I have not heard of a top of the line weapon that would feed and eject standard velocity hollow points but not an FMJ or TMJ. So no, it was NOT an ammunition problem.

    The problem was solved when Sig finally figured it out and agreed to replace the entire slide and gave the NJSP 200 of the new slides. The new slides I am told worked fine.

    It appears the upper levels of both the NJSP and Sig Sauer were by this time both aggravated with one another, the NJSP upper levels did not want the replacement slides even though they fixed the problem, and bought Glocks which are, in my opinion, dangerous in the hands of non-shooters, as you need to fire them to take them down. We lost the local PD LT. who went back to the station, cleared his weapon, THEN dropped the mag., pointed it at his thigh, squeezed the trigger, and bled to death by the coffee machine. Nope, the Sig. and Heckler & Koch are far superior weapons.

    And that is the long and short of it. The rest was politics and personalities and had nothing to do with the serviceability of the weapons. The ammunition was never an issue or ever suspected of being the problem. CCI/Speer and Federal ammunition work great in just about everything and the NJSP and NJ DOC still shoot Federal and CCI/Speer.

    Best regards,
    Thomas J. Morris III
    Major USMCR (retired)
    Member NJ/PA/OH Bars
    Eagle Point Gun/T.J.Morris & Son
    1707 Third Street
    Thorofare, New Jersey 08086
    PH 856-848-6945
    FX 856-394-2938
    EM [email protected]

    • I would suggest that if the guns ate other types of ammo but that one, the ammo might indeed be the problem.
      That SIG found, and offered, a solution doesn’t alter that, IMO.
      And no, I don’t own a SIG.

    • “and bought Glocks which are, in my opinion, dangerous in the hands of non-shooters, as you need to fire them to take them down . . .”

      I always chuckle when I hear this nonsense. Only a fool doesn’t clear and check their gun before taking it down for cleaning. And how about all the instructor advice to practice by dry firing. Dry firing involves pulling the trigger (that thing that makes the gun go bang for non-shooters). Again, only a fool doesn’t clear and check their gun before dry fire training. Just one more excuse for the Glock haters to use in trying to build their case about how practically any other gun in the world is somehow better than a Glock. Glocks are only dangerous to inept and incompetent shooters.

      I like Sigs and I’m happy the Army is buying them, but in this case given the fact that Sig found a way to correct the problem with a slide replacement, it was probably the guns. If I have a gun that isn’t reliable on the range, I sure as heck am not going to rely on it as a duty weapon that I will have to depend on for my life. As for most LEOs being non-shooters, no argument there. I was a probation officer and worked with police a lot, and never felt all that safe when they had their guns drawn. My son was a deputy sheriff, and was on the range with his SERT team when one of the other members had an ND with an M4 and injured another officer.

      Guns are tools. Would you say that a non-carpenter is in danger when using a circular saw, and it is therefor the saw’s fault? Maybe you would, but I wouldn’t.

      • @Mikial, Striker fired pistols in general make it easier for idiots to make mistakes.
        And idiots are everywhere.
        Life for all of us would be a lot better if those idiots just didn’t exist, but they do.

  53. To the best of my knowledge and belief, they did not eat any type of ball. If they did, then I was not aware of it. And I would have known.

  54. I would consider buying one of the working/repaired returned guns, at cost, if they were to offer them.

  55. MIM Parts!!!!!
    My new P226 Legion SAO (as of March this year) failed, at 160 rounds of factory loaded, brass cased, ammo. Jammed up after only 160! Failed to extract a round. I didn’t notice it at first, but the extractor claw had self destructed. I pulled the stuck case out with a knife blade and kinda went, huh! I haven’t seen that before. So, I put the mag back in and bang….stuck…double feed again. This time I move into a little better light and put on my readers (sux, not being able to see at short distances) and then I see the problem. Broken extractor, made from junk MIM.
    Sig sells the Legion series of pistols as a gun for professionals, or something like that. I wrote them a letter asking how a gun for professionals could possibly use inferior MIM parts? They never answered my question, but they did repair the gun. I have roughly the same amount of shots thru it again. Maybe 200 rd, and no problems yet. Maybe they had a bad batch…thousands of bad extractors, or other MIM parts. To be fair, my P229 SAS also has the “new” style long extractor and it is fine, so far. But it too hasn’t seen much more than 200-300 rd fired. For the kind of money Sig gets for their products, I can’t see why real steel isn’t used in every part that now uses MIM! Especially for a critical part such as the extractor. Actually, I can’t think of any part of a defensive weapon, that ISN’T critical!
    I don’t for one minute believe, that the “new” Sig company is anywhere near what the “old” (German) company used to be in terms of quality of build and craftsmanship.

  56. “The first is a bad extractor or extractor spring, typically worn out after thousands of rounds of use and no longer able to grab the rim of the cartridge properly.”

    Unless it’s manufactured by DPMS, in which case they come from the factory that way.

  57. My P229 is my favorite handgun. It’s an 8 year-old, a tack-driver, and I don’t believe has ever jammed on me, even on 1,000-round shooting days.

    I suspect the NJ police are limp-wristing it, or can’t clean them properly.


  58. I have seen many comments on some of the Sig forums about how bad the American made guns are as compared to the German ones. I predict that just as Smith & Wesson lost the rights to make the Walther PPk/s because they made unreliable guns for their entire production run that lasted several years so too will Exeter lose its contract with the Swiss who will probably shift production back to Sauer in Germany.

    Most of the problem with American Companies is that they use untrained slave labor at low wages and then they are surprised when they put out crap guns. Many German Companies have extensive training programs for their workers, good quality control, and they pay their workers very good wages. Paying an untrained worker slave wages simply means the employee simply does not have the skills to make a good weapon and even if he had such skills he knows he is being screwed every week on payday. None of this is a prescription for making a quality product. I quite buying American made guns years ago as I have seen just too many endless recalls every time a newly made model hits the market place. The guns are rushed to market and not even given minimal testing because its cheaper to test it on the public and then go through endless recalls that sometimes stretch into years. The gun market is so huge in the U.S. the Manufactures know that their will always be an ignorant consumer sucker that will buy their crap and if they never do again they could not care less.

    Yes their CEO’s make millions and the workers earn wages so low they have to moonlight just to pay the bills. This is the American of today. a businessman’s nirvana and a workers hell hole.

    • I read through the entire lawsuit. I am wondering why the genius Sig Armorer’s did not try and just remove the extractors and then test fire the malfunctioning guns. Its well known that some guns are made without extractors and function fine, its just that as in the Beretta guns of this type you have to have a tip up barrel to remove a loaded unfired round.

      A P38 pistol will run fine without an extractor. I have tested this myself by removing a P38 extractor and the gun ran ever bit as good without one. Its just that you cannot get the loaded round out of the chamber if you do want to unload the gun. Maybe New Jersey just should have had Walther make some high capacity P38’s for them instead (Ha, ha).

      If the offending guns were then jamming up without the extractor then the barrel may have indeed caused the problem either with too much coating that may have gotten inside the chamber or a barrel with a roughly manufactured chamber or a chamber that was machined too tightly.

      It was mentioned by another poster that the new bar stock slide was never originally designed for this gun but rather a lighter stamped sheet metal slide was originally used. Yes this is true. Therefore deliberately lightening up the recoil spring could have been tried to see if the malfunctions ceased. Again probably way over the head of the Sig Armorer’s. It could have been done in just a few minutes.

      The fact that the replacement Glocks ran fine seem to point to the fact that the ammo was not the problem. Glocks are known for having generous chambers as well which points to a barrel problem with the Sigs.

      The fact that the Sig Armorers failed to find the problem makes one wonder as to whether Sig has a bunch of Jethro Bodine hammer and chisel mechanics trouble shooting handguns for them. Perhaps if they had flown in some “real gun smiths” from Germany i.e. from the Sauer Company they probably could have found the problem quickly.

      Just another reason I quit buying U.S. made guns a long time ago.

  59. I have a 229 that I bought when they first brought it out in .357. Purchased a .40 barrel for it shortly thereafter, and have fired it a bunch in both calibers. I admit to shooting it a lot more in .40, since I was the firearms instructor in my department and the department caliber was .40. Free ammo! I’ve shot it clean/lubed and dirty/dry, often in the same day. It’s easily the most accurate non-custom handgun I’ve owned, and absolutely, boringly dependable.

    As has been mentioned, ammo and magazine issues are usually dependability killers. In fact, the only problem I ever had with my 229 was caused by bad ammo. It was plain (yellow box) 165 grain ball practice ammo, and the department had purchased a truckload of it. Turns out that about 1-2 rounds in each box had a case that was midway in length between a .40 and 10mm. Once we figured that out, and had taken an opportunity to shout the manufacturer’s ears back. we had to deal with a lot of malfunction drills in each shooting day.

    Never shot steel in the gun, cause I just….don’t.

    And I’m not a Sig fanboy. I can testify that their customer service sucks, and beside that, I’ve been a 1911 fan for close to 60 years, and it’s too late to change. However, I have nothing bad to say about the Sigs I own.

  60. Since NJ government is so adversarial to gun owners (and companies now?), just stop selling them guns.

    Yes, “punish” the guys on the street for the sins of their masters.

  61. Sorry, pistol should eat any type of ammunition. This article is trying to find an excuse for a manufacturer problem. My HK VP9 has no problem eating anything I throw at it including my reloads…reloads bought offline…steel cased ammo..defensive ammo…etc. This is especially striking when you note the price of sigs compared to other handguns. Reminds me of all the Kimbers I see at the range that are jammomatics. Another expensive paper weight. Full disclosure…I have a Sig P220 elite I have had no issues with, no matter what I shoot out of it. Do not know where sig went wrong here but trying to say it wasn’t cleaned right or not fed the correct ammo is a poor excuse for something that is supposedly so high end and meticulously manufactured. Hope the P320s work out better for the armed forces.

  62. I have a Sig P229 and never had a jam. Went to a tactical class last Saturday and fired 400 rounds, no problem.

  63. Isn’t this the same NJSP that jammed up all of their HK P7-M13s using lead reloads and issuing Silver tip HP Winchester rounds? Upon inspection from HK in VA., using these non-recommended rounds, the lead shavings and aluminum jacket particles, clogged the gas port under the barrels. I’m one to think, that they need a better budget for ammunition and better training for the State Police Armory. Basic training of cleaning the pistols would be a great start!

    • ??? The NJSP never carried P7M13’s. They carried P7M8’s, switched in ’82, and they bought the last 450 from me before switching to the 228’s. They never shot reloads and at the time practiced with what they carried. They carried Remington 115gr. JHP in the P7M8’s first. Then switched to the Federal 9BP which they bought from me. Then when Federal (actually a man named Ron Mason who cost me several accounts before Federal fired him) raised the price 220% in the mid 90’s, they switched to the Speer 53618. They still carry the 53618. And they practice with Speer 53651. Where do people come up with this stuff? For the last time, since I wrote this before and thought the matter had been cleared up, it was NOT an ammo problem. Turned out to be a slide problem. Sig agreed to replace all the slides. They replaced 200 of them. Worked fine. And then the personalities got involved, over-ruled the NJSP armorers, and went to the Glock for , in my opinion, spite. End of story.

  64. The P228 was a much better made and functioning pistol. The P229R, from my experience, requires more cleaning and is PICKY about the ammo. Yes, cheap practice ammo will cause fouling and extraction/cycling problems. Given the state of affairs in NJ, I would postulate that USER error was a major contributor to the problems cited in the article. The NJSP isn’t exactly the friendliest environment for firearms enthusiasts.

  65. I have two 229s manufactured a few years apart and other than some cheap old rounds long sitting in a baggie I ran through when new, I’ve never had any issues. Of course I clean my guns more frequently than a dentist cleans their teeth…

  66. Rug_Trucker – Beretta moved some but not all of their US operations from Accokeek, MARYLAND to Tennessee due to the Maryland General Assembly (i.e., our Leftistlature) passing the “Gun Safety Act of 2013” in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary horror the month before. Beretta took a principled stand at a law which outlawed no small number of the firearms in the state where they made them. Did the legislative solons and liberal voters rue losing literally millions of dollars in tax revenue by having the new plant built in another state? I guess not since the jackass state senator who wrote the legislation was elected State Attorney General. (Sigh …..) It ain’t easy living in a red state.

  67. My buddy has a 229. She’s put all of 30 rounds FMJ through it and it won’t feed Sig branded hollow points. Freshly cleaned, polished and lubed.

  68. I’ve carried multiple variants of the P229 over the course of 20+ years, never a problem. The NJSP probably encountered a chamber tolerance manufacturing flaw which was the catalyst for the FTE’s as exhibited. I suspect Sig has since Implemented improved quality assurance measures and metrics to monitor the integrity of the changes. I trust my P229, as well as my P239.

  69. I own two P229s and they have both ran flawlessly from the day they came out of the box, being fed a variety of ammo. I’d stake my life on them.

    Reading through the comments, this article seems to affirm a pre-existing bias for some regarding Sig Sauer. For me, it confirms my pre-existing bias about New Jersey.

  70. My comment of 18MAY17 at 1336 summed it all up in a nutshell. They bought the weapons from me. All 3,000 of them. They had a slide problem. The new slides fixed the problem. Ammunition was not an issue (they got a lot of it from me). Maintenance was not an issue. Personality conflict at upper levels caused the switch after the problem was solved and Sig had already sent the NJSP the first 200 replacement slides. The 229 is a beautiful weapon. So was the 228.

  71. This is a real issue. I have this issue in my personal 229 Elite Dark. It is NOT caused by ammo, as it happens with all sorts of rounds, wwb, PMC, Fiocchi, Magtech, Federal defense ammo, and even Hornady 147 grain defensive loads. The result is exactly what the NJSP reported, which is the spent case is not extracted, leaving it in the chamber. The slide is racking all the way, cocking the pistol, and successfully picking up the next round from the mag, which is being jammed into the primer of the already fired round. Please note, the spent casing falls freely from the chamber once the magazine is removed. The casing is NOT getting stuck in any of the instances I have seen. When the round is fired, I believe that during the milliseconds when the action is opening, the barrel shifting downward places tension on the cartridge which overcomes the strength of the extractor and essentially “prys” the extractor from the case, leaving it in the chamber. Once that tension is gone, the casing rattles in the chamber and falls freely out. I can confirm 100% this is NOT ammo, and NOT stuck casings, this is a Sig mechanical fault. If a pistol will not reliably eat factory loaded, brass cased target ammo right out of the box, it is trash. This is the worst type of failure, because tap, rack, bang does not clear the jam. The only way to clear this jam is to lock the slide, drop the mag, clear the case, replace mag and drop slide. After monitoring dozens of forum posts on this issue, I have determined the only thing that permanently fixes this issue is when Sig replaces the entire slide…which confirms there is a fundamental issue in the dimensions of the slide / extractor pocket, otherwise they would just replace the extractor with a better part.

  72. Update – I spoke to Sig Customer service, and they gave me the same bullsh*t they told the NJSP. They told me that my gun was probably too dirty, and they need to disassemble it and put it through an ultrasonic cleaner. I explained that I already completely stripped and cleaned the pistol, replaced the extractor and spring, and explained this gun has less than 1000 rounds. They literally told me that the NJSP were wrong, and that they are not willing to discuss the lawsuit, and there is no issue with the p229’s. They kept focusing on what ammo I used, even after I explained I have tried 115, 124, 147, ball, HP, PMC, Magtech, WWB, Fiocchi, Federal, etc…It chokes on everything.

    On top of that, they will not offer me any warantee service because I bought the pistol used. The original owner mentioned that the gun needed some break in, but now I understand he was just trying to get rid of a lemon, and did not want to deal with Sig customer service. (I don’t blame him.)

    I will never spend another dollar with Sig. I highly suggest that you do NOT carry a sig for CCW.
    Sig sent out 3000 of these to police officers, who depend on their sidearms to get home to their families everyday. If they do not care about the lives of Police officers, you can be damn sure they do not care about your life, or the life of your children.

    One thing I have noticed: The only sig products that run reliably are those where they stole the design from another manufacturer. For example, my sig ar15 is fine, and the Sig 1911 is fine, because all they had to do was copy an existing design. Look what happened when they tried “improving” the AR with the MCX platform….it was garbage and blew up a bunch of guns.

    I am sure that sig could make a decent Glock clone, problem is they cannot make a decent p229.

    • Interesting. The 3,000 weapons issued to the NJSP worked flawlessly with 53618 which was why they continued to carry them on the street. They just did not like the 53651 on the range. Which was odd as it had always been my experience that failures to feed and/or extract/eject (the problem in the case at hand) occurred with service ammunition before ball. Turned out to be a slide problem which when the first 200 were replaced by Sig Sauer fixed the reliability issue albeit the political/personality issue by that time was apparently insurmountable hence the switch to Glock. I own Sig Models 230, 232, 225, 226 (9mm and .40), 228, 229 (.40 and .357S) and 220 (.45 and .38 Super) and all of them have functioned flawlessly. If your weapon did not feed/cycle Speer service ammunition then it was not the same problem as the NJSP had as all 3,000 of their weapons did.

      • Hi Thomas,

        I have a scenario with the P229 Nitron I HAD (for 3 years that I owned the gun) that I would like your expert opinion on (I assume you’re an armorer or gunsmith based on the detail of your above comments).
        This might take a bit so bear with me.

        I purchased my first Sig P229 in January of 2016….just fit my hand perfectly over any other pistol I shot or tried. During the breakin period I did have several different types of failures…the majority of which was the infamous Failure to Extract/Double Feed with that second round pushed up against the previous empty round left in the barrel.

        ALL other failures subsided after breakin EXCEPT the FTE/Double Feed. That continued to happen say every 400 to 800 rounds….sometimes twice…in a session of 150 – 200+ rounds being shot….sometimes not. Sig thought it was the ammunition, so I went from Blazer Brass to Speer Lawman TMJ. Same issue 400 to 800 rounds would have another FTE/Double Feed.

        Next, after speaking to my Sig gunsmith (who builds weapons for police use), was to have my gunsmith do a complete disassembly and ultrasonic cleaning and go with that to see if it works. This was all in the first year to year and a half of owning the weapon.

        I also changed my cleaning technique, which I do RIGHT after each range outing by being extra meticulous about NOT getting any oil or cleaner under the extractor where it might travel up into the spring area carrying carbon with it.

        Again, after the ultrasonic cleaning…and after about 800 rounds….I had another FTE/Double Feed. Became frustrated as I was up to like 15 of these so far….talked to Sig…they gave me the spiel about the 1% failure rate and that my failure rate was well within the guidelines that they expect. However, for me…using this as a carry gun…was not acceptable. Sig then suggested I change out the extractor and springs….so I ordered them.

        Went back to my gunsmith/shop where I purchased the gun and had them clean and replace the extractor and its springs. Again…within about 400 – 800 rounds this time…another FTE/double feed. At This point…I had owned the firearm for about 2 years and had run thousands of rounds through it having various FTE/double feeds along the way.

        Called Sig back AGAIN….they suggested I send it to them to check…and an ultrasonic cleaning and replacement of all springs in the gun again (I had had this done once already earlier for general maintenance purposes) because I now was pushing 10,000 rounds through the pistol.
        Got it back from sig…they did the ultrasonic cleaning and changed out the extractor and its springs (2nd time this was done). Thought, maybe, it was fixed…..BUT… sure enough, at around 800 rounds…had another FTE/double feed.

        I had lost confidence in the gun so I got rid of it….even though it SEEMS to fall into the ACCEPTABLE guidelines that Sig says the expect… is NOT acceptable for me to use as a carry piece.
        An important piece to this is that after a year or so of owning the Nitron, and having these issues, I purchased a Sig P229 Legion alternating between my NItron and my Legion for each shooting session. I am currently up to 3500 rounds through my Legion with ZERO failures (with the exception of 5 failure to feed during breakin of 200 rounds). NO FTE/double feeds…EVER…through this pistol so far…knock on wood. All while shooting the exact same Lawman TMJ through it. Something IS different between this Legion and my Nitron….so the possible causes of ammunition, limp wristing the pistol, extractor, extractor springs, dirty gun, etc., don’t seem to hold up to scrutiny as to why that Nitron continued to have those FTE/double feed issues.

        Your thoughts on this are welcomed…would really like to know if my Nitron may have had a slide issue as well?

        Since getting rid of that Nitron I have purchased a Sig P229 Emperor Scorpion and am awaiting delivery on the piece. And since the only real difference between that Scorpion and the Legion I own will come down to the solid steel guide rod…I will be replacing the hollow one it comes with with the Grayguns solid one. I don’t know if the beaver tale and extra weight of the guide rod helped with round extraction in the Legion by helping minimize muzzle flip when I shoot or the Nitron had a mechanical issue….as in the slide. Just trying to minimize the possibility of is issue in the new Scorpion I purchased as it will also be used as a carry weapon.

        Again, your thoughts are welcomed.

  73. I started off on Sigs with a used Sig p2022 3 or 4 years ago and picked up a lightly used P229 Elite SS model about two years ago from a shooting friend that only had it for about 2 months, he probably only shot it 300-400 rounds in it. I have shot some factory, and some old military 9mm in them and even some 30 year old old Egyptian ammo that was weak, dirty, and smelled like crap. Mostly I shoot my own hand loads with Polycoated cast bullets, and handload with some plated, and jacketed hp’s. Never have I had a failure to feed or eject. But to be truthful total I may have only fired a total between the two pistols of 4000 rounds and I am not going to tolerate a dirty pistol , so i clean them often. Also about two years ago a firearms instructor with the local LEO’s I know said the local police department was having trouble with their S&W M&P’s jamming and they had pretty much decided it came from a recent purchase of Winchester white box training ammo but had no trouble with their defense service ammo.

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