Last week we reported that the NJ State Police are suing SIG SAUER because, according to the NJSP, the P229 handguns that SIG SAUER sold them were jam-o-matics. SIG SAUER has since responded and, according to their diagnosis, the problem here is exactly what we expected: NJ is too cheap to buy their troopers decent range ammo.
According to the lawsuit filed by the NJSP, SIG SAUER’s P229 handguns would fail to extract spent cartridges. After sending replacement extractors, extractor parts, and even barrels, the problem persisted. The NJSP then demanded that SIG SAUER provide the older P229 with a less robust extraction system, And those (predictably) failed as well.
We know that SIG SAUER function checks every firearm before it ships. And there is a conspicuous lack of widespread reports in the gun community of the P229 being an unreliable firearm (no matter what gunsmiths and armorers at The Trace would have you believe).
So it looked to us like the ammunition might be the root cause of this problem. Sufficiently crappy budget-priced ammo can cause these exact malfunctions no matter how well your handgun is designed. SIG SAUER, it seems, agrees.
Following delivery, the NJSP informed Sig Sauer that it was experiencing failures during qualification training with their training ammunition. Sig Sauer immediately began working with the NJSP to determine the cause of this failure and resolve the issue.
Sig Sauer’s investigation of the failure mode indicates a contributing factor may be a compatibility issue between this unique NJSP P229 and the specific training ammunition used by the NJSP. Importantly, these failures were limited to the training ammunition used by the NJSP, and the P229s functioned when using their duty ammunition.
What’s important to note here is that, according to SIG SAUER, the firearms functioned perfectly with the New Jersey officers’ duty ammunition. It was only the range training ammunition where the problems occurred. You’d think that would have been enough for the brass in the Garden State to diagnose the problem before making this a federal case.
According to their statement SIG SAUER is still working with the NJSP to resolve the issue. Given how incompetent the NJSP appears to have been here I can definitely believe that their legal department had no idea what was actually going on and may have…jumped the gun here. So to speak.