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SIG SAUR P226 Review
What does Walker Texas Ranger Carry?
As a huge fan of Sig products I will try to be as un-bias as possible with this review. I consider myself to have a wide variety of tastes when it comes to pistols. I like everything from the Ruger single-actions to HK USP SOCOM’s. They all serve their own purpose. But in the 9mm NATO service sidearm class there is heavy competition. This is the highly competitive weight class that yields such names as Beretta, Smith and Wesson M&P, Heckler and Koch, Glock, CZ, Fabrique Nationale, Steyr, Walther and probably much more that I am forgetting. In 1985, the P226 was designed for entry into the United States Joint Service Small Arms Program in which it lost out to the Beretta M9. This was due to the complete package price that came with the SIG. Others, claim that the SIG P226 fell apart on a government designed vibrator machine that was supposed to duplicate thousands of rounds shot through it. Whatever the reason, the SIG P226 was not adopted to become the service pistol of the U.S. Armed Forces. Later, the Navy SEALS adopted the Sig P226 as their sidearm of choice. Other organizations that currently use the SIG are the British Special Air Service, U.S. Air Marshalls, U.S. Secret Service and Texas Rangers to name a few. I don’t know about you, but if Walker Texas Ranger chooses the SIG it can’t be a poor sidearm. I joke, Walker actually carries a 1911 or Beretta M9 depending on which season you are watching.
Walker and his Beretta 92F
Watches? Chocolate? and Guns?
SIG stands for Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft which in German means Swiss Industry Company. To understand the Sig P226 we will explore (briefly) the people and culture of which it came. SIG started out making wagons. Then in 1860 they were given the task of designing a new rifle for the Swiss Army. SIG created its first firearm, the Prelaz-Burnand rifles, which were adopted by the military. Switzerland was one of the first industrialized countries in Europe and known for their maniacal attention to detail especially when it came to watch and clock making. There chocolate isn't too shabby either, ever heard of Godiva...Toblerone? This acute talent for producing near perfect mechanisms lended greatly to their ability to create extremely accurate and reliable firearms. Switzerland is a multi-ethnic nation that was created based on democratic ideology rather than religious or ethnic classifications. In the 19th century the Swiss Federal government tried to foster unity by holding sharpshooting competitions since shooting was not associated with any particular canton or class. At the age of 19 all male citizens of Switzerland are recruited as conscripts in the Swiss Armed Forces. They complete an 18-21 weeks basic training course. Overall, the Swiss are excellent marksman who value accurate reliable firearms.
Love the Tobles
Sig Perfection? Oh wait...sorry Glock
The Sig P226 operates by the locked breech short-recoil method. This means that for a split second the barrel and the slide are locked together during the movement of the slide to the rear. This design is very common in most semi-automatic pistol designs and was invented by John Browning. Although the locked breech was first designed by John Browning, SIG did something a little different. Instead of having locking lugs which lock into place inside of grooves on the slid, the SIG design has an enlarged breech section of the barrel locking into the ejection port.
Currently, the Sig P226 comes in 16 different variations, ranging from the basic to the Scorpion TB. The standard P226 has an overall length of 7.7 inches and weighs 34 ounces with a loaded magazine. Magazine capacity is 15 rounds of 9mm, and 12 rounds of .357 sig or .40 S&W. The Sig P226 Tac Ops has a magazine capacity of 20 rounds of 9mm.
SIG and Browning...same concept, different design
Sig breech vs. 1911 locking lugs
Top: SIG designed short-recoil locking breech
Below: 1911(Browning style) locking lug design.
At the Range
The SIG P226 is a no-nonsense accurate and reliable firearm. I haven’t tested its ability to shoot steel case ammunition, however I have tried shooting Tula Ammo through a P220 carry and it malfunctioned repeatedly. That being said, the only other pistol I have shot steel case through is a CZ Rami in which I put approximately 150 rounds of Herter’s brand through with no malfunctions. The reason I bring up steel case is that many more manufacturers are producing cheap steel case ammunition and it isn’t a bad idea to have a sidearm that can function reliably with it. Especially if it’s your S.H.T.F. weapon.
The weight and balance of the SIG P226 are terrific. I love the way this pistol feels in my hand. It feels natural and point-able. The accuracy of the SIG P226 is world renowned. I simply don’t shoot any factory stock pistol as accurately as I do a SIG, however, the Beretta is right there. But what makes the SIG so enjoyable is how well it gets back on target for follow-up shots. The felt recoil and muzzle rise are controllable and pleasant, yes, I said pleasant, shoot one and you will see, promise. The trigger pull on the Sig is rated at 10lbs. double-action and 4.4 lbs. on single-action. The Sig has a de-cocker on the left front side of the grip. By simply pushing the de-cocker downward you can lower the hammer of the pistol safely and re-holster the weapon. There are no external safeties on the Sig P226 (unless you get a single-action only) design, I love the P220 .45 SAO, and I am consistently impressed with its tack driving accuracy. The double-action trigger pull on the Sig is absolutely superb. The single-action that follows is responsive and smooth. Magazines for the SIG range in the mid to high $30 range. The SIG P226 MSRP’s for about $1,000. Retail for a new SIG P226 is around $850 or higher.
SIG’s have never been cheap; But then again, neither have Swiss watches and for good reason. A perfect blend of match grade accuracy with grunt tested reliability, SIG Arms slogan says it best, “When it Counts”, and SIG has been making it count for 152 years.