Eddie Money sang the lyrics, “I wanna go back and do it all over, but I can’t go back I know.” Well, I just did go back… but not in a “relive high school/college/insert grand memories here” sort of way. No, this is much less grandiose. I bought a gun.
Now, to set the stage, this isn’t just any gun. It’s a Sig P226, considered by many to be the best all-around service 9mm in history. While that is debatable, it’s safe to say the P226 was on the premier stage during the 80’s “Wonder 9″ rush. With every manufacturer clamoring to get the next best high capacity “9” to market, Sig took their venerable P220 and converted it into one of the finest service autos in existence. Still in use with military and police forces around the world, the P226 commands a premium price in a market overflowing with choices. Factoid: the P226 was the only pistol, other than the Beretta 92fs, to meet the US Military’s requirements for a new service sidearm in the quest to replace the aging 1911. For reasons sometimes cited as cost, sometimes cited as political, sometimes cited as other “cloak and dagger” factors, the US went with the Beretta. But many felt, and still feel, the Sig is the superior sidearm.
This is not my first Sig. In fact, I currently own two others: a SigPro SP2022 and a Nitron Rail 1911. And, I’ve owned a P226 before. Just a few short years ago I sold a somewhat unique P226 because I struggled with what role it filled in my collection (see previous posts). And, truth be told, it rattled more than my old ’94 Camaro did on a gravel road. Anyway, I’ve been strolling along quite happily since then, but always felt I may not have gotten the true P226 ownership experience in my first go-around with that pistol. So, thanks to the beauty of internet shopping, I found another.
This particular P226 was originally a duty sidearm with the Flint, MI, police department and wears the markings to prove its pedigree. I must admit that I find police markings, when done tastefully, quite unique and appealing on firearms. In fact, the reason I “ditched” my first P226 was to purchase a Glock 22 with El Paso Sheriff’s Office markings. Anyway, back to the subject. What interested me in this pistol wasn’t just the markings, but it was the fact that it came with the reduced reach trigger, short reset trigger, E2 grip, and all new springs. Oh, yeah, and it was $525. So, I ponied up the money, sent a check to Ohio (not sure how this gun made it from MI to OH, but surplus police pistols released to the market go through various distributors), and waited. Today, I took possession of the pistol. I haven’t fired this weapon yet so I can’t say how it performs, but will be posting that report when available. However, here are my initial impressions:
- This pistol appears to have seen very little service. Yes, it is used and has a couple marks on edges of the frame, but all in all it’s in excellent condition. The internals, as evidenced in the pictures below, are in excellent condition as well with very little wear. Look at the frame feed ramp, the ejector, and the barrel lug. There’s still plenty of finish left on all parts. My guess is this pistol was carried in a holster and fired minimally. And, even with this, there isn’t really much wear to indicate long term holster use.
- The trigger is smooth. Like, “this DA pull might be nicer than my Beretta 92fs” smooth. The SA pull is light… just a tad over 4 lbs (see picture below). There is a slight amount of creep before the break, but it is smooth… very smooth (unlike my CZ-75b, which felt like it ran over sandpaper right before the trigger break). And, mind you, I’m comparing this to the feel of a 1911 trigger. So, for a service auto like a P226, it is very common to have some minimal movement right before the SA break. The short reset trigger creates a noticeably short, well, reset as well. Shorter than the SP2022. Shorter than the Beretta 92fs. Comparable to my Walter PPQ… which is saying something.
- I love the feel of the E2 grips. Some of the “old” Sig fans don’t like this new grip, but I love it. I don’t have large hands and the combination of this grip and the reduced reach trigger (which is a different feature than the short reset trigger, but both are present on this pistol) creates a very nice, manageable feel. I once owned an EAA Witness and, while I sold it for other reasons, the grip was wonderful with its dished out grip in the web of my hand. This E2 grip feels like that old Witness did.
- Extras! This Sig came with night sights, which isn’t surprising for a law enforcement weapon. But, it wasn’t advertised as having these. And they are still bright! It also came with a nice blue Sig hard sided case marked “Law Enforcement.” Again, not shocking but not something included in the pistol’s description.
Based on initial impressions, this Sig has exceeded my expectations. It’s been used very little and has all the features I wanted. I can’t wait to take this to the range for a little head to head shooting against my Beretta 92. Stay tuned!