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This neat little handgun is a relative of SIG’s famous P226 9mm. It is a compact-sized gun, which also takes 9mm cartridges, as well as .40, and .357 SIG. In fact, the P229 was the first handgun that could chamber the .357 SIG round. It was also the first handgun to be manufactured in SIG’s Exeter, New Hampshire location. Until then, the company facilities were in Virginia. In this SIG Sauer P229 Review we’ll take a closer look at one of SIG Sauers’ most popular offerings, the P229.
Brief History of The P229
The P229 is considered to be ideal for concealed carrying, and for that reason it is very popular with law-enforcement and military personnel. Secret Service also carry this weapon. Of course, you don’t necessarily have to carry this gun in concealment, in order to appreciate its look and feel, its relatively smooth action, and its accuracy.
Being a mid-size, this gun can technically be compared to the Glock 19, and many feel that that comparison is certainly in order. However, because the P229 is a double action/single action (DA/SA) handgun, and because it is made of steel, not polymer, it is probably more easily compared not to a Glock 19, but rather to the Berretta 92. They both employ the same kind of action, and are even comparable in size and makeup.
Fun fact! – SIG lost a government contract to Berretta, in the mid-1980s. SIG’s full size P226 came close in the trials, but the weapon which was ultimately chosen was the Berretta’s 92. Still, there were some units who opted to go with the SIG, in spite of its inability to obtain the contract.
The P229’s Specifications:
- Caliber – chambered in 9x19mm, but it also takes .40 S&W, and .357 SIG rounds
- Length – 7.1 inches
- Height – 5.4 inches
- Width – 1.5 inches
- Weight – 29.6 oz. (including magazine)
- Barrel length – 3.9 inches
- Trigger pull – double action 10 lbs., single action 4.4 lbs.
- Magazine (9mm, standard) – 10 rounds
- Magazine (9mm, extended) – 15 rounds
4-point Safety System
As for safeties, there is no safety switch located on the gun itself. Instead, there are 4 different internal mechanisms, which guarantee the safety of the pistol. SIG calls this its 4-point safety system. The safeties are:
- the de-cocker, which allows the shooter to lower the hammer safely, while there is a round in the chamber. When the de-cocking occurs, the hammer is lowered but it still stays away from the firing pin.
- the safety notch, which is another way of keeping the hammer apart from the firing pin.
- the firing pin has its own safety, which makes sure that the pin will not move forward. That is, until the trigger is pulled, at which time the safety is removed and the pin is pushed forward to meet the cartridge’s primer. This third safety is also the gun’s drop safety. Even when dropped from a reasonable height, with a round in the chamber, the gun will not fire.
- the slide has a notch, which separates the firing pin from the cartridge. Unlike the aforementioned firing pin safety, this one is there to make sure that the gun doesn’t accidentally discharge a round while it is cycling. This is called the “trigger bar disconnector”.
With all of these safety features combined, it can be said without a doubt that this is a very safe handgun to use. Obviously, precautions should always be taken at any moment. But, it is also good to know that SIG’s engineers gave a lot of serious thought to the weapon’s safety.
Users of the P229
The SIG Sauer P229 currently comes in 10 different styles, and there are even a few other which have already been discontinued. The different versions of the P229 are discernable by type of finish, frame material and coating, rail system, caliber, sights, engravings, and other features which set the different models apart. However, regardless of those features, they are still all P229s, and are basically the same reliable handgun.
And yes, this thing is highly reliable. For this reason, it is used by many military organizations, police departments, and government agencies, in the United States and the rest of the globe. Users of the P229 include:
- Bangladeshi Special Forces
- Canadian Special Forces
- Greek counter-terrorist police units
- Pakistani Special Service Group
- Swedish Police
- Turkish Special Forces
- British Armed Forces
- And, obviously, the United States, which has issued this handgun to Army, Coast Guard, Homeland Security, Secret Service agents, and various departments of law-enforcement all across the country.
As with many SIG Sauer products, there is the issue of pricing. This gun, compared to its fellow compact 9mm contemporaries, is on the pricier side, with the manufacturer suggested retail price being over $1000. This can be a major deterrent for some, which is probably why it is best to shoot this gun before you buy it. Obviously, that would be the ideal situation with any weapon you would like to purchase, but sometimes you can let it slide. With this gun, because of its features, size, and price, I think it is better to be sure that this is the gun for you.
Another possibly hindering fact is that this thing has some weight. It is a bit of a heavy gun, for a compact. Not machine gun heavy, mind you, but still pretty heavy. All the more reason why you should try this gun out, before deciding to buy it. This is true especially if you plan on carrying it in concealment. You want to be comfortable, since this thing is going to be concealed on your person.
As for its shooting abilities, they are top notch. After you sling some lead down-range, you will be able to quickly get used to its DA/SA operation. Some see this as an issue, citing that the first and second shot could technically be further apart than you would like them to be. But, that isn’t really an issue – in my opinion – because it depends mostly on practice and skill. A novice, who is not used to DA/SA guns, may need some time to get acquainted with this system.
A good gun, like the SIG Sauer P229, will provide you with excellent results from the get go. Obviously, if you continue to train with it, you will get even better.