P210. Image source: TheFiringLine.com
One of the most popular firearms manufacturers is Sig Sauer. For more than six decades, the company has earned a reputation for quality rifles and handguns used by elite forces around the globe.
At last count, I own 10 different Sig models and decided to highlight what I consider the five best Sig handguns out there.
1. Sig P210. For decades, this single-action, single-stack, full-size 9mm pistol was the standard by which all other service pistols were judged, and for good reason. Meticulous craftsmanship and assembly in Switzerland for the Swiss Army meant that the P210 was accurate and reliable, but unfortunately it was limited to Swiss military contracts and its scarcity on the common market kept it priced out of the realm of the average shooter.
When the manufacture moved to Germany, the pistol still commanded higher prices than any other factory pistol on the market. Yet the desirability was still there and a friend of mine in the VIP protection sector noted that this was the pistol he carried when he could not have access to a carbine, as it was accurate out to 100 yards.
Thankfully, Sig announced at SHOT Show 2016 that the P210 would now be made in America as a production piece. At least two versions are in the works, including an improved service model with more user-friendly controls, as well as a target version with adjustable sights and checkered grips.
We have been told that prices will range in the $1,300 to $1,500 realm and that the pistol is still capable of ringing steel at 100 yards and beyond.
2. X-5. The X-5 is built on the legendary P226 platform, except that it is a SAO (single action only) pistol designed for competition, although I know a few people who carry one cocked and locked 1911 style.
Because it was intended as a competition pistol, almost everything on this handgun can be customized, replaced or improved.
The 5-inch barrel length lends to the addition of an oversized rail. The pistol’s sights are fully adjustable and can be replaced with a variety of options. The trigger is adjustable for weight, reset, pre-travel and can be moved 0.4 of an inch forward or to the rear based on the shooter’s hand size or finger length.
We expect to hear the new US-made version announced at this year’s annual NRA Convention.
3. Sig P220 In 1975, Sig unveiled the P220. Based on the P210, some changes were made to make this a more affordable pistol in order to compete for a quality sidearm.
On the surface, the P220 resembles a Browning-style semiautomatic pistol that uses a decocking lever to safely lower the hammer carry with no external safeties. Double-action-only and single-action-only variants have been made as well.
The pistol operates by means of a linkless barrel without locking lugs. Instead, the P220 makes use of an enlarged breech block which holds the slide and barrel as one while firing.
Usually found in 45 ACP and 9mm, Sig released several variants in 10mm in 2015.
4. Sig P320. Released in 2014, the Sig P320 is a striker-fired, polymer framed handgun that is completely customizable to match not only the shooter’s hand but the shooter’s intended use.
A serialized chassis/fire control unit allows changing from full size to compact size on the frame and interchangeable back straps can allow the pistol to be configured for a variety of hand sizes. Calibers can be configured depending upon the barrel.
This is the pistol for the shooter who only wants to own one handgun, but has a need for different configurations.
A Picatinny rail and SIGLITE night sights round out the package.
5. Sig P229. The P229 is a compact version of the P226 that was designed from the ground up to handle the company’s potent 357 SIG caliber.
A CNC-milled slide of stainless steel was chosen to handle the higher pressures of the new cartridge and its higher velocity as opposed to the stamped slide of its predecessors. This allows the use of a lighter recoil spring.
Used by US Navy Pilots and military intelligence personnel as the M-11A1, it is much more compact than the standard issue Beretta M9.
We could have easily done a Top 10 list to include models such as the P226 (which has influenced at least two of these models), the compact P238, or their now classic line of 1911 pistols, but felt that these five Sigs have raised the bar high enough to give a better overview of the “best of the best.”
What would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below:
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