Monday, December 28, 2009

Sig Model Reference Guide - End of 2009

I've debated posting this as SHOT Show us upon us and Sig will probably intriduce twenty-eight new models this year just to spite my efforts in composing this. A couple of days ago someone was asking about all the acronymns that Sig uses and it occured to me that there wasn't a really good reference for all the different packages that Sig offers, sure the models are pretty easy to figure out, but what happens after you decide you want a 229? You have to choose from the DAK, Elite, Equinox, SAS, Elite Dark, SCT etc. Even with a catalog in front of you it's hard to really tell the differneces.

So in a nutshell (OK a rather large nutshell), here's the overview of available Sig Models

The Sig Sauer (Sig Arms) Information Guide

As if choosing a handgun wasn’t hard enough, this manufacturer has gone above and beyond as far as variety of options is concerned. Not only do you have to select size, caliber, capacity, trigger type, etc. You now need to select WHICH “package” you want to go with. Sig Sauer has fourteen (fifteen if you include the Sig 556 Pistol) different choices as to which handgun to buy before you even factor in which package; the possible current production offerings are below in a brief overview of the guns.

  • P238: This is an “updated” replica of the Colt Mustang family of pistols. It is a single action only .380 pocket sized auto with a capacity of 6 rounds.
  • P250: This is Sigs current polymer master piece, it is a very unique concept as the serialized portion is the firing mechanism which is removable and can be inserted in different size/caliber grip frames and have different size/caliber slide assemblies swapped out. That’s right, you have one serial number for your sub compact, compact, and full size and all you need are the different “kits”. The Sig P250 is a double action only (DAO) gun, but there are rumors of a striker fired P250 to be released this year.
  • Sig P220 Match: This is the long barreled version (5” as opposed to the 4.4”) of the legendary Sig P220, a single stack .45ACP with a capacity of 8 rounds in the magazine.  These as that the name implies are mainly used as match guns.
  • Sig P220: This is a full size, single stack .45ACP pistol. As noted above, the capacity is 8 rounds. The Sig 220 is regarded as one of the most accurate, most durable, and most reliable .45ACP handguns right out of the box and I agree.
  • P220 Carry: This is an abbreviated version of the P220, the barrel length has been shortened to 3.9”
  • P220 Compact: Both the barrel AND the grip frame of the P220 have been shortened to make a more concealable power house of a pistol. This features the 3.9” barrel and the grip frame has been reduced by .5” which lowers the capacity to 6 rounds.
  • P226 X-Five: This is the long barreled version of the also legendary Sig P226. Like the P220 Match, this gun has a 5” barrel where the original P226 had a 4.4” barrel. These are mainly match guns and are available in 9mm and .40S&W--As these are "special" guns, I won't be covering the available options in depth.
  • Sig P226: This is a full size gun with a double column magazine allowing for more rounds of ammunition to be carried.  Like the 220 the 226 is known for reliability, accuracy, and overall toughness. It is available in 9mm, .40S&W and .357 Sig.
  • P229: The P229 began life as the P228, but with the advent of the .40S&W Sig needed to beef up the slide mass which is why it is wider than the P226. The P229 is a scaled down version of the P226 in that it has a shorter grip frame and 3.9” barrel. It is available in 9mm, .40S&W and .357Sig. It should be noted that the P229 as well as the P226 have seen WIDE use by multiple Military and Law Enforcement Agencies around the globe.
  • SP2022: This is Sig’s other polymer offering. It is a double action/single action (DA/SA) gun available in 9mm, .357 Sig and .40S&W. There have been other versions of Sig’s polymer guns similar to the 2022, but they are no longer current and I am not familiar enough with them to comment. I will say that like all Sigs, the pistols are well thought of by those that own them.

  • P239: The P239 is a single stack pistol that is also shorter in barrel length than the 229 by having a 3.6” barrel. As the gun is single stack, it is thinner overall than the 226 and the 229 and is a popular concealed carry gun, it should be noted that of the P series guns in “service caliber” this one does not offer an accessory rail. The 239 is available in 9mm, .40S&W, and .357Sig.
  • P232: The P232 is a single stack .380ACP, unlike the other offerings from Sig, the 232 has a fixed barrel that does not unlock and pivot during recoil. This alters the handling characteristics of the gun slightly, also of note is that this model has a “European” style magazine release located in the butt of the gun instead of the “standard” magazine release button located to the rear of the trigger guard on the grip frame.
  • Mosquito: The Mosquito is a .22LR pistol with plinking and fun at the range in mind as well as training. Unlike Sigs other pistols, there is a slide mounted safety/decocker.
  • 1911: This is the family of 1911 pistols offered by Sig, there are multiple sizes and packages within this tier that differ from the rest of the P Series pistols. These guns will have their own place at the end of this piece.

Now that we have the overall models out of the way, next comes the basic details, caliber and trigger type, rather than re-hash the details of triggers I will refer to "Trigger Types Defined and Explained" with the only addition being that the Short Reset Trigger (SRT) operates like a traditional DA/SA trigger except that the amount of travel before reset has been shortened by 60% making for faster follow up shots.

With that out of the way were going to dive in the basic packages that Sig offers for the P Series pistols. This is not all inclusive as to the details of each package, I may miss one or two small things there and there, but given the scope of Sig’s offerings, some errors are bound to happen, particularly where an “enhanced” front strap may or may not be present. Some of Sig’s models have a partially checkered front strap while others partially serrated, your basic models may either be smooth or serrated the website does not always state which. Please note that unless otherwise specified the frame material of these guns is aluminum. 

Standard: This is your no frills Sig Pistol, ready to rock out of the box with all one NEEDs to accomplish any task that a pistol could be used for. These guns are traditional DA/SA and have standard sights. They come in black and two-tone.

Equinox: This is a dressed up version of your “base” gun. Sig has polished parts of the slide, and the small parts are stainless, given the dark frame and slide, this is a very appealing gun to the eye. The Equinox has been “improved” in that is equipped with a TruGlo Tritium Fiber Optic (TFO) front night sight,
Siglite rear night sight and very beautiful wood grips and remains DA/SA. The front strap appears to have some “enhancement”

Double Action Kellerman (DAK): models are DAO guns, thus there is no decocker, other than that they are your basic Sig in terms of features. If you did not view the linked article above, you may wish to do so now as there is a brief segment on the DAK trigger. Please also note that other/older packages do include a DAK trigger and that if you are looking for a specific trigger type. Don’t overlook this. This would primarily be a concern if purchasing a Sig Anti Snag (SAS) model as the first generation SAS models were DAK while the 2nd generation models have the SRT.

Elite Models: There are several variants of Elite models. The fist is just called “Elite”; it is your black n Nitron finished gun. The enhancements of the Elite include a beaver-tailed frame, a checkered front strap, forward cocking serrations, Siglite night sights, and the SRT.

Stainless Elite: Take the Elite model and give it a stainless steel frame and a matte stainless finish and get this model.

Platinum Elite: This model differs from the Elite in that is a two tone gun and features and adjustable rear night sight and grips from Alumagrips.

Elite Dark: The Elite Dark differs in that it also has adjustable night sights, but is done all in back including black AlumaGrips. Some models with this package are available with a threaded barrel.

Super Capacity Tactical (SCT): This gun shares some of the traits form the Elite and Equinox packages. It has the forward cocking serrations from the Elite, the TFO front sight and Siglite night rear sight like the Equinox. The SCT is finished in black Nitron and comes with four (4) enhanced capacity magazines by way of a magazine extension.

SAS Generation 2 (Gen 2): The Sig Anti-Snag package is a process applied to the slide and frame dehorning all the edges of the gun making for a silky smooth carry piece. This package includes that SRT and Siglite night sights. This package IMHO is a very good choice for carry regardless of which model it is applied to. It should be noted that there are previous versions of the SAS that had the DAK trigger and that the Gen 1 SAS is still available for limited models.

Classic 22: Sig began offering a .22 conversion kit in 2008 or 2009 and this package is just your frame from a standard 229, 226, or 220 and the kit added to it. You can now go either way from Sig by either ordering the .22 kit from them, or buying a Classic 22 and ordering the appropriate slide assembly from Sig to convert your Classic into a service caliber pistol.

That covers the range of packages across the whole P Series; I will add that regarding the 232 and 238 there are different choices, but none so elaborate as the others. The choices of those two are mainly aesthetic and easy to figure out on your own.

Now to address some of the packages that do not span the range of the P series, these are some packages available on the 220 and 226 specifically.

  • Combat & Combat TB: This package is available on the 220 & 226 and has some enhanced features as well as a different finish. The barrels have been hard chromed and then finished in Nitron; the frames are finished in flat, dark earth (FDE) which is a tan color. The small parts, both external and external have been phosphated; this makes for one moisture/corrosion resistant gun. The TB model has a threaded barrel to allow the attachment of a suppressor.  The only thing that would make this gun better is if it had the SRT.
  • P226 Blackwater Tactical: This model offers several enhancements over the standard P226 in that it has the TFO front, Siglite rear, SRT, beavertail frame, front cocking serrations, Blackwater Custom Magwell grips and comes with four (4) 20 round magazines. The pistol also features the Blackwater logo and has a partially checkered front strap.
  • P226 Navy: This is your basic 226 except that it has an anchor engraved on the side, a great gift for anyone that’s served or serving in the Navy.

Regarding the Sig family of 1911 pistols, they are available in three sizes. The most common amongst 1911 pattern pistols is what is referred to as the Government Model or full size model which I will refer to as the “basic’ model regarding some of Sigs offerings. This features a 5” barrel and a full length grip which accommodates an 8 round magazine. The second size is the 1911 Carry; this size has a shortened barrel length of 4.25” and an unchanged grip. The third available size is the Compact. The Compact has the 4.25” barrel and a shortened grip which allows for 7 rounds in the magazine.

Like the other offerings from Sig, these 1911s come in a variety of packages.
  • 1911: This is the "basic" Government size model, I use the term "basic" loosely. The standard 1911 offering comes in either black Nitron and stainless. What’s nice about the current Sig 1911s is that ALL of them come with a finely checkered front strap and Novak night sights. The “basic” model has also had a minor dehorn to remove sharp edges. ALL Sig 1911s are made with some of the industry's best componenets.
  • 1911 Rail: This model sports the addition of an accessory rail along with the traits of the basic model.
  • Target: The Target model is available in black Nitron or matte stainless and is equipped with adjustable target sights with tritium inserts. Also included on this gun is a match barrel, hammer/sear set and trigger.
  • XO: The XO model is a non-railed full size 1911 and does not have night sights. The XO is available in black Nitron or matte stainless and has Ergo Grip extreme use grips.
  • TTT: The Triple T is a two tone 1911 with a black Nitron slide over a matte stainless frame with some very nice wood grips. This model also has adjustable combat night sights.
  • STX:  The STX is almost identical to the TTT, except that the slide itself is two- tone with polished cocking serrations and an extended magazine well.
  • RCS (Nitron and Two-Tone): The RCS is a “compact” model featuring the SAS dehorn job and is equipped with Night Sights, this model is aluminum framed as opposed to steel.
  • C3: The C3 is a two-tone version of the Compact Nitron/Stainless and features wood grips and night sights as well as the aluminum frame of the RCS.
  • Platinum Elite/Platinum Elite Carry: The Platinum Elite 1911s have similar features to the other P Series Platinum Elites such as the natural stainless Alumagrips and adjustable night sights.
  • Blackwater: The Blackwater is another railed 1911 which has the Blackwater logo on the top of the slide and on the wood grips. This model also incorporates an extended magazine well.

This pretty much sums it up, I'll be watching the website as SHOT Show approaches and try and keep this up to date as best I can.

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