The All Business SiG P226-9-Navy Pistol

By Jon Y. Wolfe

SiG P226
Illustration courtesy of SiGARMS, Inc.

The SiGarms, Inc. P226 is an all business handgun from one of the world's premier autoloading pistol manufacturers. It's not as pleasing to the eye as many of its competitors, but when it comes down to accuracy, dependability, ease of use, safety and longevity, this autoloader is in a class of its own.

The 226 is short recoil pistol with an automatic firing-pin safety, double-action/single-action trigger, de-cocking lever, and external slide catch lever. No external safeties are present.

The frame is made in Germany of an extremely light and durable alloy and the slide and frame are stainless steel, treated with Nitron® for durability and wear resistance. Although the slide is stainless, the finish is a dull matte black.

The 226-9-Navy is the same design as the Classic P226, but with additional features like corrosion resistant internal parts, a anchor engraved on the slide to indicate that it's a Naval Special Warfare pistol, and a certificate attesting that the pistol was built to the exact specifications as those manufactured for the U.S. Navy SEALs. SIGarms, Inc. did not alter the price of this pistol to compensate for these added features, and $50 from the sale of each of the 2000 produced will be donated to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. This gun has an average retail price of $745 based on the quotes I received from four reputable gun stores within a 100 mile radius of my home. The Glock 17 is averaging $529 in the same area, and the Beretta 92FS is averaging $609. I consider these to be the SIG's closest competitors when it comes to performance, durability, and safety.

The safety features seem to be the best I've seen on an autoloader. There are several safety components that should be mentioned.

  1. Automatic Firing Pin Lock - When at battery with a bullet in the chamber or empty, the firing pin is blocked automatically in either the cocked or de-cocked position. This helps in the event that the pistol is jarred or dropped. No manual safeties are present, and the firing pin can only be engaged by pulling the trigger.
  2. De-cocking Lever - This is the only way to safely de-cock the firearm, and the automatic firing-pin lock stays engaged during this process.
  3. Safety Intercept Notch - When the trigger is pulled; there is some travel even in single-action stage. This travel disengages the automatic firing-pin lock, or otherwise called the safety intercept notch. This notch is located under the firing pin, and this notch prevents the firing pin from moving forward.
  4. Take Down Lever - The take down lever can only be activated while the slide is fully rearward, and the clip is removed.

The P226 is a full size handgun, but is .833 inch shorter than the Beretta 92. At 28.3 ounces it is 6 ounces lighter than the Beretta and 6 ounces heavier than the Glock G17. The P226 feels natural and ergonomic, and is well balanced. Recoil is managed well, and accurate follow-up shots are easily accomplished.

The barrel is 4.4 inches long and has a 1 in 10" twist. Trigger pull weight in single action stage is 4.5 pounds, and although there is some over-travel, creep is minimal and the trigger has a clean break. In double action stage, the trigger is smooth and the quality of the firearm is easily apparent. Trigger pull in double action is purported to be 10 pounds.

The sights feature white dot and bar inserts and are drift adjustable, but elevation is fixed. To adjust for elevation you must replace the sights with a higher or lower number combination. Each rear sight change in an up or down increment will change the point of impact 2 inches in the respective direction at 25 yards. A one-increment change on the front sight will move the point of impact 1 inch at 25 yards.

In summary, the SIG P226-Navy and classic P226 are very fine autoloaders, incorporating excellent design features that enable accurate and safe operation. There are plenty of sources for high capacity magazines, and the firearm is capable of holding 16 or more rounds with such magazines. The practical accuracy, compact design, durable Nitron® treatment of external surfaces, and superior quality justify this handgun's retail price; it is a top choice for those who are willing to make the investment.

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Copyright 2004, 2011 by Jon Y. Wolfe. All rights reserved.