Range Reports

Range Report: SIG Sauer’s Best Pistol—the P229

Late Model P229 with Modern Light Rail for attaching a combat light on a white background, barrel pointed to the left.

The SIG Sauer P229 is widely recognized by SIG pistol fans as one of the best designed and proportioned of the SIG P series pistols. The P229, in some ways, builds on the compact P228 9mm. However, the short and heavy slide of the P229 has no counterpart in a full-size pistol. Many American law enforcement officers, including the Secret Service and Federal Air Marshals, use the P229. As peace officers using the SIG may rightly state, “When the brass chooses the SIG for the rank and file, you know they have not purchased the low bid.”

The Trigger

The ancestor of the P229, and the cornerstone of the SIG P series, is the SIG P220. Precision manufacture, excellent accuracy and top-flight reliability characterize the P220, which features a smooth double-action trigger press and excellent the trigger leverage. The trigger press actuates a drawbar that both cocks and drops the hammer, hence the term double action. After the first shot, the slide recoils and cocks the hammer for additional single-action shots. To safely lower the hammer from the full-cock position, a handy frame-mounted de-cocking lever is located just forward of the left grip and above the push-button magazine release.

The Slide and Lockup

This Nitron finished P229 features a light rail and night sights.
This Nitron-finished P229 features a light rail and night sights.

The slide runs inside the frame rails rather than on the rails, as is the case with most competing designs, which gives the SIG a lower bore axis than most double-action pistols. The height of the centerline of the bore above the hand means a lot in handgun geometry. The lower the centerline of the bore or bore axis, the less leverage for the muzzle to rise in recoil. Even though the double-action pistol usually has a higher bore axis than a single-action, the SIG is an efficient design.

The P series uses the proven lockup now generally called the “SIG” lockup. Rather than using locking lugs, the barrel hood butts into the ejection port. The system allows excellent practical accuracy. The original P220 came in 9mm, and the .38 Super and .45 ACP followed. Then came the modified, compact versions, including the P225 and the high-capacity P226 9mm pistol. The P228 is a compact version of the P226.

SIG introduced P229 pistol in 1992, designing it with a solid, durable stainless steel slide to absorb the recoil and increased momentum of the .40 Smith and Wesson cartridge. At the time, the slide design was unique to the P229. While some believe the SIG P229 is based on the 9mm SIG P228, that is difficult to rationalize, although they are much the same size and general appearance.

The P228 and full-size P226 each feature stamped-steel slides with solid breechblocks. The P229 is heavier so that it functions reliably with the high-pressure .40 Smith and Wesson cartridge. SIG purposely designed the P229 as a service pistol and, at the time, had no full-size .40 service pistol in its lineup. The heavy slide makes the pistol as heavy as a full-size P226, with a superb balance.

The SIG P229 Ships with Everything you Need
This two-tone SIG was purchased with a spare 9mm slide and magazine.

The P229 was among the best-selling new editions for SIG Sauer. The relatively compact pistol could be concealed if needed and is a good service pistol. The best thing about the P229 in particular, and the SIG pistols in general, is the reliability. The P229 is as reliable as a machine can be, with reliability defined as the propensity of a firearm to fire and continue to fire with each trigger press. The SIG pistols were proven in European and North American trials.

The Ohio State Patrol fired some 228,000 rounds in service pistol competitions to choose the SIG P226 as their service pistol, and the Secret Service has chosen the SIG P229. The heavy slide helps control recoil as designed, although the trigger action makes the pistol a joy to use and fire. The double-action trigger compression of the SIG P229 is one of the lightest and smoothest available, at just more than 11 pounds. The single-action trigger in my personal example breaks at a smooth 4.25 pounds. Trigger reset with the SIG is not as rapid as some designs, and it is a service design, rather than competition oriented.

Field Stripping

The P229 continues with the excellent engineering inherent in the SIG line. The pistol is easily field stripped:

  1. Remove the magazine.
  2. Rack the slide to the rear.
  3. Lock the slide open using the slide stop.
  4. Check the chamber to be certain it is unloaded.
  5. Rotate the frame-mounted take-down lever to unlock the slide assembly.
  6. While controlling the slide, release the slide assembly and let it run forward off the frame.
  7. Lift the guide rod and recoil spring assembly off the barrel.
  8. Press the barrel out of the slide.

The requirements for maintenance and cleaning are that simple, and reassembly is the reverse. During many years of owning SIG pistols, and working at more than one agency that deployed the SIG, the only issues I have seen were the result of hard use. In either case, the magazine springs had weakened and caused short cycles, which usually occurs in high-capacity magazine firearms, so be sure to periodically check magazines for proper spring tension.

The Sights

The SIG P229 with a focus on the combat sight.
The SIG’s combat sights are well suited to the task of quickly engaging and hitting a target.

The SIG P series introduced good combat-worthy sights at a time when most self-loaders came with small military-type sights, and they improved the design through time. The illustrated SIG P229 is typical of late-model SIG manufacture. The sights feature an undercut above the rear white post that defeats glare in most light conditions and offer an ideal sight picture. At moderate range, use the standard black sight picture for rapid fire and coarse aiming in personal defense situations. For precise fire, use the white outline sight.

Shooting the SIG P229

The SIG design allows a practiced shooter to make hits well past 50 yards. The P229 retains the accuracy potential of the SIG P series pistols; however, the short sight radius limits absolute accuracy. The P229 handles and balances well, although the accuracy potential is not quite the same as the P220 and P226. This is no criticism of the pistol; it is simply a reflection of the law of physics and the reality of diminishing returns.

When testing a number of SIG P229 pistols, a unique opportunity arose. The pistol is available in 9mm Luger, .357 SIG and .40 Smith and Wesson chamberings. I obtained a slide and magazine in 9mm Luger to test fire the pistol in 9mm. The original caliber is .40-caliber Smith and Wesson. Of the three, I believe the .40 caliber offers superior wound potential, while others may argue for the high-velocity .357 SIG. In the end, marksmanship is everything, and the 9mm Luger is definitely the most economical choice.

P229 with 2 Slides on a gray background.
When you have a pistol on hand with two slides for two different calibers, ammunition and magazine discipline is vital. But the utility is something to consider in times of ammunition shortages.

I also fired the pistol in .357 SIG using of a SIG factory barrel. The only thing to change when firing either .40 or .357 SIG ammunition is the barrel. The breech face and magazines are the same. Always exercise magazine and ammunition discipline if you own multiple barrels and slides for a single handgun. Firing a 9mm in the .40 chamber would result in a burst case; the .357 in the .40 chamber would be a disaster. You must change the slide and magazine to fire the 9mm in the P229.

Firing results were interesting. The 9mm Luger cartridge proved very pleasant to fire in this handgun, accurate and controllable. The recoil impulse in this 32-ounce pistol was quite controllable. Even moving to the hot Black Hills +P 9mm loading control remained excellent. The original .40 caliber set up was as expected, with more push—depending on the loading—and good accuracy.

The .357 SIG surprised me, and I admit little experience with that cartridge, which increased the slide velocity. Recoil was almost whippy, although not unpleasant. It was faster, and the report of the cartridge louder. Even with single hearing protection, it was no less comfortable than the .40 caliber, and accuracy was excellent. While fired with a limited amount of ammunition, the .357 SIG was definitely the most interesting caliber.

I hope this gives anyone interested in the P229 food for thought. It is not often that a single handgun proves reliable, accurate and useful in three different calibers, with no fitting of the slide or barrel used. The P229 proved to accurate, reliable and useful with each caliber.

A young woman in a light blue shirt with ear protection shoots the SIG P229 at a target.
The P229 fits most hands well and is a popular service pistol. This Army wife enjoys handling the SIG.

This handgun may be SIG SAUER’s best pistol yet.

Accuracy Results

Five-shot groups fired at 25 yards. Average of two five-shot groups fired from a solid bench-rest firing position.

SIG P229 with 9mm Barrel and Slide

Load Velocity Group
 Black Hills 115-grain JHP +P  1244 fps  2.4 inches
 Hornady 124-grain XTP  1101 fps  2.0 inches
 Winchester 115-grain FMJ USA  1080 fps  2.5 inches

SIG P229 .40 S

Load Velocity Group
 Black Hills 155-grain JHP  1121 fps  1.9 inches
 Hornady 180-grain XTP  954 fps  2.2 inches
 Winchester 180-grain JHP  972 fps  2.3 inches

.357 SIG

Load Velocity Group
 Cor Bon 115-grain JHP  1390 fps  1.75 inches
 Hornady 135-grain Critical Duty  1203 fps  1.5 inches
 Hornady 147-grain XTP  1190 fps  1.4 inches

Features and Specifications

  • Caliber: 9mm or .40 S&W, .357 SIG
  • Action Type: DA/SA
  • Trigger Pull DA: 10.0 lbs
  • Trigger Pull SA: 4.4 lbs
  • Overall Length: 7.1 in
  • Overall Height: 5.4 in
  • Overall Width: 1.5 in
  • Barrel Length: 3.9 in
  • Sight Radius: 5.7 in
  • Weight w/Mag: 32.0 oz
  • Mag Capacity: 10 or 13 rounds (9mm), 10 or 12 rounds (.40S&W, .357SIG)
  • Sights: Contrast, SIGLITE Night Sights available
  • Grips: Black Polymer Factory Grips
  • Frame Finish: Black Hard Anodized
  • Slide Finish: Nitron

Have you used the P229? What was it like? Would you recommend it to others? Do share in the comments section.

About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (86)

  1. The SIG P210 is the only SIG other than the SP47/48 whose slide runs inside of the frame on rails machined on the inside of the frame, such as the CZ75 and the French MAS 35. All of the other P-2XX series pistolen have slides that run on rails cut on the outside of the frame like the 1911, FN/Browning P35, etc..

  2. Comparing a Ruger to a SIG is like . . . well, there is NO COMPARISON! The SIG design, as well as the vast majority of their P22x pistols are the same since the 1980’s. Designed & built right the first time, with no need to upgrade. Reliability, accuracy, and ergonomics are tops. SIG’s speak for themselves. Very few, if any forums ask, “how good are SIG’s?”

    The Rugers and S&W M&P’s have, and it is doubtful that they will ever come close to claiming the same. Their models go obsolete or change every 3-4 years, so good luck trying to find replacement parts years from now. I consider them “disposable” because of this.

    Smith & Wesson’s marketing ploy with “M&P” is just that: a ploy. No military, nor police force has ever endorsed or standardized on their firearms. I would only buy a S&W revolver, if I had to.

  3. Amen, brother. I have a P229 SAS Gen 2 re-chambered for 357 Sig. I had not practiced with the pistol for about 2 months on the range. I walked up to the range earlier this week, pulled the gun out of my holster and shot cold turkey 12 rounds at a head and chest size moving steel target 20 yards away. All the other shooters were stunned as I placed all my slugs right on the target and it started moving up and down like crazy because of the 357 Sig slug hits. Shooting that P229 is like riding a bicycle and the recoil is negligible on double and triple taps!

  4. I quite love my P229, and find it very similar in performance to my SP 2022 both are chambered in s%w .40 acp. I don’t think that either one is the superior or even the equal of the P226. I am planning on getting one for my next addition to my collection. The P226 that I rented at my local range seemed to be flawlessly accurate. More so than even my P220. All were superior to the P239, which I found a bit too small for the .40 caliber. I do however plan on getting conversions for 9mm and Sig 357 for my P229. The 9mm just specifically for decreased ammunition price at the range. And the Sig 357, because of curiosity about the improved accuracy and power that I read about. I may end up getting either an SP 2022 in Sig 357, or have my P226 originally chambered In the sig 357 if I like it well enough. But my original thought was that I wanted a great accurate 9mm. I have a Glock 17, and as with my 21, it at least for me, just is not as accurate as my Sigs. Hand fit may be everything, but I think that Sig Sauer simply makes a superior hand gun. All of mine shoot better than even my Kimber 1911, which when espousing the greatness of Sig Sauer, another patron at the gun store told me “If I am going to pay that kind of money, I will buy a Kimber”
    I like my Kimber better than my Glocks or especially my little Smith and Wesson Shield, but it doesn’t (for me at least) compare to my Sig Sauer collection.

  5. I have been trying to dig up information on the p229. I am trying to find out the year the p229 was made and sold in the 9mm caliber but all i ever find are articles about the gun itself and nothing of its lineage. If anyone has info on the info I am looking for please point me in the right direction?

  6. Minor updates to this article:

    The P229, as with most Classic P-Series DA/SA pistols, no longer has a longer SA reset if it has SIG’s Short Reset kt (orginally referred to as SRT and immediately confused with their short reach trigger. The short reset kit includes a new sear and safety lever on the P229, and as far as reset distance, this changes *everything*!

    Field strip procedure is also updated with SR kit. To avoid stress to the internal safety lever (firing pin block), when removing the slide, as the slide reaches what would be the normal in-battery position, the decock lever is depressed to lower the hammer which increases clearances by allowing the safety lever to drop down a bit lower. Hammer should be down when assembling the slide – allow the slide to cock the hammer. (all of this is in an amendment on the last pages of the instruction manual (unless they’ve incorporated it in the body of the manual by now).

    With gunsmithing, DA pull can be smooth and 8 lbs or a little less, SA trigger pull can be as low as you wish, mine is just over 3 lbs.

  7. I have two SIG P229 pistols, both in .357SIG and both with DAK triggers. I have two of them, because I like them so much, that after I had my first one for about a year, I figured I might want another in case one of them might be submitted into evidence should I get into some sort of social difficulty with one of them. I have never had any real shooting confrontations (except in Vietnam), but I keep reading and hearing that if one is ever involved in a shooting, no matter how justifiable, one’s firearm may be kept in evidence and may never find it’s way back to it’s owner.

    1. I also have 2 SIG Sauer P229, I own the first generation .357sig which was stolen out of my car and was gone for 5 years and one day I got a call from the city police where it was stolen from to tell me to come and get it someone had purchased it from an individual then had the numbers run and I got it back much to my delight, I loved that one so much I also purchased the 229 scorpion in 9mm, and now in a few days I am going to be getting the 229 Legion in 9mm, so I will own 3 different versions of the P229 and will probably get even more versions of the 229 in the future, in my 46 years I have owned many different types of handguns and say without a doubt SIG Sauer is the finest handguns I have ever owned

    2. Charles, you are fortunate to have gotten your pistol back at all, let alone after five years. Back in 1992, we had a burglary at my home, and the only things that were taken were two firearms. We were pretty certain of who had broken in, but the police could never make a case.

      Anyway, because I maintain records of all of my firearms, I was able to provide descriptions and serial numbers to the police, and like you I received a call from our local police a few years hence. They told me that they had retrieved one of the pieces through an arrest of some gang bangers in a nearby town, and I asked about the condition of the piece. The response was not encouraging, as the pistol had apparently been abused and not cared for. So…..considering that my home owners’ insurance had already settled a payment for the lost firearms, I declined the invitation to claim that particular piece.

    3. I was lucky I got mine back in the condition it was in when it was taken and will pass it down to my kids at the end of my days with the hope that they care for it as I have and pass it down to their children, my goal is to have one 229 version to pass down to each of my 4 children

  8. I have one and I cc it everyday, When I do switch off, I cc my 1911 EMP or 1911 Colt 5inch, or my Sig 220/10mm. I have gone through a lot of guns between 2000 and 2016 The aforementioned guns were a trial and error education that cost me money, disappointment, and frustration. Guns are strange machines. Some cost a lot of money, but may not be worth a bucket of cold spit, while others a modestly priced and are as good as gold. Good luck when buying or trading guns,

  9. “Of the three, I believe the .40 caliber offers superior wound potential, while others may argue for the high-velocity .357 SIG.”

    Obviously, Mr Campbell doesn’t know nearly as much as he pretends to know. Another of his MANY statements showing a high lack of knowledge or maybe a huge bias resulting from brainwashing and the fallacious teachings/writings of the shooting hucksters like jeff cooper, and other ignorant but blowhard fools like patrick sweeney.

  10. I was looking for an old article to which I think this one refers too concerning the Ohio State Police handgun selection process for there troopers. In this article, published originally in Hand Gun Magazine(i think), it talked about the entire exhaustive process they went through to finally select the sig P226. At the end of all the test they listed in order how the pistols ranked in which Sig had the top two spots. The criteria and process for testing the guns was the best I’ve ever seen. If someone can provide or point me to this article I would be very thankful.

  11. One point of issue with this article. In the Slide and Lockup section, the slide is described as being inside the frame, and in my 229, it is outside.
    In my CZ 75, the slide IS inside the frame, and is my favorite 9MM.
    I am suprised that this was not caught.

  12. Most of us have fired many different pistols with many different calibers, do yourself a favor and give the P 229 sas in .357 sig a try and you will see for yourself that the potential is built into that platform/caliber combination, to give yourself confidence and peace of mind, should you find yourself—- in harms way !

  13. I see this is the author’s carry. I’m a lefty. I know some Sig’s are ambidextrous. How would this rate? I don’t have “meat hooks”, but not small hands either. This or another good for concealed carry?

    1. I am a lefty as well with a size 8 hand on a 1 to 10 scale. I have carried a Sig P229 sense 1993. I have gotten use to the slide release, decocker and magazine on the right side by crossing over my left thumb to the point I would be lost if it was any different. I own and shoot many other hand guns. However my carry gun when permited continues to be my P229 40cal.

  14. I purchased my first sig earlier this year the p229 40 and it’s by far the best hand gun I’ve ever owned very accurate and so simple to field strip a perfect firearm

  15. Soy el feliz poseedor de una sig 228 y estoy asombrado de como dispara. La consegui usada de casualidad. Vivo en la Argentina que lamentablemente estamos proximos a una ley de desarme civil. Espero que no ocurra. Vivan las armas y vivan los hermanos norteamericanos!!! viva la cultura estadounidense, que fue la que tuve en mi infancia y estoy agradecido por ello. Reniego de la cultura indigena que legamos de los indios. Deberíamos haber sido USA en toda su extension hacia el sur y seriamos la nacion mas grande. Abrazos fraternos.

    1. A rough english translation ~Dave Dolbee
      I am the happy owner of a sig 228 and am amazed at how fired. I got used the chance. I live in Argentina we are sadly coming to a civilian disarmament law . I hope that does not happen. Live weapons and live the American brothers !!! American culture alive , which was what I had in my childhood and I’m grateful for that. Disown the indigenous culture of the Indians bequeath . We should have been used throughout its extension to the south and we would be the largest nation. Fraternal embrace.

  16. Just sayin’ (from looking at SIG Sauer’s website). It appears from the pictures that the entire line of SIG P22x pistols has “reverted back” to the 2-piece slide/firing-pin block as used in the original P220, P225, P226, & P228 (M11). The pictures show the double roll pin that holds the FP block into the formed/welded slide instead of the one-piece extruded/machined slide that first appeared on the original P229’s.

    There is no detriment to either slide design, and I have never had issues with my P226 (.40 S&W & .357 SIG) or my P228 (9 mm). I find it interesting that the pictures show the old slide design. Maybe a call to SIG will get clarification.

    Nothing against any other brand/make, but I am a SIG shooter, and will always be for defensive & competition handguns. They work for me, I am very familiar (muscle memory of drawing, sighting, shooting, de-cocking, reloading, holstering, etc.) with my SIG’s.

    I know of at least two instances of LE officers who shot themselves in the leg at a popular shooting school because they decided to switch away from their usual carry weapons to unfamiliar platforms for the high-intensity training courses.

    Being SAFE (#1) & proficient (#2) comes with familiarity & consistency of equipment, techniques & practice. While it is OK to shoot different weapons, one must be aware of what platform is being employed.

    Enough said – for now!

    1. “I know of at least two instances of LE officers who shot themselves in the leg”

      Maybe if they were practicing proper gun safety that wouldn’t have happened?

  17. I tried the p229 in 40 and was amazed. I could put a whole mag in a playing card standing up firing at a pretty rapid pace at 25m. I’m sold on them and they say the p226 beat the 92f in the military tests but politics got in the way- same thing happened between the m-14 and fal. The 92f is a good gun- Incan hit silouhettes at 100 yards witha p226 or a 92f. But yeah that p229 is excellent.

  18. As many of us regret selling one of our firearm and we see an article like this and really regret selling a firearm. This is one gun that I sold several years ago due to financial issues. I have owned some cheaper priced 9mm’s from other manufactures and it makes me really miss the gun. One day I will hopefully be able to purchase a Sig again.

  19. I purchased the Sig P229 after extensive research and my own personal needs (mainly DA/SA 9mm). This is still one of the best purchases I have made to date. When I think of a perfect combat handgun, the P229 is what I picture.

  20. I could be an idiot or maybe it’s your ignorance, but the Glock 19 I saw in pieces was pretty shattered. Even Beretta M9s, as bad as they are, don’t fall to pieces when they get a direct hit.

  21. I’m 80 years old and been shooting since I was 12. I’m no professional but a knowlageable amateur and an average shot. For many years I was primarily a revolver guy basically because the failsafe atributes of the design. 22’s got me into pistols. About 20 years ago I perchased my first center fire pistol. A beretta S92 in 9 mm. Since I have owned Brownings, S&Ws, Colts, Glocks and Sigs – all in 9mm. My only handguns now is a P229 in 9mm. It is indestructible, accurate, safe, concealable, reliable, fits my big hands, a pleasure to shoot and a joy to look at. The best of the bunch. I prctice just about once every two months and fire about 150 rounds per sesion. I use inexpensive FJP for most of the sesion and finish with a box of Corbons 115gr. The gun must have well over 5000 rounds and still gives me about 3 inches at 10 paces. Absolutely wonderful.

  22. My son and I have 28 pistols and revolvers, five of them Sigs. My “Goto” guns if and when TSTHF will be the 9MM Sig P226 Elite Stainless and the .40 S&W P229 SAS Gen 2. I love them both over all my other handgun ordnance in our collections.

  23. Not a professional shooter but I have owned a p226 in 9mm and still own a p229 in 40sw. got it new in 1998. Have owned many handguns in the past but I have always held on to this one. Built like a tank. Shoots fantastic and super smooth. Just an all around great gun. You definitely feel armed with it in your hand.

  24. I have owned my P228 since 1996, fired thousands of rounds WITHOUT A SINGLE MALFUNCTION. I have a P226 in .40 S&W & .357 SIG, and have fired hundreds of rounds without any malfunctions.

    There is a reason the Navy SEALs use the SIG P226: The SIGs work all the time, every time. If a SIG does malfunction, the operator has done something wrong.

    1. IMHO Yes. My son, who was a contractor in Afghanistan as well as a sniper in the USMC earlier swears that a Sig steel slide is actually actually even more durable than a Glock polymer slide when both get hit by a bullet and Afghan dirt. He keeps them both as souvenirs from when he was helping repulse and infiltration in a firefight at Camp Bastion in late 2013.

    2. Not sure if you’re the idiot or your son, but the slides on glocks are not polymer. The frames are.

  25. The SIG P series classic pistols are great. I suggest that one of the best concealed carry options today Is the Sig P224 in 357 Sig caliber. It has a shortened grip frame for better concealment, but still holds 10 + 1 rounds. Then with 12 round spare mags you get extra rounds and the added section of grip to give the exact feel of the P229. What’s not to like with that combination?

  26. I’m not a big fan of the da/sa trigger.
    I like the dak trigger system…..same pull all the time!
    I also have Crimson Trace laser grips on the pistol and that is a BIG game changer for me.
    I don’t think that Crimson Trace has laser grips for the P227.

  27. I agree the 229 is a great pistol, but i just got a p227 in 45 cal and its even better and holds 10 +1 i like it so much i put my 1911 back on the shelf and made my 227 my primary weapon. its also comes with night sights and holsters will work that fit the p220.

  28. I tend to agree with you benjandpurge. Jasmine’s comment about the H&K really had no bearing when talking about the Sig P-229. I have a 229 in 40 S&W and I love it. It’s an excellent handgun in a great caliber.

  29. Man, when people make comments like Jasmine’s “HK 45 C superior product” , that kinda irrelevant ridiculousness makes me wanna stop reading about guns altogether. Here, you have a well composed, imformative article about Sig’s 229, and even fired in multiple calibers. Thank goodness we generally see less and less of these weekend warriors lately, but I’ll stick to my mantra: Nothing brings out ignorance on a massive scale, as much as discussing firearms.

  30. I just completed (yesterday & tonight) a total upgrade on my P228 – I purchased it new in the early 90’s The upgrade includes the SRT kit, retrofitting the excellent Hogue grips with the new A2 grip & newer, shorter mainspring kit, and new Meprolight tritium front sight. I oversprayed the (very rough) surface of the A2 grip with the spray-on version of the Plasti-Dip coating. Came out very nicely with a similar tackiness of the Hogues. It may take a few outings to retrain & get used to the new features, and may end up going back to the Hogue grips. At least I can use the .22 LR conversion for a lot practice/retraining.

    I have decided to stop with the SRT kit on my P226 in .40 S&W and .357 SIG. The beefier Hogue grips on the P226 feel better, and absorb the recoil of the larger cartridges.

  31. Have put over 14,000 rounds through my P229 DAK.
    Recoil is very manageable. DAK trigger is awesome.
    It is the most comfortable pistol I have ever shot.
    In my opinion Sigs are great firearms, and as far as I’m concerned the P229 DAK is the only pistol I will ever own.!

  32. Just received my Sig p226 elite scorpion and took it to the range. This is my first sig and now my favorite amongst my arsenal. literally everyone who has been fortunate to hold, see, and experience this weapon all have one thing in common said… “wow!” If your reading this article because of your interest and possibly intend to buy a Sig; DO check out the p226 elite. I just wish all law abiding citizens had one. -Yates0311 vet USMC

  33. I own a P 229 in 40 S&W. My son bought it for me as a birthday present.
    I absolutely love this handgun. Recoil is minimal due to the weight of the handgun. My 229 is a joy to shoot and extremely accurate at combat ranges. My P-229 is a little more bulky to conceal compared to my M1911A1. but my concealment vests take care of that issue with no problem.
    All in all the Sig P-229 is an excellent handgun with good concealablity and plenty of knock down power with the 40 S&W round. Another positive is the ease of cleaning after a trip to the range.
    You can do wrong with a 229 especially if you have small hands (like I do)
    The P-229 is a heavy handgun to pack concealed but the weight is more than worth packing around excellent accuracy completely reliable and great knock down power. what more could ask for in a defensive sidearm?

  34. Bought my P229 in 1993 – it is one of my favorites still. Fits my hand perfectly. The all metal construction with the stainless slide makes for a solid firearm – a bit weighty for it’s size compared with plastic framed types, but comfortable and accurate. A good concealed carry. Decocking lever is a blessing if you carry chambered. I’m not easy on my guns, but this one still looks good (although a bit ‘polished’ and nicked in some areas). Still accurate – a go to gun. Only complaint is that the mag springs lose their oomph after a few years – on my third set – but have had this piece for over 20 years!

  35. My apologies if I sound like a “cyber bully”. I am passionate about my SIG’s, and share my experiences. If I sound like I am telling someone what to own, that is completely unintentional. I state my “opinions” based on my experiences & observations.

    What I share may be helpful to those who may be unaware of improvements to their SIG’s – like the SRT kit. I was “helped” & informed of things in this posting that were new to me.

    Shoot what is best for you, and shoot it well!

  36. Take it easy Spacegunner, you’re sounding like a cyber-bully. Regarding the Sig line, I’ve always heard good things of them, and will try/buy one at my earliest opportunity. This was a good article in that regard. M&P are junk, and I won’t depend on a firearm with plastic frames & parts, other than grips. I’m a 1911 guy with a Combat Commander and two Kimber pro models.

  37. I own a few handguns, all of them good (or I would not still own them). The P250 is surfprisingly accurate, and is easy to conceal in an IWB holster. I carry it a lot because it is easy to replace should I have to use it and it ends up in a police evidence locker. Still, none of my guns (except maybe the Glock 20, when I am outdoors) gives me the confidence that I get when carrying the P229 in .357 SIG. In one of his novels Steven Hunter describes one of his character’s impression of the P229 when using for the first time while protecting himself from an armed attacker: “He found the P229 to be a blocky piece of pistolcraft that fit his hand glove-smooth and went to target hungrily.” Truer words were never written. the trigger is a lot more immediate than the P250’s, and the gun is magically accurate in .357SIG. The P220 is another fine SIG, either in .45 ACP or 9mm, but overall I would agree that the P220 is SIG’s best.

  38. One more thing…I’ve had my SIG P229/ 357 SIG for many years and it’s never jammed or failed to perform.. ever. A bit of additional recoil that must be anticipated, that’s just basic physics. A .355 (9mm) 125 grain bullet is fired with a muzzle velocity of 1,350 FPS and over 500 FT LBS of muzzle energy. Reliable, dependable, doesn’t take up much space yet it packs a punch. What’s not to like?

  39. I purchased a SIG P229 chambered in 357 SIG years ago before the rail was added and this is what I call “Maximum Hardball”. Some factory ammunition will have a big muzzle flash and others won’t and YES the 357 SIG does BARK Loud along with a Big BITE!. Using 125 grain TMJ I take comfort when out in the middle of nowhere knowing that I have a hard hitter in a not so big pistol. I have spent most of my hunting years up north and in the Rocky Mountains, but here in southeast Texas the wild hogs have become really big! So I bring enough gun and enough back-up just in case.

  40. Have the 22LR slide conversion and 22LR mags from Sig, plus three barrels for my P229: 9mm, .357 Sig and .40.

    All three centerfire rounds reliably use the same magazines, spring and slide, which I had machined for the Trijicon RMR by One Source Tactical, adding their taller iron sights for co-witness. The 9mm barrel was from Bar-Sto. An accurate and flexible platform for comfortably handling four calibers!

  41. I love SIGs. My only problem with the P229 is that their are no ambi controls. As a lefty, I would like it to come out of the box ready for leftys.

  42. I love guns and have many. This is a fine gun for all occasions, wives can handle it very easily.. My choice of cals. are 45 or 40 ..
    Don’t skimp on your self protection equipment ,
    . get the finest and most functional.
    You cant go wrong with this fine piece of equipment

  43. I wonder what the .357 SIG cartridge would be like out of the P229! I have a P226 with both the .40 S&W & .357 SIG barrels. The .357 SIG has a BIG ORANGE FIREBALL when shot in bright, mid-day, summer Colorado summer sun. The bite is every bit as bad as the bark: At 10 -15 yards, it leaves a divot in the steel plates that other calibers just splatter against. This is with 125–grain Rainier FP bullets driven by Accurate #9 powder.

    Shooting the .357 SIG out of a P229 would have to have a BIGGER BARK!!

    On the other end of the spectrum, I also have the .22 LR conversion for my P228. The slide is marked “P229”, and it is P226-length, but it shoots very well with all but the Federal Auto-Match ammo. I did have SIG do the installation (for free) since my conversion was anything but “drop-in”. I hated being without the P228, but had the P226 for back-up.

    For those of you who commented/dislike the trigger reset length, get the SRT kit installed (~$50; installs in <10 minutes by someone who is mechanically competent with firearms).

    If I had to do it all over again (not that I want to), I would go with the P229 with all four calibers just for the fun, economics, power, & effectiveness available in a few-seconds conversion time.

  44. I also have a P229 in 40S&W/357Sig. I love this gun, I keep the .357Sig barrel on it to carry. It is louder and a little bit more pissed off, ammo is spendy but this gun is a tack driver. It is my favorite or the M&P ,P226 and the Sp2022 which is also fun to shoot.
    My P229 is extremely reliable, can’t say enough about it.

  45. The P229 is an excellent firearm. I prefer the M11-A1 based off the P228. The M11 shares the 229 1 piece slide, 229-1 mags. The M11 comes with 3 15 round mags, siglite night sights, short recess trigger & nitron finish. The M11 also has phosphate coated internals to protect in harsh enviroments like salt water. Unlike the 229 the M11 does not have a rail and is only available in 9mm. The P229 has a 1 piece grip however the grip kit can be installed on the M11(the hammer strut also must be changed). I disagree that the 229 can be changed to different calibers by only changing the mag and barrel. The Sig armorers manual calls for the white spring for 9mm, blue spring for .40 & .357sig. While Sig’s cost more the quality makes them worth it. I carry a Sig, my wife carries one my daughter carries one and my son in-law carries one. While I have a safe full of firearms only the Sig’s are carried daily.

    1. My P226 and P239 are originally 357SIG. I have SIG mfg 40 S&W barrels for each and can they be converted using the same spring. The P239 needs a new mag but the P226 does not. I also have BAR-STO 9mm barrels for each but this requires a 9mm spring and 9mm magazine. They function well in all 3 calibers. An original 9mm cannot be converted to the stronger calibers. My P229 in 40 S&W can also be similiarly converted but I have not got around to it yet. The BAR-STO barrels are kind of picky functioning with reloads I think because the chambers are are tight to increase accuracy so cartridge dimensions are critical.

  46. I have a P229 witth 40 S&W and .357 Sig barrels. The .357 Sig is louder, has more kick and costs more to shoot than the 40. Great gun … rock solid reliable

  47. The 229 is a fine pistol however I feel that it is an answer to a question that sig answered with the p250 series. Light easy to carry with multiple calibre options. And at a price most can afford. I’ve had mine for several years without a single malfunction with quality ammo and accuracy well beyond what one would expect or need for personal defense or even competition.

  48. I have to agree with Spacegunner.

    I own a 226 in 9mm and a 229 in 40S&W and they are my “get to” handguns as well. I’ve carried both in CCW configuration and prefer the 229 due to it’s slightly shorter barrel length and balance in my hand.

  49. I own a P220, a 226, a 228, a 229 (.40S&W), and a 239. They all function flawlessly, and are not very “ammo fussy.” That said, if you take the time to try out different varieties, you will find the near-perfect load for that weapon. My 229 with turn in sub-two-inch groups using Hornady 180gr JHP TAP. The 220 will do the same thing with Remington Golden Saber 230 gr JHP.

  50. I’ve had the SIG P229R four about three years. The original purchase was chambered in 22lr. I added the 9mm conversion shortly after and have enjoyed shooting both calibers; although, the relative shortage of 22lr ammo makes it a little less financially advantageous to use the rimfire option(Still…WAY cheaper to shoot bulk 22lr than standard 9mm). It takes all of 30 seconds to switch the slide and mag from one caliber to the other. I highly recommend the 22lr option if you already have the 9mm.

    A couple of nits…SIG saved (them) some money by utilizing a plastic mag in the 22lr. They also limited the 22lr capacity to 10 with no ‘official’ upgrade available. I upgraded the original mag to accept 16 rounds and installed a stronger spring. Nice to have compared to the 10 round stock mag. Unfortunately, SIGPower, the supplier of that upgrade kit, is no longer in business. I would like to upgrade the second stock mag with the same improvements.

    Also, both the 22lr and the 9mm slides come with plastic/nylon guide rods. My otherwise flawless experience with the 9mm came to a screeching halt when the plastic guide rod self destructed on the range. I would estimate no more than 400 rounds had been fired in the 9mm set-up. I’ve since purchased a stainless steel guide rod and had previously installed the steel rod in the 22lr slide. I wasn’t surprised to see plastic in the 22lr; but was a little disappointed in plastic in the 9mm.

    I’m so pleased with the overall performance of the 229 that I’ve added the P290RS and see it as a possible EDC replacement for my Kahr PM9.

  51. Training & familiarity are the keys to any weapons training, that is why I carry my SIG’s.

    What model of S&W auto has been around for more than 5 years before being replaced with a new, completely different model? That is totally counter to “reliability”. To me that is a “disposable” gun because parts & service are no longer available. Very similar to buying a cheap car versus buying one that will reliably run for 100’s of thousands of miles for a decade (or 2 or 3 . . .).

    The less expensive guns are fine, but I shoot a lot, so I demand a lot. The SIG’S NEVER FAILED me.

    I would rather pay the higher price for the SIG’s, shoot them, know that they will outlast me, than to buy a “cheaper”, less reliable & less accurate piece that will malfunction or quit at any time. You get what you pay for.

    To each their own. I know & shoot with people who shoot everything & SIG’s, but they truly know which one to carry – it is the one they are most familiar & know will put the bullet where it needs to go if/when that time comes.

  52. I’ve owned a Sig P220 in .45 cal since the mid 80’s. Never had a problem with this weapon in 28 years (still my favorite). I may have to look into the P229 series, probably in .357 cal – thanks for the report.

  53. I own a P229. It is a very nice reliable weapon but not meant for concealment. The issue with Sigs is that the barrel sits higher in the hand than that of an M&P or comparable pistol. This makes recoil a little strange to handle but can easily be compensated for during training. Like with any pistol to carry, you must train with it to get the full capability of the firearm. The P229 will not disappoint. However, you don’t need to pay the price they want for these to get a reliable pistol that performs just as well. Such as an M&P, a Glock, or a Ruger.

  54. I own two of the 40/357 variety, with and without the rail. Both are first rate. I’ve also owned various H&k’s smith and wessons, browning Hi power’s. These are my favorite, Highly accurate great for concealed carry. Never had a FTF or a FTE. I purchased both of mine at very reasonable prices years ago. They are a little pricey these days but its truly a case of getting what you pay for with this model. The only modification I’ve made is the addition of the excellent houge rubber grips. They make it a real joy to shoot. it’s now wonder it’s been selected by so many Federal and L.E. agency’s cause when your life is on the line they will go bang every time. And the chance of shooting ones own leg is almost Zero unlike some other popular brands.

  55. The entire SIG Sauer P22x line is excellent. I won a P226 in .40 S&W/.357 SIG, and a P228 in 9 mm as my carry gun. They have run flawlessly for the past 25 years.

    SIG came out with their Short Reset Trigger kit that reduces the return travel of the trigger by 60%. I just installed the SRT kit in my P228 last week for <$50 & <10 minutes to install.

    As my "get to" weapons, my SIG P226/P228's will never be replaced.

  56. I have a P229 in 40 caliber with the DAK trigger. Last year I took it with me to the 250 course at the Gunsite Training Center in Arizona. After two days it began to jam repeatedly. I tried different magazines, I cleaned it relentlessly, and I had the gunsmith look at it. Nothing helped. For the las two days I switched to the center’s 40 caliber Smith & Wesson M&P and it ran flawlessly. No jams. Great accuracy. I even won the head-to-head shoot off at the end of the course. As much as I would like to love the Sig, I am now a S&W man, with no regrets. Despite what their ads say, this is the second Sig that I have found to be unreliable.

  57. Have owned a Sig P229 for many years now. I am a collector, CCW holder and have many hand guns. Sig P229 tops the list along with my Kimber, HK UPS, The pistol is at my bed side as well a carry. It’s no lite weight but it’s not uncomfortable to carry with the right holster either. Mine is a 40 cal. with a 13 round mag. Also have a 15 rounder but gets a bit on the heavy side. I love the pistol and how accurate it is right out of the box. Like the night sights as well. Great all round pistol. It will stay as my carry for many years to come. If you haven’t tried one and you have the chance the old saying goes ” try it you’ll like”.

  58. Having shot Sigs for years, I bought aP229 Elite in 357 sig last year and I can attest to all the raves I have read about this weapon.The feel, of shooting of this gun right out of the box is fantastic.I also shoot a P220(45cal),a P226(9mm),aPro2022(9mm)and a Pro2340(40sw).The P229 has become my favorite and is now my carry gun. It replaced my HK 40sw.I would highly recommend this gun to anyone looking for a great reliable gun for fun or service shooting!

  59. The P-229 is my normal carry gun. I like the 357 Sig caliber, and that is what I carry and shoot. I own several other carry guns, but this one is my favorite. It is very accurate, and easy to fire. Accuracy is off the charts. I just love my P-229. I know it will save my life if I need it.

  60. The P229 is a superior weapon. I had one of the first P229’s in .40 as my primary sidearm for years, and never had a failure – although it wasn’t because of my maintenance or lack of use. I can’t recall how many rounds I put through that poor gun before cleaning it, but most would cringe.

    I sold the Sig when I moved back to my home state in order to catch up on bills, and wish I never had. I currently own a MK25 and back-up P224. I enjoy the ability to carry 20+1 with the MecGar’s in the MK25, but it is a bit hard to conceal during the summer, hence the P224, which can use the larger P226 mag as a back-up if needed. The P224 is fairly new, though and I have yet to find a mag extension that gives me more than a 3-finger grip, so I am considering selling off my wheel gun and getting another P229 (with a 9mm Slide/Mag Exchange set up) to add even more redundancy to my handgun line-up.

    All that to say, I would also recommend the P229 as a choice weapon, but as noted above, check the grip to your particular hand. I had a brief affair with Glocks, and after going back to my faithful Sigs the grips seemed different to me. My solution was to get the slimmer g-10 grips, now the MK25 fits like a glove. The only problem is, my entire reasoning behind the P224 was to have a shrunken down back-up / concealable version of my trusty MK25 – but with it being so new, grips are not an option I have found … and unless it really takes off in this market, I don’t know if they ever will get enough interest to justify an accessory line. The P229 has a good following, so you will not have the same problem making it your own. If you disagree and have a P229 that you dislike, let me know … I might just take it off your hands if I haven’t bought one already.

  61. I used the SIG P226 as a service pistol in the Navy and after retiring purchased the SIG P229 in 9mm as my primary sidearm. Absolutely love it!
    I have the tritium night sights and provides me an unbeatable sight picture in very low light conditions. After nearly 20 years of carrying the P226, the P229 fits natural in my hand. My P229 is well balanced and doesn’t miss. Only wish I had another in .40 though for the added stopping power. Regardless my P229 is an heirloom that I’m sure my grand-kids and greatgrand-kids will treasure someday long after I am gone.

  62. This is not a weapon particularly well suited to anything other than open/duty carry. It is too heavy and bulky for comfortable everyday concealed carry, but too expensive to sit in the safe.

    Carry comfort aside, the DAK trigger system is a mess, and the double/single system isn’t much better, with “re sets” being so long it might as well not even be mentioned.

    Lastly, in my experience the 226 is a much more reliable platform, if you must have a full-metal frame (non 1911) weapon.

  63. The Sig p229 .40 was the first handgun I purchased myself for work, a mid 1990’s model and remains my standard for comparison in combat pistols, of which I have owned or been issued dozens of different designs throughout my career. It’s high round count reliability (mine has well over over 30,000 rounds, requiring only recoil springs and a new barrel in that time) is still comparable only to Glock and accuracy is uncanny. There are newer and more specific designs that have graced the field in the last 20 years, but the 229 remains a professional platform that has weathered the storm.

  64. I’ve seen the P 229s but never tried one. Had a P 228 I liked the pistol, but my thumb was just too short to reach the decocker. So when given a choice between my Sig P 228 and my CZ 75, I traded the Sig for car repairs and kept the CZ. The Enhanced Ergonomics model might eliminate that problem. It’s grip profile is VERY similar to the CZ. My CZ is solid stainless, so the difference in weight between the allow framed Sig and the CZ is huge.

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