I have had the greatest respect for SIG Sauer products for more than 40 years. It’s sometimes difficult to pin down a favorite handgun from a single maker. In this case, the difficulty is much less as the SIG P226 SAO Legion is easily my favorite SIG product.
The SIG P226 is a great pistol. With the modern Legion additions, it’s even better. The SAO trigger has great appeal as well. The P226R is among a very few Legion series pistols that I own. Each has its own character and more than a little flair.
The P226 is built on the P226R rail gun chassis. The Legion series are not inexpensive, but they are affordable. A bit of sacrifice and shuffling of assets is involved, but working people may afford this pistol.
While terms such as factory, custom, and high-end factory gun may be used, the pistol is a high-end handgun by any standard.
SIG P226 Background
The P226 has a lot of history behind it. The pistol has endured grueling institutional testing. The famous Ohio State Patrol testing, French combination military and police testing, and Texas State Patrol evaluation have all confirmed the reliability of the SIG P-series pistols.
The modern handguns are even more reliable. There has been no pistol more effective and useful in the war on terror than the SIG P226. Originally intended to offer life-saving accuracy in a rescue situation, the pistol balances accuracy and reliability. When the SIG is purchased, it is purchased on its merits and not on the low bid.
SIG Sauer Legion Series
The Legion series owes much to the demands of serious competitors and military shooters. The pistol that saves lives and makes history could be a little better they said. “Let’s do that,” replied SIG, and the result was the Legion series.
It’s built for those who demand a pistol with better features to enhance rapid handling and accuracy. Reliability — a strong point of the P226 — cannot be compromised. The pistol has had considerable development in the grip frame.
The geometry is subtly changed with a cut-out under the trigger guard. The grip tang is slightly extended. Frame checkering is superb. A feature usually found on custom-grade pistols is checkering on the bottom of the trigger guard. I like this a great deal. This is a small thing that pays dividends in fast shooting. The grips are unique to the Legion series.
Inside the gun, the trigger mechanism is single-action-only. It’s important to realize that the pistol isn’t a converted first-shot double-action P226. The lockwork is considerably developed, and the trigger of the Legion is a flat-style offering excellent control.
The trigger is tight and crisp with minimal take-up and a rapid reset. The pistol features a solid, rather than hollow, guide rod.
SIG calls the sights X-RAY3 sights. I like the configuration. You need something that is bright and draws your eye to the sights. These sights are well suited to defensive shooting. The night sights are bright enough for real utility in dim light.
A final touch separating the Legion from everything else is the special hard-use Legion Gray finish.
The single-action-only trigger has benefits in fast, accurate shooting.
Another benefit is that the shooter sometimes tends to ride the slide of the SIG P226 during firing. This results in the slide lock failing to catch the slide and lock it open on the last round. With the subtle design difference with the SAO type, this doesn’t occur.
The SAO trigger invites controlled rapid-fire. The results with a trained marksman are impressive.
The pistol was fired with a good mix of modern 9mm ammunition. The primary practice load was Federal American Eagle 9mm. This is a clean-burning loading with much to recommend. Practical accuracy is excellent.
I also fired a number of defensive loads, including the Federal 124-grain HST and 124-grain Hydra-Shok. The pistol is quite accurate with all bullet weights, from 115 to 147 grains. I have a dwindling supply of 147-grain HST +P loads. These were also reliable and accurate in the SIG P226 Legion. I elected to benchrest test the pistol for absolute accuracy.
Using the MTM molded products K-Zone pistol rest, I carefully fired several groups with the American Eagle and Federal 124-grain HST loads. The results were excellent. Average dispersion for four groups, five shots each, was a tight 2.25 inches. Some groups were smaller. The pistol will run!
When ordering a holster, be certain to specify P226R, for P226 with a light rail. The P226R isn’t a small pistol, but it isn’t too heavy for effective concealment given a proper holster. With a high-ride holster, the SIG P226 Legion concealed well under a light cover garment.
The DeSantis Speed Scabbard is among the finest. For deep concealment, the Wright Leatherworks IWB is used.
This is my favorite SIG for all-around use and one that I will be firing a great deal in the foreseeable future.
- Overall Length: 7.7 Inches
- Width: 1.6 Inches
- Height: 5.5 Inches
- Magazine capacity: 15 Rounds
- Weight: 34 Ounces