Concealed Carry

Review: SIG P250 Compact 9mm

SIG P250 9mm handgun left profile black

A handgun I have the greatest respect for — as a firearm that fills an important niche in personal defense — is the SIG P250. This pistol is well suited to those looking for a credible, capable handgun for personal defense. However, the same shooter may be one who doesn’t practice as often as he or she would like. So, the pistol must be one that is simple to operate and make ready. The SIG Sauer P250 is a solid choice for all levels of shooters.

The pistol illustrated is one of my wife’s two favorite handguns. The other is a smaller gun for concealed carry. The P250 is the ‘traveling’ gun that she takes along on longer trips and keeps at ‘home ready.’ It suits her well.

SIG P250 9mm pistol right profile black
There is no decocker or manual safety. The pistol doesn’t need either one.

This handgun is among a very few I have gifted her over the years. She isn’t into guns as I am, so I don’t gift her with something I really want and she doesn’t! Nor do I choose something unrealistic, however. I would carry the SIG P250 in a heartbeat if need be. She has often said that it is the perfect 9mm (for her).

Why should you choose a SIG Sauer?

SIG handguns are high on the list of reliable, well-made handguns. They are among the most popular with law enforcement and the military. When the Brass chooses the SIG pistol, you know that they did not go with the lowest bidder.

The SIG P250 builds on the success of the original P-series. The pistol features a locked-breech design with an angled camming surface for lockup.

Fieldstripping the P250

Takedown was simple, and the pistol was easy enough to maintain. Simply unload the handgun, lock the slide to the rear (after removing the magazine), and rotate the takedown lever. Release the slide, and it easily ran off the frame. The recoil spring and barrel were then easily removed from the slide.

The slide is forged steel. The extractor is the famous steel SIG type that never gives trouble. The pistol features a slide lock and magazine release as the only controls on this double-action-only pistol.

SIG P250 handgun with the trigger depressed enough to expose the hidden hammer
The pistol features a recessed hammer. Instead of having the slide cock the hammer for the next shot, the SIG P250 is a double-action-only handgun.

The sights are well-designed three-dot types. These sights offer excellent hit probability in speed shooting and are accurate when properly aligned. My compact version was supplied with two 15-round magazines. My pistol was chambered in 9mm Luger, others are available in .40 S&W and .45 ACP.

The grip frame offers an exceptionally good fit for most hand sizes. The pistol, quite simply, doesn’t feel like polymer. Just the same, the grip frame is a polymer frame.

The polymer frame helps make the pistol affordable. The fit and feel of the grip frame make for real speed on target. A great deal of research went into this grip. The grip treatment features a good mix of abrasion and adhesion.

The magazine well offers real speed for reloads — a large magazine well and tapered magazine always do! The pistol is a hammer-fired double-action-only pistol.

Field stripped SIG P250 9mm pistol
Like all SIG Sauer pistols, the SIG P250 is easily fieldstripped and maintained.

The manual of arms is simple — load, holster, draw, and then fire. There is no decocker or manual safety. The pistol doesn’t need either one. While the P250 is as simple to use as a striker-fired pistol, the action is perceived as safer to operate. The action seems particularly safer to leave at ‘home ready,’ fully loaded, for immediate access. If you are afraid of chamber-loaded carry, then you need a revolver.

The SIG P250 action is a good compromise. Sometimes heft, fit, and comfort with a particular type of trigger action are more important than speed and accuracy.

Firing a box of 50 rounds in practice is fine, but getting the first shot on target is more important — as is safe handling.

The pistol is fired by pressing the trigger to the rear. The hammer rises and falls, firing the pistol. During recoil, the hammer is not cocked by the slide. Instead, it rides down with the slide. While longer and heavier than a single-action or striker-fired pistol, this is a smooth and useful trigger action.

SIG Sauer P250 9mm pistol in a Galco Yaqui Slide holster
For most of the combat firing drills, the pistol was drawn from a Galco Yaqui Slide holster.

Trigger compression was about 12 pounds. The pistol had many pleasing features — for such an affordable handgun. The steel slide was nitride finished. The slide lock was ambidextrous.

The pistol is a pace setter of modular design. The fire control group may be removed from the frame and changed to a full size or sub compact grip shell. The process is quite simple. This makes a lot of sense for versatility.

You may purchase different frames, slides, and barrels. It would be simple enough to have quite a collection of full-size to sub-compact pistols, even different calibers, for different duties while using a single firing group.

SIG P250 Firing Tests

While we have owned this pistol for more than 10 years, I have seldom fired it. My wife has enjoyed firing the pistol. I evaluated it during the initial training period, but she has done well with this handgun.

CZ 83 .380 ACP pistol left, SIG P250 handgun right
For size comparison, the P250 is compared to a CZ 83 .380 ACP. Not much larger, much stronger.

For this report, I loaded the pistol with Winchester’s Active Duty load. Active Duty is a clean-burning and accurate loading that I use often. You don’t need a hollow point for practice, and full metal jacket bullets are much less expensive.

Homing in on a man-sized target at 5 and 7 yards, I drew and fired quickly from a Galco belt slide. The pistol offers excellent hit probability. Draw, line the sights up, press the trigger, and fire. As the pistol recoils, allow the trigger to reset, and then fire again.

This is a very smooth pistol that is well suited to personal defense. This pistol features excellent hit probability and modest recoil. As for absolute accuracy, I fired a couple of three-shot groups at 15 yards. I used the MTM K-Zone shooting rest for testing accuracy.

I fired the Winchester 115-grain Silvertip first, putting three shots into 2.0 inches at 15 yards. I also fired the 124-grain PDX load and achieved similar results. The pistol is accurate enough for any conceivable defense chore.

Three dot sight picture of the SIG P250 handgun
The pistol’s sights are well-designed, all-around combat sights.

SIG P250 Compact Specifications

Caliber: 9mm Luger
Action: Locked-Breech
Trigger: Double-Action-Only
Weight: 26 Ounces
Length: 7.2 Inches
Height: 5.1 Inches
Width: 1.3 Inches
Barrel Length: 3.9 Inches
Slide Finish: Nitron
Magazine Capacity: 15 Rounds

Looking back, I am glad I chose the SIG P250 as a family defense gun. I would do so again. I think you will find the pistol well suited to most defensive chores as well. To Hell and back reliability is SIG Sauer’s motto.

Do you believe the SIG P250 has lived up to the reputation? Share your review or thoughts in the comment section.

  • SIG Sauer P250 9mm pistol flipped upside down to shot the grip and magazine floor plate view
  • SIG P250 9mm handgun fitted with a TruGlo TruBrite weapon light
  • SIG P250 9mm pistol right profile black
  • Three dot sight picture of the SIG P250 handgun
  • Field stripped SIG P250 9mm pistol
  • CZ 83 .380 ACP pistol left, SIG P250 handgun right
  • SIG P250 9mm handgun left profile black
  • SIG P250 handgun with the trigger depressed enough to expose the hidden hammer
  • SIG Sauer P250 9mm pistol in a Galco Yaqui Slide holster

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 (14)

  1. I have a full size and compact. I can easily dump all the rnds of either gun into 6 inches firing from a standing position at 25 yards. I shot the compact slightly better. I’d say I did it in a timed-fire manner maybe a shot every 5 seconds. You need to learn how to use this trigger. If you’re accustomed to the millions if striker-fired guns, you think this trigger and gun sucks. No, it’s the user who has not taken the time to adjust their motor memory from what they’ve been shooting.

  2. When did the second generation P250 came out. I own a P250 and love it but I would like to know if ita firt gen or second. Thanks.

  3. Purchased numerious in all calibers and sizes except 45. As an instructor I found the p250 a good choice for shooters wanting a simple capable self defense handgun that can transform from one size to another. I found the sizes very capable of fitting different sized hands to meet differing comfort levels. For accomplished shooter who spend a lot of time wanted to find the better, best, and latest the p250 is boring. But for shooters who want to learn how to defend themselves and have a trustable simple quality consistent personal defense weapon (magazine fed!) the p250 finds a valuable home. The new x-series grip modules added additional options in finding the best fitting “to you” comfort.

    Ps, stole a couple of the p250 barrels, and purchased on sale from sig’s website p320 sig357/40cal slides and mated them with x-series grips and sig custom 320 FCU’s and added value to my plethora of mix and swap p250/320 small to x-5 standard and x series grips. It’s funny, my wife has always preferred the standard grip modules. I’ve always preferred the x-series. But we both love the Wilson Combat and new metal grips modules from Sig.

  4. I bought this pistol in the compact configuration simply because that is what the dealer had in theshowcase, I had planned on converting it to the sub-compact model, and possibly other calibers, but was disappointed to find that conversion kits of any size and/or caliber is virtually impossible to find. Sig doesn’t even show them on their web page. I have talked to dealers about trading it for something else, and they all tell me that it is not a hot seller and I would take a beating on it. They said my best bet would be to try and sell it on my own. I really don’t have any issues with the long, heavy trigger pull. I have gotten used to that with practice. So I’m not really interested in trying to sell it. However, it is one of the guns that has pretty much taken up residence in the back of my safe.

    If anyone knows of a retailer that might have conversion kits, I would be grateful for any info.

  5. I think you have done a real disservice to SIG and the P250 by omitting some very important information. I have 3 SIG P250’s, Full, Compact, and Sub-Compact. All are 357 SIG caliber. If you really want a dead nuts reliable platform and take it to the extreme in reliability, then feed it bottleneck cartridges. There’s a reason some early autoloading pistols used bottlenecked cartridges. The guns were nowhere near as reliable as today’s technology has made our pistol today, but feeding them bottleneck cartridges made them much better. It also doesn’t hurt that a P250 in 357 SIG is easier to carry then 2 357 Magnum revolvers, but just as reliable, just as capable manstopper, and simple to operate, just point and shoot.

  6. I have the p250 chambered in 9mm and am quite fond of it but my everyday carry is the sigp320. As a former LEO I was thrilled when my agency changed to the p320. Both are exceptional in accuracy and quick to reacquire the target. As with any weapon the secret is practice and then more practice.

  7. I absolutely love the p250 .I own 4 . Purchased most of them when the p320 came out and everyone dumped them for the new hotness. The 22 and 9 mm are my favorites. The 45 sub compact is a pocket rocket, 2 mags and call it a day. . Everyone has been extremely accurate. I use the 9mm compact for a house gun also because my wife loves it . Some don’t care for the long trigger, that’s fine. Just more guns available for us who appreciate this great gun

  8. I had a Sig p250 I purchased at the Time of New Town. I was intrigued with the modular capabilities of this pistol. However the Sig p250 turned out to be the worst hand gun I have ever owned! It was simply terrible. The trigger pull was very hard so long and drawn out. It just sucked. Double action only. I have revolvers with much better action! You could not hit a 12 in plate at 25 yards even rested consecutively. Bullets were all over the place! To top it off I discovered not long after having the pistol and only running a few hundred rounds through it. The firing pin had broke!! Would there not had been egg on my face if I had to produce this pistol in an emergency and just heard click. After that I sold this pistol at a loss of hundreds of dollars. Gun stores would not even give me a trade in value and had to use a pawn shop. I had bought into this system with different frames and mags etc. I was thourolly disappointed!! This pistol did not fit up at all to the slogan of Sig and failed misrably for me. I did buy another sig. This time a p229 Elite all stainless. That Pistol is EXCEELENT! My opinion is obvious. Get something else. Stay away from the Sign P250!

  9. I love my P250 compact
    The taking the trigger pack out and putting it in a new gun config was dumb. Cheaper to buy a
    second gun, however; customizing the cheap replaceable frames helped make this gun great.
    I wish you could buy a slide cut for a RMR.

  10. Very good article and great pistol. I have this one in all three sizes, and change out kits too so I can go between 9mm and 40cal. The full size unit sports a Sig light mounted on the built-in rail under the barrel and lives in my nightstand. I was amazed with the accuracy of this pistol. With practice and by developing a cadence the DA only trigger functions like a two stage rigger for me. After firing I immediately begin the next pull and reacquire the target at the same time. In rapid fire practice this pistol is as accurate as any I own including FN502.

  11. I have one of these, which I purchased in 2010. I love it to death, but as for reliability, I must say that when I first got it, and went to the range, then took it home and tried to disassemble it, it locked up to the point that I had to send it back to Sig Sauer. They repaired it without question or any cost, and it has run like a charm ever since. This is my third Sig and I have not had a spot of trouble with the other 2.

  12. Kudos on a fine review of a pistol that I think is much underrated. The long trigger provides insurance against accidental discharge under stress. As you note, the psitol is more than accurate neough for self – defense use, all with traditional SIG reliability at an affordable price

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