Reviews

SIG Sauer M11-A1 – The Venerable P228 Design has been Improved!

Sig Sauer M11-A1 handgun

Firearms adopted by the military typically gain immediate acceptance by the civilian market. The Beretta M9 enjoyed such success, as did the M-1, M-14, M-16 (AR-15) and a variety of sporting rifles such as the Remington 700 and Winchester Model 70. SIG Sauer pistols are not normally included on a round up of great guns, however, they absolutely should be. This seems strange given the fact so many elite units have carried the SIG P226 and P228—now the SIG M11-A1,—yet I seldom see the SIGs getting the respect they deserve.

Sig Sauer M11-A1 handgun
Sig Sauer M11-A1

I bought my first SIG in the ’90s and it has been my primary every day carry (EDC) ever since. As conditions dictate, I have switched on occasion to a larger- or smaller-framed pistol, but I have always gone back to the P228.

The SIG P228—designated as the M11 in 9mm—is still seeing plenty of action with U.S. military forces today. Perhaps this has evaded your radar or you were simply too caught up in the polymer debate, but SIG introduced a new version of the M11 for the civilian market awhile back known as the M11-A1. To properly understand the gun, a little history is in order.

SIG History

Sig Sauer represents the joining of two different famous gun makers—Schweizerische Industrie-Gesellschaft (SIG) of Switzerland and J.P. Sauer & Sohn of Germany. SIG was not a household name in the United States early on. In fact, it was not even a company doing business in the states. Several other firearms manufacturers were more than happy to import the SIGs including Browning, Hawes and Interarms. Today, SIG still imports some of the P-series guns from overseas, but most are manufactured in Exeter, New Hampshire.

The first to be imported was the SIG P220, putting SIG on the American scene. The P220 is still a solid design today, but in its day, it also offered features shooters and law enforcement and target shooters desired. For example, it was a full size design; recoil operated and offered in popular calibers such as .45 ACP, 9mm Luger, .38 Super and .30 Luger. The .45 ACP model held particular appeal because, at the time, the DA/SA trigger system was considered desirable and a significant advancement to the traditional single-action 1911.

custom SIG Sauer P228 with Cerakote and Crimson Trace Laser Grips
After a couple of decades and thousands of rounds, the author’s SIG has seen a few upgrades including a Crimson Traces laser grips and Cerakoting by J&L Gunsmithing.

Building on the success of the P220, the P225 and P226 followed in short order. Both were developed with the German police and U.S. military in mind and chambered in 9mm. The P226 was a strong contender, but in the end lost out to Beretta’s 15-round Model 92FS. While the P226 did not earn a military contract, law enforcement viewed it quite differently and quickly adopted it in large numbers.

The P-series was a standout due to its design. The lockwork was different from traditional double-action models of the day. Competing models had a decocker featured, but it was designed to also work as a safety. With the SIG, it was simplicity; the decocker only performed on function—decocking the hammer. Much like a revolver, the long pull of the first shot double action was deemed enough of a safety for SIG engineers and law enforcement. Then, after the first shot, the lighter single-action pull increased accuracy potential and speed for subsequent shots. The decocker was not thought of as a safety, but rather a way to safely lower the hammer.

The P220 also featured a design using a new construction technique. The majority of the slide was pressed from a single piece of heavy gauge steel. Critics immediately seized on this fact and foretold of doom and gloom scenarios. However, four decades later, the SIG design stands ready long after the critics have hung up their guns. The reasoning behind pressing the metal and welding smaller parts was simple cost savings compared to machining.

Sig Sauer 228 and SIG Elite Performance Ammunition
Although they entered the market decades apart, some things just seem to fit. The author ran several hundred rounds of SIG Sauer’s new Elite ammunition through his P228 without a hiccup.

Birth of the SIG P228

The 1980s cannot be credited with the birth of the combat-sized semiauto pistol, but the need for a shortened P226 was in order. The P228 carried a couple less rounds in the magazine (P228 13 rounds, M11-A1 15 rounds), but the height and length were also reduced. The two-round capacity was a pittance compared to size and weight savings from the P226. Today, we have high-capacity pocket pistols and would rate the P228 as a medium-sized pistol at best. However, in the 1980s, it was full power, small size and full capacity! In fact, in the 1980s, the P228 was the smallest 9mm to be considered full capacity. This made it a great choice for many shooters as a primary handgun and easily concealed backup to others without sacrificing capacity.

The high capacity and easy concealability of the P228 caught the military’s watchful eye. It recognized the usefulness of a more concealable handgun and in the late ’80s officially adopted the P228 under the U.S. designation M11. Investigators in the Air Force, Army and Navy were the first issued the M11. The DOD was not shy about issuing the M11 either. Once a gun is officially adopted and approved, other units are free to make a case to be issued a new weapon as well. Aviators did not take long to see the advantages of the M11’s power in a compact-sized wrapper…

If there was a nail in the virtual coffin of the P228 that kept it from legendary status, it was not a competing gun. Instead, it was the .40 S&W cartridge and the near instant adoption by law enforcement and the greater shooting community. SIG looked at the new cartridge and the more powerful forces. Although confident in the design, SIG decided to return to a milled slide design when it introduced the P229. From the outside, the P229 was the spitting image of the P228, in a larger caliber, but the beefier insides to handle the rigors of the .40 S&W were obvious. A stronger slide and springs were necessary and quickly incorporated in the new design.

SIG P228 field stripped
Easily field stripped, the P228/M11 breaks down into a few main components and is easily reassembled.

It’s no surprise when SIG developed the .357 SIG cartridge; the decision was made to mimic the P229 and not the P228. In 2012, SIG made the decision to build all P-series pistols using a one-piece slide. The older design still holds and shoots as well as the newer one-piece designs, but manufacturing and tooling suffers from too much diversity, thus machining won the day. I am sure some are scratching their heads or scoffing at the viability of the older design—fair enough. However, there is an exception. Unless the military agrees, a contracted gun’s design cannot change. Although the P228 and its designation are dead, the design endures with pressed slides for Uncle Sam under the M11 banner.

For lovers of the 9mm and those with a bit of nostalgia, the M11-A1 has arrived. Essentially, the M11-A1 is a P229 in 9mm, but with enough changes and updates that the military saw fit to tack on the “A1.” The grip, finish, sights, operation and manual of arms are all identical to the military-issued M11.

M11-A1

SIG P228 rear view with Crimson Trace laser grip
Though often upgraded to fiber optics or tritium, the author stuck with stock sights and added a Crimson Trace Lasergrip. For those looking for the new M11-A1, it comes with SigLite sights with Tritium inserts.

The M11-A1 tapes out at 7.1x 5.4 x 1.5 inches and tips the scales at 32 ounces. That is more than suitable for easy concealment in civilian clothes or business attire. As notated, the M11-A1 is decked in the same nitride on the steel slide and black anodized on the aluminum-alloy receiver as previous models. The grip features a pair of plastic grip panels with stippling for reliable hand purchase in all conditions. Day or night, the dovetailed three-dot sights are ready for action thanks in part to the SigLite tritium inserts. From the double-action/single-action trigger to the controls and take down, the M11-A1 is classic SIG. Unlike a Glock, the SIG’s trigger is standard fare for most shooters right out of the box. In fact, when I sent my 20-year old P228 to a gunsmith for a tune up, he offered to swap out the trigger, but assured me he did not know of one that would perform any better than the stock unit in the gun.

That may have changed given the fact that the M11-A1 uses SIG’s short reset trigger (SRT). After firing the first shot, simply hold the trigger to the rear as the slide cycles. A very slight release of pressure will allow the trigger to move the short distance necessary to achieve reset. Far from a wasted first shot, the long DA and short SA trigger is a blessing in my opinion and a major reason the P228 is still my EDC. The SRT only promises to improve the performance.

One change I am a bit envious of M11-A1 is a slightly wider magazine well for faster, more reliable reloading—especially in a pressure situation. The magazine was also redesigned to reliably squeeze the two lost rounds from the P226 design, giving the M11-A1 a 15+1 capacity, as well.

 
SIG Sauer, Inc.
Action Recoil-operated, double-action/single-action, semi-automatic
Caliber 9mm Luger
Barrel Length 3.9 inches
Overall Length 7.1 inches
Height 5.4 inches
Width 1.5 inches
Weight Unloaded 32 ounces
Sights SigLite with Tritium inserts
Trigger DA, 10 pounds; SA 4 pounds, 6 ounces
Stock or Grip Polymer
Capacity 15 rounds
F Anodized aluminum alloy

Are you as big a SIG fan as the author? Share your favorite SIG or thoughts on the M11-A1 in the comment section.

 


[dave]

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 (49)

  1. I own a SIG P228 and P228R along with a M11A1. I also own a P225 and a P225A1. Even though I love the old German craftsmanship on the older guns, the new M11A1 and P225A1 have developed into really great shooting and carry gun, Great job SIG, keep up the good work.

  2. I started my Sig affair nearly 30 years ago when I went to an indoor range in Phoenix and rented a P226-9mm and M9/92F… Hated the trigger of the M9, picked up the 226 and double-tapped x’s. No handgun ever felt so comfortable in my hand. Fast forward 10 years when I could afford to purchase my first sig, I purchased the 220 Stainless… I love this gun and still get excited when I take it out… since then I’ve acquired a 220 and 229-40 Equinox, a 1911UC a 2022-40 his and hers 938s and a mosquito that’s the most finicky of ammo. I love my Sigs and have always wanted a 228, now it seems I need a 228 AND M11-A1… What about the X series???

  3. I love.Sigs! I currently own one of the few Sig P228Rs. The “R” designation at the end denotes the incorporation of a tactical rail into the frame. Also, I think it’s important to point out that by pressing instead of milling the metal it results in a higher quality product. Milling produces friction which produces heat stress throughout the production process. Sometimes this can result in the creation of micro size heat stress fractures that are completely undetectable until the metal has been heated and cooled multiple times. Then, without warning, a catastrophic failure emerges. It is for this very reason that many flight control surface parts of aircraft must be molded or made with a waterjet. This eliminates the possibility of unforeseen failures due to metal fatigue caused by heat stress during milling. This forward thinking is the main reason I personally prefer a Sig over a Glock any day of the week. I know, I know, let the flaming begin.lol But I will still maintain that Sig is a better firearm to have in a life depends on reliability situation. On smother note, check out the sexiest practical firearm on the market, I am talking about the SIG PLATINUM CUSTOM CARRY 1911 .45ACP!!! This gun is so beautiful that I had to sell mine to a friend just so I wouldn’t scratch it up carrying it. If you get the chance I definitely recommend checking it out.
    Happy shooting, keep your barrels clean and your fingers outside the guard until the time is right.
    Jim

    1. Show me one–just one milled SIG slide that has ever cracked or broken in the history of God! I would also argue that the story about needing a beefier slide for the .40 is BS. I have some cheap flimsy guns that shoot big cartridges and none of them has blown apart. A milling machine is easier and cheaper by far than maintaining and operating a press to make that part and a welding operation to join the pieces inside the slide. That old yarn is getting very tired. I love SIG but they are aggressively getting cheaper about how they make guns and I hope we don’t start seeing crap start mixing into the stock but I fear that time is here with the increasing frequency of ejection issues, finish problems (Legion Series), and just the gimmicky sales (Legion again).

  4. I have a 228 and a m11-a1. The 228 with the folded and welded slide has a much better balance. I like the short reset trigger of the m11-a1 so much I put it in my 228.

    It was a bit hard and against the grain for me to take out tooled German part to replace with mim.
    That all being said I would rather a 228 upper on a 229 gen 2 in 9mm. Better balance and it can take to higher cap mags.

  5. Sig Sauers are like your wife and BMW’s you learn to love the quirks. I have a Sig 938. Love the compactness but hate the 6 round magazine and the plastic trigger. I had the trigger replaced, the spring lightened and the sear honed. I also had it magnaported.
    I just purchased a 1911 Ultra Two Tone. My next Sig will be a P320 in 357 Sig. After that a German made p6. Ya got a love em!

  6. I keep a stock 13 round mag in my 228 and carry two 15 round 226 mags as spares, for a total of 44 rounds (one in the chamber). Also, the longer hammer spur on the 228 makes it easier to cock it as I draw as the old cowboys with single action revolvers did. Plus, the 228 feels like a dream in my hand, is very accurate, and goes bang EVERY time I pull the trigger.

    If I could have only one gun, the 228 would be it.

  7. The M11 A1 made me a better shot, much better than I ever thought I could be. A buddy of mine compared the trigger with his Wilson Combat 1911.

  8. I first bought my P228 back in 1988 carried it every day since very reliable weapon infact after becoming one of our most Elite Operators In the Navy i also carried a P228 on most missions as my side arm then years later carried it as my off duty weapon when i was a State Trooper and still today i carry a P228 but with hi cap mags 15 rounds only thing needing to do is replace my night sights this weapon is still very accurate after all those years have had many handguns that just didn’t hold up as well

  9. I have the Sig M11A1 in 9mm and love it, great edc weapon. Also have P227 in .45acp. It is slightly bigger than M11 but is worth it for extra firepower. In today’s “terrorist around every corner” world we live in, I decided the extra .45 cal power is worth the size.

  10. Great article. I’ve been carrying a Sig P245 for about 12 yrs. and still love it. I carry every day in a Galco IWB in the appendix carry. I load it with Hornady Critical Defense rounds, and practice with CCI Blazer FMJ. Since I bought this gun used, I have been unable to find out the year of manufacture, even after talking to the tech at Sig’s Custom Shop. Love the gun, but not too hot about the Service Dept. The rep was a little short on
    “Customer Service”.

  11. I don’t have a problem with decockers, but would rather not have either decocker or safety, / slide safety, my carry guns I want ready without any levers or buttons to full with, I guess I’m old fashion that way, wheel guns never had safety’s and that’s the way grew up, getting into the auto scene I had to change my thinking in order to be proficient with guns that were expressly made for right hand shooters, over the years I’ve seen a big change in what is being offered for the lefty like myself , and that makes me happy, I’m just now getting use to my new P320, and it’s a great gun, a little hard on my trigger finger, but I’m hoping will go away in time..

    1. The thing is that the decocker is only necessary to mess with when the danger has subsided. Effectively it is as simple to operate as a revolver, faster to load, effectively as reliable, more durable, has more ammo, and you have the advantage of a better trigger on every shot but the first. I would think a revolver guy would dig the DA/SA design.

  12. Thanks for the information on the ambi de cocker, I hope they come up with a model that does have ambi besides the P320 and P938, in my opinion a carry gun should ambi, just me …

    1. There are single-action versions of the P220 and P226 that have an ambidextrous frame-mounted safety in place of the decocker. Additionally, most models in the classic line have a DAK version with a DAO trigger.

  13. I think it’s great that Sig keeps coming up with new ideas, but I could never own a gun that looks like this one, for me it looks like they’re appealing to the toys are us bunch, not to many adults would be caught wearing or shooting a gun as silly LOOKING as this one….IMHO….

    1. I guess I vented my feelings above, but I also know this gun will be excepted by a large following, including myself, just give me a black gun and I’m happy, there isn’t any notice of this gun having an ambi decocker, or did I miss that, one of the things I appreciate on my Sig P320 and P938 is the ambi features, I won’t carry a gun that isn’t right and left hand friendly, thanks for posting…

    2. Hi Rod,
      Appearance is in the mind of the observer. I tend to like the look of “classic” firearms, but that has no effect on how well they work, as I am sure you know as well.
      As you may have noticed, I don’t have much use for decockers on a pistol, but if you do have and use them, there isn’t much chance you will have to use one very quickly under stress… and there’s always the old-fashioned method which is ambidextrous. But I agree with you that all controls should be easily accessed by either hand

    3. The Creakoted pistol shown in the majority of the pictures is the author’s own Sig that has seen aftermarket modification. No such finish is available as a factory option from Sig.

      @Rod: The decocker on Sig classic pistols is not ambidextrous.

    4. I think the skulls on this one and the two tone treatment are a special model, with former maybe even being an after-market mod. I have an M11-A1 in black, and it is “all business.” Its balance is superb, it’s easy to take down and clean, and it is accurate. Having carried “old slab sides” in Vietnam, in addition to the 40mm M-79 grenade launcher, I like the “compact” size of the M11A1, and the build quality is superb–it’s a Sig. So take a. Look at all the models, as they most definitely are not toys… In spite of the appearance of the one in the article’s picture, which I agree looks a bit toyish.

    5. Noticing a few comments, let me explain the design on my SIG 228. I teach a few classes and do several firearm introductions to new shooters and non shooters each year. I sent the gun in the photos to a gunsmith and asked him to make it fun and nonthreatening. The design portrayed in the photos is what he came up with. Concealed, it does not matter how it looks. For classes with nonshooting Mothers and children, it presents a less threatening look. Safety always comes first and all firearms should be properly locked away from children’s hands. If it looks toyish, so be it. A firearm should never be left unattended where a child could find or access it, so I do not find that to be a major concern. However, looking a bit more toyish and nonthreatening is a huge asset when trying to reach audiences with little to no previous experience with firearms. ~Dave Dolbee

    6. Dave,
      Logical comments on the visual treatment and it makes good sense. The gold–at least that is what it looks like to me–treatment I think is actually pretty nice. And, as you say for CC the appearanceis irrelevant. Bottom line is that this is a great firearm.

  14. I carry off-duty the Sig 239. It is an awesome little 9mm automatic that in my opinion is second to none.

  15. I am first and foremost a 1911 fan and truthfully up until about a few years ago never gave Sig a second thought. Sometime back though the gun store owner I frequent told me he had a law enforcement turn in that he would sell for what he had in it. Turned out to be a Sig Sauer 1911 Compact Nitron, Officers Model that had been through Sig’s Custom Shop. The price was reasonable so I brought it. The pistol was flawless and worked like a Singer sowing machine. This perked my interest in other Sigs especially the P series. I brought a few and traded a few and when the Stainless Elite Series came out (I like all steel pistols) I ended up with two P-226’s (9mm and .40) and the P-220 .45 Carry. I also brought a P-232, as a birthday present, for my wife who, can even on my best day, can out shoot me. Flowers may say “I love you” but a firearm say’s “I love and trust you.”
    The thing I like most about Sig’s is that they work every-time you pull the trigger. That may sound like a simplistic statement but I have had pistols by other manufacturers that cost as much, or more, and sometimes they didn’t work properly and if I’m on the street or in my car I like to know that what I’m carrying will perform if called on. Also, Sig’s do not come with instructions that say if you are having issues put 500 rounds through it before you call us back.

  16. Great article. I read about the 228/M11-A1 in the Concealed Carry Magazine and have been looking for one. I currently EDC a Sig P245 .45 ACP and love it. I bought it used 10 years ago and still carry it. It must be rather rare as I’ve little info on it, and I’ve found no info about it. It is no longer available from Sig to my knowledge. I’d like to change to a M11-A1for the higher capacity 9mm. Thanks for the article. Let me know where I can research the
    p245.

    1. The P245 (along with the P228, P225, and possibly others) seems to have been discontinued long enough ago that it doesn’t even appear on Sig’s listing of discontinued models.

      What sort of research are you trying to do? If you’re just interesting in potential resale or trade value, you may be able to find a Blue Book listing for it despite its age.

  17. I have the M11-a1 in 9mm as well as a P227 in .45acp and love them both. I am disabled and I swap them as my carry weapon depending on what I feel more comfortable with for the day.

  18. just get acz75bd
    sigsauer is mostly for big fans of sigs custom firearms
    I did buy two guns for the price of my m11-A1
    g19 gen 3 g26 gen 4 as the started to wear the tiny so called
    rails turn to copper color an chip off after some weekly shooting
    and 5ooo rds thats when you know you will decide you really need a quality
    all metal firearm and have the xtras to boot JMHO longtime shooter 30 yrs

    1. CZ does make nice DA/SA handguns at a rather modest price.

      However, the closer parallel to a Sig M11-A1 would be the 75 PCR or P-01 (compact, aluminum frame, decocker). The 75 BD is a full-size handgun, similar to the P226 but with a steel frame rather than aluminum.

  19. My first Sig was also my first gun purchase, a P230 stainless. A great little gun, a 380 ACP precursor to the plethora of carry guns available today. A couple of years ago, I was up a Sig Sauer Academy and was taken with the P226 MK-25. I have a number of pistols including Beretta FS-92 (too easy for overlook clicking the safety off), Glock 21, 26 & 34 (I prefer hammers), CZ 75B (very versatile) SP-01 Phantom (ammo fussy and too easy to limp wrist) and full-size and compact 1911s (awesome, but low on capacity and slower to get back on target). At the that time, my favorite was Beretta. But after a brief adjustment, the MK-25 quickly became my favorite. It has great ergonomics and low recoil, is exceptionally accurate, totally reliable and is not fussy about ammo. I did send it back to Sig, birthday present from my wife, for a trigger job and a SRT, a nice enhancement. I like the decocker, and appreciate having a hammer and routinely cock it, rather than opting for DA on the first round after using the decocker. The M11-A1 is on my wish list and will probably add one this year.

    I too do not understand why Sig doesn’t get the respect it deserves. The military, police and Hollywood certainly are on board.

    1. Because it’s a much smaller contract for a minority of our forces, the M11 just doesn’t have the general visibility of the M9. Additionally, at roughly the same time Beretta won the M9 contract Glock started taking the police and civilian market by storm.

      When you can almost buy two Glocks for the price of one Sig, it’s easy to see why the civilian market gravitated in that direction.

  20. Super handgun absent the slightest bit of doubt.

    However, for one looking for a “budget-like” alternative the Zastava CZ 999 is a virtual clone…

    -Cheers

  21. Just for the record, the P220 with lightly loaded 45 ACP rounds (200 gr lead bullet and 4.0 gr of Titegroup) makes a good three-gun competition gun with a very nice “push” that doesn’t take the barrel far off target for double taps.

    A lightly loaded CZ 75 SP-01 also performs very nicely, but even with light loads it has a sharper push with each shot than the P220. The CZ does carry double the number of rounds in an extended magazine, giving it an edge over the P220 in competition, but they are both fine guns with shoot-ability going to the P220.

    After someone learns the basics with a 22LR pistol, the P220 with light loads is what I hand them next. They are often surprised just how easy and fun it is to shoot.

  22. I am sure that the new Sig P-series are fine pistols. I just don’t “get” why there is no capability for carrying “cocked and locked” and avoiding that long first-shot trigger pull. I also don’t “get” the description of the SRT trigger. As described, that is exactly how I shoot any semi-auto.

    1. While not available on the M11-A1 specifically, Sig has released versions of other classic P-series pistols with a frame-mounted safety instead of a decocker.

      Short trigger resets are more commonly seen on double-action striker-fired pistols, but the concept here is the same – the trigger will reset for the next shot with less forward travel than if you fully released it.

    2. Yes, I understand the concept of trigger reset. ALL semi-auto triggers other than DAO guns do that. They say it’s a “short reset” — well compared to what? How many millimeters does it have to move in order to reset for firing? How many millimeters did the old model take? How about giving us some actual data?
      My CZ-75 resets before going fully forward; so does my Luger; so does my C-96 Mauser — are these all “short reset” triggers or just normal semi-auto triggers?

    3. There doesn’t seem to be anything on the Sig website or the manuals detailing the difference between their SRT and a normal SA trigger reset. Subjectively, the SRT seems to reset with slightly less travel than the reset on a S&W M&P (which S&W reports to be 0.14 inches).

      As for why Sig chose DA/SA over SA, it was probably a combination of trying to find a niche (the 1911 and HiPower were already well-established) and a possible perception that DA/SA was safer for duty use.

    4. Fair enough. — I actually like DA/SA but with a manual safety that can be engaged when cocked. This gives more flexibility to the user. My CZ-75 and clones have this feature as well as my Taurus PT-92. I find decockers to be a solution in search of a problem.
      And before anyone else brings it up, yes, the M11-a1 was designed to US military specs, so the configuration is writ in stone for that exact model.
      Isn’t it great that we have so many choices in the firearms world? No kidding.

    5. While almost all variants provide a double-action trigger, depending on the specific model the CZ-75 gives you a safety or a decocker – not both. And if the PT-92 perfectly mimics the Beretta 92 it’s based on, the safety will also automatically drop the hammer.

      The only pistols I’ve seen that truly let you choose between DA/SA and SA with a safety are the H&K USP and the CZ P-07/P-09 (though the latter require a part swap to change modes).

    6. Yep, the CZ-75 as originally made has a safety and no decocker.. Now there are models with a decocker and no safety. But the original is still made. The PT-92 mimics the original Betetta 92 (not the 92 SF)pretty well. The Beretta has a frame-mounted safety and no decocker. It also had a heel-mounted mag release. Taurus moved the mag release. Newer Taurus PT-92/99 pistols have a safety that doubles as a decocker when pushed even further downward. Both The Taurus PT-92 and the CZ-75 pistols allow the user to select the mode of carry by either lowering the hammer on a loaded chamber (either by using a decocker in the case of newer Taurus pistols or by simply using the shooter’s thumb to slowly lower the hammer as has safely been done for over a century) or by cocking the hammer and applying the safety. No parts changes needed. Yes, the P-07/P09 can be changed from a decocker to a manual safety, but that is a different matter. A decocker is not needed to carry in DA mode. It is a convenience, and an unnecessary one in my opinion. I know there are “experts” who disagree with me and claim that lowering the hammer on a loaded chamber is terribly dangerous. I disagree with them.

    7. The success of the Beretta 92FS has made it easy to forget there was an original 92 that Beretta modified for its entry as a M9 candidate. I owned a CZ-75 when I was younger and do recall lowering the hammer manually on a loaded chamber to get DA/SA operation, though I much preferred shooting it as a straight SA.

      I couldn’t call it “terribly dangerous”, but it’s also not a method I’d recommend if someone asked my opinion. I can also see why those in LEO/military procurement would not want to issue a pistol that operated in such a manner.

    8. Yep… that’s how I use my CZ-75 and clones 99% of the time. But I like having the option.
      And I agree that specs for large organisations must be uniform, otherwise logistics becomes a nightmare.

    9. Also, asking why you can’t carry a Sig P-series pistol cocked and locked is essentially the same as asking why you can’t drop the hammer on a 1911 without pulling the trigger. The pistol just wasn’t designed that way.

    10. Yeah, I actually did understand that the reason you can’t carry a Sig M11-a1 cocked and locked is because “it wasn’t made that way” but my question was more to the point of “Why not make them that way?”

  23. I AM A LONG TIME SIG FAN. I HAVE A 226, 228,229 AND ALL ARE ORIGINAL,OLDER MODELS. THEY HAVE ALWAYS FUNCTIONED AND SHOT WHAT EVER 9MM I FED THEM FROM CHEAPEST TO MOST EXPENSIVE. WHEN MY SON’S NG SF UNIT WAS CALLED UP FOR DESERT STORM WE GOT HIM A 226 FOR HIS PERSONAL SIDEARM. ACCURATE, DEPENDABLE AND REASONABLE COST. MY 226 WAS USED AND A REAL BARGAIN AND HAS SERVED EVERY BIT AS WELL AS THE 228,229 WHICH I BOUGHT NEW. I GENERALLY SHOOT THE CHEAPEST 9MM TO PRACTICE AND CARRY WITH HORNADY CRITICAL DUTY OR DEFENSE. FINE PISTOLS, WORTH THE MONEY. MY NEXT SIG BUY IS COMING UP, P-227, .45 ACP.

    1. A short-reset trigger, two extra rounds of ammunition, and a wider magazine well for smoother reloads – that’s how.

      Granted, shallow-minded shooters who only look at how fat the bullets are would be unlikely to notice such improvements.

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