SIG Sauer P226
|Place of origin||
|Used by||See Users|
|Weight||964 g (34.0 oz) (w/ magazine)|
|Length||196 mm (7.7 in)|
|Barrel length||112 mm (4.4 in)|
|Width||38.1 mm (1.50 in)|
|Height||140 mm (5.5 in)|
|Cartridge||9×19mm Parabellum, .40 S&W, .357 SIG, .22 Long Rifle (Classic 22 model only)|
|Action||Mechanically locked, recoil operated (DA/SA or DAO)|
|Feed system||10, 12, 13, or 15 round magazine (.40 S&W, .357 SIG);
10, 15, 17, 18, or 20 round magazine (9mm Parabellum);
10 round polymer magazine (Classic 22 only)
The SIG P226 is a full-sized, service-type pistol made by SIG Sauer. It is chambered for the 9×19mm Parabellum, .40 S&W, .357 SIG, and .22 Long Rifle. It is essentially the same basic design of the SIG P220, but developed to use higher capacity, staggered-column magazines in place of the single-column magazines of the P220. The P226 itself has spawned further sub-variants; the P228 and P229 are both compact versions of the staggered-column P226 design. The SIG Sauer P226 and its variants are in service with numerous law enforcement and military organizations worldwide.
- 1 History
- 2 Design details
- 3 Manufacture
- 4 Variants
- 5 Users
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes and references
- 8 External links
The P226 was designed for entry into the XM9 Service Pistol Trials (see also Joint Service Small Arms Program) that were held by the US Army in 1984 on behalf of the US armed forces to find a replacement for the M1911A1. Only the Beretta 92F and the SIG P226 satisfactorily completed the trials. According to a GAO report, Beretta was awarded the M9 contract for the 92F due to a lower total package price. The P226 cost less per pistol than the 92F, but SIG's package price with magazines and spare parts was higher than Beretta's. The Navy SEALs, however, chose to adopt the P226 later.
Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft is a Swiss company and Swiss law severely restricts the export of firearms. Consequently, SIG entered into an agreement with German gun manufacturer (and eventual owner) J.P. Sauer & Sohn to facilitate an export market for their products. For the U.S. military XM9 trials, the P226 was imported by Saco Defense. Interarms took over importing when the pistol was introduced for civilian sales. SIG Sauer eventually founded SIGARMS, Inc. in the United States, to handle importation of their products. In 2000 the SIG Holding AG sold J.P. Sauer & Sohn GmbH to two German businessmen. The brand name SIG Sauer remained at the J.P. Sauer & Sohn GmbH.
The P226, like the other members of the SIG Classic family, operates by the locked breech short-recoil method pioneered by John Browning. On firing, the slide and barrel are locked together for a few millimeters of rearward movement, after which the barrel is cammed down at the rear. By this time the bullet has left the barrel and the pressure has dropped to safe levels, whereupon the slide completes the rearward stroke, ejecting the spent cartridge. The recoil spring then propels the slide forward, stripping a round from the magazine and in the last few millimeters of forward movement the barrel is cammed upwards, locking the slide and barrel together again.
Instead of the locking lugs and recesses milled into the barrel and slide of other Browning-type weapons (such as the Colt M1911A1, Browning Hi-Power and CZ 75), the P226 locks the barrel and slide together using an enlarged breech section of the barrel locking into the ejection port. This modified system, which was devised by SIG based on Charles Petter's Modèle 1935A pistol and their own SIG P210, has no functional disadvantages compared to the original system, and has since been copied by numerous firearm manufacturers.
The slide of the pre-1996 P226 was a heavy gauge, mill finished sheet metal stamping with a welded on nose section incorporating an internal barrel bushing. The breech block portion was a machined insert attached to the slide by means of brazing and a roll pin visible from either side. Since 1996, production has shifted to CNC machining and the slide is now milled from a single piece of stainless steel. Therefore the current standard P226 has a black anodized, stainless steel slide. This resulted in a stronger slide, which was necessary to chamber the more powerful .40 S&W and .357 SIG cartridges. The frame of most models is made from hard anodized aluminum alloy.
The standard SIG P226 incorporates a decocking lever on the left side of the frame above the magazine release button, which first appeared on the Sauer 38H prior to World War II, which allows the hammer to be dropped safely. In chambering or firing a round, the actuation of the slide automatically cocks the hammer. By using the decocking lever, the hammer can be de-cocked without actuating the firing pin block, making it impossible to accidentally fire the weapon by using the decocking lever. Furthermore, using the decocking lever makes the weapon "drop safe", which means the firing pin will be blocked from striking a loaded round unless the trigger is pulled. Pulling the trigger and slowly lowering the hammer does not make the weapon "drop safe", and can result in an accidental discharge if sufficient force is applied to the hammer. Properly decocked, the pistol can be holstered safely and can be fired in double action mode by simply pulling the trigger. The SIG P226 has no manual safety. Double action trigger pressure is approximately 44 N (10 lbf). Subsequent shots are fired in single action mode with a lighter trigger pressure of approximately 20 N (4.5 lbf). As with other DA/SA pistols such as the HK USP and Beretta 92F, some training is required to minimize the difference in point of aim caused by the different trigger pressure between a first double action shot and subsequent single action shots. The hammer may also be manually cocked at any time by the user to fire in single action mode.
Copies of P226 are produced in China by Norinco, in the name of NP226. Besides China, Myanmar and Iran produced the P226 without license, as the MA-6 and ZOAF and it is used as standard-issue pistol of their armed forces.
The P226 Rail (or P226R) is the same as a P226, but it has a rail on the underside of the frame, just forward of the trigger guard. The P226R's rail has a more rounded contour than the military standard M1913 Picatinny rail and while most Picatinny-rail accessories will fit, not all will. This has now become the standard P226.
A P226R with an extended 127 mm (5.0 in) barrel and external threads to accept a suppressor.
U.S. Navy SEAL teams started using the SIG P226 in the 1980s.
The first Naval Special Warfare inspired P226 pistols to be offered to the public were the NSW Commemoratives, issued in early 2004. The SIG P226-9-NAVY is a version of the SIG P226 that is produced that features a stainless steel slide engraved with an anchor to designate them as Naval Special Warfare pistols. SIGARMS raised $100,000 for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation through the sale of these NSW serialized pistols. The pistol bearing serial number NSW0001 was sold during a live auction on the nationally syndicated Laura Ingraham radio show for an additional $25,000. Later produced commercial versions also included a universal rail for accessory attachments while retaining the anchor and phosphated internal components but no night sights.
Released in 2011, the MK25 has been advertised by SIG as being identical to firearm carried by the U.S. Navy SEALs. Features that help identify it amongst other P226 variants include the silver anchor and UID identification label on the left side of the pistol, a mil-spec picatinny rail. Although cosmetically similar to the Navy model, the MK25 features an anti-corrosion coating applied to all of the internals of the pistol as well as to the controls and SIGLITE Night Sights.
Introduced in 2007, the SIG P226 Blackwater was designed in cooperation with the Blackwater Training Center. It featured SIGLITE front and rear night sights, the Blackwater USA logo on the slide and wood grips, an integral Picatinny rail, black anodized frame, and Nitron-coated stainless steel slide. It was only available in 9×19mm Parabellum, with a double-action/single-action (DA/SA) trigger. The gun was sold with five 15-round 9mm magazines. The P226 Blackwater was discontinued in 2009 with the release of the P226 Blackwater Tactical - a nearly identical pistol also with 20 round 9mm magazines. The Blackwater Tactical has since been discontinued, having been replaced by the Tactical Operations. It is essentially the same weapon, but lacks Blackwater markings.
The P226 SCT (Super Capacity Tactical) is an all black, Nitron finished P226 featuring front cocking serrations, accessory rail, a SIGLITE rear night sight, a TRUGLO Tritium Fiber Optic front sight and comes with four newly designed 20-round magazines for the 9mm version or four 15-round magazines for the .40S&W version.
The P226 Equinox comes chambered in .40 S&W and features a two-tone accented design. The design is achieved by the brush polished flats of the slide and nickel accents of the gun's controls. The P226 Equinox comes with a TRUGLO Tritium Fiber Optic front sight, rear SIGLITE night sights, SIG accessory rail, and gray laminated wood grips.
The SIG Sauer P226 ST was a limited production all-stainless version of the SIG P226 pistol. It is heavier than a standard P226 because the frame was made of stainless steel instead of aluminum. Weight with the magazine was a hefty 1,196 g (42.2 oz) vs 964 g (34.0 oz) of the standard aluminum-framed version. The added weight of an all-stainless frame is claimed to provide greater recoil reduction and a quicker return to target between shots making it a common choice among Practical Shooting competitors. The P226 Stainless had a blued barrel and featured an M1913 Picatinny rail. These frames were made in Germany. Prototypes were tested in 2004 and it went into production in very limited numbers. The P226 ST is no longer manufactured.
On sale 2005-09-11, SIG Sauer Homeland Security Pistols (HSP) are the same models SIG builds for the United States Department of Homeland Security. This is a limited production run of 1,000 P226R HSP pistols available engraved with the American flag and Homeland Security X of 1000. Additionally, each pistol comes in .40 S&W caliber and is engraved with serial number barcoding just like those which were shipped to DHS. The HSP also features the new DAK trigger, a stainless steel Nitron slide topped with SIGLITE night sights, and a light weight alloy frame with rail.
There is also a P229R HSP model available with the same features.
The SIG Sauer P226 X-Five is a competition only variant of the P226 with a 127 mm (5.0 in) slide and barrel, beavertail grip, and an adjustable rear target sight. Intended for IPSC Wa1500, bullseye and other centrefire competitive shooting, the X-Five is hand-fitted and assembled in Germany, and its resulting accuracy accordingly rivals the SIG P210. Available in 9mm or .40 S&W, there are five models being offered in the United States:
- The "Competition" model has a single-action-only (SA) trigger, ambidextrous thumb safety, flared magazine well, and high-capacity magazines (19-round 9mm/ 14-round .40 S&W).
- The "Level-1" model adds a special adjustable SA trigger and Nill wood grips.
- The "Lightweight" model is similar to the "Level-1" but with an alloy rather than stainless frame. (US models only chambered for 9mm.)
- The "Allround" model has a double-action/single-action (DA/SA) trigger, a decocking lever and a standard magazine well designed to accommodate P226 magazines.
- The "Tactical" model comes with a black Ilaflon finish, and features a heavy-weight alloy frame with a SIG rail, and fixed contrast or tritium night sights. Available in single action only (SAO) configuration. The X-Five Tactical model is only available in 9mm.
- The "Norway" is a very limited edition model that was created for the Norwegian Special Forces and comes completely made of stainless steel with a PVC coating. There were approximately sixteen of these imported to the "USA" total making them extremely scarce.
All SIG P226 X-Five models include a factory test target with a sub-50 mm (2.0 in) 5-shot grouping from 25 m (27 yd).
The SIG P226 X-Six is designed, manufactured, and marketed as a precision pistol under SIG's sporting firearm line. The X-Six features an extended slide and frame to accommodate a 152 mm (6.0 in) barrel, an ambidextrous manual safety and a trigger adjustable for pull weight, distance and stop. To further enhance the X-Six's sporting pedigree the pistol features as standard low profile adjustable sights, grip grooves cut into the front of the frame, lightweight magazine extension and NILL sporting grip plates.
- The P226 X-Six is also offered with an aluminum frame. This model, designated the P226 X-Six AL is identical to its steel frame counterpart in every way yet weighs in at only 1,070 g (38 oz).
The P226 Elite adds an ergonomic extended beavertail, forward cocking serrations, front strap checkering, custom wood grips, adjustable combat night sights, and the Short Reset Trigger (SRT). SIG engineers designed the SRT to provide the same safety and action of the SIG DA/SA trigger with a reset that is 60% shorter for faster trigger return during high speed shooting. The Elite Dark is equipped with alloy grips produced by Hogue instead of wood. The Platinum Elite also has aluminum grips. The P226 Elite line is available in 9mm, .357 SIG, and .40 S&W.
Like the P220 Combat before it, the two models, P226 Combat and P226 Combat TB (Threaded Barrel), are available in DA/SA. Their frames are "Flat Dark Earth" in compliance with the Combat Pistol program. The Combat model comes with night sights, a Nitron-finished slide and barrel, fore slide serrations, desert tan polymer grips and a military standard M1913 Picatinny rail as well as phosphate coated internals. The TB model features an extra 15 mm (0.59 in) on the barrel, and external threads to accept a suppressor.
Introduced at the 2010 SHOT Show, the P226 E2 at the time was a significant update to the P226 line. 'E2' (pronounced 'E-squared'), or otherwise known as "Enhanced Ergonomics", is SIG Sauer's attempt to make the large frame gun more ergonomic for persons with small and medium sized hands. A reduced grip size and reduced reach trigger bring the trigger face back more than 13 mm (0.5 in), thus potentially allowing better trigger manipulation and control for a greater number of shooters. Other standard features include the Short Reset Trigger, aggressive grip finish texture, and a new wrap-around, one-piece grip panel configuration. The gun was discontinued from the P226 model lineup at the end of 2010 but the E2-style grip system has been adopted on and carried over to other P226 variants.
P226/P229 Classic 22
This .22LR models primary purpose is as practice or range pistols. The Classic 22 has an aluminum slide with a nitron finish (instead of the centerfire stainless steel slide) and a barrel chambered in .22LR. The Classic 22 slide assembly is complete with a lighter recoil spring and plastic guide rod. It also incorporates the same frame and operation as center fire P226 models. The Classic 22 model is available as a stand alone firearm or as a conversion kit to an existing center fire P226 or P229. Likewise, conversion kits (the Sig Sauer X-Change Kits) exist to convert a .22LR into 9mm, .40 S&W or .357 Sig. The conversion can be accomplished by field stripping the firearm and replacing the slide assembly and magazine - a process that can be accomplished in seconds.
The Classic 22 use a 10-round polymer magazine in lieu of the steel magazines used by the center fire models and conversion kits.
The P226 Classic 22 should not be confused with the Sig Sauer Mosquito .22LR pistol. The Classic 22 is a full-sized P226 while the mosquito is modeled on the P226 but is 90% of the size. Also the Classic 22 is manufactured by Sig Sauer while the Mosquito is made under license by German Sport Guns GmbH.
|SIG P228 & P229|
The SIG Sauer P228.
|Place of origin||Germany
|Used by||See Users|
|Weight||825 g (29.1 oz) (P228), 905 g (31.9 oz) (P229)|
|Length||180 mm (7.1 in)|
|Barrel length||99 mm (3.9 in)|
|Width||38 mm (1.5 in)|
|Height||137 mm (5.4 in)|
|Cartridge||9×19mm Parabellum (P228 & P229), .40 S&W, .357 SIG (P229 only)|
|Action||mechanically locked, recoil operated (DA/SA or DAO)|
|Feed system||10-round 13-round or 15-round box magazine (9×19), 12-round magazine (.40 S&W and .357 SIG)|
A compact version of the P226, the P228, is in use with various law enforcement agencies and also with the US military, where it is designated as the M11. The P228 has a shorter slide and barrel than the P226. Unlike the P226, the P228 is available only in 9×19mm Parabellum with a 13 round magazine, but can also use P226 15 or 20 round magazines. Aftermarket magazines extend the capacity of the P228 to 15 rounds. From a distance, the P228 can be differentiated from the P226 by comparing the trigger guards (the P228's is curved, while the P226's is slightly hooked) and the barrel and slide lengths (the P228's barrel 99 mm (3.9 in), thus having a corresponding shorter slide). Also in a side by side comparison the P228 would appear slightly shorter (15 mm (0.59 in) shorter) than the P226. The larger capacity P226 magazine can also be employed in the P228 although it extends from the base of the grip. Civilian sales of the P228 were discontinued with the introduction of 9mm chambering in the P229 but was recently reintroduced in limited quantities to civilians with an accessory rail and designated P228R. The P229 is nearly identical to the P228, however its slide is made from milled stainless steel (vs. the P228's forged carbon steel slide) and is available in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .357 SIG. In the summer of 2012 Sig Sauer announced they were releasing the M11A1, which is essentially the P228 with a short reset trigger, Sig Lite tritium night sights, MecGar 15 round magazines, and a military style smart tag and serial number. Later in 2012, Air Force M11b versions of the P228 were released for civilian sales. It's rumored that 50 of these were released. The M11 is to be replaced in the Army and Air Force through the Modular Handgun System program.
The P229 is a compact firearm often used for duty and/or concealed carry purposes. The standard version features a DA/SA trigger. The pistol has also been made available in a DAK (Double Action Kellermann) model, which is a DAO system with two trigger reset points, and a lighter, smoother pull than that of traditional DAO handguns. Most of the above-mentioned factory variants of the P226 are also available for the P229, including the Equinox option, Elite lineup, as well as a SAS GEN 2 model.
The P229 differs from its cousin the P226 in several respects, and was originally introduced to supplement and then replace the P228 by adding the .357 SIG and .40 S&W as available chamberings. The P229 was the first production handgun introduced that could chamber the .357 SIG round. The P226 and P228 were originally manufactured using a stamped-steel slide on an aluminum alloy frame. The P229 consists of a CNC-milled stainless steel slide, typically colored black with a Nitron finish. The P229's milled steel slide was introduced to handle the higher slide velocities created by the .357 SIG and .40 S&W loads, which the stamped slide of the P228 could not handle without the use of a much stiffer recoil spring. This would have made manual slide-retraction much more difficult and the use of a milled stainless slide (coupled with the new milling and stainless production capabilities found in the U.S. factory) with a standard weight recoil spring made more sense.
A standard weight recoil spring for the P229 is 71 N (16 lbf). A spring weight of 89 N (20 lbf) or higher would have been required if a stamped slide was used for the .40 S&W or .357 SIG chamberings. The SAAMI maximum chamber pressures of 9mm, 9mm +P, .40 S&W, and .357 SIG are as follows: 240 MPa (35,000 psi); 265 MPa (38,500 psi); 240 MPa (35,000 psi); and 280 MPa (40,000 psi). The slide on the P226 was redesigned in a similar fashion, and civilian sales of the P228 were discontinued in early 2005 due to declining sales and the advent of the P229 in 9mm. The P226 and P229 are both available with optional accessory rails and optional forged stainless steel frames.
The P229 can be chambered in .22 LR, 9mm, .40 S&W or .357 SIG. Changing between .40 S&W and .357 SIG is as simple as switching out the barrel. Conversion barrels, from companies such as Bar-Sto Precision Machine, also allow a P229 or P226 to change between a .40 S&W/.357 SIG to a 9mm caliber. Magazines shipped with .40 S&W models will also accept .357 SIG cartridges. The 9mm model (both railed and non-railed) can be converted to .22 LR, but in the past its receivers were not designed to provide the space needed for handling the larger rounds of .357 SIG and .40 S&W. As SIG Sauer has slowly begun adopting the E2-style grip system across the P229 model range in 2011—a move similar to what is also happening to the larger P226—they have also begun using the .357 SIG/.40 S&W spec frame dimensions for their factory 9mm P229s, presumably to streamline the number of variations in parts needed to be kept in inventory. Although the manufacturer has announced that older-configuration magazines will continue to operate in the new receiver configuration, SIG Sauer has nonetheless revised new P229 9mm factory magazines to a design that is specific to the resized magazine well of the newly reconfigured receiver/frame. As a consequence, the newer magazines are not back-compatible, due to their larger diameter.
The US Coast Guard began switching over to the P229 in 2004, beginning with the first shipment of 14,000 handguns from the production facility. According to producer site more than 3 million rounds, were fired during U. S. Government testing. 
SIG released an altered version of the double-action only (DAO) pistols called the DAK (for Double Action Kellermann, after the designer of the trigger system, Harald Kellermann of Eckernförde, Germany). The DAK capability is available in 220, 226, 229 and 239 models. When firing the pistol the first trigger pull is 29 N (6.5 lbf) (compared to 44 N (10 lbf) for the standard DAO). After the pistol fires and the trigger is released forward, the trigger has an intermediate reset point that is approximately halfway to the trigger at rest position. The trigger pull from this intermediate reset point is 38 N (8.5 lbf). If the trigger is released all the way forward, this will engage the primary trigger reset and have a trigger pull of 29 N (6.5 lbf). To engage the intermediate reset, the trigger must be held to the rear while the slide is cycled, either manually or by the recoil of a round being fired. The pistol can be cocked by pulling the trigger just past the trigger reset, then stopping, then releasing.
The P224 is a subcompact variant of the compact P229. When the new design was announced in January 2012, the line was only chambered in .357 SIG and .40 S&W and only came with a DAK (Double Action Kellermann) trigger. SIG announced that they would expand the line to include a DA/SA (Double Action/Single Action) trigger, a SRT DA/SA (Short Reset Double/Single Action) and would add a 9mm version in the future. As of 2013, the P224 was available in the original two calibers and the DAK trigger with four factory variants; SIG Anti-Snag (SAS), Nickel, Extreme and Equinox.
The P224 is 170 mm (6.7 in) long, compared to 180 mm (7.1 in) for the P229. It is also about 23 mm (.9 in) shorter at 110 mm (4.5 in) and 5.1 mm (.2 in) thinner at 33 mm (1.3 in) than the P229. It weighs 190 g (6.6 oz) less than the alloy frame P229 and 420 g (14.8 oz) less than the stainless steel frame p229. The standard P224 magazine capacity is 10 rounds .357 SIG/.40 S&W and should be 11 rounds in 9mm once that variant is released. It will also accept newer P229 magazines, which have a higher capacity.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to SIG P226.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to SIG-Sauer P228.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to SIG-Sauer P229.|
- SIG Sauer P226 at the Internet Movie Firearms Database
- Official page
- P226 operator's manual
- P229 operator's manual
- The Arms Site review and history of the P226
- Modern firearms
- GAO report, Pistol Procurement, Allegations on Army Selection of Beretta 9mm. as DOD Standard Sidearm, June 1986.