Debating on Getting Rid of my Brand New M&P9 in Favor of a P226
This is a discussion on Debating on Getting Rid of my Brand New M&P9 in Favor of a P226 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Just over a month ago I purchased a brand new M&P9 Fullsize from a local gun shop. This was my second handgun purchase and it ...
February 13th, 2012 10:43 AM
Debating on Getting Rid of my Brand New M&P9 in Favor of a P226
Just over a month ago I purchased a brand new M&P9 Fullsize from a local gun shop. This was my second handgun purchase and it coincided with my submission of my Utah CCP papers, kind of a celebration. My first handgun was a Smith and Wesson SW9VE. I bought it when I was 19 and did so on the recommendation of a friend. It was a great first gun. It was simple, very reliable (never had one malfunction ever in over 800 rounds), and well manufactured. While I trusted it with my life, I knew that it was only the beginner's tier of handgun technology and features. I purchased my M&P9 under great impressions. I purchased the range and carry kit which comes with three mags, speed loader, Bladetech mag holster, Bladetech gun holster. The total with tax ended up approx $590.
Before purchasing the gun I did a fair amount of research between the other top polymer guns (Glock 17, Springfield Armory XD, Ruger SR9) and found the M&P to best suit my needs for various reasons. I originally had my heart set on the Springfield Armory XD9sc. I backed off on it for various reasons which are neither here nor there.
One of my best friends recently bought his first handgun, a Sig Sauer P2022. I had a chance to play around with it this weekend and I noticed a few things that I really liked about it when compared to my gun. The first thing I noticed was the weight. His gun is almost 3oz heavier than mine (both unloaded). While this is not substantial, it was notable to me. I also had the feeling that his gun was more solidly put together. The gun seemed more to me one complete piece of machinery. My gun felt more like there was a disconnect between the slide and the frame. While his is also polymer, it did not nearly seem as "plasticy" as mine. The weapon was just as comfortable as mine, if not more, despite M&P having a reputation for being highly ergonomic. I also like that his gun is DA/SA with an external hammer. I dry fired in both DA and SA and I found the trigger to be much more pleasurable than mine. I especially enjoyed the short travel and hair-trigger qualities of SA. I felt that I was able to control the trigger picture decently well with the DA despite being a 10 lb. affair. In all honesty it just felt like it was a much better made handgun. I know I paid so much more because I got a lot more accessories, and he only got one magazine, but I can't help but feel a bit ripped off.
In discussion he brought up how he would have preferred the P226, partially because it is all metal. A light went on in my head. I had never closely looked at all metal guns. I am not a gun nut by any means, just a hobbyist and an exerciser of rights. In my mind, all metal guns were 1911s and revolvers. Those were not the kinds of guns I wanted as my primary defense weapon, for whatever the reasons. Suddenly I thought of Berettas, CZs, and, of course, Sig Sauers. I really enjoyed the feeling of a heavier handgun. All metal sounded better all around. Stronger, sturdier, a more effective melee weapon, durable, etc. It is this thought that cannot escape my mind. The grip of the M&P is plastic. It looks like plastic, weighs like plastic, feels like plastic. I feel like it is a reliable weapon and it is trusted by numerous law enforcement officials and civilians alike to protect their lives. I have no doubt that if called upon it would do the same for me.
But for me, my gun fills many needs and desires. Among them it is also somewhat of a showpiece and a pretty thing to look at. I am not saying that the M&P is ugly, no, quite the opposite. The M&P is a handsome, classy looking gun. The slide serrations are mature, the engravings and emblems on the gun are professional and very businesslike. The profile and frame are large and capable, the gun is serious and draped in black. I think many people would be and are proud to show off the M&P. My desires are just greater and different. For me, metal represents longevity and serious investment. A metal gun is one you keep for life and pass down. A metal gun is one that outlasts anything else. A big part of this may be that my father is a metal fabricator and I have always grown up knowing metal is just about as permanent as it can get.
However, my affinity is deeper than materials and appearance. There are numerous things about my gun that I love and, similarly, numerous things that I do not love. With the P226 being a more expensive gun, I believe you get what you pay for. It is my understanding that the P226 was Sig Sauer’s entrant in the military trials to replace the 1911. That speaks volumes to me. While the M&P is no doubt a capable sidearm, I do not believe it was created with such a noble or strenuous purpose in mind.
There are many things I like about my M&P9:
- Lack of external safety
- Lack of magazine disconnect
- Picatinny rail
- Personal experience with S&W handguns
- Reputation and popularity with law enforcement/military organizations
- High capacity (17+1)
- Stainless slide
- Three dot iron sights
- Aggressive slide serrations
- Interchangeable grips
- Overall ergonomics
- Fits well in my hand and goes to natural point of aim
- Low bore axis
- Very hefty and well built magazines
There are a few things I don't like about my M&P9:
- Stock trigger pull is gritty
- Stock trigger has long uptake
- Stock trigger has no audible or tactile reset
- Stock trigger is double jointed
- (despite these flaws I have recorded over 2,000 dry fires and consider myself to be quite capable with trigger control on this gun)
- It is a polymer framed gun
- Some aesthetic features such as rounded trigger guard
- The magazine slam issue (where the slide will go forward if a magazine is inserted quickly or forcefully)
- Slide wiggles around a tiny bit when gun is shaken
- When holding the gun up to light and viewing from the side there are several areas in which light escaps through directly and that seems a bit cheap to me. I would like the gun to be sealed up more tightly to keep the elements out, although I know this may be a bit counter-intuitive because you want things to fall out that may get into the gun. I believe that if they have no way to get inside in the first place you will have no worries about them needing to get out
While I haven't had time to fondle a P226 I will assume that it probably shares many things with the P2022 and is probably better than it in many respects
Things I like about the P226:
- SA is 4.4lbs
- SA has short uptake
- SA has smooth pull
- Full metal frame
- 4.4 inch barrel (longer than M&P)
- External hammer
- High capacity (15+1)
- No external safety
- MA/CA compliant (although this does not affect me, it is nice to have)
- Appears ergonomic, and if the P2022 is any indication, it is
- Single jointed trigger
- Stainless slide
- Three dot "combat" sights
- Picatanny rail
- Reputation and fact that it is carried by US Navy SEALS and Texas Rangers
Things I don't like about P226:
- Perhaps the DA/SA/external hammer I have not had enough experience with it to know if I would dislike becoming accustomed to two different actions
- Possibly questionable when it comes to concealability/comfort
- Not American made
- Seemingly weak slide serrations
- Removable grips (via screwdriver) sound like one more thing to come loose or fall off
- Magazines do not seem as hefty as M&P's mags and the bottom part is either a very, very flimsy plastic or a thin metal, I am assuming it is metal I have not seen them for myself
I have looked at several other manufacturers and I just have a hard time finding anything without an external safety. The entirety of my handgun experience has been using pistols lacking external safety switches. I do not have such a reflex and I actually prefer it that way. When the trigger is pulled I expect the gun to fire and my habits are trained as such. I believe that a safety may induce a false sense of security, but that is another discussion for another time.
The closest I have come to the P226 in my search is a CZ 75 BD. I believe that the decocking system and lack of external safety works the same on this gun as it does on the P226, is this correct? Nonetheless, I feel that this gun is going to be a bit too long for me to comfortably conceal. If anyone has any recommendations from any manufacturer for a metal semi-auto with an external hammer and no safety, I will gladly hear them.
I know that there is something to be said about being original and different from your friends. I just cannot get these Sig Sauers out of my mind. I would like to get to the range and rent one to shoot. I also have interest in the dozen or so variants that Sig Sauer produces.
I'd like to hear advice, recommendation, constructive criticism, and thoughts when comparing these two firearms. Is the P226 worth the price difference? Why or why not? I would especially like to hear opinions of people who own both or have extensive experience with both. Are my perceptions incorrect or misguided? All thoughtful input is VERY much appreciated. This is a long post and if I can get some long, deep responses I would really love it. Thank you!
February 13th, 2012 11:07 AM
Many moons ago, the P226 was my duty weapon. This was long before CCW came to be. From a training standpoint, there was quite a bit of time spent around engage, evaluate, fire, evaluate, decock if threat is neutralized. That is, decock was part of the 'muscle memory' that was drilled into use. From an off duty carry standpoint, it was heavy, and since there was not the proliferation of concealed holsters that there are today, I was using a fanny pack off duty. From a reliability standpoint, it was as steady as a rock. I trusted it with my life every day and never had any worries. It is a great duty weapon.
I can't comment on the M&P as I have no experience with them. The one thing to consider is that the Sig will be heavy for EDC. I really like the P226, and it is a great weapon. But for concealed carry, there are several other options that IMO work better. Despite my prior experience with the P226, it never made my short list for EDC primarily because of the weight and form factor.
February 13th, 2012 11:48 AM
Yeah, 34 + oz verses 21.7 oz is quite a lot of difference for CC... OWB on a duty belt, easily done, but IWB CC, not so sure you won't be buying a safe queen... A really nice one, but safe queen none the lass.
FWIW. I love my M&P9c. I'll never part with it. IMO, it's the perfect mix of firepower and concealability, for those auto-loader days...
February 13th, 2012 11:54 AM
Sig 226 ,Sig 229 about as good as it gets. The 2022 is an excellent platform for carry and a great bargain at under 400 dollars at cDNN . The 226 is a tad bit on the big side but you might be able to conceal it . I wonder how long it will take someone to chime in and tell you to buy a Glock? I own both and the Sig is a nicer platform. That's my two cents.
P. S. Dont let 3 oz. In a pistols weight influence you .
February 13th, 2012 12:42 PM
First off, welcome to the forum.
I don't have any experience with the Sig 226, so I won't attempt to address it. I personally prefer a metal gun. I have and carry both the CZ 75 P01 and the P-06, as well as other guns. I think the ergonomics of the CZ line is one of the most comfortable on the market. Reliability and accuracy have never been a problem with either of them.
The P-01 was designed and built for the military market. It has been tested and approved as a NATO authorized weapon. IMO you can't go wrong with one.
CZ-USA -> CZ P-01 gets NATO approval. The next Generation of perfect pistols
Freedom doesn't come free. It is bought and paid for by the lives and blood of our men and women in uniform.
NRA Life Member
February 13th, 2012 12:42 PM
February 13th, 2012 12:54 PM
I love the heft on all-steel 1911's too.
For some reason though , I usually end up cc'ing a G19. 'No real mystery, it's ideal for cc.
How 'bout get the P226 and keep the M&P?
You Can Also Find Me On Personal Defense Forum Dot Com
February 13th, 2012 01:12 PM
I don't have experience with either guns but I know for me personally I like a metal gun but to CC I'll take polymer any day. Shoot your friends gun at the range and see if it will be a perfect fit.
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February 13th, 2012 01:44 PM
Sigs are good, but the P226 is fairly large
I like Sigs in general, and have 5 of them including the P226 in 9mm. Like you, I appreciate metal guns with good triggers in DA/SA style. But I also use several polymer guns, 1911s and revolvers, depending on the situation.
The Sig P226 is an excellent gun, but I always found it a bit large for easy concealed carry. The grip is large and the barrel/slide are on the long side. I use mine for home defense and range, where size doesn't matter. The two Sigs that I have used for carry are both single stack guns with shorter grips, the models P239 (9mm) and the P245 (45 caliber). These conceal quite well for me and I don't mind that they are not high capacity.
I think the best way to decide on which gun you favor for carry is to own several candidate guns at the same time and alternate with them in shooting and carrying. You'll be able to make an informed decision on your favorite. Sometimes your opinion will change over time, and one you didn't favor at first will become your favorite after using it awhile.
Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington
February 13th, 2012 02:08 PM
What it amounts to is what YOU place value on in a pistol. Different characteristics appeal to different folks.
I personally tink Sig is a top tier gun, but only in the original non polymer guns.
But, one thing you must understand is that polymer is not less sturdy than metal. It has qualities that in fact make it much more durable than some metals.
However, if you want a top metal gun, you would be hard pressed to find one better than a CZ. With it you have fire control options such as DA or SA carry.
" Blessed is that man, who when facing death, thinks only of his front sight"
February 13th, 2012 07:30 PM
I used to have a 226, and still own a 239. I also own 2 M&P, 9mm, 5"pros, and used to own a M&P .40.
Any of them should go at least 50,000 rounds, with normal, regular maintenance.
My 226 was more accurate than any of the M&Ps I've shot. It would shoot under 1" groups at 25 yards, whereas I don't ever remember getting much below 2" with any M&P I've shot.
You can get a really sweet trigger on your M&P. Google APEX, or, send it to Dan Burwell.
For carry, I'd go with the M&P.
February 13th, 2012 07:51 PM
If I may bend your mind just a little bit. Try a Sig P229. Nothing else needs said...
February 13th, 2012 08:57 PM
I own both. I never carry the Sig, it's a nightstand or range gun. YMMV
Ccccccc what? Ccccccccccc Hawks!
February 13th, 2012 09:06 PM
I suggest that you save up and get both
You need to take a professional handgun course, or two, before you really know what you want in a pistol. That's assuming that you haven't already...
I liked certain features about certain guns, but I did not know what I didn't know. Now, after a couple of courses, my tastes and uses for pistols has changed quite a bit.
I'd ay least wait until you can own both, side by side, and then sell the one you don't want.
Don't let weight dissuade you from carrying a heavy pistol. Anyone carry anything if they invest in a quality carry rig.
ETA: I wouldn't own an m&p without the DCAEK
Trust in God and keep your powder dry
"A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source
February 13th, 2012 09:06 PM
Like others above, I prefer all metal guns and have a few Sigs as well as other makes. My EDC is a P239 in .357 Sig. The P226 is quite large for concealed carry, but a top quality pistol and great for a primary home defense gun. The P229/P228 is also a great option, somewhere in between in size. All of the classic Sig series are good to go. One caution, once you get the Signess, it's rather hard to shake.
P239 for Carry
P229 for HD
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