The "ONE" (SIG P220-SAO)

The "ONE" (SIG P220-SAO)

This is a discussion on The "ONE" (SIG P220-SAO) within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Having carried daily for over 50 years and been active with military, civilian and federal agencies and, since retirement, as the resident gunsmith for a ...

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Thread: The "ONE" (SIG P220-SAO)

  1. #1
    New Member Array BigFED's Avatar
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    The "ONE" (SIG P220-SAO)

    Having carried daily for over 50 years and been active with military, civilian and federal agencies and, since retirement, as the resident gunsmith for a local shop in a large metroplex area, I think I am fairly qualified to offer an opinion on the SIG P220-SAO. It IS, by far, the BEST .45ACP platform available. Granted, with my old thumbs, thumb safeties are now a little more of a challenge, so my EDC is a SIG DAK of some model (239/229 -9mm/.357 SIG/.40S&W) or (gasp) a mid-sized frame Glock). But, for my 2 cents worth -

    1) One of the primary reasons I think the SIG P220/SAO gets MY nod over the standard 1911, is one feature I have NOT seen mentioned. The slide can be manipulated with the thumb safety ON!!! This gives the P220-SAO an edge in safety when clearing or charging the pistol. Most UD (unintentional discharges) occur while clearing or charging a firearm. Evidence the top of ANY clearing barrel/tube on a military base where weapons MUST be cleared before entering, there are all kinds of holes in the cover, and that's when FOLKS ARE SUPPOSEDLY BEING CAREFUL!!!

    2) For some reason, everyone wants to comment on the trigger, pull weight, length, over travel, reset, etc, etc. Having had a "serious social discussion or three", here is a VERY important FACT, IF you are worried about those trigger related items, you are at the range and NOT IN A GUN FIGHT!!!

    3) One commenter (among all the many I read so I don't remember which topic or where) mentioned the P220-SAO as having a de-cocker. It DOES NOT!!! Not at least as it comes from the factory. Some one asked if a DA/SA could be converted to SAO, but that is not possible since the frame cuts to accommodate the thumb safety lever(s) are not there. And it would be VERY expensive (even if possible) to have the frame modified.

    4) Bottom line, the SIG P220 SAO is, in MY opinion, is THE premier SAO platform available. Unfortunately, it just isn't in as wide use as it could/should be! If "open carry" were an option available in my state, I would be "strapped" with mine on a daily basis, but at my age and physical condition, I am opting for the smaller, lighter options from SIG (and some other premier makers since I am an "equal opportunity type).
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array GhostMaker's Avatar
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    Years ago when I was a police officer I traded around and got a Sig 220 that eventually made its way into my duty holster for a while. Like you I have some high miles from my military and law enforcement service, and truthfully sound like Rice Krispies in the morning (and pretty much all day for that matter). So I figure that as time passes I will likely have to rethink my carry guns to compensate for my "youthful professional decisions", and platforms like this catch my interest. Thanks for a well written opinion on the Sig!
    drift likes this.
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  3. #3
    Member Array Woodwrkr221's Avatar
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    Thanks for the write up. The Sig SAO's deserve a lot more attention than they get, same for the DAK's.

    Fwiw, the 1911's can be modified by a good custom pistol smith so that the slide and thumb safety will clear one another and the slide can be racked with the safety engaged, pretty much all it involves is cutting matching bevels on the bottom edge of the slide and the top corner of the thumb safety. Come to think of it I may make that mod on my next 1911 build.

    Again, thanks for the write up.

  4. #4
    Member Array drift's Avatar
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    I had to look hard to note that Sig indeed does have a P220 SAO in it's line-up!!

    P220 Carry SAO

    Sure enough there it is - fantastic. Great review, thanks!

    220-carry-nitron-SAO-detail-Hero.jpg



    I would eat nails to get my hands on this P220 DA/SA STR :


    220-carry-Elite-Dark-detail-hero.jpg

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array sensei2's Avatar
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    i own a Sig P-220 Super Match SAO, and it is a wonderful gun. yes, i really like the fact that engaging the thumb safety doesn't lock the slide. a friend who shot it said that it seemed to WANT to direct the bullets to the bullseye.

    there are, however, some characteristics that might weigh against the Sig SAO: the frame is alloy, which is easier to carry, but transmits more recoil than a similar steel frame gun. the bore axis is higher than a 1911, which also slows up shot to shot times. magazine capacity is only 8 rounds.

    IMO, there is no such thing as a "best" gun, any more than there is a "best" vehicle. it depends on what you need. is my Super Match 'better' than my Kahr CM-9 or S&W 642? not if i want/need a gun to pocket carry. nor is it as good for me as many smaller guns which hold more ammunition, should i feel the need for maximum firepower. i have smallish hands, and even with aluminum grips a SAO 220 comes close to being too large for me to comfortably operate. i'm much better with my P-239 single stack 9mm.

    in short, i agree with OP's specific comments about the gun, but disagree with his judgement about it's status.
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  6. #6
    Member Array MLittle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sensei2 View Post
    i own a Sig P-220 Super Match SAO, and it is a wonderful gun. yes, i really like the fact that engaging the thumb safety doesn't lock the slide. a friend who shot it said that it seemed to WANT to direct the bullets to the bullseye.

    there are, however, some characteristics that might weigh against the Sig SAO: the frame is alloy, which is easier to carry, but transmits more recoil than a similar steel frame gun. the bore axis is higher than a 1911, which also slows up shot to shot times. magazine capacity is only 8 rounds.

    IMO, there is no such thing as a "best" gun, any more than there is a "best" vehicle. it depends on what you need. is my Super Match 'better' than my Kahr CM-9 or S&W 642? not if i want/need a gun to pocket carry. nor is it as good for me as many smaller guns which hold more ammunition, should i feel the need for maximum firepower. i have smallish hands, and even with aluminum grips a SAO 220 comes close to being too large for me to comfortably operate. i'm much better with my P-239 single stack 9mm.

    in short, i agree with OP's specific comments about the gun, but disagree with his judgement about it's status.
    First, let me say that I LOVE Sig pistols..... I own three (P226 in 9mm, P220r Carry, P220 Gen. 2, SAS) and all are double action/single action. My edc has been a Sig P220 for over 3 years...... One of the "shortcomings" of the P220 SAO is the safety. There have been several reviews of the pistol and one comment that always gets made is that the manual safety seems to easily get swiped off during carry. Since the P220 SAO doesn't have a grip safety like a 1911, there isn't another safety engaged........so it is not as inherently safe as a 1911..... I thought about trading one of my da/sa Sigs for a SAO P220, but I think I like my 1911's better. I also don't believe that the sa trigger of the Sig 220 SAO is as crisp as a good 1911..... I do still carry my Sig P220's, but also my 1911's...

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