Your SIG P220 reviews please.
This is a discussion on Your SIG P220 reviews please. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; DAK:
Hello. It is no secret that my handgun preferences are single-action autoloaders followed by DA revolvers, but not to the complete exclusion of other ...
July 2nd, 2007 09:28 PM
1951 - 2011
Range Evaluation for the P220 SAS w/DAK...
Hello. It is no secret that my handgun preferences are single-action autoloaders followed by DA revolvers, but not to the complete exclusion of other action types. One "glaring" exception to my "single-action-only" bias remains the CZ-75 Pre-B; another has been SIG-Sauer single-stack semiautomatics. In that family, I've been most pleased with the SIG-Sauer P220.
This P220 was bought in the '90's though I just recently added the Hogue checkered grips. It came with the "green" recoil spring intended for warmer loads. I bought the gun after attending a firearms instructor school at DPS Austin and saw now retired Lt. Reeves Jungkind (of Jungkind Python fame) shooting one at 50 yards. It was an out of the box P220 and his accuracy was exceptional ... to say the least. This one's been stone cold reliable with any and all JHP's. It will not feed handloaded SWC's with over 5 in the magazine, but anything else feeds, extracts and ejects flawlessly. The 3-dot fixed sights were dead-bang "on" for me and the gun has a very nice single-action albeit with quite a bit of slack initially.
While at DPS Austin a decade later recertifying as a state CHL instructor, I struck up a conversation with one of the rangemasters there, a very nice, very Pro-Second DPS Sergeant and asked how the 357 SIG was doing. (No complaints from this man, who is a very proficient shooter and police firearm instructor.)
He mentioned that their SIG-Sauers were not DAO or DA/SA, but DAK or "Double Action Kellerman" in honor of the fellow who came up with the system. Essentially, you wind up with a DAO pistol, but one with about a 6.5-lb pull.
I didn't think much more about it.
Recently I handled a few SIG-Sauer P220 .45's in various forms of the gun now offered to the shooting public. One was a DAK action on SIG-Sauer's "SAS" (SIG Anti Snag) model.
I kind of liked it so eventually I coughed up the tariff.
The pistol came with two stainless 8-shot magazines vs. the blued 7-shot magazines I'm more familiar with.
The P220 SAS shown here is stock, just as it comes from the factory. The trigger is of a different contour than my original P220 and quite smooth and short...for a double-action. The "SAS" part amounts to its having no sharp edges, ie: the gun's been "melted" like Ikey Stark's famous "well used bar of soap." I'd have preferred a bit less rounding of the slide's edges, but it is comfortable.
As luck would have it, it drizzled and rained all day. Still I was able to get to the range and shoot at about 10 or 12 yards while standing under a cover.
Ammunition fired included handloaded 230-gr. Remington Golden Saber handloads, as well as factory, Speer 230-gr. Gold Dots, Corbon 185-gr. +P DPX, S&B 230-gr. FMJ, Winchester USA 230-gr. FMJ, Remington UMC 230-gr. FMJ, a 230-gr. CRN handload, Federal 230-gr. Classic JHP, Federal 230-gr. HydraShok, and a few Corbon 185-gr. +P JHP's.
I used both of the new magazines (dimpled at the top rear as compared to the plain) as well as an old 7-shot.
There were no failures to feed, extract, or eject. The slide locked back only after the last round had been fired. Magazines dropped freely when released.
Cases were ejected approximately 8 to 10' to my right.
After a few shots, it was no problem to get the gun to group well enough, but my shots were consistently 3" to the left. I had noticed that for whatever reason, the rear sight blade appeared off-centered well to the left.
Elevation was fine.
Upon returning home, I contacted a local 'smith who has a SIG-Sauer sight pusher and moved the sight to center. I have not shot the gun since doing this but strongly suspect that the "problem" is solved. I'll find out soon.
I sort of like the DAK system for folks not wanting to use single-action for whatever reason. Though not as smooth as a nicely tuned DA revolver, it ain't bad; it ain't bad at all.
There's little doubt (as in none) that I couldn't "double tap" so quickly with this pistol was with a 1911-pattern gun, but in controlled pairs, I honestly don't think there will be any loss of speed. No doubt part of this is from decades of double-action revolver shooting, but I absolutely believe that the DAK is a viable action for quick and accurate emergency shooting.
It is my understanding that some folks have reported problems with some of the newer SIG-Sauer P220 magazines with regard to some cartridges being too long to fit. While the ammunition used today wasn't excessively long, some of it has been mentioned in the posts concerning this problem. I didn't experience it at all. I have no idea if the problem was a single run of magazines or if some lots of ammunition had been loaded longer. In any event, the above-mentioned ammunition worked fine in all three magazines.
In the near future, I'll see how accurately I can shoot this pistol and will chronograph several different loads but I don't expect any significant differences in bullet speeds when compared to my older P220.
So far I'm pleased with the pistol and the DAK action. I fired something less than 300 rounds today, but will get serious with the pistol in the near future.
Since this was written, the DAK version has had about a case of various ball and JHP's run through it with no malfunctions, no loss of mechanical accuracy and no excessive wear.
July 2nd, 2007 09:30 PM
1951 - 2011
Old Range Report on the P220 DA/SA...
Hello. I bought a SIG-Sauer P220 ten years ago after seeing some very fine shooting with them at the Texas Department of Public Safety firing range while taking a course there. While I'd casually shot some of this maker's line, I'd never really "worked" with them. Seeing what could be done with a stock DA/SA automatic "forced" me to buy one. My P220 has the older internal design and all-metal "sharp" spur hammer. When decocked using the lever, it drops to kind of a half-cock position rather than farther forward as on current versions of the pistol. I think I like the older version better as the DA pull is considerably shorter. The gun has the green paint-marked recoil spring which I think is a bit heavier than earlier recoil springs. I've shot the pistol over the years to keep my "hand in" with it as I use it as a "house pistol," but have not really tried to see what it'll do with various factory loads. (I didn't include handloads on this report although this pistol's worked fine with them except for CSWCs when more than 5 rounds are loaded in the magazine; it jams, but only with the semiwadcutters.)
The Pistol: This gun's stock as a stove except for a piece of skateboard tape on the smooth front grip strap. It came with two 7 rnd magazines.
This picture shows the pistol with the hammer decocked via the decocking lever and the position it rests in for a DA shot.
Sights are quite usuable out of the box and in this particular case, "on" out of the box. Their design is kind of plain compared to many others, but they DO work in slowfire and at speed.
The front lever is the take-down lever while those nearest the thumb are "reversed" in that the foremost one is the decocker while the rear one is the slide release. I did find myself pressing the wrong one on a couple of ocassions.
Ammunition Used: Seven factory rounds were used, 2 being ball loads with the rest being more in tune with self-defense usage.
Left to Right: Federal Classic 230 gr JHP, Federal 230 gr HydraShok, Corbon 200 gr JHP +P (Old, discontinued bullet), Corbon 165 gr PowRball +P, Remington 230 gr Golden Saber, Sellier & Bellot 230 gr FMJ, and Winchester USA 230 gr FMJ.
Targets & Shooting: Shooting was done standing, single-action, two-hand hold and slow-fire unless otherwise noted. Distances: 10, 15, 25, and 50 yards.
15 Yards: These are 5-shot groups. Left Column, top to bottom: Corbon 200 gr JHP, Corbon 165 gr PowRball, Federal Classic 230 gr JHP. Middle: Federal 230 gr HydraShok. Right Column, top to bottom: Remington 230 gr Golden Saber, S&B 230 gr ball, and Winchester USA 230 gr ball.
25 Yards: I may have somehow miscounted, but this is supposed to be 10 shots of S&B ball. Looks like it might be 12 or so! Oh, well...
50 Yards: This 10-shot group was fired sitting at a bench with my wrists resting on a box covered with a jacket, single-action and slow fire.
Ammunition was Winchester USA 230 gr ball.
10 Yards: Statistically at the outter edges of the defensive scenario, I chose this distance as it would magnify errors or difficulties getting quick, accurate shots inherent to either the pistol ..........or the shooter! Ammunition used was Federal's 230 gr HydraShok as it seems to be pretty popular with many shooters.
This target consists of 5 controlled pairs, the first round of each being fired double-action. I suspect they are the low hits. Didn't have a timer, but I estimate each pair at a second or so. Not fast as some to be sure, but about what I can do.
Each shot of this 10-shot group was fired double-action to see how it would/wouldn't affect groups. Accuracy seems fine, but for me, it does slow up both controlled pairs as well as just slow-fire single shots.
Observations: While felt recoil is subjective, the pistol "kicks" no more to me than the most obvious one to compare it with, Colt's LW Commander. However, muzzle flip does seem slightly greater with the P220.
There were no malfunctions of any kind with today's tests and all cases were ejected to the right approx. 12 to 15,' with the Corbon 200 gr +P hulls going the greatest distance.
I did note "primer wipe" with both standard and +P ammunition. This is typical of SIG-Sauer handguns. I am told that the firing pin setup is engineered to keep the it forward as much as possible when firing to keep debris from the firing pin channel.
For what it's worth, I have a large stock of the older Corbon 200 gr +P JHP using the older bullet and will likely continue to use that in the pistol for "serious" purposes, although I'm looking more and more at the PowRball. Any of the JHPs shown in today's tests should work fine in my opinion.
While I personally like the single-action automatic better, these pistols "shoot," are reliable in my experience EXCEPT w/SWCs, and are very viable defensive arms. I have seen a few SIG-Sauers crack frames at the slide rails, but have seen breakages in other makes as well.
Here's the pistol compared to the LW Commander:
July 2nd, 2007 09:35 PM
VIP Member (Retired Staff)
Steve - wow... just wow.
If anyone wanted some good info on the SIG - they just seen it. Once more a valuable piece of input. Thx from me anyways
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
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July 2nd, 2007 09:40 PM
That should be the model for all reviews
July 2nd, 2007 09:54 PM
1951 - 2011
Hello and thanks very much. Hopefully it will be of use for the fellow interested in the P220.
July 2nd, 2007 10:22 PM
July 3rd, 2007 12:07 AM
I just got mine a few weeks ago. It's an older one made in 1990.
LOVE IT!!!! I started off with a 226, then a 228, but this is spending more time on my hip than anything else these days.
July 3rd, 2007 01:16 AM
I as a rule don't have any use for sigs nor do they have any use for me. However the 220 is a definite exception and it is on my soon to be purchased list.
I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.
July 3rd, 2007 02:25 PM
Very nice review! Thanks.
I too, am looking for a P220. Either Carry Elite (only one here) or Compact.
Or even Carry TT...
Why is it that you always find things at the last place you looked?
Because when you find something-you stop looking-Mooch
July 3rd, 2007 04:40 PM
Thanks Mr. Camp! Great review as usual. Do you or have you ever written for any gun mags before?
Why Ike, whatever do you mean? Maybe poker's just not your game Ike. I know! Let's have a spelling contest!
July 3rd, 2007 10:40 PM
1951 - 2011
Hello, sir and thank you for the compliments. I did one article for "American Handgunner" on Dave Sample's "home build class" and the Patriot 1911 based on the Caspian slide and frame and years ago I donated some articles to "Command", a magazine for the Texas Tactical Police Officers' Association, mostly firearm reviews, but that's all I can recall being published in magazines.
July 3rd, 2007 11:28 PM
Stephen, as usual, great info provided in articles of top notch writing. Thanks.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein
July 3rd, 2007 11:42 PM
Gee Stephen, what more could one add, great writeup. Here are my thoughts on the gun; don't get in front of my wife when she is shooting the P220 or my new SAS. Dead on the best bang for the buck out there. Will be rotating to the 220 SAS once I am confident it is 100% from my P229 SAS I now carry. I currently own 5 Sigs, and have owned and sold over 25 through the years. Not everyone's cup of tea, but I like mine.
I know, I know, you are smarter than me..just ask you..
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