Some thoughts about the Sig 220R Carry SAO

Some thoughts about the Sig 220R Carry SAO

This is a discussion on Some thoughts about the Sig 220R Carry SAO within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The Sig 220R Carry SAO is the Sig 220 with a 1/2" shorter barrel and, of course, a Single Action Only trigger. It is the ...

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Thread: Some thoughts about the Sig 220R Carry SAO

  1. #1
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    Some thoughts about the Sig 220R Carry SAO

    The Sig 220R Carry SAO is the Sig 220 with a 1/2" shorter barrel and, of course, a Single Action Only trigger. It is the principle of the 1911, i.e. a cocked and locked carry mode.

    First, the gun shoots as well as any gun Iíve ever shot. The SAO trigger works really well, provides the same trigger pull every shot, but it is not quite as light or short of a pull as a 1911 trigger, but thatís minor.

    Unlike the 1911, and like the H&K USP, the SAO modelís thumb safety has a different operating mode. It is essentially in the same place as a 1911 and works in the same motion as a 1911, but the slide can be racked with the safety fully engaged, and it doesnít matter if the hammer is cocked or down. The slide can be removed with the thumb safety engaged.

    However, because the gun is wider than a 1911, I find it difficult to disengage the thumb safety as securely as a 1911 during a draw stroke. For me, I have to apply a little bit different gripping technique to comfortably/reliably disengage the safety during a draw. Also, the thumb safety detent is quite stiff; that can be good or it can be bad. Itís sure gonna take a lot to inadvertently swipe it off or on, but it also takes a lot to flip it up to the engaged position. I simply cannot do it from the shooting grip. I either have to shift the gun in my hand and itís still quite difficult to do, or I have to use my support hand.

    Interestingly, the grips on the SAO Carry are much rougher than the grips on the DA/SA Carry model. I suppose thatís good.

    One other difference I noticed between the DA/SA and SAO is the first time I shot the SAO, I shot 200 rounds through it as a preliminary operational/reliability test. The web of my hand where it contacted the underside of the beavertail was really Ďscuffedí; almost to the point of being raw. The beavertail is smooth and I havenít experienced that on the DA/SA model so I really donít know how to explain that.

    The slide on my 220R Carry SAO, positions a bit too far forward. I noticed it by just a casual observation the other day. I compared it to my DA/SA and sure enough, there is a significant difference. Iím gonna measure it today and contact Sig tomorrow.

    My DA/SA model came with Siglites. Iím getting a bad impression of these sights. I also have Siglites on my 229R DAK. I have the same problem on both guns. The front sight is much dimmer than the rear sight. I can hardly see the front sight on either gun in the dark. In fact, I will also discuss this with Sig when I call them. I really think the front sights have simply been compromised some how.

    This isnít about the SAO, but my DA/SA, again with Siglites, shoots way too low. The SAO with the stock Sig sights is dead on. So I guess Iíll mention that to Sig too.

    I like the SAO 220R Carry very well. I really enjoy shooting it, but I have serious reservations about it as a self-defense carry gun. The 220 Carry in DA/SA and DAK are fine, but due to the problems of the thumb safety manipulations, Iím not gonna be carrying it. I have carried 1911s a lot and have every confidence that I can swipe off the safety and have demonstrated that ability many, many times. But the 220 SAO is a different critter.
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  2. #2
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I'm with you on every bit of that except---my P220R is the ONLY SIG I currently own. I understand completely about the thumb safety as I've had previous 1911's also. If I had a 1911 model now and the SIG, IMO-there might be difficulties. Granted the thumb safety on the 1911 is an easy habit to take, and more natural in it's location. Being away from the Govt model, it may be easier for me to pick up the SIG 'habit' although I still find myself making the extra conscious effort to do so. The SIG mag release is actually something for me to work more on. I think the grips are okay, but I want rubber Hogues with finger groves for it which are not currently made (main difference in the Hogue P220 offering is the thumb safety. I got a Hogue slip on finger groove for now. Interesting about the front SIG night sites. Mine are all three equal in brightness (for now). I've already carried mine several times, but OWB under a coat (winter mode). I don't see carrying IWB as it would be cocked and locked as usual. Wouldn't mind having a 'bobbed' hammer for the model personally. Quite possibly a DA/SA SIG pistol could be in my future but alas, that's down about third or fourth on my list. Last DA/SA pistol I had was the P89 many moons ago. Nice write-up and good observations Tangle. By the way---SIG customer service has always replied to my questions within the same day. Have you had the left side grip panel off yet? You'll see the tiny part for the thumb safety catch there--turn the pistol over with right side facing up, and it will fall out! Don't loose it!
    Last edited by Ram Rod; February 10th, 2008 at 01:24 PM. Reason: spelling

  3. #3
    JD
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    I had similar reservations about my 220 SAO, for me it wasn't so much the safety, but I did feel it could be improved upon, also, the trigger pull, not necessarily the weight, but the length of pull was too long.

    If you compare the single action pull of a Sig equipped with the SRT, to the SAO, the SRT beats the SAO any day.

    So if Sig could put out a gun with a SAO pull equal to that of the SRT, and put on the thumb safety from the X5, I'd be all about it.

  4. #4
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    Ram Rod,

    Interesting that you mention a bobbed hammer, that's one other thing I'm beginning to see - I'm occassionaly raking the web of my hand across the serrations on the hammer as I reach for the grip in the draw stroke. I had that problem with a BHP and bobbed the hammer myself and never had another problem with it. Thanks for the tip about the thumb safety part under the grip.

    JD,
    I'm used to a DAK or DA/SA so the trigger pull and reset feels fine to me, I hadn't noticed that, but if one were coming off of a 1911, I can sure see the trigger would be be very noticeable.

    I talked to the guy I bought the Sigs from and he's a shooter and attended a school with, awww, shoot I forgot the guy's name, but you'd likely know it. Anyway, Steve took his SRT to the school and sold it immediately upon return.

    He said he and the gunsmith/instructor could feel some roughness in the SRT trigger and felt the SRT reset was, get this, almost too sensitive. I thought that was the idea, but, he said several had reported premature shots because the reset was so light and short. Not sure what exactly that means, but I figured I'd go with the SAO instead.

    The SAO for me seems to be kinda like the Glock situation to me. I like Glocks, love the trigger reset, do well shooting them, but because of their unique grip angle, I have to spend some time acclimating to one. That's kinda how I see the SAO, I think I could learn to deal with the safety during the draw, but it'd take a long time and many, many draw strokes to get it mastered.

    Then I'd be drawing my other guns like that if I went back to them. Not sure what I'm gonna do with the SAO, I may sell it and get a DAK version when I can afford it.
    I'm too young to be this old!
    Getting old isn't good for you!

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