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.