SIG P220 vs. P220 SAO

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Thread: SIG P220 vs. P220 SAO

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    SIG P220 vs. P220 SAO

    Well, I love my P220 and have been thinking about the SAO model for a while, and yesterday I finally got to handle one at a gun show. Seeing what the safety feels like was something I wanted to do before I thought seriously about getting one. So now I am thinking seriously.

    If anybody is familiar with both the SAO and the standard DA/SA models, how compatible are the weapons? Obviously the frame will be a little different, but are the slides/barrels/springs and other bitty pieces interchangeable? How about the triggers? (Would I be able to put a short trigger on an SAO?)

    Would a little creative dremel work make the P220 slim grips fit the SAO, or are the grip panels too different?

    Ram Rod (or any other SAO owner), do you have a PDF version of the owner's manual? The SIG website seems not to have it online.

    Any and all input on the P220 SAO welcome, of course... Thanks!
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

    SIG: P220R SS Elite SAO, P220R SAO, P220R Carry, P226R Navy, P226, P239/.40S&W, P2022/.40S&W; GSR 5", P6.

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    What I know thus far about my P220R-45-TSS-SAO follows:
    I love this pistol!
    You cannot install the SRT (short reset trigger) in this model.
    I've never had the regular P220 model (with decocker).
    I figure the majority of parts might be interchangeable......maybe even the frame itself?
    SIG doesn't seem to give much support for the SAO model at this time.
    The SAO model doesn't seem to market as well as other SIG models.
    There seems to be a good following of the P220 SAO, but it may not be real popular in statistics for reasons unknown.
    I've hunted for aftermarket grips for the SAO model to no avail...that's why I succumbed to a Hogue finger groove grip sleeve for mine. I've come across some extra grips for the basic P220 in the gun shops, and sort of figured I might try the Dremel bit as well, but I believe the actual grip screws on the SAO model are longer distance center to center? And there was to my thinking a spring or something in the grip that would need to be notched out for as well, like maybe the thumb safety mechanism. I pretty much dropped my search for other than factory grip panels for now. SIG has no love for the P220 SAO owners? If they are selling them, I don't know why not. And from what I've seen in local shops, most of these sell at a lower price than the standard models while using a solid stainless steel slide. I think we can also give up the search for a SAO specific manual for now. Even the owner's manual that came with my P220 SAO is generic for those basic models....same thing you'll find in PDF on the internet http://tinyurl.com/8cppke
    Not sure what gives on this deal, all I know is that I wouldn't trade mine for anything (except a million bucks). Seems that only the owners and the writers really know it in depth and for what it's worth. Maybe things will change, but to me it's not really necessary. I've found the best 45acp pistol I've ever held, shot, and been very proud to own. Wish I could help more.

  4. #3
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Well, I already knew you loved the pistol Ram Rod, but thanks for the extra feedback. I am sorely tempted.

    What I saw at the gun show was NIB for $850, and I have seen less than that occasionally on GunBroker and the like. I like 1911 safeties and have not felt comfortable with most other manual safeties I had ever gotten hands on, so I was really glad I got the chance to find out that, although it's a bit smaller than most 1911 thumb safeties, it was still pretty darned ergonomic and shooter-friendly.

    By the way, what do you shoot out of it? I found Ayoob's (glowing) review of the gun, and he seemed to think there was some sort of almost magical synergy between the P220 SAO and Federal 185gr.
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

    SIG: P220R SS Elite SAO, P220R SAO, P220R Carry, P226R Navy, P226, P239/.40S&W, P2022/.40S&W; GSR 5", P6.

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    Distinguished Member Array USPnTX's Avatar
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    I purchased a P220 Super Match about a year ago and absolutely love this gun. Its very accurate, great trigger and fits well ergonomically. I have pretty much settled on Winchester Ranger 230 grain ammunition.
    "Do not fear those who disagree with you; fear those that do and are too cowardly to admit it" - Napoleon

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    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    RamRod, it seems that what should have been in your case was a separate insert with the exploded diagram of the SAO model. I got somebody to scan one in and send it to me, so I will attach it below for you.

    Also, it seems newer P220 frames ae compatible with the SAO parts!!! You need to see if the teardrop-shaped insert for the safety spring is present behind the top screw hole on the left grip panel. I just took off my panel, and I think I am good to go. There will be a call to GrayGuns very soon now...

    Here's the insert.
    Attached Images
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

    SIG: P220R SS Elite SAO, P220R SAO, P220R Carry, P226R Navy, P226, P239/.40S&W, P2022/.40S&W; GSR 5", P6.

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    I'm late but I have a "military overrun" P220 SAO. I like sigs a lot, how they feel, tightness, they shoot, accuracy, etc. The only thing I don't like is the da/sa. I have sold my da/sa sigs because of this, I may own another at some point but I love sao's.

    It's the carry version with everything the elites come with, beavertail, solid guide rod, checkered front strap and trigger guard, except the wood grips and forward cocking serrations. Neither of which I care for. It has night sites, the box and usual stuff plus 3 mags. Most places take out one of the mags when they sell them I got mine from (don't know if I should name them here) new for 650.00 plus 15. shipping and they left in the three mags. The light and 10 rd mag was not with it. I wish they made the slim grips for sao, those are sweet.


    If I get cranky It's because the VA is changing my meds again.
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    I have a 220 SAO and just love the trigger as is. Think it's one of the smoothest I own.
    Rick

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

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    Oh, I forgot. I don't think the short trigger will go in the sao. The thing is the sao trigger sits further back than the da/sa when its decocked I liked the short trigger in my da/sa but the sao not needed. The sao also does not need srt, I had a carry elite with srt and the sao has a reset at least as short, maybe shorter.
    If I get cranky It's because the VA is changing my meds again.
    NRA and DAV life member.
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