Sig Sauer P229

SiG Sauer P229 Nitron Compact (Photo: Sig Sauer)

The Swiss Industrial Company (SIG) has produced some of the best pistols in the world, including Sig Sauer P229, but the Swiss neutrality laws make the export of weapons very difficult; as one Swiss said, “We are only allowed to sell guns to people who don’t want them.” As a result, SIG set up a combined operation with the German company of J.P. Sauer & Son, an old-established and well-respected company, so that Sauer can make SIG pistols and sell them into countries where the Swiss cannot.

Design

The Sig Sauer P229 developed from earlier designs; this series began with the Sig Sauer P220 which more or less set the general pattern: a recoil-operated pistol using a shaped cam beneath the breech to pull down the rear of the barrel; thus disengaging a squared-off section around the chamber from its lock in the ejection port of the slide, SIG were the pioneers of this system, which is gradually replacing the original Browning system of machined lugs on the barrel marting with slots in the slide. The P220 was a full-sized pistol adopted by the Swiss Army as their Model 75.

Next came the Sig Sauer P225, which was slightly smaller and lighter than the Sig Sauer P220 and which had improved safety features including ana automatic firing pin safety, decocking, lever, drop safety device, but no applied safety catch, so that it can be brought into action very quickly indeed. In late 1980, when the U.S. Army advertised for a new pistol, SIG modified the Sig Sauer P225 to meet the American requirements, resulting in the Sig Sauer P226; the principal change was the addition of an ambidextrous magazine catch and a 15-round magazine capacity. Although not adopted by the U.S. Armed forces, the P226 was widely purchased by police and security agencies.

Sig Sauer P229 Legion Compact
Sig Sauer P229 Legion Compact (Photo: XY)

The Sig Sauer P228 came next, a compact pistol, smaller than the other members of the family but with a 13-round magazine capacity. And finally came the Sig Sauer P229, which is virtually the same as the P228 nut chambered for the .40 Smith & Wesson cartridge. Developed primarily for police use, it has high contrast sights and the usual automatic firing pin, drop safety and de-cocking lever.

The basic Sig Sauer P229 has a steel slide and aluminum alloy frame; the Sig Sauer P229SL is similar but with the slide in stainless steel, and this version is also available in 9mm Parabellum caliber. (In effect, this latter mode is a Sig Sauer P228 with a stainless steel slide.)

Sig Sauer P229 Specification

Manufacturer: Schweizerische Industriegesellschaft, Neuhausen-Am-Rheinfalls, Switzerland

J.P. Sauer & Son, Eckernforde, Germany

Type: Recoil-operated semi-automatic, double-action
Caliber:  .40 S&W or 9mm Parabellum
Barrel: 3.85in (98mm)
Weight: 30.05oz (865 gm)
Magazine capacity: 12 rounds (13 rounds in 9mm)

 

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