Sig Sauer P229 Pistol Line-Up – 2023 Review

sig sauer p229 review

Sig Sauer is a powerhouse in the firearms industry, known for producing reliable and high-quality firearms. This German-American arms manufacturer has been in the game for several decades and has amassed a reputation for excellence in design, construction, and performance. In this article, we’re going to delve into the Sig P229 pistol series – reliable, compact, and versatile handguns trusted by law enforcement agencies, military units, and civilians alike.

Table of Contents

History of the SIG P229
Sig Sauer P229 Legion RXP
Sig Sauer P229 Legion RXP SAO
Sig Sauer P229 M11-A1
Sig Sauer P229 Pro
Conclusion
FAQ

History of the SIG P229

sig p229 in a holster

Before the review part, we’d like to introduce you to the P229 in general so you understand what the pistol was designed for compared to other SIGs. First, there was the SIG P226, designed for the US Army. In 1984, the XM9 Service Pistol Trials were held to find a replacement for the M1911A1 pistol. Only two handguns completed the trials satisfactorily – the SIG P226 and the Beretta 92SBF. As many of you may know, the Beretta won and soon became one of the most iconic pistols. Not that the SIG was worse in any way. The reason Beretta was awarded the contract was that the SIG package price with parts and accessories was higher.

Designed as a service pistol, the P226 was full-size, which isn’t very convenient when you need a weapon for concealed carry. So, SIG introduced the P228 9mm pistol, a compact version of the P226. However, the company soon decided to upgrade the P228, changing its stamped-steel slide for a CNC-milled stainless steel slide that allowed the pistol to handle more powerful .357 SIG and .40 S&W rounds. That’s how the Sig P229 saw the light.

Today, the P229 series includes several pistols, some of which we’re going to review.

Sig Sauer P229 Legion RXP

If you want the most advanced pistol in the P229 line-up, the Legion is definitely what you’re searching for. Actually, Sig Sauer has Legion versions throughout several pistol series. Let’s first touch on what makes Legion Sigs different from the standard Non-Legion Sigs.

First, the Sig Legion pistols have a PVD coating instead of the standard Nitron one, which is harder and a bit more corrosion-resistant.

Next, they feature specialty SIG X-Ray night sights instead of white-dot sights. The SIG SAUER Electro-Optics X-RAY is a tritium sight system that boasts outstanding visibility during daylight and low-light conditions. The front dot is oversized due to a fluorescent polymer that encircles the tritium component, while the rear sight is a square-notch design.

Legion pistols also feature the G10 grip with a nice texture on the rear and the checkering on the front strap and the bottom of the trigger guard. All this increases gun-to-skin contact. For even more improved ergonomics, the Legion Sigs feature a trigger-guard undercut and a curved beavertail that allows you to get a confident and high grip without hammer bites, which improves your recoil management.

What also makes Legion pistols unique are reduced controls with more aggressive textures. They may require time and practice to get proficient with, but a shrunk-down size actually allows for a faster draw.

So, at this point, you know that the Sig P229 Legion features:

  • A PVD coating for more resistance to corrosion
  • A high-visibility tritium day-night sight system
  • Trigger-guard undercut and a curved beavertail for more control
  • G10 grips and aggressive front strap and trigger-guard checkerings
  • Anti-snag controls

The RXP version of this pistol is supplied with the famous ROMEO1PRO reflex sight having a 3 MOA (or 6 MOA) red dot with multiple brightness settings and a multi-coated lens for better light transmission. If you want to attach a flashlight-and-laser combo, there is an accessory rail on the bottom of the barrel.

And for dessert, the P229 Legion RXP DA/SA pistol features the P-SAIT. It’s an SIG’s Short-Reset Trigger improved by Grayguns that stages really nicely. In double action, it’s easy to squeeze to the point of fire, making that first DA shot smooth to operate.

So, with all these great features, the P229 Legion RXP DA/SA compact 9mm pistol is a great EDC weapon that is easy to carry, draw, and shoot. It has a capacity of 15 rounds and is shipped with three magazines.

Sig Sauer P229 Legion RXP SAO

The original P229 is a double-action/single-action pistol, just like the one we’ve presented. The DA/SA pistol allows you to fire the first round in double action mode, where the trigger has a long, heavy pull. Subsequent shots are fired in a single-action mode with a shorter, lighter trigger pull. The P229 Legion we have here is a Single Action Only pistol, meaning there’s no hard DA stage.

While DA/SA pistols have been popular for law enforcement and civilians for decades, some shooters may prefer SAO pistols, and here’s why. The trigger of a DA/SA pistol can be a disadvantage in fast-paced scenarios. Without practice, the first shot can be less accurate because a DA trigger requires more force than a single-action (SA) trigger pull. It can lead to the shooter’s muscles tensing up and inadvertently pulling the sights off target. An SAO, with its lighter and shorter trigger pull, can provide better accuracy and quicker follow-up shots than a DA/SA pistol.

Additionally, some shooters may experience difficulty transitioning between the heavy double-action trigger pull to the lighter single-action trigger pull under stress, which can lead to accuracy issues, too.

So, if, for some reason, you can’t shoot a DA/SA pistol but like all the features the P229 Legion RXP offers (tritium day/night sights, textured grip with checkering, ROMEO1PRO red dot sight, undercut & curved beavertail, accessory rail, and snag-free controls) you might want to consider the SAO version. Of course, your choice entails that you won’t get that smooth short-reset trigger, but since operating a single-action trigger is easier in itself, you don’t need it anyway.

Also, unlike DA/SA pistols like the Legion RXP above, the Legion RXP SAO does have an external manual safety. The thing is that a hard trigger pull in a DA mode already provides adequate protection while also keeping the gun in a more ready state.

Sig Sauer P229 M11-A1

Now, let’s see what a more budget-friendly P229 has to offer. But before that, we need to get things clear about the designations.

While the US Army chose the Beretta 92 over the P226 full-size pistol, some LE agencies still needed a smaller gun. That’s how the P228 compact pistol was adopted by the military and received the designation of the M11.

Well, the M11-A1, developed after the P229, is a refined version of the M11 pistol, which is, as we’ve learned, basically the P228.

Though not as feature-rich as the Legion, the M11-A1 pistol boasts several improvements compared to the original P229. First, it has a rounded trigger guard instead of a square one found on the P229. It makes a pistol more comfortable to grip with two hands.

The M11-A1 also features the Sig Short-Reset Trigger that is curved. While some claim that a flat trigger provides greater accuracy because it allows for more consistent trigger finger placement, others argue that a curved trigger delivers a more comfortable shooting experience because it’s angled towards the shooter’s finger, making it more comfortable to operate for people with larger hands. A curved trigger also allows the shooter to apply more force with the trigger finger, which can help stabilize the gun during firing.

Also, the M11-A1 is a DA/SA pistol, and like most other DA/SA pistols, it does not have manual safety. So, after you’ve fired several rounds, you need to activate the decocker that will return the hammer to the initial position to safely holster the M11-A1, or the DA/SA Legion RXP, for that matter. Lowering the hammer down with a finger is not the correct way to make the gun safe to carry again.

Unlike the P229 Legion pistols with a PVD coating that makes them more corrosion-resistant, the M11-A1 has a Nitron finish, which is still very nice. According to SIG, the finish has passed the military’s 240-hour salt spray test, meaning it will easily endure civilian use. Moreover, the pistol has internal parts and controls with a phosphate finish for reduced friction.

The M11-A1 is shipped with pre-installed SIGLITE tritium night sights and three 15-round 9mm magazines.

Overall, the Sig P229 M11-A1 is a distinctive 9mm pistol having all the necessary features for excellent performance.

Sig Sauer P229 Pro

Now, let’s take a look at what pro-features the P229 Pro pistol has.

The stylized optic-ready PRO-CUT slide is the first feature that stands out. Compatible with the ROMEO1PRO, DeltaPoint Pro, and RMR red dot optics, it allows for more freedom of choice. The slide also features lightning cuts, which reduce the slide’s reciprocating mass, enabling faster cycling and reduced recoil.

The HOGUE black/gray G10 Piranha Mascus grips are another noteworthy feature of the P229 Pro. These grips provide a secure hold, even with sweaty hands, while looking stylish and catchy. It offers an aggressive texture that enhances the shooter’s control and stability.

The Sig Sauer Short Reset Trigger, improved by Grayguns, has a considerably reduced reset distance, ensuring fast and consistent shooting. The SRT feature results in a shorter trigger reset and lighter trigger pull, enabling quick follow-up shots and improved accuracy.

The P229 Pro also features X-RAY tritium day/night sights that provide outstanding visibility in any light conditions. The high-contrast tritium front sight is paired with the blacked-out rear ones.

Finally, the beavertail ensures a high and firm grip, preventing the slide from hurting the shooter’s hand during recoil, while the accessory rail allows for the attachment of tactical lights and lasers, further enhancing the pistol’s tactical capabilities.

Conclusion

After examining the different Sig Sauer P229 pistols boasting features that make them premium guns suitable for varying applications, it is evident that all of them are great concealed carry options. For those looking to purchase a Sig Sauer P229, GRITR Sports has a wide variety of SIG models beyond the P229 series as well as SIG accessories and optics. Don’t hesitate to check out Sig Sauer products.

FAQ

How is the Sig P229 different from the Sig P226?

The Sig P229 is a compact version of the full-size P226. It has a shorter barrel and shorter grip, making it more suitable for concealed carry. The Sig P229 is also available in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .357 SIG while the P226 also chambers the .22 LR.

How is the Sig P229 Legion different from the other P229 pistols?

The Sig P229 Legion series features enhanced ergonomics, advanced sights, and an improved trigger that makes muzzle flip control easier.

Is the Sig Sauer P229 suitable for concealed carry?

Yes, the Sig Sauer P229 line of pistols is designed for concealed carry. They are compact pistols having a barrel length of 3.9 inches.

In what calibers is the Sig P229 offered?

The Sig Sauer P229 can be found in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .357 SIG calibers.

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