We conducted a Sig Sauer P229 Handgun Review. Sig Sauer built their name on their classic line of pistols known as the “P Series”. These include the P210, P220, P226, P227, P228, P229, P239, P230 and P232. Some of those model names stand out to even non-firearms enthusiasts. This is mostly due to the success of one model, in particular: The Sig Sauer P229.
The P229 was an evolution of the larger P226. The primary difference is the shorter 4.4” barrel length of the P229 as opposed to the larger P226’s 5” barrel. The original German-made P229 pistol used a double stack magazine to hold either 12 or 13 rounds of 9mm. Since moving manufacturing to the Exeter, New Hampshire, in the US; this has increased to 15 rounds.
Like the rest of the Classic P Series, the Sig Sauer P229 has no external safeties and relies on a decocking lever in its standard variant. SIG offers these pistols in a double-action only model without the decocking lever, too.
The standard caliber is 9mm, but Sig offers the P229 in 40 S&W and 357 SIG as well. An important note is that Sig Sauer makes caliber conversion kits for these pistols. While 40 S&W and 357 SIG can be converted by swapping out the barrels, going to or from 9mm requires changing the slide assembly. Another important note is that only 9mm pistols made in Exeter can be safely fired with a 40 S&W or 357 SIG slide. This cannot be done with German made 9mm frames.
As we mentioned in our review of the Sig Sauer P220, the decocking lever makes these pistols among the safest hammer fired pistols for carry. There are no external safeties to encumber the shooter and no worry of carrying a cocked and locked pistol.
Our particular variant is the P229 Elite model. It maintains the classic lines of the P series and has no rail on the pistol. Rails are standard on many variants of the P229 if the shooter has need for a mounted light or laser, but this model was equipped with a threaded barrel to allow the use of a sound suppressor.
The threaded barrel adds an extra inch in overall length and this may be a concern for concealed or open carry with a closed bottom holster. Fortunately the DeSantis Mad Max holster handily accommodated the P229 with its open bottom design.
Another feature of the P229 Elite is the Short Reset Trigger (SRT) to allow the shooter more rapid follow-up shots. The grips are Sig Sauer’s textured one-piece stocks that really allow the shooter to take a firm hold on the pistol. Sig Sauer’s tactical night sights rounded out this package for high visibility in low light situations.
At the range we loaded up with 115 grain FMJ courtesy of Winchester ammunition. At 50 feet the pistol gave us sub-2” groups. However, we chose to push this even further and moved our steel target out to the 75 yard line and rang the Scorpius Tactical AR-500 gong at a rate of 9 times out of 10.
The P229 is a favorite of many law enforcement agencies and military units including: the US Secret Service, US Navy SEALs (as the M11A1), US Coast Guard, US Air Marshalls and hundreds of state and local police departments. As a result, the pistol has been the choice of tens of thousands of law-abiding citizens exercising their Second Amendment and concealed carry rights to protect their lives and the lives of their families.
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