A couple points of interest regarding Pat’s article on the P226. I’ve owned a P226 Extreme for over a year now, and I love it. Pat’s review was dead on in analyzing the gun’s performance. As for the Mecgar magazines and their apparently magical ability to fit three extra rounds in practically the same space, the trick is in the construction of the follower and length of the spring. Mecgar played a clever trick on geometry that allows the follower to seat farther down the body of the magazine on top of the fully compressed spring when it’s fully loaded. This accounts for the added capacity for only an eigth of an inch of extra length. Another nifty product Mecgar makes for the 226 is a magazine floorplate extension. This extends the bottom of the magazine an additional half inch or so, and adds two extra rounds to the mag’s capacity. This turns their already impressive 18 round mags into 20 round mags for a little cheaper than it would be to purchase factory 20 rounders. The same kit can also be used on Beretta 92 magazines for the same +2 boost.
Speaking of Beretta mags, I’ve recently experimented with modifying Beretta 92 mags to fit my 226. The shape of the magazine body is almost identical. With a little bit of file work to add a new catch slot, and round off the top front corners, an M9 magazine will fit and feed a 226 or 228. It’s obviously a jury-rigged thing, and has to be done carefully to work, but M9 mags are in great abundance in military and law enforcement inventories. For those carrying SIGs when TSHTF, spare magazines may not be as hard to acquire as one might think. – John in Spokane
JWR Adds: Any “make do” hand-modified magazines should be strenuously tested for full reliability with a variety of bullet shapes before they can be trusted for regular target or hunting use. And in my estimation they should never be trusted for self-defense situations unless you are in dire circumstances. Buy the very best magazines available, for self-defense!
Jim and Pat:
The SIG P226 MK25 (as mentioned in Pat Cascio’s recent product review) was preceded by P226-Navy. The main difference between the two is the lack of the rail on the older version and the SIGLite night sights on the MK25. I do believe some of the later P226 –Navy models did however have a rail. The P226-Navy was my primary weapon system for daily carry until recently transitioning to the Springfield –Armory 1911 TRP . I still have my P226-Navy and still carry it at times. I have shot several thousand though my P226 without one failure to load or failure fire. During one training session I fired 1,000 rounds over course of two days without any problems. The gun is very well balanced, accurate out of the box and can take a beating. Breakdown for cleaning is quick and easy, and no tools of any kind are required I have carried this gun in a variety of conditions (mostly damp) and have never experienced problems with rust. The extra carry capacity is nice. Using a one loaded and two standby magazine carry arrangement, there are 45 rounds available for the P226 (with 15 round magazines) as opposed to 24 rounds available (using three 8 round magazines) for the Model 1911 .45 ACP.
There are those who prefer the polymer guns like the Glock, Springfield Armory XD, S&W MP, all of which are good guns. I however, prefer a sold metal gun, only because for me it feels sturdier and is better balanced.
The P226 can be comfortably carried concealed with the the right clothing, belt and holster. I prefer the Milt Sparks Versa Max 2 holster, which does a great job holding the gun close to the body. For those who prefer the 9mm, the SIG P226 MK25 is a durable, reliable, accurate pistol and will be a gun for lifetime if you take care of it.
Disclaimer: I do not work for any company involved in any aspect of the firearms business.
Regards, – Florida Dave