I saw my first SIG handgun back in 1980, when I was running a gun shop and new to the gun biz but not new to guns. A customer wanted me to order him a Browning BDA .45 ACP pistol. I hadn’t heard of it, to be honest. So, I did some research and found that the Browning BDA (Browning Double Action) was actually made by SIG and was being imported by Browning. When the gun came in for my customer, I was more than a little impressed with it. It had excellent workmanship all the way around. That was my introduction into SiIG firearms.
Today, SIG Sauer is a major player in the law enforcement market, with many police officers carrying a SIG Sauer of some sort in their holsters. SIG isn’t one to sit back on past accomplishments; they are always on the cutting edge when it comes to long guns as well as handguns. I’ve owned more than my share of Sig handguns over the years, and one thing always stands out– the accuracy of these guns. Their accuracy is outstanding!
My local FFL dealer got a SIG P250 Sub-Compact handgun in. It was used in .45ACP, and I checked it out a good number of times over several weeks before working a trade. For whatever reason, and this is strange, SIG handguns simply don’t sell very well at my local gun shop. It may be the price point, since our area isn’t very “rich”, to put it politely. While some might think that a SIG handgun is overpriced, they are not. They are an excellent firearm for the money.
The P250 is a double-action only (DAO) handgun, and it has a super-smooth trigger pull that is long but extremely smooth all the way through the pull of the trigger. The hammer is bobbed, so it can’t catch on anything when drawing, too. The gun weighs in at about 25 ounces for the Sub-Compact version, which is the one I have. The frame is black polymer, and the frame itself can be swapped out for a different sized frame. There are longer ones to hold more ammo. Of course, the slide can be changed, too. Check the SIG website for complete information on this.
SIG advertises the trigger pull as between 5.5 and 6.5 pounds, and they are right. As mentioned, the trigger pull is super-smooth and better than many revolvers that have had a trigger job. I kid you not. The Sub-Compact model holds six rounds of .45 ACP. However, you can get an extended mag with a sleeve, and it will allow you to carry nine rounds, but it sort of defeats the purpose of carrying a sub-compact handgun. My sample came with two 6-rd mags and one 9-rd mag. I’ll admit that firing the P250 is much more comfortable with a 9-rd mag, since it gives the pinky finger a lot more purchase on the gun.
The slide is finished with Nitron, a very durable coating that really brushes off the elements. My sample also had night sights. That’s always a good thing on any handgun, if you ask me. The Compact and Duty sized guns have a Picatinny rail on the frame for mounting lights and lasers. The Sub-Compact model doesn’t have this feature. The trigger guard on the Sub-Compact model is rounded, though on the larger guns it is squared off in the front. You have three controls on the frame. One is the take-down lever, and the other is the slide release/stop. Plus, there is the magazines release.
SIG came up with an outstanding idea with their interchangeable frames. Well, you aren’t actually changing the frame as you would with a traditional pistol. Instead, you are actually removing the trigger group from the frame, and it has the serial number on it. So, you can actually purchase, directly from SIG, a different sized framed without having to go through an FFL dealer. Just pop out the trigger group, and install it in a different frame, and you can also change calibers by changing the slide/barrel and magazines. It’s quite a gun, to say the least.
The P250 felt really good in my hand, and that is half the battle if you ask me. If a gun doesn’t feel right or doesn’t fit your hand, you’re not going to shoot well with it. Even my very picky wife, when it comes to handguns, liked the way the gun felt in her hand.
Now, on to the long, very long double-action only trigger pull. As mentioned, it is very smooth, and I expected no less from SIG. However, the long trigger pull just wasn’t working for me. I was pulling all my shots low and to the left. No matter how hard I tried, all my shots were going low and to the left. This was shooting at 15 yards, off-hand, with no support. Surely, it wasn’t the gun. It had to be me!
The nice folks at Buffalo Bore Ammunition and Black Hills Ammunition, as always, came through for me with a great selection of .45 ACP ammo to test in the P250. From Buffalo Bore, I had their 160-gr Barnes TAC XP all-copper hollow point, low recoil standard velocity round, 255-gr Outdoorsman Hard Cast FN +P load, 230-gr FMJ FN +P, 200-gr JHP +P, 160-gr Barnes TAC XP all-copper hollow point +P, and their 185-gr Barnes TAC XP all-copper hollow point in +P. From Black Hills, I had their 200-gr Match SWC, 230-gr FMJ, 185-gr JHP, 200-gr JHP, 230-gr JHP +P, and their 185-gr Barnes TAC XP all-copper hollow point +P. So, there was a great mix of ammo to run through the little SIG P250.
There were zero malfunctions of any type, from the light loads to the heavy +P loads, and this didn’t surprise me. After all, it is a SIG! They are known for reliability and accuracy, if the shooter does their part.
For my accuracy testing, I rested the gun on a sleeping bag over a rock, and shooting was done at 15 yards. I had some really decent groups of three inches, and some that were over four inches. Let me make this clear. It wasn’t the gun or the ammo; it was me. I simply couldn’t get used to the very long, double-action only trigger pull. I caught myself flinching many times, because of the long trigger pull. I tested the gun over a period of a month, and no matter what I did I caught myself flinching, anticipating the gun going off, due to the long trigger pull. I’ve owned many DAO pistols over the years, and none caused me to flinching like the P250 did. It was not the gun; it was me!
As mentioned earlier on, shooting off-hand with no support my shots were low and to the left of the bullseye. I couldn’t get any groups per se, shooting without a support. Now, with that said, I’m sure that if the gun were used in a self defense scenario, I wouldn’t flinch like I was doing during target shooting. I simply could not master the DAO trigger pull on the P250, no matter how hard I tried. The smoothness of the trigger pull should have been a no-brainer for me. I should have gotten some good groups off-hand, but I couldn’t!
I did have a tie for best accuracy when shooting over the sleeping bag. The 160-gr Barnes TAC XP Barnes load standard velocity load and the Black Hills 230-gr FMJ loads were right at three inches. This was at 15 yards. I know the gun and ammo were capable of much better accuracy than I was capable of.
Every now and then, I just run across a handgun that no matter how hard I try, I can’t master the trigger pull. I’m used to the short and crisp trigger pull on the 1911, and I don’t have any problems with most DAO trigger pulls on other polymer framed pistols. However, this P250 stumped me. It had me beat, no matter what I did. In the end, I ended up trading the P250 for something else. While there was nothing wrong with the gun, I couldn’t master the trigger on it. The gun felt great in the hand, was well made, and is capable of better accuracy than I could wring out of it. Full retail is $548 on the gun, and for a SIG that’s a great bargain, if you ask me, if you can master the long but smooth trigger pull.
– Senior Product Review Editor, Pat Cascio