Friday, March 7, 2008

Review: Sig Sauer P250

sig sauer p250

I admit to being skeptical about the new Sig Sauer P250-- the firm’s modular pistol that allows users to easily swap calibers and change form factors. How will the shooting community receive the polymer pistol built in Exeter, New Hampshire? Will it gain traction in the industry or suffer the same fate as its SigPro brethren? Inquiring minds want to know, so here’s my take on the P250.

The P250’s design is feature rich: factory night sights, 16rd magazines (9mm), Nitron and stainless steel finishes, ergonomic grips, and a crisp 5.5lb trigger pull make this latest offering from Sig Sauer attractive to shooters at all levels. Its fire control module is a slick piece of engineering and is easy to remove and maintain. Thanks for the use of polymer, the price point is also significantly lower than traditional Sig models. The interchangeability of the system allows you to find the perfect grip style for you hand, choose between full size, compact, and subcompact frames, and switch calibers on the fly (9mm, .40sw, .357sig, and .45acp.)

Accuracy and “To Hell and Back” reliability are par for the course for Sig Sauer pistols. That’s to be expected. However, many clients have expressed concern for the fit and finish coming out of Exeter lately. We can all remember the issues that plagued the first generation of GSR 1911 pistols. Many jokes were made at the expense of the pistolsmith who evidently needed to “McLearn how to make a 1911.” The Sig Mosquito enjoyed a rough start, having seen poor reliability and accuracy sour the opinion of even the most die-hard Sig aficionados. Even the legendary Sig Sauer assault rifle, the venerable 550, experienced problems when the Americans in New Hampshire released their version: the SIG556.

sig sauer p250

For a time, it seemed like everything that Exeter stamped its name on was cursed. To be fair, some of these failures can be attributed to “growing pains.” It’s no secret that Sig Sauer, formerly Sigarms, has won its unfair share of government contracts over the past few years. Exeter was forced to increase production and customer service, dealer support, and quality control suffered. Thankfully, it looks like the new P250 is a bellwether that things have turned around for Sig.

The company claims the new P250 weapons platform will be the end all, be all, granddaddy of all handguns-- designed for the high speed/low drag, operator who wants to shoot bad guys with a compact 9mm for breakfast and a full-size .45acp for dinner. For lunch, we’re thinking Arby’s… and a subcompact .40sw.

sig sauer p250

On the contrary… the user that will enjoy the greatest return on investment will be the novice shooter-- perhaps buying their first handgun, and most likely a woman. Is the P250 a girl’s gun? Not necessarily. But, the P250’s simple manual of arms makes it easy for a beginner to learn proper firearms handling techniques. It’s easy to take apart and clean. The slide is easier to rack than most comparable handguns and the trigger pull is relatively light— important features for female shooters. It’s important to point out that the P250’s trigger is light, but it doesn’t have a short reset. In fact, it’s closer to the reset you’d find on a traditional double action revolver.

The modular design is great for entry-level shooters. They can start out with a compact 9mm, equally well suited for a day at the range, home defense, or concealed carry—a jack-of-all-trades. When they decide they want to try IPSC or IDPA style competitions, they can upgrade to a full size .45acp platform without breaking the bank. When they want something smaller to fit in their pocket, they can purchase the subcompact conversion kit. This is the value proposition for the Sig Sauer P250: it saves you money in the long run and you’ll be a better shooter at the end of the day.

Sig Sauer has a winner in its new P250 series. Barring some unforeseen corporate meltdown or act of God, we should see these pistols selling briskly for many years to come. Try one out. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Have a good week and stay On Point.

-- Evan

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