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Product Review: Sig P227 .45 Part I

24 Oct

UPDATE:  Part II of this review is now online and Part III can be read here.

This is the first post in a mult-part review of the Sig P227 in .45 auto (and be warned in advance – it’s image intense).  I recently lost my XD-S .45 to the recall and it’s been out of my hands for over a month with no idea of when it might re-appear.  I can carry my FNX 45 Tactical w/RMR in the winter months, but the situation did emphasize a need for a more standard (full) size .45, especially since I’m probably moving into security work in the near future.

I was given a great deal on a P227 at the recent Big Town Gun Show, so I made the leap into Sig handguns.  The DA/SA action is already familiar from the FNX 45, but I knew there would be other transition issues since I’ve been shooting my Glock 20 quite a bit since getting it back from Caylor Customs.  So, I wanted to provide some first-impressions of the P227 and provide a bit of a ‘Glock-owner’ perspective of the pistol, but without any preference for brand (as I’ve said before, I’m not a fanboy of any manufacturer).

The P227 came well recommended from others and I even called Robert Burke (The Sig Armorer) before making the purchase.  He spoke in very glowing terms about the pistol and he’s been very straight with me before about all models of firearms, including Sigs.  The first thing I noticed when picking up the gun at the show was the incredible feel and balance.  It was very easy to reach the trigger, a result of the E2 grips, which you’re stuck with if you go the P227 route.  The texture was aggressive, but in a different manner from either the G20 or FNX 45, and in a way that I really liked.

Here is how the two firearms compare side by side.

compare-1

So, yes, they are very similar in basic dimensions (ignoring the grip angle), however, I believe this is the more important comparative photo.

comapre-2

Glocks are boxy all around, but the Sig ergonomics are very organic.  It’s actually a very nice fit to the natural contours of the hand, but it will feel very different when you transition from shooting a Glock to shooting the P227 the first time.  I immediately noticed the undercut under the trigger guard.

The P227 comes in a typical-looking case with 2×10-rnd mags and the usual accessories (I’ve removed the lock and marketing literature from the packaging)

sig-0

sig-0a

And, here is the P227 by itself.  The Nitron finish is nice, but it really shows fingerprints, so I wipe it down with a silicone cloth after cleaning or handling.  It’s pleasantly light with the aluminum alloy frame.

sig-1

The first item of business was takedown, then clean and lube with Rand CLP.  Takedown falls into the incredibly easy category, pretty much like my FNX 45.

sig-2

Here is the P227 at Eagle Gun Range for the first hundred rounds, shooting Freedom Munitions and Good To Go Ammo 230 gr.FMJ (50 rnds of each).

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This model had the three white-dot sight system.  I like more contrast on the front sight, so I temporarily painted it red until I decide what to replace it with.

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Of course, the phone camera refuses to focus on the front sight, so this is the best I can do for a sight picture.

sights

Even in the low-lighting at the range and with my sunglasses (I shoot with the same shades I wear in the car since I’m on the road so much) it’s still good contrast.

The feel of the first shot was magnificent.  I decided to shoot in two- or three-round strings to give me a lot of practice with the first DA pull, which somehow feels lighter than the stated 10 pounds.  Break was good, and the reset was much better than I expected, actually comparable to a Glock.  The SA pull felt a bit like it wanted to stack – I felt just a little resistance – before breaking, unlike my FNX 45 which is a clean pull and you feel absolutely nothing before the break.  It took a bit of getting used to and I’m taking the P227 to Robert Burke next week to talk about the trigger.

Mag release was very natural, very smooth, and it worked great (unlike my XDS-45 which takes a some extra effort and it feels cumbersome).

The only issue I had in the first few strings was the slide failing to lock back after the final shot.

Okay, stupid me.  I was trying to ‘force’ the grip into my more aggressive thumbs-along-the-slide style Glock two-hand grip.  So, my right thumb was interfering with the slide lock.  I took a more natural one-handed grip on the P227 and noted how the right thumb naturally wants to rest just below the slide lock, at the apex of the flared area of the grip.  I slid my left hand just slightly forward and rested the tip of my right thumb over my left thumb.  Comfortable and natural for the pistol.  In other words, I should have worked with the grip, not tried to fight it.

It’s at this point that you really start to notice the high bore axis for which Sigs are famous, especially relative to a Glock.  It took some practice to get used to because, yes, the muzzle does flip.  However, in terms of recoil impulse, I’m glad there is a loud noise and some muzzle flip, otherwise I would be hard pressed to feel that I was actually shooting a round :)

Just like my XD-S .45 (which has a wicked flip), the whole key to this process is just getting into a rhythm in letting the trigger out just past reset while the muzzle comes back on target, then sight-picutre and gentle squeeze.  Once I got into a rhythm, it was easy to shoot well.

The P227 is capable of great accuracy.  I could tell what I was doing wrong on shots that were a little off, then they got right back on target after correction.

All 100 rounds shot without flaw or issue.  Interestingly, round 100 felt just as good as the first round.  No break-in required, other than just getting used to handling and firing the pistol.  In the second set of 50, I shot various combinations between five and ten rounds.  The brand new mags loaded and worked without issue even loaded to full capacity.

I took the P227 home for another clean and lube, then I started dry-firing on a daily basis with a LaserLyte training cartridge.  The whole grip process feels much more natural for me now, and I feel a lot better about moving back and forth between the P227 and the G20.

btw, here is what the mags look like.

mag

mag-2

They look kind of like modified P250 mags.  10 rounds now and supposedly 14-rounders on the way.  I have not found a good source (online or otherwise) for purchasing spare mags.  I’ve got feelers out to T&G Sales and a couple other vendors.

In addition to the action (which is no big deal to me since I have an FNX 45 Tac and I shoot a lot of revolver), the grip seems to be the biggest transition issue in terms of moving from a Glock, followed by the different bore axis.  But, based on the incredible feel of shooting the P227, I think it’s safe to say that I’m going to enjoy getting used to it.

There is a carry version of the P227 available (although much harder to find), however, I can carry my G20 on a daily basis either in a Kangaroo Carry or belly band rig, so I don’t envision issues with the P227.  In tests I’ve made so far, it tends to carry better than the G20 (especially under a sport coat or suit jacket) because of the more organic styling of the frame.

I’ll probably do another updated after 500-750 rounds and thanks for spending part of your day at Texas Gun Show Review.

UPDATE:  Part II of this review is now online and you can read the final installment in the Sig P227 review here.

Diligencia, Vis, Celeritas

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2 Comments

Posted by on October 24, 2013 in Product Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , ,

2 responses to “Product Review: Sig P227 .45 Part I

  1. Smiffery

    November 6, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    Really appreciate the in-depth review. Especially coming from a Glock owner’s perspective. I love GLocks, love the feel, the grip angle and all, but I can’t stop lusting after this Sig!

     
    • algorithmist

      November 6, 2013 at 10:13 pm

      Man, that’s such a timely comment. I just got back from the range, practicing one-handed with my G20. The ENTIRE session, I just kept wishing the Sig was in my hand. But, alas, it’s in Robert Burke’s (The Sig Armorer) hands for some trigger mods (and we’re going to try modifying some P250 mags to see if we can get them to work for range use in the P227).

      Thanks!

      – jim

       
 
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