Barrel view of the SIG SAUER P229

The King of Handguns SIG SAUER P229

The SIG SAUER P229 is the first handgun I ever purchased, and it is still my daily conceal carry firearm.

My first ever handgun was my 21st birthday present, a Smith and Wesson SD40VE. It’s solid, and I got my CCW with it. But that horrendous trigger and the occasional jam made me really want something different for myself that was probably a bit safer.

My father-in-law was a U.S. Marine and was trained on SIG SAUER firearms, such as the MCX Rattler. He also collected them. He took me to the range a few times with some of his guns to try out and I just loved them all.

I did a ton of research and searching all over the internet to find a great deal. I finally settled on my favorite handgun so far: The SIG SAUER P229. This also is the exact firearm used by the Texas CCW hero Jack Wilson.

I also got an amazing deal on it. I got it for $625 including shipping and FFL delivery and pickup.

It’s one of the red box specials. That means it was preowned, by law enforcement in my case, and refurbished by SIG SAUER, then resold at an incredible discount price.

My P229 is in .40S&W, so it’s a large handgun, especially for a conceal carry. Luckily, I’m a large guy myself, 6’ 2” and 215 lbs. Give or take a few pounds.

The gist of what I’m saying is a full size can be concealable too. I carry appendix with either a Kydex holster or a simply soft Sticky holster.

I’ve never had to pull my CCW, and I aim to keep it that way. If you carry a handgun, you also carry the responsibility to diffuse the situation before it gets that far. The world is a crazy place, so arm yourself for when crazy things happen. I suggest arming yourself with one of the best, the SIG SAUER P229.

Specs

Slide back on a SIG SAUER P229 Left Side ViewSlide back right side view of the SIG SAUER P229

The P229 comes standard with a stainless-steel slide and an alloy frame. Being solid has its upside, it doesn’t have a whole lot of recoil because the weight is so high. It weighs in at 34.4 oz. with the magazine in.

The measurements are height 5.4” length 7.1” width 1.5” barrel length 3.9” sight radius of 5.7”

It is a hammer-fired, semi-automatic handgun using the power of a decocker, it is normally a double-action/single action. You can get the DAK model which is a single action only.

Trigger pull is pretty heavy for the first double-action shot at 12 pounds, but it is followed up with a measly 4.5-pound trigger pull on the single-action shot. This can be altered by getting an upgraded trigger or throwing up some extra cash for a fancy version of the P229 that comes with a Short Reset Trigger.

The out of box firearm typically has a Nitron finish and is equipped with Sig’s textured polymer grips. The standard sights are the SIGLITE white 3-dot sight.

Both the grips and the sights can be upgraded to G10 grips, or Crimson Trace aftermarket, and SIGLITE Night Sights respectively.

SIG SAUER’s P229 comes in three different calibers. You can get the original, the .40 S&W, which comes with a 12-round magazine, the .357 Sig, which is speculated as to the gun that the caliber was developed for, and the 9mm that seems to have come out as a bit of an afterthought but holds 15 rounds.

I feel bad for not even mentioning it earlier, but there is a rail you can use to attach a light or a laser if you so desire.

History of the P229

Right side view of SIG SAUER P229Down the sights view of the SIG SAUER P229Left side view of the SIG SAUER P229

Fun fact, SIGARMS, Inc. didn’t exist until 1985.

Before that, it was the Swiss Wagon Factory and didn’t make a single firearm until 1864 when it rose to the challenge offered by Switzerland Federal Ministry of Defense. The Ministry held a competition to see if anyone could make a state-of-the-art firearm to be adopted by the military.

And in 1864 the Swiss Wagon Factory won by making the Prelaz-Burnand rifle.

The company exploded from there. In 1949, they had developed the P49, the predecessor to the P210 which is argued as the best 9mm handgun ever.

In 1985, they rebrand to SIGARMS. Then again, they rebranded in 2007 to SIG SAUER.

But I’m supposed to tell you about the P229.

To do that, I’ll fly some other history really quick. The P210 is still regarded for its accuracy as a 9mm handgun. It went through different models and variations to eventually stop at the P228, a high capacity 9mm used by some European militaries.

Then the .40 S&W caliber round hits the market and people love it. It’s got stopping power similar to the .45, but it comes a bit smaller allowing for more rounds and greater accuracy.

SIG was behind everyone with the release of their own .40 S&W handgun. Instead of rushing to the market like a lot of gun manufacturers, SIG wanted to take their time and offer the best .40 S&W that was out there.

This led to the development of the P229.

In 1992, the P229 was released in .40 S&W. A couple of years later, the .357 SIG caliber round was invented and released with an updated model of the P229 that came with the .357 SIG barrel. Some speculate that the P229 was the firearm that the caliber was designed for originally, but there’s nothing 100% there. It makes sense with the .357 SIG first being offered for the P229.

Not long after that, the 9mm version of the P229 was released. It kind of feels like the 9mm was a bit of an afterthought, but fans of the P228 wanted a few more rounds in a bit beefier of a firearm. This is exactly how the 9mm version of P229 feels.

All three versions are amazing. They are all incredibly accurate right out of the box. In fact, the .40 S&W is the best pointer right out of the box that I’ve ever shot.

Performance

Right side view SIG SAUER P229 magazineFront view SIG SAUER P229 magazineLeft side view of SIG SAUER P229 magazine

I don’t have a video of myself shooting my P229, but it shoots amazingly.

Because I don’t have the video, here’s a link to a range review on YouTube. It’s a great video, and there are tons just like this on YouTube.

When I took out of the box, I cleaned it before going to the range. I learned the hard way you have to do this. A friend of mine got a Marlin 30-30 when he first turned 18. We took it straight to the range and had a few issues with it jamming. The range officer asked if it was brand new and if we had cleaned it yet, which he hadn’t. He explained to us that when you first buy a gun you have to clean it because there are often some pieces of dust or metal shrapnel that can catch up some things on the firearm. You have to clean those out to ensure a clean first shoot.

So, after cleaning it, I put 100 rounds through it. Not a single hang up.

I have since put roughly 3,000 rounds through it, and I’ve still not had a single issue. It shoots incredibly smoothly and incredibly accurately.

In fact, my brother-in-law and I went shooting one time with his Glock 17 and my P229. We both shot better with the P229.

He still liked the function and comfort of his Glock better, but one day he’ll come to his senses.

Right out of the box, the P229 just points beautifully. I never had to adjust the sights and can keep incredibly tight groupings easily.

The only thing I have since added are Crimson Trace grips. It adds some thickness that makes it a little harder to conceal, but the added accuracy is well worth it.

Proven Track Record

Slide back front view of barrel of SIG SAUER P229

I posed the proposition that the SIG SAUER P229 is the king of all handguns. From all the use and abuse I’ve put mine through, I believe it is.

But don’t take my word for it. Check out the proven record by the government agencies that use it.

Federal Air Marshals are issued the SIG SAUER P229 in .357 SIG when they are sent out to work. This is not because it’s a dumb firearm, but because it is so good.

Federal Air Marshals’ job is to stop potential threats flying in the United States of America. Most of the time, they don’t have much to do during flights. And thank God that is the case.

I feel a lot safer on a flight knowing there is a Federal Air Marshal on board (don’t forget I am a flight attendant when not writing). That comfort has only increased since finding out they use the SIG SAUER P229.

The Coast Guard is also a proud user of the P229. The downside for them is they use the DAK model. That means they only are double action.

I feel bad for them not getting the sweet feel of the single action shooting that comes after that long first trigger pull.

This is kind of made up for because they use .40 S&W, one of the most popular calibers available.

SIG SAUER P229 really tops the charts by being used by the Secret Service.

You read that right. The men and women that protect the life of the United States President use the SIG SAUER P229 in .357 SIG.

I feel extremely vindicated in my stance on the P229 since the freaking Secret Service trusts it. I guess I have to get a .357 SIG conversion kit now though.

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Written by Josh Whitworth

A native Texan, I got my bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Texas in Arlington. I am now a flight attendant by day (unless I get stuck working a red eye) and a freelance writer by night. My dad is a southern baptist pastor and my mom is a teacher. Their upbringing has taught me to be a God fearing man that is always looking to improve and learn. I am also a huge Disney fan, so when I’m not flying or writing, I can be found with my wife visiting the Disney Parks all over the world.

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