SIG Sauer P226 Review: Not Worth it?
One of the most legendary sidearms of all time comes from a Swiss-German firm known as SIG Sauer. The P226 is a legend that’s armed dozens if not hundreds of police and military forces, and while I’ve owned one for years, today I’m going to do a thorough Sig P226 review.
SIG P226 Specs
- Barrel Length 4.4 inches
- Overall Length 7.7 inches
- Height 5.5 inches
- Weight 34 ounces
- Capacity 17
Behind the Scenes – The SIG P226
If there has ever been a good example of a company reading the writing on the wall, it’s been SIG with the P226. In the early 1980s, the double-stack DA/SA 9mm pistol was quickly becoming the standard. SIG already had a very robust design in the form of the P220.
The SIG P220 was dated, though. It was a single stack 45 ACP pistol. So they began the development of the P226 using the same basic design as the P220. Of course, it would feature a double-stack magazine and come in 9mm. SIG developed the P226 specifically for the military’s XM9 trials.
Those trials would result in the Beretta 92 series winning the contract, but the P226 came in a close second. Even though most of the military adopted the M9 from Beretta, certain forces preferred the SIG, including the elite Navy SEALs.
The P226 has gone to chamber a wide variety of calibers and fill the holsters of a wide variety of police officers, military members, and concealed carriers. The P226 comes in 9mm, 40 S&W, 357 SIG, and even oddballs like the 7.65 Parabellum and 9×21 IMI. Ours is the standard 9mm model.
The SIG P226 these days comes with a rail, but there are plenty of examples of railess SIGs out there, as well as DAO and SIG’s own DAK design and even SAO models. The most common is the DA/SA model. I prefer the classic DA/SA design with my SIG pistols.
The SIG P226 is an all-metal design that seems rather heavy and hefty compared to the polymer frame fanatics that rule the world these days. However, it remains a popular pistol with a variety of shooters due to its inherently well-thought-out design.
SIG P226 Features
1 DA/SA Design
2 Manual Decocker
3 Nitron Finish
4 All Metal Frame
SIG Sauer P226 review – Our Take
The P226 is a big wide weapon with a fat bottom. That fat bottom fits seventeen rounds of 9mm. In 2010 SIG released the E2 model, which was designed to provide a slightly thinner version for shooters with smaller hands. For me, the P226 fits like a dream. Something about a metal frame always fits better, in my opinion.
The P226 offers plenty of grip to fill your hand. The rear of the gun features a slight beavertail that allows you to get your hand nice and high on the gun to maximize control. SIG’s controls are placed expertly and are very easy to access. My thumb finds the magazine release without issue and makes it easy to drop magazines and reload.
On the side of the weapon sits a decocking lever that allows the user to easily move from single action back to double action. SIG’s decocking lever represents the best of the best when it comes to decocking devices and is one of the easiest to use. The P226 gives shooters a well-thought-out design that’s plenty easy to use. Shooters with smaller hands should seek out the E2 model and most certainly try it out before you purchase one.
Dropping Hammers with the P226
The P226 weighs 34 ounces. That’s a hefty gun, but that’s not all bad. Thirty-four ounces of gun helps reduce recoil and makes the P226 easy to control. 9mm doesn’t provide much of a fight in the recoil department, and when it’s trying to fight 34 ounces of weight, it puts up even less of an argument.
The P226 bucks just a bit, but it is a flat shooting, easy-to-control pistol. It’s pleasant to shoot without snappiness, at least in 9mm. Even in 40 S&W and 357 SIG, it’s quite controllable. I love to shoot drills, especially drills involving target transitions and rapid-fire follow-ups. Shooting box drills and failure drills with the P226 is a breeze. I can put several rounds on target accurately and quickly without much difficulty.
It’s one of the most controllable duty-sized handguns on the market.
.355 Inch Holes
DA/SA triggers are a love it or leave it affair. I love them, and with a lot of practice, I’ve become proficient in their use. Knowing how to use the P226’s double-action trigger makes it very easy to shoot the weapon accurately. Almost anyone with some basic shooting skills can shoot the weapon accurately in single-action mode.
Either way, the weapon is pretty dang accurate. Scoring headshots at 25 yards can be done quite easily. Modern SIG sights are a little bulky with their combination day and night sight design. Even so, the big gun makes it easy to score bull’s eyes, ring steel, and do so quickly. The low recoil and muzzle rise make this a weapon that’s easy to shoot fast and shoot accurately.
The P226 is a hammer itself. It didn’t lose to Beretta because it was unreliable. The P226 won’t flop on you when it comes time to depend on the weapon. You won’t experience jams, failures to feed, failures to eject, or any of the other common issues with firearms. I’ve yet to find a load the P226 refuses to eat. It’s proven itself well across the world in the hands of elite forces and police officers.
Plastic for Metal
The P226 has never been an affordable firearm. It’s not cheap by any means and can be a tough sell in the face of so many outstanding and reliable polymer frame platforms on the market. Various models of the P226 can hold different price tags. Optics-ready, Legion models, the Mk 25 all cost a good bit more than your standard SIG P226.
The standard P226 still has a relatively high price tag. We are looking at near a grand or so for the basic model. With pistols like the Glock being a few hundred cheaper than the SIG P226, it can be a tough sell.
After multiple uses, as you can see in this SIG sauer p226 review, I think it’s an easy to control pistol with a great trigger, and amazing feel. However, I feel its a bit on the pricier side for what it has, and thus isn’t be best of ROI – if you’re budget conscience and are looking to save money. But regardless of that price tag, I still decided to include it in my list of best 9mm pistols. It definitely doesn’t take the top spot in the list, nor does it take the top spot in its class. But I think it is good enough to warrant a legitimate spot and be mentioned. If, however, you’d like to see which guns beat it, or just to see where it ranks, you can check out that article here: https://gununiversity.com/best-9mm-pistols/
SIG p226 Review Pros and Cons
- Easy to Control
- Great SA trigger
- Outstanding Ergonomics
- Heavy For carry
Thirty-four ounces of steel makes this a low recoiling, easy to control the firearm. The P226 is quite easy to handle in most calibers, and in 9mm it’s a Cadillac
The SIG P226 delivers one of the most reliable platforms right out of the box. Don’t just take my word for it, and the P226 is in the hands of many professional gunfighters for a reason.
The SIG P226 is one of the legends in the realm of service firearms and one of the very best steel frame DA/SA pistols ever made.
The long double-action trigger takes some work, but with practice, you can become very accurate with this weapon. The SA trigger is outstanding.
Oh boy, it’s a great gun, but an expensive one, to be sure. It’s a tough sell, but still, a fantastic pistol.
Reviewed by Travis Pike
Based on 54 Reviews
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SIG P226 Gun Deals
SIG P226 Ammo
MagTech 9mm 115 GR FMJ Ammo
Cost Per Round
|Natchez Shooter’s Supply||$0.24|
|Palmetto State Armory||$0.34|
Best Defense Rounds
Hornady Critical Defense 115 GR
Cost Per Round
SIG P226 Starter Pack
If you’ve decided to pick up the SIG P226, or found another firearm that suits your needs, there are some bare essentials you’re going to need to pick up in order to maximize its potential and your safety regardless of if it’s your first firearm or not.
- Gun Cleaning Kit: Otis All Caliber Elite Range Box on Amazon or build your own personalized cleaning kit with premium components.
- Shooting Glasses: All it takes is one piece of rogue hot brass, and you’ll learn the importance of shooting glasses. But not all glasses are built the same. See our recommendations for the Best Shooting Glasses.
- Hearing Protection: Firing a gun without wearing proper ear pro can be very dangerous and detrimental to your hearing. Find out the best hearing protection for you in our full length review.
- Storage: Check our our article on the Best Biometric Gun Safes
- Targets – If you’re wanting a great resource for shooting practice or zeroing your optics on your optics rifle or pistol, download our FREE Sighting in Targets below.
Upgrades and Accessories
SIG P226 Accessories
Caring for your SIG P226
It’s critical not only to keep your guns secure, but also to understand how to care for your firearms properly. We’ve located a fantastic video below on this subject.
Important Links and Manuals
May 26, 2023
May 26, 2023
best hand gun ever shot would not carry for daily use too heavy
This was a pistol that would even make a beginner look good. Easy to shoot well and just a great firearm.
Carried it as Chicago police for 15 years. Bought 2 from coworkers who changed over to Glock. As security for Chase Bank, I carried one on each hip. Great gun. Buy it and enjoy it!