The Sig P226 is a large steel pistol that is not easy to carry concealed. As an alternative, Sig Sauer developed the P229. The P229 is a smaller, shorter pistol in the same size and weight range as the Glock 19 and the Smith & Wesson M&P Compact.
The P229 is a scaled-down P226, with a barrel .4 inches shorter than its predecessor. The pistol retains the 9mm, fifteen-round magazine and still has an all-metal firearm, resulting in a pistol that weighs thirty-four ounces loaded—five more ounces than the Glock 19. At 1.5 inches, it is also a third of an inch wider than the Glock 19. Nevertheless, for those used to the Sig’s manual of arms or the need for a decocker, the P229 is an excellent compact pistol.
Sig P320/M17 Modular Handgun System
In 2017, Sig Sauer beat Glock, Beretta, and other competitors for the U.S. Army’s M17 Modular Handgun System (MHS). The M17 is based on the Sig Sauer P320 and appears similar on its surface to other Sig pistols—but has several new internal updates from previous designs. The MHS consists of the full-sized M17 pistol and the compact M18, both of which are chambered for 9mm and distributed with seventeen- and twenty-one-round magazines.
Unlike previous Sig handguns, the P320 is a striker fired pistol that does away with a hammer and firing pin. The P320 also has a manual safety, a key Army requirement. The pistol is double action only, meaning a single trigger pull will both cock the pistol and release the firing pin, firing the gun. The P320 for civilians is available in 9mm, .357 SIG, .40 Smith & Wesson and .45 ACP.
Kyle Mizokami is a defense and national-security writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in the Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring and the Daily Beast. In 2009, he cofounded the defense and security blog Japan Security Watch. You can follow him on Twitter: @KyleMizokami.