The Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft (SIG)-Sauer P226 is a service type pistol, full-sized, originally chambered for 9 mm Luger.
The SIG P226 design is based on the steady and venerable SIG-Sauer P220. The P226 has come to be known as one of the most battle tested and distinguished combat pistols in existence because of its durability and reliability.
The SIG P226 was developed and designed for inclusion in the XM9 Service Pistol Trials. These trials were held by the United States Army in 1984 to secure a replacement weapon for the M1911A1. The P226 and the Beretta 92F completed the trials satisfactorily, but the Beretta pistol was chosen for the government contract because of the overall cost.
The weapon is ergonomically well done, however there are some overall concerns regarding the design of the weapon. Early versions of the P226 that were fitted with replacement or after market panels often developed reliability problems due to the fact that the firing mechanism in the pistol placed pressure within the inside of the grip panel on the pistol. Quality Replacement panels and OEM in combination with frequently tightening the grip screws obviated this issue.
The Navy SEAL Teams first began using the P226 in the 1980s. The very first Naval Special Warfare - spec SIG P226 pistols to be made available to the public were the NSW Commemoratives. These weapons were issued in early 2004. The coveted SIG P226-9-NAVY is a type of the weapon that is manufactured and produced to the exact specifications of the weapons first supplied to Navy SEALs. These weapons include contrast sights, a special phosphate corrosion resistant finish on internal parts, and a slide uniquely engraved with an anchor that serves to designate the weapon as a Naval Special Warfare firearm. SIGARMS collected over $100,000 for the non-profit Naval Special Warrior Foundation during the sale of these pistols to the public. On the nationally syndicated Ingraham radio show, an NSW pistol with the serial number NSW0001 was sold for $25,000.
The SIG P226 ST is a completely stainless steel version of the SIG P226 pistol. The frame of the weapon showcases a blued barrel and a Picatinny rail. The pistol is heavier than a standard SIG P226 due to the fact that the slide and frame are also stainless steel. The stainless SIGARMS P226 comes in a 9mm caliber and is a very popular pistol in Practical Shooting competitions among the competitors.
The P226 Rail (or P226R) is very similar to the P226, however the only difference is that the weapon has a Picatinny rail.
Manufacture of the Weapon
SIGARMS weapons are produced and manufactured in Exeter, New Hampshire and Germany. Despite the fact that Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft is a company based in Switzerland, the strict laws of Switzerland make it difficult to export firearms. In order to solve that problem, SIGARMS entered into a contract with J.P. Sauer & Sohn, a German gun manufacturer to effectuate the export to market of the SIG firearms.