August 30, 2012
I have been a fan of the SIG P226 ever since I had a chance to test the now-discontinued USPSA editions. That is a turn-around for me, because I didn't really care for the first SIG I ever spent serious trigger time behind.
Back in 1992, I used a borrowed SIG P226 to go through the Oakland Police Academy. I never really cared for it, but I could shoot it. It was accurate, and when not being fed the horrible reloads the academy gave us, completely reliable. But it never seemed to fit my hand right.
Fast-forward about 15 years and I got both versions of the USPSA-edition SIGs to test: the all-steel two-tone version, and the black with silver accents one with the standard aluminum frame. After competing with and carrying 1911s exclusively for over 10 years, I shot (and still shoot) everything with a thumb-high hold. I don't know if it was that, or just the extra years behind a trigger, but when I put my hands on the SIGs this time, I liked it. They were obnoxiously accurate, of course, but they now felt good in my hand, like SIGs in the past didn't. SIG has not changed the grip contour, so I suppose the change was in me.
The all-steel SIG was great for competition, but a little heavy for carry. When not carrying my regular Glock, I would carry the aluminum-framed USPSA SIG. The more I spent with it, the more I tweaked it to my personal tastes. I swapped out the polymer recoil spring guide rod for a steel one from Gray Guns. I beveled the tight magazine well, put on thinner aluminum Hogue Extreme grips and changed out the sights with Trijicon HD night sights.
And I now realize that everything I did to "improve" my USPSA edition SIG comes standard on the new SIG P226 Elite Dark, plus a few others.
The Elite series from SIG is easily recognizable by the beavertail on the frame. SIGs sit pretty high in the hand, and I don't think anyone who doesn't play for the NBA would have an issue with hammer bite, but that beavertail adds to the looks and coolness factor in the pistol in a way that can't be measured.
What isn't just for looks are the forward cocking serrations of the slide. You may not use them, but I and a lot of other people prefer to work the slide from the front, and for that forward cocking serrations are a must. I only wish Glocks came with them.