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The Sig Sauer P226

Sig P226 Blog Feature

Table of Contents

Hey all, we here at True Shot Academy are going to go over the Sig Sauer P226 pistol today. This pistol has persisted in use since the later half of the 20th century with armed professionals and civilians alike. Our goal with this blog post is to provide a brief overview of the pistol while delving into some of its traits, features, history, and more. Without further ado, let’s go over the Sig Sauer P226.


What is the P226?

The P226 is a semi-automatic handgun that was developed by Sig Sauer in the 1980s. The pistol was originally designed to fire the 9mm Luger cartridge and takes many design cues from the previously introduced P220 handgun. While the P220 pistol was of the single stack variety and utilized either 9mm or .45 ACP, the P226 utilizes a double stack magazine. This magazine was designed to hold a capacity of 15 rounds, boasting a higher capacity than many other service pistols at the time. The pistol operates double action like many service pistols of its era.

The pistol features a stainless steel slide and an aluminum frame, making the whole unit lightweight for its size and resistant to rust and corrosion. Modern P226 offerings will come equipped with railed frames, allowing an end user to equip their pistol with accessories such as lights and lasers. The pistol is also well supported by a variety of companies who produce grips, sights, and holsters for the pistol. This support aids in making the P226 a viable service arm for professionals and enthusiasts alike. Additionally, most P226 offerings today will include night sights offerings which improve upon traditional three dot systems.

The pistol notably was a part of the XM9 trial in the 1983 in which the United States sought to adopt a new handgun. A number of companies offered handguns to the trials such as FN Herstal, Walther, Colt, Heckler & Koch, and Smith & Wesson. Of the entrants, the Sig Sauer P226 and Beretta 92F were the only two pistols which passed the trials. The Beretta offering ultimately won out and became adopted as the M9. While the P226 did not become the new standard pistol of the United States military, it did draw the attention of the U.S. Navy and would ultimately be adopted in the form of the Mk24 and Mk25 handguns.

Sig P226 Mk25
Sig P226 Mk25

Where are P226 Pistols Made?

Prior to reunification and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, P226 handguns were produced in West Germany. Interestingly, even though West Germany ceased to exist after reunification, many pistols were still marked “Made in W. Germany” even after the wall fell. West German marked P226 handguns can be found bearing KF (1995) date codes, placing their manufacture five years after the 1990 Reunification Treaty. This was done because there was a belief that many West German companies believed that their reputation would suffer if they were to start marking things as “Made in Germany.” This led to a five-year period in which the government allowed manufacturers to continue to mark products as West German made.

Currently, standard production P226 handguns are produced at Sig Sauer’s American-based facility in New Hampshire. Previously, handguns of the P226 variety were either completely produced in Germany or featured both American and German major components. These hybrid offerings were often found in the form of pistols with German made frames and American made slides. Simply put, Sig Sauer P226 handguns have been mainly produced in Germany and in the United States.


More Caliber Offerings than 9mm

While originally introduced in the 9mm Luger cartridge, the P226 is also available in other chamberings. Notably, the pistol is available in .40 Smith & Wesson and in .357 Sig. The .40 Smith & Wesson chambered P226 variants came after the development of the P229 in the caliber, the first American made Sig Sauer pistol. The .357 Sig offering of the P226 was also heralded by the introduction of a P229 in the caliber in 1994, the first production handgun the caliber. Notably, the magazines for .40 S&W and .357 Sig are interchangeable with one another. Notably, P226 handguns in the .357 Sig round were employed by the U.S. Secret Service for some time.

Additionally, if one has a P226 in .40 S&W or .357 Sig, they can take advantage of caliber conversion barrels. These slides can accept 9mm, .40 S&W, and .357 Sig barrels. Sig Sauer also produces caliber conversion kits which include slides, barrels, recoil assemblies and magazines. Beyond centerfire cartridges, there have been aftermarket solutions which can effectively convert a P226 to accept .22 Long Rifle ammo.

Simply put, there are a number of calibers besides the 9mm which can be utilized in a P226 handgun. From factory offerings to conversion kits and aftermarket solutions, one will be able to shoot a P226 in a variety of chamberings.


Method of Operation

The P226 is most commonly found in the form of a traditional double action handgun. This pistol operates in single action and double action form. When the hammer is down, there is a long, heavy trigger pull which accomplishes both the task of cocking and firing the pistol. When the hammer is back, the trigger is in single action mode and simply drops the hammer. The decocker on the left side of the pistol can be used to drop the hammer safely from a rearward position.

Very few P226 handguns feature a manual safety, often only being found on single action only. These are typically reserved for competition models or specific models. Double action only models, referred to as Double Action Kellerman (DAK) models of the P226 were also available which omitted the single action capability and decocker from the pistol.


Service Use

The handgun has been utilized by many entities as a service handgun. As mentioned above, the pistol has been employed by agencies such as the United States Secret Service in their duties. Additionally, many law enforcement agencies and personnel have employed the handgun in calibers such as 9mm, .40 S&W, and .357 Sig. Notably, the handgun saw adoption and use by Navy SEALs in the form of the Mk25 pistol. The Mk25 differs from standard P226 handguns in the sense that it features a chrome lined barrel and a protective nitron finish which is resistant to rust and corrosion. Beyond the United States, the P226 has also been utilized as a service handgun by a number of agencies and military entities across the globe. Simply put, the handgun has established a track record as a reliable and dependable service arm. If it is good enough for armed professionals, it is good enough for use by civilians.

Sig P226 Mk25
Sig P226 Mk25

Are P226 Pistols Available?

At this point in time, a number of P226 handguns are still currently produced by Sig Sauer. These offerings are available in various forms and configurations. Base model, standard offerings and more exotic and specialized offerings are available from the company. Different colors, finishes, grip materials, and more can be had from Sig Sauer. Everything from a commercial offering of their Mk25 Navy pistol to the Extreme and Scorpion models of the P226 are readily available. Additionally, the company also produces a P226 models which come with optics ready slides and threaded barrels for use with suppressors. Old production offerings of Sig Sauer P226s also occasionally come up for sale wherever used guns can be found. All in all, one will be able to find a P226 if they truly want to.



All in all, the P226 continues to be a popular handgun among shooters today. Duty use, self-defense, competition, and recreational shooting can all be accomplished by this handgun. Whether you are looking to feed a 9mm, .357 Sig, .40 S&W, or even a .22 Long Rifle chambered P226, we here at True Shot Ammo have got you covered. Regardless of if you want to buy bulk ammo or individual ammunition offerings, we are here to help you get stocked up for your next trip to the range. As always, happy shooting.


Need bulk ammo? At True Shot Ammo, we have a wide variety of handgun ammo and rifle ammo available to purchase. Please visit our website, call us at (888) 736-6587, or you can email us at [email protected] for more ammo options.

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