The Sig P226 was designed in 1983 as an entry into the upcoming U.S. Army handgun trials as they were searching for a replacement weapon for the Colt 1911. The original P226 was only chambered in 9mm, and then later .40 cal and .357 Sig chambered weapons were added to the P226 line-up. While the P226 successfully passed the trials, the Army elected to go with the Beretta 92F (Beretta M9) based on cost.
In 1986, the Navy SEALS elected to go with the Sig P226 instead of the Beretta 92 due to some failure issues with the 92. The SEALS still use the P226 as their primary weapon.
The original P226 was only available in a DA/SA (double action/single action) system, but Sig later added a DAO (Double Action Only) and a DAK (Double Action Kellerman) system. The DAK is named after the designer and features a shorter, smoother double action trigger.
Chambered in 9mm, the P226 will carry 15+1, and the .40 cal and .357 Sig versions will carry 12+1.
P226 weapons don’t have an external safety. The decocking lever serves as a means to make the weapon safe as it’s decocked.
Widely used in law enforcement, military, and by civilians; the P226 is one of Sig’s most popular models.
In addition to the standard P226, Sig has introduced a number of varations of this model. Some of those variants include:
P226 Tactical – This version has an 5″ barrel and is threaded to accept a supressor.
P226 Navy – Since the Navy Seals started using the P226 in the mid 1980’s, the shooting public has been asking for access to this weapon. In 2004, Sig started producing the 226 Navy model. It is the same size as a standard 226, but features a special finish on the internal parts that is corrosion resistant and a Navy crest in the slide.
P226 ST – This model is a stainless steel version of the of the standard P226. Since stainless steel is used, the overall weight of this pistol is much more than a standard model.
P226 Blackwater – This is a version that Sig produced in conjunction with features requested by the Blackwater Training Group. This version comes with a large number of high capacity magazines and nice wood grips. It also features different colored night sights and a Blackwater logo. Only available through Blackwater or direct from Sig, I don’t think it’s all that great of a deal compared to what you are getting.
P226 X-Five – This model is designed for target/competition shooting. Built on a standard 226 frame, the X-Five features a 5 inch slide and barrel, and target sights. All X-Five models are built in Germany and hand fitted together. I had the luxury of shooting one once, and it’s an absolute tack driver.
P226 Elite – The most recent addition to the P226 family, the Elite series is considered to be a step above the standard P226 model. The Elite model features a number of nice additions like a beavertail grip, front cocking serrations, and rosewood grips. However, the best feature of the Elite model is the new SRT (Short Reset Trigger). This trigger design allows the trigger to reset at a travel distance that is suppose to be about 60% less than a standard P226. The end result is a very fast shooting gun. I’ve got a 226 Elite and it’s one of the fastest shooting pistols I have.
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