The West German Sig Sauer P226 ::


1980s Classic The West German Sig Sauer P226

With a distinctive profile, early style grips, and smooth, rail-much less dust cover, West German P226s are old-college cool.


Hailing from a time in the Cold War exactly where the Berlin Wall was nevertheless a incredibly actual point, West German Sigs are increasingly collectible.

Even though today’s modern day New Hampshire-primarily based Sig Sauer was formed in 2007, the German arm sprang forth in the course of the frostiest days of the Cold War in 1976 when SIG of Switzerland formed a partnership with J.P. Sauer &amp Sohn of West Germany. That Sig Sauer concentrated on the manufacture of SIG’s firearm line for sales outdoors of incredibly strict Swiss export controls. Amongst their initially exports to the U.S. had been the Sig Sauer P220, which had been adopted by the Swiss Army as the P75 pistol. These early West German-marked single-stacks had been ordinarily shipped more than with European-style heel release magazine latches, a function that wasn’t changed on American-bound Sigs till later.

Speaking of later, in 1977 the U.S. Air Force started a series of tests for a new handgun to replace the myriad of revolvers and M1911 .45ACP pistols in their armories. The contract, for a modern day 9mm combat handgun, saw firms such as Beretta, FN, S&ampW, and Colt submit contenders. Testing at Eglin Air Force left the Beretta entry, the  Model 92, at the head of the pack. Having said that, the U.S. Army weighed in and sooner or later took more than the joint service handgun replacement plan, which would field the XM9 pistol, and in 1983 a new battery of tests began.

A gorgeous West German P226. In the 1980s, the model bested all of the other competitors for the Army pistol trials but Beretta, whose bid came in decrease

It was to this second, Army-run, competitors that Sig Sauer submitted a new double-stack pistol that otherwise had a lot the identical layout as the P220– the 15+1 round capacity P226. By 1985, the competitors had come down to the Beretta and the Sig and the Italian company’s bid came in $three million much less for 300,000 pistols more than a 5-year period. The new XM9 would be a version of the Beretta 92.

Nonetheless, the Navy went on to adopt a railed version of the P226 as the MK25 pistol for use by SEAL units beginning in 1989. A additional compact version, the P228, was adopted by the Army in 1993 as the M11 for use by military police and specialized units.

In the meantime, the P226 was released on the U.S. industrial market place in 1983 and quickly became a hit with each shoppers and law enforcement consumers. With its four.four-inch barrel and option of DA/SA or DAO actions, later augmented by the DAK trigger technique, the 9mm was also marketed in .357 SIG and .40S&ampW. These days, dozens of variants of the P226 are in circulation and the gun is nevertheless incredibly a lot in production– now in the U.S.

Vintage “West German” marked P226s, apart from their stampings, have various variations from today’s additional present offerings. This incorporates practically pebble-style plastic grips, reminiscent to these discovered on 20th Century Walther P-1s, and a distinctive pinned-in breechblock assembly. Additional, the slide of these early guns has a diverse profile from today’s P226 offerings.

The slide building on these early P-series guns is diverse from what is observed on present models

Even though Germany was reunified in 1990 immediately after the Berlin Wall came down and the “West” was officially dropped moving forward, some guns continued to come into the U.S. with the legacy markings for a couple of years.

Sig, of course, would sooner or later get the final laugh when it came to supplying Uncle Sam with 9mm pistols, as the XM9/M9 is at present getting replaced by the company’s U.S.-created P320, which was adopted a couple of years ago as the M17/M18 immediately after winning the Army’s Modular Handgun Technique competitors.

Nevertheless, there is just some thing rad about these old West German P226s, an sophisticated weapon for a additional civilized age, you may even say.



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