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Old May 3, 2001, 03:45 AM   #1
TCW
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Hi,
I have a chance to buy a NIB 220, blue for $500...but I think it's the older type (the hammer looks higher and pointier...hard to explain). "Made in Germany" stamped on the slide. Are there any quality issues I should be concerned about with the older version? Is the sucker gonna crack on me?

Thanks!
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Old May 3, 2001, 03:46 AM   #2
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P.S. When I say "stamped" I mean engraved...no white lettering.

Thanks!
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Old May 3, 2001, 07:06 AM   #3
AR-10
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If the grips are checkered, it's an "older" model. If the grips are stippled, it's more recent. I don't remember when they changed the grip style, but it was sometime in the last five years.

Each grip is stamped with the manufacture date on the inside if you want to get a rough idea of when the pistol was assembled, say, within twelve months after the grips were made. The grips on my 220 are stamped 1/94, and they are checkered.

I've got three Sigs, and frame cracking is not a concern for me. I'm not sure, but my impression is that this was a problem for some pistols made in the early 1980's. The manufacturing process was changed when the problem was discovered.
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Old May 3, 2001, 07:17 AM   #4
Wild Romanian
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Sig P220: Older vs. Newer styles...Help

I have owned a P220 for many years. There are good and bad things about them. First the bad. They have aluminum frames, they have stamped sheet metal slides. The gun does not sit or point as well in the hand as a l911 style weapon. They sit high in the hand and recoil more than the l911 style pistol. They have a very short feed ramp which leaves no room between the empty case being ejected and the loaded round underneath ready to be fed next out of the magazine. The empty ejecting case actually drags itself over the loaded round in the top of the magazine. This causes a problem with trying to shoot lead semi-wad cutter bullets like the famous and very accurate Hensely and Gibbs style bullet. Lyman and everyone else makes a mold that is a copy of the H & G mold. If you try to use a sharp shouldered lead bullet even if it is casted very hard the rim of the ejecting case will plough into the sharp shoulder of the loaded round in the top of the magazine peeling the mouth of the case back like a bannana and causing a neat jam that is a joy to unravel. I have gotten away with using a semi-wad cutter that had a more gentle slope to the shoulder. It is the Lyman 452488 190 grain. But Lyman quit making the mold a couple of years ago. You can use round nose cast bullets successfully.
The good points of the gun is that it is relatively light and very accurate. Mine shoots about 2 1/4 inches at 25 yards with cast bullets. The trigger pull is also excellent. W.R.
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Old May 3, 2001, 10:26 AM   #5
Zander
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"Is the sucker gonna crack on me?"

That's highly unlikely. Frankly, I get tired of dispelling the rumor of "cracking frames" on SIGs.

That problem appeared nearly twenty years ago in some P226s which had reliefs milled into the slide rails so they would shed dirt and fouling more effectively. The problem, which never rendered the pistols inoperative, was quickly fixed by re-design and SIG replaced the cracked frames.

Use a high quality grease like Tetra Lube on higher-stress areas like the slide rails and the breech block/hammer interface [where the slide cocks the pistol during recoil] and you should be problem-free.

You can tell what year the pistol was made by looking at the dustcover where the pistol has been proofed. You'll see a tiny two letter code; it corresponds to SIG's letter/year-mfd. index that you can access at:

http://www.easterncannon.com

If the letters are KA, for instance, the pistol was made in 1990. The code starts with A=0 and goes through K=9, skipping 'I' because it can be confused with '1'.

That's a particularly good price for a P220 of German mfr. [some think that finishing and QC are better on them] and you'll be getting an extremely accurate and dependable pistol for your money.

Beware, though...those things are addictive.
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Old May 3, 2001, 10:43 AM   #6
J. Parker
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TCW; If it's NIB for $500 (new or old) that's a great price. I had an early nineties P-220 and I just bought a new one a couple months ago. My P-220's have never failed me. They go pop every time almost to the point of being boring. IMO, they're great pistols. I've never had a frame crack, new or old design. In the mid nineties I believe, they strenghened the frame a bit to better handle +P ammo. Cracked frames in Sigs are like Ka-booms in Glock's or flying slides in Beretta's. They might have happened but there're rare occurrence's. The infamous rusty slide issue? I went camping this past weekend and the weather was lousy. Rain, drizzle, damp, and cold. I wore my P-220 in a Fobus holster on my ATV. FWIW, the Fobus holster worked great holding the P-220 secure. Anyway, crappy weekend and no rust what-so-ever. A blued P-220 is no different than any other blued gun. Take care of it and it will serve you well. Just my thoughts, J. Parker
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Old May 3, 2001, 11:01 AM   #7
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Correction...It says "Made in W. Germany" on the slide. When did they stop making those?
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Old May 3, 2001, 03:21 PM   #8
blades67
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The main difference between the old and new style pistols is in the fire control system. The old style, with the sharp spur hammer, requires that a number of parts be replaced to convert from DA/SA to DAO. The new style, with the rounded spur hammer, can be easily converted with the removal, or addition, of two parts (the Bobbit Lever, and hammer). Also, the new style hammer is a rebounding type whereas the old style is not. There are also subtle changes to the frame in models made after 1994 I think. I'm not sure exactly when the frame modifications started though.
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Old May 3, 2001, 03:23 PM   #9
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BTW, they stopped stamping with the "W." after the reunification of Germany.
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Old May 3, 2001, 08:05 PM   #10
beemerb
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Mine 220 is marked made in W Germany and doesn't have the dovetailed from sight.I have had 0 problems.
WR;
My 220 sits in my hand better then any 1911 I have ever owned.If it didn;t I would shooting a 1911.
With all the trouble you say you have with your 220 I wonder why you still have it?All I shoot for practice are 185 gr semi wad cutters with 0 jams.I have no idea what your problem is but mine doesn't have it.
Alum. frame sheetmetal slide but it works well doesn't it.
I have no idea how many rds my 220 has fired as I bought it used.I have fired maybe 20,000 rds out of it with no problems at all.
As you can tell I love my sig 220 and if you buy this one you will too.By the way I gave more for my used 220 then the price on the new one you are loooking at.
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Old May 3, 2001, 08:26 PM   #11
hksigwalther
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TCW,

I have an older P220 like yours, bought NIB in early '90s. I had also purchased a current P220 model a few months ago. As stated, the older P220 does have the spur hammer and the newer have the rowel hammer, the grips are different, etc. One other feature is that the older hammer has a half cock notch slightly behind the normal resting position. If you pull the hammer just slightly (not fully cocked), you'll engage the notch. The newer does away with this and is like the P226/228/229.

My older P220's SA trigger is MUCH better than the newer one's. It does, indeed, break like glass. There is a tiny bit of creep in the newer's SA trigger. DA actions are about the same weight wise but the older is a tiny bit smoother.

The NIB price of the older was IIRC $650-$700. The newer was $725. All after taxes, shipping, tranfers, etc. If you do not buy that NIB older for $500, let me know and tell me where.
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Old May 4, 2001, 03:43 PM   #12
Wild Romanian
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Sig P220: Older vs. Newer styles...Help

There is also one other point no one seems to touch upon very much. When laying out a series of pistols on a table at our weekend getaway Tthe pistols everyone seems to get enthusiatic about buying and owning are the pistols made the old fashion way with solid steel forgings and high polish beautiful blue finishes. High tech sheet metal pistols and pyro-plastic pistols are shooting machines, nothing more, nothing less. What is missing from these weapons is pride of ownership. Men down through the ages have always taken great pride in their personal weapons, they have engraved them and plated them and put fancy grips on them. The indians used to drive tacks in the stocks of their weapons. Although it is true the modern handgun may have very rust resistant finishes (ugly is the word) the weapons people seem to get very enthusiatic about are never the newer types. They all seem to grab the older guns off the table and completely ignor the newer ones. I own and shoot both types but the esthetic value is entirely missing in the newer type of weapons. Perhaps the younger generation that grew up with only the high tech sheet metal and plastic weapons really does not know or understand the difference. W.R.
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