View Full Version : SIG quality: newer vs older?

September 11, 2007, 09:59 PM
What's the consensus? I really like the look of the stainless models, but I hear the older guns made in W Germany are better built. I've also read comments regarding a deterioration in SIG's quality as of late.

Could I go wrong with a stainless P220 CPO? I was told that newer CPOs have finish flaking issues, but I'm guessing that would only affects the blued guns. If the W German guns are truly built that much better, I suppose it would be worth waiting for one...

chris in va
September 11, 2007, 10:04 PM
I've only run across two Sigs in person, so take this for what it's worth...about 2 pesos.

I bought a used 220 that is now 14 years old. Not once has it had a problem of any kind in 3 years of my ownership.

My friend bought an $800 228. We took it to the range, it stovepiped on WWB. Every other shot. It did better with Blazer.

So, that's my report.:D

September 11, 2007, 10:47 PM
have a few of both....

No problems of any kind with either.

have heard some kooky things about new 229s, but that's what the dept of homeland security uses, so I doubt sig's gonna woble on quality with those especially.

My mosquito is kind of a peice, but that doesn't count... does it?

September 11, 2007, 11:21 PM
As an owner of a couple of newer Sigs, I think that the functional quality is still there 100%. Neither of my Sigs has so much as hiccuped ever not with any sort of ammo I've used. That said, it seems that recently Sig QC lets more cosmetic issues get past them then they used to. So before you buy I recommend you thoroughly inspect your purchase to make sure every think looks good. If you do that I don't think you have any problems with how the gun runs.

September 12, 2007, 12:03 AM
People have been arguing US-made vs. German-made on the SIG forum for years. Most SIGaholics have some of both and say there isn't any consistent difference in quality, accuracy, or reliability.

Although there probably is no consistent difference in quality or function, there is a difference in construction methods that can greatly affect the feel of the gun. The older SIGs slides were made of stamped carbon steel. They are appreciably lighter and balance more toward the grip. The newer US SIGs slides are machined of stainless steel. They are heavier and balance more toward the muzzle. The guns with stainless frames have a different balance yet.

Personally I do not think there is any consistent difference in quality. I have had both and like them both. But due to the differences in weight and balance, some people have a strong preference for one or the other.

September 12, 2007, 06:27 AM
Thanks guys. Axion, I was under the impression that the issues mainly affected the cosmetics of the guns, but just wanted to make sure.

antsi: great info. I had no idea the newer guns balanced differently than the old. Sounds like my best bet would definitely be to hold them or "try before I buy" if at all possible, but so far I've only come across a single 229. For some reason, they just don't seem to be very popular around here.

Do the guns with heavier slides have less perceived recoil?

September 12, 2007, 06:31 AM
I don't think there's much of a difference. I know Sig has invested a ton of money in high end CNC machining centers in the last several years so the parts should be more consistant.

September 12, 2007, 08:15 AM
I have owned a 228 and now own a 226. No problems with either. Another member said in a post a while back that his sig had some tool marks on the slide (or frame, I cant remember) that caused problems. Thats the first I heard of it though.

September 12, 2007, 08:36 AM
Haven't shot a newer one, but I love my West German P220. :)

September 12, 2007, 09:01 AM
I had a P225 and it was a great weapon.

September 12, 2007, 10:39 AM
I have a 1985 W German P220, which is a superlative gun. 100% reliable, superbly accurate, beautifully built.

<fireproof underwear activated>

I haven't fired a newer P220, but I field stripped a couple of them in gun stores, and the difference in finish quality is impossible to miss. The older gun is finished to a level that the newer guns don't approach. The barrels on the new P220's made me a little sad when compared to the metallic jewel inside the old gun.

</fireproof underwear activated>

Like I said, I haven't fired a new P220. It might be just as good, but it's definitely not as pretty. I would still buy a new Sig over lots of other brands.

September 12, 2007, 12:47 PM
stainless slides & recoil:

I have never really done a head-to-head shooting a stainless slide SIG in the same caliber and model as a stamped slide SIG, so I can't say for sure. The stainless slide models were introduced when they started making 40SW and 357 SIG, and I believe part of the reason was to give the slides more mass for these higher pressure calibers. It does seem like the heavier slides would have less flip or recoil, but I can't say I know that for a fact.

I will say that the stamped slide SIGs certainly have enough mass to be comfortable to shoot in the calibers they're chambered for (9mm and 45acp). They don't have that harsh, stinging, "this gun is too light for the caliber" feel.

The 229 you saw was certainly a stainless slide model - all 229's are.
9mm 226's can be either.
357/40 226's are all stainless slides.
220's can be either.
228's and 225's are always stamped slides.

September 12, 2007, 02:04 PM
If I remember right the 229 came out in first in .40 and all the 229 including the 9mm have the machined SS slide. One reason SigArms has gotten away from the sheet steal slides is all the tooling for them was/is in Germany.

September 12, 2007, 03:09 PM
I have had a large mix of old and new guns. I have had

P228s W German and German
P226 Navy
P220 W. German & German
P239 US
Sig GSR Gen
P225 German

All of them have been top notch. No issues with any of them beyond a GSR extractor walking out on me which they fixed free of charge.

I personally like the stamped slide of the P225/P220/P226/P228 over the new machined stainless slides but that is more of a cosmetic issue more than anything else.

September 12, 2007, 03:31 PM
I don't think there is a real difference - I've had older ones / currently have 3 newer ones Sig 226 all stainless in 9mm / Sig 226 all stainless in .40 bought both of them as a pair about a year ago. They're performing very well.

I also have a Sig 226 X-Five ( they make about 5 versions of the X-Five now) but mine is the one with the wooden grips. It's a great gun - the top of the line model has an adjustble trigger system in it. It's all stainless as well - very heavy - mine is in .40 but it's available in 9mm as well.

Yes, weight is a big factor in reducing actually recoil, not perceived recoil. The heavier the gun the better - at least up to a point - balance, etc.

September 12, 2007, 03:51 PM
Hmm, sounds like it would be hard to go wrong either way.

Let me ask this *stupid question alert* : if one buys an older W German made SIG and would ever have to have a part replaced, e.g. the slide, would it be replaced with a newer machined part or do they try to keep the guns original? I realize they aren't being made anymore, but I guess it's possible that SIG still has a stash of W German parts sitting around for such repairs. It's not like they need to take parts from the repair bin very often... ;)

September 12, 2007, 03:53 PM
I think if you manage to bust a SIG's slide, you're doing something seriously, seriously wrong. :eek: :)

September 12, 2007, 03:57 PM
Touche, but it was just an example. ;) Let's say you inherited 300,000 rounds of .45 from your grandfather and manage to shoot out your W German barrel...would they replace it with the same barrel or a newer one? :D

September 12, 2007, 04:46 PM
Parts such as barrel interchange. Its things like triggers, hammers, sears, grips, and hammer springs that wont.

The original frames were stamped/ folded steel, with a pinned in solid steel breach block. They used inexpensive hollow roll pins to retain them.

Later on the slide was forged instead eliminating the hollow roll pins, etc...

Mags should work on all models old and new EXCEPT if you have a gun with european heel mag release or "cartridge case holder" as the old manual's english section reads.

September 12, 2007, 05:41 PM
Mags should work on all models old and new EXCEPT if you have a gun with european heel mag release or "cartridge case holder"

My old 1985 P220 has the heel mag release, and it works with contemporary mags. Go figure.

September 12, 2007, 05:57 PM
I prefer older. My CPO P226 that was date coded '89 was flawless and 100% reliable with any ammo. Newer ones...me not so like no.

September 12, 2007, 06:08 PM
original Special Warfare Edition, numbered in first 30's...bought the gun as a collector's piece and to support the SO community...even with its special "Maritime" finish, it's a rustbucket...every couple of months or so, I take it out of the safe, notice the rust buildup and wipe her down with Gunzilla. Looks good as new until the next time...no other weapon that I keep in my safe, or those I don't treat as well, go through this ritual of rust buildup...

September 12, 2007, 08:24 PM

You may want to start using another gun oil if Gunzilla is letting you down.

I live in Houston (real humid and right on the gulf) and have no rust problem with my 1993 old style P226 and I use Hoppes #9 gun oil (not the solvent). I only pull it out mabe once a month or so.

EDIT - Now to think about it, my old W. German P225 does not rust either. Must be a Gun oil prob on your end and not the gun. The 226 Navy is finished with parkerizing and for that type of finish to work, it wust be coated good with oil. If you are using some kind of solvent, that may be your prob.


September 12, 2007, 08:32 PM
...it's not the Gunzilla...it's the gun finish itself...and I know that I am not the only one with this problem...BTW...have you ever used Gunzilla...it's the only cleaner/lube/stain remover/eco-friendly juice I use now for ALL my weapons.

September 12, 2007, 08:40 PM

It isn't the finish. I have 7 years experience in the service with parkerizing and it is a heck of a good finish if you know how it is supposed to be used (I assume you know this already so I am not saying you don't) My guess is that, although Gunzilla might be great on Blued/guncoated/stainless...etc guns, it may not be the best for a parkerized finished firearm.

Try something else for a month or two just to test it out.

EDIT - Just so you know, I believe you Alnamvet...I am just trying to troubleshoot and get to the bottom of why your Sig is rusting for help with possible problems in the future.

September 12, 2007, 08:50 PM
...did call Sig a couple of years ago, and they simply stated to send the gun in for a refinish...I didn't 'cause I wasn't sure if it would be the same "Maritime" finish that originally came with the gun...BTW, I have a parkerized Colt M1991, and I have never ever had a rust problem...whether I used Hoppes, and now Gunzilla...I really don't know what the problem is.

September 13, 2007, 02:05 PM
If you have american style 220 mags without the big plastic floor plate, then they'll work with guns that have european mag release.

I thinks the only ones w/o the pads are 7 rounders, though.