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Old June 22, 2012, 08:39 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: July 26, 2005
Location: The Bluegrass
Posts: 8,389
Don't trust a 1911 for carry? Try this.

I like 1911s. That's what I mostly carry in cool weather when clothing permits. As big a fan as I am of the 1911, I know there are some shooters who don't want to spend top dollar and take a chance of getting a bad one. That happens sometimes With all the various manufacturers making the guns and accessories differently. The answer for these folks might be a Sig 220 Compact Single Action Only. Sigs are known for their "Hell and back" reliability and that should be a major factor for anyone considering this pistol.

CDNN Sports has a number of thes special run guns catalogued for awhile now. I finally broke down and purchased one. This gun has a 3.9 inch barrel, night sights, and comes with two six-round magazines. It will also use the seven and eight round mags and you can get grip extenders to fill in the gap from the top of the extended mag to the bottom of the grip frame. The 220 has a steel slide, an alloy frame, and weighs 31 ounces according to Sig's website. Did I mention it was single action only? That means you can carry it cocked and locked. And, the safety works as a safety should -- up for safe and down for fire.

The ambidextrous safety on the 220 was fairly stiff but eased just a bit after some usage. The stiff safety should help insure it won't accidentally get bumped off while still remaining functional. The slide lock release, however, is stiff enough that it is almost non-functional for quick use. When inserting a fresh mag after lock back, the shooter would be advised to slingshot the slide. The mag catch release is out of reach for my thumb unless I rotate the pistol quite a bit. Again, I have smallish hands and have to rotate a 1911 to hit the release, just not as much.

I compared the 220 to a Sig C3 1911 I have carried off and on for three or four years. The C3 is a CCO-sized pistol (4.25 inch barrel and grip frame shortened by one round). The C3's profile is a bit thinner and a couple of ounces lighter. The grip of the 220 was more hand filling but, surprisingly, trigger reach was very close to the 1911's. That's important to me because I have smallish hands.

The trigger on the 220 was surprisingly good. The trigger is advertised to be five and a half pounds but I would have guessed it to be just a bit lighter. I could feel what I believe is the firing pin block being disengaged and then the trigger breaks fairly crisp. The trigger on my C3 1911 is actually heavier but breaks even cleaner. It's going to be darned near impossible for any carry gun to have a better trigger than a good 1911.

I put a mixture of Aguilla 230 gr, Federal Champion 230 gr., Federal HST 230 gr., and Speer Gold Dot 185 gr. through the gun without any hiccups whatsoever. I had trouble loading 185 gr. Remington Golden Sabers into the magazine. The overall length was just long enough that the bullet barely touched the front of the magazine lip, creating problems loading them into the mag. I'm not sure if the GS rounds were slightly out of spec or if it was the magazine.

I shot all rounds from the 220 at ten yards and kept most of the rounds in fist-sized groups. This is about normal for me shooting rapid fire with a 1911 so I'll give the Sig 220 a thumbs up in the practical accuracy department.

While I won't be tossing my favorite 1911s out the window, I think there may be a place for this pistol in my carry rotation in cool weather. If you've wanted a single action carry gun but didn't want to go the 1911 route, then you should take a serious look at the Sig 220 Compact.

Edited to correct brain fart: CCO grip frame is shortened by one round, not one inch.

Last edited by KyJim; June 23, 2012 at 10:43 PM.
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