Sig p220 decocker question


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glassman
September 7, 2009, 06:02 PM
Been thinking about a .45 acp for carry and can't get my head around carrying cocked and locked. I know a lot of guys do it safely every day and have no problem with it...it just isn't for me. I'm looking at the Sig 220 carry elite stainless as my choice. I understand how a decocker works in a hammerless pistol but am baffled as to how it works in a pistol with a hammer. Does the hammer come down on a firing pin block? I did a search without results.

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powermad
September 7, 2009, 07:20 PM
I can't speak for the Sig but I imagine it works the same as my FNP45.
When the decocker is pressed the hammer drops to a half cocked position.
The hammer does not touch the firing pin.
Even if by some chance the hammer is forced to contact he firing pin the FP block will not allow the FP to move.
The trigger has to be pulled to disengage the block.

9teenEleven
September 7, 2009, 07:51 PM
The p220 hammer is never sitting on the firing pin anyway. The only time it ever contacts the firing pin is if the trigger is pulled. So, the decocker simply returns the hammer to about 3/8" away from the pin.

evan price
September 7, 2009, 09:22 PM
Sig's design has an intermediate step in the hammer's travel. Unless the trigger is pulled, the hammer cannot go any further than that step- which is a distance away from the firing pin. Dropping it on the hammer will not cause it to fire.

I carry Sigs personally as daily CCW guns, chambered & decocked.

What's great about this setup is you can have a round in the chamber and hammer down, but should you need the gun, no safety to remember to disengage, no need to cock the hammer, just point and squeeze the trigger. First shot is a DA pull, the rest are SA.

I have nothing against cocked & locked carry, I just like DA/SA decocker better.

The Lone Haranguer
September 7, 2009, 10:10 PM
Sig's design has an intermediate step in the hammer's travel.
In SIG's nomenclature it is called an intercept notch. The decocker lowers it to this notch. When the hammer falls completely onto the firing pin in normal firing, it rebounds away from the firing pin when you release the trigger. It is not recommended to decock by pulling the trigger and guiding the hammer down as you will have deactivated the firing pin lock. Different models decock differently - some drop the hammer straight down when you sweep the lever, others will lower the hammer slightly when you drop the lever and the hammer will fall slowly the rest of the way when you release it.

BP Hunter
September 8, 2009, 12:07 AM
Glassman,
I'm glad you asked that question. I'm just like you. I don't feel comfortable carrying a piece cocked and locked at all. That made me decide to purchase a Sig P220 carry. When you activate the decocking lever, the hammer will come down abruptly but will stop before striking the hammer. It's scary at first but it's fool proof. It will not strike the hammer.

The Sig now is my carry and am completely comfortable carrying with one in the pipe, decocked.

I am surprised as to how concealed it is in jeans and a t-shirt. A little heavy though, but I only carry it an hour or two when I leave the house. Can't carry it to work. I might scare the kids.

HammerBite
September 8, 2009, 04:16 AM
When you use the decocker, a tab on the the decocker lever enters into the hammer's single-action notch. On the way it impinges on a bevel on the sear and lifts the sear; thereby releasing the hammer. As the hammer falls it pushes the decocker lever out of its way, the decocker lever releases the sear and the sear arrests the hammer fall via the safety notch.

On a classic P-series pistol, the hammer's rest position is never fully forward. The pistol is designed in such a way that as the hammer approaches the firing pin it is decoupled from the hammer strut and continues its fall under inertia.

Regarding the P220 in particular -- if the gun was made prior to 1994, the decoupling point is after the hammer has fallen past the safety notch and just a little before, or slightly after it touches the firing pin. In the event of a misfire (or dryfire) the firing pin will push the hammer back to the decoupling point. In 1994 the decoupling point was moved to slightly before the hammer reaches the safety notch, and a hammer reset spring was added to pull the hammer back to that point in the event of a misfire.

Those of you who have had your pistols apart have probably noticed that there are two shoulders at the head of the hammer strut. The rear shoulder engages a pin in the hammer and powers the hammer's fall. When the decoupling point is reached, the forward shoulder hits the hammer pivot pin; thereby arresting the upward movement of the strut and leaving the hammer to proceed the rest of the way down by inertia. That is how the decoupling is accomplished.

rbernie
September 8, 2009, 09:20 AM
In SIG's nomenclature it is called an intercept notch. The decocker lowers it to this notch. When the hammer falls completely onto the firing pin in normal firing, it rebounds away from the firing pin when you release the trigger. This is the current design. The original P220 did not have the rebounding hammer. I dunno exactly when this was changed, but probably around S/N 200K or so (judging by my informal observation of used P220s).

glassman
September 8, 2009, 03:49 PM
Thanks to everyone for your help on this...especially hammerbite. Your description paints a picture and makes it clear.
It will not strike the hammer.
Bp...I'm sure you meant to say 'firing pin'. As to being a bit heavy...I often carry a CZ Compact in a IWB Don Hume holster and feel the weight. I don't mind it at all. Dimensionally, the sig is almost the same as the CZ so I should be good to go. I'm glad you mentioned the concealability in your post. Thanks.

Rinspeed
September 8, 2009, 04:18 PM
This is the current design. The original P220 did not have the rebounding hammer. I dunno exactly when this was changed, but probably around S/N 200K or so (judging by my informal observation of used P220s).



It was in the early 90's and at serial number 219166. At the same time they beefed up the frame and changed the recoil spring to the 20# marked with green paint.

TXHORNS
September 8, 2009, 05:07 PM
I was in your same shoes at one time. I couldn't get used to the idea of cocked and locked. I now have several da/sa guns that sit in the safe, including a P220 carry while the 1911's get to go play. Don't write off the single actions just yet.

glassman
September 8, 2009, 06:14 PM
TXHORNS...I haven't written it off completely. In fact, I own a DW Pointman7 that is probably my favorite pistol in the safe. I considered a Colt New Agent, Defender and a DW CCO in my research. If I get over my discomfort with c&l and go in that direction, I would choose one of those three. Until then, I think I will be more comfortable with a sa/da in an adrenaline rich moment.

1858
June 22, 2010, 07:33 AM
Sorry to resurrect this thread but I found it very helpful since it explains why my new P220 Carry rebounding hammer operates differently compared to my P220 bought mid '93. My P225 bought in '95 has the newer rebounding style hammer as well.

Regarding the P220 in particular -- if the gun was made prior to 1994, the decoupling point is after the hammer has fallen past the safety notch and just a little before, or slightly after it touches the firing pin. In the event of a misfire (or dryfire) the firing pin will push the hammer back to the decoupling point. In 1994 the decoupling point was moved to slightly before the hammer reaches the safety notch, and a hammer reset spring was added to pull the hammer back to that point in the event of a misfire.

My question here is if the newer style is safer, is the pre '94 version still considered safe enough or should I be sending it back to SIG to be "upgraded"?


:)

Rinspeed
June 22, 2010, 10:39 AM
I could be wrong but I don't believe you can send it back for an upgrade. When they redesigned the 220 in 1994 the whole trigger group was changed.

wgp
June 22, 2010, 02:47 PM
If you are a 1911 guy but don't like the cocked pistol, try the Para Ordnance LDA trigger. Not everybody likes it but I think it's fine and is a "solution" to the issue you have.

I've had a SIG 220 for years and it's a fine pistol. BUT, I just prefer 1911s and I also don't like the trigger pull changing from 1st shot to 2nd.

PO2Hammer
June 22, 2010, 04:07 PM
One of the best features of the Sig de-cocker is it eases the hammer down to the lower position. Quiet and soft.
When you engage the de-cocker on an HK, it drops the hammer hard and loud onto the safety block. It's a sound I don't care for when you've got one in the pipe.
Not bashing HK, I like both brands.

1858
June 22, 2010, 09:14 PM
I could be wrong but I don't believe you can send it back for an upgrade. When they redesigned the 220 in 1994 the whole trigger group was changed.

Thanks ... I'll send an email to SIG to ask (a) if it's possible and (b) if it's necessary or advisable. I haven't had any problems with my older SIG P220 ... it's been outstanding for more than 10,000 rounds but I don't use the decocker very often.

:)

silversport
June 23, 2010, 08:53 AM
the old style (spur hammer) SiG is safe enough but the change made the P220 like most all other SiGs with the hammer falling to the safety intercept notch...when I took their armorer course back at that time the change could not be made...still, there are thousands of the older style P220s out there and no recall to change them...keep enjoying your SiG P Series pistol...
Bill

1858
June 23, 2010, 03:28 PM
Bill, thanks very much ... and I will.

:)

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