New Sig P220 owner, questions.


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csbassplayer2003
January 4, 2011, 10:44 PM
Just purchased my first fire-arm ever after a LOT of research. I was pretty close to buying a CZ or an FNP, but one of the local shops had a slightly used P220 with pretty decent pricing, and after going back and forth about 5 times over it I purchased it. I am no fire arms expert at all, but I am decently self educated, and I have a few questions.

1. A lot has been made of the W. German made vs American made versions, how big of a deal is that REALLY?

2. Can anyone identify mine as either? (sorry only one pic for now, have to wait my state mandated 3 days...) One side says Made in W.Germany, the other had a US stamp, and under the front of the barrel there is some sort of mark I couldnt make out that well.

3. Any ammo that the P220 doesnt take well to?
4. Any major maintenence concerns other than the usual stuff?

Thanks a lot!

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1858
January 4, 2011, 10:50 PM
What are the first three numbers in the serial number. Go HERE (http://sigforum.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/430601935/m/467100822) and look them up to see when your P220 was made. The hammer makes me think it's a '90s model and given that it has proof marks on the underside of the slide near the muzzle confirms that it's an all German model.

As for ammunition, I have five P220s dating from 1992 to 2010 and they all work with everything I've ever used and that includes 185gr LSWC that are probably the most difficult loads to feed. I've found SIG pistols to be nothing short of outstanding in terms of both accuracy and reliability. Make sure you keep the frame rails well lubricated and you may want to buy a new recoil spring although I'm still running the original factory spring in my '92 P220 with 15k rounds through it.

ENJOY and WELCOME!!

Sheepdog1968
January 4, 2011, 11:00 PM
1. The American vs. West German in my opinon is more of a collectors discussion. I have an American made P220 with over 10,000 rounds through it and it is doing great.
2. I'm not enough of an expert to be able to help you with this question.
3. All the various ammo I've tried has fed just fine ranging from inexpensive FMJs to big hollow points.
4. There is nothing unusual in the maintenance. On the internal extractor, it seems like some crud can build up there but that isn't hard to clean if you have some plastic dental pick type cleaning stuff. Massad Ayoob wrote a book about Sigs (worth getting to get you even more excited about the pistol you own). In it he has a chapter about devoted to Sig cleaning and maintenance.

Enjoy! You have an awesome pistol.

txgunsuscg
January 4, 2011, 11:02 PM
If you have any concerns about the condition, send it to Sig for their Service Plan. For $140 (plus your shipping), they'll strip it down, inspect it, replace the springs, function test it, and put night sights on it. Check out http://www.sigsauer.com/CustomShop/SSP.aspx.

rellascout
January 4, 2011, 11:16 PM
1. A lot has been made of the W. German made vs American made versions, how big of a deal is that REALLY?

The main difference is the carbon steel slide, internal extractor and no mim parts in the W German made guns. The US guns have a milled stainless steel slide, external extractor and MIM. There were extractor issues with the US made stainless slide with the older internal extractor. This is the origin of a lot of the issues.

2. Can anyone identify mine as either? (sorry only one pic for now, have to wait my state mandated 3 days...) One side says Made in W.Germany, the other had a US stamp, and under the front of the barrel there is some sort of mark I couldnt make out that well.

Those are proof marks which tell you your gun is W. German. There should be 2 letters which are a date code.

Sig Date Codes

A=0
B=1
C=2
D=3
E=4
F=5
G=6
H=7
J=8
k=9

3. Any ammo that the P220 doesnt take well to?

It should shoot everything....

4. Any major maintenence concerns other than the usual stuff?

Change the springs out every 5000 rounds and you should be fine.

csbassplayer2003
January 4, 2011, 11:26 PM
Thanks for the quick replies. Didn't get a chance to check much on the serial numbers/marks, was more worried about WHICH gun I'd buy really (3 weeks to make a decision on make/model). It had a little finish rub (looks like it might have been an issued carry weapon) but otherwise it was is rather good condition and the price was consitant with what I had seen on sites like gunbroker and such. Glad to finally get into the game so to speak.

JTQ
January 4, 2011, 11:33 PM
THR forum member Mr. Camp has an article about P220's and semi-wadcutters on his excellent site.

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/45_acp_sig_sauer_p220%20and%20SWC%20ammunition.htm

Browse through his site, he has a couple more articles on the P220 you may find interesting.

rellascout
January 4, 2011, 11:34 PM
Cool the other tell tale sign is the black box they where supplied with W German guns. . Assuming it is original to the gun.

FIVETWOSEVEN
January 4, 2011, 11:42 PM
I plan on upgrading my Hi Power to a SIG P220, hopefully a W. German.

1858
January 4, 2011, 11:49 PM
THR forum member Mr. Camp has an article about P220's and semi-wadcutters on his excellent site.


From http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/45_acp_sig_sauer_p220%20and%20SWC%20ammunition.htm

"In my experience, the P220 displays its (usual) very fine mechanical accuracy when using cast bullets including SWC’s…but overall, lack reliability with that shape bullet. There may very well be the exception here and there, but having seen quite a few of these during my police firearm instructor days, it is my belief that not as many will feed SWC’s as won’t."

Respectfully Mr. Camp, I'll have to disagree! I've shot more than 20,000 185gr LSWC through my P220s without A SINGLE ISSUE!! The same can not be said for my 1911s that are NOT at all reliable with 185gr LSWC ammunition.

1858
January 4, 2011, 11:52 PM
Cool the other tell tale sign is the black box they where supplied with W German guns. . Assuming it is original to the gun.

All three of my NIB all German SIGs, a P220 and two P225s, came in gray and white cardboard boxes. I still have the boxes.

rellascout
January 4, 2011, 11:56 PM
All three of my NIB all German SIGs, a P220 and two P225s, came in gray and white cardboard boxes. I still have the boxes.

I do not doubt that. My point was that US origin guns do not ship in those black boxes. IIRC I can also tell the approx age of the pistol by the version of the manual in the pic. :)

1858
January 4, 2011, 11:59 PM
I can also tell the approx age of the pistol by the version of the manual in the pic.

1994?

rellascout
January 5, 2011, 12:02 AM
1994?

Nice call if not earlier. The grips are a tell too. My KE 94 has the same ones and came in the same box. :)

http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t213/rellascout/DSCF1918.jpg

9mmepiphany
January 5, 2011, 12:03 AM
That 220 is not only German made, it is a first Gen. You can tell is is German made by the shape of the slide and the roll pins holding the breach block in the slide...it is a bit interesting that it has a short trigger installed

The real give-away is the spur hammer.

Not know how many rounds have been through the gun, it likely wouldn't be a bad idea to change the recoil and main spring (you should switch them out between 3-5k rounds). Also remember that to protect the frame in training or long practice sessions, you should apply grease to the rails, rather than lube with oil

rellascout
January 5, 2011, 12:06 AM
The real give-away is the spur hammer.


Nice catch. I missed that one. What city does the import mark show. Is it Exeter, Herdon or Tyson Corner? 9mmepiphany what's your guess on age?

1858
January 5, 2011, 12:09 AM
Nice catch. I missed that one.

I mentioned that in my first post ... my '92 P220 has a spur hammer, that's why I noticed it.


it is a bit interesting that it has a short trigger installed

Are you sure about that? It doesn't look like a short trigger to me.

csbassplayer2003
January 5, 2011, 12:35 AM
LOL you guys are already over my head, someone care to translate the last 5 or so posts?

9mmepiphany
January 5, 2011, 12:51 AM
Are you sure about that? It doesn't look like a short trigger to me.

You might be right, it might just be the angle...I can compare it to mind, mine was modified a long time ago

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n79/9mmepiphany/DSC_1267.jpg

rellascout
January 5, 2011, 12:57 AM
Well Sig used to make all the pistols in German and ship them over. Their import office IIRC started in Tysons Corner, VA. It then moved to Herdon, VA. Then moved to Exeter, NM. where they now manufacture pistols. The import office/FFL office location or the location of the factory/FFL office is stamped on all guns in the US. You can tell the age of a Sig by the date codes and also by the import office on the rollmark.

Here is an example of the Herdon, VA rollmark.

http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w319/alecband/random%20gun%20stuff/sig_herndon.jpg

Here is Exter, NH This is a pic of a P226 but the roll mark is essentially the same.

http://www.justpistols.co.uk/sigp226_009.jpg

The date code for the pistol is the 2 letters under the front of the slide. The other marks are proof house marks which are required to be stamped on the slide under German Law.

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f12/P7M8/GLP_6008.jpg

The hammer difference can be seen between your gun and mine. Yours is spurred and comes to a point mine is rounded. My gun was made in 1994 and is a German gun.

Look at the grips. Yours and mine are the same. These grips do not have the Sig logo on them. They are also checkered. These are newer Sig P220 grips.

http://www.sigsauer.com/upFiles/proshop/product/P220-Compact-slim-grip-Detail.jpg

I think your gun has a standard trigger on it. Sig short triggers are thinner and reduce the length of pull. Look at these.... Some people like them others don't. I like them on double stack Sigs but run a standard trigger on the P220.

http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:xGu12urE6HVyAM:http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/pistols/sig_p220/photos/sig_short_trigger.jpg&t=1

Did I miss anything?

9mmepiphany
January 5, 2011, 01:01 AM
LOL you guys are already over my head, someone care to translate the last 5 or so posts?
1. The boxes that Sigs have come in have changed over time. My first one came in a yellow box with white lettering. The blued one above came in the black/gray plastic box. Current boxes are either blue (new guns) or red (CPO guns)

2. The texture on the grips have changed over time, they started with a checked pattern and the current pattern is a rough pebbled effect.

3. The hammers started out like yours (sharp) and became rounded (like the pictures posted later)

4. Your breach block (the part that contains the firing pin) is removable and is retained by 2 roll pins. Your slide is formed by folding a sheet of carbon steel and then welding on the front and back caps...it is known as a folded or stamped slide as opposed to the newer milled stainless slides.

5. It isn't visible in your picture, but you should have a flattened section, on the top of the slide, in front of the ejection port. It should come to a point, like an arrowhead pointed toward the front sight

9mmepiphany
January 5, 2011, 01:04 AM
Also, be aware that there was a change in the mainspring. If you are thinking about changing grips, you have to make sure they will fit you MS assembly

rellascout
January 5, 2011, 01:06 AM
Also, be aware that there was a change in the mainspring. If you are thinking about changing grips, you have to make sure they will fit you MS assembly

Yup new thin profile grips will not fit the older guns. IIRC

1858
January 5, 2011, 01:07 AM
rellascout, that's funny!! I took that photo of the SIG short triggers comparing them to the standard SIG trigger. Count me in the group that doesn't like the short trigger.

rellascout
January 5, 2011, 01:09 AM
Google is a wonderful thing. LOL

csbassplayer2003
January 5, 2011, 01:39 AM
You guys are pretty sharp, thanks for all the info!

MikePaiN
January 5, 2011, 07:27 AM
I can't add much to this discussion csbass....but to say welcome to the P220 Club :D
The P220 is and always has been one of the best pistols Sig has produced. They are known for reliability and toughness in a sleek, beautiful package.. You should shoot and enjoy yours for years to come..

here's mine
http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x298/Mikepain_pics/DSC03082.jpg

Silverado6x6
January 5, 2011, 07:37 AM
After reading this thread I dug out my P220, have not fired it in years, it is the German made one, I put a pair of Hogue grips on it, I remember issues with the screws going too deep and hitting the mags, also I just noticed that the aftermarket Tritium sights have died, time for some new ones I guess, I might get the rear sight that has the integrated laser.

Out of my collection this one is my most accurate except for possibly the Ruger .22 Standard, another viable type of laser would be the one in the op rod, kinda pricey but it keeps things smoother.

csbassplayer2003
January 8, 2011, 08:25 PM
Not to necro this thread, but I finally have it in my possesion. I has a KB stamp on the barrel, so you guys were spot on. Put 100 rds WWB through it and a magazine of 185gr +P golden sabers through it. The first magazine was probably the best group Ive shot in a LONG time with a 45. 1.5" at 7 yards. I saved that target =). No hiccups or misfires, relatively easy to shoot, my first Sig experience, and I like it. Heres to many years and rounds of fun and protection (hopefully)! :D

9mmepiphany
January 8, 2011, 08:32 PM
Thanks for coming back to let us know...enjoy

Lonestar49
January 9, 2011, 01:27 AM
...

Congrats and let the_party begin

229n/r 40 ~ 220R/45 ~ 229R CT 9mm

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc306/Lonestar49/Picture280.jpg


Ls

Storm
January 9, 2011, 10:19 AM
Having shot 220's extensively over the past 25 or so years all the way from my current West German Browning BDA to an alll German European model to a newer one made in the past three years, I can say that the major difference in terms if shooting is that I find that the pinned and stamped slide is better balanced. It's a subtle thing, but very real to me.

The Lone Haranguer
January 9, 2011, 10:46 AM
I had a P220 of ~1996 vintage. (That was the year I bought it, anyway.) It was of the generation after yours, with a stamped slide, rounded hammer and green-painted, multi-stranded recoil spring (to handle +P ammunition if desired; I did not). Overall it was a great gun, but there are a few things to be aware of. The trigger bar spring (under the RH grip panel) broke and disabled the gun. You might want to check yours for fatiguing (this will take the appearance of thinning and flattening at the apex of the arch before it finally lets go) and replace it if necessary. Be sure to reassemble it correctly. Sig-Sauer (as they call themselves today) will probably send you one for free. When you put the grips back on, put a mild strength thread locker on the screws, as they like to loosen, despite having serrated wave washers. And unlike a Glock which can run all day dry, SIGs need to be clean and have a visible film of lube at all times. A light weapons-grade grease actually works better on the frame rails than oil.

Texsun
January 9, 2011, 11:34 AM
Nice p220

Storm
January 10, 2011, 10:01 AM
BTW, if you do snag that West German 220, and for anyone who has one, do not use the aerosol cleaners like Birchwood Casey Gunscrubber with the grips on the gun. It will melt the grips. Ask me how I know. The older grips do not stand up well against these cleaners. I would even be careful with those cleaners that are "polymer safe".

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