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Browning P-220 BDA .45

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by schmeky, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. schmeky

    schmeky Senior Member

    Mar 17, 2006
    West Monroe, Louisiana
    I am looking for a Sig P-220 and I really like the early BDA's. The first 220 I ever fondled was a BDA. Aside from the bottom mag release, is there anything special or unusual about the BDA I should know before going to the finance company and getting a 22% APR loan? ;)
  2. V8Healey

    V8Healey New Member

    Jan 21, 2011
    Bda 45

    I have a Browning BDA 45 and it originated at Gene's Sporting Goods and has their tag on the box. I acquired the BDA 45 in 1977 or 1978. It is an excellent piece, a Sig P220 with Browning and Sig stamped on it and was made before Sigs were sold in the U. S. Some folks are concerned about magazines, but early Sig 7 round P220 magazines work quite well.
  3. bannockburn

    bannockburn Elder

    Apr 24, 2007

    I had one over thirty years ago and it was a super gun to shoot. I taught my 18 year old sister to shoot with it (we started out with a Ruger .22 and then a Star 9mm.), and she liked shooting the BDA best of all. Great ergonomics and my BDA was as accurate as a Gold Cup I had at the same time; and a great deal less fussy about ammo than the Gold Cup. I should have held on to the BDA but I eventually sold it to fund some other gun purchase. Would love to have another one, along with one in .38 Super.
  4. Storm

    Storm Senior Member

    Nov 28, 2006
    Get it. It's a classic. I have one and I just went with my buddy yesterday to the FFL to pick up his which is like new. You won't see a lot of these as they were only the BDA through Browning from 1977 to 1980. The polished blue slide side panels give this gun a very nice look, different from any other 220, and you have the great stamped and pinned slide. Mags are not a problem for this gun. The heel release is an issue to some, but to me it makes the gun.

    If you do get it do not use aerosol spray cleaners like Birchwood Casey Gunscrubber, it will melt the grips. I know this from experience with a West german 220 that has trhe same exact grips. I would even be really careful when using the sprays that are said to be "polymer safe".
  5. bigggbbruce

    bigggbbruce New Member

    Apr 1, 2011
    Just picked up a BDA 45... Young man that worked for the forest service carried it as his side arm. Recently they no longer carry the 45's. So I found it in the local paper. No box.. But she is a beauty. 98%.. and he nearly gave it to me.. :) I also had a Tysons Corner P220.
    Both very nice guns.... German made is the best of the Sigs.....
  6. DPris

    DPris Senior Member

    Nov 4, 2007
    The current 220s have been re-designed since Browning brought those early ones in. Different rebounding hammer safety system, different recoil spring.

    In '82 I bought one of the SIG-marked 220s, my department was the second in my state to authorize them for private purchase duty use.
    Carried it for two years.
    Two fellow firearms instructors (our three 220s were the highest mileage SIGs at that point) developed problems with theirs. One developed hammer follow, the other broke a locking block.

    I sold mine shortly after, lost faith in it, did not want to wait till it broke down on me on the job.

    If I wanted to shoot a 220 much, or use one for defense, it'd be a much more recent one.
    That's not dumping on SIG, I've worked with current 220 variations & own two 229s. You'll probably get other positive comments, I'm just passing on my own impressions.

    I certainly would not take out a 22% loan to buy an old one. :)


    Forgot to mention the mags.
    The ones we got in the '82 time frame had the older zig-zag seam weld at the rear of the magazine. Those tended to crack up near the top of the seam weld.
    220 mags have long since been "re-engineered". :)
    The original 220s were interesting developments, but did have their weaknesses.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  7. bigggbbruce

    bigggbbruce New Member

    Apr 1, 2011
    With all machinery development is always on going. It's not to say that "high mileage" new guns won't have their problems. I understand your point. My BDA 45 is a very low use gun... I have other guns for pleasure shooting... They all stay as new... So I feel confident in the response they will give me if ever needed...

    I think the 22% is the credit card rate... If it's not cash on hand a good deal can get expensive..
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011

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