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How much shooting to wear out a Sig 229 barrel?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Peter Gun, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. Peter Gun

    Peter Gun Well-Known Member

    I have a sig 229 in .40 (no rail) that i bought used from a shop. they said it was a police trade in. it had a little wear on the slide and barrel exterior.
    It has always been reliable, except that a couple years back it failed to close the slide completely on a fresh magazine. On advice from THR members i got a new spring kit from sig and replaced the guide rod spring (the big one).
    Has worked flawlessly since.
    My compaint is that i cant seem to shoot a whole magazine with good grouping. I always get at least two flyers, even if i rest between shots. besides the flyers i can group pretty well. maybe about 1" at 15 yds. It is the same for all 4 magazines i have. its seems random which are the flyers (ie not always the first or last, etc).
    I have recently shot other pistols friends own; glock, beretta, makarov and seem to be able to group more consistently with those, however the average groups are not as tight as my sig is if i discount the flyers. I have personally put about 1500 rounds through this gun, no idea how many before me.
    I do not see any obvious damage to the barrel rifling or crown, but the muzzle does have holster wear.
    Anyone found a barrel replacement to fix problems like this, or is it just me?
    Is it possible replacing the rest of the springs in the kit could help? the trigger seems pretty smooth and consistent now.
    Thanks for reading!

    1BLINDREF Well-Known Member

    Police trade ins are usually not shot that much. IMHO, the gun and wear on the barrel exterior (known as smileys) would be much worse then you describe. You'd have to shoot quite a bit of .40S&W to shoot out a Sig P229 barrel. The Sig P229 was not designed to be a target type pistol. It's mainly a self defense / police type weapon. The .40S&W caliber is also not as accurate as 9mm or .45acp. It was designed to be a self defense round.
    1" groups at 15 yards with a flier or two is excellent grouping out of your P229 in .40S&W. Keep in mind that the barrel length on the P229 is 3.9 inches.

    I would replace the other springs that came in that spring kit. It probably will not effect your accuracy, but it's a good idea to replace them since you don't know the exact round count of the gun.
    A good source of information on how to maintain your Sig is the Sig Armorers DVD. IMHO, its worth its weight in gold. You can get it from Top Gun Supply. You can also get a new barrel from them if you decide to go that route.
    Here is a link to their sight http://www.topgunsupply.com/Sig-Sauer-Armorers-Course-DVD-P-SERIES-pr-131.html
    Good luck with your P229 :)
  3. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    I agree, most of the shots in an inch at 15 yards is pretty good accuracy, and that it would take an immense amount of shooting to actually wear out the rifling.

    How far out of the main grouping are the flyers, or put another way, what is your total group size? And have you tried different loadings? There is a huge diversity of ammunition in this caliber. The gun may "like" one or two much better than the others. Also, defensive JHP ammunition is often more accurate than FMJ.
  4. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed Well-Known Member

    I would say there is a much better chance that your barrel is not broken in yet rather than worn out. Sig barrels are some of the best there is. Shoot it from a rest and see what happens.
  5. klover

    klover Well-Known Member

    I don't know the round count on these two.

    I was able to feel a thou dip at the front of both of these. Can some one give me a guess on the round count? One of these shoots great, the other is just in.
    Great thread if more pics can come in.

    Attached Files:

  6. AndyC

    AndyC Well-Known Member

    Slug the barrel and measure it to 1/1000th inch - use a soft lead bullet, a brass rod and hammer it (about 15 taps or so) through the barrel, them measure the resulting slug with calipers. This will tell you if your barrel is worn.
  7. Peter Gun

    Peter Gun Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info, guys!!
    Sounds like mine is not shot out then.
    I agree the 1" groups at 15 are good, thats why the flyers seemed abnormal.
    out of a 10 rnd mag, i would get 7 or 8 in a 1" group and then the fliers would be in random directions between 3-6" out.
    Maybe i just need some more practice to be more consistent.
    I am also going to try some different ammo and see what effect it has.
    Thanks for the heads up on the DVD blindref, ill order one up.
    Do I need any special tools for installing those springs?

    1BLINDREF Well-Known Member

    You don't need any special tools.
    The parts kit has 4 springs in it, a recoil spring, trigger bar spring, slide catch spring, and a decocking lever spring.

    If you take your grips off you'll see the decocking lever spring on the left side of the frame and the trigger bar spring on the right. There isn't any special trick to replacing them, just remove the old ones and put on the new ones.
    The slide catch spring is also not too hard to replace.

    Start by removing the magazine and the slide.

    Then turn the take down lever clock wise with your left hand while pushing on the round part of the lever thats on the right side of the frame with your right index finger. The lever should pop through. Twist the lever all the way out of the frame.

    Pull out the locking insert. You'll see the slide catch spring on the left side of the insert. The spring just lifts out. Put the new spring in and you're good to go.

    Before you put the locking insert back in, make sure the hammer is forward - decocked. The insert will not go back in if the hammer is cocked!
    Sometimes the insert can be a little tricky to get in. Line up the slots in the locking insert with the trigger pin. I found that if you tilt the frame to the left while inserting the insert, the insert goes in eaiser.

    Once the insert is in place, push the take down lever back into the gun. Make sure you start with the cut out in the back of the lever (the round part that goes in first) facing down. That has to be like that to clear the slide catch spring. Twist the lever back into the frame untill its back in place.

    I hope this makes sense, I posted this from memory without having a gun in front of me to actually do it while I posted.
    If you have any problems, the Armorers DVD will show you exactly how to do it.
  9. Peter Gun

    Peter Gun Well-Known Member

    Awesome!, thanks ref!
    Ill try it this weekend.
  10. 51Cards

    51Cards Well-Known Member

    Think I remember an article where they put 10,000 (or some ungodly number) rounds through one, and were going to actually saw the barrel in half (lengthwise) to do an analysis. Sig said, no, just scrub it out. I mean, really scrub it. It went back to group again.

    1BLINDREF Well-Known Member

    It's hard to tell from the smileys on the barrel. Every Sigs barell wears differently. I've got some Sigs that the barrel smileys look like they have two times the rounds through them as others. I guess it depends on the fit of the barrel to the slide, the recoil spring, and how hot the ammo thats being shot is.
  12. CWL

    CWL Well-Known Member

    I also remember that article, the testers fired 10,000 rounds of Black Hills ammo thru a SigP220 non-stop. When the test was finished and the barrel thoroughly cleaned, it was found that the groupings were actually tighter than when the pistol was new.

    I suggest that you try different brands of ammo and see if their performance is better.
  13. Ghost Tracker

    Ghost Tracker Well-Known Member

    Shooting-out a Sig barrel is like wearing-out an anvil. Yes, it is theoretically possible...but no, you're not likely to do it. Since you're NOT the original/only shooter of the gun, you can't be sure of what type of bullets have been fired through it. Have you used a good bore paste to remove any & all lead/copper residue?

    Also, autoloading pistols often have different POI between hand-cycled rounds & rounds cycled by the recoil system of the previous shot. Try this..."burn" the first round (shoot it off target) and then begin your group with a shot chambered by the action of the first shot. Then follow with the rest of the mag. You may find the hand-cycled round is more likely to be a flyer.
  14. 51Cards

    51Cards Well-Known Member

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