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SIG P210 Range Day Embarrassment

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Michael Zeleny, May 24, 2004.

  1. Yesterday I put about 300 rounds of assorted standard, +P, and +P+ 9x19mm ammunition made by Fiocchi, Geco, Hirtenberger, Remington, and Winchester through a Lenzburg-made, Haemmerli-proofed SIG P210-6 from the early Eighties, and another P210-6 manufactured at Neuhausen in the mid-Nineties. Both pistols are new to me. The former had been well broken in by its previous owner, reportedly used for match shooting at the local Swiss club. It came accompanied by a passel of spare parts ande accessories, including a matching number 7.65x21mm conversion kit and a separately numbered .22LR conversion kit, with both slides topped with adjustable sights. I bought the Neuhausen pistol in a 99% condition. It wears contrast sights, exhibits much smoother finish with fewer tool marks, and appears to be fitted more tightly than its senior. However, at 1.5", the 50 meter test target on the Lenzburg pistol is .5" smaller than that of the Neuhausen, and that tested with 10 rather than the customary 6 rounds. I was looking forward to comparing them side by side.

    As expected, the Haemmerli P210 performed flawlessly. I had no trouble keeping most of my shots in the black at 25 yards in slow fire offhand. Switching to the heavy S-type recoil spring decreased the felt recoil without any adverse effect on cycling standard velocity ammunition. By contrast, the newer, tighter Neuhausen stovepiped and short-stroked several times with the first few magazine loads. I applied Tetra grease to the slide rails. This appeared to cure the problem, though the slide failed to close fully on a few standard pressure rounds with the standard recoil spring, and ammunition with shorter overall length often hung up its bullet nose on the barrel ramp, unless I reloaded by drawing the slide back and releasing it with my left hand instead of operating the slide stop with the thumb of my right hand. Finally, after consuming 7 full magazine loads in rapid fire, I was puzzled to find myself having missed the 25 yard bullseye target altogether with all but two shots fired out of the eighth magazine. Upon examining the pistol, I noticed that its front sight had drifted nearly .25" in its dovetail. By then, the slide had heated up, but not to the point of being uncomfortable to my touch. Having left the front sight pusher at home, I was able to center the front sight with my thumbnail, securing it temporarily with blue Loctite. In shooting the Haemmerli pistol with equal vigor, I never caused its front sight to budge its factory witness marks.

    In two decades of P210 ownership and operation, I never experienced anything approaching this degree of embarrassment. The junior member of my Swiss arsenal has been suspended from defensive duty. I will be looking into remedial measures forthwith. :mad:
  2. BigG

    BigG Well-Known Member

    :( Wow, Michael, that is a sad story for such a renowned pistole. Hope you get it 100% without too much difficulty. Cheers!
  3. Soap

    Soap Well-Known Member

    That is unfortunate. Even the best of guns are still mechanical and still prone to failure. I've seen just about every type of gun imaginable have problems. Good luck on sorting it out!
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    I have a Hammerli P210-6 fixed sight variant that came with sights loose in the dovetails. I found and bought a set of adjustables and Loctited them in place. Gun is reliable in operation.
  5. I have an assortment of fixed sights to try out, in hope that the contrast sight rather than the slide cutout is at fault. In all my experience, this sort of thing never happened with the P210-2 military pattern pistols, which work right out of the box and hold the front sight in place, to be budged only by the screw-operated pusher. I guess I will have to get used to chemical supplements. :(

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