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Browning SIG 220

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Storm, Mar 4, 2009.

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  1. Storm

    Storm Member

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    Years ago I had a stamped and pinned SIG 220 .45 European model. I loved the gun but foolishly sold it. I have wanted another and found a gun that appears identical. It's a .45 220 SIG marked Browning. I believe that these guns were first offered here through Browning. The gun appears identical to my old 220 and is in excellent condition with a bit more fancy finish with polished blue slide panels. Other than the finish, were there any differences with the guns for Browning, or should I expect a gun the same as a SIG marked 220 from that era?
     
  2. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    As far as I know, they are identical. I would expect a Browning-marked P220 to have the original heel-release for the magazine instead of the later 'American' release, but I could be wrong.
     
  3. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I had one of those Brownings many years ago. It was called the BDA-45; being offered in 9mm. and Super .38 as well. Prior to that, Hawes Firearms had imported the Sig Sauer P220 back in the mid to late '70s. The Browning BDA-45 was an outstanding gun, with accuracy potential matching a Colt Gold Cup I also owned at the time. And the gun's ergonomics were so good, my then 16 year old sister had no problem keeping 7 rounds in the black at 35 feet, her first time out shooting. I would love to have a BDA-45 again, as well as the Super .38 version; they were great guns.
     
  4. Storm

    Storm Member

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    Thanks for the replies. One more question. The gun in question definitely has the heel release like my first one. Will a regular American mag release type mag work in the gun with the heel release? I really hate to start hunting down rare mags, I have enough of those types of guns as it is.
     
  5. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I don't see why not; the fact that the new magazines have the side cut-out for the mag release shouldn't really have any effect on the earlier heel release guns. I doubt they changed the magazines dimensions due to the different release location. Maybe check in at the sigforum to see if anyone there can answer your question for sure.
     
  6. Storm

    Storm Member

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    Thanks for that additional opinion, I tend to agree that a newer mag should fit with the heel release. In an hour I am going to pick up the gun, if it's still there. I'm really scraping for this one as it is the one that I have been waiting for and it kind of snuck up on me, but I know that if I don;t take a try at it I'll long regret it. This is my chance to rectify a mistake made 20 years ago.

    My old Euro 220 was an incredible gun with, as bannockburn has said, accuracy that got close to a fine 1911. I don't know if the current 220's are that good. I bought a newer one a year or so back that had a rail and I could never warm up to it. It's funny, when I had the Euro model the American models with the mag release behind the trigger guard were just coming out (1987-88?) out and were very hard to get at first. I wanted one badly and failed to really appreciate what I had right in my hand. Truth be told, the heel mag release never bothered me, and when you drilled with it mag changes became second nature. It was a case of wanting what I couldn't have.

    If the gun is still there I will unfortunately be paying more than I should for it, but that sting will pass and soon be forgotten. Sometimes you just can't pass on a gun. Hopefully a photo or two will follow a bit later today.

    Again, thanks to all for the info. I'm now on a mission :D
     
  7. Storm

    Storm Member

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    Mission accomplished. You can see the gun below. It's in near perfect condition with the exception of a very small area on top to the front right on the slide that was rust that might have been from sitting in a holster. It's inconsequential. The gun looks like it has hardly been shot, not showing any of the signs of other than nominal use. The gun is date stamped "HH" for 1977 which is significant as the gun was introduced by SIG in 1976 with the first Brownings in 1977. Stamped on the left side is "Browning Arms Co., Morgan Utah & Montreal PQ" and on the right side, in adddition to the serial number "Sig-Sauer System Made in W. Germany". On the 4473 the gun went down as a Browning. On the right grip above the top grip screw is a raised Browning banner. The mags look to be standard 220 mags, although with the heel release the newer mags with the thick floorplate will not work.

    Also significant are the polished panels on the slide. Basically, the slide is a two-toned finish between matte and polished. The slide bears that deep rich plumb hue that you see in older German higher end guns like Walther, SIG and HK. The finish on the frame is pristine with no eveidence of handling or carry on the grips.

    Overall I'm one happy camper.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Well alright; way to go! I miss my old Browning as it was one rugged and reliable .45 that could hold its own in the accuracy department as well. Enjoy.
     
  9. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    That's handsome - congrats. :)

    I'm curious - are the slide rails on the frame straight or do they have sand cuts?
     
  10. Storm

    Storm Member

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    I'll have to check on that, but my recollection (almost certain) is that they are straight with no sand cuts.

    There's a true story about the 220 that bears repeating. Years ago, in the mid 80's, I was at my buddies cabin and had my 220 with me. A friend of mine, who had never fired a gun in his life, asked to shoot it. We were standing on the porch of a cabin and he chose a target, a cinder block, that was down a hill and over the edge of a pond, at least 100 to 120 yards away, if not more. His first shot cracked the block into two. The next three or four shots, called by the shooter, were direct hits on the remaining chunks. One hit could have been luck. Even two, but there was no way it was all luck.

    A month later the guy came back with a brand new Ruger P85 to try out, and he couldn't hit the broad side of the barn with it. That's nothing against the P85, although some of those early ones weren't exactly tack drivers, but it showed to me the inherent accuracy of the 220 with a brand new shooter, bascially a blank slate, doing so well with one gun and so poorly with another.

    It also shows that after that lesson how downright stupid I was to sell/trade that gun. I'm hoping this one gets close.
     
  11. MK11

    MK11 Member

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    CDNN has a bunch of P220 mags and does have little notices saying some work for older European models-only while others only work in the newer models.
     
  12. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Very cool and unique pistol there. I also like the euro style mag release but just opt for the American because of availability. Used to have a first run HK P7 with it.
     
  13. Storm

    Storm Member

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    Yeah, I saw that! Good deal. I'll be placing an order next week. I like to have at least four mags for each gun.

    As to that heel release, it does take some getting used to and isn't as fast, but you'll never mistakenly dump a mag.
     
  14. Storm

    Storm Member

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    Just confirmed: straight uncut rails.
     
  15. col_tapiocca

    col_tapiocca Member

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    Very nice! Swiss Army issue the P220 in 9x19 mm with
    european style mag release.
    P220 chambered for .45acp are quite rare here.
    But we've a lot of service pistol mod. 75 (SigSauer P220)
    here. They cost appox. $400-700 here.
     
  16. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Sweet 220. What do sand cuts look like, BTW?
     
  17. Storm

    Storm Member

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    In this case I assumed that they were breaks in the rail where material is removed somewhat like lightening cuts. I'd have to look at my other SIGs to see the difference.
     
  18. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    That was one of the things that impressed me with my Browning BDA-45; its incredible accuracy with its out of the box stock trigger and fixed sights. I used to shoot both the BDA and my Gold Cup at the same range session, and the BDA could match the Colt shot for shot. And it wasn't as fussy as the Gold Cup was with different loads; reliabilty was great with any loading and with any bullet configuration. The piece de resistance was taking my teenage sister from shooting a Ruger .22 to shooting the BDA, all in her first time out shooting. The gun was just that easy for her to shoot, and shoot very accurately too.
     
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