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Is My SIG P226 SAO Safety Defective?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by JJNA, Jul 27, 2013.

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  1. JJNA

    JJNA Member

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    Today I bought a SIG P226 Elite SAO that I had been seeking since its introduction earlier this year. After I brought it home and played with it a bit, something was noticeable right away -- the safety was pretty mushy and did not always make the "click" sound and did not always engage the positive detent. In fact, the safety could be swiped down with so little pressure that just a light swipe across my pants, for example, would disengage it.

    When I cock the hammer and engage the safety (or engage the safety and cock the hammer), it nonetheless works. I pull the trigger and the safety prevents the trigger/hammer from engaging.

    However, if I engage the safety and then retract the slide, the safety disengages and subsequently does not require me to disengage the safety to pull the trigger and actuate the hammer! From this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-L266AkXLA) it appears that I should be able to work the slide while the safety is on, but my gun does not do that. Interestingly, if I cock the hammer, engage the safety, try to pull the trigger, the safety locks up a bit more and then I can work the slide without the safety disengaging itself. However, if I simply cock the hammer, engage the safety (and then not check the safety by trying to pull the trigger) and then work the slide, the safety disengages itself. This is not normal, is it?

    The dealer who sold it to me is going to be around at my local area two more days (for a gun show), so I'd like to bring it back to him if this is abnormal. Normally, I'd call SIG first, but since it's the weekend, I don't think I can get in touch with SIG first. If I waited until Monday, I won't see the dealer again for 2 months and his store is several hours away.

    I'd appreciate any constructive input.
     
  2. Bovice

    Bovice Member

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    Something seems wrong.

    1. The safety should engage and stay engaged until you deliberately disengage.
    2. This is a new model and it sounds like it's full of bugs. I'd swap it for a standard P226 and wait a few years for problems to clear.
     
  3. Fremmer

    Fremmer Member

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    The safety disengages itself, does that mean the safety lever actually moves down by itself, or is the hammer dropping when you release the slide and the safety lever stays in the up position?

    Also: my safety lever was very stiff when I first bought the gun; make sure you're moving that lever all the way up when you engage it, mine was stiff enough that it was difficult to move up with the shooting hand thumb at first.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013
  4. ritepath

    ritepath Member

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    Congrats on finding a SAO 226...I've got the 226 or 220 SAO on my short list.

    I say drop by the booth just to confirm the safety is broken, while assuring the dealer you'll be the one to ship it back. Maybe you can find another one at the show to put you hands on and determine proper function. I would think a nice positive click for engagement and disengagement would be the norm.
     
  5. Fremmer

    Fremmer Member

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    It should engage and disengage (especially when you disengage it by pushing down) with a nice positive thunk sound when you manipulate the lever.
     
  6. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    When I saw P226 SAO I immediately thought your question was about the safety lever needing two thumbs and a knee to operate. I have an X-5 TAC which is an SAO 226 and the safety was nearly impossible to work at first. It definitely clicks though.

    Too hard is better than what you have, I'd say.
     
  7. JJNA

    JJNA Member

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    I bought it specifically for the SAO, so I am not returning it to get a DA/SA gun.
     
  8. JJNA

    JJNA Member

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    When I work the slide, it actually pushes down the safety a tad bit and that is enough for the hammer to go bang when I pull the trigger thereafter. Working the slide, by itself, does not actuate the hammer.

    So this is where it stands:

    I went back to the dealer at the gun show. He told me he sold six of these so far and they were ALL like that. By that, he meant mushy safety with almost no resistance when swiping it down. He wasn't sure whether the others did the unusual and surely defective working-the-slide-deactivates-the-safety routine mine does.

    He offered to refund my money and take the gun back. He also offered to take it back with him and send to SIG but he wouldn't be back to my area for two months. He told me that I'd get faster service from SIG if I contacted it directly and mentioned the safety issue (and that it should send me a shipping label and pickup the parcel cost). If SIG wouldn't issue me a shipping label, he asked me to tell SIG to contact him (he is a pretty sizable dealer).

    He additionally offered to take it back and refund me if Sig repaired it and I still was not satisfied. That's pretty good service, no?

    I probably should have been smart, get a refund and buy an H&K P30S (he had one for $60 more than the P226 SAO and the safety on it was pretty clicky), but I decided to contact SIG on Monday and see what happens -- I like everything about the gun except the safety. And since SIG has been good to me in the past, I decided to give the company a shot at making it right.

    I'll report back on what happens if anyone is interested.
     
  9. Fremmer

    Fremmer Member

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    Yeah that safety shouldn't be mushy at all, it should be a pretty stiff on a brand new gun, with very positive engagement and disengagement when manipulated (and a thunk sound when you disengage). And the safety should not move when the slide is worked, and it certainly should not disengage. Hope Sig fixes it, because the SAO trigger is pretty good.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  10. JJNA

    JJNA Member

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    I received a shipping label from Sig. It's going back shortly. I'll update once there is more news. Thank you everyone for the helpful comments.
     
  11. JJNA

    JJNA Member

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    I did send my P226 SAO back to the factory. It came back fast -- in under two weeks. The good thing is that the safety no longer deactivates by itself upon slide movement. Also, I can no longer drop the safety by simply shaking the gun vigorously.

    The bad thing is that the safety is still fairly loose and requires very little pressure to drop. Simply pressing the left side of the gun into my thigh, waist or belt will press the safety and disengage it as does putting the gun back in its factory case (from the foam pressing the safety). I do not consider the gun safe enough to carry or use for self defense, so I am pondering what I ought to do -- 1) send it back again to the factory, 2) return to my dealer for refund or 3) keep it as a range-only gun/safe queen.
     
  12. JJNA

    JJNA Member

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    I should add that I am able to put a little pressure on the safety and get it to be stuck in the "middle" position (because it's all mushy between on/off and has no definite detent point) at which point I am able to press the trigger!

    I'm calling SIG... again.

    In the mean time, I did buy an H&K P30S. The single action trigger on that has a long takeup and a very long reset, but the safety is very positive and firm as well as clicky. :)
     
  13. Fremmer

    Fremmer Member

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    Yeah I'm sorry, man, that safety shouldn't be so easy to disengage. That sucks.
     
  14. YZ

    YZ member

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    The safety should be crisp, positively engaged, two positional. Don't compromise. SIG knows it. If they give you a runaround like an insurance company, the odds are you will prevail. It may take a while. Just brace yourself mentally and try to forget about shooting this 226 any time soon. That's what I tell myself in a similar situation which I hate with all my guts.
     
  15. JJNA

    JJNA Member

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    It's back at SIG again... Will see if SIG takes my concerns seriously. In the mean time, I heard through another forum that a few other people are having the same problem. There is even a SIG armorer who has two P226 SAO's in his shop, both with 2 lbs deactivation weight on the safety, as opposed to the 5.5 lbs on other SIG models with manual safeties.

    He likes how they shoot, but is not thrilled at all about how the safety is designed -- he says that it is unlike all other SIGs with manual safeties (P220 SAO, X-5, etc.).

    Having taken off the left side grip and seen how the safety works on my P226 SAO, I completely agree. A flimsy flat, round spring mounted on a tab, held by the pressure of the left grip panel is all that stands between safety off and on.
     
  16. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    Deleted
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  17. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "5.5 lbs on other SIG models with manual safeties."

    Thanks for passing that along.

    Good luck, and I hope they fix it right and do it soon.

    John
     
  18. Fremmer

    Fremmer Member

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    Didn't know the safety design is different on the 226; I have the 220 SAO.
     
  19. YZ

    YZ member

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    I didn't know either but it is true. Learned from this forum.
     
  20. JJNA

    JJNA Member

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    Finally, after two trips back to the factory, the safety is what it should be. Very positive, decent breaking weight, good, firm clicky engagement and disengagement... And I can no longer put it in the middle between on and off.

    SIG should have made it like this from the beginning!
     
  21. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm glad they took care of you
     
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