Simple questions about sig frames

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by JohnhenrySTL, Oct 14, 2015.

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  1. JohnhenrySTL

    JohnhenrySTL Member

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    I have a 2010 Sig p229 elite, well I think I bought it in about 10. I purchased it brand new. Its a great gun, I love everything about it. I was told early on it was an aluminium frame. Recently somebody who seems to know more than I, told me it was actually steel. I'm wondering what it is. It says Sig N.H. And frame made in Germany.

    Also, I recently shot 2 different sig p226's. One was steel framed, and one was something else. The steel gun was a better shooting experience. Are steel framed Sigs only a thing of the past? How can one acquire a steel p229? I have fingered Google and not satisfied my curiosity.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

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    No idea what it is, but have you tried a magnet on the grip?
     
  3. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I believe (and I could be wrong), that only the stainless steel versions have steel frames. All others have an aluminum alloy frames. I had an early P226 and it had an alloy frame, as well as a BDA (early P220); both were made in Germany. I currently have a P229R made in the U.S. and it also has an alloy frame.
     
  4. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm Member

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    IIRC, SIG made a very short run of 229 STs. It may have been a "gun of the month" before the New Management came in. There is also a 229 Sport, which should have a compensator and adjustable sights.

    There were some P220 STs made that were blackened, but I don't remember if it was Nitron or something else.

    If your Elite is stainless, then the frame is indeed stainless steel. If you have the Nitron version, I am pretty sure it's an aluminum frame. Of course, if you like the 229 Elite, then you could get a Stainless Elite as well.
     
  5. Nathan Detroit

    Nathan Detroit Member

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    The Elites come with steel frames and Rosewood grips. They are still being made by SIG as far as I know. SIG also makes some of the stainless frame models with the Nitron coating, so they will appear to be identical to the alloy frame models except for the weight.
     
  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    The surest way to determine if it is aluminum alloy is to try a magnet on it.

    As a general rule, all the Elite models came with the stainless steel frame, beavertail and SRT action parts.

    I remember the 229 Sport (first in the series), but don't recall ever seeing a 229 ST...I have a 226ST and a pair of 220ST.

    If an ST has been darkened, it was done with Nitron...Nitron isn't a specific coating, SIG owns the name and any coating they want to call Nitron is Nitron; there have been different versions of Nitron over the years
     
  7. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm Member

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    229 STs came out not long after the 220ST and 226ST pistols. They were a limited run and are much more hard to find than the others.

    p229-st-large.jpg

    Nitron has historically be a process much like Melonite QPQ process. The metal gets superheated, then quenched in a solution to achieve the coating. This is not at all the same thing as K-Cote, a spray and bake finish which SIG also had on the market in overlapping timeframes.

    I disagree that "if it's black, it's Nitron." The processes and results are completely different.
     
  8. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    I should have been more specific.

    I meant if it was stainless steel and black, the finish is most likely Nitron. I do remember the old K-cote on the West German guns. I've also had several blued West German gun that were known for the thin finish on their slides

    The worst Nitron, as far as I can remember, was the period when they were re-doing alloy framed CPO guns and the Nitro was flaking off with use and cleaning
     
  9. sigarms228

    sigarms228 Member

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  10. wgsigs

    wgsigs Member

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    The Extreme Elite P229 has a hard black anodized frame, which means that it is alloy. That may be what RON has.
    http://www.sigsauer.com/CatalogProductDetails/p229-enhanced-elite.aspx

    To get a steel frame P229 it will have to be stainless steel, either a Stainless Elite (natural or nitron finish), or one of the old Sport or ST models.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
  11. ku4hx

    ku4hx Member

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    This is the definitive test. Have you tried it and what did you find out?
     
  12. joneb

    joneb Member

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    Frame broke on two of my brother's Sig 220s, and then he gave up on that.
     
  13. Nuclear

    Nuclear Member

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    Depending on the stainless steel, it probably won't be magnetic.
     
  14. ku4hx

    ku4hx Member

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    Very true. The alloy that composes such things as decorative finishes and table wear is generally non magnetic. But the alloy used in gun frames generally is magnetic.
     
  15. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm Member

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    I just remembered that SIGArms also offered a 229 reverse 2-tone, which had a stainless frame and a Nitron finished stainless steel slide (blackened). This gun was only offered in .40 S&W. It was one of the "Gun of the Month" pistols, and online references to this pistol may require "GOTM" as a search term.

    To me, the SIGs manufactured during this time frame were the pinnacle of SIG's manufacturing. Ron Cohen, of Kimber notoriety, had not yet arrived, and SIGArms (USA) and SIG Sauer (Germany) were making some truly awesome collaborations. They had none of the material or finish shortcomings of the early guns, and none of the cheapening found in the newer offerings. If I find STs or 2-tone guns (with nickel accents) from this time period, they are coming home with me.
     
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