I talked with the good folks at SIG SAUER last year at the NRA convention in Pittsburgh, and was informed that the P250 Compact was slated to become MA-compliant. Shortly before SHOT Show in January, I received word that a T&E sample had been sent to my FFL, and for the past four months I’ve been putting it through its paces. It arrived in the usual configuration:
The most notable part of the P250 is of course the interchangeable fire control group:
Oh, yes, you’d better believe there’s going to be a video forthcoming that shows exactly this…
A valid counterpoint to this system, of course, is that the kits needed to change sizes are half the price of a second gun entirely – MSRP on the Caliber X-Change Kit is $285 and the grip frames are another $45. With the MSRP for the stock P250 Compact at $468, it’s more than half again the price to get a full sized frame and slide – but then again, it is most of a new gun in the kit. The fire control unit remains constant, though, so the trigger pull, reset, etc. are going to be the same in the full sized 9mm configuration as well as the subcompact .45 ACP configuration.
So, what’s it like?
Well, the first thing I did was to take it down to the basics
I didn’t get much opportunity to carry the P250 Compact. It’s about the size of a Glock 19, a little larger in most dimensions but about the same general size. It’s not quite a full-sized gun, but it is pretty sizable, and the sub-compact size is much more portable, so I saved most of the carry experience for the smaller grip and slide. The few times I carried the Compact, though, I found it to be reasonable for concealed carry when a cover garment was used. It’s not going to disappear under a T-shirt, but it’s certainly not expected to be that simple to conceal.
Shooting the P250.
At first pull, the trigger is long. Loooong. It’s a double action only, hammer-fired action, so that’s certainly to be expected – it is very much like a double action revolver in that regard. The release occurs with the trigger very nearly all the way at the back of the trigger guard – at first somewhat disconcerting, but after getting used to it, certainly not unreasonable. For a firearm with no safeties, the long trigger pull ensures that the P250 will only fire when you intend it to.
The big question, of course, is how does it shoot? Well, the picture does the talking:
Two magazines, 25 feet, unsupported rapid fire. The first couple shots went low, but once I adjusted for the long, heavy trigger pull, accuracy was well within acceptable limits (well, for my shooting, at least). It’s easy to keep on target, surprising for a lightweight .45 ACP, and as the trigger smoothed out (and I got more used to it), it’s certainly accurate enough for use as a defensive arm. If I want something for long distance pistol work or bullseye, I’ll grab a 1911 or a revolver. For down-and-dirty defensive work, the P250 is plenty accurate.
One of the funniest parts of running the P250 was that – despite internet protestations to the contrary, I found the P250 to be the only new semi-automatic firearm I’ve had for testing and evaluation that did not have some form of malfunction in the testing period. Some were as simple as failures to fire, some more severe, but even the vaunted Smith & Wesson M&Ps had some initial teething issues. I think a good deal of my surprise with the failure rate comes from shooting mostly used guns – teething issues are long past – but the P250 did not have a single issue with loading, firing, or ejecting any rounds in all of the testing performed. I put nearly 500 rounds through the P250, most of which were Tulammo steel-cased 230 grain FMJ – and all were without any sort of cleaning or lubrication. The first time the P250 was cleaned was for the photo shoot for this post…
I was very pleasantly surprised by the SIG SAUER P250. For an entry level firearm, the performance was excellent, the accuracy as good as could be expected for my shooting, and the reliability was well-above average. The fit and finish on the model I had for testing was excellent, the firearm felt solid and sturdy and did not change over the course of several months and several hundred rounds. It’s simple to operate, simple to maintain, and should serve well as a defensive sidearm.
SIG SAUER P250: Forget what you think you know – this is a contender!
That is all.