Tim Fin­ley gets a proper hand­ful of the Sig Sauer P226

Airgun World - - Dr Finley -

This month’s re­view is the Sig Sauer P226 CO2 pis­tol, made un­der the firm’s own ban­ner in Ja­pan. The live-ammo P226 pis­tol is very pop­u­lar for a num­ber of rea­sons and un­til 2005 it was the stan­dard sidearm of much of the Bri­tish armed forces, so the de­sign and func­tion of the gun must be good.

This P226 is the US Navy ver­sion, or the MK25 to give it it’s full name – the flat, dark earth fin­ish and the an­chor mark on the top slide gives it away. Re­leased in 2011, the MK25 has been ad­ver­tised by Sig as be­ing iden­ti­cal to the firearm car­ried by the US Navy SEALs.

They have a patent for the CO2 sys­tem and I can see why be­cause it’s the eas­i­est I have en­coun­tered on any CO2 pis­tol, with­out doubt. Re­lease the drop-down door on the back strap and throw in a CO2 bulb, then close – done! This is a pel­let-fir­ing CO2 pis­tol and there’s a re­mov­able mag­a­zine that drops out of the bot­tom of the grip. This is made of plas­tic and has two 8-ca­pac­ity ro­tary mag­a­zines on each end of the stick. It’s billed as a 16-shot pis­tol, which it is, but you have to drop the mag­a­zine and spin it around to get the re­main­ing eight shots af­ter you have shot your first eight.

The mag’s take 4.5mm lead pel­lets – just get them the cor­rect way around.


Once a fully-loaded mag­a­zine has been slapped into the base of the pis­tol grip, there are three op­tions for fir­ing the P226: 1. Sim­ply, pull the trig­ger in dou­ble-ac­tion mode. This takes the ham­mer back and then re­leases it. 2. Cock the ham­mer man­u­ally with your thumb, then pull the trig­ger. This is in sin­gle-ac­tion and gives a much lighter trig­ger weight. 3. Pull the top slide back to set the ham­mer and then pull the trig­ger. This is the coolest way of the three.

Once empty of all eight or 16 pel­lets, the mag­a­zine can be dropped out of the gun by press­ing the mag­a­zine re­lease but­ton on the left-hand side of the grip, be­hind the trig­ger. This mag­a­zine re­lease catch is in the same place as on the real MK25. It is not am­bidex­trous, nei­ther is the safety catch, which is also on the left-hand side. In the lower po­si­tion on ‘safe’, you can see an ‘S’ and when pushed up, a red dot ap­pears. If the top ham­mer is cocked and you op­er­ate the safety it de-cocks the ham­mer, plus of course, you can­not cock the ham­mer or fire the gun when the safety is on. The ham­mer can be de-cocked man­u­ally.


When you do fire the P226, the top slide comes back as the lead pel­let goes out of the front in a very re­al­is­tic man­ner. Over the chrono­graph, it came in at 1.8 to 2.2ft.lbs. that’s 325 to 350 fps. Shot-to-shot vari­a­tion was fan­tas­tic, with a whole drum of eight shots within three fps at one point. It was only good for 48 shots, or three mag­a­zines worth, all down to the blow-back ac­tion tap­ping off gas, but that’s the price you pay for that sat­is­fy­ing ac­tion. If you try for a fourth mag­a­zine, the power drops to such a level that the top slide does not travel back far enough to cock the ham­mer. It will still fire, due to the dou­ble-ac­tion trig­ger, but there is also the chance that a pel­let will not have enough power to exit the bar­rel be­cause on the fourth mag’ it drops to 0.8ft.lbs.

“Once empty of all eight or 16 pel­lets, the mag­a­zine can be dropped out of the gun”

The gun is cool, no doubt about that; it’s heavy, a hand­ful, and you can re­ally feel the slide mov­ing about. The grip is well tex­tured with pim­ples all over it, in­clud­ing the back strap. Aim­ing is done via fixed open sights, and the front sight does have a white dot to aid get­ting a de­cent sight pic­ture and to speed up tar­get ac­qui­si­tion. The sight base is 154 mm long.

The trig­ger op­er­a­tion is ex­tremely fast. The ac­tion is not of the bar­rel-mov­ing-type and so it is sig­nif­i­cantly quicker than those ac­tions. The trig­ger weight when the gun is op­er­at­ing in blow-back mode is light, and it’s act­ing as a sin­gle-ac­tion trig­ger. Sin­gle-ac­tion weight is 2.1kg and in dou­ble-ac­tion with the ham­mer un­cocked it jumps to 3.8kg. If you want to fit a laser or light there is a 40mm long, Pi­catinny rail un­der the front of the ac­tion in front of the trig­ger guard.

Ac­cu­racy is very good; at six yards it shot a 15.4mm five-shot group cen­tre to cen­tre, and four of those shots were within 6.2mm, thanks to the ri­fled bar­rel. The bar­rel ex­tends off the frame with a 1281 thread to en­able a mod­er­a­tor to be fit­ted, and this thread is cov­ered by a thread pro­tec­tor.

This is a qual­ity, ac­cu­rate and well-made, CO2 pel­let-fir­ing pis­tol, with the added ku­dos of be­ing the same one used by US Navy SEALs.

This is a de­tailed replica as well as a fun plinker.

I was deeply im­pressed with the ac­cu­racy.

The cap­sule load­ing sys­tem is sim­ple and slick to use.

Here we see the ham­mer cocked.

The mag­a­zine is dou­ble ended.

I lked the flat earth colour a lot.

The safety catch in the bot­tom safe po­si­tion show­ing ‘S’.

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