Big news at the Exeter, New Hampshire, plant not only includes a change of name from Sigarms to Sig Sauer, but also the release of a new pistol. The P250 featured a double-action system that raised the hammer smoothly in direct proportion to movement of the trigger. The stroke was long but the same length every time. Aside from the single-action 1911-style pistols, other Sig Sauer trigger systems are not as simple. Some models feature a double-action first stroke with the hammer remaining cocked thereafter and the trigger resetting rearward in the trigger guard. Until manually decocked, subsequent shots are fired single-action only. This system has also been offered with a shorter reset to the trigger labeled the SRT pattern. There is also a DAK trigger that works as a fulltime double-action mode with two separate reset points offering two different levels of resistance. But the P250 is different.
The amount of take-up or free play in the trigger is negligible. As soon as the trigger begins to move, the hammer starts to the rear. The point at which the hammer falls is quite far from its starting point, but if the operator decides not to shoot there is ample opportunity to release the trigger and safely lower the hammer. The trigger does not reclaim the ability to raise the hammer until it is completely forward to its rest position. The hammer cannot be thumbed back.
Whether the chamber was loaded or not or whether the slide has been racked, the hammer always appeared in the same downward position. This leads us to a problem that we have not had to deal with in a long time. In view of rule number one for handling a firearm, “Treat all handguns as if they are loaded,” perhaps it should not be referred to as a problem. The situation was that the loaded or unloaded condition of the P250 was never obvious. Most pistols either show a hammer back or there is a cutaway in the barrel hood. Many models offer an indicator to tell us when the chamber is loaded or action cocked. The extractor on the P250 carried a ridge on its outer edge similar to the one found on the Glock pistol. But the amount that the extractor bulged outward when the chamber was loaded was small, making indication too discreet, in our opinion, to be relied upon.
Another major innovation in the design of the P250 was its modular construction. The P250 consists of a polymer grip module, the subassembly including trigger, hammer, locking block and frame rails, and the slide, which housed the barrel and recoil assembly. Changing grip modules required that the takedown lever be removed. Lifting forward and up, the subassembly can be removed from the grip module. The subassembly is actually the only part that is serialized and registered as a weapon. In this way the grip module can be changed to fit a variety of hands with no more penalty than replacing the panels on a 1911, for example. Even the top end can be swapped out, presumably to change caliber and perhaps even barrel length. The modular design might eventually permit receivers with different-length grips altering capacity. Capacity of our pistol was 15+1.
As of this report much of the versatility regarding grip size, caliber, barrel length, and so on is still in the future. Eventually, you will be able to put your hands on all three grip modules before purchase, but as of our writing only pistols with the medium-size grip module in place have been available. If we hadnt shopped the well-stocked shelves of Fountain Firearms in Houston, Texas, (fountainfirearms.com or, 281-561-8447), we may not have found one at all.
The medium grip frame featured a somewhat bulbous feel. Front and rear straps showed an effective nonskid grip. The sides were stippled. There was an indent that leads the finger to the trigger on one side and a purchase point for the thumb on the other. The two indents could serve either purpose. Other ambidextrous points were the reversible magazine release and a slide release found on either side. Chambered for 9mm, the P250 was a pretty easy gun to hold on to. The grip module also featured an accessory rail with three cross hatches. Our P250 came with stainless steel slide and night sights. Basic field-stripping was accomplished by locking back the slide and rotating the takedown lever.
The modular capability of the Sig Sauer P250 should not, in our opinion, overshadow the quality of its trigger. Whether a long DAO stroke is your cup of tea or not, we have to admit that this is one of the smoothest weve tried. The sights were also very clear, which is essential because sight alignment must be adjusted continuously in order to be ready for breaking the shot. From the bench the P250 shot groups that measured on average just about 2 inches across with both the Winchester Non Toxic 105-grain rounds and the Atlanta Arms and Ammo 147-grain Subsonic Match ammunition.
Our first impression from shooting the P250 was that it was unusually prone to muzzle flip. We couldnt say if the gun was actually generating more recoil or if it was a product of the grip, which one of our staffers described as being similar to holding on to a light bulb. Submitting the P250 to our rapid-fire test told us more.
The P250 was the first gun we tested. In our initial set we rang up two-shot strings averaging 0.63 seconds in duration. We didnt know how this would compare with the other guns, but we did know we were working really hard to keep the trigger moving. But our efforts paid off. The first set of ten two-shot strings produced only one miss. We told our shooter to slow down and get all 20 hits. He reported the sensation of slowing down on the next string, but when rounded off, the elapsed time still averaged out to 0.63 seconds. We think the sensation of slowing down was merely the shooter becoming more familiar with the gun. This time all 20 shots were on target. That we could learn from the first set of runs and apply it effectively just minutes later tells us that the gun was easier to learn than expected, and feedback from the sights and trigger was reliable.
In terms of first-shot capability, the trigger can be prepped in one continuous motion, assuming there is a definite reason to shoot. But like each of our DAO pistols, riding the trigger in anticipation can be dangerous. For a quick first shot from a position of finger outside the trigger guard, training is important but gun-to-hand fit is essential. We think we would have to try all three grip modules to find out which would be best. That an onsite mockup wearing the three different modules will be available may help but it could also be misleading. In our opinion, judging the effectiveness of a grip without actually shooting the gun is akin to pronouncing a pair of shoes to be comfortable while lying in bed.