Sig P220 Semi-Automatic 45 ACP Pistol

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

February 7th, 2013


Click pictures for a larger version.







Top to bottom: disassembly lever, decocker, slide lock, magazine release.







Firing pin safety.

















The Sig P220 is the pistol that, over three decades ago, piqued my interest in Sig pistols. Previous Sig pistols were good designs, but never stirred my innards as did the double-action, lightweight-framed 220. Marketed here originally as the Browning BDA, the 220 was a product of Swiss and German engineering, and that design has been the mainstay of Sig pistols ever since. Now made in the USA, the Sig Sauer P220 has an American style magazine release, and has been tweaked in a bit, but is still basically like the original in design and function.

The P220 is a single-stack 45 ACP double-action/single-action pistol with an exposed hammer. Wearing the famous Sig-style decocking lever, the P220 is as safe of a pistol to carry as anyone would ever desire. The design incorporates a firing pin lock, which prevents discharge unless the trigger is pulled. There is no manual safety, as none is needed. The pistol fires with a long double-action pull when the hammer is down, and the slide cocks the hammer for subsequent shots. When the shooter is finished firing, the hammer can be lowered without touching the trigger or hammer, by pushing downward on the decocker. The trigger pull is very smooth, and the hammer rebounds after each shot, so that it is not resting upon the firing pin. The Sig P220 is full-sized, but not overly bulky, and it fits my hand well. Relatively lightweight for a big 45, weighing in at just under two pounds empty, the Sig carries well in a good holster, and is very comfortable to shoot.

Critical specifications for the Sig P220 are listed in the chart below. Weights are listed in ounces. Linear dimensions are listed in inches. Trigger pull is listed in pounds of resistance, as measured with my Lyman digital trigger pull scale. DA is the double-action trigger pull. SA is the single-action trigger pull. Height includes sights and magazine base pad. Maximum width is measured across the top of the frame, and includes the slide lock.

Chambering 45 ACP
Weight with Empty Magazine 31.5 oz.
Trigger Pull DA 7.7 lbs.
Trigger Pull SA 4.1 lbs.
Magazine Disconnect Safety No
Loaded Chamber Indicator No
Barrel Length 4.4"
Barrel Diameter 0.586"
Overall Height 5.76"
Overall Length 7.75"
Grip Thickness 1.21"
Frame Width 0.9"
Slide Width 1.18"
Maximum Width 1.26"
Trigger Reach 2.87"
Sights 3-Dot (Tritium available)
Magazine Capacity 8
Magazines Supplied 2
Accessory Rail Yes
MSRP (as of February 7th, 2013) $993

I tested for velocity with my chronograph set at ten feet from the muzzle, and an air temperature of forty-six degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of seventy-four percent. Velocity readings were taken at an elevation of approximately 541 feet above sea level. Velocities are listed in the chart below, and are listed in feet-per-second (fps). FMJ is a full metal jacket bullet. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint. DPX is an homogenous copper hollowpoint bullet. Glaser is a specialty pre-fragmented core inside a copper alloy jacket. PB is Pow’RBall. LFHP is a Barnes lead-free homogenous copper hollow point bullet. LWSC is a cast lead semi-wadcutter bullet. UHD is Remington Ultimate Home Defense hollowpoint ammunition. Bullet weights are listed in grains.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Buffalo Bore JHP 230 940
Buffalo Bore FMJ 230 934
Buffalo Bore LFHP 185 1188
Cor-Bon JHP 200 1080
Cor-Bon JHP 165 1080
Cor-Bon JHP 230 933
Cor-Bon DPX 185 976
Cor-Bon PB 165 1116
Cor-Bon Glaser 145 1121
Stryker JHP 185 810
Atomic HP 230 902
Remington FMJ 230 778
Remington UHD 230 831
Handload LWSC 200 921
WCC 1911 Ball FMJ 230 722

Now, let’s cut to the chase on the performance of this P220. This pistol is match-accurate. I tested for accuracy using a Ransom Master Series machine rest, to see how well the P220 would shoot, and everything that I fired in this pistol performed very well. There were no failures of any kind. Every round fed, fired, and ejected perfectly. Shown here are pictures that include the best and the worst groups fired. No group exceeded two inches at twenty-five yards, and most were under one and one-half inches. The groups shown are representative for each type of ammo tested. There are some very expensive pistols on the market that will not shoot as well as this Sig P220, and from what I hear, most P220 pistols perform as well as this one did. The 220 has full-length frame rails, and the frame to slide fit is very good, as is the slide to barrel fit.

Carrying the Sig can be done very comfortably, with a proper holster. There are many types of holsters available for the P220. The one shown here is the Cumberland from Simply Rugged. The Cumberland is a pancake design that has steel spring clips, and can be worn inside or outside the pants. It protects the pistol from damage, and the wearer’s hide from abrasion by the pistol. It goes on and off the body quickly, and makes a pistol very concealable.

To make this Sig P220 ready for carry, all I would add would be a set of Crimson Trace Lasergrips. A person is most likely to need a fighting handgun in low light situations, and the Crimson Trace Lasergrip makes it easy to put the bullets on target, whether shooting in almost pitch darkness, or from an awkward position. If you want another variation of the Sig P220, Sig Sauer lists twenty-seven different variations of the P220 on their website.

This Sig P220 is one of the best 45 ACP pistols available at any price. It is reliable, durable, lightweight, and superbly accurate. I highly recommend it. Check out the extensive line of Sig Sauer firearms and accessories online at

To order quality 45 caliber ammunition, go to,, and

To order a hand-crafted leather holster, go to

To order the best laser sights that money can buy, go to

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.



Sig 220 comes with hard case, two magazines, instruction book, and cable lock.



Simply Rugged "Cumberland" inside-the-pants holster.



Crimson Trace Lasergrip.





Disassembly for cleaning is very easy.