SIG’s protest over AFT pistol selection thrown out

GSN reports that the Government Accountability Office has thrown out a protest from Sig Sauer over the BATFE’s decision to eliminate their pistol from the procurement competition they are running to select the new pistol system for the agency …

“Based on the results of the shooting tests, the [source selection board] recommended to the contracting officer that Sig Sauer’s handgun be excluded from further consideration as unacceptable with respect to reliability,” said the GAO, in a decision document released on August 18. ATF agents had recorded 58 stoppages with Sig Sauer’s full-size and compact pistols, 13 of which were considered to be gun-induced and 45 shooter-induced.

Sig Sauer raised a variety of objections to the manner in which ATF considered various criteria during the evaluation process, but the GAO didn’t buy the company’s arguments.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • subase

    Well I’ve always considered sig sauers a professionals gun, and by ‘professional’ I mean people who shoot at people for a living, not cops or what looks to be glorified accountants.

    They should stick to the Glock/XD/S&W M&P the revolver of the semi automatic pistol world.

  • SoulTown

    Well, SIG handguns are pretty expensive…

  • Mathew

    The only GOOD Sig is a 1911 Style Sig.

    The rest are “Meh” at best. Mediocre accuracy as the barrel & slide fitting wears over time, terrible ergonomics, terrible triggers, and poor variety of aftermarket support accessories & holster options.

    Most “People who shoot at people for a living” I know are carrying 1911 variants or Glock 19, 17, or 21’s. Of the Spec-Ops guys I’ve talked with most are carrying the Glock these days and a few still take the 1911. I’m not a Glock fan, but it seems most have a flavor preference for the Glock.

    Many DID at one time have a “SIG Phase” but that didn’t last long. Poor triggers lead to poor shot placement.

  • Erik

    Why get a Sig when you can shoot just as well with an XD…

  • John C.

    What gun was it? It is odd to see this happen with a P226/P229, so I am thinking it might have been a P250.

  • ballzack

    Sig quality control has gone down the tubes lately…The Vuurwapen blog had an interesting article concerning the new Sig AR system.

    Hope this finds everyone well!!

  • SpudGun

    45 shooter-induced failures?! That is a lot of fail for one department. Obviously, as human beings we are beyond reproach and incapable of making mistakes, so it must be the Sigs.

    At least there is one gun the BATFE don’t want to get their hands on.

  • MrMaigo

    Sig is mad because people can’t just pick up the gun and have it work right? Not GAO’s fualt

  • Tuco

    I find that number of shooter induced stoppages bizarre. I’m only familiar with SIG 9mm and .45, but I’ve never experienced any sort of stoppage with either, including when friends/girlfriends who were novice shooters/gun virgins used them.

  • Michael Frangoudakis

    I shoot IDPA on a regular basis and have seen most Sig pistols either malfunction or have problems with locking the slide back on a empty mag. My friend is an US Air Marshall and they have been having problems with the slide not locking back in most of their new pistols. The older ones appear to be better with this.

  • subase

    Guess it’s all just marketing and internet fanboyism that has established the Sig as a ‘modernized 1911’, wasn’t aware of it’s long term durability issues.

  • Tuco

    Disturbing, Mr. Frangoudakis. For the record my SIGs were purchased circa 1990.

    I’m interested in suggestions further reading on the subject of a significant decline in SIG quality that is unbiased and well researched.

    From the GAO document itself: “In contrast, the agents recorded a total of 16 shooter‑induced stoppages for Smith & Wesson’s guns and 7 shooter-induced stoppages for Glock’s guns. There were no gun-induced stoppages recorded for the Smith & Wesson or Glock guns.”

    Sexists will find this interesting: “With respect to the second shooter, for whom the record contains multiple incident reports, the lead proctor states that he did not intervene; rather, the shooter herself requested a change in grip size after experiencing ‘a high volume of stoppages.”

  • subase

    “German’s complain the ham fisted U.S are sullying it’s Sig Sauer brand name”

    I guess this explains the ‘bling’ movement of Sig Sauer pistols recently, obviously an American innovation.

  • subase

    Tuco if that’s an indication of limp wristing it’s no surprise coming from women as they have weaker grips and wrists than men. That doesn’t excuse the Sig’s failure in this department. I’d also assume the inconsistent trigger pull and safety also had alot to do with the user errors.

  • These were Sig P250’s, which are absolute crap in my opinion. I love the 229/226 series, especially the new E2 ones which have a much better trigger and a much better grip, but those P250’s suck hard. Friend had one and it would not stop stove-piping for either of us!

  • Kyle

    SIG quality drop of significant proportions reported around 1995… earlier products are excellent…

  • Griffin

    @ Charles Taylor I got a P250 .45 ACP and I got no problems with it. It could either be the ammo your shootin or user error….

  • Griffin:

    That’s the thing, some are great some a crap. The pistol the ATF was examining was the P250 so it’s not just my friend that was having issues.

  • 1st Sig

    I recently purchased the P226 E2 9 mm for the smaller grip. I have fired nearly 2000 rounds with out a single FTF or FTE using both factory new and factory reloads. To date, there has been no obvious differences in ammo. At first I would clean gun after each trip to range, 150-200 rounds each visit. Currently I have allowed 600 rounds fired and will go an additional 400 rounds before cleaning again as a test of sorts. Will post any problems if they arise…

  • Guy

    There’s nothing wrong with Sig in any way when it comes to reliablility or accuracy. The ATF doesn’t know anything about guns anyways they’re the ones that try to control them. Also 1/3 of law enforcement still uses Sigs as you can see here (Thats pretty good since they cost a few hundred over a glock), so glock doesn’t control as much of the market as many think. And glocks are made of plastic and plastic doesn’t last as long as metal so I’d go with the Sig.

    “In the USA, nearly 1 in 3 law enforcement professionals use SIG SAUER firearms. “We are proud that many elite military and government forces including the U.S. Navy Seals, the Federal Air Marshals, the Department of Homeland Security and the U. S. Coast Guard carry SIG SAUER firearms”, said Ron Cohen, President and CEO of SIG SAUER”

    • ScranunSlim

      My DAO Sig 250 has been flawless. Can’t figure why it suddenly became the gun to hate. As far as the ATF, that video of Agent Macho Dreadlocks says it all. Just as he’s bragging that he’s one of the few people qualified to handle that Glock — BANG! – I’m ok, kidz — pay no attention to that hole in my foot.

  • ScranunSlim

    What a disappointment — the “AFT(sic)” (American Federation of Teachers) was interested in “Pistol Selection” and going to arm themselves. And then it turns out that it’s really the ATF(E).

    WSJ editor Paul Gigot tells the story that as a young reporter, he made an error like that (AFT instead ATF) and was summarily told, “One more mistake like that, son, and you’re outta here.”