How Sig Sauer Pistols are Made

For a “gun guy,” few things are cooler than being able to visit the factory where some of your very own firearms were made. While in Europe, I had the opportunity to visit a number of different factories, including Sig Sauer’s plant in Eckernförde, Germany. The trip took many hours, and easily could have taken many more, for there was much to see and do. I learned a great deal about Sig and its employees, and even met the man who did all the hand-fitting on my Sig X-Five Tactical.

One of my goals on this trip was to gather useful or interesting facts and information about how the manufacturers we visited made their products. To this end, while at Sig, I attempted to take photographs or video of the P226 being manufactured from start to finish. This didn’t turn out to be entirely possible to do, because not every single part was being manufactured when we visited. If you have a sharp eye, you might notice P220, P229 or SigPro components being manufactured instead of P226 components.

However, I think you’ll still like – and learn from – this video. It’s about as short as I could make it while still describing the major processes. Enjoy!

How Sig Sauer Pistols are Made

Addendum: After the video was published, Sig Sauer informed us that the German-manufactured SIG 516 rifles are in fact made in Eckernförde.



Andrew Tuohy

Andrew Tuohy was a Navy Corpsman with the 5th Marine Regiment. He makes a living by producing written and visual content within the firearm industry, and he also teaches carbine courses. He prefers elegant weapons for a more civilized age, and regularly posts at Vuurwapen Blog.


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  • Andrew, awesome video! I wish I had been there with you 🙂

  • Ben, its fixed.

  • andrew

    Thanks Steve! I think the quality of the video would have been higher if you’d been along…

  • Good job guys! You guys, excellent narration Andrew.

  • That was fantastic! I’m going to run out and buy an X-Five now!

  • kvalseth

    Great video! Now tour the HK and GLOCK factories so we can settle the debate once and for all.

  • Arifonzie

    Great video! Love these behind the scenes looks at factory’s , please could you do one on Heckler & Koch at some point if possible?

  • D

    Best vid ever!

    Thank you for doing this!!!

    Now I know what that little DE on my older P226 barrels means in terms of quality. Too bad Sig is cutting ever corner they can in the US these days.

  • fw226

    I enjoyed this a lot! Thanks for the tour. Cool to see what went into my 226.

  • JMD

    Awesome video.

  • GeoffH

    I enjoyed the video. It is interesting to see how the guns are made.

  • Steven

    Awesome! Makes me want to go build my own right now.

  • Ross

    Have you been to the SigSauer USA factory in NH? I would be very curious to know how a German and American facility operate differently, especially given the autonomy Exeter has.

    The company I work for has a contract to provide some robotic work cells to Exeter, but I’m nowhere close to the project unfortunately.

  • Francis X

    A very well done video! Both organization and content are excellent. I’ve often wondered what modern gun manufacturing was like.

  • andrew

    kvalseth/Arifonzie: HK informed us that tours were limited to military and law enforcement, and we were unable to get approval from Glock in time. Our visit to Sig had to be approved by the Sauer CEO himself. It’s understandable that these companies limit access due to the anti-gun culture in Europe, and the potential for footage to be used in “hit pieces” against the companies involved.

    Ross: I haven’t been to Exeter, but I would like to go. Same with Accokeek. As you said, it would be interesting to see how they each operate.

  • Awesome video! Gun manufacturing is really quite interesting.

  • snmp

    Many french membres of interal security force have problem with SP2022 (Sig Pro with picatinny Rail) : quick worn off Bluing, brack of the grip ….

  • MarcW

    @Kvalseth
    There’s a German documentary showing the HK factory called “Die Waffenschmiede” on youtube.

  • Cameron

    Extremely cool!

  • ptr911

    I’ve heard a rumor from a fairly well-informed source that the recent production P22X pistols were suffering from frame failures after round counts in the ballpark of 2k to 3k. The story is that one of the Swiss federal counterterrorism squads was having so many problems that they have switched to the Sphinx pistols instead.

    Can anyone confirm if the frame failures are a real problem?

  • William C.

    Personally, I think the US military should have gone with the P226 over the Beretta 92 back during the XM9 competition. Fine gun.

  • Thousand_Master

    I wouldn’t mind seeing the extended, non cut version, personally. I must have watched that tantalizingly short video at least 10 times by now.

  • jdun1911

    Great video.

    kvalseth,

    HK factory video is here.
    http://rpginn.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=117&Itemid=39

    ptr911,

    2k to 3k frame failure on P22X? That’s not a lot. In fact it about two or three days worth of training in an advance pistol class. I would like to see the report too if it is true.

  • ptr911

    Yeah. That’s kind of why I was concerned about it. My memory is hazy as to the exact numbers but I seem to remember that the round count was so low as to be noticeable. In browsing the various forums, I see people complaining about premature wear on the slide rails, but nothing about catastrophic frame failures.

  • Skans

    This is one of the most informative videos I’ve seen in a long time! Watching this made me wonder how Sig can sell guns for anything under $2,000. I’m going to watch this again with a disassembled Sig X-Five in front of me. Seriously, a very good video!