SIG Pistol Deemed Unsafe. Dutch Police Pistol Drama Continues.

The Firearm Blog’s correspondent from the Netherlands, Flying Dutchman, reports …

The Dutch police has to search again for a new police pistol. The deal with Sig Sauer for the P250 DC based PPNL (Police Pistol Netherlands) has been canceled after a series of negative tests. The minister of Security and Justice decided to call the order off, because of the risk of the security for the cop in the street. The replacement of the old Walther P5 pistol will be delayed by at least 6 months.

The gun manufacturer Sig Sauer won the tender at the beginning of 2011 for the new Dutch police pistol. After signing the contract the P250 DC had to be adapted to the specific Dutch requirements and had to be tested again. After three negative tests the deal was called off. Unfortunately Sig Sauer could not deliver the required quality, wrote the minister to the Parliament.

Police officers have to keep their current Walther P5. Some members of Parliament want to know why this decision was made so late and what the cost is of this failure.

Right now the selection committee is looking at the other contenders of last year. The police have a preference for Heckler & Koch.


[ Many thanks to Flying Dutchman for the info. ]

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.


  • ChielScape

    While it is true that Sig Sauer quality (control) has been going down lately, the minister, Ivo Opstelten, is not exactly a firearms expert. He is the main reason we dutch gun owners are facing potentially severe law changes. He wants to ban semi-auto weapons because they are “meant for shooting at moving targets.” and he caught the “the guns look too scary” virus from California, it seems. This as a result of a mall shooting with legally owned weapons that was *actually* the result of the police not doing its job when giving out the firearms license. (Though admittedly they dont have the budget and manpower to check everything as much as they need, which again, is the minister’s fault.)
    He had the case investigated but the final report was biased, skewed and ungrounded, adding to the faulty knowledge upon which decisions are made.
    None of this instills confidence in his ability to decide whether or not the police pistols are up to the task.

    • W

      interesting isn’t it? california is indeed the same way. they decide to blame firearms for their state unwilling to enforce existing laws. call me stupid, but if someone commits a crime with a firearm, what exactly are more laws doing to keep them from committing the aforementioned crime? not to dive into the murky water of politics, but comparing america’s gun violence rate to that of europe is shortsighted, considering there vast reasons why and not just a single issue (like gun availability).

      • ChielScape

        It will indeed change nothing. Even official statistics report that only 3% of deaths caused by firearms are caused by legally owned ones. Sad, but clearly there is much more to gain by doing something about the illegal ones, yet the attention given to that problem is only marginal.

        They’re not doing this to make society safer, not even the politicians, well most of them anyway, are that dumb. This is just a chance to gain popularity with the general, ignorant public, which has never even seen a firearm in the first place and is easy to scare.

  • Sig Sauer pistol UNSAFE???

    They are among the safest in the world… Looks like EU politicians are taking the WORST and DARK aspects from USA and not also the good and bright ones.

    Technically the SIG Sauers cannot shoot in any case (even falling on the muzzle with a chambered live round) unless someone PULLS THE TRIGGER.

    But maybe in these times of politically correctnes it is politically UNcorrect to pull a trigger even for a policeman…

    Just my 2 cents

    • Other Steve

      Before everyone thumbs downs this guy to death… Perhaps he could be so kind as to explain why SIGs are so much safer than other hammer fired pistols of similar type like the Walther P5, Beretta 92FS, HK P30 and etc?

      Also, I’m not sure how falling on muzzle is supposed to release the hammer on to the firing pin, but whatever. If he said falling on the hammer I could start to understand, but that’s still not going to engage the firing pin safety in line with the primer.

    • W

      According to my abilities to read and comprehend, paolo never said the SIG was safer than hammer-fired pistols. he is correct that the SIG cannot technically fire without pressing the trigger, as is the case with any comparable, modern striker or hammer fired pistol.

      I don’t understand how the SIG can be deemed unsafe, though if the dutch want a safe handgun, perhaps they should wait until electronic wristband handguns are widely fielded (god forbid). Here is a way to think outside the box: trigger safety. if you use the rules of gun safety, any handgun is satisfactory in its “safeness”. Of course, what would americans know? (LOL)

    • mosinman

      paolo you are wrong, the safest pistols in the world are the deactivated ones ;D

    • Komrad

      The lack of safety may not have anything to do with negligent or accidental discharges. It could very well be the same issue older .40 Glocks had with insignificant chamber support or some other design or QC issue that makes ka-booms more likely. Or it could have something to do with reliability being too low and putting officers at risk that way.
      It does not necessarily have anything to do with ND/ADs.

  • Massoud

    I found this surprising as well, but like ChielScape, I have noticed a slight drop in quality (canted rail on my first Sig556). Does anybody know what the requirements were? I would be interested in learning more about what Sig CAN’T do. I own several Sig’s and have never had ANY issue with them other than what I mentioned above.

    I hate to see any slide in quality from a company that was built on it. I still love my Sig! (and hated the only HK I owned…then sold)

    • kvalseth

      The owners of SIG556 rifles I know have similar complaints; US produced SIG firearms are often reported to be of lower quality than Swiss/German manufacture.

      • 543

        I own a SIG556(paid $800 new in box) and have zero issues with mine and the owners of SIG556 rifles I encounter at my local range have had no complaints either, the most common issue is the SIG supplied mags that have caused most of the failure to feed or cycle issue being reported, and I’ve noticed being it is a cheap rifle in the U.S. a lot of first time rifle owners who aren’t as experienced tend report issues based on inexperience (using .223 Remington instead of 5.66 NATO spec ammo, quality mags, proper maintenance). In my experience with the internet it’s only the owners who have had problems that tend write posts about it even sometimes before they contact SIG customer service to take care of any issues. Secondary in my experience with other shooters, SIG and HK are two brands that you either love or hate with a lot of unwarranted bashing taking place for various childish reasons. I personally have no brand preferences. Plus U.S. SIG 556 rifles differ in allot of respects from its Swiss/German SIG551/552 cousins with a lot of the major parts not being interchangeable. It’s only with the recent introduction by SIG USA of the SIG551A1 that we are getting a rifle that’s closer to the original SIG 550 series of rifles and even with this, it’s a different barrel, flash suppressor and milled lower aluminum receiver than European ones.

      • Wanderer

        Honestly, that’s just hype and the knee-jerk foreign pistols are better!” reaction. I’ve owned two P239s, one P220 SAO (sold it because I didn’t like the position of the safety), a P232, a P250, P238, and a P938. I presently own a P226, a P229, and a P239 and have shot nearly every other firearm they make, including models from Germany, Switzerland, and the US….despite having put thousands of rounds through this variety of pistols, I honestly can’t tell the difference in where the guns were made from handling or shooting them.

        That being the case, it stands to reason that it’s all hype rather than fact…I’d have played with a lemon or two by now if such an issue were actually commonplace.

  • Dan

    The decision to cancel the order may have less to do with the pistol and more to do with politics. As the Dutch look at ways to reduce their deficit, a deferred purchase looks like a good decision to many.

  • Dan

    This has more to do with politics than sig pistols being unsafe 🙁

  • Bolter

    “There are two things I hate most in this world…people who are intolerant of other cultures…and the Dutch.”

  • Matt

    There’s only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Dutch.

    • mosinman

      hahahahaha take da fajha awwwwaaayyy!

  • Matt

    An sorry, didn’t mean to copy your comment bolter.

  • Lance

    Been a bad year for SiG. Seems there pistol have been losing out to the Beretta 92FS the H&K USP and now the S&W M&P 45, and of course the Colt 1911A1. Nothing wrong with SiGs but there not as good compared to others. The M-9 is one better pistol in 9mm or in .45 the Glock or M&P are better.

    • Nadnerbus

      The whole last part of the paragraph was entirely subjective. Sig P series pistols are incredibly fine pistols, just from my own experience. Large government contracts often come down to politics and lobbying over quality.

      This reminds me of the heavy trigger for NYPD G19s. Was the original trigger a design flaw, or did some NYPD officers have bad trigger discipline?

      • Andrew

        NYPD requires a heavy trigger for all three of the guns they authorize, not just the G19.

    • W

      I wouldn’t say SIG has it too bad. many American federal law enforcement agencies and USSOCOM use the P226 or P229 variants (both very fine handguns).

      Its surprising though that SIG would drop the ball. perhaps politics has a lot to do with it. I cannot disagree with you on the beretta. Despite emotional criticism of it by many soldiers, it is in fact a fine 9mm handgun. I like it enough that i own a 92FS.

  • Tinkerer

    I don’t know why would a genuine, german or swiss made SIG pistol, suffer from quality control issues or unsafe design. Heck, from the classic P210 to the next generation of P220, SIG-Sauer pistol have been nothing short of legendary -they’re my second favorite, the CZ-75 is my no.1-.

    Now, I’d like to know what “tests” did the SIG pistols fail, and how did it fare in said tests against it’s competitors. I just don’t trust a politician’s word when he says that the SIG “failed three tests”.

  • Brian P.

    So…can I have one of their P5s when they’re done with them?

    • Burst

      (inside US) Bush-41 says no. Wouldn’t be prudent.
      (Outside US) Why would you want a gun? What are you, an American?

    • Royi

      Believe me, you don’t want those old P5’s.
      First of all, they will be sent to the melting pots, unless you are a policeman with the proper licenses and a sentimental cling towards your service weapon.
      Second of all, it has been modified/patched heavily.
      Third of all, it’s basically a piece of crap, really, despite the average annual rangetime of approximately 10 rounds, it’s most likely worn down and the earlier mentioned modifications only makes it worse.

      If you want a P5, just hit the stores, they’re plentiful.

  • Vitor


    Dutch politicians found out that pistols can be lethal.

  • W

    if it is a issue with production and quality control, then one shouldn’t be surprised these are reasons why the US is the top arms exporter in the world. countries with restrictive gun laws have a nasty habit of losing their edge in arms manufacturing (the best example of this is Enfield/Royal Small Arms Factory now Royal Ordinance) which seems to be kept afloat by the US mostly (such as the case of H&K).

    • jdun

      The USA has some of the worst restricted export gun laws in the world. We have some of the stupidest export regulations in the world.

  • Sian

    Nobody seems to like the P250. Is it because Sig Sauer just doesn’t have the hang of polymer frame pistols yet? The trigger is nice, for a DAO, the looks and ergonomics are good, but there’s just something off about it.

    also 3 out of 6 that I’ve handled have had extremely (dangerously in the case of the .40) over-polished feedramps. Sent the .40 back for repair, they returned it saying it was in-spec. Yeah, bulged cases with factory target ammo is in spec?

  • Tim

    I posted this before, but will repost:
    A few months ago I was told that SIG-Sauer has had a precipitous drop off in quality, specifically frame welds in the 22x series pistols.

    The gentleman who related the story to me has a sterling resume in the firearms training world.

    He said that a particular Swiss counter-terrorism unit dropped the 22x pistols because of repeated frame failures at high round count– if I’m remembering right, somewhere around 20k. But these guys shoot a lot, apparently. I was told that they are now using the Sphinx instead.

    • jdun

      SIG-Sauer have been going down hill for sometime now. The US Federal Air Marshall dump their new Sig a while back and reissued the old Sig back to their agents.

      • Thomas

        So, what is your point. In the first place, the P250 is a polymer framed pistol and has no frame welds. IN the second, the P22x series of pistols has CAST aluminum frames, which also have no welds. I have seen no reports of frame cracking on the newer model P22x series pistols, so I have no idea what the source of these reports are.

        Now, the early P250s had ftf and fte issues from the get-go. Apparently, these problems have not been resolved and it is for this reason that the Dutch Police decided to cancel the contract. And, as this is the only poly framed service pistol in the SIG line, the police would have to purchase one of the P22x series pistols, which would be much more expensive than the P250. Personally, I would simply scrap the P250 and start over, if I were SIG.

  • Caseless

    Wow, Dutch police still use Walther P5. Maybe Sig should restart their P6 production line and add an accessory rail.

  • Thomas M

    This shouldn’t be a surprise, there are more and more reports coming in from LEA of problems with newly recieved guns from SIG. Many of reports come from angencies have had long standing relationships with SIG that were based on SIGs history and previously legendary reliability.

  • BillyBones

    To clarify:
    1. Sig p250 is NOT the only polymer handgun currently manufactured by Sig. Search for SigPro 2022.
    2. Sig p22 series frames are NOT cast.

  • jon

    The p938 is what I’ve been looking for! However even $700 for one is a little high!

  • johnny

    its the p250, the worst firearm SIG ever made…….no surprise the order got cancelled.

    they couldve ordered p226s ( the “classic” line of SIGs is still top of the line) and sidestepped this entire fiasco.

  • Windmill

    Dutch Goverment has chosen the Walther P99Q as the sucessor for the P 5. Other services like customs wil also adapt to this pistol. In total 43.000 units are to be orderd. Price per unit is around € 500,- . The transition will be completed at the end of 2014.

  • I am in fact glad to read this webpage posts which carries tons of valuable facts, thanks for providing these

  • steveindajeep

    Wonder if they looked at the sig-pro at all. I have one, totally underestimated, overlooked firearm.