Over the weekend, I figured out I hit the 10,000 round mark with my SIG Sauer P226. It made me think about my history with this gun over the last six years, and how well it has performed. When I first purchased the P226, it was a basic Enhanced Elite model with the E2 molded grip. It had an SRT trigger already installed along with night sights and I couldn’t have been happier. Up until that point, I was carrying a P220 in .45 ACP for two or three years prior, along with an older generation Glock 19. The feel and overall layout of the P226 were great when I started carrying it. One thing I had to get used to though was the weight compared to my older Glock 19. SIx years later, It’s still my daily carry and has easily become my favorite pistol to carry and shoot.
The P226 has an alloy frame with a stainless steel slide for an overall weight of 34 ounces. It’s not the lightest gun in the world but has a nice balance of weight. The P226 absorbed felt recoil compared to lighter polymer alternatives. The P226 Elite has a 4.4-inch barrel and has an overall length of 7.7 inches. putting it into the full-size handgun category. Chambered in 9mm, the standard magazine carries 15 rounds. The anodized alloy frame holds up great over time, and the slide is treated with a Nitron finish. My experience with these finishes is positive over the last six years. I’ve taken multiple classes with the handgun, and it’s been abused, to say the least. I have scratches and wear marks but everything has held up extremely well over the years.
Whenever I go out for range days, I typically start off with the P226 on my side to warm up. If I have to shoot another pistol I will transition to it, but almost every time I start off with my 226 and a Surefire X300 in an RTI rigged holster. The sights are SIGlight night sights and are really easy to pick up since they are traditional 3 dots. Typically, when people purchase a P226 everything feels stiff from the factory, but they function great right out the box. The best part of the handgun is when it’s been shot a little. When the gun starts to wear it feels buttery smooth and the trigger really starts to feel smooth. The trigger is very predictable with little take up or travel.
Over the years, I have really become fond of the DA/SA style and how predictable everything is once you start putting in work. The front serrations are useful for press checks and doing quick handgun manipulations. My favorite thing about the P226 is the confidence the gun instills into me. It’s not a light gun, but the added weight makes it easy to connect on target when you’re moving or behind cover. I’ve put the gun through car windows in a vehicle class and dragged it through gravel when in a medical class. The gun isn’t pristine by any means but despite the scratches and wear marks, it runs like its brand new.
The aftermarket support for the P226 is fairly large for a gun that isn’t a polymer wonder. It’s not supported like the Glock handguns but has a ton of different options for upgrading your gun. The gun came pretty nicely set up from SIG with the Short Reset Trigger and front slide serrations. After a few years, I decided I wanted to try out a flat trigger. Gray Guns produces an adjustable flat trigger very similar to the ones that are standard on the SAO Legions. They are difficult to find in stock but after a few weeks, I finally tracked down an adjustable flat trigger and installed it into my gun. So far, I’m loving the flat trigger in my gun and it took two pounds off my double action and brought my single action pull down to around 3 pounds.
I also replaced the E2 style grips with a set of Hogue G10 Extreme grips and so far I’m very happy with how they have been performing. A P226 may not be up on the same level of customization as a Glock, but there’s still plenty of ways to make the gun your own with aftermarket parts.
At the end of the day, The P226 is definitely top 3 handguns made in my book. I’ve carried the same gun over the last 6-7 years and I couldn’t be happier with how it has performed. It’s been beaten up in multiple training courses and countless days on my hip getting sweaty as a concealed carry gun. I’ve never had issues with reliability and it has run all ammo I put through the gun. I’ve had junk ammo and squib loads but the guns been a champion. If you’re on the fence and trying to decide whether or not to purchase a P226, my advice is to go for it! They hold their value really well, and they become extremely smooth the more you shoot them.
I can’t be happier with my example and how its performed so far. I have made it my own and it has become a gun I will never sell. I’m usually picky with what I carry on a daily basis, but I have no reservations about my gun. Honestly, I would gladly carry it whenever possible. Let me know what your experience has been with the 226. If you have questions feel free to leave a comment below. Stay safe out there.
We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.