Introduced in 1992, the SIG P229 is a compact firearm designed for duty or concealed carryConcealed Carry is the practice of carrying a concealed weapon on one’s person in public. Concealed firearms can be carried on a person’s body, typically in a holster, or off body in a purse, backpack or other specialized concealment accessories and garments.. Its lightweight aluminum frame, high-capacity magazine, inherent accuracy and reliability has made the P229 a very popular defensive handgun. It has seen extensive law enforcement, military and civilian service and has been made available in a number of variations over the years.

The Legion P229 SAO

The P229 was created as a precision high-capacity single-action-onlySingle-Action (SA) trigger is the earliest and mechanically simplest of trigger types. Single-action means pulling the trigger does one action: releases the hammer or the striker. (SAO) combat pistol in the vein of the 1911. It is flawlessly executed. All of its features work together to enhance precision shooting for combat, competition and target shooting situations.

The P229 SAO features the Legion Gray finish on the slide and frame. Under artificial light, the finish is a dark gray. When viewed in sunlight, it takes on a parkerized greenish hue. The greenish hue contrasts nicely with the black firing controls and black G10 Legion chevron grips. The finish gives the Legion 229 an ultra-serious battlefield appearance and is just one feature that sets it apart from the crowd.

Easily reached ambidextrous 1911-type safety levers replace the traditional SIG decocker. However, unlike a traditional 1911, activating the safety lever does not lock the slide. This setup enhances safe operation when chargingCharging is a term meaning to “load” a cartridge into the chamber of a semi-automatic gun. and clearing the SAO Legion. Simply apply the safety before beginning either operation. Both the slide release and magazine release lever are located on the left side. The hammer is a standard SIG hammer with no additional enhancement but still easily cocked or lowered with the thumb.

The P229 SAO uses a flat target trigger instead of a traditional curved one. Prior to this test, I was not a big fan of flat triggers. But the flat triggers, first appearing on competition pistols, seem to be all the rage these days. As it turned out, the flat trigger was a good choice for this specialized pistol.

SIG P229 Legion SAO Technical Specs 

Caliber 9mm
Magazine capacity        15+1 (three steel magazines included)
Sights   X-ray square
Overall length  7.1 inches
Width   1.7 inches
Height  5.5 inches
Barrel length/material  3.9 inches/carbon steel
Frame  Alloy/integral Picatinny rail/reduced and contoured beavertail/checkered frontstrap
Weight 32 ounces
Firing control system    Single-action-only trigger/ambidextrous manual safeties
Price    $1,200

SIG P229 at the Range

Before I left for the range, I measured the P229 SAO trigger pull on my Wheeler Engineering trigger gauge. Pull weight averaged a very crisp 3 pounds, 4 ounces with a short takeup. I brought along a mix of SIG Sauer Elite 124-grain FMJFull Metal Jacket (FMJ) bullets are bullets that have no exposed lead on the nose or sides and do not deform as dramatically as hollow-point or bare-lead bullets. practice ammo and 124-grain V-Crown defensive ammo for the test. It was a cool and cloudy afternoon when I tested.

The front sight’s tritium vial features a vivid green outline ring that makes it stand out. The rear sight’s vial had a plain black outline. This is a great setup. The eye is drawn quickly and directly to the front sight without distraction from similar appearing rear-sight dots. There is no accommodation for mounting a red dot optic, but it seems unnecessary with this type of sight setup.

I started firing from 25 feet aiming at the head of a plain silhouette. Between the great sights and excellent trigger pull, I managed to place six rounds dead in the center, grouping the rounds within two inches. I actually lost my aversion to the flat trigger. It was quite comfortable and enhanced the trigger-pull sensation. I also practiced rapid firing on a steel silhouette using the SIG 124-grain V-Crown ammo. The sights came to bear incredibly fast, and dead center hits rang the “gong” solidly. Of course, there were no malfunctions.

Wrap Up

The SIG Sauer P229 Legion SAO is an absolutely superb handgun­. It is “one-size-fits-all” comfortable in the hand due to enhancements made to the frame and grips and light enough for all-day carry. With 15+1 rounds of 9mm ammo on tap, the P229 SAO is ready to meet any challenge. It will also set you apart from the crowd.


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