I used three different .45 ACP loads from Black Hills, Federal and Speer to wring out the P227 Nitron at the range. The Black Hills test ammo was some vintage “Blue Box” remanufactured loads carrying a 185-grain JHP bullet. I wanted at least one kind of test cartridge with a lighter-weight bullet, but my other two selections both had traditional 230-grain bullets. The first was Federal Tactical Law Enforcement ammunition that features the Hydra-Shok JHP bullet with the unique post in the bullet nose to ensure expansion. The Speer ammo was also an LE duty load with the Gold Dot hollow-point bullet. It’s unique in that the jacket is “plated” onto the lead core, and a punch creates the hollow nose cavity, which leaves a small disk of jacket material down inside the bullet, giving it the Gold Dot moniker. With the P227, gun belt rig and ammunition in hand, it was time to see what the latest Sig Sauer offering could do.
“I make it a point to assess my immediate vicinity for other “hostiles” before reholstering, then working the weapon back into the holster slowly, making certain to “check my six,” too…”
My range day was overly warm and very humid. I set up my Oehler Model 35P chronograph to measure some velocity readings on the test ammo when fired through the P227. That accomplished, I put up three bullseye targets at the 25-yard line and, using a sandbag rest on the range bench, I proceeded to fire five-shot groups with each brand of ammo. The SIGLITE sights, with their three-dot arrangement, were easy to see and line up on target. I did all my shooting in SA mode to evaluate the pistol’s accuracy potential, and when I did my part, the P227 performed in the manner that a service-grade autoloader should. The tightest five-shot cluster I was able to produce that day, made with the Federal Tactical cartridges, measured 2.28 inches. Groups with all of the ammunition averaged between 2.5 and 3.5 inches. I found that my point of aim needed to be at the top of the black bullseye with the 185-grain JHP ammo and dead-on the orange target center with 230-grain loads.
While test protocol requires group-shooting “paperwork,” I do my best during the combat shooting phase of the evaluation. I set up some old-fashioned K-zone humanoid silhouette targets and ran the Sig P227 through a 30-round practical pistol course. My magazines were loaded with a mix of the .45 ACP test cartridges, and I inserted one in the P227, did a “lock and load” and then reholstered it. Two others were put in my magazine pouch and snapped in. I engaged the target at 3 yards, firing six rounds strong-hand only and then six support-hand only, with a necessary magazine change. I used a point-shoulder stance, with the uninvolved arm bent across my chest for additional protection. When running qualifications, I make it a point to assess my immediate vicinity for other “hostiles” before reholstering, then working the weapon back into the holster slowly, making certain to “check my six,” too.
Moving back to 7 yards, I drew the pistol and fired two rounds center-mass with a three-second time limit. I kept the weapon at high-ready for the next series of double-taps (with a two-second limit for each) for a total of six shots. Still at 7 yards, I performed a triple-tap drill much the same as the previous exercise, exchanging the magazine as needed. If you want, the third shot can be aimed at the head or pelvis to make this a body armor drill. The final portion of the course is at 15 yards and requires shooting from the barricade position, with two shots support-side standing, two shots strong-side standing and then two shots strong-side kneeling in 20 seconds. (Most of the “troops” take only 10 to 12 seconds for this portion.) The best tactic on the barricade is to use it only as cover and not as a rest, but after years of PPC competition, I find myself doing just that. I went forward and found my shots all were center-mass. On a regulation target, I would’ve scored a “possible.” During this phase of the evaluation, both the weapon and the leather gear worked flawlessly.