Law enforcement professionals and police agencies tend to get very attached to their duty weapons. With lives on the line, they need firearms that work all the time, under any condition, over a broad range of shooters. Many departments stick to preferred manufacturers, and rather than follow the latest fad, they tend to wait for improvements on their existing platforms. Just think about all of the training, replacement parts, tools and equipment that has gone into supporting these weapons, not to mention holsters, magazine pouches and other accessories. Agencies with officers numbering in the thousands cannot simply switch their issued weapons at a moment’s notice. So when a department sticks with a particular manufacturer, that really says a lot about the gun-maker. Sig Sauer is one of these companies.
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Sig Sauer pistols have served officers, soldiers and elite forces for decades, and they still do. Sigs are some of the most prolific duty pistols in service today. Their proven reliability, longevity, ease of operation and stellar accuracy make them a first choice for many operators.
Several agencies prefer double-action/single-action (DA/SA) pistols because of their inherent safety. Sig Sauer’s P226 and P229 remain two of the most widely fielded pistols using this trigger mechanism. Police agencies and military units around the world have been using the 9mm P226 for decades. Agencies in the U.S. often prefer the P229 in 9mm, .40 S&W and even .357 SIG. These are some of the most accurate and dependable pistols around. After all, they were built from the ground up to work in extreme battlefield conditions. But Sig Sauer has also improved these models over the years based on input from professional users. In short, Sig Sauer’s attention to detail and commitment to discerning shoots has made its pistols very popular. You could say that its fans are legion. Which brings us to Sig’s
new, members-only Legion series.
Sig Sauer’s new Legion program is dedicated to discerning buyers and working professionals. Essentially, purchasing a Legion firearm—three are currently available, but more are surely on the way—gets you entry into a specialized group. As a Legion member, you’ll have access to an exclusive website where you’ll be the first to know about special Sig Sauer events and new additions to the product line. This is also another way to access Sig’s excellent customer support.
Each Legion gun comes with a case, a Legion challenge coin and three high-quality magazines. You’ll also have access to Legion-specific gear and accessories, all of which is made by top-notch manufacturers in the industry. Currently, Legion Kydex holsters are made by BlackPoint Tactical, a premier holster-maker. Legion knives are also available from seasoned knifemakers like Daniel Winkler, and SureFire is the latest to join the Legion accessories stable. All of the Legion-
exclusive merchandise is top tier. Nothing going into this program is low grade.
The three pistols currently available in Sig Sauer’s Legion series include the legendary DA/SA P226 in 9mm, .40 S&W or .357 SIG; a single-action-only (SAO) P226 in 9mm; and the DA/SA P229 in 9mm, .40 S&W or .357 SIG. Each model was designed with significant input from active military and law enforcement personnel, providing a pistol well designed for use in any condition.
To that end, each of these pistols comes with a number of enhancements, including a tuned action with a Short Reset Trigger (SRT). The frames feature reduced and contoured Elite beavertails, checkering along the frontstrap and an undercut triggerguard (also checkered on the bottom) that offers a higher grip on the frame for superb control. Custom checkered G10 grips featuring the Legion medallion adorn each pistol.
While the P226 SAO comes with a Master Shop Flat Trigger, the DA/SA P226 and P229 come with Grayguns Intermediate Reach Adjustable Triggers. The pistols also sport low-profile slide releases and decocking levers to prevent snagging on the draw. Each control is checkered and easy to operate with gloved hands.
Each slide features forward and rear serrations, stylish contouring and Sig Sauer Electro-Optics X-RAY day/night sights. The front sights have large green dots surrounding their tritium inserts. The rear sights have tritium inserts with no dots to interfere with a clean sight picture. Within the slides are match-grade barrels and solid steel guide rods. Finally, each pistol is coated in a proprietary Legion Gray PVD and comes with three magazines.
I received a 9mm P229 Legion for testing. The internals were factory polished and tuned for an incredibly smooth DA trigger pull in the 8-pound range. The SA pull is crisp thanks to the SRT design. I found the grip frame fit my hand well and offered a lower bore axis for less felt recoil. The checkered grips secured my hands without being too aggressive. The controls were nicely subdued while still being very positive.
The slide has rounded corners to facilitate concealed or off-duty carry. I was happy to see that the X-RAY sights were easy to acquire and made of steel without being overly tall; the rear sight has a functional ledge for emergency one-handed slide racking. The Legion marking on top of the slide was another nice touch. It sets this pistol apart from the rest on the market.
The Legion Gray PVD finish was smoothly applied, and the three included magazines also had this durable coating for use in any condition. My test pistol came with Black Point Tactical’s Legion-marked “Leather Wing” holster and magazine pouch. To practice using the pistol for duty, I also used a Safariland ALS rig with and without my SureFire X300 Ultra light mounted.
At the range, I started with the P229 in my ALS rig, working on my drawstroke and trigger control. Pressing through on the first round was smooth and fast after a hundred or so rounds. It had been a while since I had used a DA/SA, but it was easy to learn the P229’s trigger. Once dialed in, my hits were dead center with draw times in the two-second range. Drawing without firing was equally as controllable—one of the reasons many agencies prefer this design. Once the first round was expended, the SRT was flat-out fast—as fast and controllable as any duty-ready single action. After a couple hours on the range using the Safariland ALS, I found myself truly enjoying this pistol—not something I often say when using DA/SA pistols. Whether mounted on my thigh as a tactical pistol or on my hip in patrol mode, the P229 Legion carried well while being seriously accurate and a ton of fun to shoot.
The P229 Legion also carried comfortably in the BlackPoint Tactical Leather Wing holster. I used this rig for range testing along with some concealed-carry use. The gun concealed well, drew quickly and carried comfortably for days. I still find myself consistently grabbing this pistol for everyday carry.
The P229 Legion’s accuracy was excellent—something you come to expect with a Sig Sauer pistol. My own P226 SAO is as accurate as many custom pistols. I’ve also used a number of P220s over the years that were very precise. The P229 Legion proved to be the most accurate with Sig’s own 124- grain V-Crown JHPs, creating a 25-yard group that measured 1.25 inches. Every load produced five-shot groups in the 1.5- to 2-inch range, firing in SA mode from the bench. Moving to 7 yards and switching to DA, the P229 Legion really liked the Barnes 115-grain TAC-XPD ammo. With light recoil and quick cycling, the pistol was very pleasant to shoot. Drawing, moving and shooting quickly, my groups stayed within 3 inches. Whether I was at the bench or on the move, the Sig Sauer P229 Legion was very accurate.
With a smooth DA trigger pull, a short reset in SA and proven Sig Sauer accuracy, it just does not get much better than the P229 Legion. Every addition to this pistol is well thought out, matching many of the changes I make on stock pistols. The sights are easy to see, grip properly checkered, controls easy to access, and internals smooth and controllable. The pistol ran flawlessly over hundreds of rounds. Its reliability was unaffected by adding lights. It is suitable for use in a thigh rig, a duty holster, a concealment rig, a plate carrier or a vest. Everything about this pistol screams professional. I’m not sure you can get a more versatile handgun.
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Normally my DA/SA pistol evaluations end on the range, but that’s not the case with the P229 Legion. I plan on carrying it and using it with some frequency. I would not hesitate a second to take this pistol to work, no matter the task.
For more information, visit sigsauer.com or call 603-610-3000.
Sig Sauer P229 Legion Specifications
- Caliber: 9mm
- Barrel: 3.9 inches
- OA Length: 7.4 inches
- Weight: 32 ounces (empty)
- Sights: X-RAY day/night
- Action: DA/SA
- Grips: G10
- Finish: Legion Gray PVD
- Capacity: 15+1
- MSRP: $1,349