When I recently ran across a SIG SAUER catalog at my local law enforcement supply house, my eyes caught on a unique looking gun. There on the glossy, colorful page was my next muse, a P220 Combat TB. The TB stands for “Threaded Barrel,” and those threads say one thing: “Suppressor Please.”
Now, woe is me should I forget the obvious comments about this tremendous creation by SIG SAUER. By its very design one can easily see that the P220 Combat TB was not meant to sit in a desk drawer. It is more suited for a rough and tumble existence of heavy use. It’s designed to exceed rigorous military standards that would cause lesser pistols to fail. It features the military’s current color choice of flat dark earth on its alloy frame and SIG SAUER’s Nitron finish over a stainless slide.
Internal parts and controls are coated or phosphated for extreme corrosion resistance and reduced friction, while the threaded barrel is hard chromed and finished in Nitron. The Nitron coating is so tough that it easily passes the military’s accuracy requirements even after 20,000 rounds. The P220 Combat TB also passes the military’s 240-hour salt spray corrosion test. To get your mind around that idea, that’s ten continuous days of salt-water abuse.
The SIG SAUER P220 Combat TB has a true MIL-STD-1913 rail, vertical front strap serrations and newly designed, and very tall suppressor night sights. These allow you to see over the circumference of a suppressor when installed. Altogether these features form a superior weapon for covert warfare.
Not only does it come with a standard 8-round magazine, it also comes with a very large 10-rounder. The magazines are stiff with a strong follower and spring to ensure proper functioning. They drop free-and-clear to allow for quick reloads and are reasonably priced if you should wish to buy more.
The moment I pulled the P220 out of its packaging the thought that came to mind (along with all the “tool man” grunts) was, “Does not play well with others.” This version of the P220 is austere in its presence, which is a dichotomy considering what a beautiful job SIG SAUER did in producing it. From the placement of the classic SIG SAUER controls to its finish, it’s an exquisite firearm. However, the moment you screw on a can and insert the extended capacity magazine, it goes from a SIG SAUER P220 to a pitbull.
With a Yankee Hill Machine (YHM), Cobra M2 .45ACP Suppressor on, it goes from “BOOM!” to “pow.” The sound signature is certainly not the anemic little “foosh” that Hollywood is so fond of. But it’s certainly less than the ear-splitting crack of a .45ACP hand-cannon going off. Silence is golden.
The YHM Cobra M2 .45ACP Sound Suppressor is a departure from traditional centerfire cans in that this model comes apart for cleaning. Finally, you can extend the life of your suppressor by doing maintenance yourself. Up until this point you had one of two options in cleaning a suppressor. One, don’t bother trying because you can’t get past all the baffles and two, try having it sonically cleaned in an immersion tank.
However, option two is still up for discussion on the ultrasound’s effects on the intricate welds that hold most cans together. The point is that with the M2, there are no welds to contend with. Also, you’re able to dismantle the thing and give it a good scrubbing with a cleaner and an old toothbrush.
Hero-Gear LLC supplied the YHM Cobra M2 .45 Sound Suppressor to me. They’re a stocking dealer of not only YHM gear but a wide assortment of LE gear, apparel and weaponry and will come out to your agency (within a reasonable distance, mind you) to demonstrate their products line.
When I spoke with the CEO, Joe Lundberg, he quickly provided me with a YHM Cobra M2 .45ACP Sound Suppressor. Lundberg is a fellow cop turned entrepreneur and has parlayed his LE career into a successful business providing cops with the tools we need to make it home alive at the end of shift.
The suppressor also has some hidden tech-specs that make it special. The Nielsen piston is one of those special features. The piston system, in a nutshell, is a simple, gas-driven counterweight that is internal/integral to the Cobra M2 family of suppressors. When you add the weight of a suppressor to a pistol you throw the balance of the weapon off and ruin its ability to cycle properly. The Nielsen Piston counteracts that and returns part of the gas energy back at the operator as recoil.
I know that it sounds like a bad thing to actually have your suppressor kick back at you. However, remember what happened to pistols in the ’90s when all those nifty new weapons lights hit the market? Reliability went in the toilet. Why? Because the added weight of some of those lights was throwing the balance of the pistol off just enough to turn them it into a one-hit wonder. YHM’s Cobra M2 cans have solved this problem quite well.
Firing the P220/suppressor combo was fun! While it’s still loud, it’s certainly less than the ear-splitting “crack of doom” that is normally the muzzle signature of a .45ACP.
The accuracy was affected very little by applying the M2. In fact within that all too crucial 7 yards that we cops live and die by, the point-of-aim/impact was affected very little.
The other nice feature of the YHM Cobra M2 is that you can adjust point-of-impact by pulling forward on the suppressor and indexing one notch at a time for a fully unobstructed 360 degrees of correction. Wearing ear protection, one can actually hear the slide slap forward with a metallic “chink.” Hearing the rounds pound into the steel targets was also a new one for me.
For this test I used a couple different types of rounds. Hornady produced both rounds and you can’t get any better than that in my book. The rounds of choice were the following: TAP +P 230-grain TAP CQ at 950 fps (feet per second) and the TAP +P 230-grain TAP FPD at 950 fps.
As expected, .45ACP +P rounds were cooking along pretty quick and give off their own signature “whine” upon exiting the suppressor. The combo of the bullet and suppressor created an interesting whistle instead of the telltale boom that is normal for an un-silenced .45 caliber. The YHM Cobra can be used dry, as I did during testing, or wet to increase effectiveness by about 30-precent, but it will still require that you use ear protection unless you are shooting outdoors. Like most .45 cans, it’s still relatively loud but is far less than would be experienced from non-suppressed fire.
All rounds fed and cycled flawlessly, which is no surprise when dealing with Hornady ammo. Hornady is (as I am often heard testifying) “boringly reliable.” The accuracy of this pistol proved dead-on accurate. The farthest shots taken that day were only out to 50 yards. I was able to ring the bell of a 12×24-inch custom cut steel CQB target with each and every shot.
The trigger pull was smooth as silk and crisp in its reset. I decided to do some night shooting with this pistol/suppressor combo and reached out to SureFire for their tactical lights. They generously sent me out a goody box with several items including a very rugged tactical light called the X300.
A few years ago tactical lights were considered bright at 80 to 90 lumens, now that standard is being overshadowed by these tiny lights that crank out 100+ lumens. Even in daylight when you activate an X300 in comparison to other tactical lights you quickly find that the X300 puts out a bright sphere of energy that illuminates a space very effectively and then has a surrounding halo of light to assist in “watching those hands.”
It’s waterproof, drop proof, and idiot proof. The X300 is simple to operate its temporary (push forward) or constant (toggle up and down) ambidextrous switch. It comes set up for most rail systems right out of the box but also comes with two other inserts. These inserts allow it to be temporarily mated to any weapon with an easy on/off latch.
If you prefer a more permanent application to a rifle for example, the supplied inserts make for a more dedicated application setup that requires tools to go on/off thus ensuring that you won’t drop it out of an Osprey whilst whizzing over the Afghani terrain. For those of us in the non-Osprey riding crowd, we like it because it fits onto our duty pistols and rifles and will fit cleanly into all existing light holsters on the market.
Final analysis gives this pistol high marks for accuracy and functionality. As a lefty I’m judgmental about guns that aren’t ambidextrous all the way around. But, over the years I’ve learned to work with pistols that aren’t. The issues that lefties have with SIG SAUERs distill down to one thing, the de-cock lever. This device is decidedly a right-handed operator’s control, however lefties can easily manipulate it with their trigger finger, so hey, I’m good with it where it is.
I like this gun immensely, probably because I’ve spent a lot, and I do mean a lot of time training in pistolcraft. When you hear the SIG SAUER company motto “To Hell and Back Reliability,” you can rest assured that it’ll go bang the first time every time. Until next time, bleed in training, survive in combat.
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by Charlie Cutshaw / Feb 20, 2009