[Rushtalk] The SIG P229 Legion Compact: not your grandmothers shooting iron

Steven Laib slaib at att.net
Sat Nov 18 10:16:32 MST 2017


Looks like a winner to me!

> On Nov 17, 2017, at 11:21 AM, C JUNO <cwsiv at juno.com> wrote:
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> The SIG P229 Legion Compact: Updated Features on a Legendary Pistol Aimed at Concealment
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> By Scott W. Wagner // 11/10/2017
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> SIG Sauer has introduced more variants of its existing handgun line than perhaps any other handgun manufacturer. The array is amazing. And while the basic models of each type are always available, new versions of those models are introduced regularly.
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> One such variation of an existing model is the SIG P229 Legion. This variation of the P229 is, like the original version, a pistol that serves just as well in a military or law enforcement duty holster as it does in a concealment holster due to its well-proportioned size — it’s about as balanced a design as they come. SIG felt that there were some improvements that could be made to make this particular P229 more favored by the concealed carry crowd. But how well, or necessary, are all the improvements? Let me list the improvements first, and discuss the only one that I found problematic.
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> My test P229 Legion Compact was shipped in .357 SIG caliber per my request.. The .357 SIG ranks right up there with the .38 Super and 10mm Automatic as one of the finest AND most underappreciated semi-automatic handgun cartridges currently available.
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> Introduced in 1994 by — you guessed it — SIG, the .357 SIG was a replacement for the .38 Super chambering in SIG pistols. The .357 is nothing more than a 10mm case necked down to a .357-caliber slug. The intent was to reproduce .357 Magnum revolver ballistics in a semi-automatic pistol of practical dimensions. Any handgun that can chamber the .40 Smith & Wesson can be chambered for .357 SIG, usually with just a barrel change. The result? The .357 SIG with 125-grain bullets is second only to the 10mm Auto in terms of kinetic energy that can be produced in a conventional defensive handgun.. If you eliminate 1911-sized pistols from the equation, the .357 SIG is the most powerful round that can be chambered in a 9mm- or .40-Smith & Wesson-sized handgun, producing anywhere from 506 to 604 FPE, depending on load.
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> The P229 Legion starts out as the basic P229 with stainless-steel slide and alloy frame with rail and traditional DA/SA de-cock-only action. To this foundation, SIG adds the following enhancements to elevate it to Legion status:
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> The slide and frame are finished in the proprietary Legion gray PVD coating for the ultimate in rust resistance, which also gives the Legion series its distinct appearance. Also setting it off in appearance are the Custom G10 grips with the Legion chevron emblem that also enhances gripping ability for wet hands. There is also a reduced and contoured beavertail that allows for a higher grip and reduced overall profile. Also added are front cocking serrations, more aggressive front strap checkering and additional checkering under the trigger guard. An enhanced polished action with Short Reset Trigger has been enhanced with a Grayguns Inc. designed P-SAIT, which results in a 10-pound double-action trigger pull and a 4.4-pound single-action trigger pull. Three 12-round magazines are included in the Legion package. Finally, a set of the excellent Electro-Optics X-Ray Day/Night Sights have been added up top, which is a really good choice for this gun. All the aforementioned additions and modifications are great so far. But there is a “but.”
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> To further reduce the “risk of snagging,” the standard and totally functional SIG slide release has been replaced with something called a “low-profile slide catch lever.” First, let me say, in 37 years of packing concealed handguns of all shapes, sizes and types, I have NEVER had a concern that I might snag the slide release lever — even the prominent and darn near perfect one found on the Beretta 92 series — on clothing or during a draw. It is truly a non-issue in my book, so there was no reason to make a change. Remember the ageless adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
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> To put it plainly, the new low-profile slide catch lever is now so low profile that there is little leverage available to drop the slide with it. My hands aren’t weak, but it required both thumbs pressing down on the lever to drop the slide on either a loaded magazine or to drop it with no magazine in place. If you are a shooter who returns the slide to battery by using your free hand to release the slide, it won’t be an issue. But if you are like me who makes regular use of the slide release to speed reloads, it will be an issue. Please SIG, put your old slide release lever back on the P229 Legion. Really, it won’t snag on anything.
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> I took the P229 Legion out to a private shooting area to test it with what else, SIG Sauer’s .357 SIG practice and defense loads — specifically, their Elite Performance Ball Ammo and their Elite Performance V-Crown load.
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> Both loads use 125-grain bullets and, surprisingly, both are loaded to exactly the same velocity and energy levels: 1356 feet per second velocity and 510 FPE at the muzzle. Other brands often load their practice ammo to less than full power levels; I like the fact that SIG doesn’t.
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> It has been quite a while since I have fired a handgun chambered in .357 SIG. Actually, I haven’t shot one since I was with the Union County Sheriff’s Office, where the .357 SIG was our duty load. I had forgotten the amount of power the .357 SIG has.
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> The SIG P229 Legion is a great platform for the .357 and is substantial enough to handle it. Shooting was by no means uncomfortable; recoil was controllable. But when you touch off a round of .357, you WILL notice the explosive power it delivers on the receiving end. And due to the fact that it launches a lighter bullet than does the .40 Smith & Wesson (125 grains vs. 180, 165 or 155 grains), that recoil is less than one encounters in the same handgun launching full-power .40-caliber rounds.
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> Accuracy was on par with any other SIG product, which means it is excellent! The Electro-Optics’ green-outlined front sight was easy to pick up under the daylight conditions I was shooting in: very distinct and a good match for my progressive bifocals. Of course, functioning was flawless with both loads.
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> Testing from 30 feet easily produced groups in the 2-inch range with both the FMJ and V-Crown loads. I ran the V-Crown load across my chronograph, expecting slightly lower velocity from the Legion’s 3.9-inch barrel. However, as I have come to find from extensive testing of SIG ammo, the average velocity, even from this shorter barrel, was higher than the published figures: 1364 feet per second, which yielded 516 FPE. That is excellent ballistic performance indeed.
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> I tested the .357 in ballistic clay and, well, WOW! I am not going to reveal the results in this piece because I am going to do a side-by-side ballistic comparison of the .357 SIG, .38 Super and .357 Magnum — the major medium bores — in an upcoming article. You will have to wait for the results then.
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> I like the Compact Legion .357 SIG P229. Its raw power and controllability combined with reasonable concealability and built-like-a tank toughness are without peer. The Legion enhancements aren’t cheap, however. MSRP of all the Compact Legions are $1413 vs. $1087 for the standard P229 Nitron Compact. Still less than a custom pistol. Check both P229s out at your local gun emporium, and see which one works best for you. When you decide, pick up some SIG ammo to go with it.
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> More info at: www.sigsauer.com
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> https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/sig-p229-legion-compact-updated-features-legendary-pistol-aimed-concealment/
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