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SIG Sauer: The Most Overrated Guns on the Planet?

SIG Sauer
SIG Sauer. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Are SIG Sauer Pistols Overrated? Chances are you either own a SIG Sauer pistol or recognize the brand immediately. SIG Sauers are popular with law enforcement and the military. So much that the U.S. military picked the SIG Sauer to be the chief supplier of its sidearms after winning the XM17 Modular Handgun System competition over pistols from Glock, Beretta, CZ, FN, Smith and Wesson, among others. So, you know SIG is doing something right. SIGs generally look great, feel nice, and shoot accurately. They can be customized with numerous accessories. But are there problems under the veneer? Could SIGs be considered overrated?

SIG Sauer: Alleged Accidental Discharges Have Created Legal Liability

Not everything is rosy in the SIG world. The SIG Sauer P320 has three pending lawsuits against the manufacturer for accidental discharges. The pistols have allegedly gone off without a trigger pull and injured experienced law enforcement users. SIG is mum on the lawsuits but contends that it has solved issues with its trigger as a result of a voluntary recall in 2017.

Special Ops in Canada Puts the Breaks on SIG Sauer P320

Canadian special forces operations personnel also had a problem with the P320. An unexplained discharge slightly wounded a Canadian operator in 2020. The gun went off without squeezing the trigger and the round hit his leg. As a result, the Canadian military pulled the P320 from service and advised Canadian special ops to go back to using the SIG P226.

SIG Sauer History

New Hampshire-based SIG Sauer, associated with SIG Sauer GmbH & Co. KG (owned by L&O Holdings), has been around since 1885. SIG stands for Schweizerische Industrie-Gesellschaft. This translates roughly to “Swiss industry company.”

SIG started as a wagon factory and began producing Prélaz-Burnand rifles for the Swiss military. By 1949, SIG began making pistols. SIG merged with the German firm J.P. Sauer & Sohn to aid the export process. This is when the company took off. The gunmaker designed the SIG P49 that later became the P210. The P210 was known for its accuracy. This was used by the Swiss army and national police. The P220 was also taken up by police in Japan, France, and the United States. Then came the company’s expansion to Virginia and later New Hampshire to take on the American market and sell to the military. U.S. Navy SEALs used SIGs for years.

SIG Sauer: Pros and Cons

SIG pistols have their fans, but also their share of detractors. Some of the criticism may seem unfair for such a famous company. Gun expert Sam Hoober of USACarry had this scorching review of the P320.

“The Sig P320 is a beef-witted lunk. You can use the slide for a boat anchor. Arguably the biggest reason the army chose them is Sig Sauer was asking way less money than Glock was. (About $100 million less.) The trigger stinks, and frankly, the so-called “compact” models are only compact in the sense that they are smaller than a battleship,” Hoober wrote.

There Are Fans Too

Reception to the pistols depends on the reviewer and the model tested. Riley Bowman of likes his SIG P365. He prefers its grip. He is impressed by its control and accurate shooting. Bowman believes SIGs in general have a relatively high bore axis meaning the barrel is positioned above the hand, so the slide functions well. He thinks the trigger pull is crisp and just right. The tritium low-light sights are valuable to shooters like Bowman.

SIG Sauer: Are They Affordable?

SIG pistols have a reputation for being expensive, but the P320 costs roughly the same as a Glock 17 at $550 to $700. It’s the upgraded SIGs that set you back. “There are some offerings from Sig Sauer, such as the MK25 variant of the P225, the M17/18 version of the P320, and the Legion series for virtually all models, which are more expensive than other comparable guns,” according to Ammunition Depot.

SIG Sauer: Better Business Bureau Complaints

Like many gun makers, SIG Sauer gets numerous complaints about bad phone-in customer service, defective parts, inaccurate shooting, not including expected accessories with the original order, and other issues on its firearms. There have been 47 complaints about SIG Sauer with the Better Business Bureau in 2021. But SIG, to its credit, responds to all the problems annotated on the BBB web site and generally solves the issue to apparent customer satisfaction, usually with an exchange or help with troubleshooting.

SIG Sauer: Bottomline 

So, it’s a mixed bag with SIG. Most shooters who are prominently featured with reviews online give generally high marks to various models. The biggest problems at this point are the accidental discharges with the P320 and customer complaints with models out of the box. Upgraded and premium versions can be expensive. But SIGs have such a long historical record that it creates a situation in which you will see many brand loyalists and some disgruntled users. This is to be expected from a large company that sells firearms in such high quantities.

Now serving as 1945’s Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, Ph.D., is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood.

Written By

Now serving as 1945s New Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.