This review is about my experience with the Sig P226 Tactical Operations. I purchased this gun when I was looking to add a 9mm to my collection that would give me the option to shoot Production in IPSC or Stock Service Pistol in IDPA. When I saw a used p226 go up for sale at what I thought was a great price I jumped on it. This is my first Double Action/Single Action pistol. I purchased this used Sig p226 TacOps in June, which means as I write this I’ve had the pistol for about 6 months.
What I Bought
A slightly used Sig Sauer P226 Tactical Operations in 9mm. Sig describes this pistol as full-sized 9mm, featuring a stainless steel slide with rugged, wear-resistant nitron finish, front cocking serrations and Siglite rear night sights, Truglo tritium fiber optic front sight, and features the Short Reset Trigger. The TacOps comes with a beavertail frame which is black hard anodized light weight alloy with integral Picatinny rail and polymer Magwell grips.
Purchasing this gun new from a Canadian dealer would cost around $1300, I was able to pick up my P226 for significantly less. The deal also included the 4 magazines and the Sig hard case. The mags are factory 10 rounders. 10 rounds is the limit for semi-auto hand guns in Canada and this is to be expected.
The previous owner had told me he only shot a few hundred round through this pistol, and I received it in good shape with only minor wear on the barrel hood. This picture is after I’ve put another 1200 or so round through it. The photo shows some wear along the edges, the remaining bluing looks like polished stainless steel in person. The wear did not photograph well, and shows very dark in the picture.
What I Thought
My initial reaction to shooting this pistol was that it is accurate but takes a fair bit of patience to shoot well. This is particularly true when shooting double action. Double action, of course, is after loading a magazine and decocking the pistol, the first trigger pull also cocks the hammer before letting it fall and firing the first round. The take up for that first pull feels endless and I have a hard time predicting when the shot should break. On subsequent shots the pistol fires in single action. That is; pulling the trigger drops the hammer. The short reset trigger is pretty nice and eliminates a lot, but not all, of the take up or slack in the trigger. I don’t have a Sig with a normal (non-SRT) trigger to compare to, but I have shot some older Sigs and am going from memory. I find the trigger to still be “spongy” in single action.
The sights were a big draw for me with this pistol, as I wanted to try something with fiber optics after using a friend’s CZ Shadow, which had red front fiber and a plain black rear sight. I liked the front sight, but it was not as bright as I had hoped. The factory installed fiber optic is from truglo and is green in colour. The night sights are a nice addition but I don’t have much opportunity to use them since I can’t shoot outside at night and my indoor range is always light. They may be a benefit if I get to shoot another low light match. The other feature of interest was the built in magwell. I think that having this magwell built into the grips is a great idea and Sig did a good job executing the design.
This P226 like many others comes with an integrated Picatinny rail. This is something that I thought was interesting but I have yet to use. I like that I could mount a light or laser, but I have not and after 6 months I may never. If this was a carry gun or a self-defense gun I think a light/laser could be a valuable addition, for punching paper at the range its not necessary and of the few low light matches I’ve attended pistol mounted lights are against the rules.
Field stripping this pistol for cleaning is super simple. With the pistol unloaded of course;
- lock the slide back
- rotate the take down lever
- carefully release the slide
- remove the recoil spring and recoil spring guide
- remove the barrel
The result is only 5 pieces to deal with. I find the P226 very easy to clean and it does not seem to gather much copper fouling in the bore.
- Factory fiber optic front sight
- Integral magwel
- Easy to clean
- No external safety
- Picatinny rail
- Rear night sights
- Fiber sight was very dim
- Trigger pull weight/Mushy trigger
- Magazines can be difficult to seat
- Finish on barrel
The single largest disappointment in my mind is the magwell. I thought this was a great idea for a production gun. The Sig web site shows what should be an easy to seat mag in the magwell. I think that because of the 10 round magazines there is a fitment issue. I’ve more or less conquered this shortcoming by slamming the mag home. Letting people at the range shoot resulted in the same problem not fully seating the mag that I experienced. You can see in the pictures below how the 10 round mags seat in my gun and the image from the Sig website of what I was expecting.
The trigger on this pistol is in my view lacking. Part of this is likely from the double action single action design. It’s not the worst production gun I’ve ever shoot, and for duty use or daily carry it is probably very lawyer friendly. However for my purposes as a competition pistol it’s long, heavy pull and it does not “break like a glass rod” it’s a bit mushy.
The front sight was remarkable dim and I intend to fix that(Check out my post on installing a HiViz fiber optic sight). As the concept of the factory sights on this pistol were such a big appeal, I’m very disappointed that the front sight is so dim. There could be a couple causes for this. First the front of the sight is not drilled through, and I’m not sure how the fiber optic its self would be changed on this model. This may inhibit its light amplification ability. Second, the sides of the fiber are within a housing that could further inhibit its ability to pick up light. Third the fiber could be damaged or degraded from a cleaning agent that was applied to the pistol and got on to the fiber.
Overall I am pretty happy with this Sig P226 and will expect to get several years of reliable service from it. The few disappointments with the dim front sight and mag seating issue could be because of the previous use, Canadian legalities, and maybe able to be overcome.