45 Years Down the Road

In the late 1960s, Swiss arms maker SIG began working on a modern combat handgun, a double-action 9mm single-stack pistol, in an effort to replace the Swiss Army’s standard handgun, the Pistole 49, perhaps best known as the SIG P210 (SP47/8). The new model was successful and accepted as the Pistole 75 (P75) in 1975.

SIG then teamed up with West German gun maker J.P. Sauer and Sohn to produce the P75 in the FGR for easy overseas export as the Sig-Sauer P220.

These early guns were first imported into the U.S. by Browning, who branded them as the Browning Double -Action, or BDA. Offered in 9mm, .45ACP and .38 Super, it was pitched as a competition gun and soon appeared in the Bianchi Cup match.

Boom. For reference, $319 on BDA in 1977 is $1350 today

The gun was even reviewed in American Handgunner magazine in 1977, a magazine haunted by Col. Jeff Cooper, the man who would advocate for the 10mm Auto.

Now, fast forward to this week and the now-45-year-old P220 is available in a tricked out 10mm-chambered SAO model, which Cooper would likely approve of.

More on the latter in my column at Guns.com.

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