It Came From the 1990s: The Sig Sauer P228

A more compact take on the company’s P226 double-stack 9mm, Sig Sauer introduced the smaller P228 to the consumer market in 1990 and it soon became a classic “fed gun.”

The P228 was a branch of the company’s same P-series guns launched with the P220 in 1975. Using a double-action/single-action system with a safety/decock lever on the left side of the frame, these DA/SA handguns became popular around the globe and were soon competing for both law enforcement and military contracts. While the single-stack P220 was adopted by the militaries of Switzerland and Japan, a 15+1 capacity double stack descendant of the pistol was submitted to the U.S. Army in the early 1980s as a replacement for the M1911.

The P226, Sig’s 15+1 9mm full-sized handgun, a model that was debuted in 1984 and is still in production in New Hampshire today. In general, it has a 4.4-inch barrel, an overall length of 7.7-inches and a weight of 34-ounces unloaded.

Fast forward to 1990 and a smaller variant of the P226 was introduced. With a 3.9-inch barrel and 29.1-ounce weight, the new P228 was a bit more compact while still offering a flush-fitting 13-round magazine. In short, trading two rounds of ammunition capacity for a half-inch overall length, a bit of height, and a quarter-pound of weight.


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