One of the most elegant slim line all-metal 9mm handguns of the last quarter of the 20th Century was the Sig Sauer P-225. While the gun was only ever imported into the U.S. in small numbers– and most of that former German police sidearms– it is now, with 9mm caliber offerings all the rage, apparently making a comeback.
Introduced in 1975 as a more compact version of the P220 with a push button magazine release (except in Switzerland.) They were very popular with Swiss, Swedish, Canadian and UK (yes some of them carry guns) police forces. The Swiss designed P225 was manufactured in Europe only and as such, you will find that all three main sections, the slide, frame, and barrel, are serial numbered.
When various West German police forces began purchasing a slightly modified P225 as the P6 variant in 1978, they became the largest user of the design and the only user of the P6 variant. J. P. Sauer & Sohn made all P6s in Eckenförde Germany where the P225 remained in very limited production up until about 2011.
The P6/P225 is a double-action, recoil-operated pistol. It has a single stack eight round magazine. Its barrel length is 3.9 inches and overall length is 7.1 inches. Using an alloy frame and a steel slide like most SIG P-series pistols, the P6 weighs in at 25.9 ounces. The difference between the P225 and the P6 is in the weight of the trigger pull (28-pounds!, whereas the standard 225 is 10 lbs./4.5 lbs. DA/SA) and in the funky hooked hammer. In addition, pre-June 1989 made P6s have a steeper feed ramp that often will not feed larger (over 124-grain) 9mm JHP rounds reliably.
The Sig Sauer P6 is the then-West German Federal Police derivative of the Swiss SIG P225 handgun used until about 2005, at which point some 40,000 surplus guns were sold to importers in the U.S. and proved extremely collectable.
This now nearly three-decades-old P6 lived a good 15 year life in a West German police armory before I got my hands on it and upgraded her with night sights and a new set of springs. Since 2005 she has gobbled up about 10,000 rounds on the range in my hands and still is hanging strong.
According to West German police code, the funny looking hook is a Deformationssporn, which means, “deformation spur.” This was a requirement of the West German Police for all their pistols, regardless of manufacturer, to alert police armorers if the pistol was dropped on its hammer.
Magazines are a bone of contention for many P6 owners. Old surplus former German police Sauer-made steel magazines are around but run in excess of $35 apiece. Marked “P6” and having characteristic zipper backs, they are quality hard-wearing magazines. They have steel floor plates and followers and with the possible exception of having the spring replaced over time, should last forever. New production Sig Arms factory replacement magazines made OE by Mec-Gar in Italy were available on the company’s website for around $50 until recently.
But hopefully that is all about to change because…
The 225 is coming back!
Read the rest in my column at Firearms Talk.