The SIG Sauer P220 is the follow-up to the classic Sig P210. The P220 is a remarkably different gun, from its design to its performance. As a 10mm handgun, the P220 is one of Sig Sauer’s flagship shooters which we also included in our 10mm pistols reviews. And as you will learn in this Sig P220 review, it makes an excellent investment for serious gun owners. You’ll want to have plenty of experience before handling this large pistol. We covered the smaller Sig P365 in this post and you may also be interested in our take on Smith and Wesson 642.
In the right hands, however, Sig Sauer P220 makes a capable weapon that is worthy of your consideration. Is the Sig 220 a good fit for you? Let’s read on to find out!
SIG P220 Review
The SIG P220 has a lot of history backing it. Being the follow-up to the P210, the P220 was developed to be a replacement for the Swiss Army. It’s a relatively large pistol, making it one of Sig’s more significant entries.
It’s interesting to note that most know the P220 to be a .45 ACP. The P220 Hunter, however, is chambered in 10mm, making it perfectly sufficient for those looking for a handgun capable of hunting large game. In fact, the Hunter is designed with specific specifications that make it ideal for hunting.
Is it the right fit for your needs? Let’s explore the Sig Sauer P220 Hunter 10mm review to see if it’s what you’re looking for.
Compared to your standard P220, also known as the Sig P220 Legion, the Hunter is quite different. Unlike the Sig P220 Combat, which is chambered in .45 ACP, the Hunter is chambered in 10mm. This makes it ideal for hunting large game.
The semi-automatic P220 Hunter comes with a custom Kryptek Camo coating, providing added protection to the pistol. This helps to prevent both corrosion and wearing. This is a must-have feature for anyone who plans on regularly taking this handgun hunting.
The barrel measures in at 5 inches in length. If you prefer a shorter barrel, Sig makes a P220 Carry that features a 3.9-inch barrel. Obviously, this makes the P220 much smaller by comparison.
As its name suggests, the Sig P220 Carry is designed specifically for those who wish to carry the P220 concealed.
This isn’t to be confused with the Sig P220 Compact. This is a more recent variant that comes with a shortened slide and a lower carrying capacity of 6 + 1. The Hunter comes standard with a capacity of 8 + 1.
The Sig P220 45-caliber is the standard cartridge type, although there are clearly many other variants available now that are a departure from the norm. There is also a Sig P220 Elite model that features a short-reset trigger, checkered front strap grip, front slide cocking serrations, and a beavertail grip.
At nearly 2.5 pounds, the Hunter is a beast of a handgun. With such weight behind it, you can understand that this gun isn’t for everybody. As a matter of fact, you’ll want to have plenty of experience before you try to wield this thing. I had a lot of practice with Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm prior to getting the Hunter.
If you like the specs of the P220, I recommend giving the Sig Sauer P 220 Elite a look. It weighs 1.9 pounds – which is still considered heavy by handgun standards – but it’s certainly not as much as the Hunter.
If you’re looking for a really good gun to use as a concealed carry pistol, I also suggest that you lean more toward the custom P220 Carry, as it’s made just for that purpose.
As the Hunter stands, this isn’t the type of handgun you want to be packing around on your person throughout the day. It’s simply too big and too heavy for such use.
As I mentioned a moment ago, the Hunter comes with a capacity of 8 in the magazine and one in the chamber for a total of 9 altogether.
I found this to be a perfectly acceptable capacity for hunting conditions. Especially if you plan on hunting the larger game that this gun is designed for.
As a right-handed pistol, you won’t find ambidextrous features in the magazine release or safety.
Internally, the P220 Hunter comes with plenty of built-in safety features. This includes both a firing pin block and a hammer pin block. This ensures that the Hunter P220 is safer while carrying.
The SIG Sauer P220 was the first handgun to be introduced with the SIG Sauer System. This system is much cleaner than the previous P210. You won’t find a grooved slide or barrel. Furthermore, the locking lugs are gone, as well.
The P220 series’ slide makes use of heavy-gauge sheet metal stamping. The nose section is welded on and incorporates a barrel bushing internally.
As for the breech block portion of the gun, it features a machined-insert. This is attached to the slide using a roll-pin that can be seen on both sides.
The frame of the P220 is made of ultra-durable forged alloy. This typically comes with a coating that is hard-anodized. On the P220 Hunter, you’re getting the Kryptek Typhon coating that is custom for this model.
This includes a special camo pattern design that makes it the perfect handgun for big game hunting.
The hammer of the P220 is a drop lever in the rear left side of the trigger. This was first seen in the Sauer 38H, well before the Second World War. Any time that a round is chambered, the hammer cocks. To ensure safe carrying, the hammer drop actually drops safely.
As mentioned, the P220 sports an automatic firing pin block safety. This becomes activated using the trigger mechanism. This is actually very similar to the Czech CZ-038 that was widely used following World War II.
At this point, it is now safe to holster the handgun. When firing the P220, the first shot that’s fired will be in double-action. However, it is possible for the shooter to cock the hammer manually.
To fire in double-action, you will need anywhere from 12 to 14 pounds of pressure. Thankfully, follow up shots require much less pressure, at nearly half of that, or around 6 pounds.
It’s important to note that there is not a separate safety that you have to manipulate, as the hammer drop is all you have to worry about.
As such, you’ll want to spend ample time with this gun to ensure that you are comfortable to safely shoot it often. It takes some practice to get used to the firing difference between double-action and single-action shooting.
This is because the hammer gets cocked by the slide’s movement when firing. So be sure that you get yourself properly acclimated to the P220 before you take it out in the field.
Consider spending plenty of time on the range so that you can get yourself ready to fire safely and effectively. This will go a long way in both your performance and satisfaction with the P220.
Alright, let’s continue on with the Sig Sauer 220 review to see what else needs to be taken into consideration before investing in this pistol.
The Sig P220 is quite a large weapon. Since it isn’t suitable for concealed carrying, you’ll need to consider its other uses. It is only effective in certain situations, like open carry due to its massive size and weight.
Like the Sig Sauer P220 Combat, the Hunter makes an excellent choice for home defense. If you want a reliable and effective handgun to protect your home and those you love, the P220 will certainly do the trick.
Considering the total of 9 rounds in its capacity, that should be a reasonable amount of ammunition in the event that your home is broken into or you feel threatened while out in public.
See, here’s the great thing about the P220. It’s incredibly accurate and easy to shoot after double-action. If someone is putting your family’s life in danger, you can trust this gun to hit its target with fierce precision.
That said, you’ll want to spend plenty of time getting yourself used to this gun. For its large size, plenty of practice is an absolute must.
Trust me, you will be glad that you did. The more time that you can give yourself getting acquainted with the P220, the better.
I’ll openly admit that I had some trouble for a time. But after I was comfortable with it, I had some of the best shooting days in a long, long time.
If you decide to open carry, just know that there’s really no way of hiding the fact that you’re carrying from a distance. It’s a big gun, bottom line.
And with that comes plenty of looks from passersby. If you’d rather avoid the occasional sneer or jeer, I suggest you look into investing in a smaller weapon that can be easily concealed, like the P220 Carry.
Remember, it has a much smaller barrel, shaving off more than an inch and measuring at 3.9 inches in total length. This is a big difference that still delivers the reliability of the P220, but with a size that you can safely conceal carry.
So with that, let’s move on to the disassembly of the P220.
You can thank Sig for making the disassembly of the P220 so straightforward and simple. It’s an absolute breeze that can be done in no time at all. Let’s walk through each step so that you can see just how easy it is.
The first thing you want to do is make sure the weapon is completely empty. Never get in the thinking that you always remember when it’s loaded or unloaded. That’s how accidents happen.
Check, and then re-check it.
Once it is established that you’re holding a clean weapon, you may eject the magazine. Set it aside and pull the slide toward you. Eventually, you will see a cut just above the takedown lever.
This lever needs to go downward, as this frees the slide from being locked, making it removable from the P220’s frame.
Take off the slide, as this will allow you to remove the barrel, along with its recoil spring. See? Simple. There’s really nothing to it.
Now just follow the steps in reverse to put it back together. You’ll want to practice each step a few times until you feel like you’re completely comfortable handling the P220’s disassembly.
So, how does the P220 feel in hand? For that, we need to take a closer look at the Sig P220 Hunter review with its ergonomics. This will give you a better idea as to how you think you’ll do handling it in action.
The bottom line is, these guns are widely- and well-known for their sweet ergonomics. So it should come as no surprise that the P220 is just as great in this department.
With that being said, however, it’s no secret that the P220 is a large handgun. If you’ve got regular to large hands, you should have no trouble holding and firing this thing. If your hands are a bit on the smaller side, though, you might run into some trouble.
You see, the grip has been known to cause some people trouble. I’ve known guys and gals who simply couldn’t safely shoot this pistol. It’s that big to some folks. For many, this is a big deal, as it prevents them from trying a gun that they’ve been dying to shoot.
Still, it’s better to err on the side of caution. If you don’t feel comfortable with the Sig P220 9mm in your hands, it’s best to move on to something else. Something smaller and more compact.
You’ll often hear of this in other Sig Sauer 220 reviews. Some people just aren’t suitable for this gun. As for me, I’m quite fond of the feel. And if you have the hands for the job, I believe you will be, as well.
It just feels right. Firing is totally comfortable and satisfying, but more on that in a moment.
Being a hammer-fired handgun, the beavertail makes a big difference here. You don’t have to fear the hammer coming into contact with your hand. And that, my friends, it’s vitally important when firing a hammer-style shooter.
Sig designed the P220 really well. The grip feels incredible to me, making the P220 a blast to shoot, no pun intended. I like this more than something like a Glock any day of the week.
I appreciate where Sig positioned the decocker on the P220. It’s a breeze to get in a hurry when you need to. I like this a lot. The slide lock is at the back of the P220, so this might pose a problem for some shooters.
If you naturally rest your thumbs on top of the slide lock, you’ll want to try and get in the habit of not doing this. Why? Because every time you fire off the last round, you’ll prevent the slide from properly locking in place.
The magazine release takes very minimal effort to actuate. Just a very slight measure of distance will deploy the magazine for reloading. I’m a huge fan of this, as I noticed myself getting better and better at reloading on the fly.
If you’re looking to improve your reload speeds, the P220 is a great gun to practice with. The same is true for the trigger. It is perfectly balanced, making it a pleasure to shoot.
If you have smaller hands, though, I can see this not being quite as convenient for you. But those with average to large hands will likely feel it to be nearly perfect. And when you factor in how close the mag release is, you’re sure to fall in love with this pistol.
On the Range
Firing the P220 is an absolute joy, especially for those who appreciate its design intended for hunting large animals.
While it may lack some modern conveniences compared to newer guns, its effectiveness and the sheer enjoyment of shooting it cannot be dismissed.
The P220 is remarkably comfortable, particularly for individuals with experience handling older-style firearms.
The weight of the gun plays a significant role in reducing recoil, resulting in a satisfying and comfortable shooting experience. Personally, I recently took mine to the range and fired one hundred fifty rounds through it, and it proved to be a fantastic shooter.
The recoil is minimal, accuracy is impressive, and even the magazine release worked flawlessly on the first try. I have owned two Sig 220s in the past, one with the heel-mounted European magazine release and the other, a 1992 model with a stainless slide. I qualified as an expert with the first one.
Although the older style European release model can make finding magazines challenging, the P220's versatility in ammunition types, including black talons and silver tips, is commendable. All in all, Sig produces fine firearms.
I’ve fired many other guns this size, and almost all of them left a reminder of pain in my hands. That’s simply not the case with the P220. I have zero complaints when it comes to shooting this pistol.
As I already mentioned, the trigger is sheer perfection to me, as well. I fired both double and single action. Sure the double is heavier and quite a bit longer, but that’s to be expected.
Once firing single, you’ll love the difference and how effective and responsive it is. Every shot feels smoother and smoother. Yes, it’s going to take most people time to get used to the difference in shooting between these two.
But you should find yourself getting acclimated to it rather quickly. The end result is an enjoyable experience through and through.
Now, if you have smaller hands, I can’t say that the same will be true for you. You may truly be left feeling pain and strain in your hands after firing a weapon this size and weight.
But I assure you, the more time you give yourself with the P220, the safer you’ll feel when firing it.
As you can readily see in my Sig P220 review, I’m a big fan of this handgun. And much of that comes from the incredible accuracy that you get from it.
I continually impressed myself the longer I shot the P220. I really can’t say enough great things about how on target this pistol is designed to be. I found myself coming back to the P220 just because it’s such a precision shooter.
I’ve shot plenty of other accurate pistols in the past. Many that were more accurate than the P220. But when you consider its large size and heavy body, it’s really saying something as to how well this gun fires.
If you want to invest in a handgun that you can trust to deliver solid performance and nice shooting abilities, the P220 won’t let you down.
As I've mentioned multiple times in this Sig P220 Legion 10mm review, this firearm is exceptionally reliable.
It's a solid performer through and through, never failing me on the range or in the field. When it comes to personal protection, taking risks is not an option.
You want the assurance that your weapon will deliver peak performance if the need for self-defense arises.
Having fired thousands of rounds from P-Series guns in various calibers, I can attest to their flawless performance, and the P220 comes closest to the 1911 in terms of reliability, especially in .45 ACP.
Personally, I would prefer the slide lock to have the ability to release the slide, as the decocker in front of the slide stop feels a bit odd to me. However, overall, many people speak highly of this pistol. It's a great firearm, and in a tactical emergency, the rear sight can be used to assist in racking the slide, which is incredibly useful.
The P220 embodies the iconic Sig design and stands out as an excellent 10mm pistol. It can withstand firing 3000 rounds without sustaining any damage and serves as a beastly sidearm for hunting wild boars during camping trips.
Additionally, the SRT (Short Reset Trigger) is a must-have for Sig triggers in my opinion. I believe all the Elite series pistols come equipped with them from the factory. It significantly enhances shooting with a DA/SA pistol, making it much easier and certainly more enjoyable.
In the end, I was happy that I was able to give this gun a try. While it’s true that it took me some time getting used to it, after the initial phase of practicing with it, I was more than thrilled with the performance and reliability of the P220.
I assure you, if you invest in this pistol, you will be very happy with your purchase. Just be patient with it. But if you allow yourself the time to get acquainted with it, you will be plenty pleased with what it has to bring to the table