SIG Takedown Lever Problem Continues

25-Aug-08 – 01:58 by ToddG

A few months ago, word came to us from multiple sources that SIG-Sauer was considering a recall of thousands of their P22x-series (“Classic Line”) guns. A number of customers, in particular law enforcement agencies, were experiencing breakage of their takedown levers. The external “lever” segment of the part would either break off or swing freely from the internal “pin” section. The recall never came because, according to SIG, the problem did not pose an officer safety issue … the gun would be difficult to field strip, but it would not malfunction in a fight. A number of police agencies I’ve spoken to verified that while they experienced many such breakages, none of their guns experienced a stoppage due to this problem.

Then, about a week ago, this email went out from a verified law enforcement officer and trainer:

Thought I’d let u know about this as an officer safety issue.  Recently we held a 40 hour firearms class for our recruit class of 33.  17 of these recruits carry department issued Sig Sauer P220-226-229 models.  

During the week, 3 Sigs failed to go into battery because the take down lever loosened up and had to be replaced by our on site Sig trained armorer.  Apparently, Sig outsourced the production of this take down lever, and it was held together by a push type rivet that loosened when the gun was fired, causing the lever to interfere with the slide returning to battery.  Our armorer notified Sig, who supplied him ‘free of charge’ with a tool for effective removal of the take down lever, and a supply of levers made in house, which appear to have a weld to lock the lever to the rod.  The part number is 1200470. 

Sig indicated they would not recall the part, but would replace it free of charge if requested.

There is no way to identify whether a particular takedown lever is subject to this failure. If your takedown lever is from the affected time period, it has the potential to break.

Ironically, I experienced an identical problem more than two years ago while working at SIG. An ISO9000 “Corrective Action Request” was filed with the following explanation:

Pistol: E29R-357-BSS-G serial number AL 63 859

18-Jan-06, pistol at round count 13,783 suffered total shutdown when the takedown lever became “loose” allowing the external part of the lever to swing freely from the internal cylinder part of the lever.  Result was that during recoil when the slide was retracted to its farthest point, the lever rotated and jammed the sharp forward edge into the underside of the slide rails.  The slide was stuck in the rearward position and could not be returned to battery; the lever could not be moved by hand to get it unstuck.  A hammer was needed to pound the lever into a position which allowed the slide to move forward.  Removal and replacement of the takedown lever required the use of a screwdriver jammed into the opposite (right side) hole in the frame, utilizing the cut in the lever used to position the takedown lever spring to crank the lever into position for disassembly.  This resulted in minor damage to the frame.

At the time, the report was rejected because management felt it was a problem with too low rate of occurrence to address economically. Guess they should have looked at it a little more closely. 8)

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

  1. 11 Responses to “SIG Takedown Lever Problem Continues”

  2. wait, I thought Sigs were perfect? hmm oh yeah except for that one I saw rip the rails off, oh and one that did the same as above, oh and the one that jammed up sold when the breach block assembly got all jammed up. hmmm

    (yes I know, all mechanical devices fail, I just like laughing is all)

    By Rob E on Aug 25, 2008

  3. Actually, SIG isn’t the company that uses “perfection” in its marketing campaign. That’s a different company with an even longer history of little problems that don’t result in recalls. 8)

    By ToddG on Aug 25, 2008

  4. Sig’s QC has not been really up to par, what with this and all the P220 extractor issues.

    Todd, I assume you ran a P-series prior to your run with the M&P? I’m interested because a class I was in with 37 students had one single Beretta PX-4, and the other 36 were Glocks or Sigs. Nothing else. The P220 doesn’t garner much print space these days, but no less than 12 agencies I was with issued it.

    By MHCPD on Aug 26, 2008

  5. MHCPD — I carried various SIG P22x-series guns, including two different P220’s, during my five years at SIG.

    By ToddG on Aug 26, 2008

  6. My Sig P229R 9mm has been one of the most reliable handguns I own even compared to my M&Ps… not one hiccup after many thousands of rounds.

    By BNH on Aug 27, 2008

  7. My 226 Elite had the same issue. Rather than send me a take down lever, SIG had me ship the pistol (at their expense) back to themn so the QA folks could examine it. The pistol was returned two days later. No issues since then.

    By Mark Gobel on Aug 27, 2008

  8. My agency issues P220s. My personal P220R experienced this problem; which did result in slide lock-open and failure to return to battery without force. The part does appear to be recognizable as a new style take-down lever with a recessed circular indent on the lever around the retaining pin. If your lever is flush and smooth around the pin you should be OK. SIG merely sent us new levers and we replaced levers on the pistols that were suspect, which were G400 serial number range.

    By Mark Garrity on Sep 28, 2008

  9. Love the Sigs. My Sigpro 2022 9mm runs like a sewing machine. Plus, I love pissing off the P-series Sig snobs with my “plastic” Sig. :)

    By Zaakir on Sep 30, 2008

  10. Well gang, Sig still has not corrected the problem and it is an officer safety issue. Our dept. issues the p229 with dak trigger, well the officers call it another name, but I have had 2 pistols in 2010 have the takedown lever come down and lock the gun up out of battery. Well, Sig was kind enough to replace the lever. When I asked about our other 70 guns, I was told that they would also send new levers for them as well when they broke. When I explained that I hope no one gets killed, they sent more levers. Having a meeting to hopefully get rid of these things. Goodbye problems, hello Glocks again hopefully!

    By Lt. Jonathan Hicks on Sep 13, 2011

  11. Got the same problem with a brand new Sig 232. 500 rounds through it and the takedown lever won’t turn the stop slide. Called Sig (gawd their customer service is crap; don’t talk to customer service for retail, option 3, zero out and get to a real person) and they gave me a prepaid FED EX label to send the gun to them for repair.

    By charles on May 9, 2012

  12. My take-down lever broke on the 35th shot of my brand new P229DAK. There’s a new one coming from Sig and I sure hope it lasts a lot longer than 35 rounds.

    By modraker on May 10, 2012

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