Striker-Fired SIG

11-Dec-09 – 11:11 by ToddG

Got a second confirmation today that SIG will have a prototype of its striker-fired P250 at the SHOT Show next month. Presumably — and this is just speculation on my part — the SFA variant will require a completely different fire control unit, meaning current P250 owners will need to buy a new serialized “frame” if they want to explore the world of strikerness.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I was one of the loudest opponents to developing a striker-fired SIG while I was working there. But the market has pretty clearly embraced SFA guns, and a P250 version will address one of the most common complaints about SIG’s polymer pistol: a very long trigger reset.

It will be interesting to see what buzz develops on the show floor as the new SIG striker-fired gun and the Gen4 Glock get introduced simultaneously.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

  1. 30 Responses to “Striker-Fired SIG”

  2. Just in time for me to get the sub-standard P250 and not the new improved one with a better re-set. Great.

    By Great Bison on Dec 11, 2009

  3. Fact: Guys buy guns because they are Cool.
    Fact: The SIG P250 is not a Cool looking gun.
    Ergo: The SIG P250 is a not gun that guys are buying.

    At the gun counter, I can have 100 guys eyeball everything in the pistol cases… and not one of them will ask to look at the P250. It doesn’t look cool. I don’t care how many dudes say that they “don’t care about it’s looks, they just want it to be good”. Well, the P250 is good. It’s very good. Very reliable, consistent, accurate, great trigger pull, and it even feels good in the hand. But they wont give the P250 the time of day because it’s not cool looking. This is just basic Man Mindset. Men are Visually Oriented creatures. We are. We like cool stuff and the cooler looking, the better.
    Because of that, SIG doesn’t need to reinvent the P250, giving it a new firing system… they just need to make it look cool.

    By Ogre on Dec 11, 2009

  4. I agree with Ogre. And that teeny toy-looking exposed hammer doesn’t help any. Maybe that’s why they are going the striker-fired route.

    By XKL on Dec 11, 2009

  5. I’d have to say a lot of the “coolness” factor is based on “cool guy” use. If certain agencies adopt the P250 as they have indicated, it will have that attached CDI factor, and thus will become “cool” looking. I’m just saying…

    By MHCPD on Dec 12, 2009

  6. I’m definitely interested. I was planning on getting a P250 anyways because I really like the trigger and shoot a lot of DA revolver but the short reset option sounds really nice. Might have to wait it bit…or…I could just get both 😉

    By Adam on Dec 12, 2009

  7. Exposed hammer designs are obsolete. At least SIG appears to have realized it.

    By Haji on Dec 12, 2009

  8. be nice to get an actual DA/SA setup in a striker fired gun other than the Walther (all I can think of right now). But I doubt the Sig is going to do that.

    By Rob Engh on Dec 13, 2009

  9. Exposed hammer designs are obsolete.

    Dude, spit out the Glock koolaid…

    By Tam on Dec 13, 2009

  10. Dude, see the better way. Glocks aren’t the only striker fired guns I own.

    There are no advantages to the double/single trigger system, except that it’s harder to run. Handicapping yourself doesn’t make you a better shooter. Or are you trying to make yourself feel better about spending a grand on an HK when other quality polymer framed pistols run half that?

    By Haji on Dec 13, 2009

  11. Haji — There are definitely benefits to a TDA system over a SFA system, just as there are benefits to SFA over TDA. That’s why both systems are popular and have their advocates.

    One of the first posts ever published here at PTC was in reference to how we are always striving for the next best thing in pistol actions.

    By ToddG on Dec 13, 2009

  12. Other than being harder to shoot well, I’m at a loss to think of a single other benefit to the TDA. The safety aspect is a myth; those with poor gun handling skills will hurt themselves no matter what the action. I’m not going to penalize myself with an inferior action because my gun handling skills don’t suck.

    “The next best thing” might be termed “most lawyer proof”.

    By Haji on Dec 14, 2009

  13. Haji — The myth is that simply having “good gun handling skills” will immunize someone against making mistakes of having accidents…

    By ToddG on Dec 14, 2009

  14. You can keep the striker fired pistols, I prefer and will only own hammer fired weapons. TDA is obsolete, yeah, right. As for benefits, the main benefit that comes to mind is the remote possibility of needing a double-strike on a hard primer. I’ll gladly spend my money on an HK or Sig over a Glock or M&P any day of the week.

    By gtmtnbiker98 on Dec 14, 2009

  15. I have used them all over the years, and still use a variety at times when training others. And llike Todd said, there are benefits to all, just as there are disadvantages to all. The trick, as with so much in this business, is figuring out what benefits and disadvantages are present in your particular situation and respond appropriately. Personally it doesn’t matter to me if I’m carrying a Glock, a 1911, a S&W 39, a Vaquero, or a K-frame (or anything else). They are all just tools, and each does the same job just in a little different manner.

    By David Armstrong on Dec 14, 2009

  16. “As for benefits, the main benefit that comes to mind is the remote possibility of needing a double-strike on a hard primer”

    If you’re in a fight and the round didn’t go off, Do you want to spend the time to hammer away at a round that didn’t fire? If you’ve trained malfunction clearing, it’ll be gone and you can try a new one as fast as dropping the hammer on a bum primer again.

    “The myth is that simply having “good gun handling skills” will immunize someone against making mistakes of having accidents…”
    Are you arguing that the action will make a difference? Only insofar as it may have enough wiggle room to have the brain switch back on. Mistakes are mistakes regardless of how easy the gun is to run.

    By Haji on Dec 15, 2009

  17. Haji — I sincerely doubt you can perform a tap-rack-bang drill as fast as I can pull the trigger a second time on a misfire. No, taking a second strike is not a recommended approach. But many people, under stress, will pull the trigger a second time before they even realize they’ve had a stoppage. If pulling the trigger a second time solves the problem, bonus. If not, they’re no farther behind the curve than when they started.

    Only insofar as it may have enough wiggle room to have the brain switch back on.

    That’s it exactly. Having to put more pressure on the trigger or move it a longer distance gives the brain more time to realize what’s happening and reverse course before the unwanted noise ruins your day. It’s certainly not hard to imagine a circumstance in which more force is applied than necessary to fire a 4# trigger, but not enough is applied to fire a 12# trigger.

    By ToddG on Dec 15, 2009

  18. The Sig P250 has probably the worst trigger I’ve experienced on a handgun that’s been released in the last few years, it honestly had me wondering if anyone at Sig actually tried it, or if they were just trying to make it bad.
    Hope you’re right Todd that the SFA version takes care of the looong reset, just hope it takes care of the other feel issues with it too, which is pretty much everything…
    Can’t remember anyone ever telling me they like their pistols to have a really long pull, vague break, long reset, and a heavy let-off that could possibly ignite primers inadvertently…

    By ChipK on Dec 15, 2009

  19. Sounds like another gun will soon be put to the 50K round test.

    By Regularguy on Dec 15, 2009

  20. When my buddy’s unit in the Navy (he was a Command Duty Investigator, a Navy detective) went from the 1911 to the M9, their AD/ND rate jumped several hundred percent, because they had poor training. With the 1911, they carried with an empty chamber, with the M9, they weren’t taught that the double action trigger wasn’t a safety, and carrying with a round in the chamber coupled with poor training caused AD/ND’s. Any action has the ability to be discharged accidentally without proper training. With training, a Glock/MnP/new SIG striker fired auto/whatever is no more or less safe than any other firearm. That being the case, the advantage of the striker/single action is too great not to use in preference to anything else. All that to say, don’t buy a gun if you’re not going to get training in how to run it.

    Todd can probably recognize a stoppage and deal with it right away with whatever method he chooses. I’ll do a malfunction clearance drill. The typical gun owner is going to bring the gun in closer to him, probably near his gut so he’s looking down, and stare at the gun for a while like a monkey with a road map. :O)

    By Haji on Dec 15, 2009

  21. Todd (and others) have explained that there are pros and cons to each type of action. I suppose that’s true, though I can’t honestly think of any indisputable pros for an sfa, as opposed to simple preferences. This is starting to sound like someone has read too many gun magazines, and hasn’t spent enough time doing. What’s that old saying? The least knowledgable person is the one who thinks he knows it all. That goes double when safety issues are concerned.

    By Simon on Dec 15, 2009

  22. Since I only own one revolver, all the guns I have use magazines. Careful generalizing about people you don’t know, Simon.

    By Haji on Dec 15, 2009

  23. Haji, is it? I’m not hiding behind a screen name, though I appreciate the warning. I am careful when generalizing, and your comments have clearly put you in the category of “This is starting to sound like…”
    It is possible that I’m wrong, it’s happened before and will happen again. At least I’m aware of that. In this case though, the only mistake I made was arguing a stupid point with a nameless person who appears unqualified for the discussion. My mistake, I’ll try not to let it happen again.

    By Simon on Dec 15, 2009

  24. For those who might not know him, Simon is a LEO who, though his previous and current agencies, has both received and provided more tactical firearms training in the past five years than most of us would get in five lifetimes. More importantly, he is one of the very few F.A.S.T. Challenge Coin holders… a feat he accomplished with a DA/SA SIG P229R at the very first class I taught after forming my company.

    By ToddG on Dec 16, 2009

  25. Regularguy, I concur. Let the testing begin, along with the subjective feedback.

    By Mik L on Dec 16, 2009

  26. Todd,
    Lets do it…. I really enjoy your website and feedback on gun performance. I only wish that I was 1/4 good enough to qualify for your F.A.S.T challenge. Keep up the good work.

    p.s. What do you think of the P228?

    By Regularguy on Dec 16, 2009

  27. Regularguy, problem is: will Sig $upport ToddG’s testing? I doubt it. With the FAM contract they supposedly got for this model and this new SFA variant coming out, I don’t see them cooperating. And I’m sure ToddG is still wondering how long the P30 testing will last (wish i had a faction of that ammo supply!).

    By Mik L on Dec 16, 2009

  28. That would be nice. I like the way the P250 feels in my hand, and its trigger mechanism definitely an improvement over the regular SIG trigger mechanism, but the trigger reset is awfully long.

    By Alex on Dec 26, 2009

  29. Clarifications
    1) A SFA can have a second strike capability (see Walther P99) 2) A SFA can have a DA/SA setup (again see Walther P99). 3) One has to be careful taking the Glock action and generalizing to “SFA” in a theoretical sense.

    Re the P250 and SFA.
    Well this development is probably because the P250 trigger is like a lightish double action revolver action. For police departments going to a Semi from a Revolver this would make a good choice as retraining costs would be low (sorry no work for you Todd ;-)). There also is the fact that as a dept weapon the customization, limited parts, and simplicity is very nice. It is a great gun for administrators who come up with a bunch of criteria on paper; it looks great in matching their desires.

    But, its performance (im not talking reliability) is pretty difficult to justify in terms of comparing to other choices. If maximum speed with good accuracy is important then the P250 (without ridiculous training costs and time invested) is a slower gun to put multiple rounds on target than other choices. If your job is to slow down hyped up “trigger happy” officers then you have met a very good match–the trigger will do just that (perhaps too well). The consistent P250 trigger pull is nice (as with glocks). It is very smooth. But of course the 1) long relatively heavy pull 2) long reset is both “good” and “bad”–but I see mostly bad if you have good training and habits. The external hammer is nice: 1) visual cue for trigger advance 2) great for reholstering to prevent AD/ND (cannot happen if this hammer is covered!) 3) visual cue for break point–since the P250 action does not have a defined point where you know it will break. (In general I think an external guide/indicator is a good thing and in the form of a hammer it lets you know the “state” of the gun. XD and Walter have their takes on indicators and that is a disadvantage to the Glock and M+P design in my mind.)

    If you are trying to get contracts from agencies that have Glocks then guess what Sig needs to do–go “SFA”. (What type of SFA will be interesting to see.) Then they can market all the other stuff and not have the officers testing the thing criticize the action speed.

    For individuals all the interchangability and sizes are way overrated due to the high total cost of ownership. Only in restrictive locales with gun quota maximums would this be an advantage due to have only “one” gun with more capabilities. For an individual who was a revolver only shooter who does not want to train much and learn new things then the P250 would be an excellent choice. He might not say it but I think that may be why John Farnham likes and carries it–because he cut his teeth on the revolver.

    By P30man on Dec 29, 2009

  30. I think Todd Jarrett has competed and won a few
    matches with double action only trigger.If I am wrong, please, someone correct me.

    By joe on Jan 25, 2010

  31. The LDA is about as “double action” as a Ruger Blackhawk…

    By Tam on Jan 25, 2010

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