by Bill H
Modular guns appear to be a new concept, however, they have been around quite some time in various forms. From the carbine variant of a service rifle carried by a cavalryman to the Thompson/Center Contender with its myriad of barrel options, the ability to interchange parts of a gun or offer a different take on the same gun has been a desirable concept. Even the M1911 is offered in the Commander and Officer’s smaller sizes with .380ACP and .22LR scaled down versions available.
SIG/Sauer expanded upon this concept when they introduced the P250 series of pistols. Offered in Subcompact, Compact, and Full Sized, it is available in four calibers; 9mm, .357 SIG, .40S&W and .45ACP. A .380ACP version is cataloged in the compact and subcompact. What makes the P250 special is that all of these can be interchanged using a single base unit. SIG calls it the chassis, but it is basically a trigger and hammer unit that can be swapped between polymer grip frames. The chassis is the serial numbered component, so each frame has a small window for the number to show through. This feature is helpful for those who live in places where restrictions keep down the number of legally owned firearms or agencies where different sized guns may be needed for different work assignments i.e. detectives vs. uniformed police officers.
SIG also offers different sized frames in each variant to accommodate a variety of hand sizes. Small, Medium and Large circumferences allow customization within the Sub-Compact, Compact, and Full Sized frames and provide a way to tailor the gun to the hand. I see this being very useful for those who are hard to “fit” for a handgun. All frames are textured with the logo in the middle.
I saw a large display of the different frames in a gun shop last year. Comparing all of them side by side was cool, but I have large hands and they started to all feel the same after a few minutes. It’s not a knock on SIG, the concept, or the gun, but something that not everyone may need.
Disassembly is identical to other SIG P series weapons. After making sure it is unloaded and removing the magazine, lock the slide to the rear. Rotate the takedown lever on the left side of the frame just over 90 degrees downward, and then allow the slide to move forward and off the frame. The slide with barrel and recoil spring assembly inside come off of the frame as a unit and further separate similar to most semi-automatic handguns. If you pull the takedown lever out of the frame toward the left, it allows the chassis to be tilted up and removed from the frame.
The magazine release is reversible and can be changed by the shooter. It is the traditional push button located just behind the bottom of the trigger guard. The slide release is ambidextrous and located a little further rearward than some guns. It seems easier to reach with my thumb than say, a 1911. The finish is flat black on a stainless steel slide. It also has an integrated rail in front of the trigger guard that takes standard M1913 Picatinny accessories. The barrel tilts to unlock during the firing sequence like many larger semi-automatic pistols.
Shooting the P250 is like any other double action only pistol. Each round is fired by a long double action trigger pull. However, there is no safety or decocking lever like other SIG P series pistols. The trigger pull is long but mine is smooth and only gets a little heavier at the end of the pull. There are no levers or other parts in the trigger’s smooth face and a short trigger is available as an option. The owners manual specifies a 5.5 to 6.5-pound pull, but without a trigger gauge and guessing, I would have to agree with that number.
I fired mine (a .40S&W compact) with several different kinds of ammo in multiple range trips and never had a malfunction. Accuracy is fine, although I have not put it on a rest and measured group sizes.
I did have one problem with my P250 after I purchased it. Just a couple of months after I got it, one of the rear night sights went out. I called SIG and they emailed me a FedEx label so that I could send the slide back and they could replace the sight. I had my slide back in about two weeks total. Very positive and prompt service, I thought.
I have had some issues finding accessories for it. Factory magazines are the only ones available so far. The quality is fine but the price can be a little steep compared to some. About $40 is average retail for each extra magazine. SIG guns are usually shipped with two, but I always like to have several more. I also have had an issue finding good holsters. I’ve got a couple that suffice for now and will keep looking. I’m not that picky but have been called thrifty by some.
Early versions of the P250 compact used a different frame and magazine that has since been redesigned. I doubt you would ever see one, I have not, but it is a thought to keep in the back of your mind if something did not fit correctly. I tried a Blackhawk Serpa that listed that it fit the P250 among others, but I could not get it to work, I believe that it is a related issue. SIG has also come out with a .22LR version of the P250. I have not shot one yet, but it would be a great trainer to accompany the larger caliber version.
Not long after the P250 was introduced, the P320 was brought out. It is almost identical; the only major difference being that it is striker fired versus the hammer activated P250. Most of the parts interchange, so it has built on the P250 success. Of late, the P320 has received a lot of press. It won the military contract along with several large law enforcement contracts and had a striker redesign that followed reported safety issues.
While conducting research for this review, I found that SIG’s website no longer lists the P250. Although this personally disappoints me, I am not surprised. With the P320’s introduction and subsequent success, I had already seen a drop in prices for the P250 and a few of them traded-in. They were already reasonably priced, around $400. Choosing the P250 over the P320 would be a good way to save some money and still get a nice pistol that is a solid performer.