SigArms P2009 9mm

A couple years ago I received a SigArms P2009 9mm pistol for T&E. It was an interesting handgun; different from the P226 I was experienced with and incorporating a few design changes that I had mixed feelings about. There was no denying that polymer parts in handguns was a growing industry standard and adjustable size grip frames were also a growing "fad". Recently I had an officer at the range qualifying with a P2009 and I had to revisit my opinion about some of its features. Let me tell you how it performed...

When I first received the SigPro I had a difficult time classifying its size. It's not as small as the mid-size Glocks (19, 23, etc), nor is it as big as a full-size Beretta (92, 96). I eventually came to consider it a mid-size pistol though its reduced size in no way detracts from its serviceability as a duty weapon should an agency make that choice: and many have. To make a comparison, the following numbers show various measurements for the Glock 19, the SigPro2009 and the Beretta 92F. All of them are 9mm caliber weapons and all of them have a magazine capacity of fifteen rounds (law enforcement/military magazines).

Total Length: 7.4"
Barrel Length: 3.9"
Height: 5.7"

Glock 23:
Total Length: 6.85"
Barrel Length: 4.02"
Height: 5.0"

Beretta 92:
Total Length: 8.54"
Barrel Length: 4.9"
Height: 5.39"

So, taller than both from the bottom of the magazine to the top of the rear sight, in the middle for overall length, and with the shortest barrel by about one-tenth of an inch I had to call the SigPro a mid-size weapon. Some may disagree, but it was an opinion call. The sight radius (distance between front and rear sight) on the SigPro is published as 5.9"; almost one-tenth of an inch less than the Glock 23's published 5.98". Note the correlation between barrel length and sight radius.

The SigPro, different from the P226 I enjoyed in the late eighties, has a polymer frame common to contemporary pistols. At 25.0 ounces, the SigPro weighed in between the Glock (20.99 oz.) and the Beretta (more than 34 oz.). This is an empty weight: no magazine so therefore no ammunition.

Mechanical operation for the Sigs is fairly well known. It's a recoil operated weapon meaning that the energy from the firing of the round forces the slide to the rear, ejecting the spent brass and stripping the next round up into the chamber for firing. The first shot is fired double-action while all shots thereafter are single-action until the shooter actuates the decocking lever. The decocking lever is in no way a safety, though it does allow the safe decocking of the weapon. Located on the left side of the pistol, the decocking lever is pulled down and then released for activation. The decocking action effectively disconnects the trigger system from the sear, and then releases the hammer from the sear so that it can fall. Two things keep the weapon from firing upon being decocked: first, the decocking system itself catches the hammer at about half-drop and then lowers it slowly to rest - not in contact with the firing pin; second, the passive firing pin block prevents the forward motion of the firing pin just in case the hammer did fall all the way. The slide-stop lever is commonly placed, as is the magazine release button. The magazine release is reversible so that it can be actuated with the left thumb for left-handed shooters.

Comfortable with the functioning of the weapon, I was eager to get it on the range. One of the things I wasn't looking forward to was having to zero the sights. The front and rear sights are both drift adjustable and sport high-visibility white dot-bar configuration. Put the front dot on top of the back bar and your sights are sufficiently aligned for close quarters shooting. My test pistol didn't have night sights, but they are, of course, available for the weapon. To save myself ammunition on zeroing, I knew that I could use the BeamHit LT-500 Internal Laser (see BTW 6/9/03) to zero the sights. Since the laser unit itself is inserted into the barrel of the weapon and the laser firing mechanism is bore-aligned, I could align the sights to the laser and be pretty close when I got to the range. Using the BeamHit Pro190 equipment and software I fired ten groups of five shots each from a distance of fifteen feet (five yards), adjusting the sights as necessary (I'm a Sig certified armorer and had the necessary tools in my range kit).

Out of the ten groups, I had two, admittedly firing laser and not bullets, that had a spread of less than one-third of an inch. After only minor adjustment to the sights, these two groups had both fallen with all five shots in the ten ring (or having broken the line) with the center of the shot-group also within the ten ring. I noted that the two groups were just a little high and to the left on the target, but since they still all fell in the ten ring I dismissed the minor discrepancy in relationship between point of aim and point of impact. I felt that if I could achieve this kind of accuracy on the range, I'd be doing pretty darn well. Off to the range I went.

Way back when I first got the pistol, range day was warm and cloudy with the occasional breeze to relieve the almost ninety degree temperature. I posted a couple of bullseye targets, loaded up my magazines with ten rounds of Winchester 115g FMJ ammo and proceeded to shoot five shot groups. Firing free hand from the fifteen yard (45 feet) line, just like with the laser zero, all groups were a little high and left, though the "little" was much more noticeable with real bullets. Still, my best group spread was one and three eighths of an inch: four shots in the nine ring, and one in the eight. The worst group I shot measured two and a half inches with three in the nine ring and two in the eight. As noted, all groups were just a little high and to the left. More recently, just a few days ago, it was a cooler day and was just drying out after several days of rain. Obviously, weather has a greater impact on the shooter than on the weapon, but the accuracy of the weapon hadn't changed. This was a different pistol - obviously - but same make and model and same standard of performance.

The weapon functioned without flaw. I had cleaned it and lubed it in accordance with the maintenance manual. No feeding malfunctions, ejection malfunctions or failure to fire occurred. Just to make sure it wasn't because of the nicely rounded FMJ ammunition, I pulled out some old Federal Hydra-Shok 124g JHP +P ammo that I had in the bottom of my ammo can. The SigPro ate through three magazines of the Hydra-Shok without any problems. Rapid fire five-shot groups from the seven yard line averaged less than two inches and noticed recoil was minimal even with the hotter load of the +P rounds.

All in all, the SigPro 2009 is a handy weapon. Not so large as to be inconvenient off duty and light enough to help out weight control on the gunbelt on duty. Accuracy is certainly not an issue as I had a feeling the gun was better than I was. With fifteen rounds of 9mm per magazine, ammo capacity is sufficient for law enforcement work.

Stay Safe!