SigArms P2009 9mm

Recently I had an officer at the range qualifying with a P2009 and I had to revisit my opinion about some of its features.

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).

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