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Range Review: SIG Sauer P220 Legion

Range Review: SIG Sauer P220 Legion

The P220 is one of the most iconic pistols made by SIG Sauer. It’s a single-stack hammer-fired gun, and for years, it was the only choice in the venerable P-series if you wanted to shoot .45 ACP. As large-caliber enthusiasts are wont to do, though, they asked if the P220 could shoot an even larger cartridge. The chambering of choice was 10mm Auto. SIG made the prospect of a P220 10mm even better when the Legion series expanded to include that variant in 2017, introducing the SIG Sauer P220 Legion in 10mm.

Invented in the 1980s the 10mm Auto was briefly adopted by the FBI. While the ballistics of the round were attractive, it proved difficult to train with and shoot well because of its powerful recoil. Pistols chambered in 10mm also tended to be quite large, difficult to operate for shooters with smaller hands.

Even so, the caliber has a cult following. In 2007, that led the SIG specialty gunsmith Bruce Gray and his shop, Grayguns, to convert a small number of P220s to 10mm. If you weren’t one of the lucky few, you had to wait until 2015, when SIG announced that the P220 would become commercially available in 10mm. 

The Legion series was launched in late 2015 with SIG’s classic P226 and P229 pistols and added a number of the most in-demand performance upgrades for the guns. They’re factory guns at factory prices, but are built more like highly customized pistols that have upgraded triggers, sights, grips and more.

The SIG Sauer P220 Legion ships in a plastic hard case with what you’d usually expect: manual, flyers, stickers, gun lock and three eight-round magazines. It comes in the classic traditional double/single action with decocker (although a single-action only version is available in .45 ACP). A soft-sided case with custom foam cutouts and a challenge coin are available for free after registering the pistol with SIG.

I was immediately impressed by how well the gun fit my small hands, thanks to the reduced beavertail and trigger guard undercut common to all Legion pistols. I had no trouble reaching the Grayguns-designed P-SAIT trigger, even in double-action mode. The decocking lever and magazine release were operable with the same adjustments I make with all pistols, but I did find the slide release very stiff. I appreciated that both the decocking lever and slide release are low-profile versions, so they didn’t cut into my hands while shooting.

On my Lyman trigger gauge, the double action weighed in at 11 pounds, and the single action at 7 pounds. Those numbers don’t describe the steady, smooth pull of each trigger press, which made the gun quite manageable for accurate hits on target, even at speed.

At a hefty 42 ounces unloaded, the gun was more shootable than one might expect. I shot two hundred flawless rounds through it and while the P220 can’t be described as a low-recoil pistol by any means, I didn’t have trouble keeping it in my hands. The aggressive, but not uncomfortable, texturing of the signature Legion grips helped. Frankly, I found it fun to shoot – lots of recoil, yes, but not in a punishing, painful way.

It wasn’t just good for blasting rounds downrange, though. The P220 Legion was also impressively accurate. At 7 yards, I was shooting cloverleaf groups and at 200 yards, the gun was reliably hitting a full-size steel silhouette target. My only complaint was that the X-Ray sights were not well-suited to precision shooting. They do, however, fix one of the most common downfalls of three-dot sights by making the dot on the front sight noticeably larger for daylight shooting than the bare tritium vials on the rear sights so that the sights don’t look like a sea of dots. Standard dovetails allow them to be easily replaced in any case.

Overall, the P220 Legion is an excellent option for 10mm aficionados and anyone else who wants a large caliber in a controllable package. MSRP on the SIG Sauer P220 Legion 10mm is $1,943 – not much more than the conversion and upgrade work alone on the original Grayguns 10mm P220. Even Bruce Gray thinks it’s a worthy version.

"…It was one thing to convert our customers’ existing P220STs on a custom basis and have magazines made," Gray said. "It's quite another to bring that concept forward into a fully-realized, top-drawer production pistol. In this, SIG SAUER Engineer Matthew Taylor and his team did a phenomenal job. The SIG P220-10s are everything they should be, just perfect. Mine is one of my favorite pistols.”

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