SIG Sauer's P250 remains a revolutionary design. The only part of the gun classified as a "firearm" by BATFE is its fire-control unit (FCU), which is easily removed for interchangeability between different frame sizes, barrel lengths and chamberings. This versatility is darn near the Holy Grail of handgun design, as the purchase of a single FCU is essentially the purchase of a vast array of pistols—essentially, but not actually. You still need to purchase different frames and slide assemblies to get the full benefit of the P250. Fortunately, SIG is run by some smart folks, and it is now offering a package deal that amounts to two 9 mm or .40 S&W handguns for the price of one.
I tested the 9 mm 2Sum package, which comes in a slightly larger-than-normal, blue hard case with foam padding cut to fit both a large-frame P250 and a subcompact version. Inside the case, it appears as though there are two complete firearms, until you look closely. One of the "guns" has no trigger present. Normally, one would react quite negatively to a gun lacking the means to be fired, but that's what makes the P250 so unique.
In about one minute, you can switch the FCU from the large-frame pistol to the subcompact frame, attach the slide in a manner similar to any other semi-automatic handgun and Rob's your father's brother, you've got a compact 9 mm perfect for concealed carry. Another minute of minimal effort, and your carry piece becomes a full-size model ideal for home defense or competition.
But, why does one need this versatility? Well, if your wife has small hands or your husband is of elfin proportions, purchasing a single 2Sum package gives each of you a comfortable pistol. Certainly, it is not a perfect solution—you can't both use the P250 simultaneously because there is only one FCU. It is, however, an economical compromise that allows one person with multiple shooting requirements or two people of different builds to have two options in the convenience of a single purchase at a comparatively low price.
The full-size variant is 8-inches long and has a 4.7-inch barrel. It weighs in at 29.4 ounces and has a 17-round magazine. It also has a railed dustcover for mounting a light or laser. The subcompact model is 6.7-inches long with a 3.6-inch barrel and weighs nearly 5 ounces less than its big brother, though it lacks the accessory rail. While these are hardly the dimensions of a true subcompact pistol in today's market, it is the smallest P250 and therefore it received the subcompact designation. Although it isn't as tiny as other pistols marketed with that nomenclature, it does boast a 12-round magazine. So it's got that going for it, which is nice. The package comes with one magazine for each frame size.
Both the full-size and subcompact slides are finished with SIG's standard Nitron coating and are topped with SIGLITE Night Sights, which offer an excellent sight picture in low light. They are easily acquired in daylight and at night.
For the single shooter, one nice attribute of the P250 system is that the double-action-only trigger pull remains constant regardless of frame size, barrel length or chambering. If you want to transition between the full-size P250 and the subcompact frame, there won't be any difference in trigger pull. The fire controls are also identical, so the only disparity is in size and weight.
Shooting the P250 in both sizes proved predictable. The full-size model offered better accuracy than the subcompact from the bench, thanks to its longer barrel and sight radius combined with its recoil-mitigating size. On the other hand, the subcompact frame proved easier to draw and maneuver in close quarters. Both digested Hornady Critical Defense loads with aplomb and even handled the there's-no-ammo-anywhere-on-earth-so-I-have-to-use Wolf FMJ load as well as could be expected. If you're like me, you shoot a lot of Wolf for practice because it's very affordable. So, while it might not be the ideal self-defense fodder, it will certainly find its way through a ton of P250s.
My one quibble with the 2Sum package is the decision to provide only one chambering. I would have preferred a full-size variant in .40 S&W to go with the subcompact in 9 mm, but that's probably thinking too much like a gun writer. Most folks have a self-defense caliber they stick to, and the ability to go from bedside-drawer behemoth to IWB-holster baby in a single package is probably more relevant than the ability to test a platform's performance in multiple chamberings.
The P250 2Sum may not be two guns for the price of one, but it's about as close as you'll get to finding two, high-quality handguns for less than $1,000. If you're looking for a nice range pistol for both yourself and your differently built significant other or a defensive pair for your safe and your belt, give the 2Sum package serious consideration.
Manufacturer: SIG Sauer;(603) 772-2302, www.sigsauer.com
Action Type: Recoil-operated, semi-automatic
Caliber: 9 mm (tested); .40 S&W
Capacity: 17+1 (full-size 9 mm); 14+1 (full-size .40 S&W); 12+1 (subcompact 9 mm); 10+1 (subcompact .40 S&W)
Frame: Polymer; railed dustcover (full-size)
Slide: Nitron finish
Barrel Length: 4.7 inches (full-size); 3.6 inches (subcompact)
Rifling: 6 grooves, 1:10-inch RH twist (9 mm); 6 grooves, 1:16-inch LH twist (.40 S&W)
Sights: SIGLITE Night Sights, front and rear
Trigger Pull Weight: 5 pounds, 13 ounces
Length: 8 inches (full-size); 6.7 inches (subcompact)
Width: 1.4 inches (full-size); 1.1 inches (subcompact)
Height: 5.5 inches (full-size); 4.7 inches (subcompact)
Weight: 29.4 ounces (full-size); 24.9 ounces (subcompact)
Accessories: Hard case, cable lock, manual